The fantasy football playoffs are finally here. In the interest of the rest of season rankings being as useful as possible I’ve thrown a whole pile of players in the 70-80 range that could potentially be a one week plug and plays for your team. I encourage all readers to map out their lineups throughout the playoffs to find expendable players. Ensure you have the optimal lineup for this week if you are in a playoff matchup, after that move on to week 15 and week 16. If there are players on your roster who will not make your projected lineup in any of those weeks those players become droppable (sans handcuffs). Prior to dropping any players, the last key question to ask yourself is will throwing this player to the waiver wire improve any potential competitor’s lineup substantially? If that isn’t the case find the highest upside players possible and get them on your roster. For a personal example, I have a first-round bye secured in a league. In the league I dropped Bo Scarbrough for David Njoku for the outside chance he returns against Arizona in week 15. Scarborough will never make my lineup. He is a usefully player, but the upside of Njoku against Arizona is worth the risk of one of my opponents snagging Scarborough.

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With the fantasy playoffs just one week away, we hope and pray that none of our stars get hit the injury bug. Yet this is the time, now more than ever to make sure we are fully prepared with handcuffs stashed away, and backup receivers scouted to make sure that if the bad news comes our way… we improvise, adapt and overcome!

It’s Thanksgiving Week, which means we have officially survived the bye weeks as well. What a time to be truly thankful.

Let’s talk about some of the biggest names in the league who landed on the injury report this week.

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It’s that time of the year, the majority of fantasy leagues are entering the last week of the regular season. Fantasy owners that have secured a playoff spot need to prepare themselves for a championship victory. One way to protect yourself through the playoffs is by grabbing your stud running back handcuff. Unless you own two top 10 QBs, there is no reason to hold two quarterbacks. There is no point wasting bench spots with players that are never going to hit your starting lineup. Nothing is worse than losing Dalvin Cook while you are in the hunt for fantasy football glory only to find that you have no shot at grabbing Alexander Mattison because of low waiver priority or min FAAB budget. Make sure you grab your insurance policy before the price increases. Chris Carson owners are learning that lesson this week. Don’t get caught with your pants down and good luck as you jockey for playoff positioning.

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It’s go time! The fantasy playoffs are a short 3 matchups away. The Cowboys will finally play an early game for once and they will travel to Detroit to take on the Lions to stay in the NFC East race. The Buccaneers will host the Saints who are probably not too happy following a loss to the struggling Falcons at home. The Vikings will play host to the pesky Broncos and one of Allen QBs while the Jets will visit the Redskins. The Falcons and Panthers will face off in Carolina, but the big one for the early slate is Houston traveling to Baltimore to take on the red hot Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. 

In the afternoon we have a Super Bowl rematch between the Eagles and the Patriots and the Eagles have a ton of injuries on offense so we will see how that goes. We have a rematch of the Thursday night game from a couple of weeks ago with the Cardinals traveling to San Francisco or where ever they play to play the 49ers. And at night we have the Bears traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Rams who have a pretty beat up offensive line. It should be interesting. Let’s get to the injuries and the rankings!

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Mattison made the handcuff report back in the pre-season as a premium handcuff, and needs to be rostered by all Dalvin Cook owners heading down the stretch of the fantasy football regular season. Barely on the field for a quarter of the Vikings offensive snaps (26.4%), Mattison’s athletic ability was still on full display. The Vikings are giving Mattison the ball when he is on the field, touching the ball 78.9% percent of his snaps compared to Dalvins 54.9%. In week 8, Alexander took 13 carries for 61 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and now averaging 4.9 ypc on the season. If anything were to happen to Cook, Mattison is fully capable of producing in our fantasy lineups in an offense built around the run. The Vikings rank 3rd in the NFL in rushing attempts per game (32.9). Mattison is averaging 10.8 touches per game over the past 4 weeks, if he is able to find the field for more than 26% of the offensive snaps he’ll start to flirt with weekly flex value.

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Another week, another chance for us to tinker with our lineups and make the right decisions, thanks to the many great contributors and rankers here on the site.

With more and more teams separating themselves on both sides of the ball, we’re also figuring out who will end up being great fantasy picks, and bad fantasy picks by the end of the season. But for now, let’s talk about some players who have some great matchups, and those who don’t.

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Falcons are a protected species in the United States, but over in India they actually have an annual two-week falcon hunt where thousands upon thousands of falcons are massacred each year. It was on a pilgrimage to the Taj Mahal that Will Fuller developed a taste, or rather an addiction, to these beautiful birds of prey. So when the Falcons glided into Houston on Sunday, they never stood a chance against the bloodthirsty Fuller as he went off for 217 yards on 14 catches with his first 3 touchdowns of the season. The Texans wide receiver will now go into hiding for several weeks as the authorities attempt to track him down for his foul treatment of the fowl. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy football:

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I’ll be honest… I haven’t paid much attention to rest of season rankings in my fantasy football playing time. So when MB asked me to rank the top 80 flex players the rest of the way it was a new adventure for me. Often times when you do something new it brings an entirely new perspective to the entire process. With that in mind when I finished my list the first thing I did was check to compare to the industry. The differences I found most significant are listed below and I will continue to call those major differences out with an explanation and blurb on a weekly basis. Hopefully you find these rest of season rankings useful and it can stir up some discussion. These rankings are without QBs and based on half PPR setting in a standard 1 QB/2 RB/2-3 WR/1 Flex league. The rankings shouldn’t necessarily be used for a trade value chart, they are a combination of past success and current situation to quantify a future value in my eyes. Use that mindset and apply that value to your team’s current context in terms of league standings and roster construction before making any transactions.

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Let’s all collectively go outside and scream at the top of our lungs. There was so much bad play-calling, stupid penalties, bad play-calling, bad fantasy beats, bad play-calling, and brutal injuries that happened last night. I was given hope when Aaron Rodgers drove the Packers down the field in the two-minute drill and hit a wide open Geronimo Allison in the end zone. Then the Packers get the ball first after half time and run the ball on the first two plays with all of the momentum on their side and end up punting. The Eagles score again and when the Packers get the ball back, THEY RUN ON FIRST DOWN AGAIN.

Our writer Pat called it perfectly when he mentioned to some of the other writers that he thought that the Packers were a better team, but he was nervous about a brand new coach coming up with a solid game plan on a 4-day turnaround. In the 4th quarter, the Packers had the ball on first and goal at the 1 yard line and Rodgers threw 4 straight incompletions. That would have actually been a good time to run the ball considering how well Aaron Jones has ran the ball in goal line situations so far this season. For what it’s worth, this was easily the best Thursday night game we’ve had so far this year. Everything from play on the field to atmosphere was what we’ve come to expect when we sit down to watch an NFL football game. Now let’s go over some fantasy impact from week 4 TNF.

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