If it wasn’t playoff time for your league last week then it likely is this week. There were actually a few waiver claims this week that could help your chances, which is great when you consider you were likely only competition against three other owners for their services. Don’t overthink things too much now that you’re here. Don’t do anything crazy. But do realize that you still need to look at the core numbers that got you here and matchups do matter as we’ll talk about below.
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?
Tyrod Taylor (QB – Buffalo)
You’re likely not looking for too much help at quarterback this week because most of the studs have solid matchups and we’re past the byes. If for some reason you have one of the QBs we don’t favor this week then you may want to look at Taylor. He has all of his weapons back from injury and he gets the cake situation against the Browns. It’s only going to be cold in Buffalo this weekend with no precipitation. Taylor should be able to reach an easy floor of two passing touchdowns and could always make things happen with his feet as well.
Tevin Coleman (RB – Atlanta)
If you’re strapped for running back production and Coleman is on your bench then this is the week for him to pay off. Atlanta hosts the 49ers as two touchdown favorites and the 49ers give up 25.8 fantasy points to RBs per game. There will be plenty to go around between Freeman and Coleman, who got more touches than Freeman last week.
Kenneth Farrow (RB – San Diego)
The backup to Melvin Gordon has a chance to take off this Sunday against the Raiders. Ronnie Hillman will be involved too, but I’m projecting a 70/30 share on touches in a high-scoring game. The Raiders allow the 8th most fantasy points to RBs, so Farrow can definitely help your squad this weekend.
Sammy Watkins (WR – Buffalo)
It’s time to unload on Watkins for the first time this season. He’s clearly past all his injury concerns and steps into a great situation as we mentioned above with Taylor. You’ve been waiting to feel confident in playing Watkins and he certainly has the matchup to do so this week with the Browns coming to town. The 31st ranked passing defense according Football Outsiders DVOA provides the opportunity for Watkins to win you a playoff game or a GPP in DFS this week.
Robby Anderson (WR – New York Jets)
If you haven’t figured it out already, Bryce Petty loves himself some Robby Anderson. The two connected plenty in the preseason and have revisited their chemistry in Petty’s last two games. Anderson has seen 23 targets over the last two games and should see 10+ as Petty steps behind center again in a decent matchup.
Ladarius Green (TE – Pittsburgh)
People were likely disappointed with Green last week, but the game really got out of hand early and Pittsburgh didn’t have to throw much. They’ll likely have to find Green a lot this week as the Bengals do a good job of shutting down wide receivers and the spread indicates a close game. Cincinnati allows the fourth most fantasy points tight ends, so look for Green to do good things in this one.
Other guys you should start: Kirk Cousins (QB – Washington), Alex Smith (QB – Kansas City), Joe Flacco (QB – Baltimore), Carlos Hyde (RB – San Francisco), LeGarrette Blount (RB – New England), Jonathan Stewart (RB – Carolina), Bilal Powell (RB – New York Jets), Jerick McKinnon (RB – Minnesota), TY Montgomery (RB/WR – Green Bay), Stefon Diggs (WR – Minnesota), Tyreek Hill (WR – Kansas City), Rishard Matthews (WR – Tennessee), Jamison Crowder (WR – Washington), Desean Jackson (WR – Washington), Davante Parker (WR – Miami), Mike Wallace (WR – Baltimore), J.J. Nelson (WR – Arizona), Adam Thielen (WR – Minnesota), Antonio Gates (TE – San Diego), Kyle Rudolph (TE – Minnesota), Cameron Brate (TE – Tampa Bay), Vance McDonald (TE – San Francisco),
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Matthew Stafford (QB – Detroit)
It’s never easy to throw with a busted finger and Stafford has to do that against one of the best secondaries in the league this weekend. The Giants are allowing the second fewest points to fantasy QBs based mostly on the fact they’ve only given up multiple passing touchdowns in three of 13 games.
Mark Ingram (RB – New Orleans)
It may seem hard to bench an RB you drafted in the first three rounds during the fantasy playoffs, but that’s what you need to do here. Ingram is very banged up and in a time share, which certainly puts him in a bad spot to begin with. Then he gets to go against the Cardinals who have only allowed one 100-yard rusher all season and don’t have the explosive offense of years past to create a shootout.
Doug Martin (RB – Tampa Bay)
It’s a good thing Martin got paid last offseason because he certainly wouldn’t get paid with the season he’s having this year. Injuries have held him back and he just hasn’t looked like the same player that was a top-10 RB last year. His performance won’t escalate in Dallas this weekend as he goes against a defense that’s only allowed five rushing touchdowns and two 100-yard rushers all year. The #4 run defense according to Football Outsiders DVOA should keep him in check.=
Malcolm Mitchell (WR – New England)
Don’t start your wide receivers against Denver. The lesson is simple and has been proven out in many games this year. Mitchell has come into his own with strong production in recent weeks, but he won’t be able to overcome the Broncos secondary. They’ve only given up six passing touchdowns to receivers this year and that’s where Mitchell’s found most of his value recently.
Michael Thomas (WR – New Orleans)
We’re picking on New Orleans this week, but it’s for good reason. Their offensive production goes down when they’re missing offensive linemen Terron Armstead (who was just put on injured reserve) and when they’re on the road. This game is indoors, but Thomas will have to go head-to-head with elite cornerback Patrick Peterson after returning from injury. It’s not the best spot for him to test his health.
Delanie Walker (TE – Tennessee)
Look the tight end position is no sure thing and this week will prove that once again. Walker has scored the third most points at his position this year, but you’ll have to go away from him if you want success in the playoffs. The Chiefs are a monster at stopping opposing TEs, having only given up only two touchdowns and only three games of 60+ yards this season.
Other guys you should sit: Drew Brees (QB – New Orleans), Eli Manning (QB – New York Giants), Frank Gore (RB – Indianapolis), Rob Kelley (RB – Washington), Devontae Booker (RB – Denver), Ryan Mathews (RB – Philadelphia), Donte Moncrief (WR – Indianapolis), Kelvin Benjamin (WR – Carolina), Allen Robinson (WR – Jacksonville), Brandon Marshall (WR – New York Jets), Coby Fleener (TE – New Orleans), Dennis Pitta (TE – Baltimore), Zach Ertz (TE – Philadelphia)