Guys, we’re getting close.
This is the final stretch.
For most fantasy football leagues, the playoffs start next week. This gives you one last chance to make a playoff push.
The stakes are high, meaning every move is critical. I hope you didn’t start Kirk Cousins or any Washington Redskins Thursday night. Because I did and I’m not happy about it. With a few poor performances from players who are often reliable could be the difference between making and missing the playoffs.
If you’re sitting pretty heading into the postseason and looking to improve the bottom of your roster, here are a few names to keep in mind this weekend: Jameis Wintson, Jimmy Garoppolo, James White, Josh Gordon and O.J. Howard.
Winston provides massive upside. Next to Gordon, he’s probably the biggest name out in the free-agent pool right now.
Garoppolo provides a favorable schedule until Week 16 when he faces Sacksonville.
Even with White’s recent drop in production, he’s still worth a stash.
Gordon has a huge ceiling. Would you be surprised if he was a top-20 wide receiver this weekend? Because I wouldn’t.
As a Cameron Brate owner, Howard’s production annoys me. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues.
Must have: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
After torching the Dallas Cowboys a week ago, expect more of the same for Rivers against the Cleveland Browns. He’s a solid QB1.
Pass: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Stafford is banged up and on the road against the Baltimore Ravens, the league’s second-best defense against quarterbacks. I’m looking elsewhere in everything but extremely deep leagues.
Worth a shot: Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
Sure, the New England Patriots defense has been much better as of late, but Taylor’s floor as a runner makes him an intriguing start. Even without Kelvin Benjamin, Taylor is a borderline QB1.
Must have: Dion Lewis, New England Patriots
Lewis has slowly but surely regained the role as top back in the New England offense. The Bills rank 30th against the run. While they were able to shut down Kareem Hunt last week, stopping the run has been a huge problem.
Pass: Bilal Powell, New York Jets
The Jets have made it clear that they want to give Powell, Matt Forte and Elijah McGuire all touches. You don’t like that as a fantasy owner. The Chiefs just put the clamps down on LeSean McCoy a week ago. Powell is by no means a must-start.
Worth a shot: Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rodgers could have been a “must have” running back this week if it wasn’t for the uncertainty in the Tampa Bay backfield. Without Doug Martin, Peyton Barber and Charles Sims both factor to get touches along with Rodgers. We just don’t know. He’s still a worthy flex option.
Must have: Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
This feels wierd, but I think Nelson could have a rather good week. Ever since Aaron Rodgers went down, Nelson has vanished. Against a really bad Tampa Bay defense, this could be a breakout week.
Pass: DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins
Parker is no longer a must-start, and I’m staying away with a matchup against the Denver Broncos.
Worth a shot: Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans
One more time. Davis hasn’t done much yet. Actually, most of this offense hasn’t. A matchup against the Houston Texans could change that.
Must have: Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders
Not only is Cook facing a bad defense against the tight ends in the New York Giants, but the Raiders are without Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. He’s a borderline top-five tight end.
Pass: Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals
Kroft has been a nice play this season, but in a matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, I’m shying away.
Worth a shot: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, New York Jets
Seferian-Jenkins will get his looks in the red zone. That’s all you can ask for in a borderline top-10 tight end.