The holiday season is fantastic but nothing compares to the Fantasy Football playoffs. This is where champions are made and even if your team isn’t the best on paper, you have a shot because you made it. While you want to avoid overthinking your lineup, it is not smart to simply set it and forget it.
Eat It by Weird Al Yankovic
Jameis Winston returned in Week 13 after missing three full games with a shoulder injury. The box score looks a bit better than Winston looked during the game, but the good news is that he emerged no worse for wear. The Lions’ secondary is solid, but they have allowed 551 yards and four passing TDs in the past two weeks, making Winston a solid QB2 option. All in all, 2017 has been a disappointment for Winston and the entire Bucs offense. I’m interested in carrying him as a backup through the playoff weeks, as there is a good chance he’s on your waiver wire. Savvy owners will use his mediocre numbers in dynasty league trade negotiations this offseason.
With Winston back under center, Cameron Brate once again rose to Fantasy prominence. Brate is a back-end TE1 play this week and O.J. Howard is simply too risky and inconsistent to use in a playoff matchup. It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out in the offseason, as Howard clearly is ready for a larger role in the offense and Brate is a restricted free agent. Both could be Top 10 options in 2018 if Brate is wearing a different uniform.
Tell Me Something Good by UGK
Dak Prescott has accounted for just three total scores in the Cowboys’ last four games while failing to top 179 yards passing in that span. While the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott has certainly downgraded his weaponry, Prescott has looked rattled under center, affecting the entire offense. A hapless Giants defensive unit, though, offers a small ray of hope. If he cannot get the offense moving this weekend, there is no way you can start him in Weeks 15 (at Raiders) and 16 (vs. Seahawks) outside of two-QB leagues.
Jason Witten has alternated one-catch and seven-catch performances in the last five weeks, making him a very inconsistent TE option. The yardage totals have not been there all season long and he’s found the end zone just once in the last six weeks. The 35-year-old might finally be slowing down (just kidding, he’s already running in slow motion), but Prescott’s struggles have accentuated his ineffectiveness.
Too Much by Drake
Kenyan Drake exploded for 120 rushing yards and a score in the Dolphins’ surprising blowout of the Broncos last weekend. He has scored in three of his last four and the injury to Damien Williams could put him in line for a big workload this week. Drake is a volume-based RB2 option that may find himself in a great spot to play unlikely playoff hero for your Fantasy squad. In dynasty formats, it is very likely that the Dolphins address the running back situation in free agency and/or the draft, but Drake has a month to show the organization that he deserves a weekly role in the offense.
The Battle (From The Chronicles of Narnia) by Harry Gregson-Williams
Aaron Jones only needed one carry last week to show the Packers why he is a difference-maker. In a game where Jamaal Williams had over 120 total yards and a score, Jones had the most memorable performance thanks to his 20-yard TD run in overtime that defeated the Buccaneers. Williams is capable of being a solid between-the-tackles runner for the Pack, but Jones has the potential to be special. The situation could be a timeshare for the rest of the season, especially if Jones is fully healthy. Both players are no more than flex options until one emerges as a confident lead back. In dynasty formats, Jones is the player to target this offseason.
Ballin’ by Logic featuring Castro
Keenan Allen has had trouble staying on the field his entire career, but when he does, it has been lucrative. He is on pace to smash his previous career highs, most of which were set as a rookie in 2013. Allen is clearly the focal point of the Chargers aerial attack and he’s riding a three-game streak of 10-plus receptions and at least 100 yards. He also has four TDs in that span. Allen is clearly locked in as a WR1 but there should be some offseason consideration to trading the 25-year-old while his breakout season is fresh on everyone’s mind. The concerns over constant, nagging injuries could linger, hampering his reputation and market value.
The Way It Used To Be by Mike Posner
Demaryius Thomas has spent the last three years dealing with mediocre QB play. Naturally having an adverse effect on his upside. The once dominant go-to wideout has been reduced to a mere weekly WR3 for Fantasy purposes, as his yards, TDs, receptions, and YPC have been dropping for three straight years. If John Elway cannot fix the situation this offseason, they are going to miss out on any remaining prime years of the soon-to-be 30-year-old Thomas. He’s a buy-low candidate in dynasty formats because there is still massive potential for the physically gifted pass catcher.