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Fantasy Football playoffs: Week 15 lineup saviors

Who can turn you into a champ?

Tim Hightower
Tim Hightower
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Let's take a break from DFS this week, and turn our attention to seasonal fantasy semifinals. I'm lucky enough to have made three semi's out of my four leagues. The good news is I have a chance at the title; the bad news is picking lineups in the playoffs is TOO STRESSFUL. My normal goal in fantasy in the last few weeks before the trade deadline is to trade away my bench depth and decent players for weekly studs that you'd never sit. I try to do this for two main reasons:

1)  Every year like clock work, there are gem waiver wire adds that become your fantasy playoff saviors. I want room on my bench for these adds.

2)  There is nothing worse than having TOO many options on your bench to choose from, as the potential regret for starting/benching the wrong players will haunt you until next years' draft.

This year, trades were scarce. In four different leagues, there may have been a total of 8 trades. Really weak. I set a fictional record about five years when I made 37 trades in one season .. in one league. Whoa! That was too much, but no trading is lame and boring. It also lead me to the ultimate challenge of choosing newly-gifted workloads to previous waiver fodder over "studs" that I drafted high and have been erratic all season. Not ideal. Below I will list my must start players for the fantasy playoffs, but with a twist. Everyone knows to start Adrian Peterson and Rob Gronkowski, those recommendations help nobody. This list will be players who have recently stepped into a massive opportunity, and who fantasy players need to trust in their lineups in this weeks do or die matchups. Let's get after it.

Denard Robinson, RB, JAX

Shoelace had a two month stretch last year where he was an every week RB2. Jacksonville then spent a high pick on 'Bama back T.J. Yeldon, who sprained his MCL on Sunday against the Colts. Robinson immediately stepped in and parlayed 14 carries into 75 yards and a TD. With the wheels falling off in Atlanta, and no competition for touches, Shoelace is a fringe RB1 for this weekend. I'm preparing to start him over Eddie Lacy this weekend in my main Montauk league, who I drafted in the first round.

Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA

For some odd reason, Cleveland Brown's coach Mike Pettine decided to throw shade on the hottest QB in the NFL right now, Russell Wilson.  He said Wilson is not in the top tier of QB's, and that he's helped by the system and supporting cast. Though probably true statements, WHY would he says these things as he takes the worst roster in the league to Seattle and into the lion's den???  Lockett is electric, and with the uncertainty of the Seahawks' backfield, and Pete Carroll's willingness to run it up, I see Wilson torching the Browns defense through the air, giving Lockett multi TD upside.

Tim Hightower, RB, NO

The Saints left no questions on who will be replacing Marc Ingram last week, as they fed Hightower 24 carries in a win over the Bucs. This week, he gets a home matchup against Detroit's defense. Yards may be tough to come by, but scoring opportunities should be plentiful. I would feel confident starting Hightower over early draft picks such as Latavius Murray, Frank Gore, and Jeremy Hill.

Zach Miller, TE, CHI

In Miller's first start since Martellus Bennett was shipped to IR, Miller put up a 5-85-1 line on the Redskins. The Vikings defense is better than Washington's, but Miller is now Cutler's second favorite target next to Alshon Jeffrey. I would feel comfortable starting Miller over TE regulars Richard Rodgers, Heath Miller, and maybe even Travis Kelce.

I now I ask my reader's for some assitance. If you'd be so kind, please let me know in the comments section who you'd start if you were me. My RB/WR depth in my Montauk league is insanely deep, and I'm truly struggling to decide who to start. Please let me know what what five players you would role with (2 RB/2WR/flex) for the semi's.

RBs: Todd Gurley, David Johnson, Eddie Lacy, Denard Robinson, Charcandrick West

WRs: Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, TY Hilton

Like I said, I'm stressing out!!