The fantasy football playoffs are here. I would ask how you did. But if you are reading this, you are not here to tell me about you. Playoffs can be a tricky time in the fantasy football season. What got you to the playoffs might not win it for you. As the NFL season comes to a close, teams with set playoff positions consider resting players. Owners of players like Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot, consider yourself warned. That doesn’t mean that players on good teams don’t hold value. However, it does mean that you need to be paying attention concerning who is playing each week and how much. With all that to consider, let’s see what the waiver wire has in store for us this week.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens- 25%
Like Alex Smith, Flacco has always been a consistent double digit QB. The score is often on the bottom half of double digits but he is a serviceable fantasy QB. The Ravens are in a heated division race with the Steelers. The division championship and playoff spots are on the line. Flacco will need to step up in order to make the playoffs happen. It is will be hard to hold off Big Ben and the Steeler’s offense. I think that Flacco is a good add for insurance. You never know when someone will sit. But what you don’t know is that as long as there is a chance the Ravens can make the playoffs, Flacco will not be sitting.
Jarred Goff, Los Angeles Rams- 3%
If you are in a keeper league, I hope you are listening. Many believe that the Ram’s biggest issue is behind center. I don’t think there is a team in the NFL that has been hurting for a good QB as long as the Rams. Goff might finally be that savior. I don’t know if I would start him this week, but he is going to play the rest of the way. There is quite a bit of talent around the rookie QB. I expect him to catch fire as the season closes. He could be a steal in a keeper league. Especially if draft pick cost is low. I like Goff the rest of the way. It seems like a stretch, but I like what I have seen so far.
Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills- 25%
Very few single back systems can boast a backup that contributes the way Gillislee does in Buffalo. Shady will always see the brunt of the carries, but that has not kept Gillislee from see goal line work. He scored 2 TD’s last week against tough Raiders squad playing with a chip on their shoulders. Buffalo will be playing for their playoff life over the next few weeks are going to need all hands on deck. Gillislee has proven his worth and coach Rex is loves his running backs.
Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens- 48%
Similar to Buffalo, the Ravens are going to have all hands on deck to finish out the season. There is no rest for the wearing or for those who are still trying to make the playoffs. Dixon is the backup RB on the depth chart but he is getting almost as many touches as West. Dixon has over 70 yards total in 3 of the last 4 games. Many are still expecting him to take over the starting role at some point. Dixon has some upside going forward.
Justin Forsett, Denver Broncos- 8%
If you have read my blog over the last couple of years you will see that I am a Justin Forsett fan to a fault. This is probably the third time he has made this list this season. He is also on his third team. I don’t know if that means he has value or he has no value. Forsett fell off the radar due to an injury and has not been able to get back into the groove. Denver might be the place for it to happen. The defense is strong and the passing game is average. Broncos will continue to pound the ball on the ground. Booker has shown he could be the future but he has cooled off as late. Forsett could be the veteran they need to get them back the Super Bowl.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings- 45%
This is most likely wishful thinking, but I wanted to get him back on your radar. To say the Vikings have cooled off is an understatement. Bradford has not been bad, but the offense just isn’t there. Peterson is eyeing a possible December return. He could be around going into the finals of the fantasy football playoffs. This is probably a stretch at best. But when the season enters the final week you should ask yourself. Do I want to be going into battle with Peterson or do I want to be battling against him?
Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders- 12%
The Raiders are having an amazing season. It is a great year for Raider Nation as they sit upon the top of the AFC. This is what make Richard such an interesting option. At 10-2 the Raiders are going to be able to rest players to end the season. This could be huge for Richard who has proven he score in bunches when given the chance.
Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers- 35%
Green was a popular pick to start the season. The talented TE was supposed to break out in SD but that didn’t happen. Old man Gates is still holding down that fort. Green has not performed as many has hoped. That is until last week when he caught 6 passes for 110 yards and touch down. Even if he had half of those stats he would be valuable. Pittsburgh is fighting for the playoffs. Green could/should be starting in all leagues.
Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots- 36%
Many of us watched Redskins WR Crowder get better and better each weeks until it was too grab him because he was gone. Mitchell is starting to look a lot like Crowder. He has scored 3 touchdowns in the three weeks. Gronk is done for the season which means Brady needs more targets. Mitchell is peaking at the right time for a team that spreads the love on the field. Could be a huge pick up going forward.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings- 18%
Thielen has been quietly consistent this season. Flying under the radar on a team who isn’t known for offense. Oddly enough as the Vikings defense falters the offense is finding the need to pass more. Thielen has been the most targeted Vikings receiver for two weeks in a row. He is not in a position to steal the #1 ranking from Diggs. But make no mistake, Thielen is looking like the Vikings #2 option in the passing game.
Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers- 23%
Two touchdowns in two weeks. Two consecutive double digit scoring weeks. This is not the first time this season Inman has stepped up and put points on the board. Sometimes WR can be a crap shoot and you have to start the right guy at the right time. Inman might be hitting that stride to end the season. Inman is a strong flex start this week against a Carolina defense that doesn’t look like they can stop anyone. SD might do to the Panthers what Seattle did last week. Inman is a good bet.
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins- 44%
Garcon is the second most targeted WR, he just doesn’t get those end zone looks. He is a good WR 3 option in PPR leagues. He has scored 2 touchdowns this season and is bound to find more with Cousin’s throwing the way he has this season. He has caught 6 or more passes in the last 3 games. He is getting targeting often. Throw him in your line up this week and take the win. Caption that victory with “how do you like me now?”
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 56% & Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins- 50%
The ownership percentage for Brate and Davis are the same, right around 50%. So odds are that one of them is available in your league. If you are looking for TE to start, either one of these guys is a strong choice. Brate is the only option for Winston at TE and he will need his this week against the Saints to stay in the hunt. Davis is always a threat. But if Reed is down, he is a must start.
Brandon Lafell, Cincinnati Bengals- 22% & Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals- 32%
An injury to AJ Green has left some big shoes to fill. Cincinnati is fortunate enough to have one receiver for each shoe. Boyd and LaFell are really just six one or half a dozen of the other. The Browns are not going to run up the score so I expect the Bengals to keep it on the ground. But when they do go to the air, these are the guys it is going to. Grab either/or and drop them in as a flex this week.