Are you still alive? Many of the fantasy managers that stood shoulder to shoulder with you are gone now, cast off to the land of regrets and sadness for the next eight months until August brings a new slate. Now it’s time to get down to business. There are two games left, but in the fantasy playoffs, it’s do or die. You must win this week. If you can save some FAAB for free agency, go for it. And by all means, block your opponents by picking up quarterbacks if they just lost Carson Wentz. Destroy their season. You must win.
Since so many teams at this stage likely have *good* players on their squads, we’ll post a few streaming options and potential uses for people who are staring down at particularly tough matchups. At this point, there’s little advice to give, just additional insight.
First, let us remember our fallen brothers and sisters.
Case Keenum: He had a tough, tough matchup in Carolina against the Panthers and still came out relatively unscathed by throwing for 280 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. At this point, he’s one of the safest options in fantasy, and pretty much a guaranteed top ten option. He’s top five over the last month, in fact. Feel okay rolling him out against a Bengals defense that’s in tatters and made the Bears look like a real-life football team.
Ben Roethlisberger: The Steelers offense is peaking exactly when you want it to, and Big Ben is on fire, Le’Veon Bell is surging, and Antonio Brown might be hiding an Infinity Stone under his helmet. The Steelers are playing New England in Week 15. Jay Cutler just put up three touchdowns on them. Play all Steelers, especially Big Ben.
Dak Prescott: I’ve seen enough to take Prescott off the bench after two weeks of healthy O-line play, and now he’s playing the porous Oakland defense at the perfect time. Dak is back (bak?) and he looks like his old, top-five self.
Alex Smith: At this point, Smith is just too volatile. Yes, Travis Kelce nearly had three touchdowns (3), but the Chargers are relatively tough on defense, and if I had another option (like Keenum), or even Philip Rivers/Blake Bortles, I would probably play them. Maybe not Bortles.
Blake Bortles: There’s a pro-Bortles thing hovering around the fantasy community right now after losing Carson Wentz, but unless you’re in a 14+ team league, I don’t know of a situation in which you’re going to want to take the risk here. It’s Blake Bortles. Do you want to rest a Week 15 win on the shoulders of Blake Bortles?
But… Less than one month ago…
Jimmy Garoppolo: One touchdown, one interception and 334 yards in his second game in the offense, and yes, you should keep sitting him. There are so many options that have proven to be solid for a long stretch of time, and the NFL has a way of bringing someone back down to earth once there’s more film on them (unless you’re Deshaun Watson). The last thing I’d ever want is to lose when I’m not exactly sure what I’m getting. I’d play Smith over Jimmy G. Marquise Goodwin should be good to go, however.
Since tight end is such a weird, banal, homogenized position, we’re going quick and dirty here. There’s a chance the Gronk and Ertz owners were elminated, so here are some players to consider, and others to forget.
-Eric Ebron: 11 targets this week when he’s had 15 over the last three. He seems to get his when the situation calls for it, but he’s trending up.
-Jared Cook: He’s locked into 5.5 targets per game and Chicago can be scored on.
Jason Witten: He was bailed out of his two-target game by a late touchdown, but the Cowboys could get in a shootout with Oakland and Witten can soak up a bunch of targets. Don’t be afraid to consider him top ten.
-Austin Seferian-Jenkins: He’s trending down, now McCown is hurt. It’s over.
-OJ Howard: Now he’s playing more snaps and getting work with Cameron Brate on the bench? Forget them both, it’s too confusing.
-Greg Olsen: He played the snaps, but tweaked his foot again and seems like a decoy.