By now, most of you guys are already in the playoffs or at least know where you’re sitting in the hunt. I’m unfortunately eliminated in my main league and am a bit sour while writing this, so please forgive a bit of my saltiness. My handle may have to change to Rob Gronkowski lying in a hospital bed since that’s where he’s been most of the year (I trusted you after staying healthy last year!). If you’re in the same boat as me, better luck next year. Do it the right way next time and join 10 leagues so you’re guaranteed to win one (that’s how statistics work right?). Yup, we’re way beyond the numbers and I’m not even through with the intro. For those who still have a shot at glory, I’ll suck it up for you guys and do my best to help out. Here are some guys that’ll get you to next week, some to stash for when you get there, and some to avoid all together.
Adrian Peterson – Finally!! You can snag a golden ticket without having to eat so many chocolate bars to find one. Not getting diabetes is always a plus. Peterson’s owned in less than half of all leagues, so if he’s available in yours go pick him up. He’s already been seen sprinting at practices and should just be a couple weeks away from a return. If I know All Day, he’s going to be in amazing shape upon his return and ready for a sizable workload. He’s not going to help you at all getting to the ship, but he’ll be plenty valuable once you get there.
Jay Ajayi – Oh man, the hero that burst into our lineups with two 200 yard games has barely reached that threshold in the last three weeks combined. Now he’s going up against the literal best defense against fantasy backs and it’s got you a bit scared. Well too bad, at least you’re not eliminated from…you know what, I’m sorry. I said I’d suck it up so I’m just going to stop being bitter. You do have every right to be scared though with Ajayi accumulating just 13 yards before contact against the worst rush defense in all of football. If my math is right (which it usually isn’t) I’d say that’s bad. So now that a ton of yards are out of the question what about touchdowns you ask. Well, the Ravens have only given up three rushing touchdowns, so that’s not looking too good either. I know you want to start him given the amount of touches he gets every week, but I think you need to consider other options. I’d hate for him to have another outburst after I say that, but at this point, it’s not looking likely.
Sammy Watkins – If you drafted him and stashed him for all this time, sorry but it was all for naught. Don’t worry though, if you’re reading this I seriously doubt you drafted him since you still have a shot to win. He’s been a huge buzzkill all year and things haven’t changed a bit with him sitting out practice again. If you picked him up as a stash, put this sucker back on waivers where he belongs. I fully expect him to go back on I.R. if that hasn’t already happened after this writing. The Bills may hold on hope until they inevitably get eliminated from the playoffs, so it’s also entirely possible they string everyone along until that day comes. Regardless though, they’re not going to risk the health their franchise receiver and Sammy will remain outside of fantasy relevance. He’s just taking up a useful spot on the bench.
Taylor Gabriel – Is this kid turning out to be the new Rishard Matthews or is it just me? It feels a little hard to trust the production, but he just keeps putting points on the board. With at least one touchdown in the last four weeks, he’s starting to feel like a legitimate option in your starting lineup. If you’re lighter than you should be at wide receiver, don’t hesitate to fire Gabriel up this week in his matchup with the Chiefs’ worst defense against fantasy receivers. He should find plenty of room to get open.
Kenneth Dixon – After what seems like forever for the owners who stashed him, he finally had a breakout game where he touched the ball more than Terrance West. Unfortunately, the breakout game only netted him 80 total yards, but I guess baby steps here right? Look for his usage to continue to rise just in time to help you in the playoffs. He’s a safe bet to end as a middle of the pack RB3 this week going up against the weak Dolphin’s defense. You definitely want to look for a better upside play, but if you have to start him, you pretty much know what you’re getting as his floor.
Allen Robinson – Start your studs is one of the common sayings I always hear. First of all, the people saying that must have never heard of the Broncos defense. Second of all, I’m not sure you can even call this guy a stud any more. Sure he’s had some spectacular games, but come on, three games with less than 25 receiving yards is a bit tough to swallow. He could put up WR2 numbers, or he could fall on his face again and score as many points as Megatron (yeah, the retired guy). Either way is this a risk you’re willing to take? If you just need someone to tell you it’s ok to bench him, let me help you out and be that guy. There are plenty of better options.
DeSean Jackson – If you’re looking for a dark horse at receiver this week, look no further than Jackson. I thought his great game on Thanksgiving would give him some credibility, but it looks like most outlets still have him on the WR3/WR4 fringe. That’s severely undervaluing him on team that throws the ball 50 times a game and that’ll be without the services of Jordan Reed this week. It’s probably not the best that Patrick Peterson will be covering him for some of the game, but Pat-P should be far less than 100% with the knee injury he sustained against the Falcons. All signs point to Jackson returning WR2 value in this critical week, even though he’s been inconsistent at best for most of the year.
Good luck in the playoffs guys! I’m back from my refreshing vacation, so hit me up with as many questions as you got.