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.
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!