Fantasy Playoff Must Haves
Samuel Gebhart https://twitter.com/HTownAndDown96
A note from the editor,
The fantasy football community is special. It’s supportive, positive and even helpful. Along the way certain people stick out. There are thousands of interactions a week. Sometimes hundreds in a day. The willingness to help others is what I find beautiful. In recent months Samuel Gebhart reached out and asked how he could be of assistance. A selfless act by a man who wanted to get involved. In turn, Samuel is now our graphics guy! After some time he got the itch. The itch to write! So editing and publishing his first article was the least we could do! Thank you Samuel. We appreciate your hard work.
Fantasy Football season playoffs are rapidly approaching, and with the trade deadline come and gone in most formats you’re probably trying to evaluate if you got what it takes to make a run for the title. Or maybe you’re headed for the toilet bowl title! Who knows, but if you’re like me, you have at least one or two leagues in contention. Below you’ll find your league-winner guys with the best playoff outlooks. Players who are going to get you through the gauntlet. This article pertains to weeks 14,15 and week 16 match-ups, and will not include bonafide stud’s like Patrick Mahomes, or Dalvin Cook. If for whatever reason you have them and are not sure if you should start them or not, you’re probably not in playoff contention anyways.
Josh Allen (PIT / DEN / NE)
I know I said, “No Stud’s”. But for the first time in a long time, the AFC East looks competitive again! Despite Buffalo’s tough week 14 matchup against the league best Pittsburg Steelers, The Bills seem primed for their first division title in 25 years. Fortunately for Josh Allen fantasy owners, the 2 final rounds of playoffs (Denver and New England) really offer a chance for the 3rd year star to shine as he continues to fight for Buffalo’s 2nd straight playoff appearance. As it stands now, Allen is currently the No.2 QB overall and is on track to throw for 4500 yards with a game average of roughly 280 passing yards. Now sitting at 7-3, Josh Allen and co. do not seem to be deterred one bit by the 5th hardest schedule in the league. Fantasy owners should continue to set-and-forget Allen come playoff time, especially in the final 2 weeks when he faces The Broncos and fellow division rival The Patriots, who both allow more than 220 pass yards a game on average.
Tom Brady ( MIN / ATL / DET)
If the last 20 years have taught us anything, it’s that nothing is scarier than Tom Brady coming back for blood. Newly dubbed “Tampa Brady” continues to raise the bar at the age of 43 week-in and week-out. Currently sitting happily as the #6 QB overall, Brady is in the running for what would be his 4th league MVP award. And it only gets easier from here. Tampa Bay Buccaneers have put together arguably one of the scariest receiver corps the league has seen in the Superbowl era. Whether or not you believe it is besides the point. With the Greatest quarterback of all time under center, Brady fantasy owners (especially those with a QB + WR stack) should feel safe knowing that Week 14,15, and 16 are all against bottom 10 ranked pass defenses.
Jared Goff ( NE / NYJ / SEA )
Sean McVay and the Rams have really been through the gauntlet the first half of the season. In large part, they have their defense to thank for still being in the fight for a division title. Nevertheless, things start to simmer down on the offensive side of the ball on the back end of the season. Most of their match-ups feature opposing teams with powerhouse offenses that make up for defensive inefficiencies. To make up ground, and to compensate for their committee running back corps, expect Goff to throw the ball more frequently and for more pass yards almost effortlessly against the win-less Jets, and the 32nd ranked Seattle Seahawks pass Defense who have allowed a Top 10 QB rating 6 of the first 9 games.
Three other quarterbacks to consider!
Aaron Rodgers ( DET / CAR / TEN)
Ben Roethlisberger ( BUF / CIN / IND )
Ryan Tannehill ( JAX / DET / GB)
David Montgomery ( HOU / MIN / JAX)
Unfortunately for 2nd year starter, 2020 has (So far) been a year to forget so-to-speak. Through the first 10 weeks, David Montgomery has yet to break 500 yards on the season and currently has only 1 TD under his belt, routinely aggravating fantasy owner’s nationwide. It is tough rationalizing throwing him into the RB1 spot in any league format. However… Futures are bright for the young back as he continues to lead the backfield of arguably the most dysfunctional QB room in the league. Bears offense should continue to check-down to Monte as well as pass it off, especially during the 3 Fantasy playoff match-ups where game scripts will lean on the run heavily. Between Houston, Minnesota, and Jacksonville, 29 rushing TD’s have been allowed through the first 10 weeks, and all 3 rank in the bottom 10 for rush defense routinely allowing top 10 running back performances to opposing teams.
