With the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins taking on the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday’s contests, those still playing fantasy football can look forward to a few fantastic performances.
Playoff challenges provide a way for fans to continue receiving their fantasy fixes into January, and the upcoming action will not disappoint.
With seasons on the line, a few of the NFL’s biggest stars will turn in memorable games.
Here are the players who will explode in Sunday’s Wild Card Round.
Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are successful when Ray Rice gets the ball.
This is no secret, and Baltimore should not try to overthink its strategy. The team should ensure its star running back is heavily involved in both the running and passing game.
He should receive at least 25 touches in this contest—excellent news for fantasy owners.
In addition to being an incredible talent, Rice will be intensely motivated to perform in this game in order to help send Ray Lewis—who recently announced his intention to retire—out in style. Rice will be in the spotlight for the majority of this matchup.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson may have been impressive in his first year in the NFL, but he is still a rookie quarterback making his first playoff start. Pete Carroll will try to take much of the pressure of his shoulders, and Marshawn Lynch will be used frequently in this game.
The Redskins did allow the fifth-fewest rushing yards in the league this season, but that is a misleading statistic. No team had to deal with fewer rushing attempts against it, and Washington’s 4.2 yards-per-carry allowed is tied for the No. 14 mark in the league.
Ultimately the Redskins defense is mediocre, and Lynch is an elite back.
He will receive at least 20 carries and will be productive with his opportunities. Fantasy owners who took Lynch for their playoff challenge will be pleased with that decision.
Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck has been fantastic in his rookie season, but he is still heading into his first-ever NFL playoff game on the road.
He will also be playing against a team that has been in the postseason for the past four years.
In such a high-pressure situation, Luck will revert to what is comfortable for him. This season, that has been throwing the ball to Reggie Wayne. Only Calvin Johnson received more targets this year, and Wayne will be thrown to at least 10 times in this game.
With double-digit targets, Wayne will put up yards and will be a guaranteed star in points-per-reception leagues. Even in standard scoring, Wayne projects as a fantastic option given how many opportunities he will receive.