By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
“Playoffs, you want to talk about… Playoffs?”
‘Tis the season everyone! The fantasy playoffs are here! For most of us anyway. You’ve made it this far, so why stop now? Go and win your league, damn it! With my help of course.
Below are my Confidence Plays for Week 14. To refresh what this column is, these are my confidence plays in a Start/Play/Bench format. “Start” represents your studs and number twos that will overachieve. Get them in your lineup, stat! “Play” represents some bench or FLEX plays that should outperform their draft position based on matchup. “Bench” presents your studs that you should temper expectations for or FLEX plays you should swap out with a bench player. And really, it’s based off my rankings. Check them out and use them as a guide!
QB Russell Wilson, WR Doug Baldwin & TE Jimmy Graham (SEA) – You know what the Packers are bad at? Pass defense. They allow the 12th most fantasy points to WRs and are last in the league in DVOA to #1 WRs. They’re also 31st in DVOA to #2 WRs and 26th against other WRs. Graham lines up as a WR most of the time, so give me some Seahawks this week.
QB Matt Ryan & WR Julio Jones (ATL) – The statistics tell me that both Ryan and Jones should be downgraded some. The Rams have been rather steady on defense this year. Call it a gut feeling, but after both struggled some last week, I think they explode this week.
RB LeSean McCoy (BUF) – The Steelers play good pass defense, but they allow the 5th most fantasy points to RBs. Buffalo has the #1 rushing attack in the NFL. And Shady is as hot as any RB in the NFL at the moment. Pay up for him in Daily too.
RB DeMarco Murray (TEN) – Denver will swallow up a team’s passing game. Then they leave the faucet on against the run. As great as Marcus Mariota has been throwing the ball this season, the Titans are still a run first team. Coming off a bye, Murray will be fresh for the stretch run and he whets his appetite this week against the Broncos rush defense that allows the 11th most fantasy points to RBs.
TE Travis Kelce (KC) – I mean, how can you not start him right now? Three straight 100 yard games and he gets a Raiders team that allows the 13th most fantasy points to TEs. And that’s actually an improvement over last year.
QB Matthew Stafford & WR Golden Tate (DET) – I dogged Stafford for his mediocre fantasy performances over the last 5 weeks recently. What I forgot was that he is actually a great quarterback. The Lions get the Bears this week, and while the Bears have actually played good defense of late, Stafford will need to continue his outstanding play and continue feeding Golden Tate to keep the Lions in 1st place in the NFC North.
QB Phillip Rivers & WR Tyrell Williams (SD) – Without Josh Norman, the Panthers secondary has been a shell of their former self. Meanwhile, Rivers has found Williams for a TD in 4 straight weeks. I’m seeing a 5 spot in their future.
QB Andy Dalton & RB Jeremy Hill (CIN) – Double digit points the last two weeks for Hill, and now he faces the Browns. Dalton carved up the Eagles last week to remind us he can still sling it, and now he faces the Browns. Easy call this week.
RB Todd Gurley & WR Kenny Britt (LA) – The Falcons will likely destroy the Rams. But Gurley should be able to exploit the Falcons rush defense that allows the 2nd most fantasy points to RBs. The Falcons also allow the 8th most fantasy points to WRs and Jared Goff feeds Britt because he has no one else to throw it to. If not now, then when, right?
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (HOU) – He’s been on a tear lately, with 16 catches for 168 yards in the last 3 weeks. Now he gets the Colts who allow the 8th most fantasy points to TEs. With Brock Osweiler averaging less than 7 yards a pass, he’s looking underneath and that’s where Fiedorowicz lives.
Vikings D/ST (MIN) – They’re on the road, Harrison Smith is out, and lately they’re more up and down than the Dow Jones. But they get turnover machine Blake Bortles this week so I’m expecting them to score double digits and possibly go for a 20 spot.
QB Marcus Mariota (TEN) – He faces Denver’s top ranked pass defense. Pass.
QB Dak Prescott (DAL) – He struggled last week and in his first start, against the same Giants he faces this week. The Cowboys great line can hold him up, but if the Vikings and the Eagles showed in previous weeks, the way to rattle Dak is to blitz him. The Giants get pressure and Landon Collins plays great in the box. I’m not holding my breath this week.
RB LeGarrette Blount (NE) – The Ravens play outstanding defense. And if the Patriots are Superman, the Ravens are Kryptonite. Brady will have to beat them through the air, and I like Dion Lewis more in this game as he continues to work his way back from the knee injury.
WR T.Y. Hilton (IND) – Now really, you’re not benching him, per se. And after exploding for 146 yards last week, it’d be hard to justify it in the opening round of the playoffs. But Houston plays outstanding pass defense. What I’m really saying is, temper expectations because he’s not scoring over 20 this week.