NFL Challenge: Fantasy analyst Adam Rank's Week 13 picks
Last Updated: 28/11/18 4:50pm
Fantasy analyst expert Adam Rank takes on the NFL Challenge, picking his team for Week 13...
Each week you get to pick a passing offense, rushing attack, defense and special teams unit to pick up points for your team while, on top of that, you can select a quarterback, running back and wide receiver to score additional points. Register to play by clicking here.
We are getting close to crunch time and by now you all know the deal. Play all of your Saints, Rams and Chiefs. I do not want to spend too much of your time stating the obvious, but I do want to get you set up with some contrarian plays that could help you make up some points this week. So let's get it on...
Play the NFL Challenge
Follow all the excitement of the 2018 season by playing the NFL Challenge, with weekly prizes and the chance to win a pair of season tickets to the 2019 games in London.
Indianapolis Colts passing offense
It's so hard to imagine a point in our lives where you actively looked to start teams against the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. This hurts me as a human being who loves his friends down in Duval County, Florida. But here we are. The Jaguars have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last month. And the Colts have been pretty impressive. Andrew Luck has been protected for the most part, although the Dolphins got to him a little bit last week. Luck still responded with another great game and has the Colts on a five-game winning streak. He's completed nearly 76 per cent of his passes over that stretch with a 16:3 TD:INT ratio and a passer rating of 129.6. He's been rolling.
Denver Broncos rushing offense
Love the Broncos' matchup this week against the Bengals, who are either last or nearly last in every magic statistical category on defense. And if you saw the way the Browns dismantled this team, you would be rushing to have as much equity in the Broncos offense as possible this week. Phillip Lindsay has been a stud for Denver this year. He might not be the rookie running back we projected to emerge in this offense during the preseason, but none of that matters now. We were talking up a Broncos rookie running back early, and we will leave it at that. And here's an interesting note you can drop the next time you are at a public house watching football games: Lindsay has the most rushing yards of an undrafted rookie since the merger in 1970.
Kansas City Chiefs defense
I know, it seems weird to advocate a defense that, the last time we saw them, allowed 54 points to the Rams. But do not let that throw you off. For starters, the Chiefs are going up against the Raiders, not the Rams. More importantly, they aren't going up against Sean McVay. Now, I'm old enough to remember when Jon Gruden was kind of the Sean McVay of his era. The young hot-shot coach who helped rectify one of the most storied franchise in the NFL. Gruden is no longer that person. If anything, he's like that chap from high school who excelled at everything and made all of the girls swoon. And then you run into him 20 years later and he's put on about 50 pounds and is losing his hair. I would literally be shocked if the Raiders score more than 11 points. Why 11 you ask? Well, I will give them credit for scoring a touchdown late in the game and converting a two-point conversion to make the score 39-11.
Minnesota Vikings special teams
The Saints would be my first choice, but I do not want to alienate those who might be reading this after the Thursday-night contest against the Cowboys. But I like the Vikings this week. For one - and I have said this a lot - you have to take the teams that are playing in a dome. That's key. Green Bay would be another team I would consider, but I am leaning towards the Vikings because the Patriots D can allow a lot of yards, but they get pretty gritty near the endzone, which means a lot of field goals. Dan Bailey seems sketchy, but that's kickers, man. You can never trust them. They are like your friend who you make plans with and you never truly know if they will show up or not. You sit there at the bar, hoping for the best and you're pleasantly surprised when they tap you on the shoulder and actually show up. That's kickers.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
There was once this old notion that you could never trust Big Ben on the road, only at home. But the good news here is, even if you believed in that foolish notion, it's dead now. And the Steelers are at home anyway. And coming off a troubling loss. Believe me, that's what you want to happen. You want the Steelers to be a little salty as they play host to the Chargers. Now, the Chargers are good. They have a lot of wins. But most of those wins have come against crummy teams. It's like the kid who excels at playing Madden against the computer. It's fun to run up those stats (like Philip Rivers did), but it gets different when big brother sits down and wants to jump on the sticks. Roethlisberger is going to have a huge game here.
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
The Packers offense looks like a mess, but they will right the ship this week against the Cardinals. Arizona is no longer the worst team against the run, but they are still close enough. They are near the bottom in yards and touchdowns allowed to running backs. And really, the Packers need to commit to running the ball with Jones who has averaged 6.0 yards per rush this season. Seriously, I would be absolutely shocked if he does not get 200 rushing yards in this game. Or at least that many yards combined on the ground and air. The Packers need to get on a winning streak. I mean, as a Bears fan I certainly do not want them to. But at the same time realize that it's an inevitability.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
It might be weird to have the running back and receiver from the same team, but really, these are the only two guys that Rodgers trusts moving forward. And really, if you wanted to sleep on Roethlisberger and just roll with a Packers stack, I would not be mad at it. Well, yes. I would be mad as a Bears fan. But as a football enthusiast, I would have to respect your decision. I do not like it, but I damn well respect it. Adams had 69 receiving yards and a touch in a tough matchup against Xavier Rhodes last week.