- Bill Barnwell
You know that saying about dancing with the one that brought you? It doesn't apply to fantasy football. Just because a player got you points earlier in the year doesn't mean he's going to during fantasy crunch time. Much like real life, being overly sentimental in matters of business may very well end up in disappointment.
Take last year's quarterback crop as an example. Over the first three weeks, nine players appeared one or more times as one of the top five scorers of the week, including Drew Brees (twice), Jay Cutler (twice), Brian Griese, Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb, J.T. O'Sullivan, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Kurt Warner.
Fast-forward to Weeks 14 through 16, the playoff weeks for most leagues. Some of those players had lost their jobs. Twelve different players appeared in the top five scorers of the week over those three weeks; only two, Cutler and Rivers (twice), had appeared in the top five during the first three weeks. The new top fives included Matt Cassel (twice), Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jeff Garcia, David Garrard, Peyton Manning (twice), Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Tyler Thigpen and Seneca Wallace. Relying on old stalwarts like Brees, Manning, McNabb, or Warner would've yielded suboptimal weeks.
Football Outsiders applies their metrics to NFL Week 13 fantasy, telling you 32 players to consider starting and 32 players to avoid at all costs. A sleeper? Jeremy Maclin of the Philadelphia Eagles.