Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the fantasy playoffs. For those who are only a few games away from hoisting the championship, we hope you find the remaining Sit 'Em/Start 'Em articles your ticket to the gold. Of course, for those who failed to make the tournament, your league may still allows its players to finish out the season. And if that's the case, finish strong and begin preparing for next season. That's what a good GM does, right?
To say it's been an interesting fantasy season is a vast understatement. Few had any idea the tight end position would mostly flop. Most expected guys like Kyle Rudolph and Zach Ertz to have breakout years. But even fewer expected the rookie wide receiver class to have such an incredible impact. Sure, we knew the draft stock was deep, but it was impossible to think that a player like Dolphins' receiver Jarvis Landry would emerge so late in the season or that Martavis Bryant would rip off six touchdowns in four games.
We're going to skip our usual accountability check this week (let's just assume we did somewhere between good and awesome, as usual) and instead jump right into what's important, helping you win it all. We'll include our accountability check in next week's column.
Per usual, all projections are based on Yahoo! Fantasy.
20 Buffalo Bills' Defense – SIT
19 Minnesota Vikings' Defense – START
18 Heath Miller – TE, Pittsburgh Steelers – SIT
17 Jason Witten – TE, Dallas Cowboys – START
16 Keenan Allen – WR, San Diego Chargers – SIT
15 Jarvis Landry – WR, Miami Dolphins – START
14 Martavis Bryant – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers – SIT
After scoring six touchdowns in a four game span, Bryant's sudden surge into stardom appears all, but short lived. In saying that, we still recommend you hold onto him for a little while longer. Roethlisberger still looks to the 6' 5" receiver in the red zone, and the latter will have a good matchup against Atlanta next week.
13 Kelvin Benjamin – WR, Carolina Panthers – START
12 Reggie Wayne – WR, Indianapolis Colts – SIT
I traded for Wayne during his week 9 to 11 fantasy outbursts. Those were good weeks, and then I dropped him for wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Both appear like good moves. Wayne gave me what I needed, which is probably all the 35-year old could muster, and now the younger Landry is ready to take the reins.
11 Josh Gordon – WR, Cleveland Browns – START
This is a no brainer, but some fantasy owners may look at the matchup and wonder whether he's even worth a WR 2 look this week. Short answer: Start him.
With the amount of targets Gordon is receiving, as well as ability to turn those targets into WR 1 numbers, the Browns' receiver is locked in as a sure start. The only player that could have held Gordon back is Johnny Manziel, but the quarterback won't start this week.
10 Ryan Mathews – RB, San Diego Chargers – SIT
It's nice to see that Mathews is still the feature back in San Diego's offense, but he didn't do much in that role last Sunday against Baltimore, who own one of the league's best run defenses. While the Patriots have giving up 110 yards per game on average this season, they are only surrendering 80 yards per game during their past four games. That is seventh best in the league over that time span, which is actually three spots better than Baltimore.
9 Frank Gore – RB, San Francisco 49ers – START
8 Lamar Miller – RB, Miami Dolphins – SIT
7 Rashad Jennings – RB, New York Giants – START
6 Tre Mason – RB, St. Louis Rams – SIT
5 Joique Bell – RB, Detroit Lions – START
4 Philip Rivers – QB, San Diego Chargers – SIT
3 Tony Romo – QB, Dallas Cowboys – START
2 Mark Sanchez – QB, Philadelphia Eagles – SIT
1 Zach Mettenberger – QB, Tennessee Titans – START
And speaking about that Mettenberger guy. As predicted, he struggled last week against J.J. Watt and an aggressive Houston Texans' defense. He also left the game with a shoulder injury. The good news is that he's likely to start this weekend. Mettenberger was throwing the ball well in practice, and Jake Locker did nothing, but inspire doubt after he turned the ball over after he replaced the starter. Mettenberger will be a strong start against a New York Giants' defense that bleeds points to quarterbacks.
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