Fantasy High 5 is Gridiron Experts weekly article where we discuss trending fantasy stories and all add our two cents on topics and questions. This week, we hand out fantasy football playoff advice (whether you take it our not is on you), talk RunDmc Fantasy expectations and try to figure out if the Chargers have any worthy fantasy starters left.
What is one piece of advice you could give entering the fantasy playoffs?
Zhan Mourning: Stash team defenses (dst) ahead of time. It’s one sure way to have an advantage that you otherwise wouldn’t think of having this late in the season. I’m in the playoffs in a lot of leagues, and I’m amazed at the defenses still sitting on the waiver wires. Another piece of advice would be if your in a keeper or dynasty league, drop kickers and defense for future prospects. If you aren’t in the playoffs, you don’t need a complete lineup so why not roll the dice for the future.
Mike Rodriguez: Don’t over think match-ups. People are so afraid of poor production that they are willing to start a waiver wire player over a fantasy stud. There have been many games this year where an elite (yeah I just used the word “Elite”) fantasy player surpassed all expectations against a ugly match-up. Don’t over think things
Chris Strong: Stick with what you know. Start players you trust and sit those that you’re doubtful of. I like what Zhan said about stashing away defenses and it might not hurt to discuss some trading options with those in your league who haven’t made the playoffs to add more talent to your roster.
Robert James: Keep an eye out for someone making a stupid wavier wire move. I picked up Rob Gronkowski this week because someone dropped him. Is there a chance he won’t make it back for the playoffs? sure there is, but dropping my back up D was worth the risk!! Keeper league pick-up potentials are worth one bench spot for next season, you’ll thank your self later.
Sean Herman: Another thing is looking at your opponent’s roster and what they need. If you can poach someone from your playoff nemesis, it may give you an edge in a tight contest. Example: I picked up Kyle Rudolph this week, not because I needed him, but because he was the best TE available and I had a bench spot available. My next week’s opponent was in need of a TE. Let’s just say he was not very happy with me this morning.
Is there any San Diego Chargers worthy of a Start this week against Pittsburgh?
Zhan Mourning: Mathews and Gates are still startable in most leagues, but its risky. Gates would be a good emergency flex or tight end option, where as Mathews could still be a decent RB 2 or a good flex option.They are both healthy, which is surprising, but its a crap shoot every game as far as production goes.
Brian Jerzak: No one on offense, but as much as San Diego’s offense is struggling, so is the Steelers offense without Big Ben. If Batch plays there will be turnovers and a lack of points. Even if Ben plays, his prospects won’t be that good coming off of an injury.
Mike Rodriguez: This week I would feel fine about starting D.Alexander (if healthy) in a flex or even WR2 spot if you had too, but aside from that I don’t have a lot of confidence about fantasy Charger players. Mathews will have better match-ups weeks 15-17 but against the Steelers I don’t expect more than 60 yards.
RunDMC is expected to be ready to go this week, what are your fantasy projections ?
Chris Strong: Darren McFadden will get a significant more amount of carries than Marcel Reece, but I don’t expect him to produce much over 50 yards on the ground.
Brian Jerzak: I wouldn’t expect much from McFadden in this game. The Broncos’ defense is tough and with as effective as Manning has been, the Raiders may be behind early, causing them to pass early and often. Although McFadden is good out of the backfield I don’t see that part of his game coming back as quickly as his role in the running game. Even if RunDMC is effective in the running game, Reece will still take away more carries early as McFadden works his way back into form.
Robert James: A lot of players have struggled this year on Thursday night, possibly due to the lack of rest in between games. If McFadden is healthy enough to play and ready to go he may have an advantage. With that said, I’m not expecting a huge game, but better than most people think. I feel McFadden will rush for about 80 to 90 yards and score at least 1 TD.
Jody Smith Denver is a solid defense and this is a lost season for the Oakland Raiders, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to just give him 20+ carries. Marcel Reece has also shown to be a more than capable compliment. My prediction: 12 carries 40 yards, 2 receptions no touchdowns.
Mike Rodriguez: I’m somewhere in the middle of Robert’s big fantasy day pick and Jody’s bummer prediction. I see Run DMC in around the 50 rushing yard mark with 3 rec for 20 yards. I hate having to recommend fantasy players fresh off of injuries though,
Every year there is one elite player that breaks fantasy owners hearts in the first round of their fantasy football playoffs, who’s your dud this weekend?
Brian Jerzak: Not that I would consider Stevan Ridley elite, but he has been consistent and has been a fantasy starter in most games this season. The Texans defense however has given up just two rushing touchdowns all season. Ridley is already over 1,000 yards and has nine touchdowns, but this might not be the best spot for him.
Robert James: I’m in a league where the playoffs started last week and Drew Brees took the honors there. This week I feel Tom Brady may be the one breaking my heart. Coming off one of his worst games of the year for Brady now faces a tough Texans D, who ranks third in the league for sacks. If there’s one weakness that Br
Mike Rodriguez: I’m willing to bet that players like Ray Rice and Frank Gore have modest, unspectacular performances this Sunday. Both RB’s are facing a top 10 rushing defense and defensive strategies may be to over commit to stopping the run and forcing Flacco and Kaepernick to beat them.
Are you expecting a shoot out Monday night for the Texans and Patriots game?
Chris Strong: I think it’s going to be a tighter game than most think…the high powered Patriots offense is going up against a very good Texan defense, while the Pats D-Line should have no problem stuffing the run game of Arian Foster considering the Texans are a run first pass second team. I would expect the score to close…should be a fun one to watch.
Brian Jerzak: As effective as the Patriots offense has been this year, it is not as high powered as in past years. They are in most ways just as effective, but they rely more on the running game and less on Tom Brady. Like the Patriots, the Texans offense is effective, but against tough teams plays closer to the vest. I don’t see this being a game that makes it into the thirties, but a close 28-24 type game is more what I am expecting.
Robert James: No, I think the Houston Texans will be able to slow the Patriots down with their Defense, they only allow a little over 18 points a game. Also if the Texans can manage the clock by running the ball a lot with Arian Foster, that should help in keeping Brady off the field.
Sean Herman: I agree with Robert… I think the Pats will have a harder time putting up big points this week than normal. I think the Texans have the better complete package with offense AND defense. Better team should win and I do not think it’s going to be too close. Can’t wait to watch this one though…
Mike Rodriguez: Game plan questions are my favorite. If I were the Texans I would try to string together long frustrating drives that chew up the clock, piss-off Tom Terrific and wear out the Patriots defense. New England has an explosive offense but has yet to face a defense that can get to you like the Texans do. JJ Watt could be the difference maker in this game, if he can get to Brady and force long down and distances, I believe the Texans will lock this game up in a close battle
Jody Smith: The Patriots run of hitting the “over” finally ended last week, but the Houston defense just keeps suffering myriads of injuries and Bill Belichick is a master of shutting down what his opposition does best. Look for New England to start another streak of exceeding the number with a home victory this week.