I thought we’d do things a little differently this week. By this point, I expect that most of you know who you are starting and sitting during these critical weeks of the fantasy playoffs. As such, I don’t think you’ll need as much help deciding which players to start and sit.
Trust is as important a factor as any, and you have to go with your trustworthy guys.
So rather than give you a few players with good games and a few players with bad games this week, we’d be better served just talking about what you can expect from those studs this week and what chances are worth taking for the playoffs.
For starters, the Fourth & 1 Debate fantasy football roundtable covered a few players who, while under the radar most of the season, could make a big splash in the fantasy playoffs. My pick is San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith, but you’ll have to go and read the full debate to see my reasoning. It’s good. Promise.
And it’s especially good if you need a sub for Peyton Manning in Week 16, when he is likely to sit out the second half, denying you those fantasy points you need in the championship.
Fanhouse lays out a very strategic plan to attack the playoffs, and a nice set of players to help you do so. I agree with most of their adds, but don’t jump all over the young guns they recommend. Sure, they look good now, but will they really be trustworthy enough to start? I doubt it. Fantasy Joe’s Mike Gilbert doubts waiver wire studs Devin Thomas and Louis Murphy, too.
So if you need the depth or just want to keep them out of the hands of your opponent, go get ’em. Otherwise, keep your most trusted fantasy cogs close at hand and on your roster.
As FF Toolbox points out, Joe Flacco gets the Lions, Mike Wallace may get a chance to start against the Browns tonight (Joy!), and Kevin Boss faces the tight-end-friendly Philadelphia Eagles defense. On the other hand, dark days look to continue for Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. I wouldn’t want to trust DeAngelo Williams if he plays this week either after what Michael Turner did to fantasy owners in his first game back (He immediately got hurt again, as if you didn’t know).
Fantasy Football Xtreme’s Smitty cautions against Kevin Smith and Steven Jackson, and I would agree. As great as Jackson’s been on a bad, horrible, terrible, and atrocious St. Louis Rams (did I mention they were bad?), he may hit the wall this week with Kyle Boller at quarterback against the Titans.
Not a lot of surprises from Fantasy Joe in their start or sit recommendations this week. Among the names, Chris Johnson and Ray Rice look poised and ready to do some damage. I’m sure many of their fantasy owners would appreciate it in the first rounds of the playoffs, me included.
Also noted, Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson would seem like good starts if it weren’t for Matt Cassel’s struggles and Jackson’s recent cooling off period. I’d hate to have to rely on them, but you may be forced to start them.
Unlike Fantasy Joe, I’m not as afraid of Donovan McNabb against the Giants. He may be able to put two good games together against them this year, especially if he gets top target DeSean Jackson back this week.
By the way, in one of my leagues, the owner of Chris Johnson didn’t make the playoffs… in a 10-team league in which six, and let me say that twice, SIX teams made the cut. Do you realize how bad you have to be to not make the playoffs with Chris Johnson? Bad. So very, very bad. Rams bad.
Davone Bess and Chris Brown are two intriguing names in the sleeper pool. I’d pass on starting them over someone who got you to the playoffs, but they aren’t bad flex plays this week. Brown more so than Bess. Fanhouse likes Bess as well.
The FF Geek Blog predicts some struggle for the Land Baron and some promising returns on Jamaal Charles as he goes in against Buffalo, but my favorite note thus far was their take on Antonio Bryant’s bad situation this week: “Antonio Bryant, Buccaneers vs NYJ — Darrelle Revis.” That pretty much says it all.
If you’re current options are a little sketchy, Fantasy Joe recommends trying the Titans and Cardinals defenses over the Steelers this week, but I can’t fully support the Cardinals defense as an option when they are facing my pick to be an explosive fantasy force this week, Alex Smith. I’m just glad I have the Saints D/ST to set and forget.
Song to Ease Your Pain While Setting Lineups
Now, since I know you can’t set your rosters without musical accompaniment, I give you your very own “Choose Your Own Adventure” of songs to set your roster to this week.
If you’re awesome: Three Days Grace – Animal I Have Become
Rage? Yes. Awesomeness? Completely. Playoff-worthy? Most definitely.
But if you’re hurting and little worried about your game this week, I offer the more melodious but still awesome: Kings of Leon – Use Somebody
If only your stud players were still showing up. Will that one waiver wire claim you picked up this week save your team? Alex Smith? Jamaal Charles? Only time will tell. Good luck with that one.
And with that, I leave you to your games this week. Best of luck to those of you in the playoffs, and sorry to hear about those of you who are not. If you have any questions, you know what to do. Hit us up in the comments or get in touch.