The headline today may be deceiving, because in reality, I’m not giving you all that much advice. Sure I’ll point out a few guys I like down the stretch but at this point it’s up to you.
If you’re still reading these weekly articles, you’re either in your fantasy playoffs or you’re related to me (h/t to family). The fact is, if you’re in the former group, you probably don’t need my help any longer. Hopefully I’ve helped here and there with some good start/sit material. And maybe even more than that, I just hope I’ve kept the bad calls to a minimum (sorry about recommending Kirk Cousins and Jake Locker…ugh).
But for today, I want to summarize everything up in this one sentiment--“Dance with the one who brung ya.” Darrell Royal popularized the phrase when spending some time here on the 40 Acres. The meaning is simple; stick to your guns. Don’t get tricky if there’s no need to be. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The fantasy playoffs are here and I hope and pray you stick to this simple mindset. You managed your team all year long. Not me, not ESPN, not your wife, but you. The key to setting your fantasy lineup in these vital weeks is just playing your studs. Don’t get cute. You have a feel for your lineup at this point…who’s a must start, who you’re comfortable with, and who makes you queasy.
Quite possibly the worst feeling in fantasy is taking a chance and starting a guy over one of your typical starters…only to see them sputter on their way to two receptions for eight yards. It’s always better to lose with someone you love than to watch your studs going off on your bench. So before I make a few recommendations, please keep this in mind--dance with the one who brung ya.
· Tony Romo- Yes I absolutely loved him last week and yes he absolutely fell on his face. 199 yards and two interceptions against a bottom-five pass defense is horrific. And yet here I am, showing some love to the Dallas QB again. His fantasy schedule is just way too good to pass up, even accounting for his Thanksgiving dud. In the next four weeks, Romo faces four of the 10 worst passing defenses on the year, and three of those games are against bottom-five defenses. Yes, he may come back to bite you, but you have to roll with those matchups and hope he turns things around.
· Mark Ingram- The Saints running back continues to dominate the touches out of a typically split-up backfield, and he’s making the best of them. He’s had at least 90 total yards in five of his last six games and is averaging more than 20 carries per contest. Ingram has a great matchup against a depleted Panthers defense this upcoming week, and then has a tasty back to back in weeks 16 and 17 when he plays the Falcons and Bucs. Keep starting the Saints workhorse back and reap the benefits as he dominates the touches.
· Doug Baldwin- Hopefully if you’re in the playoffs, your lineup is full of no-doubt starters. But if it isn’t, and you find yourself looking for a WR2 or a flex, take a look at Doug Baldwin. Yes, he hasn’t produced quite like some thought he might after the Seahawks traded away Percy Harvin but he’s still the top receiving option in a good offense. On the year, Baldwin has been targeted 70 times, or 17 more than the second most targeted receiver, Jermaine Kearse. He also has 19 more receptions, so he’s converting those targets at a much higher rate than Kearse. In order for the Seahawks to have playoff success, I think they must start getting Russell Wilson into playoff form. This means less running and more time for the Wisconsin product to gel with his receiving core. In the final four weeks of the season, Baldwin faces three secondaries in the bottom 15 in fantasy pass defense. If you’re looking for that flex to fill out your playoff lineup, Baldwin might be your guy.
Short and sweet this week. Playoff time means it’s your job to manage your team. You did something right, or else you wouldn’t be sitting in a playoff spot in week 14. As Darrell Royal would tell you, “Dance with the one who brung ya.” Ride the boat you built and pray it’s still afloat after the dust settles. As always, feel free to email me with any start/sit questions, or waiver wisdom you may need at FantasyDecisions@gmail.com
This is the last week for new material here at the Daily Texan before heading off to Christmas break, and I must say I’m sad to see the column coming to an end. I can’t begin to explain how exciting it’s been writing these articles every week. Getting the chance to talk fantasy football via a medium like this has been a huge blessing for me both as a journalism student and fantasy writer. Thank you to each of you who took the time to read each and every week. Follow me @BradleyMaddox5 for all things sports.
And who knows, maybe you’ll see me back around these parts next season…