Week 13 of the Page 2 Fantasy Football Challenge is upon us. Each week, a guest picker chooses a quarterback, wide receiver and running back. The only players off limits are those selected by the previous week’s guest picker. The guest — Aaron Gleeman, who writes about baseball on NBCSports.com and writes about the Twins on AaronGleeman.com — will go head-to-head against Star Tribune writer Michael Rand, who is not allowed to pick anyone projected to score in the top 10 by NFL.com at their respective positions:
AARON GLEEMAN’S WEEK 13 FANTASY PICKS
QB: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
NFL.com QB projection: No. 1
Rodgers is third in QB fantasy scoring this season, he doesn’t have back-to-back poor games very often, and the Packers will probably need to score a whole bunch of points to beat the Patriots. Plus, my girlfriend has a “Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood” T-shirt with his face on it and I like her a lot.
RB: Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
NFL.com RB projection: No. 9
Bell had 200-plus rushing yards in his last game and the Saints gave up 200-plus rushing yards to the Ravens last week. That was enough to have me bypass DeMarco Murray. Also Le’Veon is a cool name
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
NFL.com WR projection: No. 2
Rand wouldn’t let me select Peyton Manning this week, so I’ll just take his favorite receiver. Thomas has 100 yards receiving in seven of his last eight games, and in the other one he scored three TDs.
MICHAEL RAND’s WEEK 13 FANTASY PICKS
QB: Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
NFL.com QB projection: No. 15
The J-E-T-S are an M-E-S-S in almost every facet of the game, but particularly pass defense. Opposing teams are posting a 109.4 passer rating with 27 touchdown passes and three interceptions against the Jets. Tannehill is quietly having a nice fantasy season. I like where this is headed.
RB: Eddie Lacy, Packers
NFL.com RB projection: No. 11
I don’t like picking Packers players, but I’m 2-10. Let’s be realistic. Lacy is the best running back available to me, and he’s been on a pretty good roll. Here’s hoping for a couple of 1-yard plunges.
WR: Randall Cobb, Packers
NFL.com WR projection: No. 14
Again, this pains me. But this Patriots/Packers game could very well be a shootout, and I’m hoping Darrelle Revis spends most of his time with Jordy Nelson, leaving Cobb a better chance.
SCOREBOARD WEEK 12 FANTASY RECAP (USING NFL.COM DEFAULT SCORING METHOD)
Winner: Wade Anderson — Peyton Manning (28.1), Matt Forte (23.2), Jordy Nelson (6.8). Total: 58.1.
Loser: Michael Rand — Jay Cutler (7.2), Marshawn Lynch (8.2), Michael Crabtree (5.8). Total: 21.2.
Overall standings: Guest pickers 10-2.