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Fantasy Football: Draftkings values divisional round 01.15.16 at 8:29 am ET
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It’s been a week of loss, with David Bowie and Alan Rickman both leaving us too soon at age 69. Bowie once said, “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” I think that aptly describes the Patriots’ remaining action this season.

With all the injuries and uncertainty, it’s tough to reckon what’s going to happen. That being said, with a potential trip to Denver and then to San Francisco if things break well, it’s not going to be boring by any stretch. It may be a bit ugly at times, but not boring. When you look around the NFL playoffs this week, one thing that you might notice is that a lot of the remaining teams play the run well. Heck, it’s really all of the teams save for Green Bay.

Another thing you will notice is the lack of running backs with name recognition. The list of the injured is a bit mind-boggling.

Yes, a serious dent has been left at the position. And, as I mentioned, the teams remaining handle the run very well as a group. For these reasons, I think you need to be very careful about over-investing in your ground game when you put your lineups together for the divisional round this weekend.

Let’s take a look at the best options available at each position.

QUARTERBACK

Carson Palmer, Cardinals vs. Packers, $6,500

He’s the sixth-ranked quarterback by price this week, but he is the top guy on my board. While there certainly are reasons to start other quarterbacks (differentiation), Palmer is screaming value and upside at his current price.

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Read More: C.J. Anderson, Carson Palmer, David Johnson,
Fantasy Football: Postseason leagues 01.07.16 at 11:40 am ET
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The fantasy football playoffs are over, but in many leagues this is the week that things start anew. Playoff leagues are a lot of fun an, in most cases, they run throughout the four weeks of the NFL playoffs. Winning strategy in these leagues or pools is very different from the approach that will lead you to the winner’s circle in seasonal leagues.

In postseason leagues, it’s all about weekly scoring potential and total games played. In most cases, the scoring potential is pretty easy to predict as we’ve been watching these players for months now. The crucial question is, which teams will play the most games? This creates an odd paradigm in that the teams that play in round one have the highest potential value, because they have four-game potential, while teams with a bye play a maximum of three games. On the other hand, the teams with byes earned them and are, at least in theory, superior and should have a better chance to play more than a single game.

STRATEGY

Draft a team with a theme.

Your team needs to make sense. Playoff pools are not about depth and value. It’s about catching lightning in a bottle and harnessing talent from teams that will advance and play as many games as possible. If you take a quarterback in round one, try to get as many of his receivers as you can. And don’t stop with receivers, stack up as much of that team’s players as you reasonably can. I say reasonably, because there is a breaking point. You don’t take Scott Chandler over Greg Olsen just because Chandler is a Patriot and you may have Tom Brady.

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Fantasy Football: Week 17 starts, sits 01.01.16 at 12:57 pm ET
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Happy New Year, and welcome to Week 17 and the Week 17 starts and sits. There are no words to describe how much I despise playing meaningful seasonal fantasy games on Week 17. All good seasonal fantasy football leagues should hold their league’s championship on Week 16. We’ve seen the reasons for this year after year, and the 2015 season is no different.

Before we get going on some specific players, let’s look at some teams we have concerns about.

  • Washington is at the top of the list as it cannot do anything to affect its seeding.
  • The Patriots need a win to ensure they have home field throughout the AFC playoffs. Where things could get tricky is if the Dolphins lay down, as they certainly could. Once the game is settled, you could see Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski on the sidelines with their helmets off.
  • The Seahawks are another team that could decide to rest players as they are locked into a wild card slot and a first-round road game.
  • The Cardinals have motivation to earn the top seed in the NFC, but they need help, and a blowout win by the Panthers against the Buccaneers could conceivably lead to the Cardinals closing up shop a quarter or so early. The same could be true in reverse with Carolina. If the Cardinals somehow get way behind, the Panthers could ease up and take Cam Newton out. The fact that these teams both are playing in late games helps a lot. I doubt either one is mailing it in early.

So, as you can see, there are some potential issues out there. What follows are some recommended plays for Week 17 and a few guys to avoid. As always, I strongly suggest cross referencing these recommendations against my weekly rankings over at Rotobahn, which will be updated Saturday evening.

