5 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 13

Some of Week 13's best daily fantasy football matchups lie with players that are harder to trust.

What's the most painful moment you can remember in fantasy football?

For me, the answer isn't that hard. Back in 2005, I was dumb enough to draft Carson Palmer, coming off of a season in which he threw 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. I made a lot of questionable decisions in eighth grade, and this one is up there.

Palmer ended up putting together a mighty fine season that year, leading the league with 32 touchdowns while only throwing 12 picks. It helped me luck into a decent campaign and one of the top seeds entering the playoffs.

Then Week 14 happened.

Facing the Cleveland Browns, Palmer threw for a whopping 93 yards with one touchdown and one interception. As you may have guessed, I lost my matchup that week -- the first round of the playoffs -- ending my season earlier than I hoped. John, the father of the snootiest kid in my grade, ended up winning the championship, only adding to my post-pubescent angst.

For years after that, I refused to use Palmer simply out of spite for that one bad game. I let my emotions from that game dictate my future decision-making, simply because I had put him in the "never again" zone.

I'm assuming you've all felt that same feeling at some point in your fantasy-playing careers. You're human, after all. We can sometimes let our negative emotions and perceptions do our thinking for us, possibly making us overlook potential that is waiting to be preyed upon.

We want to exploit those feelings in daily fantasy sports.

Week 13 includes several matchups that may make you a bit nervous when you see them at first. Some of the players in the best spot this week are those who carry -- for one reason or another -- a negative reputation. This can allow us to get those players at reduced ownership, increasing our upside in a tournament if they have a big game.

The way we can spot these matchups is through a look at numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP). This is our metric used to track the efficiency of both teams and players, with the team totals being adjusted based on strength of schedule.

If you're new to the site, here's how NEP works. Prior to each play, there is an expected number of points that an offense will score on its current drive. A positive play (such as a three-yard rush on 3rd and 2) will increase that, resulting in positive NEP. A negative play (such as a three-yard rush on 3rd and 4) will decrease that, resulting in negative NEP. The sum of all of these fluctuations over the course of a season is NEP.

Before we dive in, there are a few notes to get out of the way. We don't just have negative feelings toward fantasy players. We also have some positive feelings, which can lead to increased ownership. I'm assuming some of you have had these cozy feelings from teams facing the New Orleans Saints this year. I'm on board with you. That said, I don't need to tell you the Carolina Panthers' offense is in a good spot. You already know that. The same likely goes for the Pittsburgh Steelers' passing offense against the Indianapolis Colts.

These groupings are great options because they carry a stupid amount of upside. Again, though, you don't need me to tell you that. Instead, let's look at some alternatives that can provide you a good pivot off of those chalk plays for this weekend.