Tuesday - Jan 15, 2019

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THE FIRE SALE: Week 15

I’m down to my final two Fire Sales. Next week will be my last hurrah after almost 20 years.

I’m just glad I outlasted Jeff Fisher. That guy is so lucky he got fired one game before setting the record for most losses by an NFL head coach. I wish I was better at kissing butt. Fisher should teach a butt kissing seminar. No human being lasted longer in his profession thanks to being a boot-licking butt-kisser than Jeff Fisher.

For those of you still battling in the fantasy playoffs, I’m going to look at some out of the box starters this week. I’ve been playing fantasy football for over two decades and the story never changes. Every year we draft Todd Gurley and Allen Robinson in Round 1. Then come fantasy playoff time we’re benching those guys for Bilal Powell and Dontrelle Inman.

Good luck if you’re still fighting for a fantasy title. And don’t worry, we got rid of one bozo. Rex Ryan…you’re next.

Now on with The Fire Sale

Tyrod Taylor, QB Buffalo Bills – Taylor may be regressing a little but he’s still put up solid fantasy numbers in two of his last four games. There aren’t many quarterbacks left on the waiver wire if you’re scrambling for a starter. Taylor gets the lowly Browns this week. The Bills will run over Cleveland’s hapless defense but Taylor should have little trouble accounting for 220 total yards and a couple of scores. Most owners obviously have better starting options if they got to this point but Taylor is the best of the waiver wire bunch should you find yourself in a pinch.

Mike Gillislee, RB Buffalo Bills – Hey, I may not like Rex Ryan but when a team plays the Browns, you can’t be stubborn. You’ll notice a theme this week. Gillislee’s fantasy value is heavily tied to scoring but he should have plenty of chances this week against Cleveland’s garbage rush defense. The Browns allow 146 yards per game on the ground. Gillislee has topped double-digit fantasy points in four of the last seven games he’s played. LeSean McCoy is a lock for a big game but there will be enough touches to go around that Gillislee should eat too. Fifty yards and a score are realistic expectations this week for Gillislee.

Bilal Powell, RB New York JetsMatt Forte injured his knee Sunday and as this is being published, he’s scheduled for an MRI. Forte said he heard popping in his knee. I’m no doctor but that’s doesn’t sound encouraging. Powell filled in for Forte against the 49ers and had a big game. He rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. Powell also caught five balls for 34 yards. I’m guessing Forte doesn’t play this week. Powell is one of those players who could help win owners a championship. He has fresh legs and Powell is guaranteed to see a heavy workload playing with a rookie quarterback. Powell is locked in as a RB2 against the Dolphins if Forte is out.

Dontrelle Inman, WR San Diego Chargers – Inman caught 6-of-7 targets for 71 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers. He’s now scored in three straight games. Over that span, Inman has 14 receptions on 18 targets. He’s been targeted at least six times in six of his last seven games. Tyrell Williams has been battling a shoulder injury, so Inman is now the co-No.1 receiver in San Diego. Inman has another good matchup this week against the Raiders. Philip Rivers has been struggling on a sinking team with a terrible offensive line. Still, Inman is on the WR3 radar, especially if Melvin Gordon is out this week.

Taylor Gabriel, WR Atlanta Falcons – Gabriel rewarded fantasy owners on Sunday with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu inactive. He caught three passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Gabriel did most of his damage on a 64-yard touchdown reception. He doesn’t see a ton of targets but Gabriel has topped 70 yards receiving in three of his last four games. He also has four touchdowns over that span. Jones and Sanu aren’t locks to play this week. Gabriel has an elite matchup against the 49ers Swiss cheese secondary. He’s worth consideration even if Jones and Sanu return. However, should one or both of those guys miss another game, Gabriel becomes a strong play this week.

Adam Thielen, WR Minnesota Vikings – Thielen has been targeted 30 times, has 24 receptions and topped 50 yards receiving in his last four games. Last week against the Jaguars, Thielen went over 100 yards for the second time this season. Thielen won’t win you a title but if you’re still starting someone like Allen Robinson, he’s a better option at this point. Robinson is killing owners, whereas Thielen has consistently scored 12-15 points a week in PPR leagues over the last month. Thielen is a solid plug-and-play against the Colts if you need a receiver.

Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons defense hasn’t been great for fantasy owners this year but it ate the Rams alive on Sunday. Atlanta’s defense recorded three sacks, two interceptions, three fumble recoveries and scored two touchdowns. It should be more of the same this week when the Falcons take on the 49ers. Todd Gurley said the Rams had a middle school offense. The 49ers are only slightly better. Maybe they have a JV offense. Expect another big game from the Falcons defense.

Buffalo Bills – Remember when Rex hired his idiot brother then gave that speech before the season how they were going to prove everyone wrong? How did that work out? The Ryan brothers’ defense is so bad it hasn’t recorded a sack in two games. The good news is Robert Griffin is coming to town. RG3 was horrible in his first game back against the Bengals, completing just 12 passes for 104 yards and an interception. I can’t say this any clearer: Anyone who thinks RG3 is still an NFL starting quarterback is either blind or stupid. The only way Griffin will look good on Sunday is if Rex’s boys have quit. That is a possibility. If they hold out another week or two, the Bills defense is a strong streaming option.

About Thomas Casale

Thomas began playing fantasy football back when owners had to mail in their starting lineups and work out trades over the phone. He started writing The Fire Sale in 1998. Since then his articles have appeared on numerous web sites sites including Fantasy Sharks, USA Today and SI.com.