By Paul Maughan (@morny7)
Texans at Titans
QB – Ryan Tannehill
This is a direct copy from last week, but seriously, it’s impossible to ignore what he’s doing. He is playing at a level higher than pretty much any other quarterback not named Lamar Jackson. Now that he’s let out from under the shadow of Adam Gase, he’s flourishing and if you were smart enough to pick him up cheap weeks ago, he’s been a gift. This week, there’s the added bonus that the Texan’s defence is a gift for opposing QBs (just ask Drew Lock).
I never thought I’d say it, but you cannot afford to ignore Ryan Tannehill for your playoff semi-final.
RB – D.Johsnon/C.Hyde
Both running backs are alright, and might get a modest point tally, but expect the Texans to attack vertically (this should be a big, big DeAndre Hopkins week) and what’s left for the backfield will be split. In a week where you’ll be looking for huge weeks from your running backs I wouldn’t be rolling the dice of either of these.
However, if it’s a roll of the dice you’re looking for……
Eagles at Redskins
RB – Miles Sanders
Yes, the Eagles backfield is a minefield for fantasy, but Sanders production has been consistently climbing week-on-week. With Jordan Howard still struggling to get fit, Sanders should continue to thrive. He’ll get lots of touches, giving him a nice safe floor, and his big play and receiving upside means he could be the sort of flex option to get you through to your playoff final.
RB – Adrian Peterson
He’ll get lots of touches and probably do okay (fantasy-wise). But you’re basically picking him for a maximum point potential of 12 points, and up against an Eagles run-defence which has consistently out-performed the secondary this year you’d be lucky to hit that. If you’re desperate for a Redskins pivot in this one, go for Terry McLaurin instead. Peterson is nowhere near being the right play here.
Browns at Cardinals
RB – Kareem Hunt
He’s been superb since returning from suspension, and he should flourish against such a porous defence. He gets slightly less of the rushing workload (behind Nick Chubb), but even so gets his share of rushing touchdowns. More importantly for people in PPR leagues, he’s to all intents and purposes a slot receiver and a points-magnet. If he’s on our roster, he has to play this week. It’s a no brainer.
RB – David Johnson
He’s had a very, very quiet season anyway but he’s almost been cut out of the passing game and is currently the middle man in a three-man backfield timeshare (Kenyon Drake is number one, Chase Edmunds number three – beware, none are good fantasy picks!). The Browns have a tough, steely defence and Johnson will barely lay a glove on them.
Vikings at Chargers
WR – Keenan Allen
Allen has been consistently great, without anyone mentioning it, all year. Rivers has had his struggles but he’s successfully used Allen as a safety blanket and his numbers show this. Against a Vikings defence which, surprisingly, gives up a lot of points to WRs, Allen has a floor of around 13-15 points. With a bit of luck and a touchdown or two, he could smash straight through his ceiling.
QB – Kirk Cousins
The world’s most belittled Franchise Quarterback should really struggle this week. The Chargers have a solid defence and don’t give up many points to wide receivers at all, and the Vikings will be expecting to hang their whole offense on Dalvin Cook (who should be a fantasy goldmine this week). Don’t even consider going near Cousins, he could derail your whole season.