Meridian Star

December 3, 2013

Fantasy forecast: It’s time for fantasy playoffs

By Zach Kilpatrick
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — The fantasy playoffs are finally here!    

    Last Wednesday, I said I really liked Nate Burleson (WR/DET). That’s because he was averaging six catches for 80 yards a game before being hurt, and in his first game back he had seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. But, that is a small sample size after missing seven weeks. So, it was a gamble worth taking in the regular season, but not in the playoffs. Here, you want to play only your most sure players.

    I have started a twitter account just for this column: @Zach_ffootball. I will retweet lots of solid fantasy football info, and you can tweet me and ask questions like “would you recommend Garcon or Douglas as my second receiver this week?” I will do my best to respond to those, and some of them may end up here. So, follow me, tweet me your questions, and maybe some funny stuff as well. If you don’t use twitter, email me at


    Jay Cutler (CHI)- Available in about 50 percent of leagues. Make sure that he will be back and playing, but if so he gets the 26th, 32nd, and 15th ranked pass defenses the next three weeks. And, with the emergence of Alshon Jeffery to complement Brandon Marshall, he could put up some really big points. If he is not playing, look at Josh McCown who has been solid and is available in about 85 percent of leagues.

    Nick Foles (PHI)- I know I mention him a lot, but he hasn’t scored under 20 points since becoming the starter in Week 9. He is still available in about 30 percent of leagues, and gets the 21st and 30th ranked pass defenses the next two weeks.


    Honestly, there isn’t much help left on the waiver wire at running back. So, if you have a question about who to start then tweet or email me, and I’ll try to help you. Here is the one I have for you:

    Pierre Thomas (NO)- Not the best pure back, but in a PPR league he could be very valuable. The Saints play the Panthers  seventh best run defense twice in the next three weeks, but they do get the 29th ranked Rams defense in Week 14. He is available in about 35 percent of leagues.


    Michael Floyd (ARI)- You saw his name in the Week 12 column, and he has gotten better since then. Over the last three weeks he has averaged six catches for 132 yards and has added two touchdowns. He gets the 17th ranked Rams secondary this week, and is available in about 30 percent of leagues.

    Julian Edelman (NE)- If you thought Edelman was done when Rob Gronkowski came back, think again. He has nine catches for over 100 yards in both Weeks 12 and 13 and could offer you help in the playoffs. He is available in 70 percent of leagues.


Thursday Night Start ‘em Sit ‘em:

    As always, use your head and don’t start a lesser player that you see here just because I like him or sit your best option because I don’t like him. It's always about playing the odds.

    This week we have a battle for the bottom. We have a two win Houston team and a three win Jacksonville team. So, really there is no telling what will happen. But, I will do my best to direct you a little bit.


    Believe it or not this Jaguars secondary is a bit above average (14th). For that reason, the only Texans receiver that I feel really good about is Andre Johnson, who is a must start. Monitor his health, but if Ben Tate plays I strongly advise playing him. This team may be ranked 14th in points given up to WR’s, but they are 26th in points given up to quarterbacks.

    You should have a more dependable starter, but if your guy has a terrible matchup or is hurt I actually like Case Keenum’s chances of doing well this week. Last, and also least, we have Garrett Graham who matches up against the 4th worst defense against tight ends. He isn’t a safe play, but if you have nothing else he is available in about 70 percent of leagues.


    If I had Maurice Jones-Drew I would start him against the 18th best run defense, and if I had Cecile Shorts I would probably play him as well (depending on who else I had, this Houston team is 6th best vs. WR’s). Past that, I would avoid this Jaguars team. Unless you are in an IDP league, in which case Paul Posluszny is a strong play every week.