It’s the playoffs, but not just the playoffs, the semifinals. More than likely, you’re one of the 4 best teams in your league this year, so nice work. That being said, there are tough decisions to make even this week. Hopefully this article helps make those decisions a little easier.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens - Has he had over 200 yards passing in a game this season? No. Should that stop you from playing him? No. He’s been putting up great rushing stats, and he’s playing a terrible defense this week. The Ravens are also at home, and they have a chance to jump into the lead in the AFC North with a win this week. I’m not playing him over any of the big guys, but I’d be comfortable with Jackson this weekend, even in the playoffs.
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals - Mixon is the only good thing the Bengals have right now. He’s playing an awful Raiders defense that should give some great opportunities for Mixon this weekend. Look for him to be a solid RB1 this week.
Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys - If you don’t believe in Cooper yet, what else do you need to see? He has at least eight catches in his last three games. They are clearly targeting him, and have turned him into a WR1. Yes, it’s a sneaky tough matchup with Indy this week, but I don’t care. Expect top 10ish production from Cooper this weekend.
ON THE FENCE
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons - The Falcons seem to finally be scoring on offense, but it’s too late for that to matter this season. Ryan has a tough matchup, and has struggled against solid defenses this season, throwing for a combined two touchdowns with three turnovers against the Cowboys and Ravens combined. Also, the Cardinals don’t score, they’ve only scored 20+ points three times this season. That means this game could be over early, and the Falcons will just be killing clock in the second half. If you’re desperate, you can try to roll with Matty Ice, but I don’t trust him.
David Johnson, RB, Cardinals - Johnson has a fantastic matchup against the Falcons this week, but that might not matter. He’s had four straight bad games, and the entire Cardinals offense has been brutal. The numbers say it should be a good start, but, with the way Johnson has played, I’m not confident.
Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings - A week after the Patriots hold him to five catches, the Seahawks are able to do the same. It seems that teams have figured out that he’s the #1 option for Cousins and the Vikings, and are treating him accordingly. Another point against him is that Cousins hasn’t been great for most of the year. He should be ok, but my expectations are mid-level WR2 numbers.
Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers - He’s been solid since replacing Ryan Fitzmagic, but he’s played against three of the worst passing defenses in the NFL in those three games. With a tough matchup in Baltimore, I’d stay away.
Mark Ingram, RB, Saints - Ingram has had three really good games since coming back from suspension. He’s also had six below average to bad games, as has a really tough matchup this week. With a trip to the fantasy championship on the line, I’m not taking a chance on him.
Odell Beckham Jr, WR, Giants - Yes, it’s OBJ, and he might even play. But in the playoffs, I’m not risking my season on him putting up big numbers this weekend, especially against a solid Titans defense. I’m simply staying away from Beckham this weekend.
Best of luck to you this weekend! Hope you have a need to check back in next week for championship weekend! But, if not, check back in anyway, I like our talks.
Pat is the host of The Patriot Nation Podcast
Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats