Re-Drafting The 2019 NFL Fantasy Draft

By Dave Moore (@davieremixed)

So, the dust has settled from your league’s Fantasy Championship game.

You’re left with a bitter taste in your mouth after you took Alvin Kamara #1 overall and then wasted your second pick on Devonta Freeman.

But what if we could turn back time (without the bad hair, for all you Cher fans out there…) and redraft the 2019 Fantasy Season?


How It All Played Out


So your top five picks would’ve been something along the lines of:

  1. Saquon Barkley
  2. Christian McCaffrey
  3. Ezekiel Elliott
  4. Alvin Kamara
  5. Le’Veon Bell

Maybe swap Bell out for DeAndre Hopkins and the top four – as far as I was concerned – were interchangeable. If you got Pick 1/2/3/4 then you were taking one of those players, even if Zeke was holding out.

So how did those five + Nuk fare?

Christian McCaffrey blew everyone away as he was the only reliably functioning part of the Carolina offense for the entire season. A whopping 471.20 points left him miles ahead of the closest challenge from the list above…

Zeke Elliott: Scoring single digits just once this season he was a bright spot in a pretty woeful Dallas season as he racked up 311.70 points.

DeAndre Hopkins was impressive as always with 268.54 points despite sitting out the final game of the season against the Titans.

Alvin Kamara was nowhere near as explosive as we would have hoped for this year, hampered by injury all season he went 12 (TWELVE) weeks without a touchdown but snagging a brace of touchdowns in each of his last two games bumped him to a modest-by-his-standards 248.52 points.

Much like his NFC compatriot, Saquon Barkley struggled with injury this year and missed three and a half games. Also much like Kamara, some late season antics (94.90 points across the final three games) landed him 244.10 points overall.

Finally we come to the man who held out. The man who fled Pittsburgh. The man who landed a deal with the New York Jets to make him the second highest paid running back in the league.

I feel sorry if you took him in the first round. 215 points returned for a man touted to be an RB1. Breaking 20 points three times and just once after September. What a rough year.

BUT.

Let’s turn the clock back to those fateful late August/early September evenings. We’re armed with our Sports Almanac, what does this first round in a 10-team standard scoring league look like?

The 2019 Fantasy Football Re-Draft

With the first overall pick…Christian McCaffrey – Running Back – Carolina Panthers

For reasons above this is a complete no brainer. The man was the highest scoring player in the league by a country mile. Even in blowout defeats he still managed to rack up plenty of yards or nab a couple of scores. The guy was a monster in both the run and pass game (although those passes were essentially screens in the flat but a catch is a catch!).

Run CMC is going to be a first overall pick for a couple of years to come at least.


With the second overall pick…Lamar Jackson – Quarterback – Baltimore Ravens

Congratulations to those who had the wherewithal to draft Jackson early because frankly, I thought the Chargers had figured him out in the 2018 Playoffs by loading the box and sending as many people at him as possible.

What Baltimore did to allow Jackson to flourish was snag Mark Ingram from the Saints and draft Hollywood Brown. This opened the game up for Jackson’s wheels in a way we haven’t seen since Michael Vick.

A fine reference indeed as Jackson broke Vick’s single-season rushing record by a Quarterback and then some. He passed for over 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns, rushed for over 1,200 and 7 scores. By the time we’d reached the end of the season he had amassed 415.68 points. Bravo, Lamar. Bravo.


With the third overall pick…Michael Thomas – Wide Receiver – New Orleans Saints

Not the Saints player we’d have expected to be drafted in the first round but with a dearth of wide-out options a combination of Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill found Thomas on alarming regularity. So much so that he broke Marvin Harrison’s single season reception record by racking up 149 catches for 1,725 yards but surprisingly only 9 touchdowns.

374.60 points in total, which eclipsed the total from any other wide-out by nearly 100 points.

Peculiar to be drafting just one running back from the first three picks but remember, we’ve got the Sports Almanac here so the usual rules don’t apply.

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On we go and with the fourth overall pick Dak Prescott – Quarterback – Dallas Cowboys

Hang on, another quarterback? Get out of here.

I’m afraid so. Much like Thomas, we weren’t expecting to be picking this particular Dallas player fourth overall but Dak was the length of the field away from hitting 5,000 passing yards in addition to 30 TD passes and another three with his legs.

He struggled in some games (on the road in New Orleans and in Philly) but more than made up for it with blockbuster performances against the Giants, the Redskins and the Lions. Kudos to you, Dakota, 337.78 points overall.


With the fifth overall pick… Russell Wilson – Quarterback – Seattle Seahawks

You talk about players having to carry a team (Run CMC, Dak to name but two in this list so far) and then there is Russell Wilson.

DangeRuss’ options? An injured Tyler Lockett, David Moore (although he’s my namesake he’s not ‘the guy’), an exciting but raw DK Metcalf and having his Tight Ends and Running Backs ending the season banged up or on IR.

The guy still threw for over 4,000 yards and 31 scores as he managed to extend play after play after play after play ad nauseum. He did blow hot and cold on a game-to-game basis in 2019 and suffered down the stretch, failing to score over 20 points after a 39.22 performance against Tampa in Week 9 until scraping it in the final game of the season against the 49ers which took him to 328.60 points.

So of the first five picks, three are QBs who are resetting what we traditionally looked for in a man under centre.


Which leads us nicely to the sixth overall pick… DeShaun Watson – Quarterback – Houston Texans

DSW was quietly spectacular with the true blockbuster moment coming in Week 5 as his Texans team demolished the Falcons 53-32. Watson scored 41.74 points in that game alone but his season was dealt some serious damage in Week 11 on a trip to Baltimore as we saw the ugly side of Houston.

169 passing yards. 1 INT. 1 fumble lost. No scores. 3.96 fantasy points. Ouch.

Like a lot of his fellow starters, Watson sat out the final game of the season against the Titans which also damaged his total but still enough for a cool 320.98 points. Had he not suffered so greatly against Baltimore and/or started in Week 17 he’d be jumping ahead of Wilson and Prescott for sure.

I’m getting fed up of these Quarterbacks being drafted. Running Backs, where are you?

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With the seventh overall pick…Aaron Jones – Running Back – Green Bay Packers

That’s better. Jones topped 1,000 yards and had just as many scores (19) as Run CMC.

When he was hot, he was scorching. He scored 53 points against the Vikings across two games, bagged a hat-trick against the Panthers in Week 10 and had over 200 total yards in a 41.60 game against the Chiefs.

His true diamond game though, was the four-score (and seven years ago) game against the Cowboys in Week 5 as he hit 49.20 points. The man would win fantasy matchups on his own.

He would also cost you. He had games with 4.90, 3.90 and 3.80 points but such streakiness was emblematic of the Packers season, despite their reaching the NFC Championship Game.

He was still good for 314.80 points and such a year has definitely moved him much higher up draft boards for 2020.


With the eighth overall pick… Ezekiel Elliott – Running Backs – Dallas Cowboys

The fact we have two Cowboys players on here lays bare how badly their offensive superstars were let down this year.

Zeke didn’t really have the blockbuster games of Run CMC or Aaron Jones but he didn’t have the troughs of Jones either. He scored single digits just once this year and was just so consistent for the Cowboys and anyone’s fantasy team.

He got at least one touchdown on ten games this year and the games he didn’t score in he had sufficient yardage to carry him into double figures. Just stunning reliability from a man who had been holding out all summer but thankfully didn’t go the way of Melvin Gordon or Lev Bell.

An impressive 311.70 points for Zeke and I expect this to increase next season as the Cowboys are going to be better coached under Mike McCarthy (see: the cowardice of the game against the Patriots).


With the ninth overall pick… Austin Ekeler – Running Back – Los Angeles Chargers

This is a surprising one seeing as Melvin Gordon’s return would have surely indicated a drop-off for Ekeler but whilst it is true his point-age did decline after a strong first month (39.40, 23.30, 15.10 and 29.20 points) that is just as attributable to the Chargers falling off a cliff and just being horrible for the majority of the year.

For a running back in that team to get a total of 309.00 points across a season is superb and he’s been rewarded with a new four-year deal. Good for you, Austin. Go get paid!

If the Chargers draft a QB to be their starter for 2020 then I’d expect Ekeler to maintain this sort of scoring. Keep him in mind for a late first round/early second next season.

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With the tenth overall pick and the final pick of the first round… Jameis Winston – Quarterback – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I kid you not. #30For30’s Jameis Winston.

The man is the NFL equivalent of Arsenal’s David Luiz. He is absolute box office material and I love watching the guy play purely for entertainment value.

He threw for over 5,000 yards and 33 touchdowns but had 30 (THIRTY) INTs. Seeing him throw that 30th INT (a pick six to end a dismal Bucs season in a 28-22 overtime defeat to the Falcons).

The true epitome of Winston’s season was the London game against Carolina where he threw five INTs, one touchdown but still had 400 passing yards!

He ended with 305.36 points overall and was the tenth and final person who scored over 300 points across the season.

I am not expecting Jameis to be a starter next year but I really, really hope he is because at times his connectivity with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin was brilliant. He could be a sleeper later in your 2020 draft but purely for entertainment value he is the tenth overall pick of the Re-Drafted 2019 NFL Fantasy Draft.

