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  • Writer's pictureAaron Clanton


Los Angeles Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Two playoff hopefuls enter Week 13 with an important matchup for playoff seedings on the line as the 6-5 Chargers head to Cincinnati to face the 7-4 Bengals. The Chargers have been their usual Jekyll and Hyde self as they continue a streak of looking absolutely great and then following it up with a dud performance, which should be a good indicator for this game as they got pushed around last week in Denver. Justin Herbert hasn’t looked completely comfortable this season, and I'm not sure if it’s a result of learning the new offense or just still adjusting to the NFL as a whole. He is still a fantasy viable quarterback that should be considered an every-week starter, which is backed up by him holding the QB #3 ranking on the year. Keenan Allen has resumed his role as the team’s leading receiver after we saw Mike Williams turn in a comet-like performance, burning bright only to fade away just as quickly. Austin Ekeler is currently the RB #2 on the season with only two performances outside of the top-20 thus far. Outside of that, you’re betting on a TD from either Jared Cook or Mike Williams and I wouldn’t be making that bet this week with plenty of other better matchups. On the Bengals side, we have Joe Burrow who is playing well but doesn’t quite have the fantasy numbers to back it up. Burrow is QB #12 on the season but in 2 of his last 3 games has finished outside the top-24 for the week. The main reason for this is the performance of Joe Mixon over the last six weeks which has seen the running back put up weekly finishes of RB 4, 22, 2, 4, 3 and 2 during that span. Mixon has been running the ball effectively averaging 19 carries for 90 yards/game during the six-game span all while scoring 10 total TDs. Simply put, Mixon has been what we thought he could be if he was involved in all aspects of the game, and he is rewarding fantasy managers for their patience. As far as Bengals wide receivers, they have cooled off quite a bit. Ja’Marr Chase has still been impressive but hasn’t had the fantasy finishes to reflect his talent, putting up only two top-24 performances over the last six games, which is the same as fellow wideout Tee Higgins. Basically, unless the Bengals are going to put up 500 yards of offense, Joe Mixon is the only Bengal you can count on having a great week. Despite that, Burrow, Chase and Higgins are all worthy of starting with limited expectations. On top of that, the Chargers have continued to rank dead last in rushing yards allowed, which only makes the Mixon start that much more enticing. This will be a great game that eventually sees the Bengals move on to 8-4 with the Chargers left in the middle of a playoff hunt for one of the three Wild Card spots.

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