I also will be hosting a Sunday morning chat if you still have questions. And be sure to tune in at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning for the last live edition of the Fantasy Football Hour with my good buddy and partner in crime Jim Hackett.

QUARTERBACKS

Start

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets at Bills

He will be going hard for 60 minutes, and he has the weapons to post solid numbers. There’s no guarantee that the Jets plays well. They are the Jets, after all. There’s historical precedence here, and Rex Ryan plays a big role as well. If he can get his team up to play, the Jets could wilt. Still, even in a losing scenario, Fitzpatrick has great upside because the Jets would be throwing right up until the end.

Eli Manning, Giants vs. Eagles

The Giants should be up for this game because it projects to be the last for coach Tom Coughlin. It also will be the return game for Odell Beckham, and he will be playing hard to shut down some of the criticism he’s been facing since his Week 15 meltdown against the Panthers and Josh Norman. The Eagles defense is vulnerable to the pass, so this matchup is looking very good overall.

Sam Bradford, Eagles at Giants

He may not be the best option, but he is playing for a new contract and he’s been posting good numbers lately. And you have the Giants, who are giving up tons of production through the air.

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Read More: Eli Manning, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sam Bradford
Fantasy Football: Week 17 waiver wire 12.29.15 at 11:01 am ET
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Welcome to Week 17! It’s your championship week, and the waiver wire definitely is a little thin. Hopefully the fact that you are still playing means you already have a deep team and are ready to match up with your opponent. The good news is that most NFL teams have something to play for. Not very many stars are going to be yanked after a few series as we often see this time of year.

I will be posting an update to this week’s waiver wire over at Rotobahn on Thursday to account for any evolving value that may pop up over the next few days. It’s certainly possible that the midweek pickups will be as compelling as what we are looking at right now.

As always, I will be adding some talent Tuesday afternoon when I post the expanded wire over at Rotobahn. If you play in a deep league, head on over. It’s still completely free. I will be back here at WEEI this Friday with the Week 17 starts and sits.

The ownership rates listed for each player were obtained at Yahoo!

QUARTERBACKS

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets, 51 percent

Fitzpatrick has been getting it done for the most part and he has a matchup with a Bills team that has little to play for save for some revenge against Rex Ryan‘s former team. Granted, Ryan has a gift for getting teams up for meaningless games and he’ll be doing all he can to slow down the red-hot Jets. Still, Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall are playing at a very high level right now and the Jets have everything to play for. If you need a quarterback this week, Fitzpatrick certainly is a guy to go after.

Sam Bradford, Eagles, 35 percent

Do I want to get involved with the Eagles offense in my biggest game of the season? Not really. Having said that, Bradford has been hot for fantasy purposes and he gets his best matchup in weeks against an ultra-light Giants secondary. He can help you if you are in need.

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Read More: Andrew Luck, Fantasy Football, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sam Bradford
Fantasy Football: Week 16 starts, sits 12.25.15 at 12:03 pm ET
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Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating. If you’re reading this then you are hoping for a gift on Sunday and perhaps Monday as well. I’ve isolated some solid options for Week 16 and they are listed below. As always, I strongly suggest that you cross-reference these recommendations against the full lineup rankings that I post at Rotobahn. Those rankings will be updating Saturday afternoon in advance of the Eagles game.

For those of you looking for help on Sunday, stop by our regularly scheduled chat at 11 a.m. and bring your lineup questions with you. Most teams have been eliminated at this point, so you can expect quick answers as it should be a lightly populated chat.

Speaking of Sunday morning, there will be a fresh episode of the Fantasy Football Hour at 8 a.m., and we’ll have it up on the site for you to enjoy if you sleep in. Jim Hackett and I will be discussing all of the big Week 16 topics and taking some of your texts. Join us!

QUARTERBACKS

Start

Blake Bortles, Jaguars at Saints

He’s been an outstanding source of fantasy points for most of the season, and he’s been scorching hot the last four weeks. Now he gets the Saints, and that’s simply too good to pass up. Play him with confidence.