Fantasy: Championship Week – Start ’em, Sit ’em

By Andy Goddard (@godsy1985)

Its championship weekend in fantasy football, hopefully you’ve made it to the big game. Just one final set of selections could stand between you and the fantasy trophy for 2019. So let’s get into those all important picks!



QB – Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Image credit: Todd Kirkland – Getty Images

Matt Ryan has performed very well the past two weeks putting up 34 points against the Carolina Panthers and then 23 against a very good San Francisco 49ers defense. Without any real run game, the Falcons quarterback will have it all to do again but he is up against a very generous Jacksonville defense who have allowed a passer rating of 119.6 and an average of more than 22 fantasy points to opposing QB’s since week 12.

The Falcons have disappointed this season but Matt Ryan is still a very capable starter for championship weekend.


QB – Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys) at Philadelphia Eagles

Dak has been struggling with a shoulder injury but there is no chance he misses the biggest game of the season for the Cowboys. The winner of this game will essentially be the winner of the poor NFC East division. Both the Cowboys and Eagles came into the season expecting the division to be close, but not quite in this way.

Prescott put up 28 fantasy points against the Rams last week and in their first meeting against the Eagles, Prescott was 21-27 for 278 yard, one touchdown and an interception but the Eagles secondary is beatable. In this big game, I see the Cowboys taking the win and claiming the NFC East.

Notable Mentions: Jameis Winston (Bucs) vs Houston Texans, Ryan Tannehill (Titans) vs New Orleans Saints.


RB – Joe Mixon (Cincinnati Bengals) @ Miami Dolphins

Image credit: David Kohl

Mixon deserves some credit for his performance in 2019. The Bengals may well have the worst record in the NFL but he has been very productive, especially of late. In 6 of the last 7 games Mixon has at least 16 PPR points in some tough matches against the Rams, Ravens and Patriots. In last weeks game against New England he finished with 25 carries for 136 yards and 3 receptions for 20 yards. The Dolphins have allowed six touchdowns to opposing teams running backs in the past 4 games and at least 27 fantasy points per game!


RB – DeAndre Washington (Oakland Raiders) @ LA Chargers

Josh Jacobs is out so Washington is your starter. In week 14, Jacobs was out injured allowing Washington to be the lead back. He had a stat line of 53 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown as well as six catches for 43 yards on seven targets. This production resulted in 21.6 fantasy points and he up against a Chargers defense who have allowed 15 touchdowns and nearly 26 fantasy points a game to running backs. He is a great starter option in the flex.

Notable Mentions – Miles Sanders (Eagles) vs Dallas Cowboys, Marlon Mack (Colts) vs Carolina Panthers.


WR – Terry McLaurin (Washington Redskins) vs NY Giants

Image credit: Mark Brown – Getty Images

McLaurin had a little bit of a slump in recent weeks, that was until he put up 32 fantasy points against the Eagles! In the past two weeks he has 9 catches on 12 targets for 187 yards and two touchdowns. It would appear that he is finally clicking with Dwayne Haskins (who was also his QB at Ohio State) and the Redskins look primed for great production from both in the coming years. 

The Giants allow the fifth most fantasy points to opposing receivers and they are tied for third in touchdowns allowed to receivers with 20. McLaurin missed the first match between the teams this season but look for him to make up for the missed time with a good stat line.


WR – Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati Bengals) @ Miami Dolphins

Its championship weekend and I’m picking two players to start from the team with the worst record in the NFL! Thats the beauty of fantasy football. To an extent, you can ignore the teams record and just look at match ups, and Boyd has a great one this week against the Miami Dolphins defense.

The Dolphins have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, with 25. With A.J. Green and Auden Tate both out, Boyd will see plenty of opportunities which is always good news for fantasy owners.

Notable Mentions – Tyler Lockett (Seahawks) vs Arizona Cardinals, Breshad Perriman (Bucs) vs Houston Texans.


TE – Hunter Henry (LA Chargers) vs Oakland Raiders

Image credit: Jack Roth – USA Today Sports

Henry is coming off an awful game in last weeks loss to the Vikings but he has a positive matchup this week against the Oakland Raiders. The last time these two teams met, Henry had a touchdown and 13 fantasy points. The Raiders defense has allowed the sixth most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Henry should see plenty of targets if you have survived long enough to stick with him!


TE – Dallas Goedert (Philadelphia Eagles) vs Dallas Cowboys

Goedert is a solid fantasy starter this week at the tight end position. The Dallas Cowboys defense was highly thought of before the season started but they haven’t really lived up to the hype. They have also been exploited by tight ends all season. Goedert and Ertz lead the Eagles in the passing game so look for the Eagles to attack the Cowboys weakness often.

