Ndamakong Suh is thankful for Subway (pictured) and late hits.
Nothing better than turkey and football coming together.
By: Tony Andracki, Scott Krinch and Mark Strotman
Welcome to another edition of CSNChicago.com's Start'em and Sit'em, where three totally unqualified guys give their take on the best and worst plays in the upcoming fantasy football week.
We're not experts, but then again, how can anybody truly be an "expert" at fantasy football? This is a game of luck and nobody can predict the future.
We don't have special powers, but we are pretty obsessed with fantasy sports. Just ask our girlfriends...if we had any.
Every week, each of us will comprise a trio of players with the best matchups or situations on tap for the week ahead and a corresponding trio of guys who are most likely to run into a metaphorical brick wall.
And because we're men and we love perpetuating stereotypes, we, of course, turned this into a competition. Why not?
After three weeks (and all of last year), we realized a major flaw in our scoring: If we assign 0-5 values to each player's performance, there's nothing worse than a zero. And Mark's Week 3 sit of Antonio Brown (who went off for 31 ESPN standard points) should have been bad enough to sink his entire week (as Tony's picks of Cam Newton and DeSean Jackson in Week 6 did), instead of just that one pick.
So we've instituted a new system. We will add up the ESPN standard fantasy points for all of our "Starts" and subtract the points from all our "Sits" and the difference will be the weekly score. If one of us winds up with a negative score, so be it.
[RELATED: Week 12 picks]
(Scoring example: If Scott's three starts total 45 fantasy points and his three sits total 20, he would finish the week with 25 points.)
So without further ado, here are our picks for Week 13:
Mark Strotman (Week 12 points: - 29; Total: -58)
I'm as big a fan of Thanksgiving as there is, and a major reason why is the football. There really is nothing better than waking up to the smells of a turkey cooking, flipping on the TV by 11 a.m. and watching the games in between appetizers, drinks and finally dinner. Without getting too nostalgic, I love it, and that's why I'm picking players who play on Thursday this week. I usually hate playing guys early in the week because, for some reason, I feel like I'm at a disadvantage when Sunday rolls around -- subsequently I love having guys on Monday night.
(Side note: Tony is starting Larry Fitzgerald, coming off a 17-point outing, against the league's worst pass defense. I hope that limb you're going out on doesn't break. Should I start or sit Calvin Johnson?)
Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family, friends and fantasy football teams. Hope these picks help.
Matt Flynn, QB -- GB (@DET)
Scott Tolzien was my pick last week, but I only had the team and position correct. Matt Flynn took over in the second half of last week's tie against the Vikings, and performed well, picking up 14 fantasy points in one half of football (plus overtime). I don't believe the Packers will go away from Flynn if he struggles; he's earned the right to play through a potential poor start. With stellar wide receivers around him and Eddie Lacy running as well as any running back the last six weeks of the season, Flynn is set up for success against an average Lions pass defense. Plus, it's Thanksgiving. The Packers go nuts against the Lions on Turkey Day.
Le'Veon Bell, RB -- PIT (@ BAL)
Mr. Consistency has put up at least eight fantasy points the last six weeks, and even against an outstanding run defense in Baltimore I expect him to keep on trucking. Eddie Lacy ran for 99 yards against the Ravens, and this rookie should have the same success. In Week 7, Bell rushed 19 times for 93 yards at home against Baltimore. With Ben Roethlisberger playing so well, it's going to open up the run game for Mr. Bell, who should continue to be a double-digit contributor in your lineup. Don't let the matchup scare you off.
Rod Streater, WR -- OAK (@ DAL)
With Denarius Moore out for a second straight game with a shoulder injury, Streater is going to continue seeing targets from Matt McGloin and perform well. In the last two games Streater has caught 11 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown. If he can find the end zone against a Cowboys defense susceptible to giving up the big play, he's worth the start. This game could be a shootout, and that will help the Raiders' current best wide receiver. Don't start him over any sure-fire starter, but he's a high-upside flex play this week.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB -- PIT (@ BAL)
Big Ben has really picked up the pace for a Steelers' team making noise late in the season, but remember that he threw for just 160 yards and one touchdown in the Week 7 game against the Ravens. That Baltimore defense is really locking down in the pass game, and a night game this late in the season should feature plenty of runs early. If Le'Veon Bell gets going, it'll stay that way. If you've got to start Roethlisberger, don't go pick someone up and put Big Ben on your bench. But know that if you've got another solid option, use him.
