Fantasy football analyst Sal Vetri breaks down the top three matchups at the three money positions — running back, wide receiver and tight end — every week.
Best RB Matchups in Week 13
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He’s quietly been a top-five fantasy back since Week 6. We’ve mostly seen White excel through the air as a receiver. He’s run the second-most routes among RBs and this has led to the second-most receiving yards and third-most receptions.
White has had no real threats for competition, either. This has allowed him to rank sixth in RB usage this season. Believe it or not, he’s coming off his most efficient day as a runner, totaling 100 yards on 15 carries in Week 12. This week he’ll take on a Panthers defense that allows the third-most points and fifth-most yards to opposing RBs.
We were told before Week 12 that Warren was expected to see an expanded role with the offensive coordinator change in Pittsburgh. This didn’t happen. Warren played 49% of the snaps and handled 42% of the rush attempts. Najee Harris led the backfield in snaps and carries.
There’s no reason to panic, though. Warren still saw 16 total touches; he was just inefficient on the ground against the Bengals. That should change this week against the Cardinals who just allowed over 200 total yards to Kyren Williams in Week 12. Arizona has given up the most points to RBs in the past two months.
He was a surprise active on Thanksgiving after dealing with an injury earlier in the week. Gibson ended up playing 45% of the snaps in Week 12 and this led to nine touches for 37 yards. He’s now earned four or more targets in five straight games.
This week the Commanders are 9.5-point underdogs against the Dolphins. Expect Washington’s league-high pass rate to continue as the team likely plays from behind in the second half. This sets up nicely for Gibson to earn more snaps and targets. On a week with six teams on bye, Gibson becomes a fine FLEX play.
Best WR Matchups in Week 13
He returned from his bye in Week 12 and looked healthy. Downs earned a season-high 32% of the Colts' targets. He turned this into an average day of five catches for 43 yards, but the usage remains encouraging. Over his last four healthy games, Downs averages nine targets.
This week he faces a struggling Titans secondary. Tennessee allowed only 194 yards last week but don’t be fooled. This was against the Panthers' last-ranked offense who just fired their coach due to offensive struggles. But on the season, the Titans allow the sixth-most catches and eighth-most points to opposing receivers.
His fantasy production has come back down to earth after an elite start to the season. Thielen has scored more than 10 points just once in the past month. However, his usage remains strong. Thielen has earned 10 or more targets in five of his last seven games.
This week he faces a Bucs defense that has been giving up lots of production to opposing receivers. Tampa has allowed the second-most yards and fourth-most points to receivers this season. Expect Thielen to get back on track this week with a brand-new coaching staff in place.
He finally got going in a good matchup against the Rams last week. Brown had just seven total targets in his first two games with Kyler Murray this season but then earned 12 targets in Week 12.
One significant difference is where his targets were earned. Brown saw an average target depth of 15 yards in Week 12, a 28% decrease from his first two games with Kyler. This 15-yard target distance is similar to where he found his most success last season. Consider this his sweet spot.
This week Brown will take on the Steelers. Pittsburgh allows the seventh-most yards and eighth-most points to opposing receivers. More importantly, they’re allowing explosive plays at a top-10 rate. This is noteworthy because Brown ranks 12th in deep targets this season.
Best TE Matchups in Week 13
He was on this list last week and ended up totaling a respectable 7.4 points on a solid eight targets. Engram has now earned 20% or more of the Jaguars' targets in 10 straight games. This is the longest active stretch among all TEs, including Travis Kelce.
This week the Jaguars will face the Bengals. Cincinnati has struggled against opposing TEs this season after losing some key defensive players this offseason. The Bengals allow the second-most yards and points to opposing TEs. Engram remains a must-start in Week 13.
Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders
The starting TE in the league’s highest pass-volume offense is worth starting this week. Thomas is coming off a down week of just four targets, his fewest in a healthy game since Week 4. This is likely an outlier performance as he had five-plus targets in six straight healthy games before this.
The Commanders are 9.5-point underdogs this week against Miami. The Dolphins rank bottom-10 against fantasy TEs this season. Thomas should get you there on volume alone as Washington is projected to throw 40+ times this week. In similar spots, Thomas averages more than six targets and 10 points.
He’s been a major disappointment this season, especially considering Treylon Burks has been injured most of the year. Okonkwo was the No. 1 TE in efficiency last season, but so far this year ranks 29th in the same exact metric. This has led to zero top-10 finishes in 2023.
But now six teams are on bye and you may need a streaming option. Okonkwo is coming off his best game of the season. He totaled 45 yards on five targets in Week 12. Okonkwo has a favorable matchup against the Colts this week. Indy allows the sixth-most points to opposing TEs.