Goedert has seen at least 6 targets in every game since week 11 and he should eclipse that against the Cowboys with injuries at the wide receiver position.

Notable Mentions: Jared Cook (Saints) @ Tennesse Titans.



QB – Tom Brady (New England Patriots) vs Buffalo Bills

Brady is struggling, make no excuses about that. This week he is facing a very good Buffalo defense that caused him all sorts of problems earlier in the season. I wouldn’t just list Brady as a sit but as a total bust this week!

RB – Carlos Hyde (Houston Texans) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Hyde performed well against the Titans last week but I wouldn’t trust him on Championship weekend. The Bucs defense have allowed just 3.1 yards per rush this season which ranks third in the league. It’s too risky in my opinion.

WR – John Brown (Buffalo Bills)  @ New England Patriots

Any receiver that is going up against Stephon Gilmore I would list as a sit. Gilmore is arguably the best corner in the league, stats don’t lie. Perimeter receivers have scored just two touchdowns all season against the Pats and have averaged the fewest fantasy points.

TE – Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys) vs Philadelphia Eagles

Witten had a solid performance last week against the Rams but the Eagles defense has been tough on opposing tight ends allowing just 4 touchdowns and the fifth fewest fantasy points this season. In the week 7 matchup between the two teams, Witten was held to just 33 yards. Don’t chase the points based on last week!

Waiver Targets – Week 16

By Dave Moore (@davieremixed)

Congratulations/Commiserations* . You’re in the final or some horrendous 3rd/4th/5th/6th place* playoff. It’s all on the line and we’re in choppy waters as some players may get shut down for the final weeks of the season. *delete as appropriate

Let’s get to it…

Quarterback – Ryan Fitzpatrick – Miami Dolphins


There is literally no option I like this week who is going to be available for you. If you’re unfortunate enough to be stuck with Tom Brady & Jared Goff then maybe throw a dart at Ryan Fitzpatrick in the Tank Bowl between Miami & Cincinnati this Sunday but the matchups for the QBs that aren’t Top 10 are just pretty unfavourable.


Running Back – Mike Boone – Minnesota Vikings


Dalvin Cook went out of the game against the Chargers with a fresh injury and could miss next week’s huge game at home to Green Bay. With Alexander Mattison also missing Sunday’s game this could open up opportunities for Boone who bagged two scores thanks to those aforementioned injuries.

If – like me – Cook has carried your team to the playoffs then maybe look at snapping Boone up incase Cook can’t go against Green Bay.


Wide Receiver – Terry McLaurin – Washington Redskins


Are we thinking OROY for McLaurin? He’s got to be in the consideration as he’s been a huge bright spot for a team that has had a terrible year.

This week’s matchup is against the Giants and after he went for 5/130/1 against the Eagles I am backing him to have another big week against the G-Men in what we should be calling Chase Young Bowl.


Tight End – Noah Fant – Denver Broncos


I think we can give Drew Lock & the Broncos a pass against a superb Chiefs team in treacherous conditions. I think most QBs would struggle to get any sort rhythm going, let alone against the team who is a lock to be playing the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game.

Despite that, Fant had 56 reception yards and I expect that to continue against the Lions who give up a touch under 8 fantasy points per game to Tight Ends.

Start ’em, Sit ’em (HOU @ TEN, PHI @ WAS, CLE @ ARI, MIN @ LAC)

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.

Hype Train Station – Week 15

By James Fotheringham (@nflhypetrain)

For most people we are at the Semi Final stage. You’ve almost reached your final destination but there’s one last set of changes to make before the final journey. Who will lead you down the right track, and who may delay your shot at the title for another year?

David Montgomery (CHI @GB)

The Packers run Defence still gets gashed often and after rediscovering their offensive mojo a little bit, the Bears should look to lean on Montgomery (and to a lesser extent Cohen) to make a game of it against Green Bay. I don’t think it will be an express, more of a freight train, but it’ll get where it needs to.


Josh Jacobs (OAK vsJAX)

If Jacobs does return to the lineup after missing this week, I fear for the Jaguars. Out of the running and unable to stop other teams running on them, Jacobs may have a field day. If he isn’t available to play then the likes of Richard and Washington become valuable waiver wire pickups. Leonard Fournette at the other end might also have a chance of a big day.


Kareem Hunt/Nick Chubb (CLE @ARI)

The Cardinals are getting close to tanking territory with only 4 teams holding worse records. The Browns sees to have found a way to make 2 good running backs relevant and if you can play either of them, you probably should.


