I’ve led this article over the past few weeks with details on overarching themes to the entire fantasy football season. We discussed Jon Gruden as a rare fantasy friendly coach in today’s game. We discussed how bizarre of a year 2019 has been. I’m going to continue with these themes as we finish out the season, because the ability to get a grasp on league-wide themes is vital in fantasy football. It is much more important to take a wider lens of the entire league, rather than focus in on singular players that you hope to hit on in drafts. This is a key differentiating factor in fantasy football from other sports, in my opinion. The theme I present this week is distribution in the passing game through air yards.

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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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Congratulations everyone! You have passed the first grueling test. After thirteen weeks of non-stop ascent, we’ve reached a clearing where we can all exhale and stretch those weary bones. Grab a mug of tea and admire just how far we’ve come. We used to squabble over whether Chris Godwin and Mike Evans could both be top 10 WRs. Some of us thought it was wise to draft Antonio Brown. Some of us thought Josh Gordon was a league winner.

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The running back stash/wheel of death continues this week; I’m sensing a trend, maybe you’ve noticed? Early weeks, wide receivers were the dominant adds; now, its survival of the fittest running backs. So there are three wideouts I’d bid on this week and a bunch of RBs that may or may not help. Some should’ve been added prior weeks. There are even a couple of Tight Ends, which if you’ve been reading has been really tough to pin down which TE will hit each week.

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The Russell Wilson-Tyler Lockett combo has won me some major money twice this season. In Week 3, I had those two, Mike Evans, and Christian McCaffrey in my lineup en route to a top three finish. Last week, I had those four in my lineup en route to a top three finish.

But this week, the Seahawks are tasked with playing against the horrifying 49ers defense. Seriously, how happy must Richard Sherman be right now? That was an incredible acquisition that is paying off big time for San Fran, and Sherman has been a terrific presence so far. It makes it a lot harder to trust Russell and Lockett in these circumstances. Who can help you compensate for two of the most reliable DFS picks of the year? Let’s find out.

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Welcome to Stat-o-Matic where we will look at some advanced stats around the NFL. As a disclaimer, I am using this space to play around with some numbers and present some interesting findings. But, by no means is this validated or predictive data. I hope that it will lead to meaningful discoveries or it could inspire you to go down your own rabbit hole. We’re going to explore together, crunch some numbers and see what pops out. Stats courtesy of PlayerProfiler.com.

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I know the climb has been brutal for you, as it has for us all. This past Sunday my eyes froze over as I watched many of my teams drop under .500 for the first time. As I write this, I am enduring Jason Witten hand me a loss one excruciating 3 yard catch after another. This section of the season is the darkest grind when the post-draft excitement has long worn off but the playoffs are still far away. Injuries and bye massacres come for us all, but it’s how we respond that defines us.

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Injuries on the last drive of a football game can be one of the most frustrating parts about fantasy football. You’re at home rolling your eyes with your victory already in the bag wondering why James Conner is still out there with a two touchdown lead over the winless Dolphins. Then it actually happens and your jaw drops and you go numb. James Conner gets up grimacing and holding his slumped shoulder.

It’s hard to get upset from an actual football perspective. The Steelers are 1 first down away from the victory formation and Conner had been running all over the Dolphins all night. Conner just ran into some bad luck. Conner also seems to always be banged up in one way or another. He’s had an ankle issue, a quad issue, and now an AC joint issue and we are only about halfway through the season. I’m not sure what the recovery timetable is for AC joint injuries is, or if he’ll miss any time at all. It’s definitely something we’re going to have to monitor as the week goes along.

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We’re getting to the part of the season where the teams that started hot make way for new teams to start to get hot. The Kansas City Chiefs looked unbeatable until they showed a chink in their armor in Detroit, and the Texans looked pretty pedestrian until recently. The Texans were a popular upset pick for Sunday, but it’s still surprising to see them come back from an early 14 point deficit when it looked like the Chiefs were going to roll right over them. 

The Vikings passing game has looked lethargic so far this season with a lot of the blame being placed on Kirk Cousins when really Kevin Stefanski and Mike Zimmer deserve a lot of the heat. Stefon Diggs, who is one of the most talented wide receivers in the league, was left for dead by this Vikings offense. Until Sunday when he went off for 3 touchdowns. Things in this league can shift at any time. 

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