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Playoff Fantasy Forecast

Fantasy Forecast

After a one week hiatus, the Fantasy Forecast is back.  This time we will be covering weeks 14 through 16, also known as the Fantasy Football Playoffs.  These are the weeks that will separate the champions from the also-rans.  Let’s take a look at what these three weeks have in store for your players.

Stormy (Poor Schedule)

Russell Wilson
Next 3 Opponents: @JAX, LAR, @DAL
If you are relying on Russell Wilson as your locked and loaded starter, I would look to your bench or the waiver wire for a replacement.  Otherwise, you may be facing an early exit from the playoffs.  The Jaguars defense is holding opposing QBs to single-digit fantasy points, and this will be a road game for the Seahawks who will have to travel just about as far as any team can travel in the contiguous 48.  For what it’s worth, the Rams are also a top 5 defense against opposing QBs and they seem to have Wilson’s number lately.

Leonard Fournette
Next 3 Opponents: SEA, HOU, @SF
If it isn’t his ankle giving Fournette issues, it will be the schedule.  Owners may be tempted by that championship week matchup against the 49ers, but I don’t know how likely you are to survive that long with matchups against the Seahawks and Texans in the way.  The scariest part about these matchups is that it has been much easier to pass on these teams as of late, so the Jaguars might just take the path of least resistance and go to the air to beat these two opponents.

Evacuation Warning (Very Poor)

Greg Olsen
Next 3 Opponents: MIN, GB, TB
The good news is that the Panthers get to play 3 straight home games.  That’s really where the good news ends for Olsen.  Still dealing with pain in his recently broken foot, Olsen isn’t guaranteed to play in these games.  Even if he does suit up, he will be met with two top 5 defenses in the Packers and the Buccaneers.  Oh, by the way, the Vikings are a top 10 defense against TEs also.  No thanks.

Partly Cloudy (Decent, will get better)

Philip Rivers
Next 3 Opponents: WAS, @KC, @NYJ
Philip Rivers is going to be especially enticing if you have a bye in Week 14, or if your playoffs do not start until Week 15.  Kansas City is giving up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs while the Jets are the most generous defense in this category.  The Chargers have hit their stride in recent weeks with the combination of Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry in the passing game (with some Travis Benjamin sprinkled in).  I expect Rivers to lead his owners to a championship.

Blake Bortles
Next 3 Opponents: SEA, HOU, @SF
If Rivers is unavailable, Bortles is another great option for those with a less meaningful Week 14.  His Week 15 and 16 opponents are the Texans and the 49ers.  Even against the Seahawks, as discussed above, the Jaguars may have better luck passing than rushing.  Bortles can be a sneaky if risky play.

Clear Skies (Favorable)

Michael Crabtree
Next 3 Opponents: @KC, DAL, @PHI
Michael Crabtree returns from his one-game suspension to a team in desperate need of his services.  Amari Cooper is still in the concussion protocol as I’m writing this, not to mention his ankle injury.  This leaves the door wide open for Crabtree to take advantage of two top 5 matchups against the Chiefs and the Cowboys.  The only team who has given up more touchdowns to opposing WRs than the Chiefs (16) is the Cowboys (17).  Crabtree is a locked and loaded start.

Devin Funchess
Next 3 Opponents: MIN, GB, TB
While the Panthers’ schedule is difficult for TEs, it is significantly easier for WRs.  With the exception of Week 14 against Minnesota who is middle of the road, the Packers and Buccaneers are very favorable matchups for the breakout WR.  It’s interesting that Funchess has played slightly better on the road than at home, but these matchups are too good to ignore.

Brisk- Sunny but Cold (Favorable, but…)

Ricky Seals-Jones
Next 3 Opponents: TEN, @WAS, NYG
This schedule for Seals-Jones is very favorable, but… he’s still Seals-Jones.  The undrafted rookie TE for the Arizona Cardinals has played well when given the opportunity but can still be a risky play.  If you are desperate because of injuries or other terrible matchups, you could do worse than taking a shot on Seals-Jones who is averaging 57 yards and a TD over his last 3 games.

Buffalo Bills Defense/Special Teams
Next 3 Opponents: IND, MIA, @NE
DO NOT START THE BILLS AGAINST THE PATRIOTS.  With that disclaimer out of the way, the Bills are playing at home each of the next two weeks and gets to face Jacoby Brissett and Jay Cutler.  Neither gunslinger has shown a particular aptitude for ball security or avoiding sacks this season.  And while their offense is in shambles, the Bills defense has been decent.  They currently have the 6th most interceptions in the league and have given up the 10th fewest points to opposing offenses.  Deploy if needed.


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