Chris Carson (SEA @CAR)

A team who run heavy against a team who struggle against the run. Unless there’s a change in Penny’s health, it’s Carson’s workload.



AJ Brown (TEN vsHOU)

I do remember saying a few weeks ago that AJ Brown might be a fantasy playoff stud and last week was incredible. He’s now the Hypest of Hype trains and yet is still on some waiver wires. The Texans secondary doesn’t have a lot left in order to derail him, so this could well be a fun ride.


Chris Godwin (TB @DET)

This should go without saying, especially now Mike Evans is going to be questionable. This is a hint towards DFS players that all your savings on other players should be used to field Godwin. If you can’t quite afford that luxury to create the team you want, Kenny Golladay is on the other side here and may be another stud to drop in there. It’s a good looking head-to-head.


Julian Edelman (NE @CIN)

Again, a stud to slot in if you can. Edelman always gets work and gets the job done when he plays.


Jarvis Landry (CLE @ARI)

Suddenly it all makes sense. OBJ has been nursing an injury all season and Landry has been getting more targets. With that clarity and the Browns near enough out of contention, OBJ ought to be shut down which opens up Landry for a bigger role.


Emanuel Sanders (49ers vsATL)

When he plays, he is a force to be reckoned with. Sanders is even passing for TD’s now. The 49ers are amping it up and the Falcons are one of those teams they should be able to express themselves against in their pursuit of the #1 seed.




Ryan Tannehill (TEN vsHOU)

I just mentioned AJ Brown, well it would be hard to ignore the role the guy at the other end of those passes was doing. Tannehill has a schedule that makes him more than a streamer. Now that his receivers are stepping up, he is someone worth getting onboard with. The Titans and Steelers are scrapping for the final wildcard spot, but with the Titans playing the Texans twice in three weeks, 2 wins might leave the Texans on the platform.


Jimmy Garoppolo (SF vsATL)

Again, a play who may be on a waiver wire and may cost a bit less in DFS but who has the matchup and the weapons to put up a big score.


Baker Mayfield (CLE @ARI)

He’s had a poor year, but this matchup suits him well and the fans will want some slim hopes to cling too before the Browns do the inevitable.


Tom Brady (NE @CIN)

Brady against the last team in the league, after a loss and while still hunting for the #1 seed and having taped why they were up to last week… do you need any further reasons?


Jameis Winston (TB @DET)

He may be a turnover liability, but his passing numbers and TDs keep making him a fantasy stud in many weeks. A rare player who is much better in fantasy than he is in real life.



Zach Ertz/Dallas Goedert (PHI @WAS)

This isn’t a great week for Tight Ends. Arizona have the Browns and Njoku is still just getting back into league action. Tampa Bay have the Lions and TJ Hockenson isn’t yet ready to be an option. The Bengals play the Patriots who haven’t exactly had a usable TE since Gronk left. This makes the Eagles against the Redskins look like the best matchup. Both guys have relevance now Ertz has proven his fitness.


Mike Gesicki (MIA @NYG)

Gesicki is on a roll and the Giants defence is a nice one to stream against. Keep an eye on Evan Engram at the other end since he may be a solid DFS options if he finally plays again.


Jonnu Smith (TEN vsHOU)

Continuing the love for the Titans offence, Smith is looking to become the #1 and stop Delanie Walker taking his job back next season. Last week was one of his best outings in a Titans jersey and a follow up here in a good matchup may finally tip him over the edge.


Steelers (PIT vsBUF)

If the Steelers want to win this game and give themselves a shot at the playoffs, it all hangs on this defence. The Bills offence isn’t frightening, but they need to step up to give their own offence the best chance they can.


Ravens (BAL vsNYJ)

The Jets can’t get a lot going and the Ravens just keep stamping on teams. This feels like a no-brainer.


Eagles (PHI @WAS)

Another decent enough defence against a poor offence. If Guice is missing, then the Eagles should swoop all over the Redskins.


Saints (NO vsIND)

The Colts look so mediocre on both sides of the ball this season and this is a matchup against a much better team. The Saints defence is very capable of doing work, although the 49ers did expose them majorly last week. 


Good Luck to everyone in their playoffs and playing DFS this week. Next week will be the final Hype Train Station visit of the season barring any disruptions so I will see you there hopefully.

Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em – JAX@OAK, ATL@SF, LAR@DAL, BUF@PIT

The business end. Squeaky bum time. New Orleans heartbreak-time.

If your Fantasy Playoffs hadn’t started lasted week then they do this weekend. Here are your Starts/Sits for a selection of the late window games.