Ray Rice, RB -- BAL (vs. PIT)
Rice has 74 fantasy points this season, and 51 of those have come in three games. That means in seven other games (Rice missed a week), he has totaled 23 total fantasy points. It's boom-or-bust for Rice this season, and it's hard to see him "booming" against a tough division foe that also needs a win. More likely, Joe Flacco will continue to see plenty of pass attempts and Torrey Smith will stay solid. It's tough to sit a first rounder so late in the season with so much on the line, but he just can't be trusted in 2013.
Nate Burleson, WR -- DET (vs. GB)
Oh, what playing opposite Calvin Johnson can do for your numbers. Burleson caught seven balls for 77 yards and a score in his first outing of the season, and he even faces a juicy matchup against the Packers this week. But that Green Bay defense is getting Sam Shields back and is in desperate need of a win. I expect to see heavy doses of Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush, with Burleson regressing hard back to his eventual mean. He's a sexy pickup in Week 13, but not a smart start.
[RELATED: Top pickups for Week 13]
Tony Andracki: (Week 12 points: 31; Total: 60)
Man, it's gotten just depressing to make fun of my colleagues here. Mark can't win for losin' (one of my all-time favorite phrases, even though, truthfully, I don't quite understand what it means) with his Start/Sit picks, and he just loss to Scotty C. in the CSNChicago digital league, and Scotty forgot to set his lineup, accidentally starting Jake Locker (injured), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (on Bye) and Hakeem Nicks (injured). Ouch with a capital O.
At least Scott's Start/Sit picks are going well. His fantasy teams...not so much.
Anyways, on to the fantasy football stuff you guys actually care about. We learned a lot in Week 12 -- I'm awesome, the Bears' D is not. My picks are solid, the Jets' running back situation is not.
Injuries are really starting to impact the fantasy landscape, with some serious boo-boos coming last week, headlined by Knowshon Moreno's ankle. Montee Ball is looking more and more like a quality addition. Meanwhile, in Miami, Lamar Miller is not, but we'll get to that later.
Andy Dalton, QB -- CIN (@ SD)
The Chargers have given up 62 fantasy points and eight passing TDs over the last three games and Andy Dalton has quietly been one of fantasy's top quarterbacks this season, with multiple TDs in seven of 11 games. I'm not even good at math and I know that's an equation you can't beat.
Fred Jackson, RB -- BUF (vs. ATL)
Freddy still isn't getting the lion's share of touches in a Buffalo backfield situation that is more confusing to me than why AMC ever made the show "Comic Book Men." Seriously, who watches that? AMC needs to just let me watch my "Walking Dead" and stop shoving Kevin Smith's hockey jersey in my face. Do you think he ever washes that thing? Anyways, we kinda got sidetracked here, but if you want to know why I like Jackson, just check out the ridiculously handsome dude above breaking it down.
[MORE: Thanksgiving fantasy matchups]
Larry Fitzgerald, WR -- ARI (@ PHI)
Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals passing game is suddenly on a roll and Larry Fitzgerald is the main benefactor. After an up-and-down start to the season, he now has 11 catches for 113 yards and three tuddies the last two weeks. The yards leave a little to be desired, but going up against a Philly defense that allows the most fantasy points to WRs in the league should help that.
Robert Griffin III, QB -- WSH (vs. NYG)
Man, things haven't been this bad in the nation's capital since...well, since the last episode of "Homeland." I haven't seen any of this season yet, but I know it's dramatic and I am just assuming Sgt. Brody or Carrie has done something to put the people of D.C. in peril. The Giants pass D is suddenly good, the Washington offense is suddenly bad and RG3 is suddenly the most insecure star in the NFL. Spells doom no matter what way you slice it, you guys.
Lamar Miller, RB -- MIA (@ NYJ)
If you've read this column before, you know I've sat many a running back against the Jets this season. I'm a matchup guy through and through, and the Jets provide an awful matchup for opposing running backs, allowing just 10.5 fantasy points per game. The Dolphins can't run the ball with anything that even sort of resembles efficiency and they too often abandon Miller to just have Tannehill drop back and get sacked 15 times a game. Yes, Daniel Thomas is hurt (maybe for the rest of the season), so Miller has no true competition, but he is capable of putting up a zero each week. Do you really want to take that risk?
