By: Justin Lynch
As we enter the playoffs, Lynch strays from the norm to talk about QB's, kickers, and always starting your studs.
Week of the Quarterback
The quarterback position is as deep as ever, and we saw that this weekend. 16 players scored 18+ fantasy points and six of them topped 30 points. People talk all the time about the importance of running backs and receivers, but at the end of the day, there is usually no more sure thing than a consistent quarterback. With that said, every week there are under-the-radar QB’s who impress. If you have a stable QB, good for you, if not, be on the lookout for the next waiver-wire matchup who could bring your team to the fantasy promised land.
The first rule of fantasy is don’t pick a kicker until the last round. I am 100% in support of this strategy. However, having a good kicker is a luxury few owners have, and getting 8-14 points every week out of that slot could be a gamechanger. This week, just eight kickers scored eight points or more. Eight out of 32. That’s 25%. You cannot spare a point in the playoffs, so get into the waiver wire and find yourself a kicker if you do not already have a top-tier one. I usually start with the kickers from the best offenses, and then move to the guys with the best accuracy or matchups. Players to note: Chris Boswell (Pittsburgh) has 4-straight double-digit games and is only owned in 5.9% of ESPN leagues. Matt Prater has 4-straight 9+ games and he’s owned in just 21.9% of ESPN leagues. Whether it’s these guys or someone else, choose your kicker wisely, and don’t be afraid to add/drop kickers every week based on matchups.
The playoffs start this week and I’m here to instill a fantasy value. Ride your studs. Play the guys who you have bet on all year, who you drafted early, or traded for in that blockbuster deal. You might have a hunch about a bench player on a good matchup, but nothing is worse than sitting down your second-best receiver and then watching him go for 7-110-2. Use the players that got you there. Don’t try to get cute and start Markus Wheaton over Brandon Marshall because Wheaton’s had a few good weeks and you don’t like Marshall’s matchup. This does not mean that you can’t make tough decisions on who to start, I’m just saying that if there is any doubt, just go the better player.
Last year, I made it to the championship game and I started Boom Herron over Gio Bernard. I made a big trade for Bernard midway through the year, and Jeremy Hill had enough of the workload that I became scared of Bernard. Herron had the better matchup and was my flashy waiver wire pickup that was going to carry me. Turns out, week 16 was ugly. Andrew Luck threw up a goose egg and my defense and kicker combined for seven points. Herron scored six, Bernard scored 18. I lost by 3. I tried to overthink it, and though still should’ve won, cost myself a championship because I relied on a player who is not talented enough to still be in the league. So, especially in a year where so many top guys are struggling, don’t forget about C. J. Anderson and Eddie Lacy when you plug James White or Thomas Rawls or Buck Allen into your starting lineup.