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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Week 13 fantasy pickups include Benny Cunningham, Nate Burleson, Montee Ball

nate-burlesonFor most of you, Week 13 is the final week of the regular season in fantasy football. That means if you are on the playoff bubble and need to win this week, this is the most crucial week of the season. Bench the wrong guy and it could very well be “see ya next year.” Leave the wrong guy on waivers and you might be kicking yourself until next August. Hopefully, we can help. Here are your Week 13 fantasy pickups.

Benny Cunningham, RB, Rams: Zac Stacy left Sunday’s win over the Bears with a concussion. Prior to his departure, he was completely shredding Chicago’s porous run defense. Cunningham took over after Stacy went out and did the same, racking up 109 yards and scoring a touchdown on 13 carries. Against the Niners this week, it will not be that simple. Still, Stacy owners have no choice. If you’re in the playoff hunt, Stacy has probably helped get you there. With his status still up in the air, Cunningham needs to be added.

Nate Burleson, WR, Lions: Burleson was out a bit longer than expected while recovering from a broken arm, but the extra rest appears to have served him well. With Calvin Johnson facing the usual double-teams against the Bucs, Burleson worked the middle of the field and racked up seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Burleson is a particularly solid add in PPR leagues, as he has caught at least six passes in every game he has played this year. Matthew Stafford trusts Burleson, and he should continue to benefit from Megatron getting all of the attention.

Montee Ball, RB, Broncos: Ball has found himself in the doghouse on more than one occasion this season because of his fumbling issue. However, he has looked effective when he hangs onto the ball — particularly around the goal line. Knowshon Moreno suffered what is being called a “significant bone bruise” against the Patriots and his status for Week 13 is very much up in the air. The Chiefs’ defense is dealing with a lot of injuries, which would make Ball a strong play this week if Moreno is unable to go.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings: Patterson, an incredibly talented rookie, appears to have finally earned a starting job with the Vikings. He hauled in eight catches for 54 yards against the Packers, which was his best game of the season. That may not excite you all that much, but Patterson has seen 20 targets over the past two games. He is finally being recognized as an important part of an offense that is not all that good, though he could have some WR3 appeal depending on matchups.

Josh McCown, QB, Bears: McCown has done an admirable job filling in for Jay Cutler this season, compiling a passer rating of 100.8 in five games. He has thrown seven touchdowns and just one interception and has the luxury of possession receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery at his disposal. The Bears face the Vikings in Week 13, who rank 29th in the NFL against the pass. After that, Chicago will face the Cowboys at home. They rank 31st against the pass. Jay Cutler may be back by then, but if not McCown would be a strong play. He’s certainly a strong play against Minnesota this weekend.

Good luck getting into the playoffs, folks. And for those of you who are out of contention, there’s always next year. At least you’re done being aggravated — for now.

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