It has been a fun-filled twelve weeks of writing this poorly punny and unfunny series for me. But all good things must come to an end at some point. Instead, I will be starting a new fantasy playoffs piece starting next week. So definitely be looking for that.
But hey, for this week, I decided I would close this year’s “Must-Stash or Mustache” series out with a bang.
I’ll take a look a look at nearly double the must-stashes and mustaches. I even felt like getting weird with some quarterbacks this week too. Why not?
But that’s enough intro. It’s time for the fantasy playoffs. Obviously if you’re reading this you probably still believe you have a chance. Or perhaps you’re a fantasy football masochist? I don’t care either way really. I’m just here for your clicks and (lackluster) entertainment. But let’s dive into some must-stash and mustache players that can (or can’t) help lead you to a fantasy championship!
Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49losers) – Poor old Kaepernick was seemingly left for dead this off-season by many. Then he grew a horrible afro and creeper stache. Usually that signifies the end for most NFL players, but not Colin. No, the past three weeks he has been a top 12 fantasy football quarterback. As you head into the fantasy playoffs you could do a whole lot worse than Kaepernick, especially if you’re looking for a home run. He’s a must-stash if you have a little extra room on your bench to maximize potential points based on juicy matchups.
Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo Bills) – Tyrod is going to be hate-dropped by some owners this week after putting up such a stinker last week against a weak Bengals team. Those owners will quickly regret it when they do indeed drop Tyrod. He has one of the most delicious cake playoff schedules out there. He faces the Raiders, Steelers, Browns, Dolphins and Jets to finish the season. Stash that must-stash with a mustache. He will be surprisingly trustworthy.
Alex Smith (Kansas City Chiefs) – I hear you. He’s the most “meh” quarterback on the planet. And yes, Alex is still really just a must-stash for superflex or deeper leagues. But! With the exception of his games against Denver, Smith actually has a pretty tasty schedule. The Falcons, Raiders, Titans and Chargers are far from flawless. Rid in the middle of the playoffs he will most definitely be stream-worthy. Stash this menial mess of mediocrity and enjoy rubbing it in the face of your irate opponents in the fantasy playoffs when you win.
Ryan Tannehill (Miami Dolphins) – Ryan Tannehill has some flashes of greatness from time to time. That is undeniable. However, there are equally frustrating terrible moments that come along with that. He also has an embarrassing offensive line in pass protection. When you mix those things with his mixed bag of match-ups in the fantasy playoffs you get a quarterback you want to avoid.
Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) – Joe “The Playoff GOAT” Flacco (that was for my friend Josh) will look like a good streaming option a couple of times coming up. However, don’t be fooled by this guy who can grow just THE worst handlebar mustache (seriously, look it up). He’s eclipsed 300 yards through the air just twice (for 307 and 302 yards). He gives you absolutely terrible upside at a position that can win you a week. Get your streamer for the fantasy playoffs elsewhere.
Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles) – Wentzylvania is trending in the right direction to have a decent NFL career. But please don’t rely on a rookie quarterback in the fantasy playoffs unless his name is Dak Prescott. Carson simply doesn’t have great match-ups, wide receivers or running backs that you want to trust. Your championship should and will have to come from someone else.
Tim Hightower (New Orleans Saints) – I have a soft spot in my heart for Tim. He helped me last year when Mark Ingram did his typical “get hurt when something matters” thing. Good ol’ Tim is back to save the day once again if Ingram can’t go at any point in the playoffs. He’s a solid RB2 when Ingram is out, but still holds flex consideration with Marky Mark in the lineup. Stash this reliable PPR option if your league mates, for some reason, haven’t already done so.
Wendell Smallwood (Philadelphia Eagles) – I do not trust Wendell Smallwood. With that said, the Eagles may not have any better option at RB with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles battling injuries. At the very least he needs to be owned for handcuffing purposes. Start him as a flex at your own risk. He’s a must-stash mustache that will probably screw you over if you start him, but help your nemesis if you don’t add him. Do what you must.
Dion Lewis (New England Patriots) – Dion Lewis was one of the most elusive running backs in NFL history last season when he was healthy. In his first real action this season Dion was only given eight touches, but don’t expect things to stay that way. The Patriots love using their receiving options out of the backfield. Expect Dion Lewis to be a league winner in this year’s fantasy playoffs.
Chris Ivory (Jacksonville Blind Kittens) – T.J. Yeldon is already bad (if you disagree, please find me on Twitter @FF_TravisM). Now he’s injured too? Chris Ivory struggled to stay healthy (as always) earlier this year, but now is the time to actually pick him up. Ivory was a top 10 fantasy running back just last season. His talent is still there. Over the last three weeks Ivory has been averaging nearly 18 touches per game. That is, at the very least, flex-worthy. Grab this guy who just might surprise near the tail end of the fantasy playoffs.
Jalen Richard (Oakland Raiders) – Jalen has been a pleasant surprise for real football purposes. But he is still buried in a terribly unpredictable running back by committee situation. Don’t even trust a flex spot to this special teamer faking it as a fantasy asset. You’ll regret it if you do.
