Fantasy Attack: Wild Card Weekend
Thought the season was over? NOPE!
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There was a time when Fantasy Football came to an end at the same time as the regular season. That insanity ended a long time ago. Now we’ve got weekly games, best ball challenges, playoff challenges & all kinds of ways to keep the fantasy fun going.
Each playoff week, I’ll give you the top four quarterbacks, running backs & wide receiver/tight ends to get in your lineup. DRAFT combines WRs & TEs, which has been a godsend this season. Let’s be honest…it’s looking like a low-scoring week. The Chiefs, Patriots, Saints & Rams don’t show up until next week. Wild Card Weekend is full of pesky defensive teams looking to keep scoring low. It’ll be extra important to make the right call, as there won’t be many points to go around.
- Andrew Luck: None of these road quarterbacks have enviable wild card matchups. Philip Rivers didn’t do so hot the last time he went against Baltimore. Russell Wilson was ok last time against Dallas but not tremendous. Nick Foles is hot at the right time, but do we really trust anybody against THE CHICAGO BEARS DEFENSE? The Texans have a good defense, but Luck seems to carve them up just like they’re anybody else. He threw for 464 yards & four touchdowns on them back in Week 4, and followed that up with 399 yards, two touchdowns & one interception in Houston in Week 14. You’ll take that sort of production every single week.
If the Colts win they’ll move on to face either Kansas City or New England. Luck should have no problem lighting either of those teams up & getting plenty of points. He’ll probably be done after that, but he’ll have gotten your fantasy playoff team off to a good start. If you’re doing a Best Ball or other playoff challenge, Luck should definitely be on your radar.
- Deshaun Watson: We’re going right back to that Indy vs. Houston game for good reason. Watson had a tremendous showing in Week 4 as well, with 375 yards, two touchdowns & an interception. Week 14 wasn’t much to write home about, with 267 yards & a touchdown. You have to worry a bit about Watson’s health as well, as he’s taken more sacks than any QB since 2006 this season. He could put up some numbers, but you can’t have the same faith in him that you would in Luck.
- Mitchell Trubisky: Trubisky has had some great games this season, but the jury’s still out on him as a regular fantasy contributor. The status of his WR corps doesn’t help, as both Anthony Miller & Allen Robinson are dealing with injuries. The one thing I like about this matchup is the Eagles secondary, which can be prone to giving up big points. Nobody in this round will have a better matchup to work against, and maybe the Bears make up for the lack of WR health by having the RBs catch some passes.
- Lamar Jackson: The thing I like about Lamar is that he has a pretty high floor. His ability to rush the ball whenever & wherever keeps him relevant even if teams shut down the Ravens’ passing game. He hasn’t gone lower than 16 points since getting the starting gig. His high so far is 26, and I don’t see him going over that in the playoffs, but he isn’t going to kill you with a dud like some of these QBs out here will. We’ve seen the likes of Philip Rivers & Russell Wilson, and even Drew Brees, sink teams with stinkers this year. Jackson at least won’t do that. That’s why he’d be a solid #2 QB in the Best Ball format.
- Jordan Howard: There were long periods of time this season where Howard was completely irrelevant. Not over the last four weeks…he scored at least one touchdown over each of the last three games and went over 100 yards in Week 14. He single-handedly carried the Bears’ offense against a tough Vikings defense, and one expects him to do something similar against the Eagles. A Divisional matchup against the Rams would work out pretty well for Howard, as he went over 100 yards in that previously mentioned Week 14 game.
- Ezekiel Elliott: If the Cowboys put up some points on Seattle this week it’ll largely be because of Elliott. He went for 127 yards in Seattle in Week 3. He got double digits in points every game after Dallas’ Week 8 bye, and you can expect the same this week. The biggest advantage for Zeke: no competition in the backfield. Most of these other teams have multiple running backs doing things, but not the Cowboys.
- Gus Edwards: Once Gus got the chance to start running the ball in Baltimore, he wouldn’t stop. It’s a little bit of a fluid situation in Baltimore, as pretty much everybody except the linemen gets to carry the ball. In Week 17, Kenneth Dixon took a pretty big bite out of Edwards’ workload. That may continue this week, but whoever gets the carries will get the points.
- Tarik Cohen: Cohen’s been pretty quiet lately, but should benefit from the passing situation for Chicago. With the WR corps beat up, Cohen should take advantage and get a good number of catches. I’m not sure I like him at where DRAFT has him getting drafted, but there should be enough RB points to go around in Chicago.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
- DeAndre Hopkins: Hopkins is the highest scoring WR this season appearing this week by a pretty good margin. Top 5 in most categories. Dude is a stud and showed it in his first meeting with Indianapolis this season when he got 169 yards and a touchdown. The second meeting didn’t go so well, as he only got 36 yards, but even then he managed to salvage his fantasy day with a touchdown. Hopkins will need to find the end zone if the the Texans want to move past the first round.
- T.Y. Hilton: If the Colts want to move on, Hilton will be a major part of it. Everybody struggled in that Week 14 game except T.Y., who went off for 199 yards in nine catches. Week 4 saw Hilton get 115 yards in four catches. There is an ankle injury to worry about, and he only got two catches in Week 17. The good news is he accumulated 61 yards with those two catches.
- Doug Baldwin: Call this one more of a hunch than anything else. Most WRs are looking at tough matchups this week, including Baldwin. Doug’s 2018 was one to forget, but he did have his two biggest games of the year in Week 15 & 16. He & Russell Wilson have been together for years & have great chemistry. If Wilson can pull his Hall of Famer act in Dallas, Baldwin will most likely be the beneficiary.
- Zach Ertz: Fortunately for DRAFT players, tight ends are lumped in with wide receivers. The TE position has been so abysmal this year that the more people can avoid it, the better. If you insist on trotting one out there, or have to for some other site, Ertz is pretty much the only choice. Even if it is THE CHICAGO BEARS DEFENSE…I mean, George Kittle did get 74 yards against them in Week 16. Elite TEs have a chance, and Ertz is as close to one as you’ll see this week.