The playoffs are underway, and I hope you weren’t stuck using my suggested starts last week. Boy did those guys stain their pants, but most of, if not all my sits wet the bed as expected. As a Cowboys fan and a one league owner of Amari the Ferrari, man was I going F’ing crazy during his performance. Many top players didn’t play like themselves and more than likely cost many their first-round matchups. If you made it through or were on a bye (like me with Gurley and Goff, THANK GOD!), congratulations and on to week 15 start or sit where I’ve tried to highlight some lower owned commodities and some old faces.
Running backs who will shine
Justin Jackson (LAC@KC TNF 8:20pm est)
Let’s try this one more time. This week, Jackson enters as the no.1 option with both Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler nursing injuries.
The Chargers will want to avoid a similar fate from their week one matchup when the Chiefs jumped out to a 31-12 lead. This will be accomplished by trying to control the clock and pound the rock. Jackson has shown plenty of ability by averaging 5.1 yds/car and reeling in all 5 of his targets.
If the Chargers want to keep this game close and stay in the AFC West race, they’ll have to lean on Jackson.
Prediction: 15 car 71 yards 1 td, 4 rec 25 yards: 17.6 pts
Dalvin Cook ([email protected] 1pm est)
That escalated quickly! The Minnesota Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo on Tuesday after Monday night’s abysmal performance.
Mike Zimmer has wanted the Vikings to run the ball more and that will start this week as Cook will likely see his most touches since week 1. Minnesota will try to establish the ground game and take heat off of Kirk Cousins early on allowing Dalvin to make some magic.
Prediction: 16 car 103 yards 1 td, 3 rec 34 yards: 21.2 pts
Jaylen Samuels ([email protected]Pit 4:25pm est)
If, and I mean if James Conner sits out another week, Samuels could lead players to the championship. Although he wasn’t efficient on the ground and was vultured by Steven Ridley at the goal-line, he still toted the ball 11 times and caught 7 passes for 64 yards.
The Patriots field a plethora of big, run stopping line-backers who will struggle in defending Samuels and his receiving ability. Assuming Conner sits once again, and with Bill focusing on Brown and JuJu on the outside, Jaylen will post RB 1 numbers.
Prediction: 13 car 63 yards 1 td, 6 rec 71 yards: 22.4 pts
Put a splinter in their backsides
Frank Gore ([email protected]Min 1pm est)
Unbelievably he’s still chugging along. As a matter of fact, he passed LaDainian Tomlinson for 5th on the all-time scrimmage yards list this last Sunday. That is fantastic, but he still hasn’t rushed for a single td this year and has 1 or fewer receptions in 11 of 13 games.
This week the Dolphins travel up the Minneapolis to face the Vikings and running room will be hard to come by. I see this as a Kenyan Drake game with Gore playing backup singer to him.
Prediction: 12 car 52 yards, 1 rec 4 yards: 6.1 pts
Marlon Mack ([email protected]Ind 1pm est)
Over the last 2 weeks Indianapolis has accumulated only 91 rushing yards and now they face a Cowboys team tied for first allowing only 3.6 yds/car on the year. Dallas hasn’t given up more than 58 rushing yards to a single player during their five-game win streak which should continue this week.
Mack has only surpassed 60+ yards on 4 occasions and is losing passing game work to Nyheim Hines. Dallas ranks 5th in time of possession whereas Indy ranks 25th meaning the Colts will once again be relying on the arm of their MVP Andrew Luck.
Prediction: 14 car 56 yards, 2 rec 10 yards: 7.6 pts
Peyton Barber (TB@Bal 1pm est)
Old, new, but old QB, same story for the Bucs and Peyton Barber. Their running game is terrible and even while carrying the rock at least 14 times each of the last 4 games, Peyton has only amassed 240 yards. Baltimore is 4th this year in rushing defense and should bottle up the Tampa ground attack all game.
Prediction: 13 car 36 yards, 1 rec 6 yards: 4.7 pts
Wide Receivers/TE in the spotlight
DaeSean Hamilton ([email protected] Sat 8:20pm est)
On many experts lists for best week 14 waiver adds, Hamilton did not disappoint. He may not have reached a yardage total most expected, but he did haul in 7 balls while adding a touchdown.
Now starting in the slot, he may see an even larger role with Courtland Sutton banged up. For those looking for a hail-mary, DaeSean could be your best bet.
Prediction: 6 rec 65 yards 1 td: 15.5 pts
Larry Fitzgerald (Ari@Atl 1pm est)
The legend continues to grow for Larry as he recently passed Jerry Rice for the most receptions for one franchise. Even with the Cardinals being anemic on offense, Fitz has been flex worthy more often than not. He has put up two consecutive clunkers but this week he’ll deliver while facing bottom 10 defense Atlanta. Fire old reliable up for one more rodeo.
Prediction: 7 rec 54 yards 1 td: 14.9 pts
Jordy Nelson (Oak@Cin 1pm est)
To Continue on the oldies trend, Jordy Nelson has returned to semi-relevance. Over the last 2 weeks he’s seen 18 targets and caught 16 passes for 145 yards. This week Jordy will find the end zone for the first time since week 5 and help those who have to dumpster dive during fantasy semi-finals.
Prediction: 6 rec 62 yards 1 td: 15.2 pts
Kenny Golladay (Det@Buf 1pm est)
It sure hasn’t been a holiday for anyone who has Golladay. Believed to be a premier receiver, he has failed to deliver on too many occasions for owners to start him in the playoffs.
His last two games have been 3 receptions for 50 yards, and 2 for 5. He is far too risky given their playing the Bills who have been among the league leaders against wide-outs all season and Staffords recent struggles. Leave him on your bench this week.
Prediction: 4 rec 48 yards: 6.8 pts
All Packers receivers except Devante Adams (GB@Chi 1pm est)
The Cheese heads are a mess currently and have no outside weapons other than Adams. He has 85 more targets than the next receiver and his 12 tds are over half of Rodgers total. Facing the Bears who just completely shut down a high-powered Rams offense, expect no. 12 to lean on Adams and ignore the others.
Prediction: none worth risking
Baltimore Ravens receivers ([email protected]Bal 1pm est)
The pound or ground is back in Baltimore as the Ravens have 914 rushing yards to only 592 passing on a total of 52 completions over the last 4 weeks. Jackson’s high for attempts reached 25 during a week 12 drubbing of Oakland but this week, the defense should handle the Buccaneers turnover prone offense and afford Baltimore the luxury of keeping the ground attack going. I don’t expect the Ravens to throw it enough for any wide outs to accumulate good stats.
Prediction: Not enough opportunities