Joe Mixon ( DAL / PIT / HOU )
Not unlike David Montgomery, Mixon has left fantasy owners frustrated. Especially after coming off his 2nd 1100+ yard season. Expectations were high for him considering he has entered his contract year, but the usually cautious Bengals offense continues to struggle moving the ball down the field. However, also not unlike Monte, Joe Mixon has some favorable fantasy playoff match-ups and owners should be able to relax knowing he will surely continue to pick up speed much like previous seasons wherein he started off slow. Prior to his foot injury, Mixon averaged 20 attempts a game, 8 more than interim starter Giovani Bernard’s average. Providing he is good to go, Mixon should retain high-end RB2 value headed into weeks 14-16 against the 8th easiest opponents for fantasy RB’s.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire ( MIA / NO / ATL )
Andy Reid and Veach probably didn’t plan on starting Clyde that much this year at all when they drafted him, but after unexpected circumstances forced their hand, it was a welcome surprise to see him fall into place so effortlessly. As if any running back in Andy Reid’s system hasn’t before. The Rookie out of LSU currently sits in the top 15 running back rankings and should be heavily leaned on as the chiefs effortlessly roll through these last few weeks to what they hope will be their 3rd first round bye week in a row. Providing he isn’t still nursing any lingering injuries; Clyde should be a solid RB2 based on his touches alone through the playoffs against a stout Miami and New Orleans Defense. Fantasy owners who make it to the championship game should expect a potential game-winning bounce back game against an Atlanta Defense that currently ranks 31st in average points-against per game.
Ronald Jones (Min / ATL / DET )
Kenyan Drake ( NYG /PHI / SF )
D’Andre Swift ( GB / TEN / TB )
Tyler Lockett ( NYJ / WAS / LAR )
If inconsistency and Tyler Lockett do not go together best than I’m not sure what does. At least from a fantasy perspective, he always seems to be in the top 5 argument one week and is irrelevant the next. Maybe Russel just spreads the ball by weeks. Who Knows? What we DO know, is despite the Megatron-like DK Metcalf’s dominance, sometimes Defenses figure him out. Take week 10 against division rival the LA Rams as an example. DK was held to 2 receptions and less than 30 total yards. Guess who subsequently had a pretty fair game? Yeah.. And it only gets better from here. First facing the Jets in Week 14, and 2 stout defenses in week 15, and 16, expect Lockett to be leaned on more as defensive backfields continue to attempt to contain DK in these fiery match-ups as Seattle hunts for another division title in arguably the most competitive division in the league.
Allen Robinson II ( HOU / MIN / JAX )
Within the mess of things that is the Chicago Offense lies Allen Robinson who continues to prove himself. Few receivers can experience drastic shifts in QB play and maintain the level of play Robinson has. Now with Mitch Trubisky back in the mix, it appears as if the pro bowl wide out should continue to maximize his potential. Especially after falling from 5-1 to 5-6, expect Trubisky to work hard to not only secure a chance at a wild card birth but also keep his job.
Brandin Cooks: ( CHI /IND / CIN )
In less than 1 week from what might be the greatest performance of his Career, Texans WR1 Will Fuller received a suspension for the remainder of the season on abuse of the NFL’s policy on PED’s. Furthermore, the day before this news broke, it was announced that veteran wide receiver Kenny Stills had been released. Now, defacto WR1 Brandin Cooks looks to receive a substantial number of vacated targets from Deshaun Watson who has been stunning teams across the league this last half of the season. Too bad for Houston fans it took this long. Now sitting 3rd in the AFC South at 4-7, its hard to imagine any chance the Texans making the playoffs still remains. But that does not deter Deshaun and the rejuvenated offense as he continues to offer crowd pleasing performances and remain one of the most consistent QB’s in the league who’s averaged 291 yards and 2.5 passing TD’s A GAME. Despite the match-ups, Brandin Cooks’ floor is now high enough that he should be safe to stream for the rest of season as a WR2 with a lot of upside.
A.J. Brown ( JAX / DET / GB )
Jarvis Landry ( BAL / NYG / NYJ )
Terry McLaurin (SF / SEA / CAR )
Darren Waller: ( IND / LAC / MIA )
Most TE’s are fairly interchangeable. Everyone has their week on any given Sunday but generally speaking no one really becomes a regular rest of season set-and-forget type guy outside of the top 5 or 6 TE’s. Waller, however, is one of those guys who has broken that threshold. Unfortunately, The Raiders have experienced a variety of difficulties recently, including an abundance of offensive turnovers. His fantasy playoff match-ups are not particularly great either. But at the end of the day, all things considered, when Carr is in a pinch and the run game is struggling, Waller is one of his go-to check down targets. So, in terms of Tight End’s, Waller can be trusted to put up modest but useful numbers in these few games as he has throughout the season despite what the match-up might look like. Providing the turnover problem is resolved, Darren Waller’s high snap count and target rate is reassuring that he usually isn’t a Touchdown dependent fantasy asset. Although it does help.
Hunter Henry: ( ATL / LV / DEN )
Much Like Darren Waller, Hunter Henry sees a large snap count and target percentage. Even when Phillip Rivers was at the helm, Henry has always maintained a pivotal role in the offense being one of the most versatile players on the team. His ability to run routes, block, and catch makes him a true Swiss army knife. Unfortunately, he has only eclipsed more than 50 yards twice on the season, but lucky for his fantasy owners he is currently on a streak of 3 straight weeks with double digit scores as he continues to be one of Justin Herbert favorite check down targets. Henry will keep up the momentum as he wraps up a huge contract year on a franchise tag thanks to the new rookie sensation QB1 Justin Herbert.
T.J. Hockenson ( CHI / GB / TEN )
Mark Andrews ( CLE / JAX / NYG )
Any questions or comments?
Did Sam miss something? Let’s talk about it!
Find Sam on Twitter right here! https://twitter.com/HTownAndDown96
Or on DFScheatsheets.com https://twitter.com/dfscheatsheet1