Such a wonderful time of year, the holidays are around the corner, which means that long week between Christmas and New Years, when you have no idea what day it is, has almost arrived. What’s more important than any of that is obviously the fantasy playoffs. This is the semi-finals week so let’s look at who will help you get to that championship game, and who will leave you miserable and only watching the NBA on Christmas.
Mitchell Trubisky at Minnesota Vikings
There are so many things you could debate about Chicago; is Chicago deep dish better than New York thin crust? (In my opinion, New Haven pizza the best, but I’m extremely biased) Is the city really windy? Now it’s whether or not Mitchell Trubisky is the Bears’ best option at quarterback. Since getting his job back, he’s played well with seven passing touchdowns in his last three games. He faces a Vikings defense that’s allowed the third-most passing touchdown this season.
Philip Rivers vs. Houston Texans
Old man Rivers is continuing to get it done. After throwing for multiple touchdowns in just two of his first nine games, he’s now done it in four straight. One of those games was against the Texans.
Other Quarterback To Start: Justin Herbert (Thursday), Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Ryan Tannehill, Jalen Hurts
Jared Goff vs. New York Jets
Goff wasn’t a big factor in the Rams crushing win over the Patriots, but this week he could change that against the Jets. The narrative seems to be even when teams are up big against New York, they still go pass-heavy. Goff could get some big numbers due to heavy volume.
Matt Ryan vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Matt Ryan without Julio Jones is like Popeye without his spinach. Julio will most likely not play this week, and probably the remainder of this season. Ryan had three picks last week in a positive matchup against the Chargers, now he gets a tough Tampa Bay defense that has the fourth-most interceptions this season.
Tua Tagovailoa vs. New England Patriots
Tua surprised most and had his best game with his first career 300+ passing yard game and over 30 fantasy points last week. This week he won’t come close to those numbers against the Patriots. History knows Bill Belichick handles rookie quarterbacks well with a career record of 21-5 against them and absolutely shut down Justin Herbert two weeks ago.
Other Quarterbacks To Sit: Drew Lock (Saturday), Cam Newton, Teddy Bridgewater (Saturday), Gardner Minshew
Baker Mayfield at New York Giants
Mayfield has been on fire the last few weeks ranking as the QB2 from Weeks 12-15. If he helped you get into the playoffs, good for you, now let him rest on your bench. He’s going up against a Giants defense allowing the fourth-fewest points to quarterbacks and is top 12 against quarterbacks the last two weeks, those two quarterbacks were Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson.
David Montgomery at Minnesota Vikings
If you have Montgomery on your roster, I’m so jealous. Monty has been electric over the last three weeks with over 25 PPR points in each game. You need to continue to roll with him this week.
Jonathan Taylor vs. Houston Texans
Can it be turning around for these highly drafted rookie running backs? We’ve seen Cam Akers turn it on as of late, and now it could be Taylor’s turn. Last week was the best game of his rookie campaign with a season-high 150 rushing yards and his first game with multiple rushing touchdowns. He played well the last time against Houston, have him in your lineup again this week.
Other Running Backs To Start: Mike Davis (Saturday), J.K. Dobbins, Kenyan Drake, J.D. McKissic
Jeff Wilson Jr. at Dallas Cowboys
The revolving door that is the 49ers offense continues to spin as Raheem Mostert is hurt again. Wilson was the main runner while Mostert was sidelined last week and could get the lead back duties this week. He has a great shot for a high RB2 finish against a Dallas run defense that has allowed the most rushing yards-per-game this season.
David Johnson at Indianapolis Colts
David Johnson will return from the COVID list, but shouldn’t return to your lineup. Last time out against the Colts he had just 44 rushing yards and no catches, too risky to start in the playoffs.
Gio Bernard vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
I mentioned a few weeks ago that there’s a reason Bernard has been on the Bengals for seven seasons and has never held down the starting role. He’s like the kid that thinks he can sprint his way through the mile in gym class, not the freakishly athletic kid that finishes first in jeans and boots, screw that guy, I’m talking about the one that is ahead for a fifth of a mile and then trails till he’s in the back with the chubby kids and ones with asthma.
Gio’s flame has run out and now Trayveon Williams and Samajie Perine are getting into the mix.