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Oakland Raiders


RB Leonard Fournette

In a game between two teams who are now just looking to next season it is difficult to look past anything other than a huge Leonard Fournette game against a Raiders team that, when it comes to Fantasy, is a burst water mains.

They allow an average of nearly 20 points per game to running backs  and despite Fournette only having 3 TDs to his name this year I am backing him to have a monster game this week.

RB – Josh Jacobs

This is prefaced on the idea that I am expecting very little from Oakland this weekend after they’ve been blown out the last two weeks.

If it looks like going that way again I expect Gruden to pull his stars from the game again and that’s before we even take into account that Jacobs is banged up and could even see a limited snap count for a meaningless end of season game. This is not a statistical sit ‘em but if it comes to garbage time offense I don’t expect to see Jacobs on the field.


Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 49ers 


D/ST – SF 49ers

Yes, they gave up 46 points against the Saints. Yes, Matt Ryan is a great QB.

However, who’s he going to throw to other than Austin Hooper? I expect Jones is going to be double covered and he’s not gone above 100 receiving yards since Week 8. Ridley has been shut down for the year and I’d be amazed if the 49ers gave up anything close to 46 points in their own stadium.

This is an absolute lock of a start if you have them.

RB – Devonta Freeman

In the game where he recorded his first rushing score of the year, Freeman also picked up a knee injury in the blowout win over the Panthers.

I expect him to play come Sunday but much like Josh Jacobs for the Raiders, I expect a limited snap count if he’s good to go.

Add in that the 49ers D and the Falcons O Line is absolute garbage and it’s a pretty potent mix for Freeman having another poor week.


Los Angeles Rams @ Dallas Cowboys


TE – Tyler Higbee

Two straight 100+ yard games for Higbee have made him a viable playoff option if – like me – you’ve got a Questionable Mark Andrews/Noah Fant issue.

The Rams have all of a sudden become a viable playoff contender after their embarrassment at the hands of the Ravens and they face off against a Cowboys team who are…underachieving? Not very good? Still leading their division?!

The Cowboys allow an average of just over 7 points per game to Tight Ends but when they’ve faced some viable top ten TEs they’ve struggled. They gave up two scores to Kyle Rudolph in Week 10 and I’d argue their D hasn’t got much better since.

Some Fantasy matchups could come down to that extra catch from your Tight End and I’d back Higbee ahead of most other TEs this week.

K – Kai Forbath

Brett Maher is gone after a series of whiffed kicks and in comes a Kai the Guy whose kicking this season is 1/1 on FGs and 1/2 on XPs. Rusty? I’d say.

This is another that is not stat-based as there isn’t enough to go on with Forbath but if you still had Maher in your team, a) what were you thinking and b) sign anyone else to replace him. You can’t trust Forbath – or even the Cowboys in general – to come good this week when a Fantasy Playoff Final appearance hangs in the balance.


Buffalo Bills @ Pittsburgh Steelers


RB – Devin Singletary

A pretty stellar game against the stifling Ravens D for Singletary last week gives a good indication that he could repeat against the Steelers this week in what should be another Defense-heavy game as both these teams look to take a step towards the playoffs.

He’s topped 100 scrimmage yards each of the last three weeks and given how stingy the Steelers secondary is I expect him to have plenty of touches this Sunday night/Monday morning, he had 17 carries and was 6/8 on targets against the Ravens.

WR – James Washington

In a dead rubber Fantasy matchup last week I started Washington, just to test the water about if he’d be able to repeat his brilliant Week 13 performance in a favourable matchup against the Cardinals. Plot spoiler: He didn’t. Post credits scene: I started him ahead of Emmanuel Sanders.

If he’s not going to break off big points against the Cards then don’t expect him to do anything against the Bills who, much like the Steelers secondary, are stingy, stifling and downright superb.

This Sit ‘Em can apply to any Pittsburgh pass-catcher, frankly. 


Best of luck to you all this weekend, if anyone wants to tell me that Ryan Tannehill will get found out against the Texans and Saquon Barkley is going to finally turn a big performance in then I’m all ears!

Start ’em, Sit ’em – NYJ@BAL, IND@NO, TB@DET, DEN@KC

By Jake Linley-Brown (@JakeLB12)

There’s 3 weeks left of the regular season, 2 weeks-ish remaining until Christmas, and 1 more Thursday night football game to watch, which is a perfect segue to our starting point. Let’s commence. 


JETS @ RAVENS


RB – Mark Ingram

The Jets have one of the best run defences in the league, but there are a few red flags here. Not playing for anything and going again on a short week would make me nervous. My biggest fear? The opponent. Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens are the best rushing team in the league, rushing for over 50 yards more on average than the nearest team, the 49ers. With a little incentive such as home field advantage in the playoffs well within reach now, and game script likely meaning pounding the ball down a banged-up Jets D’s throat, I want all of Mark Ingram on Thursday.

