If you‘re reading this, then you’re likely in the semifinals of your fantasy playoffs, and with just one more win you’ll be Super Bowl bound. You got here for a reason, and unless your team is totally stacked--which is certainly possible--you have a good eye for making the right start/sit decisions.
While it’s never a good idea to sit your studs, it’s not a bad idea to take a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately approach and also look at matchups. Nobody would have thought Danario Alexander would become a must-start fantasy play, but there’s really no way you can even think about benching him with the stellar numbers he has posted lately.
Unless you really took a huge hit this weekend with an injury to one of your usual starters, you shouldn’t be looking to the waiver wire outside of upside handcuffs for the back end of your bench.
Kirk Cousins - The rookie QBs are simply amazing this year. Kirk "Kissing" Cousins entered last week's game on the last drive of regulation on Sunday needing a score and a two-point conversion, and he came through. Robert Griffin III has a Grade I LCL sprain and all signs point to him being questionable. A Grade I sprain means there is only minor damage, and not many people will be betting against him to play. You’re going to have to be in a huge jam to start Cousins.
For those of you with RG3, here’s how I would rank the QBs that are available in at least 25 percent of leagues: Russell Wilson (@BUF), Colin Kaepernick (@NE), Jay Cutler (GB), Ryan Fitzpatrick (SEA), Jake Locker (NYJ), Brandon Weeden (WAS), Sam Bradford (MIN), Nick Foles (CIN), Chad Henne (@MIA), Christian Ponder (@STL), Ryan Tannehill (JAC), Mark Sanchez (@TEN), Kirk Cousins (@CLE), Brady Quinn (@OAK) and Brian Hoyer (DET)
David Wilson - No analysis needed here. He has to be picked up in all leagues.
Jacquizz Rodgers - ‘Quizz played 30 snaps on Sunday compared to Turner’s 20. What’s more, Turner was terrible again with just 14 yards on seven carries. Meanwhile, Rodgers caught six passes for 43 yards, adding four carries for 21 yards. He’s going to get a bigger workload against the New York Giants, and I’ll be putting him in low-end RB2 territory in PPR leagues this week. Plus, the Atlanta Falcons could lock up home-field advantage this week, so Rodgers might see even more carries in weeks 16 and 17. The San Francisco 49ers will have their hands full with the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Bilal Powell - Powell got the goal-line touches for the New York Jets on Sunday, making him more attractive than Shonn Greene at this point. Although this is a timeshare and the Jets stink, they might have success scoring against a banged-up Tennessee D on Monday Night Football.
Bernard Pierce - This pertains more to those in 17-week leagues. There’s a very good chance that the Baltimore Ravens will have the No. 4 seed locked up by the time Week 17 comes around. They are one game behind the Patriots for the No. 2 seed, but their schedule is brutal with the Denver Broncos this week and the Giants in Week 16. Pierce is just a stash in the vast majority of cases, but I do have him in one of my 16-team leagues that goes to Week 17 in case Ray Rice goes to the bench.
Ben Tate - The Houston Texans are in a bit of a pickle, with their grip on home-field advantage slipping after Monday’s loss to the Patriots. New England does have a tough game against the Niners this week, so the Texans might be able to have a two-game lead for Week 17, giving Tate a lot of late-season value.
Here’s how I would rank running backs that are available in at least 25 percent of leagues and have some FLEX appeal. This could obviously change quickly given the uncertainty of some injuries: Knowshon Moreno (@BAL), Vick Ballard (@HOU), Jacquizz Rodgers (NYG) David Wilson (@ATL), DeAngelo Williams (@SD), Jonathan Dwyer (@DAL), Alex Green (@CHI), Beanie Wells (DET), Montell Owens (@MIA), Bilal Powell (@TEN), Pierre Thomas (TB), Ben Tate (IND), Daniel Thomas (JAC) and Peyton Hillis (@OAK)
Old News: Danario Alexander and Josh Gordon
Dwayne Harris - Harris makes his way into this column for the second week in a row. Last week it was due to Miles Austin being dinged up. This week, there’s talk of Dez Bryant being out for the year. Harris played about twice the snaps of Week 1-wonder Kevin Ogletree. Keep an eye on Bryant.
Kris Durham - Durham had one of the better catches of the weekend with a one-handed stab on Sunday Night Football. He played almost the entire game against the Green Bay Packers, and the Arizona Cardinals would be fools not to double cover Calvin Johnson on every play, leaving Durham in one-on-one coverage.
Clay Harbor - He’s going to take over most of the snaps at tight end with Brent Celek out against the Cincinnati Bengals. He was one of the top-scoring fantasy tight ends this past week, but the Bengals give up the 25th-most points to tight ends. Harbor is a low-end TE1 this week.
Detroit Lions - Oh yeah. They play the Cardinals.