Have you ever dropped your spoon into a bowl of soup? Have you ever missed a crucial extra point, resulting in a loss to the New Orleans Saints? What about getting bitten by a mosquito?
Those are all minor inconveniences. Playing fantasy football playoffs in Week 17 is a major inconvenience. In the final week of the regular season, most teams know whether they’ve made the playoffs or not. In those situations, you expect key players, such as Todd Gurley or Rob Gronkowski, to sit out, which is a tragedy for fantasy football players.
Situations like these keep me up at night and inevitably affect my GPA. If you’re a league manager, set up your league to avoid Week 17 at all costs. It’s better for your league, and it’s better for fantasy football.
Quarterback – Alex Smith
Starting Alex Smith is like buying instant ramen noodles. It’s cheap, you know exactly what you’re buying and it’s the most boring meal you will eat in any given week. Even Alex Smith’s name is the most drab name in football. In standard and PPR leagues, Smith has scored between 12 and 20 points every week. He’s not exciting, but he’s not going to ruin your week either. So go ahead and slurp on some Alex Smith this week. By yourself. In the dark. Like a loser. The Redskins play in New York against the Giants next week. Of course, if Mitchell Trubisky is still available, pick him up and play him against the Jets.
Running Back – Marlon Mack
In Week 7, Mack punished the Bills defense with 2 total touchdowns and 159 all-purpose yards. With that kind of production, I expect the Colts to use him more heavily and move away from Nyheim Hines. Due to the lead the Colts had on the Bills last week, Mack got 19 carries. The Colts play the Raiders in Oakland in Week 8, so he could be due for a similar workload. For a deeper play, look to Raheem Mostert of the 49ers. He’s had solid production two weeks in a row, and the 49ers travel to Arizona next week.
Wide Receiver – Chris Godwin
Six games into his sophomore season, Godwin has yet to be shut out. He’s had at least two catches in each contest, and he is an established end zone threat. In fact, he paces all Buccaneer pass-catchers with four touchdowns this season. The Bucs face the Bengals defense in Week 8, which has allowed over 28 points per game to opposing offenses this season. Arizona WR Christian Kirk could be started this week also. With the dismissal of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy comes new hope for Cardinal owners. Arizona plays at home against San Francisco this week.
Tight End – C.J. Uzomah
Uzomah might be a risky play considering the Bengals’ pathetic performance against the Chiefs defense in Week 7, but I believe they will bounce back against Tampa Bay this week. After all, Tampa Bay is one of the only defenses that can compete with Kansas City for the worst defense in the league. The Bengals have great pass catchers on their roster, but they don’t have that many of them. Uzomah is Andy Dalton’s third or fourth best option and has a decent chance of finding the end zone in Week 8. He’s a worthy streaming candidate this week, as is Pittsburgh’s Vance McDonald, who faces the Browns.