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Value Plays: Week 13

A comparison of the weekly positional rankings and the Top 200, this is an output of the players who could have unexpected big fantasy weeks.

This article will take a weekly look at players who could provide value in a given week. The basis for this value will be the difference between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly rankings. Both are from the Footballguys.com Insider content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, the matchup of the week, or short-term situation. Now, let's look at this week's value players.

Quarterback

Tyrod Taylor

  • Top 200 ranking: 18
  • Weekly ranking: 10
  • Difference: +8

Taylor and the Bills travel across the country to face the Raiders.  This game has the look of a shootout.  Oakland owns the 5th worst defense in limiting fantasy points to the quarterback position.  Getting a healthy Sammy Watkins back in the lineup only helps matters.  The Raiders play in many high scoring games and this one could give each passer a great fantasy performance. 

Ben Roethlisberger

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +11

Roethlisberger and the Steelers host the New York Giants this week in a huge game for both teams.  While the Giants have a very good pass defense, we see Pittsburgh playing at home as the reason for confidence in the Steelers pass offense.  The veteran quarterback plays much better at home than on the road.  We have confidence that Roethlisberger will put up solid fantasy production, even though he is playing against one of the better pass defenses in the league. 

Running Back

Jordan Howard

  • Top 200 ranking: 11
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +6

The banged-up Bears host the 49ers in a battle of bad teams.  Howard could be an elite fantasy option this week as San Francisco is the worst defense in slowing down opposing fantasy running backs.  The 49ers are yielding a whopping average of 29.86 PPR points per contest.  Last week gave us confidence that coach John Fox will stick with Howard even though KaDeem Carey and Jeremy Langford are healthy.  With the sorry state of the Chicago defense, a strong running game will be the key if the Bears hope for a victory.

Theo Riddick

  • Top 200 ranking: 13
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +6

The Lions travel to New Orleans to face the Saints in what appears to be the highest scoring game of the week.  If so, the pass-catching back has a chance for six-to-eight receptions in the contest.  Also helping Riddick’s cause is the Saints lack of defense against opposing backfields.  New Orleans is the 7th best matchup for running backs. 

Matt Forte

  • Top 200 ranking: 20
  • Weekly ranking:  11
  • Difference: +9

The veteran tailback has slowed way down the past few weeks, even yielding some passing-down snaps to Bilal Powell.  The game against the Colts offers a great opportunity to rebound into a fantasy RB1.  Indianapolis is the sixth-best matchup for backs as the Colts yield over 26 PPR points per game.  In addition, the game being outside in the New Jersey weather should result in a low-scoring affair.

Wide Receiver

Jordy Nelson

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +11

Nelson will be a controversial play this week as the Packers spread the ball around and fantasy owners never know which Green Bay pass catcher is the premium play any given week.  The Packers host the Texans this week.  This is the same Houston pass defense which has given up big yardage to wide receivers of late.  Keep an eye on the Aaron Rodgers injury.  He has been limited in practice this week and any limitations on his play could cascade to the receivers. 

Stefon Diggs

  • Top 200 ranking: 15
  • Weekly ranking: 6
  • Difference: +9

Diggs missed the Thanksgiving Day game against the Detroit Lions.  He looks to be healthy as the Vikings host the Cowboys this week.  We like Diggs to have a big game, assuming he is healthy and can separate easily from defenders.  As far as the matchup, Dallas is the fifth-best matchup for wide receivers.  The Cowboys yield and average of 40.69 PPR points per game to wide receiving corps.  Diggs has been steadily receiving at least ten pass targets and should do so again this week. 

Golden Tate

  • Top 200 ranking: 24
  • Weekly ranking: 11
  • Difference: +13

Since we see the Lions-Saints game as very high scoring, we like Detroit’s best receiver in what should be a shootout.  Tate makes big plays after the catch and will see more targets than usual as the Lions will likely be playing from behind.  New Orleans performs much better, on both sides of the ball, in the friendly dome confines.  We see Stafford and his receivers passing frequently trying to keep pace with Brees. 

Tight End

C.J. Fiedorowicz

  • Top 200 ranking: 13
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +6

Fiedorowicz has seen his role grow the past several weeks.  In the game at Green Bay, Houston should be able to exploit the nicked-up Packers linebacker corps and secondary.  The young tight end has a growing rapport with quarterback Brock Osweiler.  Green Bay is the eight-best matchup for opposing tight ends. 

Eric Ebron

  • Top 200 ranking: 9
  • Weekly ranking: 6
  • Difference: +3

As with his Lions’ teammates above, we like Ebron’s chances of having a big game in the high scoring slugfest against the Saints.  Pass targets, especially in the red zone, should be ample for Ebron to have a huge game. 

Feel free to email me (Tefertiller@Footballguys.com) with feedback.  Also, I am on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/JeffTefertiller), LinkedIn, and Google+, so you can ask me questions on one of these as well.