Side note – Gus Edwards, if you’re in a desperate spot at Flex this week, might get a lot of garbage time volume. Just a thought.

QB – Sam Darnold

Contrary to Mark Ingram, I want none of Sam Darnold this week. As he’s about to embark on a brutal stretch (@BAL, PIT, @ BUF – yikes), Darnold might wish he had mono again for the month of December. This Ravens D is 8th in the league for takeaways and giving very little to anyone lined up behind centre. Darnold, however, just had a two week stretch against the Bengals and Miami where he started off bad to only reach lukewarm status; not good considering the opposing defences and the opportunity they both bring. I’ll pass. 


COLTS @ SAINTS


WR – Marcus Johnson

Fast forward to the Monday night game now, and because tis’ the season for miracles, I’m going left-field on this one. Marcus Johnson was probably a guy you hadn’t heard of a month ago but this past Sunday against the Bucs, he came to the party. 3 catches, 105 yards and a touchdown looks like a line you’d see on ‘Madden’, but there is no denying the deep threat he carries. Using just common sense here, T.Y. Hilton is likely to be out again and Zach Pascal will almost certainly be shadowed by Marshon Lattimore. Can Marcus make the most of this opportunity?

Everyone but D. Brees, A.Kamara and M.Thomas

This might be seen as a cop out and you’re right, it is. But my thought process for this matchup solely relies on two things. For one, I anticipate Sean Payton does everything he can to resuscitate Alvin Kamara, this week. The star running back, who has majorly underwhelmed fantasy owners this season, scored 6.3 PPR points on Sunday in a game where his team scored 46 points – go figure. Secondly, I expect Michael Thomas to feast as always and by this point, will the Saints need to throw the ball anyway on a Colts D that is floundering? I doubt it.


BUCCANEERS @ LIONS


TE – OJ Howard

The big news out of Tampa this week is that Mike Evans looks done for the year. This means it’s officially Chris Godwin OJ. Howard season. I’m kidding, of course, but it does potentially mean Howard could be in for some more looks going forward. Jameis will continue to throw the ball for what seems a 100 times each week, and Godwin can’t catch them all, so we’re just playing the percentages here. O.J., fresh off the back of his highest receiving yardage of the season on Sunday, gets the Lions D this week who looks ready for their holidays to begin. In my book, it’s worth a punt.

RB – Bo Scarbrough

Scarbrough is an absolute tank of a man and I would not tell him he’s featuring in the ‘SIT’ section to his face. That being said, he’s thousands of miles away, so I’m going to act hard. Don’t get me wrong, the volume is there (19 carries last week), but he’s trending down in terms of points this past month. Reports are also stating he’s a ‘little sore’ from the loss against the Vikings. The biggest downer? The Bucs, for all their flaws, are an excellent unit against the run. In other words, don’t bo-lieve the hype.


BRONCOS @ CHIEFS


WR – Courtland Sutton

To me, this one is a no-brainer. Despite logging a quiet day in the shock win over Houston (5 catches, 34 yards), Sutton still saw more targets than any of his teammates. New rookie QB Drew Lock looks like he might be the key to salvaging some of this Denver season, and there’s no reason to doubt Sutton being a beneficiary. In the first meeting of these two teams this season, Courtland scored 14.7 PPR points thanks to 6 catches and 87 yards. The second meeting might entail playing catch up early, so let’s hope for more of the same this time round.

RB – LeSean McCoy

If you think you know what’s going on in the Chiefs backfield, please send answers on a postcard. Shady McCoy carried the ball for a team high 11 times for 39 yards against New England, but was actually out-snapped by Spencer Ware at the position. With Damien Williams, Darrel Williams and everyone with the surname Williams all out right now, McCoy might have one last shot to cement his place. I for one, however, am not buying he can do it.

Good luck this week!

Start ‘em Sit, ‘em – (CAR @ ATL, MIA @ NYJ, LAC @ JAX, PIT @ ARI)

By Andy Goddard (@godsy1985)

It’s playoff time in fantasy football. No matter how well you have done up to now, one mistake could cost you the season. To help you as much as possible we have broken the games down. For this article we will be looking at just 4 games;

  • Panthers @ Falcons
  • Dolphins @ Jets
  • Chargers @ Jaguars
  • Steelers @ Cardinals


QB – Sam Darnold (NY Jets) vs Miami Dolphins

Image credit: Alex Brandon / AP

Yes, Darnold had an absolute stinker against the Bengals. The Jets did the typical Jets thing and got beaten by the only remaining unbeaten team in the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite the awful performance last week I would still persist with Darnold against another poor opponent in the Miami Dolphins. Prior to the Bengals game, Darnold had produced at least 21 fantasy points in three straight games and the Dolphins have allowed 29 touchdowns and the third most fantasy points to opposing QB’s this season. A divisional game at home, surely the Jets will make a massive improvement on last weeks performance.


