You should have two or three weeks until your playoffs start. To say this is crunchtime is an understatement. Just be smart and handcuff all your elite running backs because the last thing you need is to watch some other owner grab this weeks’ Thomas Rawls because your hand was two deep into your pants after eating a third piece of apple pie. The apple pie is good, but it’s not worth losing the dollars on the line when your starting running back gets hurt. With no bye weeks anymore, there’s no reason to not keep an eye on this. Insurance is what you need to be focused on.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. They’re especially important in daily fantasy sports (DFS) leagues like DraftKings. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR. You can always ask about trades as well.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Brian Hoyer (QB – Houston)
Play quarterbacks who play against the Saints. If for some reason you’re looking for a QB this week, look no further than Hoyer. The Saints have allowed no less than 17 fantasy points in all but one game this year, including 23 or more points in each of the last four. Firing Rob Ryan won’t improve the situation.
Thomas Rawls (RB – Seattle)
Fantasy football is all about opportunity and volume. The Steelers numbers show they’re good against the run this year, but that’s a lot about who they’ve played. Rawls will see at least 20 touches in a game where his team is expected to score 24 points. He’ll really help you this weekend.
Chris Johnson (RB – Arizona)
It’s been a rough stretch for Johnson as he hasn’t reached double-digit points in four of the last five games. He’ll bounce back this week because there are a few things working in his favor. Arizona is a double-digit favorite and San Francisco has given up at least 150 rushing yards and a touchdown in three of their last four games.
DeSean Jackson (WR – Washington)
Jackson showed last week that he’s back in the mix at wide receiver. He cut up a solid Carolina defense for five catches, 87 yards, and a touchdown. Now he gets to beat up on a Giants defense that has been horrible against the pass all year. Kirk Cousins has thrown for at least 290 yards in his last three home games, so don’t feel poorly about the Washington offense this week. They play much better at home.
Travis Benjamin (WR – Cleveland)
The reinsertion of Josh McCown as the starting QB gives Cleveland’s offense a boost. Benjamin did quite well in the Browns first game against the Ravens with McCown at quarterback. Now the Browns get to come back home and go against the same porous Ravens passing defense. There are plenty of options worse than Benjamin this weekend.
Heath Miller (TE – Pittsburgh)
The Seahawks haven’t been able to find their footing against tight ends this year. They’ve given up 70 passing yards or a touchdown in five of their last six games. The opportunity is there for Miller to produce in what could potentially turn into a sneaky shootout.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Andy Dalton (QB – Cincinnati)
You’re obviously not benching Tom Brady against Denver, but you should consider sitting Dalton against St. Louis. The Rams have only allowed one quarterback to score more than 16 fantasy points against them all season. With the upside around the league at the position, you’re better off looking for a QB with a better matchup.
Javarious Allen (RB – Baltimore)
The Browns are one of the worst run defenses in the league by the numbers, but they’ve gotten better in the last three weeks. They’ve only given up an average of less than ten points per game to fantasy running backs in that stretch. Allen won’t change that with Matt Schaub under center. You should want no part of this Ravens offense.
LeGarrette Blount (RB – Denver)
The Patriots are losing passing game weapons left and right, but that doesn’t mean that Blount’s role is going to get bigger against Denver. Denver hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 2. There’s the possibility for a touchdown since Denver has given up eight of those on the ground to RBs this year, but you should have better options now that the bye weeks are over.
Dez Bryant (WR – Dallas)
This is a big call because Dez is great, but I have my reasons. No one has made Josh Norman look silly this year. I mean no one! Why will that start now? One needs to temper the expectations of Dez to no more than 60 yards and maybe a touchdown this week. I’m not sure that’s good enough for you.
Brandon LaFell (WR – New England)
The passing options in New England are dropping fast, but that doesn’t improve LaFell’s situation. I’m not sure he sees more volume against Aqib Talib, who’s one of the best cornerbacks in the league. The Patriots will look for other parts of Denver’s defense to exploit. Talib is not one of them.
Charles Clay (TE – Buffalo)
The TE position has been a rough one at times this year. Clay was good for part of that, but he’s not an option right now. He was barely used against New England and hasn’t grabbed a touchdown since Week 3. Kansas City is the best defens