If you are still reading this column it’s likely you are
in your league’s playoffs – congratulations. Now is
not the time to relax, since it’s a one-and-done situation.
Playoff waivers are still important, whether you need a player
for your lineup or blocking your opponent. Early weather forecasts
show no precipitation, though it’s going to be below freezing
in Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
Marshawn Lynch has scored 4 TDs in his
last four games and should find success this week against
“Let the people know the truth and the country is safe.”
- Abraham Lincoln
1) Russell Wilson has the statistics
to back up a claim as 2017 MVP.
He leads all active quarterbacks with 27.3 FPts/G (Only Deshaun
Watson, who is out for the season, posted a higher number).
He leads all quarterbacks in combined passing and rushing yards
(3,688 yards). Heís tied for the lead in combined passing and
rushing touchdowns (29). Heís been responsible for 29 of his teamís
33 total touchdowns (87.9%). He must be playing with a sore back
from carrying 52 guys for three months.
2) Since throwing five INTs in Week 5 Ben
Roethlisberger has averaged 25.0 FPts/G.
Since saying "Maybe I don't have it anymore" after
a disastrous game against Jacksonville, Big Ben has righted the
ship. The home/away splits are still wide (29.0/20.6), but the
next two games are scheduled for Heinz Field (Baltimore, New England)
and in Week 16 he has a favorable matchup in Houston.
3) Donít look now but Marshawn Lynch is
playing like a top-five running back.
Since his return from a one-game suspension, itís a fact. Lynch
has averaged 15.3 FPts/G behind only Alvin
Kamara (24.0), Mark
Ingram (16.5), and
LeíVeon Bell (16.0) and tied with Ezekiel
Elliott. Lynch has a couple of decent matchups before the
fantasy championship in Week 16 when he would have an unfavorable
matchup in Philadelphia.
4) Todd Gurley struggles again top-five
run defenses, which makes him a poor play this Sunday, against
True. Gurley beats up on weaker defenses (as he should), averaging
more than double his average against top-five run defenses. Heís
posted 10.1 FPts/G in three meeting against the top-five and 20.7
points against the rest of the league. Heíll face the Eagles
in Week 14, who rank second in RB fantasy points allowed, behind
5) Big name running backs are short on
ďHe who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it
much easier to do it a second and a third time till at length
it becomes habitual.Ē - Thomas Jefferson
1) If Aaron Rodgers returns for the
final two weeks of the fantasy playoffs, the title is mine.
Maybe, but IF Rodgers returns he doesnít have an easy schedule.
He faces Carolina, ranked ninth in QB fantasy points allowed (18.3
FPts/G) and Minnesota ranked third (16.9). Hey, if you have been
getting by using a makeshift lineup with the likes of Jacoby Brissett,
Brett Hundley and Jimmy Garoppolo then Rodgers is certainly a
step up, but donít expect elite totals in two tough matchups.
3) I noted back in Week 11, ďunless Ben
Roethlisberger decides to force the ball to No. 84 through double
coverage, Brownís totals could continue to be pedestrian.Ē
I was wrong, really wrong. Roethlisberger has thrown to Brown
more over the past three weeks (13.3 targets per game versus 9.25
the previous four games) but it doesnít seemed forced and
Brown has shown why heís the best receiver in football posting
414 yards and six scores over that span (25.8 FPts/G). Iím
sorry for doubting you Antonio.
4) ďGang Green's tandem of running backs
(Matt Forte and Bilal Powell) will be utilized plenty,Ē said writer
Surprisingly, itís been the passing game that has led the Jets
to better-than-expected production. Forte has managed just 325
yards rushing and Powell 502 yards and they have combined for
five rushing touchdowns. Thatís better than the Seattle backfield,
but it certainly isnít the reason the Jets are 5-7 and averaging
22.2 PPG. Josh
McCown has thrown for 2,880 yards, 18 touchdowns against just
eight interceptions and, even more surprisingly, has stayed healthy.
Anderson (49-821-7) and Jermaine
Kearse (51-677-5) have been viable WR2 options at wideout.
5) JuJu Smith-Schuster is appealing his
one-game suspension for the hit on Vontaze Burfict Monday night.
It is not really fantasy related but Ö Are you kidding me? Does
he really think he did nothing wrong? Iím tired of bad sportsmanship
ruining many of my sporting events. The hit was bad enough, but
at least thatís part of the game, the standing over Burfict (not
my favorite person by the way) and taunting him is unacceptable.
Iím not happy to lose Smith-Schuster from my lineup for a week,
but he deserves the suspension. Deal with the consequences like
a man and learn from it. You too, Mr. Gronkowski.
Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.