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NFL Week 13

The Hard Bargain: Holiday Survival

by Dave Stewart

“The Hard Bargain” is a year-round column by Dave Stewart offering parenting advice and weekly fantasy football advice for deeper (16+ team) leagues. Dave brings over a year of experience writing this column to NFL Week 13 and will be here to help provide lineup recommendations throughout the fantasy football season.

NFL Week 12 Recap

We made it through another week of football. Not only that, but we also made it through another Thanksgiving. The Turkey Day football lived up to our wishes. Sunday morning was a different story. However, the wild finish in Jacksonville ushered in a wild afternoon and evening with high-scoring affairs.

With the close of Week 12, we officially have one-third of the NFL regular season schedule remaining. Fantasy playoffs are around the corner. The holiday season is also upon us as we enter the last month of the year. For many of us parents, the holidays are equal parts magical and horrifying.

Like the fantasy season, coming through the holidays unscathed depends on your preparation. 

They’re Your Family

Holiday gatherings often bring family from afar. Managing daily routines like school and work can feel especially difficult while trying to simultaneously entertain out-of-town guests.

Try to remember that this is your family and, theoretically, people that love you. You do not have to be perfect for them. They already know you aren’t. Doing your best to enjoy their rare presence will ease your mind.

Enjoy a Cookie

One of the best parts of the holidays is indulging in a little treat. At your holiday celebration, when someone offers, eat the cookie. A slice of pie or a glass of scotch will help you feel more comfortable. Still, maybe take it easy on the scotch.

My daughters, “the Sneaky Girls,” and I are making baking plans. We will treat the family to some banana bread and homemade cookies. It’s a way for us to show love and spread holiday cheer.

Keep Traditions

Baking together is not the only thing that the girls and I have planned. Establishing our holiday traditions has brought us closer together in a shared enjoyment of the season. We love to watch seasonal movies. We watched “Home Alone” this past weekend.

Piling in the car and driving around to take in the Christmas lights is everybody’s favorite. It makes me feel a little childlike and nostalgic, and it makes the kids gasp with delight. Ending the trip with peppermint hot chocolate is a big hit, too.


Having family around might be an added challenge if there is bad blood between you and any member of your family. The holidays are the perfect time to let those conflicts be water under the bridge. Let the gift you give them be forgiveness. After all, it is the time of year for goodwill towards your fellow humans.

I already told you not to try to be perfect, but if you’re like me, you will still feel the pressure to do so. You will need to forgive yourself, too, for when that doesn’t work out.

Take It Easy

The pressure of delivering the perfect holiday is often too much. You will have gifts to give and idyllic surroundings to create with your decorations. Stop and take a deep breath.

Your child’s Christmas won’t be ruined if that game they wanted is sold out. Chances are you are expecting more of yourself than anyone else is. Allow what you can provide to be enough. Permit yourself to truly enjoy yourself this holiday season. It’ll help you appreciate things more.

Fantasy Football Layaway

Just envisioning the chaos of holiday shopping transports me back to another time when I was a teenager working in a retail store. One of my least favorite responsibilities was manning the layaway counter. There was not a lot of fun to be had there.

NFL Week 13

Rachaad White has averaged 84.5 rushing yards per game over his last two starts.

Yet, layaway could be a solution to multiple problems and a key to holiday survival. Spreading payments over months, customers did not have to break the bank at Christmas or need to find a hiding space in their homes for items they hadn’t finished paying off. They just had their gifts lying in wait until it was time to put them under the tree.

Maybe you have the perfect holiday surprise stashed away on your fantasy roster. You may have been holding Rachaad White, who appears to be running away with the job in Tampa Bay, and now you’re ready to spring him on your leaguemates in time for a playoff run.

On the other hand, maybe you have not laid your preparations so well. In that case, you are likely left with last-minute “shopping” for the Zonovan Knights of the world to solidify your rosters.

NFL Week 12 Recommendations Recap

Fortunately for you, I am here to help you find a starter or two to get you through this second-to-last bye week of the season in NFL Week 13.

Last week was not my best effort. I chose Jimmy Garoppolo, who had been on a roll. He delivered his worst performance since Week 3. Latavius Murray did get the lion’s share of the workload, as I expected. His 98 total yards probably helped, but he was held out of the end zone. Parris Campbell scored 3.4 Points Per Reception (PPR) points in against Pittsburgh. For the second time in three weeks, I picked a tight end who failed to catch a pass. The position is my nemesis.

NFL Week 13 Deep-League Fantasy Starts

Mike White (QB, New York Jets)

The Jets decided to turn to Mike White as their starter after Zach Wilson was ineffective and unwilling to accept responsibility for his performance. The choice paid dividends almost immediately. White led the Jets downfield and threw a touchdown pass on their opening possession against Chicago. White finished with three passing scores on the day and topped 300 yards passing. He posted a near-perfect passer rating of 149.3.

In his second start of the year, White will face a Minnesota Vikings defense that currently allows the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. With an offense that features capable weapons in Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore, White is positioned for continued success in a friendly matchup.

Kyren Williams (RB, Los Angeles Rams)

The Los Angeles Rams are certainly not the sexiest offense in the league. It feels a little uncomfortable even recommending a player in this backfield. Still, the matchup is very favorable against Seattle. The Seahawks have allowed 444 rushing yards over their last two contests.

Kyren Williams has only appeared in three games in his rookie season, but he has had increasing involvement in each of them. In Week 12, he received the bulk of the work with an impressive 63.6 percent opportunity share. He was on the field for the majority of passing downs, as well. Williams should see his best week to date in NFL Week 13.

Zay Jones (WR, Jacksonville Jaguars)

Zay Jones had his biggest day of the year in Week 12. He caught 11 passes for 145 yards against the often-victimized Baltimore secondary. Over the last two games, Jones has seen 24 targets and made 19 receptions. He has simply been on the field more often. Jones has not seen a snap share below 90 percent since Week 5. He has averaged 10.5 Yards Per Reception (YPR) over that span.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been hot. He led the NFL in completion percentage in November and has a passer rating of 116.1 for the month. Furthermore, he has been careful with the ball throwing six touchdowns and no interceptions in that time. Now, Jacksonville faces a Lions’ defense in NFL Week 13 that has been beaten up on more than the Ravens. Look for Jones to maintain his hot streak.

Juwan Johnson (TE, New Orleans Saints)

Am I really going back to Juwan Johnson after he put up a goose egg last week? Yes, please allow me to explain. I should have known better than to think he was going to get over on San Francisco. This week, the matchup is so much friendlier. Tampa Bay has allowed 13 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown to tight ends over their last two games.

Johnson has 40-plus yards and a touchdown in three of his last four. He has scored 12-plus PPR points in four of his last six, even with a scoreless Week 12. I look for him to get back on track against a suspect Buccaneers defense.

Life is hard, but it gets a little easier when we learn to lean on each other. Find me on Twitter @DaveFantasy for more life and fantasy sports content for NFL Week 13 and beyond.

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