NFL Week 13 Predictions | 2021

NFL DFS predictions post here every week, including projected outcomes and players to watch for every matchup. For more player selections, check out our free NFL Lineup Builder (now in beta).

Thursday, Dec. 2nd (TNF)

COWBOYS (7-4) AT SAINTS (5-6) — 8:20pm ET FOX

Favorite: Dallas (-4.5) O/U: 47.5

Here’s a tale of two NFC teams that once looked nearly unstoppable…in the first quarter of the season. Now they’re struggling to find answers on both sides of the ball. Both Dallas and New Orleans suffered losses on Turkey day. After being neutralized by the Chiefs, the Cowboys offense came alive against the Raiders, but countless mental errors and penalties cost them a win. The Saints weren’t in the same boat. The Bills dominated them from the opening kick off and never looked back. Looking ahead, even an offensive mastermind like Sean Payton will be hard pressed to win with Trevor Siemian as the starting QB. And despite the Cowboys run defense being graded 6th worst by PFF, Alvin Kamara is out and New Orleans is left with RB Mark Ingram. As for the Cowboys, they desperately need a “get right” game and an ailing Saints team could be just what the doctor ordered.

DFS Player to Watch: Dak Prescott | QB | $7,100 DraftKings | $8,200 FanDuel

Dak Prescott bounced back from his awful showing against the Chiefs in a big way against the Raiders. He put up 375 yards and two touchdowns with a QB rating of 106.3. Even with Amari Cooper’s and CeeDee Lamb’s status uncertain he is still capable of racking up fantasy points. And fortunately, his opponent this week has allowed the most points to QBs over the last 4 weeks.

Sunday, Dec. 5th (Early Games)

COLTS (6-6) AT TEXANS (2-9) — 1:00pm ET CBS

Favorite: Indianapolis (-9) O/U: 46

The Colts lost a home heartbreaker to Tom Brady’s Bucs after being in the driver’s seat 24-14 at halftime. Everything seemed to be firing on all cylinders, particularly Carson Wentz who had three touchdowns in the first half. Wentz then coughed up two interceptions, allowing Brady’s to do his magic. The Colts are still in the thick of the AFC Wild Card picture and they have a perfect opportunity to bounce back against the hapless Texans. Houston somehow managed to lose to the now 3-8 New York Jets. Still, nothing is a gimme in the NFL. RB Jonathan Taylor should shred Houston’s defense, graded the 2nd worst in tackling by PFF. And the Texan’s pass coverage is no better. But the Colts must still avoid the mistake the Titans made — of looking past their Houston rivals.

DFS Player to Watch: Jonathan Taylor | RB | $9,200 DraftKings | $10,500 FanDuel

Jonathan Taylor was last week’s recommendation against the Bucs. While he didn’t put up the prior week’s numbers, he still made his presence known with 83 rushing yards and a touchdown. He should have much more success against the Texans’ weak front, justifying his steep salary.

VIKINGS (5-6) AT LIONS (0-10-1) — 1:00pm ET CBS

Favorite: Minnesota (-7) O/U: 46.5

The Vikings got into a good old-fashioned shootout against the 49ers last week, then came up just short. Doing them in were offensive miscues and a defense that allowed the 49ers to rack up over 200 yards on the ground. While Minny remain in the mix for a playoff spot, their odds rose dramatically after their loss. Now they face the fantasy gift that keeps giving, the 0-10-1 Lions. Detroit can’t buy a win. Bad breaks go against them seemingly every week. Last time the Vikings played the Lions, however, it took a 54 yard field goal in the closing seconds for Minnesota to win, hardly a convincing victory. This matchup is far from a guaranteed dub for the Vikings, especially after potentially losing Dalvin Cook (shoulder) for the season. Several of their defenders have lingering injuries as well. Kirk Cousins will have to carry this team and dominate time of possession to avoid being the Lion’s first victim.

DFS Player to Watch: Kirk Cousins | QB | $6,500 DraftKings | $7,700 FanDuel

Kirk Cousins played relatively well against the Niners as he threw for 238 yards and two touchdowns along with a ghastly interception, only his third of the year. With Dalvin Cook out, look for Cousins’ impressive 2021 fantasy numbers to continue growing.

