While my beloved Tuesday Morning Hangover is no more, I can still shell out some useful tips on how to win your playoff game each round…if you’re still in it. Thanks to that a-hole who injured Matt Forte, I am unfortunately not in the big dance in my League of Idiots. But I remain standing in the TFN league, where only 8-5 teams made it, and four, count ‘em, four non-playoff teams outscored me. Luck if finally starting to turn…for the moment.
Go Out and Add ‘Em
This section is for the desperate owner looking for an edge at a position of need. Maybe you’re like Redbraham, who finished 10th out of 12 in points and yet still sneaked into the playoffs. Now all you need is a few adds to cobble together a win before your once-dominant team has to face someone actually good. Maybe you’re a forward-thinking owner, not even playing this week because you’re on bye or your playoffs haven’t yet started. Either way, here’s some adds to consider for this, and the coming weeks, who are somewhat-to-widely available and could give you that much-needed playoff boost.
Ben Tate, RB HOU (69% Yahoo! ownership): While Tate is owned in the majority of leagues, even if you’re not an Arian Foster owner, now’s a great time to snag him if he’s available in yours. While he’s still technically a backup, he gets the easiest, and third-easiest matchups for opposing RBs in weeks 15 and 16, and has put up double digits off the bench twice. As Houston tries to secure a first round bye with their third-string rookie QB, expect heavy doses of Tate and Foster down the stretch. He could be a sneaky play starting next week.
Roy Hely, RB WAS (69%): No reason this guy should be out there, but he is in nearly a third of Yahoo! leagues. Helu’s coming off back-to-back 20 point outings and gets a tasty one vs. the Patriots (10th-easiest for opposing RBs) this week. If you have a roster spot, make the claim right now.
Kevin Smith, RB DET (68%): Smith re-injured his ankle on Sunday night, and that will be an issue for him going forward. But it also might scare some owners off. If you have room, make the add. The Lions get Minnesota, Oakland and San Diego during the fantasy playoffs, all of whom rank in the top half of the RB points allowed list, per the Matchup Tool.
Dexter McCluster, RB/WR KAN (36%): McCluster finally showed his value vs. Chicago, but the matchups going forward aren’t spectacular. Still, you ought to give him a thought, given how widely available he is, especially if you’re suffering from a case of the Matt Forte/Darren McFadden injury blues.
Marion Barber, RB CHI (36%): After Matt Forte suffered his season-threatening injury, Barber became the obvious add. While the once-great TD beast is a mere shadow of his former greatness, it’s hard to bet against him scoring at least a couple times over the next few weeks with starter’s reps. Beware his matchups though, which aren’t great.
Santana Moss, WR WAS (59%): Moss was dropped by many, and for good reason, after suffering his multi-week hand injury. But now he gets New England this week, and Minnesota in two weeks. Don’t forget the old fella started the year with four straight double-digit PPR games prior to the injury, so he could still be a sneaky add.
Lance Moore, WR NOR (67%): Moore has scored double digit PPR points in four of his last five games, and has scored six TDs in his last six games. He’s hit or miss, given the Saints’ ball-spreading tendencies (giggity), but you could probably do worse. New Orleans has scored 106 points over its last four games, so the points are there.
Nate Burleson, WR DET (39%): I’ve literally never seen a WR get called for two straight offensive interferences, let alone three in a game. But aside from that Burleson was as great Sunday night as he always is. He’s gone for double-digits in four straight now and looks like the third option in a very WR-friendly passing offense. With MIN, OAK, SDG and GNB (if you play week 17) he’s a great add from here on out.
Andy Dalton, QB CIN (54%): You don’t really want Dalton, coming off of an injury, against a brutal Houston defense. But you could use him in the following two weeks vs. ARI and STL.
Matt Moore, QB MIA (18%): Moore has quietly become better than you think, and he gets a dream playoff sched, playing Buffalo and New England in weeks 15-16.
SEA DST (20%): Seattle is hit or miss. They’ll give you a solid game, or completely screw you with negative points. Luckily, this week they get the Rams, who are giving up the 2nd-most fps to opposing fantasy defenses. It’s a home game for the ‘Hawks too, and next week they get the Hanie-less/Forte-less Bears.
Get ‘Em in Your Lineup
Here’s an abbreviated start rec list. Do with it what you will.
Ryan Fitzpatrick @ SDG: Fitzpatrick has yet to reach his early season success rates. The Bolts, 7th-worst vs. QBs, could help with that.
Alex Smith @ ARI: The Cards have improved vs. the pass, allowing single-digits to QBs in three of their last five. However those were two games vs. STL and one vs. a banged-up Mike Vick.
Marshawn Lynch vs. SEA: Lynch should really be an automatic start right now. But if you’re like me, there’s a little piece of you that wants to bench him because you honestly believe he’ll give you one of those classic “Lynch games.” You know the ones…where he runs 11 times for four yards and fumbles. Right. Those games. But apparently those games are behind Beast Mode. He’s scored 16.9 fps or more in five straight, has rushed for a TD in eight straight and has 100 or more rushing yards in four of his last five. Oh yeah, this week he gets the league’s fourth-easiest opponent for opposing RBs. Get him in.
C.J. Spiller @ SDG: If you’re noticing a theme that I’m down on San Diego, you’re wrong. It’s not a theme. They just suck. Mo Jo Drew’s numbers on MNF were his best of the year. No reason Spiller, coming off of a huge game, can’t put up career highs too.
Anquan Boldin vs. IND: A date with Indy is enough to turn anyone’s fantasy season around, and Boldin’s hasn’t been that bad.
BAL DST vs. IND: Speaking of…
Bench Those Suckers
Self explained. Bench the following suckers.
Joe Flacco vs. IND: So what gives? BAL DST and Boldin, why not Flacco. He’s terrible. He gets sacked a lot. Freeney and Mathis should get after him, when he’s not casually handing the ball to Ray Rice, who will easily waltz through gigantic holes.
Beanie Wells vs. SFO: The last time Wells saw the ‘niners he did nothing. Expect another no-show. San Fran ranks among the league’s toughest run Ds, and is the worst matchup for opposing RBs for fantasy.
CIN vs. HOU: Spin your “Yates is a rookie” hate however you want, the Texans are going to run all over Cincy, who just got their asses handed to them by Pittsburgh and provided nothing for fantasy owners.