Kirk Cousins, Washington at Eagles

Cousins is almost as hot as Bortles, and he has a nice matchup for the pass this week as the Eagles’ strength is their front seven — particularly against the run. He’s not as safe as some other options, but his ceiling is as high as any other quarterback you will find in Week 16.

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Read More: Blake Bortles, Kirk Cousins, Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor
Fantasy Football: Week 16 waiver wire 12.22.15 at 9:41 am ET
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You made it. Week 16 is upon us and you are still standing. Congratulations are in order, but we also need to keep our eyes fixed on the prize. Prepping for a bowl game means you are looking solely at this week’s games. There are no more stash options and no more good future schedules to consider and balance. There is Week 16 and nothing else matters. This means what you will find on this week’s wire are players who have viability this week or who could, depending on how injuries shake out.

I will be posting the expanded waiver wire over at Rotobahn Tuesday afternoon so head over if you play in a deep format as I will be adding a few more options, including a few defenses as I continue to work through the Week 15 game film.

I will be back with full lineup rankings at Rotobahn later this week plus the the usual starts and sits right here on Friday. If you need any lineup help come Sunday morning, I will be hosting a Week 16 chat at 11 a.m. as usual.

The ownership rates listed for each player were obtained at Yahoo!

QUARTERBACKS

Kirk Cousins, Washington, 24 percent

He’€™s on fire right now and he travels to Philadelphia this Saturday. That’€™s a good matchup because you want to throw to beat the Eagles, who are pretty stout up front. Cousins has a healthy cast of weapons and he has a nice ceiling if a quarterback is what you need this week.

Jameis Winston, Buccaneers, 43 percent

The Buccaneers host the Bears this Sunday and that’€™s a solid matchup for the rookie passer, who has looked pretty good of late. He threw for two scores last week at St. Louis and I expect similar output in Week 16.

Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings, 37 percent

He looked good last week and this Sunday’€™s matchup is very good. If you are in a jam this week, you can get Bridgewater in a lot of leagues and he can help for one week at home against a very light defense, as the Giants get scant pressure and are leaky on the back end.

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Read More: Fantasy Football, Jameis Winston, Kirk Cousins, Teddy Bridgewater
Fantasy Football: Week 15 starts, sits 12.18.15 at 11:05 am ET
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Welcome to week 15! For most of you, your league’s bowl game is one win away. It’s all at once exciting and stressful, so keep your head on straight. This is no time to tilt and start grab-bagging. Below you will find some strong plays for this weekend, but if none of your players are represented, you can head over to Rotobahn and check out my free lineup rankings.

I will also be hosting a Sunday chat at 11 a.m., so bring whatever lineup questions you may have and I’ll do my best to give you some clarity. Speaking of Sunday morning, there will be a fresh episode of the Fantasy Football Hour at 8 a.m., and we’ll have it up on the site for you to enjoy if you sleep in. Jim Hackett and I will be discussing all of the big Week 15 topics and taking some of your texts. Join us!

QUARTERBACKS

Start

Alex Smith, Chiefs at Ravens

He’s a steal on DraftKings at $5,100 and he can be of help in seasonal leagues if you are in a bind. Maybe you had Tony Romo and Andy Dalton as your quarterbacks. If so, Smith is a solid one-week cure, as the Ravens are ripe for the taking in pass defense.

Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Packers

Not the greatest matchup by the numbers, but it’s a much better situation than we found Carr in last week at Denver. He’s not a lock QB1, but he is a solid option if you need him.

A.J. McCarron, Bengals at 49ers

Using a quarterback with no professional starts in your fantasy playoffs is far from ideal, but there are worse options out there — about 13 of them by my count. So if you play in a deep league and just lost Dalton, McCarron is a reasonable way to punch your way out of a tough spot. He’s got QB1 upside because his weapons are so strong and the 49ers defense is so weak.

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Read More: A.J. McCarron, Alex Smith, Brock Osweiler, Derek Carr
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