It is getting down to crunch time. There are 4 weeks left until most leagues fantasy playoffs start, and if you are currently on the outside looking in, time is running out. Good news is there are a lot of players available in a lot of leagues that could help you get those valuable wins in the upcoming week. Here are my thoughts on who to play in fantasy football this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are undefeated so far this season, and it has been with a stout defense and great running game. The last couple weeks, however, Garoppolo has started to put up some nice numbers, including 4 touchdowns last week against Arizona. Yes I realize it was just Arizona, but the Seattle Seahawks have been in some shoot-outs this season and very well could be another one Monday night. Add this to the fact that the 49ers play the Arizona Cardinals again next week, and you have yourself a solid starter for the next couple of weeks.
Ryan Tannehill – Tennessee Titans
Since taking over for Marcus Mariotta, Tannehill has put up 3 nice games in a row, scoring 20.18, 19.42, 25.04 in standard PPR formats. Looking ahead to Kansas City, with Patrick Mahomes probably coming back, and this could be a high scoring affair, which means the Titans will be looking to throw early and often, especially if they fall behind early!
Mathew Stafford – Detroit Lions
As much as I wanted to add Mitchell Trubiski here as a hail mary pick, I just couldn’t in good faith do that. (I mean he has to break out eventually right? 🙂 ) That being said, Stafford has been having solid games the last few weeks, and even though the Chicago Bears defense is still solid, they have been getting tired lately in games, especially with the offense not able to hold on to the ball. If you are dealing with bye week troubles, you could find a lot worse than Mathew Stafford.
Jaylen Samuels – Pittsburgh Steelers
Don’t look now, but the Pittsburgh Steelers have quietly made their way back in the playoff race. After an abysmal 1-4 start, they have reeled off 3 wins in a row, and are only 2 games behind Baltimore in the AFC North. A lot of this is because of the running backs, James Conner and Jaylen Samuels. Jaylen Samuels was injured on and off throughout the year, but when healthy as he is now he has been a must start, particularly in PPR leagues. The last game Samuels had 13(!) receptions for 73 yards, and no reason to think that this doesn’t continue this week against the Los Angeles Rams.
Ronald Jones II – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jones was named the starter this week by head coach Bruce Arians. Not many people started him last week, but if you had the foresight to pick him up and put him in he rewarded you with a nice game and 16.20 points in standard PPR leagues. Although Arizona has a tougher run defense than pass defense, look for Jones to keep running hard and getting you those valuable points.
Kalen Ballage – Miami Dolphins
The only reason I would put a Miami Dolphin on this list this late in the season is because there just anybody else in the backfield in Miami. With Mark Walton suspended for the next 4 games for PED use, Ballage with be the bell cow back and could put up numbers just on sheer opportunities. The Colts defense he will be facing is tough, but with Fitz-Magic behind him to at least make the defense honest, if you are in a pinch you could do much worse.
Jamison Crowder – New York Jets
I truly thought that Demaryous Thomas would take control of the Jets wide receiver room but that hasn’t materialized. Crowder, however, had a very good game last week against the Dolphins, and with the Giants porous secondary up next this could be another good game from the wide out. Looking forward the Jets do not face another “tough” defense the rest of the year, so if you need a third wide receiver this is a good place to look.
Zach Pascal – Indianapolis Colts
Pascal has not been getting a lot of love here, but I am all in on this receiver with T.Y. Hilton being sidelined. He has had nice games playing alongside Hilton this year, and in the last game without him did post up a 5 catch day for 76 yards and a touchdown on 6 targets. This week’s match up versus the Miami Dolphins is a much juicier game, look for Pascal to put up good stats here.
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals
Fitzgerald is getting up there in age, so he isn’t the same must start that he was 5 years ago. That being said, there are certain games you can put him in, and going against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is one of those games. They are allowing the most points to wide receivers as a unit this year, with 29.6, against the league average of 22.1. If you have been holding onto this all time great receiver for old times sake, this is the week you have been holding him for!
Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers
For those of us who picked up Henry a few weeks ago when he was coming off of injury, we have been richly rewarded. The lowest point total he has had in the 4 games since returning was 8.7, with the other 3 games all over 15 point (PPR leagues). He has entered TE1 status, with a bye coming up in week 12, but no other defense ranking in the top 10 against tight ends left this year.
Chris Herndon – New York Jets
Looks like I was a week off on my Herndon prediction, as he was technically active last week but did not see the field. Assuming he actually plays (which he is projected to do) he should have a very nice game against a New York Giants defense that just made Jason Witten look like Gronkowski this week!
Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts
Doyle saved me last week with a touchdown that would have been an otherwise slow day for the Colts tight end, but with T.Y. Hilton still sidelined with injury, look for Doyle to still get enough target to fill in if you do not have one of the every week tight ends.
Green Bay Packers
As much as it pains me as a Chicago Bears fan to talk highly of the Green Bay Packers, they have had a nice season on defense, except for a couple games including their last match up against the Chargers. Kyle Allen has been doing a good job leading the Carolina Panthers this year replacing Cam Newton, but I fully expect the Packers to bounce back defensively this game.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints are another team that has been surprisingly good all year on defense, and coming off of their bye week with a game against the Atlanta Falcons will not stop that. Play this defense with confidence.
I realize that there is a Miami Dolphin earlier in this post, but overall I do not see the Dolphins doing much against the Colts. They are in the middle of a playoff race, and after the Dolphins have had a few games against also-rans like themselves, they will not put up much as a team this week.
Well there you go, hopefully I have helped you throughout the year with my picks, we all know that fantasy football is not an exact science. Let me know in the comments how your season is going, and if you followed my advice and how that went. As always, if you have any questions please leave those below as well! Have a great week!