This is either the first week of playoffs or last week of the regular season for most fantasy football leagues. I’ve been on each end of the spectrum and seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Let me go ahead and try to counsel you through your current situation.
First off: the good. You made the playoffs or are guaranteed a bid to the big show — congrats. This can be tricky because you might have too much confidence in your fake-GM abilities.
I’ve pledged victory much too early on a couple of occasions, becoming a laughing stock after my heartbreaking loss. Don’t do that.
Also, do put all your trust in your heart or gut or whatever organ has made your decisions thus far. Trust me, it’s much more rewarding to win because you thought this was the best lineup; the opposite can be said for a lineup that was influenced by that guy who never really wins in fantasy, but always has all “the inside info.”
Next up: the bad. So you didn’t make the playoffs — whether it was caused by a first-round dud or unlucky scheduling, it all feels the same. But hey, champ, don’t feel too bad; there are more losers than winners in this game. Nobody wins it every year. To ease the pain some, get into a playoff fantasy league or do a pick ‘em pool or just get ready for next year. It’s never too early.
And finally (and also my personal favorite): the ugly. You’re on the bubble; you win and you’re in the playoffs, but if you lose, better luck next year. My advice is this: don’t get cute. Start the studs who got you where you are, because in its simplest form, fantasy football is a game of probability. Sure that guy could go off, but he could also give you a big old goose egg. Most of all, however, enjoy it. It’s a ton of fun.
Let’s get to the starts and sits:
Chances are if you still have a shot, it’s because you have good players. One of those is Tom Brady, who faces a not-so-stellar-anymore Browns defense. With the amount of weapons he has, I love him on Sunday.
Back in 2010, Mike Vick vaulted to the starting QB spot for the Eagles and had a fantastic season. It’s Nick Foles’ turn. With an unbelievable 19-to-0 TD/interception ratio, this Napoleon Dynamite lookalike might just be your captain in the playoffs.
The fact is, when a running back like Andre Brown gets 83 carries in just four weeks, he’s worthy of a start. It wasn’t pretty last Sunday, but he still ended with 17 fantasy points and there’s no one who’s going to usurp him from his starting role. Give him a shot against the Chargers.
Alfred Morris will face a Kansas City defense that’s on the downswing and losing confidence. After the Chiefs were completely gashed by Peyton Manning and Co., Morris should plow through them.
Unless you have Calvin Johnson and his clone, start Josh Gordon.
Michael Floyd is one of those sneaky players who could put you over the top. He has 25, 10 and 15 points in the past three weeks. I’m always a big fan of playing the hot hand.
Ol’ reliable Tony Gonzalez has gotten back to his old tricks lately. A touchdown saved his stat line last week, but he looked like a safety valve for Matt Ryan. Going against a mediocre Green Bay defense should do him good.
I really feel a big game for the Patriots Defense against the Browns. Not because of the previously mentioned Josh Gordon, but the fact they have a mess at the quarterback position. Brandon Weeden looks like a baseball player trying to play football…oh wait..
Andrew Luck has looked “off” for the last month. It’s probably because of Reggie Wayne going down, but either way, something’s not right. Oh, he also takes a trip to Cincinnati to face a team that’s just been shutting down opposing quarterbacks as of late. Hopefully you have a better option and can sit him down.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, no. That’s just Joe Flacco crashing down from that pedestal everyone built for him this past year.
Just because he was named the starter doesn’t mean Donald Brown should be starting for you. If it wasn’t for 46 yards on his last drive, his past two fantasy totals combined would equal zero. Zero points. Put someone trustworthy in there.
I personally wouldn’t trust a 32-year-old running back facing a top 10 defense, especially when that same player is also in a timeshare with a talented young back. You shouldn’t either. That man is Fred Jackson.
Wes Welker hasn’t found the end zone since Week 8, and with such an inconsistent nature, why put your playoff hopes on his shoulders?
A cardinal sin in fantasy is to start a player because of his name, not because of his production. If you start Victor Cruz, you’ll be at the fantasy football confessional this Sunday.
Antonio Gates just can’t be trusted now that his backup, Ladarius Green, is starting to break out. Let the one-time elite option take a seat this time around.
If the Panthers Defense was at home, I might reconsider this. Drew Brees is at home, however, and we all know what happens when he’s got the home crowd behind him. He’ll carve them up like that Thanksgiving turkey from the other day.
I know, I know — but I’ve been waiting to use that one.