GIANTS (4-7) AT DOLPHINS (5-7) — 1:00pm ET FOX

Favorite: Miami (-3) O/U: 41.5

Don’t look now but the Miami Dolphins have won four straight behind the stellar play of their defense and the continued ascension of Tua’s game. The Giants also had a productive Sunday as they stunned the Eagles — picking off Jalen Hurts three times and ultimately prevailing 13-7. An ugly score is still a win. The difference here is QB play. Tua held his own against the Panthers robust pass defense while New York starts fill-in Mike Glennon. Glennon is going up against a Dolphins defense that made Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson look like CFL QBs. No pressure.

DFS Player to Watch: Jaylen Waddle | WR | $6,400 DraftKings | $6,900 FanDuel

Jaylen Waddle had himself a game against the Panthers, amassing 137 yards and a touchdown against one of the best pass defenses in the league. In that game he reached a top speed of 21 miles per hour. The Alabama product is on pace to break a rookie receiving record and figures to be a centerpiece of the Dolphins gameplan against the G-Men.

BUCCANEERS (8-3) AT FALCONS (5-6) — 1:00pm ET FOX

Favorite: Tampa Bay (-11) O/U: 50.5

Somehow the Falcons sit at 5-6 and remain one game out of the seventh seed of the NFC playoffs. They’ve looked out of sorts for the last two weeks despite beating the Jags 21-14 on the road. Back in week 2 they faced the Buccaneers on the road and were obliterated — final score: 48-25. Now they attempt the improbable, beating Tampa in front of their home crowd. The Bucs are flying high after back to back wins and should now feast on Atlanta’s defense, which has allowed the third most FPs to receivers in the last four weeks.

DFS Player to Watch: Tom Brady | QB | $7,200 DraftKings | $8,100 FanDuel

Tom Brady continues his MVP push this season and he leads all QBs in most QB stats. Last week he rallied the Bucs down 24-14 behind 226 passing yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Not stellar but it did the job. This week he faces the worst pass rush in the league and one of the worst coverage units. He was able to carve up the Falcon’s defense with ease back in week 2 and that should be repeated this week.

EAGLES (5-7) AT JETS (3-8) — 1:00pm ET CBS

Favorite: Philadelphia (-6.5) O/U: 45

The Eagles were one of the hottest teams in the league coming into their week 12 matchup against the Giants. In week 11 they dropped 40 points on the Saints and in week 10 they scored 30 on the Broncos. Those are impressive numbers against pass/run defenses that have made QBs like Aaron Rodgers and Justin Herbert look anemic. That momentum abruptly halted last week as Jalen Hurts threw three interceptions against the Giants. Now they get the woeful 3-8 Jets whose season has sunk like the Titanic on a cold night in 1912. Gang Green is playing for nothing more than pride and draft positioning given their head coach and GM are safe. If the Eagles want any shot at the postseason they must handle their business against the Jets horrid defense. Problem is, they’ll have to do it with Gardner Minshew under center given Hurts is hurt.

DFS Player to Watch: Miles Sanders | RB | $5,200 DraftKings | $8,000 FanDuel

With Hurts out and Boston Scott (illness) and Jordan Howard (knee) missing time, Sanders could see more red-zone opportunities. He’s averaged 5.2 yards per carry and faces a defense that PFF grades worst in the NFL.

CARDINALS (9-2) AT BEARS (4-7) — 1:00pm ET FOX

Favorite: Arizona (-8) O/U: 45.5

The 9-2 Cardinals return from their bye to take on the 4-7 Bears in the windy city. Kyler Murray should make his first start since week 8. That may be a high hurdle for the Bears, who were able to barely beat the Lions on Thanksgiving 16-14. A week prior, Chicago was unable to stop a Lamar Jackson-less Ravens team with a backup QB making his first NFL start. The Cardinals are rested and must build on their season record with the Packers breathing down their necks. This might be a long afternoon for the Bears, with or without QB Justin Fields (doubtful).

DFS Player to Watch: David Montgomery | RB | $5,600 DraftKings | $6,500 FanDuel

The Bears are a balanced offense (almost 50/50 run/pass). Given the Justin Fields situation, Head coach Nagy will try to establish the run early against the Cardinals. David Montgomery is projected to get 20+ opportunities this game against the NFL’s 2nd worst rushing defense, as ranked by PFF.

