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 Playoffs baby!

 In a stunning late push in the Razzball Writer’s League, I was able to sneak into 6th place. And what do I get for my late season surge? A one-catch. 7-yard performance from Brandon Myers

The march into the playoffs is great in fantasy football, but nothing is more frustrating than your key, consistent guys bombing in the game that matters most. Of course I can still pull out the W, and it’s not like Myers is blue-chip fantasy player, but he’s been one of the more consistent Tight Ends this year.

If you’re in the playoffs (or in your final week and not for sure in) and feel pretty good about your matchup, you can’t overreact and pick all high upside guys. A guy like Alex Green (who I like – read below) has interesting upside, but I wouldn’t bench a guy like Michael Turner, who has upside based on the matchup against my Panthers, but other than that isn’t too appealing.

It’s also important to accurately assess your matchup. If you’re facing a tough team with all locks for double-digits games, then you might want to consider Green. It all depends on how you gauge your team and your matchup.

Looking at last week’s picks, Colin Kaepernick was somewhat disappointing but was useful, and T.Y. Hilton had yet another 100-yard game. However, it was a tough week for Justin Blackmon and Davone Bess, who both managed only one catch. Very disappointing. Rashad Jennings also had a rough game, but got knocked out early with a concussion. Not much you can do there.

For my down calls, Larry Fitzgerald, Antonio Gates (although he did improve from his horrific season averages), and Dwayne Bowe all disappointed, but Steven Jackson (mostly through the air) had a decent game and my boldest call of benching Marshawn Lynch proved too bold indeed.

Here’s five guys not started in enough leagues and five guys started in too many leagues that should be benched, along with their % started in ESPN leagues and Yahoo leagues, respectively.  And remember, these picks are not always suggestions for direct 1-for-1 swaps if you own players in both sections, but merely picks for guys not started enough and started too often.

 Possible Starters

 Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco (21.5%, 21%) – A lot of people have hopped off the bandwagon after a slightly down game last week, but he was on the road at St. Louis in a tough divisional game. I think the playbook was limited and the 49ers asked him to manage the game. Now at home with a bad Dolphins secondary traveling from the east coast to the west coast, I think the playbook opens back up. Like him a lot here if you don’t have one of the top QB options.

 Alex Green, RB, Green Bay (8.4%, 6%) – With James Starks out with the knee injury, the Packers are going to lean on Green, who I think gets 20 touches this week. They signed Ryan Grant, but he’ll only be spelling Green, and with Coach Mike McCarthy saying Green played his best game of the year last week, I think they feed him the ball to keep the offense balanced against the Lions at home.

Chris Givens, WR, St. Louis (8.5%, 16%) – As Nick and I discussed on the Razzball Fantasy Football Podcast (both his fantasy value as a rookie as we recapped the 2012 NFL draft with fantasy impacts – and as an up call for this game) I really like Chris Givens. After multiple weeks with long receptions and getting the reputation as only a deep threat, Givens came out last week with 11 catches for 92 yards, showing he can be both a deep and a possession receiver. Even if Danny Amendola guts it out, the Bills secondary is terrible and I like Givens as a sure-fire WR starter.

Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee (4.6%, 9) Another rookie WR discussed on the Pod is Kendall Wright, who both Nick and I are up on as a great pick next year. But I think he gets it starting now with a big week against a porous Colts secondary. New offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains seems intent on getting Wright the ball and getting him to flourish in Tennessee, support his young wideout after two drops last week. Especially in deeper PPR-leagues, I think Wright certainly garners consideration as your final WR or Flex.

Tony Scheffler, TE, Detroit (0.3%, 1%) – With Ryan Broyles on IR with the ACL tear and Titus Young on IR for a “knee injury,” I don’t think it will be a new WR getting work for the Lions, I think Stafford targets Scheffler to fill the void. We’ve seen Scheffler get utilized on deep routes and spread wide, and I think they use him often in that hybrid role. Definitely only an option in deeper leagues, but I think Scheffler could have a big day for those who need to roll the dice at TE or a WR/TE flex.

 Son Of A Bench

 Greg Jennings, WR, Packers (53.0%, 57%) - I think people are getting overly excited for Jennings with Jordy Nelson out with the hamstring injury.  A good flex play or WR3, sure, but the Packers haven’t been that huge stat offense we’ve seen in years past and Randall Cobb/James Jones are still big in the mix.  Don’t bench one of your consistent regulars expecting huge things from Jennings.

 Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta (68.7%, 83%) – As a Panthers fan currently with a paper bag over my head, the only good thing to say about Carolina’s defense is that they don’t give up fantasy points to opposing QBs. The main reason is that it’s so easy to dink and dunk for easy first downs, not to mention a run D with bigger gaps than Michael Strahan. But hey Strahan can tackle, which makes me retract that. I expect a lot of Turner and Jacquizz, for like a 27-33 day for 220 yards and one score for Ryan.

