Dance with the Girl You Brought
As you enter the fantasy playoffs, don't worry about the players who got you there. Swing for the fences!
In past years, I've always felt a sense of obligation to play those players who helped me reach the playoffs. For some reason, I felt the need to respect my players and give them their due, since they had fought 13 long, hard weeks for my team to put me in playoff contention.
This year, I say throw that ideology out the window. As you approach the fantasy football playoffs, I recommend entering it with a renewed mindset.
Fantasy football to me has seemed, let’s say, different this year. I am not too proud to say this is the first year in as long as I can remember that I am 0/4 in reaching the playoffs in my leagues. I made waiver moves, added talent, and fought like crazy to contend and it just wasn’t in the cards. But that doesn't mean I can't office advice for those who made it to the playoffs in their leagues!
Let’s look at how bizarre fantasy football has been in 2019. If you spent a 1st round draft pick on players like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Antonio Brown, Todd Gurley, or David Johnson, you have been sorely disappointed. Now sure, some of those guys haven’t produced fantasy wise this year due to injury either to them or their accompanying quarterback. Some of them have struggled this year to stay atop an ever-competitive depth chart. Fantasy football’s RB3 right now is a man by the name of Austin Ekeler. Tampa Bay has the number 2 and 3 ranked wide receivers right now. Lots of bizarre things have happened in 2019.
Let’s look at more recent bizarreness. Over the past 4 weeks, no wide receiver has more targets than DJ Moore. Tied for the leading TD pass catcher among wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs over the past 4 weeks is Kyle Rudolph, who has 4. Kyle Rudolph! You know, the TE12 on the season.
Now let's take an IDP look into recent games, aside from Fred Warner ruling the world with 44 tackles over his last 4 weeks to go with 4 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 pass defensed, and 2 forced fumbles... damn son. But look who is LB3 over the past 4 weeks:
Mr. Nick Kwiatkoski.
He has 37 tackles over the past 4 weeks and now is leading the defense for the rest of the year with Roquan Smith out with a pec injury. Don’t forget about people like Dre Greenlaw as well, who may not be as flashy of a play, but with Kwon still out and playing alongside our beloved Freddie boy, Greenlaw has still put up 34 tackles in 4 weeks and is the LB8 over that time frame.
There are 3 people with 5.5 sacks over the past 4 weeks: Cam Jordan, Jamal Adams and Maxx Crosby. One a locked and loaded DE1, one an injured safety, and one a waiver wire special in the past couple of weeks. Also don’t forget about people like Chad Thomas, who has 3 sacks in that same time frame and is helping fill in for a missing Myles Garrett. Ed Oliver is also turning it on as of late with 4 sacks in that time. Did you all know Joe Schobert had 4 INTs in the last 4 weeks? Me neither.
This article was all for me just to say: treat the 2019 playoffs differently. We have had a lot of injuries both on the defensive and offensive side of the ball. You are going to have your locked and loaded players like CMC and Derrick Henry, but don’t gloss over looking at starting a Miles Sanders or a Devin Singletary, both of whom have been getting more looks lately. Always start a Cam Jordan or an Aaron Donald, but if you are a 5 or 6 seed up against a great team in the coming weeks, don’t hesitate to start a player with a low floor but a high upside type of guy. A CB like Marcus Peters has 2 picks, 1 of which he returned for a TD, over the past 4 weeks. Tre Flowers also has 2 picks as well. Maxx Crosby has 8 TFL in the past 4, but guess who has 7? Matt Judon! Shaq Lawson has 6 while Markus Golden has 5.
So, this is your encouragement to do things different this year. Reach for the freaking stars. Go grab your dreams. Forget about that girl you brought with you to the dance, ditch her, find someone better. You deserve better. Go get it, man. You can do this. We believe in you. Let go of her hand. Run man. Run like the wind.