We are now just one week away from the fantasy playoffs, and while he struggle for the final few spots in our league’s playoff brackets, many NFL teams are also having to mount some serious playoff pushes if they hope to be playing football in January and February this season. One team in particular will prepare to get into a divisional race against some familiar foes as they prepare to head to Miami, Florida in one of the best offensive matchups of the week.
Let’s get into this week’s Starts and Sits.
While Wentz hasn’t been the worst QB in the league these past few weeks, he’s just been… okay. While he has coughed up the ball a few times, he’s been really good at not throwing interceptions, but he hasn’t been lighting the world on fire. However, as Philadelphia prepares to battle with Dallas for the NFC East crown, they need a spark to help them make a playoff run, and I think the first step of that will come this week for Wentz. The Eagles will be on the road to face off against a Dolphins team that has stayed competitive in a lot of games, but should still be no match for the Eagles. Miami’s secondary currently ranks 32nd in pass defense DVOA, and Wentz should put together a very strong fantasy day. He has Top-5 upside this week.
Well, things haven’t been going well at all for Goff, who hasn’t thrown a single touchdown in his past three games. However, with the Rams currently sitting at 6-5 and needing momentum for a playoff push, they need their QB1 to step up, and what better opponent to do that than a divisional foe with a weak secondary? The Cardinals defense currently ranks 28th in pass defense DVOA, and 32nd in passing success rate allowed. It’s a good matchup for Goff to bounce-back in, and if you need a streaming option, Goff is a solid pick.
Darnold has been on a nice little run these past two weeks, and he should have no issues continuing the streak this Sunday against the Bengals. The Jets may not be in the best position right now, but rest assured, the Bengals are even worse. Their defense has been a liability all season long, ranking 31st in pass defense DVOA, and 29th in passing success rate allowed. Like Goff, if you need a streaming option before the playoffs start, then Darnold is your man.
Rivers didn’t play very well before his bye, throwing 3 INT’s against Oakland, then 4 INT’s against Kansas City. While I usually would say that the bye week should fix things, and that he could return as a low-end QB1 in fantasy, I’m not so sure this time around. This week the Chargers will travel to Denver this Sunday, a defense that ranks 10th in the league in passing success rate allowed, and 6th in explosive passing rate allowed. Rivers hasn’t done too well recently, and this matchup shouldn’t make things any easier for him.
Jimmy GQ has done pretty well as of late, as the 49ers continue to roll. This week should be one of the best matchups of the season so far as they travel across the country to face the Ravens. While some may not be able to sit Garoppolo, for those that have better options, Jimmy G is far from a must-start. This is a tough Ravens defense that ranks 3rd in pass defense DVOA, so if the 49ers want to have any success tomorrow, it may have to come on the ground, where the Ravens rank 24th in rush defense DVOA.
Mayfield and the Brownies have had a pretty solid couple of weeks, and have quitely re-entered themselves back into the AFC wild card race. However, this game could be a real speedbump as they face their AFC North rivals from Pittsburgh, who are also vying for a wild card berth. This is a tough Steelers secondary, one that ranks 4th in pass defense DVOA, and 4th in passing success rate allowed. Mayfield shouldn’t be considered as a QB1 unless you really need help at the position.
Due to the injury suffered to Marlon Mack, Williams has burst onto the scene in Indianapolis, and has rushed for 229 yards and 1 TD in the past two games for the Colts. And while the matchup against Tennessee isn’t exactly a great one (the Titans rank 5th in rush defense DVOA, and 3rd in rushing success rate allowed), Williams is a must-play due to the volume of work that he will receive, and how well the Colts offensive line is. With Williams thrust into the starting role for the Colts, he brings top-10 upside this week in fantasy.
Lindsay has had a decent couple of weeks and a decent season overall, ranking as the #13 RB in standard scoring leagues. This week, Lindsay should be able to feast on a Chargers rush defense that ranks 27th in rush defense DVOA, and 20th in rushing success rate allowed. He’s a Top-20 back this week, and is a perfect RB2/flex option.
