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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As we march towards Week 14 and the start of the fantasy playoffs, this week will be a crucial one for many owners. With 6 NFL teams on bye, there are a bunch of stars that we need to find replacements for. We’ll be giving some extra attention to some players that wouldn’t normally ever sniff our starting lineups.

Let’s get to the rest of this week’s matchups, and talk about some players we should start, and those we should keep on our bench.

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A clash between defenses surrendering the 2nd (TB) and 6th (SEA) most receiving yards per game carries the highest point total for week 9.

Per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Jameis Winston ranks #1 in average completed air yards and #1 in average intended air yards. Winston and Head Coach Bruce Arians offense likes to push the ball down field. Tied for 3rd in the NFL in completed passes over 40 yards, Jameis gets his shot against a Seahawks defense that ranks tied-for-10th in most completed passes allowed over 20+ yards. Despite his league leading 12 interceptions, Jameis Winston is a viable starter in all formats. Jameis is Rudy’s projected QB6 in week 10.

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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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The NFL year goes by so fast and the fantasy football season with it. As we approach the halfway point of 2019, I plan to spend next week’s article with a blurb on the second half outlook of each team, or player from each team, from a data point perspective. For this week though we stick with the norm of finding trends and in-week matchups we can expose. Hope everyone has a great finish to the first half of the fantasy season!

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