Congratulations on making the playoffs as I assume if you are reading this, you have in fact made it to the holy land. This is what you’ve been working so hard for, why you started your research a month before the fantasy draft, what keeps Sunday Scaries in your life every single Sunday. Only fantasy players alike can truly understand the feeling you get when you make the playoffs. It truly is one of the best feelings any given year. If you’re reading this because you are looking to avoid the Sacko or playing for next year’s draft position, my condolences, but don’t worry we are still here to help you out too.
Larry Fitzgerald | WR | Arizona Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald does not have more than three catches in a game over the past three weeks. And yet, he has scored less than 10 fantasy points (.5 PPR) in only one of those games. The reason for this is that Fitzgerald is the main (and maybe only) red zone option for the Cardinals. Over that span, Fitzgerald has three touchdown receptions. The Cardinals struggle to move the ball down the field, which results in the low catch totals for Fitzgerald but he is still the number one passing option. Christian Kirk just went to I.R. with a broken foot so there quite literally isn’t anyone else worth noting to throw the ball to. The Cardinals face the Lions, Falcons and Rams to close out the fantasy season. Each of those three teams are extremely generous to the wide receiver position. Fitzgerald plays the slot mostly so he shouldn’t need to worry about the Darius Slay or Aqib Talib treatment. Fitzgerald is worth a keep and can be plugged into your roster if you needed. He should be considered one of the more confident replacement players depending on your league size.
Chris Thompson | RB | Washington Redskins
Chris Thompson returned to the lineup last week against the Eagles after a four game absence. In his return, the Redskins trailed almost the entire game and yet Thompson secured just three receptions for 13 yards. He also only had 3 rushing attempts for three yards in that game. The Redskins are down three starting lineman for the rest of the season and down to a quarterback they signed off the street two weeks ago. This offense is one to completely avoid other than Adrian Peterson, who is going to be run into the ground for the rest of the season. The Redskins do not want Chris Thompson to carry the ball and for good reason as he has had multiple rib injuries and isn’t ready for that physicality again this season. After a great season in 2017 and a fantastic start to the 2018 season, Chris Thompson is confirmed droppable.
Royce Freeman | RB | Denver Broncos
Royce Freeman came into the season as the sneaky pick for a breakout season. Well, analysts were right about a rookie Broncos running back breaking out this season, they just didn’t pick the right one. Phillip Lindsay is that guy and has played unbelievably well this season and is the running for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Royce Freeman has been out-produced and overshadowed all season, but he is still worth a roster spot. He has scored in half of his games played this season (5 out of 10) and what I consider to be one of the premier handcuffs in fantasy football. If Phillip Lindsay were to miss time, Royce Freeman would likely be in line for at least 18 carries per game. He holds massive value as a handcuff on a Denver offense that is 5th in rushing yards and second in yards per attempt. If Lindsay went down, Freeman would pick up that slack and retain all goal-line work. As I mentioned before, he has some stand-alone value as well with five touchdowns on the season. The Broncos schedule moving forward through the playoffs is one of the easiest in football. With that, Freeman can be considered a touchdown dependent flex option in deeper leagues throughout the playoffs. Stand-alone and handcuff value make Freeman a must-keep on your roster.
Devin Funchess | WR | Carolina Panthers
Devin Funchess has scored more than 7 fantasy points (.5 PPR) just once since Week 8. In that span he has not had more than four catches or 44 yards in a single game either. Last week was the one week he topped 7 fantasy points, and that was off of a one catch, 10 yards and a touchdown performance. Funchess is slowly being phased out of the lineup per limited snaps in favor of DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel. With the Greg Olsen injury, Funchess will likely see more red zone targets, but he is not a player that you can trust in the playoffs in your lineup on a week to week basis. At this point in the season, your bench should be comprised of players you would feel comfortable starting in a pinch. Funchess should not be that guy as he faces Denzel Ward and/or Terrance Mitchell this week and Marshon Lattimore next week. With Cam Newton’s health in question, there are more opportunistic players to own.