Other Running Backs To Sit: Todd Gurley, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Melvin Gordon (Saturday), Devin Singletary (Saturday)
Ezekiel Elliott vs. San Fransisco 49ers
Ezekiel Elliott with Dak Prescott is like Popeye without spinach, wait, I already did that one, like Scooby-Doo without Scooby snacks. I know for where you drafted him you want to hold onto a glimmer of hope that he’ll come through, but it’s not likely as he deals with a calf injury and faces a tough San Francisco run defense allowing the fourth-fewest points to running backs this year.
Corey Davis at Detroit Lions
AJ Brown gets all the glory for Tennessee, but Davis is having a spectacular season himself as 1,000 receiving yards is very realistic for him. Davis has a good shot of getting close to that number against a Lions secondary that has allowed the most receiving yards and the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers over the last four weeks.
Marquise Brown vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
In terms of awards, Hollywood Brown started the year looking like a Razzi, but over the last couple of weeks, he’s turned it on and has looked more like a SAG award, maybe even a day-time Emmy. He’s found pay dirt in three straight games and now faces a Jacksonville defense that’s allowed the fifth-most points to wide receivers this year.
Other Wide Receivers To Start: T.Y. Hilton, Chad Hansen, Chris Godwin, JuJu Smith-Schuster
Brandon Aiyuk at Dallas Cowboys
With Deebo Samuel probably done for the year with a hamstring injury, the rookie Aiyuk should move into the number one spot. He’s had that role previously this season and he’s excelled. He has a chance for a big game this week against the Cowboys who are allowing the second-most points to wide receivers this year.
KJ Hamler vs. Buffalo Bills (Saturday)
Starting Hamler has points chaser written all over it. Last week was just his third game over 10 PPR points and he only had two catches, both just happened to be touchdowns. Too risky in a playoff matchup.
CeeDee Lamb vs. San Francisco 49ers
If you have Lamb in a dynasty or keeper league, there are brighter days ahead, but Lamb has struggled without Prescott and doesn’t have a 50-yard receiving game since Week 9. Amari Cooper is the only Cowboys receiver you can trust at this point
Other Wide Receivers To Sit: Marvin Jones, Jamison Crowder, Tyler Lockett
Tyler Boyd vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Boyd has just nine catches in the three full games without Joe Burrow. The Pittsburgh defense is going to be out for blood in this matchup. Even with Burrow in the last matchup, Boyd only managed 41 receiving yards.
Cole Kmet at Minnesota Vikings
Kmet has out-targeted Jimmy Graham the last two games, it’s unfortunate Graham stole a touchdown last week. The Bears offense has played well since their bye and Kmet will stay heavily involved.
Evan Engram vs. Cleveland Browns
Engram has unfortunately been lost again in the Giants’ offense, but he has a great chance for a bounce-back. He gets a Browns team on short rest that’s allowed the second-most points to tight ends and a touchdown to the position in four of their last five games.
Other Tight Ends To Start: Robert Tonyan (Saturday), Eric Ebron, Irv Smith, T.J. Hockenson
Tyler Higbee vs. New York Jets
Higbee was supposed to be one of those emerging tight ends we were hearing about going into the season, unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out. Although he’s struggled, if you’re in need of a streaming option at tight end, this is a great spot. The Jets have allowed the fourth-most reception yards and most touchdowns to the position this season.
Hayden Hurst vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hurst’s involvement in this offense has dwindled to nearly nothing as he’s averaging just two catches in his last four games. It’s obvious Matt Ryan has trouble moving the ball without Julio Jones and you can’t trust him against a tough Tampa Bay defense.
Dalton Schultz vs. San Francisco 49ers
Schultz had a great matchup last week against Cinncinati, but couldn’t come through and only had 34 receiving yards. He has just one game over 10 points and one touchdown since Week 5. It’s a tough matchup against San Francisco, which has allowed the second-fewest points to tight ends this year.
Other Tight Ends To Sit: Logan Thomas, Noah Fant (Broncos), Jordan Reed, Austin Hooper
Jonnu Smith vs. Detroit Lions
I traded away Smith early in the season and I thought I might have lost in that deal, now I’m in the semi-finals with Justin Jefferson and Jonathan Taylor while the other guy has a good shot of winning our consolation bracket. Smith returned in a good spot last week and finished with just 22 yards and was out-performed by Geoff Swaim. You can’t trust a Tennesee tight end anymore.