The NFL is still weeks away from the start of their postseason. For fantasy football team owners, the playoffs in many leagues start today. Most leagues use a week 14-16 playoff bracket given the fact that many teams in the NFL will lock down a playoff birth and either sit their starters or only play them a portion of the game. That of course leaves fantasy owners who rode high-profile studs to the post-season out in the cold scrambling for a back-up option.
So playoffs start today.
Within the structure of most leagues, the two top seeded teams get to take a week off. (I always bench my entire roster when I have a bye week. I like to tell the other owners that I am resting my team. Don’t know why, it’s silly really). While you may or may not have the week off, there are a lot of fans who own teams who do not have the weekend off and that can force a stressful over thinking of their starting roster.
With today’s games slated to kick-off in about 40 minutes, here are some of my sits and my starts for this week.
At QB I would be hard pressed not to start Tom Brady against the Houston Texans on Monday night. Despite the top of the line defense that the Texans have, the Patriots offense will still have to score points if they Patriot defense can’t slow down or stop Arian Foster. So I play him. Along with Aaron Rodgers against Green Bay. The two QB’s I really like this weekend are Andrew Luck against the Titans and Matt Ryan against Carolina. I would stay away from Tony Romo against the Bengals and anyone in the KC/Cleveland game. I don’t like the Joe Flacco play this week either.
RB is a hard position to pick in any week, let alone the first week of the playoffs. With so many teams using multi-set formations and alternating starters at the position, if you don’t have one of the top runners in the league, your looking for someone to step up. The first thought that comes to my mind is Michael Turner against the Panthers and Steven Jackson against the Bills. I don’t like the match-up for Alfred Morris of the Redskins against the Ravens. Mikel Leshoure is a good play against the Packers but back-up Joique Bell has been taking some of the goal line totes.
WR is a lot of fun in most leagues and if you get PPR stats you could have a great weekend. In Atlanta the play of Roddy White has diminished from years past but his best stats game this week was against the Panthers. Why not go for a round 2? Another WR I really like is T.Y. Hilton in Indy. The connection between he and Andrew Luck has been stellar and should continue today. I would stay away from Brian Hartline of the Dolphins as the SF defense is really good. Another WR I back off of this week is Justin Blackmon of the Jaguars. He has been coming on strong as of late but the Jets are going to focus heavily on taking him out of the game.
TE - The best TE to start would be Vernon Davis. Yes the Dolphins have only given up 2 TD’s to TE’s this year but they still struggle stopping the bigger ends in the game. Jermichael Finley of Green Bay could have his best game of the season against Detroit and I like Scott Chandler of Buffalo against the Rams. Not real high on Heath Miller this week against SD although Big Ben Roethlisberger is back behind center.
K – If you started Matt Prater on Thursday night you were thrilled with his 15-18 point total. Justin Tucker of the Ravens has a good match-up with the Redskins and David Akers who has struggled this year has a good match-up with Miami. Stay away from Greg Zeurline who will be playing outside in Buffalo this week.
Defense wins championships but that is not the case with defenses in fantasy football. Remember this is the playoffs and anything goes. Play the match-up closely and look at your FA list to see if there is a solid match-up this week. I like Tampa against Philly and their young QB. I also like Pittsburgh against SD but I stay away from Green Bay against Detroit and vice-versa. Perhaps the best match-up may be the NY Jets taking on the Jaguars.
TIP FOR THE PLAYOFFS:
Pay attention to your score. If your opponent is losing a close game against you and has no more players going, bench your remaining starters and take the win. I have seen too many times a team leads going into their final player of the weekend and lose 2 or 3 points and lose by 1. Why risk it?
Good luck with your playoffs!