It’s time. Playoff time! This is what we’ve all been striving for all year long. Congratulations to everyone who made the playoffs. Congratulations to everyone who is still playing in consolation rounds and toilet bowls.
Shame on the managers who stopped setting their lineups week 9 because Covid, injuries, and everyone else in the league conspired against them. Don’t be surprised when your league doesn’t invite you back next year.
If you’re playoff bound though, you’re going to need players. Preferably good players, on a roll, trending in the right direction. You’ll also want to avoid bad players, on a slide, trending in the wrong direction. Below are some of each. Hopefully you have the good ones and not the bad ones but either way good luck to all. Now go out and get those championships!
Let’s get to the Noise!
Travis Kelce – Kelce has been a model of consistence all year with only 1 game under double digit fantasy points. Four of his last five have been 24.9 points or more. The difference between Kelce and every other tight end is huge and if you have him you’re at a significant advantage at TE. It doesn’t matter who they play, Kelce in the Chiefs offense sets your teams up for success.
Darren Waller – I just wrote about Travis Kelce being in a tier of his own when it comes to tight end. If that’s the case, then Waller would be at the top of tier 2. His numbers aren’t too far behind Kelce’s but Kelce’s receiving yards and consistency is what separates them. Waller is averaging almost 9 targets a game though and is coming off his best game of the year with 13 catches 200 yards and 2 TDs. If you don’t have Kelce, Waller is a nice option to fall back on.
Dalvin Cook – Cook is a fantasy managers dream, volume and scoring. He’s scored 14 times in 11 games and has over 30 touches in 4 of the last 6 games. He’s 2nd in rushing yards, 1st in rushing yards a game, 1st in rushing TDs, and 2nd in fantasy scoring among RBs at 25.0 points a game. If you have Cook, you have to like your chances.
Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers is putting up ridiculous numbers. He already has 10 more passing TDs than he did in all of 2019. He’s averaging over 30 more passing yards a game and is averaging 3 TD passes a game compared to 1.6 a game in 2019. He’s averaging 23.6 fantasy points a game, good for 5th among QBs, compared to 17.4 fantasy points in 2019. Roll into your playoffs with Rodgers as he also has a favorable playoff schedule in weeks 14-16 against the Lions, Panthers, and Titans.
Carson Wentz – Wentz has been flat out bad. He leads the league in interceptions with 15. He’s 31st in completion percentage at 58.1%, 30th in yards per pass attempt, and 18th in passing yards at 2,541. He’s 24th in fantasy points per game at QB at 16.5 points a game and if it wasn’t for his 5 rushing TDs that number would be worse too.
Now he’s been benched for rookie Jalen Hurts. If you have Wentz you’ve likely moved on from him long ago and if you’ve made the playoffs congratulations on your perseverance.
Todd Gurley II – Of course Gurley II is battling knee issues but he’s also been out snapped by Ito Smith and Brian Hill respectively in the last 2 games that he’s played. Gurley II had received double digit rushing attempts in every game this year until the last 2 that he's played and in those games he’s scored 3.9 and 3.0 fantasy points. Gurley II is TD dependent and the Falcons have struggled to score in the last 2 games with only 1 TD. If you have to play Gurley II then you’re going to be nervous.
Jakobi Meyers – Meyers was a hot waiver wire pick up just a few weeks ago and immediately returned results. The last few games though have been a different story as he’s averaged under 7 fantasy points a game in the last 3. This may be more an indictment against Cam Newton than it is Meyers though. Newton has failed to reach 100 yards passing in the last 2 games and only has 5 TD passes on the year. Being a number 1 receiver on a team that barely scores through the air and throws so little is a bad combination. What was a hot pick up has probably turned into a sad sit for your playoff run.
Kareem Hunt – Cleveland may be on a roll, winners of 4 in a row, but Hunt is not. He’s failed to reach double digit fantasy points 3 games in a row. He’s received double digit rushing attempts in each of those games but is only averaging 3.1 yards a carry.
Nick Chubb on the other hand has been dominate during that same stretch averaging 5.9 yards a carry and having no less than 100 yards total in each of the three games.
Because the Browns are such a run heavy team and because of his involvement in the passing game, Hunt will have his chances but this stretch will certainly give fantasy managers pause.
Week 13 rookie RBs Cam Akers, J.K. Dobbins, and Jonathan Taylor all led their team in RB carries and snaps . . . . Most rushes inside the 5: E. Elliott 18, D. Cook 16, C. Newton 15 . . . . Most 20+ yard rushes: Nick Chubb 11, Derrick Henry 8, Gus Edwards 7 . . . . Most 20+ yard receptions: Justin Jefferson 19, Travis Kelce 18, Tyreek Hill 17 . . . . Most Defensive/Special teams TDs: Colts with 5 (3 int. returns, 1 Kick return, 1 blocked punt return) . . . . Jordan Howard is back in Philly to eat into Miles Sanders production . . . . Ty Johnson 22 carries 104 yards 1 TD, 2 catches 13 yards . . . . Diontae Johnson has double digit targets in 6 of the last 7 games.