 Reggie Bush, RB, Miami (66.0%, 54%) – I would think most fantasy teams in contention either don’t have Bush or have found a replacement, but somehow Bush is still started in over half of fantasy leagues. Not to mention an absolutely brutal matchup going on the road to San Francisco. A bench at virtually all costs to me.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona (70.9%, 60%) – When you’re building excitement for a wideout based on a QB change back to John Skelton, you know things have been… underwhelming. Fitz has been one of the biggest busts this year, but you can’t blame me, I have been off him since last year. Maybe things will improve next year if the Cardinals nab Vick. For this Sunday, The Seahawks will have Richard Sherman blanketing Fitzgerald, and I don’t see him doing much.

Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego (66.1%, 61%) – Another repeat from last week, I am still surprised Gates is started in so many leagues. Sure he might be on some dead teams (he’s been bad enough to tank many fantasy squads), but he shouldn’t be near a starting lineup. A slight improvement last week is encouraging, but the Steelers give up the second fewest fantasy points to opposing TEs and will keep the former superstar in check. Don’t worry Ruxin, he won’t drop a 40-burger on you.

If you have any last second decisions, shoot some comments below or tweet me @jbgilpin. Good luck to everyone either in the playoffs or to make it in!

41 Responses

  1. CL says:
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    Takin’ my 5-8 team into Round 1 playoffs this week… just confirm my roster selection please (mainly that Sproles is benched)! 12 team, PPR…

    Robert Griffin III
    Roddy White
    Andre Johnson
    Chris Johnson
    Bryce Brown
    Jason Witten
    Justin Tucker
    Seattle

    BENCH:
    Darren Sproles
    Chris Ivory
    Justin Blackmon
    Jonathan Dwyer
    Montell Owens

    Diggin’ the website redesign by the way… way to tighten it up.

    • CL says:
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      @CL: By the way, do I live in a bubble, or how is this team 5-8?!

      Effin’ fantasy football…

      • JB Gilpin

        Jonathan Gilpin says:
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        @CL: Haha, I saw “effin fantasy football” all the time. Glad you dig our new design! Yup, I’m right there with you with your line-up choices. Bryce Brown is virtually a must start in all leagues right now. Good luck today!

        • JB Gilpin

          Jonathan Gilpin says:
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          @Jonathan Gilpin: Was supposed to say “say” not “saw”.

  2. Barker says:
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    Hello and happy playoffs

    A couple of sit/start questions
    Here’s my team
    Brady Colston dez garçon Peterson Richardson t gonz flex Chris Johnson tynes NYJ def

    Bench v Davis Jennings fitz leshore New England

    Basically am I playing the right wrs and should I do Cleveland over the jets

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Barker: Yup, I would play the same exact lineup. Don’t trust Jennings (I assume Greg) enough yet to play over those guys, and the Jets D plays a very turnover friendly Jags today. Good luck today!

      • Barker says:
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        @Jonathan Gilpin: thanks dude – had Jennings in all week and switched to Pierre this morning — good luck to u and all today

  3. Charles says:
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    Leshoure (@ GB), Owens (v NYJ), or Dwyer (v SD) at RB?

    Steelers D (v SD) or Bengals D (v DAL)?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Charles: Leshoure for sure. Definitely will get the work and played well last time these teams played. Definitely the Steelers D. Have been better and Rivers has been inconsistent, to say the least.

  4. Captain Kirk says:
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    Need WR help. Given Stevie Johnson’s hammy…. In a 0.5 ppr league who do you start?

    Kenny Britt or Stevie Johnson

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Captain Kirk: Man that’s really close. I think if you need upside I would go Britt, but if you need for sure 6-8 points, give me Johnson. In a vacuum, probably Johnson for me.

  5. Jake says:
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    12 Team, 1 pt. PPR. 6pt. TD. Pick two for the flex? Danario Alexander on the road vs. Steel Curtain/ Jermichael Finley against Detroilet at home in prime-time/Dallas Clark vs. Iggles/err super-hero Martellus Bennett vs.Nawlins? Thank You.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Jake: I like sir Danario and “the-football-player-no-not-the-TV-show-or-the-city” Dallas. Alexander has been a huge part of that offense since getting promoted to first team and Clark has really emerged as well with Freeman getting used to having a talented TE for once (sorry Kellen Winslow).

  6. Randall says:
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    1)Cam or Stafford
    2)Fred Jax or Alex Green?

