For most leagues, fantasy playoffs are beginning. Hopefully your team is so dominant that you don’t have to worry about setting your lineup until after finals are done.
Really smart fantasy owners and really smart students are a lot alike. They do all of their work during the regular season so that they don’t have to worry when the playoffs come around. Even if a tragedy strikes, their lineups are still OK. And even in the worst-case scenario, they can just go to the waiver wire and cram a player into their lineup, right before the games begin. I’m not much of a crammer when it comes to fantasy football. Unfortunately, my studying habits and my fantasy football habits rarely align.
I’m a third-year student, both at NDSU and in fantasy football, so I’ve been around the block a few times. As someone who’s seen the best and worst of times, let me give you some interdisciplinary advice.
First tip: study a little extra for tough opponents. Just like a teacher that gives difficult tests, some opponents are tougher to beat. Put in the time to choose players with big-game potential for those matchups.
Second tip: wait until after finals to party. Never celebrate a win too early; you’re just asking to get upset.
Final tip: don’t cram for your finals. Take the time to study for your actual finals, and leave the football cramming to me.
Quarterback – Josh Allen
Allen was my start of the week last week, and he came through with 135 rushing yards and 2 passing touchdowns. His upcoming schedule is promising enough to start him for the entirety of the playoffs. Allen and the Bills face the Jets, Lions, Patriots and Dolphins in the upcoming weeks. Even if he isn’t throwing the ball that well, his rushing ability will keep him fantasy-relevant and keep defenses guessing. Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys has a mighty fine upcoming schedule as well, if he happens to still be on the waiver wire.
Running Back – Nyheim Hines
I know what you’re thinking. This guy? Really? Well, hate it or not, the Colts’ next four weeks could be in Hines’ favor. The Texans, Cowboys, Giants and Titans are the next teams to take on Indianapolis. I think all of those teams at the very least have the potential to compete or put pressure on Luck, so Hines could be in store for a lot of checkdowns. You wouldn’t start Hines in a standard league, but he has a fairly consistent floor in PPR leagues. You could also take a shot on Jeff Wilson Jr., who emerged as the next guy up in San Francisco last week.
Wide Receiver – Adam Humphries
Humphries has been on fire for a few weeks now, scoring a touchdown in three straight games. He isn’t the No. 1 receiving option in Tampa Bay, but he could be played consistently for the rest of the year as long as he keeps scoring. The Bucs are playing the Saints, Ravens, Cowboys and Falcons to end the year. Curtis Samuel is another guy that always seems to end up with the ball in the end zone. You could do worse than taking a shot on someone like that.
Tight End – Jonnu Smith
I’m just going to say it: this is the worst year for tight ends in the history of fantasy football. Each and every year, a wave of unexpected talent comes in at the running back position. The tight end position is also like a wave … of sadness. If the running back landscape is a tidal wave, the tight end landscape is staring at a framed photo of a kiddie pool. Anyway, Smith scores sometimes. That’s it. If you want a boom or bust option at tight end, Smith is the answer. He’s scored three touchdowns in the last five weeks, and he’s probably available in your league. The Titans play some tough competition down the stretch, but I know better than to try to predict when the Titans are going to win or lose. Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah might give you some consistency, although he’s only scored over 10 PPR fantasy points once this year.