CHARGERS (6-5) AT BENGALS (7-4) — 1:00pm ET CBS

Favorite: Cincinnati (-3) O/U: 50.5

The Chargers continue to be one of the more baffling teams in the league given inconsistent play following a 4-1 start. Herbert has had moments of brilliance in almost every game played but it seems that for every big time play he makes, he adds a costly mistake at the worst times. If he thought the Broncos were tough he probably won’t like what the Bengals are serving up. The Bengals are playing inspired football as of late behind a young, opportunistic defense (8th fewest FPs allowed in the last 4 games) and the hot wheels of Joe Mixon. Mixon’s power running has kept opposing defenses on edge while Burrow works the air. Both teams have potent offensive weapons so this game may boil down to the defensive playmakers, where Cincy has a slight edge.

DFS Player to Watch: Joe Mixon | RB | $8,100 DraftKings | $9,400 FanDuel

Joe Mixon has played like a man possessed with 25+ fantasy points in each of his last 4 games. Against the Raiders in week 11 he was able to put up 123 yards and two touchdowns and against the Steelers last week he was able to put up 165 yards and two touchdowns. He now faces a bottom-10 rushing defense. While his yardage numbers may tail off, Mixon is still a touchdown machine in the red zone, where he’s seen six opportunities per game (4-week median).

Sunday, Dec. 5th (Afternoon Games)

JAGUARS (2-9) AT RAMS (7-4) — 4:05pm ET FOX

Favorite: Los Angeles (-13) O/U: 48

The Jaguars season has been over for a long time despite some shocking and impressive wins against the Dolphins and Bills. So with all due respect, this game is all about the Rams who desperately need a win. It seems like a lifetime ago that the Rams were 7-1. Matt Stafford has reportedly been playing hurt for the last few weeks but he better shake those ailments off against a SF offense that’s scored the 6th most FPs the last four weeks.

DFS Player to Watch: Cooper Kupp | WR | $9,000 DraftKings | $9,000 FanDuel

Cooper Kupp has been one of the few reliable aspects of the Rams as of late. Even with Stafford struggling in the last month Kupp has remained the highest producing receiver in the league. The Jags may double cover him but he should still be good for around 10+ targets, 100+ yards and at least one touchdown.


Favorite: Las Vegas (-2.5) O/U: 49.5

Both the Raiders and Washington are coming off big nationally televised wins. They face off for the first time in four years (Derek Carr lost the mast matchup in 2017, passing for just 118 yards). With their win against the Seahawks, the 5-6 Washington Football Team find themselves in the seventh and final NFC wild card spot. Meanwhile, the 6-5 Raiders are one game out of the AFC playoff bracket. These two teams will be throwing everything they’ve got against each other. Each offense could take more to the air with both secondaries being banged up.

DFS Player to Watch: Antonio Gibson | RB | $5,700 DraftKings | $6,200 FanDuel

Antonio Gibson suffered an injury scare early in the game against the Seahawks but returned in time to put up 111 yards rushing. His numbers have steadily risen since week eight and he’ll benefit further with #2 back J.D. McKissic out. Vegas has allowed the 4th most FPs to running backs and Gibson can catch too, as last week’s 7-target performance reminded us.

49ERS (6-5) AT SEAHAWKS (3-8) — 4:25pm ET CBS

Favorite: San Francisco (-3.5) O/U: 45.5

The 49ers have won four of their last five, earned them the sixth wildcard slot so far. While their thrilling 34-26 victory over the Vikings massively improved their playoff odds, it also came with a price. Both Deebo Samuel and Fred Warner suffered minor injuries that will keep them out 1-2 weeks. The Seahawks may be 3-8 and going nowhere but Russell Wilson and the Hawks have historically given the Niners trouble in Seattle. Head coach Pete Carroll says this is the best Wilson has felt since his finger injury and Wilson will work to increase his 2022 trade value. Meanwhile, the Niners have turned around their 2021 season behind a resurgent running game. Elijah Mitchell could do most of the heavy lifting Sunday.

DFS Player to Watch: Elijah Mitchell | RB | $6,000 DraftKings | $7,600 FanDuel

With Deebo Samuel being out look for Elijah Mitchell’s carries to climb. Even coming off a broken finger Mitchell was able to dominate the trenches against the Vikings with 133 yards and a touchdown. Expect Shanahan to get him going early against the Seahawks, who’ve coughed up the most FPs to RBs in the last four weeks.