He still only has two TD’s on the season, but Sanders seems like he is coming into his own more and more, totaling double-digit carries in 3 of his past 4 games. This week he should have no issues producing against a Dolphins defense that ranks 29th in rush defense DVOA, and 29th in rushing success rate allowed. The rookie is a great RB2/flex option with serious upside this Sunday.
He’s been playing relatively well the past few weeks, but with a tough matchup against the Jets looming (2nd in rush defense DVOA), I don’t really have any confidence in him or the rest of this struggling offense and team. You may be forced to play him, but I wouldn’t have much faith.
Ingram has been one of the best backs in fantasy this season, but if you can afford to sit him for another RB2/3 (depending on where you drafted him), I would do that. This is a very tough 49ers run defense that has shut down opposing running backs all year long. I don’t think we’ll see a Ravens offense against the 49ers like the one we saw this past Monday against the Rams. I would lower our expectations.
Hyde is very TD dependent at this point in the season, and with a touch matchup this Sunday night against the Patriots, a defense that ranks 8th in rushing success rate allowed, and 9th in rush defense DVOA, Hyde isn’t a recommended start this week.
The Patriots offense hasn’t looked too good recently, but now they’ll get to face a Texans secondary that ranks 26th in pass defense DVOA, and hasn’t done well this season in covering slot receivers. Most importantly, the Patriots will be playing indoors which should help after last week. Our projections have Edelman as the #2 receiver this week, which should show how much upside he brings to the table this Sunday.
Chark cooled off a little last week after a massive Week 12 performance, and there is no reason to expect that he won’t be able to repeat another solid performance this Sunday against the Bucs. This is a Tampa Bay secondary that ranks 25th in pass defense DVOA, so Chark should have great coverage matchups all afteroon, and according to our projections, have him as the #7 receiver this week, so the upside is there.
Jeffery hasn’t played since Week 9, and while he wasn’t even playing that well earlier in the season, Carson Wentz needs a WR1 to throw to, and Jeffery should play that role for the immediate future. With a great matchup against the lowly Dolphins, Jeffery steps back into our lives as a very solid WR3/flex option this week, as Philadelphia hopes to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Brown had quite the day last Monday night, but I’m not confident in his ability to repeat it this week against a tough 49ers secondary. Our projections have him outside of the Top-40, which means Rudy isn’t a big fan this week either.
On the other side of the field across from Hollywood Brown stands Deebo Samuel, who I’m not very interested in either. As I touched on with Jimmy G above, this is a tough Ravens defense, and I don’t think Samuel is a dependable fantasy option this week.
Gerald Everett hasn’t practiced yet this week and has been officially ruled out, so Higbee should see a nice bump up in target and snap rates. It’s a good matchup against the Cardinals, who have struggled against Tight Ends all year long. He’s a great streaming option.
Another streaming option due to an injury, Smith steps into this game as the starting Tight End for the G-men with Evan Engram being ruled out for this game. Green Bay’s secondary doesn’t do a great job covering opposing Tight Ends, so Smith is a solid option for those that need help at the position this week.
Graham has struggled greatly as of late, getting less than 5 targets in each of his last three games, with last week’s 1/7/0 stat-line against the 49ers coming at the lowest. At this point, I don’t have any confidence in Graham as a starting option moving forward.
Kickers and D/ST
Jake Elliott (@ MIA) – Razzball Projection: #4 K
Elliott should get plenty of FG and XP looks in a game that shouldn’t see the Eagles have any issues moving the ball downfield.
A talented unit, the Panthers get a great matchup this Sunday against Washington. While Haskins may have got his first win, I don’t think this game will see him get his second. The Panthers are a solid fantasy unit this week.
Chase McLaughlin (@ BAL) – Razzball Projection: #23 K
The rookie will have to go cross-country to play against a stout Ravens defensive unit. Kicking opportunities may be few and far between tomorrow for McLaughlin.
The Niners have done wonders for fantasy owners this year, but unfortunately, they have to face off against Lamar Jackson this week, which isn’t ideal. You may not want to cut them only a week out from the fantasy playoffs, but I’m not expecting much from the 49ers this week in fantasy.
Good luck to everyone this week, I hope you all make the playoffs, and I will be back on Thursday for another edition of Ambulance Chasers!
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