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Fantasy Football: Four starts, three sits for Championship Week

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If you have gotten this far, don’t be afraid to be bold

NFL: Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Blake Bortles
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was a rough one. I lost two of three semi’s matchups, owning AB in both, and getting Gurley’d in my home league. Once I looked at this week’s schedule, I was almost glad I didn’t make the finals. Twelve games on Christmas EVE?! Two games ON Christmas?!?! Insanity. Blasphemy. Lot of Dads ruining the Holidays on their cell phones this year, and I blame the NFL. Roger Goodell should have to send an apology letter to every fantasy finals household. Something like, “$50M annual reasons I don’t care about your Holiday.”

The fantasy finals are upon us, and the show must go on. I am actually still playing for a chunk of dough, so I’ve invested time this week. I’m focusing this edition of Start/Sits on upside flex plays who may warrant a Hail Mary start. Start who got you this far, but if you need a fringe player, be aggressive and look for blow up spots. Good luck this week my friends, and thanks for reading.

Starts

Elijah Penny, RB, ARI

Sorry Big Blue, but we are a target for rushing production. Kerwynn Williams injured his quad against the Redskins, and Penny carried 10 times for 45 yards in the second half. Williams hasn’t practiced all week, and if he sits on Sunday, Penny becomes a free volume based RB2 with upside for more.

Mike Wallace, WR, BAL

This one will take some intestinal fortitude, but you didn’t get here by being afraid. Jeremy Maclin is doubtful, almost guaranteeing 10+ targets to the still dangerous Wallace against the Colts’ Cover Zero (no one) defense.

Antonio Gates, TE, SD

Why not? Hunter Henry is on IR, and the Bolts are playing to stay alive against a torpedoing Jets squad. He should be good for at least 3-4 RZ targets, and that’s where his box out is still undefeated.

Blake Bortles, QB, JAX

His biggest problem may be his name. He could turn into Joe Montana, and I’d be like na, it’s Blake Bortles. Just like Blaine Gabbert. Those names just can’t invoke confidence, and unfortunately, you have to trust Blake Bortles right now. He’s a QB1 against the Niners secondary who will be overwhelmed by the speed of the young Jaguar receivers.

Sits

A.J. Green, WR, CIN

A sad state of affairs in Cincy. Coach Lewis checked out weeks ago, Dalton has regressed (again), and it turns out it was dumb to let an All-Pro left tackle in Andrew Whitworth walk in the offseason. Green is probably a low end WR2 this week, but that could mean you have 2-3 better options, and may just have to bench your first-round pick.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, OAK

This is a tough one because of history. If enough vintage Beast Mode shows up, matchup is irrelevant. But that can’t be assumed with this Raiders team, and the Philadelphia Eagles are the best rush defense in the league. Too much risk for finals week for my blood.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, SF

I love the Jimmy G story, but he hasn’t faced a defense like this. Jacksonville has been stifling all comers, and the Niners don’t have the firepower to inspire confidence in their new franchise QB in Week 16.