    Thanks.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Randall: Painfullllllllll. Stafford. Cam is just so friggin untrustable. Think today’s game is going to be brutally bad. I think I’m going to go against the grain again and go with Green. Rams D will play run well, Spiller getting more and more work, I think Green gets more touches and they both have equal shot to score.

  7. Steve Stevenson says:
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    .5 PPR, B Brown or Ray Rice?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: Gotta stick with Rice… I couldn’t imagine benching him.

  8. Oilcan Giuseppe says:
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    ppr league,need 1 RB and 1 W/R….Ridley,Bradshaw,Lance Moore,Sproles,J. Bell,James Jones or Beanie Wells?

    also,non ppr….which two to start,Jennings,Cobb or Colston?

    thnks.

    • Oilcan Giuseppe says:
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      @Oilcan Giuseppe: or Givens ahead of any of them?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Oilcan Giuseppe: I would stick with your studs and go with those top RB options. Moore is close, he’s had a great season, but I like the guys you know will get the ball. For your non-PPR, I leave out Jennings. Cobb is the receiver you want in GB and don’t trust Jennings yet, as written above.

  9. HP2 says:
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    Need to start 3 of these 4 WR
    Julio Jones
    Torrey Smith
    Danario Alexander
    Chris Givens

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @HP2: As much as I am in love with Givens this week, I think I stick with your top 3. They’re all big play guys and be tough to bench any of them.

  10. dstiers says:
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    1PPR
    Nicks or Jennings? This is killing me. Also have Alexander and Antonio Brown.

    Leaning Nicks for upside.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @dstiers: Yup, I’m with ya on Nicks. He’s been getting healthier and healthier and been back a while. Can’t say the same for Jennings, and lots of targets there for Rodgers to spread around, as he’s been doing all yr.

  11. FilthyRich says:
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    Need a flex for today in non-PPR league. Choice between D Alexander, M Austin and Donnie Avery. Leaning towards Alexander but steelers are tough matchup.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @FilthyRich: You couldn’t have stated it better. I play Alexander as well. Austin playing hurt is more scary to me than Steelers D. Plus there could be some junk time there.

  12. Timmy says:
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    For flex, Alex green or Crabtree?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Timmy: I really, really like Green, but I think I’d stick with Crabtree. Has been good with move to Kaepernick and had 100 yards in an otherwise poor passing game from Kaep. With bad secondary coming into town and the need for Kaepernick to work on the offense, I think playbook opens up.

  13. Art Vandelay says:
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    Hey JB,

    Need to pick 3 of this group (1 PPR league): TY Hilton, Josh Gordon, Stevie Johnson, Mike Williams. I’m in a two-week playoff matchup and have a lot of ground to make up (thanks Jordy Nelson and Rashad Jennings!), so I need to go with high upside guys this week. Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Art Vandelay: Yo dude, I think I leave out Stevie Johnson. Bum hammy will keep him from busting a big play, if an opportunity even presents itself. All 3 other guys have that big play ability to bring ya back. Good luck making it back! Sorry for the Jennings call last week, but nothing you can do for injuries, part of the game…

      • Art Vandelay says:
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        @Jonathan Gilpin: It’s true. It’s not stopping me from wishing violence on Jennings though. If you hear about him getting a restraining order against an enraged fan, you’ll know what happened.

        Dug the podcast this year. Hopefully you guys keep doing it.

  14. LT

    Tommy Johnson says:
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    Which kicker for afternoon or later games. Have Hanson but snow scares me. Hartley fr saints who I strangely feel will do something, Crosby also in snow and terrible , Akers is horrible. Or do I just go with an early kicker? Suisham? Forbarth?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Tommy Johnson: Whole lot os blah for sure… Kickers are kinda a crap shoot, who knows, Hanson could have 4 30 yarders in the blizzard… I like Hartley. Should be lots of offense, weather not as bad a concern.

  15. lastminute says:
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    Givens over montell Owens in a ppr flex spot right?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @lastminute: Yes sir! Definitely want Givens there. The Jags may end up throwing the ball on every down…

  16. Oilcan Giuseppe says:
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    2 QB league,Kaeprnick or Ben?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Oilcan Giuseppe: Gimme Kaep. Love him here.

  17. Bob says:
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    @jonathan would you start Olsen or celek?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Bob: I’d go Olsen. That Phillly pass O has been a a joke

  18. robert says:
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    PPR League – embarrassment of riches. Pick 3, full PPR league.

    Ray Rice, Steven Jackson, DeMarco Murray, Bryce Brown.

    Thinking Rice, Brown and SJax, sitting Murray.

    Thoughts?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @robert: Nicccccccce. I leave out Steven Jackson. All other 3 have huge game upside, not sure SJ does anymore. Murray sure isn’t limited with a whopping 28 touches last week, and will carry the load yet again this week against mediocre Bengals D.

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