With the majority of fantasy trade deadlines getting ready to close, we would like to point out some names that might be worth looking at or possibly making a trade offer for as we check into the ever so important fantasy playoffs. Here are some possible playoff studs as we look ahead to the matchups on paper.
Quarterbacks to Watch
Reflecting on everything we’ve seen so far this season and looking ahead, Philip Rivers might have the greatest playoff matchups the fantasy world has to offer. Week 14, the Chargers travel across country to play the Carolina Panthers, who have surrendered an average of 19 fantasy per game to opposing quarterbacks. In Week 15, Rivers faces off against Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders who haven’t been able to slow any opposing quarterback. Finally, they travel to Cleveland to face the Browns — which doesn’t need any explanation.
Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers might have the most interesting matchups heading into playoff time. Tampa Bay saved both of their divisional showdowns against New Orleans for Weeks 14 and 16, and with the way things are going so far this year, both of these games could be must wins for both teams and could result in fantasy shootouts. The duo of Winston and Mike Evans has pretty much been proven to be unstoppable so far this season.
Running Backs to Watch
Lamar Miller has been a solid fantasy option this year but hasn’t lived up to the predictions us and everyone else expected from him coming into the season. However, if we check his key matchups during the fantasy playoffs, Lamar Miller owners could be in for a pleasant surprise. The Texans have back to back AFC South rivals in Weeks 14 and 15 vs the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars. Miller already destroyed the Colts hapless defense in Week 6, when he exploded for 178 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Texans then wrap up the fantasy season with the Cincinnati Bengals — who have given up 5 touchdowns to opposing running backs in the last four weeks.
What do Kansas City, San Diego, and Indianapolis all have in common? All three of them give up more than 20 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, and also, they face off against Latavius Murray during the fantasy football playoffs. As we saw against the Broncos, Murray is an incredible back when he’s healthy and is arguably running behind the best offensive line in football — who have only allowed only 11 sacks so far this year. Murray could easily lead a team to the championship if he continues to perform like he did on Monday Night.
Running Back to Sell
We all know Dion Lewis will take over for James White when he’s healthy, and with reports that he’s getting closer and closer to returning, that could mean the end of James White’s production. Now is the time to try to trade him off for some bench depth that could truly help you in the heart of the playoffs.
It’s clear that Seattle doesn’t want to lean on Christine Michael, as the Seahawks have stated Thomas Rawls is the back that they like in the future. Sadly, Michael saw 5 carries last week in Seattle’s victory and hasn’t been much of a consistent option as of late, due to the fact he’s very touchdown dependent. If you could move Michael for a legit flex option or even a RB2, move him now.
Running backs to Stash
Touching back on what we said about James White, Dion Lewis is getting healthier and once he’s back on the field, he’ll be a huge fantasy producer during playoff time. If you have a bench slot, Lewis is available in 57% of Yahoo leagues and last year he averaged over 5 receptions per game.
Just like Dion Lewis, James Starks has continued to rehab after his knee surgery and is heading in the right direction. As a whole, we saw how great Starks was filling in for fat Eddie Lacy last season, and is capable of carrying the load. There couldn’t be a more perfect time to stash Starks due to the fact that Green Bay has no clear running back, so when James returns, he should see the majority of the carries. Also, he’s available in 80% of Yahoo leagues so if you’re in a good position for the playoffs, he should be stashed.
Wide Receivers to Watch
In the four games this season that we can truly say Stefon Diggs was healthy, he’s averaged 23.25 in full PPR leagues. As long as his groin doesn’t act up, playoff time could be the perfect opportunity for Diggs to continue to shine. In Week 14, the sophomore receiver has a matchup against Jacksonville, who as of now, is allowing 1.4 touchdowns per game to wide receivers. They play Indianapolis in Week 15, who haven’t been able to stop anyone yet this season and then Green Bay in Week 16, which could be a huge must-win divisional game on both sides. Also, we can’t forget what Diggs did to the Packers earlier this year, when he had 9 receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown.
Yes, I understand that Brandon Marshall has been nothing to desire this season with the disaster that is his quarterback situation. But looking forward to his matchups, it could be the perfect time to stash or buy-low on him. During the fantasy playoffs, Marshall has a matchup against a 49ers secondary that has surrendered at least two touchdowns per game to opposing wide receivers since Week 4, then they have a home game against the Miami Dolphins, which could be a huge divisional game. We all know how good Marshall can be, and with those matchups, he could possibly put your fantasy team on his back those weeks.
Wide Receivers to Sell
Marvin Jones Jr.
It’s clear while watching the Detroit Lions that Marvin Jones isn’t Matthew Stafford‘s favorite target anymore. Jones has seen just 23 targets in the last four games, compared to Golden Tate, who has seen 43 targets in that same span! We’re sure people have been paying attention to this so you’re not going to get back a WR1 or WR2, but Jones is still someone you could add with another player to make your deal a little sweeter and strengthen your flex options heading into the playoffs.
Mike Wallace has looked like the Wallace of old that we knew from the Pittsburgh days, but his playoff matchups, and inconsistency from Joe Flacco, make him a perfect ‘sell’ option moving forward. Two away games in Weeks 14 and 16 against a solid New England defense and a rival in Pittsburgh make it tough to predict consistency for Wallace. Not to mention a game against the a tough Eagles‘ secondary sandwiched in-between.
Tight ends to Watch
Jason Witten has a couple outstanding fantasy matchups throughout the playoffs as well. First up in Weeks 14 and 15, Witten has a matchups against the Giants secondary, as well as the terrible Buccaneers who are both allowing on average of 12 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. However, if you’re lucky enough to make it to your championship game, Witten faces off with a Lions team that has allowed a touchdown to opposing tight ends in all but two games this season.
At the moment, Fiedorowicz is fourth in fantasy points per game among tight ends since Week 4 and has been rolling as a fantasy option as of late. His playoff matchups are so favorable that they could transform him into a legit TE1 by the end of the year. Houston is facing off against the Colts and the Jaguars, who let up their fair share to tight ends. Then, he finishes the season against the Bengals, who are coughing up an average of 16 fantasy points per game to tight ends. Fiedorowicz is availbe in 88% of Yahoo leagues and he should be rostered for the stretch run.