The worst fantasy news that any player, fan, or Fantasy Owner could hope for happened on Monday Night when San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore was lost for the season with a hip injury. The 49ers are only one game back in the NFC West at 4-7, but that loss is going to seriously hamper their ability to compete for the NFC West title this year, no matter how weak the NFC West maybe.
There are a number of premier games this week with four huge divisional games that will shape the NFL playoff picture in the early part of December. In the NFC, The New York Giants host the Washington Redskins with second place in the NFC East on the line. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 0-4 against teams with winning records and host the 9-2 Atlanta Falcons in a game they need to win to stay alive in the NFC South.
The AFC also has two giant matchups. The Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens in a must win if they want to have a realistic chance of winning the AFC North. The Steelers have already lost to the Ravens back in Week Four home without then suspended QB Ben Roethlisberger.
Finally, the marquee matchup of the week features the two best teams in the AFC East. The New England Patriots host the New York Jets with the winner having the inside track to the AFC East and the Number One Seed in the AFC. It is fitting that the game will be played on Monday Night for the entire country to watch.
Here are my Start / Sit picks for Week 13.
Start of the Week
San Diego Chargers RB Mike Tolbert - The San Diego Chargers are starting to make their mid to late season surge having won their last three games to move to 6-5. They play the Oakland Raiders at home this weekend. The Chargers are 4-1 at home this year and are averaging 33.4 points per game in five home games.
The Raiders are improved this year, but still struggle to stop running backs. They allow the 27th most fantasy points to running backs and rookie RB Ryan Mathews has missed the last two games with an ankle injury that has him no closer to returning this week. That has opened the door for Tolbert, who has rushed 51 times for 214 yards and two touchdowns in those two games.
Tolbert struggled the last time he played Oakland with only 12 carries for 11 yards and one rushing touchdown, but the Chargers are playing much better and if he continues to receive 25 carries per game, he will be a top fantasy option. I would have him in the lineup as long as Mathews continues to be out…