Fantasy Football Believe It or Not: Trust Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs? The Jags DST scary again?
Heath Cummings has a playoff edition of Believe it or not, to help you get ready to dominate your league.
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If you're reading this article, I'm assuming you're in the playoffs. Either that, or you're just a really big fan. As I was saying, congrats on making the playoffs. Now the fun begins.
If you're playing in Week 14, it's winning time. There's no reason to fall short after you've made it this far. So let's take a look at some of the more surprising results from Week 13 and what they mean moving into the Fantasy playoffs.
You can't trust Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs.
I understand why you've stuck with Rodgers, I really do. You drafted him way too early (wait on quarterback next year) and he's one of the best quarterbacks of our generation. You just can't bench him for Jameis Winston or Lamar Jackson. Well, you should have.
Rodgers is the No. 13 quarterback on a per-game basis this season and things aren't getting any better. Since returning from the bye, he's the No. 16 quarterback. He's scored 30 Fantasy points in the past two weeks combined. Now Mike McCarthy has been fired, but I'm not confident a midseason philosophical change is going to fix things.
You were lucky enough to get to the playoffs with Rodgers, well done. Don't let him knock you out.
Verdict: Don't believe it.
Rodgers faces the Atlanta Falcons at home in Week 14. You can absolutely trust him in this spot. I still trust him at home, and this Falcons pass defense still isn't very good. They're allowing the second-most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. There's little chance this is a low-scoring game like the one we just saw. The Falcons should put up points, and I can't imagine them stopping the Packers offense.
Besides, you don't think Rodgers is going to make a point in his first game without McCarthy?
Well, that was disappointing. Ware fell flat against one of the best matchups in the league, rushing for 47 yards on 14 attempts. His day was saved by a touchdown, but that wasn't enough to mask the issue here. Ware split carries (Damien Williams had five carries, Tyreek Hill had another two), only saw one target in the game (Williams had two) and wasn't very good when he did touch the ball.
It's pretty clear he doesn't go side-to-side as well as Hunt, and Williams looked more explosive when he got touches. If you thought Ware was going to replace Hunt's production in the playoffs, you were wrong. Make other plans for Week 14.
Verdict: Believe it.
I'm not saying you have to bench Ware in Week 14, but do you really want to start him against the Ravens? The matchup has turned into a double-edged sword for running backs. For one thing, the Ravens run defense is really good. This is one of seven teams holding backs below 4 yards per carry, and one of three giving up less than 90 yards per game. It has given up the fewest Fantasy points to running backs in 2018.
But also, with Lamar Jackson at quarterback, the Ravens are playing keep-away from opposing offenses. Here are the three running backs to face the Ravens since Jackson took over:
Mixon and Martin scored touchdowns, which kept their games from being total disasters. And Ware could, too. But he's more of a touchdown-dependent No. 2 running back than the No. 1 you need.
We need to go back to avoiding players facing Jacksonville.
Wow. Remember when the Jaguars had given up on their season? It sure didn't look like it on Sunday. They blanked Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in a game that surely cost people playoff spots. but this isn't about the Colts. It's about a Jacksonville defense that looked every bit as scary as we expected it to. That's the type of defense you don't want to start anybody against.
If someone on your roster plays Jacksonville in the Fantasy playoffs, you need to strongly consider a different option.
Verdict: Believe it.
This is a bit of a cop out, but have you seen the Jaguars schedule? They face Tennessee, Washington and Miami. There's barely a team's worth of Fantasy assets between the three. The most pressing choice will be what to do with your Titans in Week 14.
As hot as Marcus Mariota has been, I just can't trust him against Jacksonville. The Titans are having trouble protecting and the Jaguars have a variety of ways to exploit that. The past three weeks, the only quarterbacks to be good against them have done it with their legs. Mariota has the ability, but with no teams on a bye, there will be better options.
The rest of the Titans, like the rest of Jacksonville's schedule, is easy; just sit them. The Jaguars haven't given up 100 yards or a rushing touchdown since Week 7. You can't trust either Derrick Henry or Dion Lewis. You certainly can't trust Corey Davis against Jalen Ramsey.
Tarik Cohen is the only Bear you can start with confidence.
Cohen did a little bit of everything in Week 13. He ran for 30 yards, caught 12 passes for 156 yards and threw a touchdown pass. He has thrived with Chase Daniel at quarterback (22 targets in two weeks) while everyone else has been hard to figure.
Allen Robinson was good in Week 13 after a disastrous Week 12. Anthony Miller caught a touchdown pass, but was irrelevant for most of the game. Taylor Gabriel had opportunity, but fumbled and dropped a touchdown. Jordan Howard actually flashed a little bit, but is still a touchdown-dependent flex. And I can't imagine trusting Mitchell Trubisky in his first game back, if he even returns.
Verdict: Believe it.
The Bears have a showdown on Sunday night with the Rams, which looks like a much better matchup on paper than it is. That's because the Rams have played most of the season without Aqib Talib. He was back in Week 13, and the defense was much better. In the four games Talib has played, the Rams have allowed 13 points per game. They've forced eight turnovers and allowed five touchdowns.
That's not to say I want to sit everyone against them, but when you're dealing with a team that has proven as unpredictable as the Bears, I'd prefer not to take that chance. Cohen is a start in PPR, Howard is a flex in non. All three receivers are boom-or-bust flexes, with Robinson being the best.
Dante Pettis is a viable starter.
We've had a lot of rookie receivers pop from time to time this year, but it's hard to think of one who has had a better two-week stretch than Pettis. In his past two games he has nine catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns. He's taken advantage of absences from Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon and formed a bond with Nick Mullens.
Forget about the fact he only has seven catches on the season before this stretch and start him in Week 14.
Verdict: Believe it.
I'm assuming the 49ers won't get both Goodwin and Garcon back in Week 14, and even if they do I'm not sure it matters. As long as Pettis remains in the slot, I'd expect good things. Mullens doesn't like throwing outside, and Pettis has rewarded him when he looks the rookie's way. It's a two-man show right now in San Francisco with Pettis and George Kittle gobbling up more than half the targets over the past two weeks.
While the Broncos defense would in theory offer a tougher test, they just lost their only above-average cornerback. Pettis will face a backup in Week 14 and should continue to have success.
So who should you sit and start? And what shocking quarterback could win you Week 14? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.
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