Before the 2014 football season, I had written an article explaining the importance of separating emotional fantasy decisions from the right ones.
I can’t think of a dire situation where that sentiment is more vital than the fantasy football playoffs. You’re excited, nervous, you feel a bit invincible. After all you have shown up your buddies, family, or work colleagues and solidified your supremacy in both fantasy football AND life. No one can defeat you….except yourself!
My usual mantra in regards to playoff decisions is that you should typically go with what got you there. This means if you picked up someone like Justin Forsett, and he turned your season around as he did for many fantasy owners, don’t question him as you enter the games that REALLY matter.
Don’t panic about Russell Wilson, the matchup is good! Your team is good. If you have a girlfriend or boyfriend that’s stuck by you through thick and thin, you’re not just gonna ditch them if some hot model throws you a nod will you? You probably will actually, bad comparison, but you get my point. Rely on your team. If you’ve gotten this far, it’s for a reason.
On the other hand, that doesn’t mean to ignore the facts. All season you played the matchups, you shouldn’t change your strategy. Just because you’re an Eagles fan or drafted LeSean McCoy in the first round doesn’t mean you HAVE to roll McCoy out there against a tough matchup vs. Seattle.
If you’re a Clemson alum from Buffalo (random), of course you WANT Sammy Watkins to do well, but don’t throw him out there at Denver! It’s a terrible matchup! You get the gist of what I’m saying. It’s still a game. Opportunity, matchups, and luck.
Yesterday I released an article that consisted of some bubble guys that might have better playoff matchups for weeks 14-16 than you might have anticipated. It’s guys like that can save your fantasy season. (Totally called Romo’s day; still trying to find out how to pull Witten from the article.) Below I’m going to do the same, but instead will show you some guys you may be considering playing that should probably see your bench, due to some weak ass matchups.
Without further ado:
Ben Roethlisberger: Next three matchups: @CIN(7), @ATL(13), KC(8)
Roethlisberger has been a pleasant surprise this season, currently ranking 6th among fantasy quarterbacks. A lot of that though, is skewed by those back to back 6 TD games. Up next for Big Ben, the Bengals, rank 7th among the pass and have only given up one TD through the air over the last 4 games. If you own Big Ben, chances are you’ve been working a multi-QB matchup based system or have been streaming. With the Steelers’ upcoming schedule how it is, Roethlisberger may not be worth even a roster spot unless you absolutely need him.
Joe Flacco: @MIA(2), JAC(16), @HOU(11)
Flacco is sort of in the same boat as Roethlisberger as far as a middle of the road QB2 the next few weeks. Although he has been relatively consistent, Flacco only has 3 games where he’s exceeded 20 fantasy points this season. With Torrey Smith banged up and Steve Smith on the decline, I wouldn’t count on Flacco carrying you through the playoffs, especially to a Miami defense averaging only 211 yards per game through the air.
Ryan Mathews: NE(20), DEN(5), @SF(6)
Mathews has had a nice return to action scoring once in each of his last two games and averaging about 11 fantasy points per games. The Patriots, Mathews’ week 14 opponent, haven’t given up a rushing TD to a RB in their last three outings. In addition to that they’re only allowing 55 yards on the ground to RBs over that span. It doesn’t look too good for Mathews, who is still a part of that Donald Brown/ Brandon Oliver committee. I don’t know if you can count on the touchdowns either based on these upcoming matchups (NE, DEN, SF, have allowed a combined 2 rushing TDs over the last 4 weeks.)
Arizona Running Back: KC(11), @STL(8), SEA(10)
Andre Ellington has pleased fantasy owners who took a chance on him by ranking 11th among fantasy RBs heading into week 14 with only 5 TDs. That tells you he has been pretty consistent in his workload and production. Ellington’s hip is keeping him out of action this week and recently named starter Stepfan Taylor and backup Marion Grice are getting a little bit of unwarranted love in my opinion. I expect Ellington to be back in week 15. Despite who gets the ball for the Cardinals, the matchups seriously don’t favor them with the Chiefs having only allowed 2 TDs on the ground this year and the Rams and the Seahawks being notoriously stingy as well. I recommend if you need an Ellington sub to look elsewhere for backup.
Ray Rice: Upcoming matchups: NOBODY
He’s not playing this season people. If you’re entering the playoffs and own Ray Rice or even Adrian Peterson, I want you to lose.
Keenan Allen: NE(4), DEN(10), @SF(9)
Two consecutive big weeks for Keenan Allen: what you’ve been patiently waiting for all year! He must be back! No. Allen’s upcoming schedule is pretty treacherous. He likely faces Darrelle Revis against New England and Chris Harris against Denver who are the top 2 Cornerbacks this season according to Pro Football Focus. Allen’s recent success will only bring the attention that caused him to suck the entire first half.
Michael Crabtree: @OAK(5), @SEA(1), SD(16)
I didn’t buy it preseason and I still don’t buy it. The Niners offense is an enigma to me, I have no idea how they are 7-5. The Raiders are shockingly good against the WR in fantasy having the 5th best defense in that category. Even if Kaepernick did get something going, no way of knowing who would get the TD between Crabtree, Boldin, or Johnson. Seattle has only allowed 4 TDs to WRs and we all know how that Sherman battle always seems to go.
Owen Daniels: @MIA(1), JAC(18), @HOU(3)
I hope you weren’t playing Owen Daniels. Tight end is stupid. He’s shown a steady decrease in targets and I definitely don’t trust the Jaguars matchup anymore. I like the Kyle Rudolphs and Mychal Riveras of the world more to be honest.
Julius Thomas: BUF(5), @SD(4), @CIN(17)
Some rough matchups. In no way do I want to advise Thomas owners to bench him heading into the playoffs, he’s probably a big part of the reason you are there (this is assuming he is active). Think of this as a warning. You shouldn’t be counting on Thomas to have extremely good outings in your playoff matchups. With the exception of week 1, we have seen Julius Thomas’ role change from what we knew in 2013. He is actually touchdown dependent. After that week 1 game he hasn’t exceeded 70 yards in a game, but the TDs have him as the 4th best TE this season. The Bills and the Chargers each have only given up 2 TDs all year to opposing tight ends and Thomas’ worst (healthy) game this season was at home to San Diego(23 yards). You probably aren’t in a position to do anything about this, but I figured I might as well stress you out a little more about it.
DEFENSE: Stream it dude…
Again this isn’t a start ‘em, sit ‘em article. You may not have any better options than these guys, and it could still work out for you. I hope it does, but nonetheless, these guys listed above deserve a closer look and some further deliberation. Screw finals week college kids it’s fantasy football playoffs. Do your homework!
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