QB – Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) vs Carolina Panthers

In the slate of games that we are covering here, the only other quarterback I would start is Matt Ryan. The Falcons have stated that they won’t be shutting down Matt Ryan or Julio Jones even though this has been a very disappointing season. Ryan had a solid performance in week 13 throwing for 312 yards and two touchdowns. The Falcons do have injuries on offense but all signs point towards Jones and Hooper being back to face the Panthers. The Falcons have struggled to run the ball this year so Ryan will need to get the offense going again. Look for him to eclipse 300 yards once more and find the end zone at least twice. Although this one does carry risk.


RB – Austin Ekeler (LA Chargers) vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Image credit: Douglas Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

Melvin Gordon has taken over the lead running back role from Ekeler but he still putting up good fantasy numbers. He has scored at least 16 points in the last two games and he has a favourable matchup against a Jaguars defense that have allowed 6 touchdowns and the second most fantasy points to running backs since week 10. Ekeler has become a massive weapon in the passing game for the Chargers, with four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown last week. He may not be the number one back but he will continue to see plenty of action.


RB -Benny Snell Jr. (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Arizona Cardinals

A free spot in the flex? I would be tempted to start Benny Snell. With James Conner being unavailable Snell has become the main man in the backfield for the Steelers leading the team in both snaps and touches during the last two games. He had 16 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown last week against the Browns. The cardinals have surrendered 11 total touchdowns and account for 9 of the top 20 fantasy performances by opposing running backs this season.


WR – D.J. Moore (Carolina Panthers) at Atlanta Falcons

D.J. Moore is posting great fantasy numbers recently. In fact, he has scored at least 17 fantasy points in the past 5 weeks and has an average of 103 yards per game! This run includes an impressive 31.4 fantasy points against the Saints in week 12. He has a very good chance at keeping this run going against a Falcons defense that has given up 10 touchdowns and the fifth most fantasy points to receivers lined up out wide. Moore has averaged over 32 routes per game in that position and he has at least 9 targets in the previous six games.


WR – James Washington (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Arizona Cardinals

Image credit: Joe Sergent / Getty Images

With JuJu Smith-Schuster very likely to miss another week, I would not hesitate in starting Washington who made the most of JuJu being missing last week with four catches for 111 yards and a touchdown against the Browns. The Steelers may have mediocre QB play but Washington is making the most of his opportunities. He has topped 90 yards and scored a touchdown in 3 of the last 4 games and boasts a massive 19.3 yards per catch average! This week he is up against a Cardinals defense that has been giving up deep shots all season, surrendering an average of nearly 5 plays per game of over 20 yards!


TE – Ryan Griffin (NY Jets) vs Miami Dolphins

Image credit: Douglas DeFelice / `USA Today

Griffin is up against the Dolphins who have been very generous to opposing teams tight ends this season allowing more than 15 fantasy points to the position since week 10 and Griffin has already scored 11 fantasy points against the Dolphins in week 9 where he had six catches on eight targets for 50 yards. With tight ends at a premium this season, Griffin is a solid option this week.


TE – Vance McDonald (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Arizona Cardinals

McDonald hasn’t put up any real fantasy numbers in recent weeks but here come the Cardinals who have been hit hard by tight ends all season long. The Cardinals have given up 13 touchdowns to opposing tight ends and although McDonald may be a risky choice, he should see plenty of targets this week, especially in the red zone.



QB – Philip Rivers (LA Chargers) at Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars defense have allowed just 16.7 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and just 8 touchdowns on their home field. Rivers could also be benched as the Chargers playoff hope disappear and Rivers will soon be a free agent.

RB – Kenyan Drake (Arizona Cardinals) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Drake may well be the leading back for the Cardinals but he could be in for another quiet day against the Steelers.

WR – D.J. Chark (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs LA Chargers

Prior to last weeks game against the Broncos, the Chargers have contained number 1 receivers very well and Chark is trending down with 10 fantasy points or fewer in three of the past four games. Chark is a risk that is not worth taking in the playoffs!

TE – Jaeden Graham (Atlanta Falcons) at Carolina Panthers

Graham had a very productive week against the Saints in week 13 with 16.10 fantasy points but don’t be tempted by one performance. Hooper will be back so Graham’s chances may be limited.