If you owned Jeremy Hill this year, you probably aren’t too thrilled with him. (Image via Keith Allison)
By now, fantasy football playoffs should have started for all leagues and if you’re lucky enough to have earned a spot, congratulations. Now prepare to be stressed for 12 straight hours on Sunday as any big play could be the difference between winning money or walking home empty-handed. Isn’t this fun!? I did fairly well in my recommendations last week (despite Stevie Johnson, sorry Craig) and most guys I suggested wound up finding the end zone. So gold star for this guy. But we’ve got a bunch of new questions on tap today, so let’s see if I can keep this going. TO THE TWITTER FEED!
First of all, we’re tossing Melvin Gordon right in the dumpster. He fumbled twice last week and found himself benched, plus the Chargers can’t run the ball anyway. Darren Sproles and James White are scat back crapshoots; I wouldn’t recommend either unless it’s PPR and even then, you’re rolling the dice. Ignore the big games from both last week, they’ve been up and down so much it’s hard to trust either of them. Spencer Ware only got 17 snaps last week with Charcandrick West returning, so he’s also a risky play. And then you’ve got the Broncos’ timeshare of CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman, who both missed practice yesterday. Blah. I’d check on the status of Hillman today (Anderson only got 11 snaps last week) and if he practices, go ahead and start him. If not, flip a coin between Sproles and Ware and hope for a score.
Jeremy Hill has been a major disappointment this year despite nine total touchdowns. He’s gotten 42 more carries than Giovani Bernard, yet Bernard leads the Bengals in rushing and averages a yard and half more per carry. Hill’s had six weeks where he scored seven or fewer fantasy points and went five straight weeks without a rushing touchdown. And he’s only caught nine passes on the season. Not what you’re hoping for from a top 10 running back. He’s put together double-digit points in three straight weeks now, which of course only makes it worse if you’re out of the playoffs. Kind of a dick move there, Jeremy.
Hey look, it’s Jeremy Hill again. Despite trashing him in the previous paragraph, I think Hill is the choice over Sanders here. Hill’s still on the field more than Giovani Bernard (which is dumb) and gets the goal line carries. The Bengals take on the Steelers this week and I think we’re going to see some offensive fireworks in that game. Sanders certainly doesn’t have the chemistry with Brock Osweiler that he did with Peyton Manning and he’s too risky coming off a three catch, 19-yard outing. You’ve survived this long with Hill, let’s roll with him one more time.
Greg’s going to owe me 10% of his winnings at this rate. Just kidding, Greg (unless you feel 15% is more fair). Anyway, Matt Cassell’s existence as Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback sort of negates the awesomeness of Dez. Bryant still hasn’t topped five catches in a game yet this season and he’s been held to 45 yards or less in four of his six games since returning from injury. Amari Cooper has been more consistent and his quarterback is actually NFL quality. But Cooper has a terrible match-up this week (Denver) and Dez probably spent all week bitching to his coaches about not getting the ball. And since Dallas is coached by a red-headed puppet with the intestinal fortitude of an amoeba, I’m willing to bet Bryant gets a huge uptick in targets. Going against my better judgement here and saying Dez. He’s due.
It’s strange, but look at the positives. You made the playoffs in both your leagues, which honestly means you should be writing this article and not me (I missed in my 10-team league because I started Brian Hoyer over Russell Wilson two weeks ago. I am garbage). And instead of 12 hours of white-knuckle Red Zone-watching, Kurt only has to deal with four. Sure, Eagles games FEEL like they’re 12 hours long, but you’ll be able to enjoy football from 4PM on without worrying about your real OR pretend team. I mean Eagles games are torture enough, you don’t need the added stress of staying up til midnight on Sunday hoping Brandon McManus hits a 40+ yard field goal. Football really is unhealthy for everyone involved, isn’t it?
If you’re somehow still able to make trades, yes absolutely sell high on Baldwin now. Seahawks WRs are notoriously unreliable and even though Russell Wilson is playing out of his mind, I’d flip Baldwin for Murray in a heartbeat. Just make sure you’re getting the good Murray and someone isn’t trying to slip you Demarco unsuspectingly. (Note: I traded for Demarco Murray right before Thanksgiving, so I feel this mess is partially my fault. Maybe entirely my fault.)
Look at this, a lineup question via text!
Not that I recommend making a habit of contacting me via text for fantasy questions, but these are some tough decisions worth throwing out there. Despite being Aaron Rodgers’ #1 WR, Randall Cobb has been completely unreliable this year. He scored a fluke TD last week to bring his points up, but Cobb only has one 100-yard game this season and he’s caught just two touchdown passes since Week 3. Vincent Jackson only has one score in the three games he’s played since returning from injury, but he’s facing New Orleans this week and you know the drill with that defense. Start Vincent Jackson over Cobb. And despite Todd Gurley’s struggles, I don’t think you can bench him for a tight end. Keep Gurley in there, but start Jordan Reed over Gary Barnidge. I wouldn’t trust any Cleveland receiving option with Johnny Football under center.
That’s all for this week, I’m going to end this with a question to the readers, but be sure to send your lineup problems to me via Twitter next week if you’re lucky enough to survive this round. Trust me, I’m an easy scapegoat if things go wrong. So here’s what I leave you with, loyal fantasy owner, feel free to answer in the comments. Pick one of these three crappy running backs –
- James Starks vs DAL
- Tim Hightower vs TB
- Duke Johnson Jr. vs SF
Yes, these are all terrible options, but I’m in a bind. Please help.