Cue the fanfare and revelry; you’ve made the fantasy playoffs!
At least, I hope you have… You’d have to be some kind of maniac to keep torturing yourself with fantasy football articles when your season is dead to rights.
So for those of you who are here because you’re shooting for a championship, congratulations. You have earned your way into the most exciting portion of the fantasy season; The playoffs.
I’m not going to waste any more of your team. You’ve been here before; you know how this works. Let’s start calling “Truth or Bogus?” on the week’s biggest headlines.
Tyler Boyd is an Every-Week Starter With Green Out
BOGUS – Yeah, perhaps a bit surprising with AJ Green out for the season, but I’m not convinced Boyd will be able to be an every-week starter. Especially for Playoff-Bound teams.
If you’re the Green owner, you’ll be tempted to start Boyd without question. But consider a few situations surrounding the Bengals.
First off, whatever you might think of him Andy Dalton was able to support a solid fantasy receiver, even if he was unexciting. But can Jeff Driskel consistently do that? He was able to get the ball to Boyd for 97 yards on Sunday, so why not moving forward?
Well, AJ Green and Andy Dalton aren’t the only injuries on this team. The Bengals have been throttled on the Offensive Line with injuries, and they’ll likely be relying on a third-string Left Tackle moving forward. That’s going to put Driskel under a terrific amount of pressure moving forward. Considering his propensity for short passes, Boyd’s ceiling will be extremely limited.
Tyler Boyd is a mediocre receiver in a terrible situation. Joe Mixon will be leaned on moving forward, and Boyd will probably have a usable fantasy effort at least once over the next three weeks. But I think it’s far more likely you’ll see some sub-50-yard efforts, and that’s killer in the playoffs.
Jaylen Samuels Would be an RB1 if Conner Misses Time
TRUTH – Hell yes he would be. I have been intrigued by Samuels’ potential since he was drafted as a TE in this year’s draft. I’m more than confident he’d be a solid option should Conner miss time.
Let’s get the main point of this take out of the way: Conner may not miss time. But I had already started gushing about Samuels before the news of Conner’s potential quick return broke, so hear me out in case he IS pressed into action.
Samuels is a physical freak. He was utilized in every aspect of the game during his time in college as a member of the NC State Wolfpack. Some of his highlights are ridiculous (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1HGHiaNsl4), and he carries the bonus of being a TE eligible player in most fantasy leagues.
It’s also important to remember that Conner has narrowly dodged injury before, and he has had to battle through some tough and painful dings throughout this season. Even if this injury doesn’t keep him out long-term, he is one tough tackle away from the IR.
At this point, it seems like I could throw on pads, read the playbook for a couple of hours, and succeed as the Steelers’ starting RB. That’s how good this O-Line is. Samuels will be an RB1 if Conner misses time. He might even be better than Conner was.
Tyler Lockett Is A Must-Start
TRUTH – It’s understandable that people would still be hesitant to start Tyler Lockett despite his TD upside. But I hear to tell you, if Russell Wilson is the heart of this offense, then Lockett is the lifeblood.
His output over this season has proven one thing very clearly to me; The Seahawks look to utilize Lockett as a game breaker. Say what you want about the ‘Hawks or Pete Carroll, but this team knows how to inject a little nitrous into their offense when it’s needed.
Lockett doesn’t even need volume to succeed. If he gets 4 catches in a game, that probably means he has cleared 50 yards in doing so. He wins his matchups against DBs and Safeties with his next-level speed, and he is as sure-handed of a deep threat as can be hoped for.
Brian Schottenheimer has developed a pretty efficient offense. They use a versatile rushing attack to set the stage for Lockett and David Moore. When he gets the look he wants after he knows his team is set up for a big play, he and Russ call the shot and more often than not, it gets done right.
Russell Wilson remains one of the top fantasy QBs despite some of the lowest yardage output, and the offensive play-calling is a big reason for that.
Lockett is a TD magnet and a constant threat for a big play. He might let you down and miss out on the end zone, but he’s still likely to have ripped off a 30+ yard gain and put up a usable fantasy effort. He does carry a stinker-alert on the off-chance a defense can contain him, but unlike Tyler Boyd, Lockett has all the tools to succeed despite the obvious low-floor.
Spencer Ware is an RB1 Moving Forward
TRUTH – Although his road to RB1-ness might be off to a rough start with the Chiefs’ upcoming matchup against the Ravens, Ware will still be a great RB option.
Don’t forget, Ware was supposed to be the starter last year before getting knocked out in the preseason with a season-ending injury. Spencer Ware is far from an unknown, even if he is a backup running back. Back in 2016 Ware averaged nearly 100 total yards per game while struggling to find the end zone in the pre-2017 Alex Smith offense.
However, after his uninspiring performance in Week 13 and a potentially pedestrian outing in the cards for this week, owners might be scared off. Especially going into the fantasy playoffs. But Ware is going to be the heart of this run game, the signing of Charcandrick West proves that. If the Chiefs were scared of Ware’s ability, they’d have signed a more seasoned veteran like CJ Anderson. But they just need someone they can plug in behind Ware, and the former Chief will be just that.
For this week, I’d consider Ware a mid-range RB2, but against the Chargers and Seahawks, he’ll be in that RB1 range.
Adam Humphries is a Weekly Fantasy Starter
TRUTH – He might not be the prettiest WR in the NFL, but this guy is a FLEX consideration at the very least. His floor is super sturdy with some nice upside in a Winston-led offense.
The Bucs look like they’re set to hold DeSean Jackson out for the rest of the season, and he’ll draw some decent targets as defenses keep trying to contain Mike Evans. Godwin will spell him a bit, but Humphries’ path to solid fantasy output is pretty clear.
Since Week 7, Humphries has gained at least 50 yards in every single game. He also has 5 TDs in that time frame. That’s impressive, and a better output than some “every-week” starters like Alshon Jeffery, Doug Baldwin and Corey Davis
With his TD upside, his reliable role in the offense, and undeniable chemistry with Winston, Humphries is a FLEX for playoff purposes. He’s a FLEX that you can depend on, and I’d start him over the more volatile options listed above.
Thanks as always for checking out Truth or Bogus, I hope you all win your first-round matchups and come back to check in on my takes ahead of Week 15. Stay Tuned!