If you’ve made it this far, take a minute to pat yourself on the back. You are one of the few teams still alive and competing to win your league championship! That is a great accomplishment in and of itself, however, enough of that because making the playoffs is only the first step towards winning it all!
I have to start with Josh Gordon this week. You may be surprised to see that he is a WR1 for me this week. Hue Jackson and the Browns stuck true to their word and got Gordon involved early and often. He was targeted a team-high 11 times, while no other Browns player had more than six targets. Corey Coleman was not targeted at all. The Packers have allowed the fourth-most FPPG to WRs this season. Heavy volume and a great matchup should lead to a big week. And for what it is worth, I had a dream this week that Gordon went off! Yeah, I am crazy.
We are in the playoffs now, and you do not want to go down simply because you trusted a big name. At this point, you would rather win with Case Keenum, than lose with Drew Brees. The reason I bring this up is that there are several big name QBs you can bench this week. Brees has finished among the Top-12 quarterbacks just four times this season, and outside the Top-20 in three of the past four weeks.
Matt Ryan is another name you should bench this week. He has been a Top-12 QB just three times this season, and since Week 10 his best finish is QB15. Kirk Cousins has had two good matchups the past two weeks but his awful offensive line has dragged down his value. This week, he gets a Chargers defense that has not allowed multiple passing TDs since Eli Manning in Week 5.
The Jaguars have been the best defense against QBs all season. They will be put to the test this week against Russell Wilson, who has finished as a Top-5 QB in all but one week since Week 7. I downgraded him from the Top-2 QB slot due to the matchup, but I still have to fire him up this week. He has been that good.
Jamaal Williams is finally living up to preseason expectations. Over the past four games, he is averaging 20 carries, 75.8 rushing yards, 2.75 rec, and 31 rec yards. He has scored three touchdowns in that span. The Browns have allowed the 12th most FPPG to RBs over the past month. The matchup and workload make him an RB1 this week.
Rex Burkhead is the man in New England right now. Last week, Burkhead three of his four red zone carries and one target inside the 10-yard line. Compare that to just one carry inside the red zone and nothing inside the 10-yard line for Dion Lewis.
Leonard Fournette is a tough call this week. Perhaps I am too low on him since he’s had at least 15 touches in every game this season. In fact, he has had less than 20 touches in just three games this year. However, his efficiency has taken a hit since he’s been dealing with this ankle injury. He’s averaged less than three yards-per-carry in three of the past four games. Since Week 4, the Seahawks have not allowed more than 75 rushing yards to a running back in any game. While the volume and the chance at a touchdown give Fournette a safe floor, he will be outside my Top-12 this week. I have been debating where to put him, though.
Eli Manning is back under center for the Giants this week. I am in on Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram, who were both peppered with targets from Manning. However, if you are diving deep at quarterback, I do not hate Eli Manning this week. The last two games in which he played with both Shepard and Engram in there, he threw for multiple scores in each.
- The Lions have allowed four touchdowns to tight ends over the past three weeks. Cameron Brate had just two catches last week, but both went for TDs. He’s back in the Top-5 at the position.
- Last week, Alex Collins had his first game with multiple carries inside the 10-yard line this season. He converted both for touchdowns.
- In his first game with Jimmy Garoppolo, Marquise Goodwin caught all eight of his targets for 99 yards. It’s also worth noting that Trent Taylor caught all six of his targets for 92 yards.
- Kyle Rudolph has had at least five receptions or a touchdown in eight straight games. Has no fewer than four catches in any game during that span.
- The Panthers have allowed four touchdowns to running backs over the past month, three of which came inside the red zone, with two inside the five-yard line. Latavius Murray has seen three or more red zone carries in four straight games and has had a carry inside the 10 in five straight, and multiple carries inside the 10 in three of the last four.
- Duke Johnson faces the Packers defense, which has allowed the fifth-most receptions (72) to RBs this season and the most (33) over the past month.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.
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