RAVENS (8-3) AT STEELERS (5-5-1) 4:25pm ET CBS

Favorite: Baltimore (-4) O/U: 44

The Ravens won an ugly one against the Browns, despite Lamar Jackson’s four interceptions. Meanwhile, the Steelers continue to wilt and die…just like Big ben’s right arm. The Steelers find themselves in a tough spot in the AFC standings after suffering back to back losses to the Chargers and Bengals. Things don’t get any easier against the Ravens, albeit the Ravens have shown signs of vulnerability in every game. In last week’s narrow victory over the Browns, Lamar Jackson opened up his own bakery that specializes in turnovers. Of course, the Steelers are capable of winning ugly as well but their injuries, especially on defense, paired up with the disintegration of Roethlisberger might be too much to overcome. Still, divisional games are unpredictable and it’s possible Tomlin will game-plan enough to frustrate Lamar in Pittsburgh.

DFS Player to Watch: Najee Harris | RB | $7,700 DraftKings | $8,000 FanDuel

Najee Harris has been a revelation for the Steelers in what has been an up and down 2021 campaign. Through the first 12 weeks he has racked up 708 yards rushing and five touchdowns with an additional 351 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He’s coming off a poor week and faces a Ravens run defense that’s allowed the 2nd fewest FPs to RBs in the last 4 weeks. Harris knows he has to be sharp to bounce back. And, with Roethlisberger’s arm being what it is, the Steelers should keep feeding him.

Sunday, Dec. 5th (Late Games)

BRONCOS (6-5) AT CHIEFS (7-4) 8:20pm ET NBC

Favorite: Kansas City (-10) O/U: 47

The Chiefs have surged back from their early season woes to take a one game lead in the AFC West. They now face a red hot Broncos defense that stymied Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense last Sunday. Denver will have a much harder challenge in shutting down Mahomes and co. on Sunday night in front of a national audience. Most of the Chief’s wins have come by one score and this is a divisional matchups, however, so it could be a “trap game.”

DFS Player to Watch: Travis Kelce | TE | $7,300 DraftKings | $7,300 FanDuel

Travis Kelce has only had one receiving touchdown in the last six games but his yardage has remained steady in 9 of 11 games. As he schemes up against Vic Fangio’s defense, Andy Reid may get the NFL’s #1 TE (who had a rushing TD last game) more involved .

Monday, Dec. 6th (MNF)

PATRIOTS (8-4) AT BILLS (7-4) — 8:15pm ET ESPN

Favorite: Buffalo (-3) O/U: 44

For once the best matchup of the week happens to fall on Monday night football. The schedule makers knew what they were doing when they scheduled this matchup so late in the season and on a date that the league couldn’t flex it even if it wanted to. The 7-4 Bills vs the 8-4 Patriots fight for the tie breaker here. which has massive implications for the AFC East title. This game could be the difference between a home playoff game and potentially the number 1 seed in the AFC (and a first round bye). Josh Allen vs. Mac Jones. Bill Belichick vs. Sean McDermott. Who has the edge? It’s hard to say. Yes, the Bills will be playing in front of a rabid Buffalo crowd but home field advantage hasn’t been that much of a factor in the big games this season. The Patriots are riding a five game win streak, most of them in convincing fashion behind serviceable QB play from Jones. Belichick’s defense keeps doing the dirty work, but none of its wins came against a team and quarterback quite like the Bills and Josh Allen. The Bills have struggled in recent weeks but rebounded against the Saints on Thanksgiving. If you like games that have a playoff atmosphere in December, this is the matchup for you.

DFS Player to Watch: Kendrick Bourne | WR | $5,200 DraftKings | $5,800 FanDuel

Kendrick Bourne has quietly put together a solid season with 623 yards and five touchdowns. He enjoyed a 61 yard, two touchdown performance last week against the Titans. Bourne and Jones have established a solid connection and Mac might have to rely on him more if Buffalo negates New England’s #1 receiver, Jacoby Meyers.

About the Author: Steven A. Cravens has been a professional sports better and analyst for over a decade. As a former Fox Sports NFL researcher and data logger, he specialized in player profiling and performance statistics.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, all fantasy stats are based on point per reception (PPR) scoring.

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