T.Y. Hilton, WR (vs. TEN)
If you've read this column before, you also must know that I sit Colts players. A lot. To be fair, Trent Richardson makes it real easy. I could tell you to sit him every week and I'd be right every damn time. But Hilton is a great a player and I like him. Seems like a cool dude. The problem isn't him or even the Colts. It's the Titans, the league's best defense at limiting opposing WRs. In fact, WRs haven't scored against Tennessee since Week 2, and they didn't even manage to combine for 100 yards in four games in that span. Stay away from Hilton if you can.
Scott Krinch: (Week 12 points: 12; Total: 3)
Well at least my start/sit picks have been performing as of late. I can't say the same about my actual fantasy football teams.
For the first time in my life, I'm in jeopardy of missing out on the playoffs in all of my leagues - yeah, you probably don't want to take my advice anymore.
Anyways, we're in the final week of the regular season for fantasy football. For some of you, this is is the most important set of games of the year. Need some tips on how to squeak into the postseason. I've got you covered with some sure-fire locks.
Josh McCown, QB -- CHI (@ MIN)
I can't say enough with how impressed I've been with Josh McCown this season. He's come out of nowhere to be a valuable fantasy quarterback while Jay Cutler remains sidelined with a high-ankle sprain. He's reached double digits in every start this season. Sunday could be the last start he makes this year and it promises to be a good one. With the Vikings on tap -- who allow the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks -- McCown should have a field day on their young secondary.
Andre Brown, RB -- NYG (@ WSH)
Did you snatch Andre Brown up when he went down with an injury in preseason and hide him on your roster. If so, you're reaping the benefits. In three games since his return, Brown has rushed for 308 yards. The more he produces, the more he will get the goal-line carries instead of Brandon Jacobs. He gets a gift on Sunday with the Redskins, who are allowing the third-most points to opposing fantasy running backs. What can Brown do for you? A lot this weekend.
Percy Harvin, WR -- SEA (vs. NO)
You finally get to put Harvin in your lineup with 100 percent confidence. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Harvin will have no restrictions for the rest of the season. The former Minnesota Viking was a fantasy stud in 2012 and I expect to see more of that with a clean bill of health. New Orleans isn't an ideal matchup, but they did just allow 177 receiving yards to an iffy Falcons wide receiving corps. I think Harvin finds the end zone on Monday night and you can thank me later for sticking with him.
[ALSO: Week 13 target watch]
Nick Foles, QB -- PHI (vs. ARI)
So Nick Foles has been handed the keys to the Eagles offense, not surprising. The former Arizona Wildcat has been a stud since taking over for the injured Michael Vick. 16 touchdowns to zero interceptions, wow. But now that teams can start game-planning for him and get more film, I see a dip in his production. That will start this week against the Cardinals. Arizona has only allowed one 300-plus yard passer since Week 5 and have been on a roll as of late. Foles will struggle against the Cardinals' playmaking secondary on Sunday.
Pierre Thomas, RB -- NO (@ SEA)
Sitting the local guy, who's been very productive in recent weeks? I know, it was tough for me to do, but I don't see Thomas keeping it up. He hasn't reached the 100-yard mark this season and only has one rushing touchdown. He's been doing damage in the receiving game, but I see that changing as Darren Sproles is expected to return to the Saints lineup on Monday night. He has a tough challenge in the Seahawks, who have only allowed two rushing touchdowns since Week 3. I think the smart-play is keeping Thomas on your bench this week.
Mike Wallace, WR -- MIA (@ NYJ)
Mike Wallace finally found pay dirt on Sunday. His first touchdown since Week 2. Man, the Dolphins are really getting their money worth. Anyways, Wallace has been a huge disappointment in Miami this season and him and Ryan Tannehill just don't seem to be on the same page. I know the Jets may be without their top two cornerbacks, but I still don't see Wallace having back-to-back 100-yard games. I don't trust Wallace and you shouldn't either if you still have him on your fantasy squad.