It’s championship week for most leagues while the remainder of the leagues will conclude next week. The hits keep coming as we see more players lost to injuries. This week heading into the championship games we are without Odell Beckham jr. who is suspended for 1 game. Will Drew Brees be healthy enough to play.?At this point, you have to play your strongest players regardless of if you drafted them in the first round or picked them off waivers last week. It is crazy that this late in the season, I am still having to make waiver pickups.
With the holidays, make sure to play your Thursday guys, as well as players in the Saturday game.
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who came through for their team.
David Johnson– 29 carries for 187 yards and 3 touchdowns, 4 receptions for 42 yards. Johnson is this year’s Jeremy Hill and is carrying owners through the playoffs. Johnson gets another great matchup this week against the Packers.
Antonio Brown– 16 receptions for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns. Repeat after me, you always play Antonio Brown. I don’t care if he is facing the ’85 Bears, you play Antonio Brown. This is Brown’s 4th game with 10+ catches and 8th 100 yard game this season. This week he faces the Ravens who he had to play in week 4 without Ben Roethlisburger.
Cam Newton– 340 passing yards 5 touchdowns and 100 rushing yards. Newton did everything in this game but rush for a touchdown. He is clearly the MVP this season and will carry you to the promise land. He had 3 touchdowns against the Falcons two weeks ago.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy players who you would like to, well you know.
Odell Beckham Jr.- It wasn’t his stats that landed him here, it is the fact that he got himself suspended when owners in the championship need him. His appeal was denied which means you will have to play this week without him.
Javorius Allen– 4 carries for 18 yards. Allen had a tough matchup but was benched when he fumbled in back-to-back games. With the running back position so thin it hurts to have a healthy starter get benched.
Calvin Johnson– 1 reception for 19 yards. Johnson now has 1 catch in two consecutive games. He is either playing through a ton of injuries that he can’t overcome or he’s hit the 30-year-old plateau very hard. I would avoid using him this week.
Good quarterback matchups this week:
Blake Bortles against the Saints. I am all over Bortles this week. He is on a hot streak scoring 25 fantasy points or more over the past 4 games. Bortles is just a couple of weeks removed from a 5-touchdown performance and I think this week he can match that total. The Saints defense has been awful allowing 23.2 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, the highest in fantasy. They have given up 11 touchdowns over the past 4 games. I am hoping that Drew Brees plays so the game can stay close. This should be a shootout.
Teddy Bridgewater against the Giants. The Giants were torched by Cam Newton through the air as well as on the ground. In comes another quarterback that can make plays with his feet. The Giants have struggled with mobile quarterbacks this season. The Vikings have an injured Adrian Peterson and could throw more than they usually do. The Giants are giving up 20.3 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and are dead last in yards per game with 308.4 passing yards.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Kirk Cousins against the Eagles. If you read my articles before, then you know I love targeting quarterbacks against the Eagles. This week we have a quarterback facing the Eagles that is also playing very well but might be on peoples benches or even on the waiver wire. Cousins has the Redskins playing well down the stretch and has 24 or more fantasy points in 3 of the past 4 games. He faces the Eagles who he scored 23 fantasy points back in week 4. The Eagles are allowing 259.1 passing yards per game with 30 touchdowns given up.
Good running back matchups this week:
Denard Robinson against the Saints. The Saints are a bad passing defense and it so happens that they are just as bad against the run. The Saints are last in the NFL allowing 137.1 rushing yards per game with 12 touchdowns. In the past 4 games, the Saints have allowed 150 rushing yards or more in 3 of the 4 games with 5 touchdowns during that span. T.J. Yeldon is looking like he won’t play this week. Over the last two weeks, Robinson has averaged 16.5 fantasy points per game.
Doug Martin against the Bears. This week there is a shortage of available running backs in lead rolls. Martin is currently the 3rd best fantasy running back this season averaging 17.6 fantasy points per game. He faces the Bears who give up 17.5 fantasy points per game and are 26th in the league allowing 125.9 yards per game with 8 touchdowns. Martin has came close to 100 yards rushing in 4 straight games. This is the week he goes over 100.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Karlos Williams against the Cowboys. The injury to LeSean McCoy has opened the door for Williams to carry the load at the right time, playoff time. Williams has run well this season in limited action scoring in his first 4 games and scoring in 6 of 9 games. The Cowboys are out of the playoffs and have nothing left to play for this season. The Cowboys are allowing 19.3 fantasy points to running backs.
Bad quarterback matchups this week:
Philip Rivers against the Raiders. Dispite having a ton of injuries on offense, Rivers is still putting up respectable numbers. He is the 8th best quarterback in fantasy and is averaging 20.1 fantasy points per game. He faces the Raiders this week who Rivers put up big numbers against back in 7. However, that was with Keenan Allen and the weather is suppose to be rainy. Over the last 6 games Rivers has been inconsistent fail to have back to back games with 20 or more fantasy points which keeps me from trusting him this week.
A.J. McCarron against the Broncos. If you lost Andy Dalton and are dealing with any other backup quarterback injury then you might be forced to play McCarron. Although he has played well since taking over for Andy Dalton, this isn’t the week to trust him. The Broncos are coming off a beating from Antonio Brown and will look to bounce back and make up for it this week. The Broncos still have the #1 pass defense allowing 200 yards per game with 16 touchdowns given up.
Matt Ryan against the Panthers. Just two weeks ago Ryan faced the Panthers and produced just 10 fantasy points. Over the past 4 games he is averaging just 12.8 fantasy points. The Panthers escaped New York with a win but are still 5th in the NFL allowing 224.8 passing yards per game with 20 touchdowns allowed.
Bad running back matchups this week:
Eddie Lacy against the Cardinals. Lacy has been up and down all season. He is going to lose someone a championship this week. Last week, he ran for just 23 yards on 11 carries. The Cardinals haven’t allowed a 100 yard rushers since week 4. They are allowing just 86.7 rushing yards per game with 8 touchdowns.
C.J. Anderson/ Ronnie Hillman against the Bengals. It will be the battle of the backups at quarterback but the Bengals still have a good defense. Against the run, they are averaging 93.2 rushing yards per game (8th) with 7 touchdowns. Last week Anderson and Hillman totaled 62 yards combined against the Steelers. Both running backs haven’t been dependable so counting on them for your championship run is very risky.
Devonta Freeman against the Panthers. Freeman scored his first rushing touchdown last week since Week 6. After a hot start, he has struggled to rush for more than 56 yards in the past 5 games.He face the Panthers who limited Freeman to just 40 yards rushing two weeks ago. The Panthers are 6th in the NFL allowing 90.1 rushing yards per game with 9 touchdowns. Panthers give up just 14.3 fantasy points per game to running backs.