I try to always keep an open mind and my wits about me. Other than that, anything goes! Makes for some unpredictable adventures out there in the real world. I've worked in the publishing industry for 10+ years and have been a member of the FSWA for 5+ years. Go Steelers!
As we all know, the fantasy playoffs are where you really need to crack down and do the research. How badly do you want to get those few extra points that could help you squeak past your opponent in a really close match? Well, here at drinkfive we're looking for every last possible bit of information that you can use to your advantage and below you'll find some of the best matchups of the week to exploit for those few extra fantasy points. Enjoy!
Fantasy Points based on Yahoo! Standard Scoring Leagues
1. Cleveland Browns
@Bills: The Browns are having a historically bad year and give up the 2nd most fantasy points (20.19) to QBs (Tyrod Taylor this week). They also give up the 9th most points (25.06) to WRs (Sammy Watkins is back, jack), 2nd most (23.59) to RBs (LeSean McCoy), and 2nd most (11.62) to TEs (Charles Clay). In other words, The entire Buffalo offense has a great shot of being in the top 10 of their respective positions this week. Start 'em!
2. San Francisco 49ers
@Falcons: The 49ers give up the most fantasy points (28.05) to RBs and they go up against the tandem of Freeman and Coleman in Week 15. Both should have a good game this go-around. San Francisco also gives up the 5th most points (18.9) to QBs (Matt Ryan) and the 3rd most (26.41) to WRs (Julio Jones, Taylor Gabriel, Mohamed Sanu). Sounds like we're in for a bloodbath, although who the Falcons have playing at WR this week depends on the health of Jones and Sanu, so make sure to watch whether or not they're practicing later this week.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
@Ravens: The Eagles have given up the 2nd most fantasy points (26.65) to WRs and go up against Mike Wallace and Steve Smith, who underperformed last week against the Patriots. I'd expect their numbers to bounce back up dramatically after this matchup. The Eagles do have a pretty good track record against the rest of the offensive positions, however, limiting their chances for more yardage and touchdowns elsewhere.
4. Carolina Panthers
@Redskins: The team that nearly won that Super Bowl last year has fallen apart this season. The Panthers are now giving up the 7th most points (18.58) to QBs (Kirk Cousins) as well as the 7th most points (25.55) to WRs (DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder). They also give up the most points (11.63) per game to TEs (Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis) - although Reed will need to be healthy to prove productive. The Panthers are much better against the run, though, allowing the 7th least points (15.28) to RBs, which may make Rob Kelley a tough play considering that he doesn't have the benefit of catching passes in that offense to bolster his fantasy value.
5. Oakland Raiders
@Chargers: The Raiders are offering up the 6th most points (20.85) to RBs (Kenneth Farrow, Ronnie Hillman) - but this is a crazy situation to prognosticate on, considering that none of the aforementioned players were on the Chargers at the beginning of the season. The current situation is shaping up to have Farrow running as the main back in the offense, but my inclination is that Ronnie Hillman will also suit up here and help out in passing down situations. Still, it's likely that Farrow hits paydirt for the first time this week, against the Raiders. Oakland allows the 12th most points (24.38) to WRs (Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman) which should allow for good games from the Chargers' top guys (Travis Benjamin needs to take a seat on the bench based on his recent performances). The Raiders also give up the 10th most points (18.29) to opposing QBs (Philip Rivers) and the 11th most points (8.45) to TEs (Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry) - though it's tough to choose the right TE on the Chargers on a week-to-week basis!
Welcome to the fantasy football playoffs (in most leagues)! You're probably in overdrive mode at the moment, trying to select the best plays going forward to propel your team to the fantasy football championships - and we have just the thing for you.. we'll highlight the players who can make a difference for your squad. Also, drinking, bets, and general shenanigans will be had. Just because!
Listen to the Fantasy Football Podcast, 12/6/16: Week 14 - Fantasy Playoffs!
Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes to get notifications whenever we release a new episode. We also broadcast the shows live at http://www.mixlr.com/drinkfive on Tuesday nights at 8:30pm CT. Feel free to browse over and join in the discussion in the chat room!
- Jordan Howard is who we thought he was. And that was especially apparent when snow became a factor in the game for the first time this season. Usually a run-heavy game in this type of situation, Howard did not disappoint optimistic prognosticators when he put up 117 yards and 3 TDs on 32 carries. The Bears play Detroit this week, who have a better-than-average rushing defense and have only allowed 6 TDs on the ground this season. Still, with the rest of the Bears' offense a mish-mash of inexperience and disappointment (for the most part), he should be highly ranked this week.
- Tyrell Williams has a torn labrum in his shoulder, but he still played 96.4 percent of the snaps this past week for a season-high. During his senior year at West Oregon (2014) he also played with the same injury before having surgery in the offseason, so there is a precedent there - seems like the Chargers would not have had Williams out on the field the whole game one week removed from an injury if they were not intending on starting him going forward!