Jamize Olawale (Oakland Raiders) – Jamize was schemed open on a beautiful 75-yard touchdown reception in a pivotal moment for the Raiders on Monday Night Football. That’s great. However, don’t let yourself believe that will be repeated. Olawale is a fullback who won’t eclipse 7 touches in any game through the fantasy playoffs. Find an actual running back.
Shaun Draughn (San Francisco 49ers) – Shaun Draughn was a fantastic fantasy asset last season with Carlos Hyde out. Now, it seems as though Shaun may find some amount of relevance as a PPR flex play, but there are more faces in the 49ers muddled backfield than last year. Even if Hyde misses time again, it isn’t clear who will get the bulk of the work. There are better backs to grab as you ready for your playoff push.
Matt Asiata (Minnesota Vikings) – I feel like I have to remind someone that Matt Asiata is bad at football every single week. He manages to fall into the end zone every once in a while, but don’t bet your season on that. Go with safer floor plays or higher “any given week” upside.
Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati Bengals) – Tyler Boyd was THE go to wide receiver for Pittsburgh in college. Yes, the NFL is faster and tougher, but if A.J. Green is truly lost for the season, Boyd is the guy I’m looking at. Brandon LaFell is a career WR3 who may have a couple relevant weeks here, but Boyd presents as an interesting option. Tyler Eifert will be bracketed consistently. Gio is out for the year. There are several more targets to go around now. Take a flier on this talented wideout.
Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs) – Tyreek is still not getting the snap count that you like to see out of a fantasy starter, but has a fantastic playoff schedule. Pick him up if you want a consistent home run threat in your flex spot for the fantasy playoffs.
Dorial Green-Beckham (Philadelphia Eagles) – Is Dorial Green-Beckham finally figuring things out? If he is you’re going to want him on your roster. Dorial has fantastic physical tools to be a legit WR1. He’s more of a speculative add than someone to trust right away. But out of all the wide receivers who are probably still out there on your waiver wire, he presents the most upside.
Adam Thielen (Minnesota Vikings) – Adam Thielen might be one of the best route runners in the NFL. He’s also clearly gained some rapport with Sam Bradford. He has had at least two catches in every game this season. Diggs didn’t practice today. Thielen is a great flex play now, but if Diggs misses any time he will be a must-start.
Kenny Britt (Los Angeles Jeff Fishers) – Well, if you have been enjoying Britt’s late career renaissance, I hate to break it to you, but it’s over. Jared Goff didn’t complete a pass ten yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Britt’s only upside will come if he manages to find the end zone. Good luck guessing when that will be in Jeff Fisher’s putrid offense.
Malcolm Mitchell (New England Patriots) – I love Malcolm Mitchell as a dynasty hold or buy. He’s a tough, solid route runner. He will find some fantasy goodness in the future. However, let’s not pretend that Malcolm will be a trustworthy option for the fantasy playoffs. New England’s passing game flows heavily through the TEs and RBs. Grab him in a keeper or dynasty, but don’t expect another start-worthy week in 2016.
Tajae Sharpe (Tennessee Titans) – Tajae, like Malcolm, is a solid hold for dynasty and deep keeper leagues. He’s also shown to be potentially the best route runner on his team. The Titans have started throwing more as of late, but it seems the favorite target of the week shifts pretty frequently. Tajae may grow into Mariota’s favorite target in the future, but for now he’s a little too risky for my taste in the playoffs.
Ted Ginn Jr. (Carolina Panthers) – Ted Ginn runs one route really well; the go route. He will make a crazy circus deep catch every once in a while, but is not to be trusted in fantasy lineups. Ted put up an impressive streak of touchdowns last year, but that won’t be the case with the entirety of the Panthers receiving corps intact.
C.J. Fiedorowicz (Houston Texans) – CJ FieGOATowicz has been fantastic this season. He has had at least 4 catches in every game since week 4. Brock Osweiler clearly trusts this young stud in the short to intermediate throws. Fiedorowicz presents a very healthy balance of safe floor and upside at a position where consistency is rare.
Eric Ebron (Detroit Lions) – For some reason Ebron is still available in many fantasy football leagues. Ebron is a former first round pick with gobs of receiving talent. Over the past three weeks he has had at least 70 yards in every game. Go stash this top 12 fantasy tight end as you head into the fantasy playoffs.
Vance McDonald (San Francisco 49ers) – Vance seemed to have so much promise heading into this season. He even started off hot scoring a couple touchdowns early. However, the 49ers are a dumpster fire right now when it comes to providing steady fantasy assets. Since Kaepernick has gotten going Vance has seen an increase in targets, but there are still several other options you should trust instead.
Jared Cook (Green Bay Packers) – Jared Cook had such a Jared Cook game this week. He let a sure touchdown bounce off of his shoulder. Then he catches two long bombs. He disappears for a bit. Then he catches a contested touchdown off a decent slant route. But then of course he can’t end on a good note so he decides to fumble the ball to crush any hopes that the Packers had left in winning the game on Sunday. Don’t trust a man famous for his blunders. Grab someone, anyone else.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on Twitter @FF_TravisM. Good luck this week!