There are just 3 more weeks remaining in the NFL schedule, and fantasy owners know what that means. Most leagues kick off the playoffs this week. Those of you who failed to make the cut, you should have subscribed to scoutPRO! There is ALWAYS next year!
For those who made it in, congratulations! The pressure is on now, as every matchup is win or go home. The big prize is just a few short weeks away, and here are some storylines that will help make sure you take home the hardware and the bragging rights you deserve.
Watch Your Matchups
Weeks 14-17 are without a doubt the most important to consider what quality of opponent your roster players are facing. A particularly tough matchup could cost you valuable points in a critical situation, while on the other hand, looking to start players with high upside vs. favorable matchups can be the most direct way to a W. Joe Flacco’s matchup vs. a porous Washington defense in Week 14 is a juicy example. Flacco hasn’t been quite as good on the road as at home in 2012, but the Skins have had trouble stopping the air game all season.
You might want consider dropping your stronger team DEF for one with a weak schedule. Pittsburgh’s stout D faces tough tests in Weeks 15 and 16 with desperate and talented offenses from Dallas and Cincinnati, and could be a risky play. Denver faces Oakland, Cleveland, and Kansas City in 3 of its final 4, a safer schedule with much higher upside.
Star Players Resting Up
As some of the better teams lock up playoff spots and byes, a handful of star performers will plant themselves on the bench to avoid unnecessary injuries and rest up for the playoff push. This year is especially interesting , with four teams already clinching earlier than usual.
Keep an eye locked on this storyline, but Arian Foster may be benched soon, as the Texans are looking a sure bet for a first round bye. Backup Ben Tate is already starting to fly off the shelves in most leagues. Also, veteran receiver Roddy White and TE Tony Gonzalez could be watching from the sidelines with the Falcons sitting pretty in the NFC. There might be much more value from players on teams fighting for a spot, like the Seahawks’ Golden Tate or the Colts’ Donnie Avery.
Some Bigger Names Not Worth the Trouble
Injuries have plagued Jordy Nelson, and with the return of Greg Jennings, the standout WR may not be worth the trouble for his frustrated owners. Denarius Moore has been the focus of opposing defenses after a great first half – now he is struggling to produce, and doesn’t merit a start with the playoffs on the line. Jay Cutler is a legitimate #1 fantasy QB, with Brandon Marshall at his service, but coming off some iffy weeks and facing off with stronger defenses in his division, run with a quality backup if you have one.
scoutPRO wishes all the teams vying for their league titles good luck this week! Check back in next week for insights on Week 15, and check out www.scoutpro.com for the latest projections and insights from our Fantasy Expert Nelson Sousa.