We finally made it through a Sunday without a major injury threatening to reshape someone fantasy future. Sunday also marked the first time in my fantasy football history in which I didn’t make the playoffs. It came down to the final game, I needed to win and another team needed to lose but it just didn’t work out.
I will sleep easy knowing that I put up a good fight. I lost Keenan Allen, on pace to set receiving records and I lost my first pick by grabbing Lynch who fell to me at number eight. Late season injuries to Gronk and Freeman sealed my fate as my season has come to a close. However that doesn’t mean that your season is over, for some of you there is still a lot of season left.
Here is one thing to think about as we enter the playoffs. Some of your best players might see less snaps, especially if they have already clinched playoff spots, first round byes, or home field advantage. This might be the hardest time to pick your lineup because a benched Tom Brady isn’t going to do you any favors.
Stay away from the Browns! When the season started you have expected Washington to be a disaster with their RG III issues. However, the QB controversy in Cleveland makes Washington look appealing. Without McCown this team is a huge risk. No one to pass the ball and they can’t run. Stay away from the Browns. On the other side of the coin there might not be a team hotter than the Seattle Seahawks right now. Most of their players are already taken and all of them are must starts. This team isn’t going to give up and they in a fight to make the playoffs.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills- 45.9% Owned
Buffalo is in a fight to make the playoffs. Forget chasing New England that ship has sailed for everyone else in the division. Right now they are just a game out of the wild card. There are a few very winnable games on the horizon. The stage is set of an epic showdown with the Jets for a wild card berth. Taylor is averaging just over 15 fantasy pts a week and right now he is sixteenth in overall scoring. Let’s pretend that he didn’t get injured for two games and he scored his average. He would then be a top ten QB. He has seven touchdowns in the last two games. Six of them are passing and one of them on the ground. That is three good reasons to pick up Taylor. What else do you need to hear?
Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 36% Owned
Winston has quieted all the doubters who thought is decision making off the field in college would be mirrored by his on field decision making in the NFL. After a few questionable starts Winston looks to have figured things out nicely. He is just ahead of Taylor in the overall rankings averaging 16pts a week. Winston is in the same boat as Taylor looking for a wild card slot. He will not be sitting out any games and that is what you want going into the fantasy playoffs. He can score with his arm and his legs. In fact he is a lot like Taylor. If Taylor isn’t available grabbing Winston isn’t a bad second option.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans- 41% Owned
Like Winston and Taylor, Mariota can use his arm or his feet to score. He is averaging just under 15 pts a week and has also missed a few games due to injury. Had he played is two injury games he would sniffing the top ten a well. The Titans are not going to be in the playoffs but Mariota is still learning and will not be sitting the bench at the end of the season. His weapons are limited, but as we saw last week he can make it work. Get on YouTube and watch his speed as he takes the ball 80+ yards for TD. He is third on this list because his team just isn’t that good. If Winston and Taylor are gone you don’t need to hesitate on door #3.
Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 44% Owned
The Saints literally bleed fantasy points to opposing teams. While Sims is still the #2 behind the muscle hamster he is getting between ten and thirteen touches a game. He hasn’t found the endzone much but he is going get you about 50 yards and will always be a threat. If Martin goes down Sims is a must have handcuff. RB’s are few and far between, Sims might be as good as it gets.
James White, RB, New England Patriots- 28.6% Owned
There is no reason to worry about the Patriots. Sure they have looked a little out of sorts after losing to the Eagles. First of all, when the Eagles are clicking they are a hard team to beat. Second of all, if your team isn’t clicking you are going to have a hard time winning. Third of all James White caught 10 passes for 115 yards. White still has not shown fantasy consistency, however he has shown an ability to score points. He will not be taking snaps away from Blount, but he will be on the field as a receiver. If he continues to make plays he could be the one Patriot to really benefit from the loss of Edelman and Lewis. He did catch a touchdown pass as well. With Gronk coming back it gives White a little more freedom on field with defenses focusing on the returning TE.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions- 47% Owned
Abdullah should probably be on the top the list this week as he has similar stats as Sims but he is more consistent. Abdullah is the starting running back for a bad team which doesn’t help him at all. However he does get the bulk of the carries in the Motor City so that at least gives him opportunity. He is getting about 15 touches a game and getting 50-70 yards. Detroit looks to be improving on both sides of the ball as the season progresses. After a tough game in STL Abdullah will get a chance to feast on that Saints, 49ers, and the Bears.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks- 57.6% Owned
I am not sure if there is a hotter fantasy receiver right now and if there is he isn’t available on waiver wires. In the last four games Baldwin is averaging 6 catches for 107yds and a TD. That comes up to about 19pts a game. Seahawks are on fire and you should no reservations starting Baldwin as a WR2 or flex going forward. As much as I hate to say, you can’t go wrong with the Seahawk starters.
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Tennessee Titans- 9.9%
This is not first time a rookie named Beckam has popped up on waiver list near the end of the season. Last year about this time the Giants rookie receiver burst onto the scene and never looked back. Could lightning strike twice in the NFL? He has been inconstant this season but had an incredible week thirteen. He was the most targeted receiver for QB Marcus Mariota. 5 catches for 119yds and a score. Couple of good matchups on the horizon. Won’t be playing for playoff spot but maybe for a starting spot at the #1 next season.
DaVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins- 21% Owned
There are several of us who drafted Parker this season only to be disappointed once again by counting on a rookie receiver. Parker has been almost non-existent until just recently. Fellow receiver Matthews went down with an injury and Parker seized his opportunity. Over the last couple of weeks he has 143 yards and 2 touchdowns on just seven catches. Could this be the week that rookie WR’s step into the spotlight? Parker is good add in deep leagues of 12 teams or more. He might be a decent flex going forward.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 15% Owned
So this guy has burned me a couple times this season. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I am banking on third time is a charm. Jenkins was a hot add after week #1 only to be hit with the injury bug in week #2. His return to the field last week was uneventful as he saw 3 catches for 30 yards. I am all in with the Buccs right now, even though I don’t think they will make the playoffs. There are a young team playing hard and playing well. A healthy Jenkins is going to give Winston another big target. My money says Jenkins finds the endzone this week.