This past week wasn’t a great one for my fantasy surprises. While Doug Baldwin had a monster game, the other players selected had adequate games at best. In the majority of leagues, the fantasy playoffs are either just beginning or wrapping up this week. This year is unlike any I can remember in terms of players who have ended up having to bail fantasy teams out. Heck, a lot of teams are going to be counting on a running back who hadn’t played in the league for the past four years (Tim Hightower) or the Patriots third or fourth string running backs this weekend. Just goes to show you how much preparation is put in, so much of fantasy is luck mixed with how a fantasy owner responds the adversity against their roster.
QB: Alex Smith vs Ravens: Due to his tendencies to check down far more frequently than air it out, Smith isn’t usually an option considered by fantasy owners. This week however he has a fantastic matchup against a very burnable Ravens secondary. It’s also worth noting that Smith has been very effective as a runner which should also earn him a few extra points. If you need to stream a quarterback, he should be a solid option. Expect around 250 total yards and two touchdowns.
RB: Denard Robinson vs Falcons: Here is another example of a player with the chance to be a fantasy postseason hero. With T.J. Yeldon doubtful for Sunday’s contest, Robinson figures to see a full workload. Robinson who impressed in his time as a starter last year is facing a Falcons defense which has been very generous to opponents on the ground. Start him with plenty of confidence this week. Expect around 90 total yards and a touchdown.
WR: Danny Amendola vs Titans: With the Patriots extremely banged up at running back, Tom Brady will be throwing early and often in this one. Against a struggling secondary, that should mean a fair amount of looks Amendola’s way. Even if this game escalates quickly, it wouldn’t be surprising if eight or nine balls were thrown his way. Amendola makes for a solid WR2 or flex play this week. Expect around 70 yards and a touchdown.
TE: Vernon Davis vs Steelers: Davis isn’t the clear Broncos tight end to have as Owen Daniels is still in the picture. However, Brock Osweiler seemed to really trust Davis last week looking his way early and often. This week Davis goes up against another defense that has been vulnerable in tight end coverage. While he is a bit of a risky play, there is big upside here. Expect around 50 yards and a touchdown.
K: Dustin Hopkins vs Bills: Despite tons of talent and Rex Ryan being defensive oriented, the Bills haven’t really lived up to the hype on that side of the ball. While the Redskins aren’t an offensive juggernaut, they could have some success in this one as the Bills secondary is banged up. Hopkins figures to see some opportunities as a result. And if they stall on the Bills side of the field it just means more field goal attempts. Expect around two field goals and two extra points.
DEF: Jaguars vs Falcons: If you add up Blake Bortles, the aforementioned Robinson, receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, Julius Thomas and now the defense, the Jaguars might not of had this many playable fantasy options in a week since Bill Clinton was in office. Despite a red hot start to the year, the Falcons offense has just been a mess the last month or so. But then again, they have the talent so this could just be due to Kyle Shanahan’s lack of adjustments. It probably isn’t a coincidence that many Shanahan offenses started and ended their seasons in a similar fashion. Maybe he could make a PowerPoint to explain why he’s with his third team in three years.
Julio Jones is going to get his numbers and Devonta Freeman in terms of total yardage could have a nice day. But despite that, there isn’t much of a supporting cast at Matt Ryan’s disposal. If you’ve ever really considered starting the Jaguars defense in recent years, this seems to be the time to do it. Expect around three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery.