On one hand, it seems like a terrible time to get “cute” with your fantasy football lineups. After all, you’re in the semifinals, so you should have a roster full of reliable players. But on the other hand, this is no time to play scared. You’re guaranteed a shot at third place next week if you lose, so why not risk it all to make it to the Big Show. Let’s take a look at some of the bold starts this week that may just vault you into the dance.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo
The majority of weekly top 10 QBs have rough matchups this week. Luck @ MIN, Brees @ ARI, I could go on and on. Taylor, who has been volatile this year, gets the best possible matchup; a home game against the Browns. The only fear I see with Tyrod is Shady McCoy going ballistic, rendering a passing game unnecessary. I feel good about Tyrod’s floor however due to his own rushing prowess, and I’m seriously considering him over Brees in one of my playoff games this weekend.
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore
Similar to Taylor, Flacco gets the downtrodden Eagles defense in a home matchup. The Ravens still have playoff hopes, and the Eagles are wondering what went wrong. Flacco has been sharp of late, and easily has top 5 QB upside this week. I am also considering starting him over Drew Brees in another game this weekend.
Kenneth Farrow, RB, San Diego
Melvin Gordon is out, as are most of his fantasy owners (ZING), and Farrow filled in admirably last week against Carolina. This week, Farrow gets the Raiders poor run defense at Qualcomm stadium. His only roadblock to success is Ronnie Hillman; the recently signed RB who is on his third team this season. Hillman can be electric at times, and will be hyped for the game as a San Diego State Aztec alum, but I don’t see a full blown timeshare with Farrow. I think he spells him on obvious passing downs, and maybe gets 5-8 touches. Farrow, an undrafted rookie out of Houston, is 5-foot-9, 218 pounds, and has plus athleticism for his size. I’m banking on 15+ touches, which surely puts him in RB2 range. You can’t fear an unknown player, especially at RB, because volume trumps all.
Taylor Gabriel, WR, Atlanta
Julio Jones “should” sit another week to rest his sprained toe, as the Falcons won’t need him to dispatch the lowly Niners. If he does sit, Taylor Gabriel is an automatic WR2. That may give some players pause, as he has the size and look of a gadget player. But you cannot argue with the production he has put on the field in the last month. Gabriel makes the TV look like it’s in fast forward when he has the ball, and no one on the Niners defense can run with him. Oozing with upside, I will be all over Gabriel if Julio is out.