- Julio Jones has turf toe, according to reports, and that injury brings with it a hugely variable amount of outcomes. For some players they can push through it, but sometimes it causes an athlete to sit out for weeks at a time. This is shaping up to be one of those situations where Jones could be playing more as a decoy and would not be a good play for your fantasy team. Both Taylor Gabriel and Mohamed Sanu could benefit a great deal from Jones being out, and may be worth a speculative grab if they're available in your leagues.
- Colin Kaepernick was putting up top-10 fantasy points at his position for a few weeks before the Bears' game fiasco (1/5, 4yds before being benched for Gabbert). A lot of that can be attributed to other shortcomings of the 49ers offense, but it was apparent that Kaepernick was not doing them any favors. The 49ers will roll the dice again with Kaepernick this week against the Jets. Mostly because they really don't have any better options.
- Joe Flacco was a boon to anyone who may have started him last week in fantasy (surely a very small number). 36/47, 381 yards & 4 TDs / 1 INT are pretty impressive numbers. He won't be repeating that performance against New England this week, but it can't be denied that Flacco is occasionally brilliant. Just like the Ravens.
- David Johnson rushed 18 times for 84 yards and a touchdown along with 9 receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. Yep. David Johnson is the shit. Any questions?
- Travis Kelce is now the TE1. After a somewhat slow start to the season, his last 3 games he has gone over 100 yards (140 yards last week) receiving. Jeremy Maclin is coming back soon though (perhaps this week) - will his return impact Kelce's performance negatively? I think it will remain similar or even increase when Maclin comes back from his injury.
- Ladarius Green finally put to rest all of the rumors swirling around him at the beginning of the season regarding health concerns. He broke out in the Giants' game for 110 yards and 1 TD on 6 receptions.. and he still only played for less than half the snaps.Green should be a TE1 for the rest of the season - the Steelers finally found a complement to Antonio Brown.
- Thomas Rawls was back in late-2015 form against the Panthers. With a rotating door at RB this season, Rawls is finaly healthy and should provide a burst for owners down the stretch. It's hard to find a RB with fresh legs this late in the season!
- Colin Kaepernick had a regular season fantasy high with 32 points in Week 12. That's Kaepernick, with a 'K'. Hard to believe after the guy was not even going to be a starter this year, but this is how it goes. Looks like Kaepernick will now be in the starting QB discussion from week to week. Shocker!
- Drew Brees is a fantastic QB. We all know that already, but he sits at #2 just below Aaron Rodgers and above Matt Ryan in standard scoring leagues this year. Yes, he plays better statistically at home.. but it seems like he's an every week start from here on out.
- Taylor Gabriel has been a surprise, putting up his 4th double-digit performance in as many weeks. The issue here is that they have mostly been big plays and he is still trailing in targets to other receivers on the team. Can we trust him going forward? Coin flip! Yeah, baby!
- LeSean McCoy had a dislocated thumb and there were many voices out there saying that he might not be a suggested start. Well, those voices be damned, McCoy has been a stud almost every outing and this past week was not any different. He also now has 3 matchups upcoming against teams that have not been great against the run this season (Oakland, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland).
- Brandin Cooks should have had points this past week. Right? Not in this reality.. while 9 other individual Saints players scored at least 5 points each.. Cooks had 0. Should we be worried about Cooks? I don't think so - the Rams had gameplanned to take away Cooks and they did.. but they also forgot to play football.
- Julio Jones was held to just 3 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues (for the 4th time this season, actually). Can this be attributed solely to the coverage that he received in those games, or is something else going on there?
- Rob Gronkowski was active and, in fact, looked ok for a bit - before injuring his back on an attempted diving catch. Unfortunately, he exited the game afterwards and was even seen gingerly going down a set of stairs. Ouch, Rob. Will he play next week? Fantasy owners want to know! Personally, I might wait a week even if he does start.. chest/lungs injury and back injury? Doesn't sound great for a receiver. By the way, Bennett has an ankle sprain and is not an option to start in his stead, should he not play.
- Thomas Rawls is taking over the backfield for the Seattle Seahawks.. but Seattle was just awful offensively. He should recover going forward if his track record last year is any indication.
- Robert Griffin III has been cleared for contact.. how soon will he take over for McCown? How will this affect the Browns' offensive players for the rest of the season if he does make starts during the fantasy playoffs? Positively or negatively? A healthy Griffin should be a boost to the offense in general, if all goes right.
- Sammy Watkins is back and catching 60-yard passes. What's up! He is a much-needed component of the offense and will be producing fantasy points for owners during the playoffs. A good time for him to come back healthy? You're damn right! But is he a WR2 or a WR1 going forward? That's the question.
- Adrian Peterson is back sprinting - if he's available should you pick him up in a league? Duh!
- Jordan Matthews is a watch going forward.. if he's limited, he should not be considered a good play in this writer's opinion.