So you’re in the playoffs, and the reason you’re here is by making right decisions, and luck. You may think it’s more of the former, but largely it’s due to the later. You can scrutinize all the data and look at the matchups and make the logical right decision putting a guy in the starting lineup.
If the guy runs out on the first play and pulls his hamstring, you’re out of luck with him. Also, there have been situations where you probably won when you shouldn’t have, because the guy, who pulled his hamstring on the first play, was on the team you were playing against. So just remember, you’d end up winning the championship, by having everything go right for you for two or three weeks in a row.
In the playoffs, you want to play your studs, pretty much regardless of matchup, and hope for the best. It’s pointless to say to play Drew Brees or Jamaal Charles. If you’ve had to get by with Josh McCown after Aaron Rodgers was injured, then hopefully you added Jay Cutler who’s going to start this week for the Bears. Or maybe you have Robert Griffin III, and found out this week Mike Shanahan has benched him for the rest of the season. If you’re stuck at the quarterback position this week or just don’t like the matchup if you’re quarterback isn’t one of the top five or six, then the suggestions below can help get you through to next week. The running back, wide receiver and tight end start/sits are largely for flex or a 3rd spot in the position. Remember if you’re on the fence about a guy, it’s all about the upside, whether it’s a good matchup, or even the opportunity for garbage time at the end of the game, if you figure he’ll be playing from behind. After that, you wait and see what kind of luck you’re going to have.
Matt Ryan: This week Matt Ryan is at home facing the Redskins pass defense. That alone should be enough to place Ryan in a starting lineup, but it also helps the Falcons defense is almost as bad. Even with Kurt Cousins starting at quarterback for the Redskins, they should be able to stay within reach of Ryan and the Falcons offense to keep Ryan throwing through the fourth quarter.
Ryan Tannehill: He’s been playing great lately, with the help of Charles Clay. The Patriots defense is pretty much average against the pass. The past three weeks he’s thrown six touchdowns and over 300 yards twice, one of those games being against the Panthers. Tannehill should be able to keep up with Brady in warm Miami.
Joe Flacco: Wintry weather won’t be an issue in the dome in Detroit, and neither should the Lions defense for Flacco. It also helps he has Dennis Pitta back who scored a touchdown in his first game back last week.
Carson Palmer: The Titans secondary is pretty good and it’s pretty well known the way to beat the Titans is in the running game. He’s been good lately but the game plan should feature a lot on the ground from the Cardinals, instead of the pass.
Andy Dalton: On the road against the Steelers is a tough matchup this week for Dalton and the Bengals. He’s had flashes of good and equal amounts of bad which makes it tough to gauge what kind of week it’s going to be for him. If it was in Cincinnati, he’d be a better option.
Mike Glennon: Even with the 49ers coming all the way across country to the east coast, Glennon doesn’t look favorable against a defense ranked third best against the pass.
Running back: Start’em
Andre Ellington: He should see more of the field this week after being limited last week, but getting a touchdown on his limited touches. The Titans are near the bottom against the run and Ellington should have plenty of opportunity along with Rashard Mendenhall to get in the end zone.
Steven Jackson: At home against one of the worst rush defenses in the league, and he’s scored his first three touchdowns of the season in the past three games since returning from injury.
Giovani Bernard: He’s been active both in the run and the pass game. The Steelers defense is barely in the bottom half against the run, but his potential in the passing game and nose for the end zone makes him a nice flex play, even better in ppr leagues.
Running back: Sit’em
Bobby Rainey: Since taking over the starting job he’s become a predictable plug and play matchup option. He’s been held in check against the good (Carolina and Detroit) and feasted against the bad (Miami, Atlanta, Buffalo). This week looks a bit ugly against the Niners top ten run defense.
Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller: The Jaguars have played good defense the past month which has a lot to do with their five wins at the latter half of the season. Last week they held Ben Tate in check after he came off a three touchdown performance the week before. Plus Jackson and Spiller are like a mixed bag of candy. You don’t know what you’re going to get from which one, each week anymore. Spiller has a habit this year of having a good game followed up by three bad ones in a row. Jackson was good at the beginning of the year but he’s had one good game in the later half against the Falcons. Spiller’s good game was two weeks ago and the Jags aren’t as bad as the Falcons anymore. Take a pass on both this week
Andre Brown: This is simply a matchup call. The Giants host the Seahawks, who actually surrendered a hundred yards against Frank gore last week. So they’re not happy, and Eli Manning doesn’t pose any threat trying to scramble away. I’d expect the Seahawks try to force Manning to beat them by taking away the run.
Julian Edelman: With Rob Gronkowski out for the year the logical direction for Brady to look should be towards Edelman. He has more chemistry with Brady as of late, even when Gronkowski was on the field. The Dolphins are near the top against the pass, but it is Tom Brady and he’ll have to look elsewhere for those passes that when to Gronk.
Harry Douglas: He’s been quieted a bit lately with the reemergence of Roddy White. This week with the Redskins in town he should be able to get back on track and he makes for a nice flex option especially in ppr leagues.
Dennis Pitta: Last week in his first game of the season he scored a touchdown. He was on fire last year in the playoffs and Flacco should look his way plenty as another option in the passing game. The matchup on paper isn’t great against the Lions, but Pitta has proven in the past he is a critical part of the Ravens offense. All in all, his return should open things up more for the Ravens.
Jacoby Jones: With Dennis Pitta back in the mix Jones’s targets are sure to decline. All season he hasn’t had more than four receptions in a game and just one game that eclipsed a hundred yards. He’s valuable as a special team returner; and probably would have had two return touchdowns two weeks in a row if it wasn’t for Mike Tomlin interfering on the sideline. Aside from that, he’s a risky play at wide receiver.
Tavon Austin: His status for this week with his ankle injury is questionable. The Saints are eighth best against the pass. Austin as actually had more rushing yards then receiving in recent games. If you get points on special teams he may be worth a flex play, if he plays, but considering the matchup and injury, he’d be a risky start against the Saints.
Heath Miller: Ben Roethlisberger has targeted him consistently in recent weeks, but this week against the Bengals is a bad matchup. They’re seventh best against tight ends and Miller hasn’t had a touchdown since week seven, his only score of the year.
Source: ABC News