Meridian Star

January 2, 2014

Fantasy forecast: You kidding me? Playoffs?!?

Zach Kilpatrick / Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

— Oh yes, we are talking about playoffs. The regular season is over and you have either won or lost. So maybe congratulations or maybe condolences, but either way that is old news. The regular season is history. Now you have to prove yourself by having a great fantasy “draft” every week when all the games are meaningful and all of the players are good. The real playoffs are here, and if you haven’t joined a league it isn’t too late, but hurry because games start Saturday.

    In the playoffs you choose a new team every week. So, I am simply going to rank the players and tell you what other guys I like, and maybe even give you a few that I dislike. There are three major factors that I look at when deciding who to add to my roster: 1) Weather: it is going to be nasty cold in some games this weekend. 2) The strength of the opposing defensive unit. 3) How many carries/targets do I feel like this person is likely to get?



QB

1 Nick Foles

2 Aaron Rodgers

3 Drew Brees

4 Colin Kaepernick

5 Andrew Luck/ Andy Dalton (IND/CIN)



RB

1 Jamaal Charles (KC)

2 Lesean McCoy (PHI)

3 Frank Gore (SF)

4 Eddie Lacy (GB)

5 Ryan Mathews (SD)



WR

1 A.J. Green (CIN)

2 Jordy Nelson (GB)

3 DeSean Jackson (PHI)

4 Marques Colston (NO)

5 Anquan Boldin (SF)



TE

1 Jimmy Graham (NO)

2 Vernon Davis (SF)

3 Antonio Gates (SD)

4 Colby Fleener (IND)

5 Brent Celek (PHI)



D/ST

1 Cincinnati Bengals

2 Kansas City Chiefs

3 San Fransisco 49ers

4 Indianapolis Colts

5 Philadelphia Eagles



    Players that are not ranked but that I am really high on this week:

   

    Andrew Luck/Andy Dalton- I am high on these guys for different reasons. As far as Luck goes he has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks all year long. He is playing at home, in a dome, and he should be able to put up his average number of yards and points even against a very respectable Kansas City defense. Dalton is a different story, he has been up and down all year, but usually up at home. The fact that he is playing a pretty weak San Diego secondary probably gives him the edge on Luck, but I am calling them 5a Dalton and 5b Luck.

    Giovani Bernard (RB/Cin)- I was really tempted to make Bernard fifth and put Ryan Mathews here, but I feel like with the terribly cold weather in Cincy that Mathews may get more carries. Then there is that little thing called BenJarvus Green-Ellis that eats into Bernard’s production. If you are in a PPR league, I would definitely elevate Bernard into the top 5 this week.

    Keenan Allen (WR/SD)- Allen has taken over as the No. 1 wide receiver in San Diego and is a strong possibility for rookie of the year. Over the last six games of the season he averaged five catches for 72+ yards a game and scored five TD’s. Oh, and in Week 13 he took this Cincinnati secondary for eight catches and 106 yards. It will be cold, but I expect the Chargers to have to throw to keep up in this one, which bodes well for Allen.



Sleeper:

    Mark Ingram (RB/NO)-
My one sleeper pick for the week is Ingram. The Saints are talking really big about “trying to approach this game differently”. If they stick to that then they should be trying to run outdoors in cold weather, and if they are I believe Ingram could be in for a big game.



    Dark Horse: My dark horse pick for this week is probably the most risky one that I have picked yet. This is a guy that only has 17 catches all season. He only has 376 receiving yards, but did somehow manage 3 TD’s. This week’s Dark Horse is the San Diego Chargers No. 2 tight end Ladarius Green. Green is as big of a boom-or-bust play as there is, and I sure wouldn’t bet my one-week-season on him. I just have a feeling that Cincy is going to take away Allen and Antonio Gates, and if they do Phillip Rivers might look to Green for a few good catches.

    End Note: The best thing about playing fantasy football in the playoffs is that if you are a loser, you are only a loser for one week and then you get to start over. So sign up for a league and either prove that your championship wasn’t a fluke, or that your terrible season was. See ya next week.