Fantasy Football Playoffs: Who Are the Best Matchup Plays Down the Stretch?
The fantasy playoffs are nearing for most owners, and the war of attrition that is fantasy football has taken its toll.
From LeSean McCoy to Rob Gronkowski, injuries have knocked some premiere players out of action. If you are like most owners, your fantasy squad has one or two shaky positions. Who do you use at the flex when your third receiver is dinged up?
Here are some good fantasy options based on their matchups down the stretch. These guys are not must-starts like Arian Foster or Aaron Rodgers, rather they are borderline starters whose matchups should push them into starting lineups weighed against comparable players.
It has been a nice run for Mikel LeShoure who has been a productive fantasy back in recent weeks despite a meager yards per carry average and Joique Bell taking away some carries.
Those are red flags for him going forward, but fear not: Leshoure has a nice schedule to finish out the fantasy season.
His worst matchup comes against the Cardinals, and they are outside the top 10 defenses against fantasy running backs. The Colts, Packers and Falcons are not sieves, but they all give up good chunks of points against opposing running backs.
The Panthers and Browns—Bowe's next two matchups—are actually pretty good against receivers, but then he gets to face the Raiders and Colts in the fantasy semi-finals and championship week, respectively.
That's a nice playoff schedule for Bowe, whose production has flagged in recent weeks.
One of this season's pleasant surprises, Brandon Myers heads into the home stretch as the ninth-best fantasy tight end in terms of fantasy scoring. Not bad for a guy who was on exactly nobody's radar heading into the season.
(If he was on your radar, congratulations; you are Nostradamus' descendent.)
Myers has a tough matchup against a Browns team that has allowed the least fantasy points to tight ends this season, but then gets the polar opposite matchup against the Broncos, who have given up the most.
The Chiefs and Panthers are up after that, who are in the middle of the pack.
This is more for two-quarterback leagues or for teams who have had the misfortune of drafting Michael Vick and Alex Smith, but Chad Henne is not a bad option going forward. Assuming he does not revert to his role as the Checkdown King.
Henne has been fantastic for the Jaguars, and he has put up some great fantasy numbers in the process. He is the fifth-highest scoring quarterback over the past two weeks, including a four-touchdown performance on the road against the vaunted Texans.
His next four games are all good-to-great matchups against the Bills, Jets, Dolphins and Patriots. At the very least, if Henne is available in your league, it might be good to nab him as insurance or to block another playoff contender from scooping him up.
It has been a roller coaster season for Reggie Bush and the Miami Dolphins. It seems like Miami goes as Bush does; his nice game against Seattle coincided with a victory that broke a three-game slide.
Bush has some nice matchups to close out the fantasy season—ignore the San Francisco road matchup, you might be better off inserting Kim Kardashian in your fantasy lineup—even though he as had to share with Daniel Thomas in recent weeks.
The Patriots are not a great matchup either, but the fantasy playoffs see Bush go up against the Jaguars and Bills, who rank second- and fifth-worst, respectively, among defenses giving up fantasy points to running backs this season.
A fully healthy Danny Amendola is a dangerous weapon for the Rams and your fantasy team. Therein lies the problem: Amendola isn't healthy.
He played just seven snaps last week, though that he was even active was a surprise as he was doubtful for the matchup heading into Sunday.
The talented receiver goes up against San Francisco, which would be a bad matchup except he had a great PPR day against them in Candlestick. I imagine the 49ers will do their best to limit him this time around, though.
His best matchup comes in the championship game as the Rams square off against the Bucs, who are giving up the most points to opposing receivers on the season.
We just have to hope Amendola doesn't burn his retina reading this or sprain his wrist putting away a book before then.
Now that he has saved a fan's life—just one among many, according to him—maybe Martellus Bennett can help save your fantasy season.
The Giants are back on track, which hopefully means Bennett is as well in the fantasy realm.
Bennett hasn't caught a touchdown since he opened up the season scoring one in each of his first three games, which only means he is due. His next matchup comes against a porous Redskins defense, one that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.
The going gets tougher after that, but if you are desperate for someone to plug into your tight end slot—perhaps you are a Rob Gronkowski owner playing tight end roulette—then Bennett might be your best bet.
Brandon Lloyd was the latest big-name free-agent receiver—relatively speaking anyway—to land with the Patriots, and he was the latest from whom fantasy owners expected a nice season in that offense.
He has been a fantasy dud for the most part, though not on the same level as Chad Ochocinco was. Lloyd has been targeted often, but, oddly enough, Tom Brady has not been able to get him the ball consistently.
The next four weeks present an opportunity for Lloyd and his fantasy owners to cash in on the faith they had in him on draft day.
New England faces Miami and their weak secondary this week, then get a Houston defense that has been atrocious against receivers in recent weeks. San Francisco could be tough, but then Lloyd finishes the season against the Jacksonville.