It’s playoff time baby! If you were fortunate enough to make your league playoffs congratulations. Whether you squeaked in with a week 13 victory or went undefeated, it doesn’t matter anymore. Anything can happen in the fantasy playoffs and with the amount of injuries that have happened lately, you might be stuck putting an unfamiliar lineup out there this week in hopes they get the job done. If you’re putting your faith in one of these guys, you better be praying 10 times a day because things could get ugly.
(QB Rank: 10 | Opponent: @GB)
It seemed as though Matt Ryan was having a fantasy MVP season not too long ago but that ship has sailed. Truth be told, Ryan has been doing everything he can to keep this offense afloat but it finally started to catch up with him. The Falcons have now scored less than 20 points in four straight games, coinciding with their four game losing streak. Ryan now faces a Packers defense that has the third most sacks in the league (38) and with the complete abandonment of the running game by the Falcons, there’s no second guessing that the Packers are going to bring the heat. I expect Ryan to struggle in this game especially with a hostile Lambeau Field crowd ready to see their team actually play at a level everyone thought they could (bye bye Mike McCarthy).
(RB Rank: 27 | Opponent: @Hou)
Normally I refrain from putting the same player on here two weeks in a row but Mack is a big candidate to bust again this week given his tough match up against the scorching hot tamales that are the Houston Texans. After putting up high-end RB 1 numbers in weeks 7 and 8, many thought he was going to be the clear cut number one back and continue to produce. Whether it be because of injury, game plan, or the flow of the game, Mack hasn’t been the same player since those games which makes me lean more towards them being a fluke and sub-par performances being more the norm. The reality for week 14 is that the Colts are without their starting center Ryan Kelly which is a red flag for the entire offense and on top of that the Texans defense holds running backs to 3.4 yards per carry. The biggest downfall for Mack this week may be the use of Nyheim Hines, as he has cemented himself as the pass catching back and the Texans allow over 7.0 yards per catch to RBs. Proceed with caution if you are hinging on Mack to deliver for you in the playoffs this week.
(RB Rank: 24 | Opponent: Min)
I’m going to be honest, I completely disregarded Chris Carson as a viable starting running back this year. Every time he had a good performance I thought it was a fluke but when looking back at his long term production, he has quietly put together double digit fantasy outputs in 6 of the last 8 weeks he has played. So what does that all mean? NOTHING! This is a busts column and I project him to have a bad week. Full disclosure: Carson will be a viable option in the upcoming weeks with a few juicy match ups, BUT for this week I see him falling flat.
Anyway, Carson makes the list this week due mainly in part to his match up against a stingy Vikings defense. All this talk about the Vikings D not being good is nonsense. They give up the 7th least fantasy points to QBs, 9th least to running backs, and 6th least to wide receivers. They held Sony Michel to 63 yards on 17 carries and haven’t allowed a 100 yard rusher all season. The second part that bothers me is Rashaad Penny – he was sneaky good last week and should be in line to steal some carries from Carson if he isn’t performing. I’m expecting a underwhelming showing for all of you out there starting him.
(WR Rank: 26 | Opponent: Min)
Like I said, the Vikings defense is good and can be upgraded to great when talking about how they play against wide receivers. Tyler Lockett will go against Xavier Rhodes and a defense that has allowed the fifth fewest touchdowns to wide receivers on the season (9). To put that into perspective, Lockett has 9 TD catches himself this season. If Lockett is held without a touchdown he most likely won’t put up a good stat line. He hasn’t caught more than 5 passes in any game this season and has under 60 yards in 50% of his games. Look for Lockett to be locked up come game time.
(WR Rank: 31 | Opponent: @Dal)
My oh my has the Alshon Jeffery bandwagon become bare lately. Everyone was excited after he put up 20+ fantasy points in 3 out of 4 weeks coming back from injury but since then he hasn’t had over 10 fantasy points once! The emergence of Tate last week hurt Jeffery even more and it will probably only get worse. He is looking more like the #3 option behind Ertz and Tate and far from the #1 that he was expected to be. Things sure don’t get any easier in week 14 as he plays the #1 fantasy defense and will be covered by Byron Jones who looks like a star in the making. I’d stay as far away from Alshon as possible this week. Don’t let him get close to your starting lineup. In fact, I’d even move him as far down your bench as you can just to give the impression that he is actually as far from your lineup as can be.
Others to consider:
Kirk Cousins: (QB Rank: 14 | Opponent: @Sea)
Kenyan Drake: (RB Rank: 27 | Opponent: @Hou)
Adrian Peterson: (RB Rank: 22 | Opponent: @NYG)
Tyler Boyd: (WR Rank: 21 | Opponent: @LAC)
Kenny Golladay: (WR Rank: 18 | Opponent: @Ari)