With trade deadlines in the rearview, we now turn the focus of this article to some juicy matchups, or not so juicy matchups to be aware of in hopes of garnering the playoff clinching win you need.
Whether it be a wide receiver going against a terrible secondary to love, or a running back to avoid in a
bad game script, we will try to find a few of these showdowns. Of course, you are not going to sit a player like Davante Adams against the 49ers even though the San Francisco pass defense is number one in the league. We are instead going to take a look at some options you might be hesitant about. A player on the cusp of the starting lineup as it were. So, with this said, let’s do this.
Start with a smile:
Kareem Hunt (RB, CLE) He missed almost 12 months. But by the looks of his play, he has not missed a beat. In a matchup against the 31 st ranked defense against running backs, He should be an automatic start.
Despite the off-field turmoil surrounding Hunt, he is still a great player. He has taken a bite out of the
workload of Chubb, but both are now great plays. This is due a lot to the fact the pass offense has been
terrible. And in this matchup, the fact the Dolphins stop running backs about as well as I shoot a gun.
Remember, I am blind. In PPR leagues, this play is a no brainer as Hunt could finish as a top 20 play. But even in standard leagues, he is a top 30 play and he could easily get multiple touchdowns in this one. So, fire him up.
DeVante Parker (WR, MIA) The game against Cleveland this week is a great spot for Parker to keep his hot season going. Not only are the Browns favored by 10.5 points, meaning there should be a lot of catching up to be done. But Denzell Ward, after a great rookie season, has looked like hot garbage this season. The Browns still rank sixth in pass defense, but this is due more to the teams they have played. And less on the skill in which they play. Even the good teams such as San Francisco and Baltimore do not scare you through the air. Sad to say, but Ryan Fitzpatrick might be a better thrower than either quarterback on those other teams. As well as others they have faced such as Jared Goff, on the road and Mason Rudolph.
Is Fitzpatrick great? No. But he loves to throw the ball. A lot. And his number one target is Parker. Even
in a difficult matchup last week against the Bills, Parker put up 130 yards and gathered in a touchdown.
It may have taken five years for him to find himself. But it seems Devante has finally done so this season.
And we are going to reap the rewards. As long as you can close your eyes and hit start on his name.
Brian Hill (RB, ATL) The cream of the waiver wire crop last week: Brian Hill went bad quickly. Even in a plush game against the Panthers, Hill could not get anything going. Now, we come to this week. Sure, he is back home. Sure, he will still get the bulk of the work. But the Buccaneers defense is stout against the run. Tampa Bay is the 31 st ranked pass defense meaning Matt Ryan and Julio Jones should be great plays this week. But giving up only 80.9 yards on the ground, Tampa Bay is the number two overall run defense. This is a major drawback when it comes to starting Mr. Hill in this one. Even if he does get 20 touches like he did two weeks ago, do we really want 80 yards out of our starting running back? Not particularly. Especially if you need a win to make the playoffs. There are much better plays this week at the position. A player like Kareem Hunt listed above or either of the Denver running backs in Buffalo should be much safer. And provide a higher upside for the week.
It is a shame we spent all the FAAB or waiver priority last week on Hill only to have him disappoint. He
did not produce last game and this week looks to be even worse. It might be time to drop him already.
With Freeman progressing faster than expected according to team reports. Hill will again find himself on
the bench come playoff time. So, hold him for one more week out of security. But don’t be surprised if
you drop him to the scrap heap sooner than expected.