So you're going to make the Fantasy playoffs. Outstanding. The first thing you should feel is pride. I strongly believe there is more skill involved in making the playoffs than actually winning in the playoffs. Of course, that leads to the second thing you may feel -- anxiety.
It is a terrible thing to dominate your regular season and lose in the first round to a team that snuck in with a .500 record. We're going to try to help prevent that.
One of the keys to success in the playoffs is having players with favorable schedules. Sure, it may not matter for your star players, but for the vast majority it's very important. With that in mind, I borrowed the research from podcast host Adam Aizer and put together the following list of schedules for Week 14-16.
If your championship is Week 17, I'm going to assume you're a masochist and you'll enjoy the pain of losing in the championship. Besides, we can't predict schedule difficulty for a week in which we have no idea who is going to play.
Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz also have good schedules, but good luck acquiring them right now. These other guys? They may be close to free. Marcus Mariota is my favorite of the group, especially with Mike Mularkey talking about more designed runs for his quarterback in the very near future. Mariota's slow start to 2017 can largely be attributed to a difficult schedule, a hamstring injury and a lack of production on the ground. By the time we get to Week 14, all three of those obstacles should be in the rear-view mirror.
Deeper leagues: Jay Cutler and Blake Bortles
The Dallas Cowboys didn't make the list, but only because of the uncertainty around the Ezekiel Elliott situation. But they do have a favorable schedule down the stretch and that's just one of the reasons that any time soon. If Elliott is suspended for the Fantasy playoffs, Morris could be a top-12 option.
The situation isn't quite as murky in Philadelphia, but it isn't exactly clear either, and that may not matter. Jay Ajayi and company have three straight games in the Fantasy playoffs against teams that rank in the bottom third of the league in terms of Fantasy points allowed to running backs.
Kelvin Benjamin and Keenan Allen are receivers that I'm a little concerned about in Week 10. So it's possible that you could wait another week to buy low on them and find an even better deal waiting for you. I cannot say the same for Sterling Shepard.
Shepard doesn't just have a great playoff schedule, he has the 49ers in Week 10 and he's a top 15 wide receiver in my rankings. In fact, he doesn't have a game left on his schedule that scares me. Shepard saw nine targets in his Week 9 return, and that's about what I would expect for the rest of the season. He's going to be a top-20 option from here on, and you need to make a move for him before Sunday.
I would like to scream from the rooftops that Charles Clay is back, because way too many of you haven't noticed yet. He's available in more than 60 percent of leagues! You may not even have to trade for him! Clay is one of six tight ends to average more than seven Fantasy points per game, and he has a brilliant playoff schedule. Please go add Clay to your team.