By: Jonathan Goad
For many leagues, this is the start of the playoffs. Other leagues have one more week of the regular season. Either way, you need to win.
I’ll be honest. I’ve had an up and down year of making these predictions. Predicting fantasy football is much like predicting the weather. Mother Nature and the fantasy gods will allow whatever they’re in the mood for.
With that being said, I’m feeling confident in my picks this week.
Here we go.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos
Lindsay is the clear-cut lead back in Denver and has been for much of the year. He’s coming off his best outing of the season (19-157-2) and faces the 49ers this week. San Fran just gave up 168 rushing yards to the Seahawks, and it could be argued that Lindsay is a better RB than anyone Seattle has. That means he should have a field day. Start Lindsay with confidence.
Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers*
Samuels gets an asterisk because he’s a must start for one reason. In Yahoo leagues, he’s listed as a RB and a TE. If he’s only listed as a running back, I think keep him on the bench, or maybe flex him. Samuels and Stevan Ridley will be filling in for James Conner this week. If you don’t have Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz, start Samuels in your TE spot. Even if he only plays half the offensive snaps, he’ll likely see a number of touches and out produce most tight ends. The Steelers also play Oakland. Definitely consider starting Samuels as your TE, if possible. Flex him if he’s only a RB in your league.
Adam Humphries, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa plays New Orleans this week. The Bucs are going to have to pass to stay in this game. That’s good news for Humphries’ owners. It’s also worth noting that Humphries has five touchdowns in his last five games. He hasn’t topped 100 yards all season, so he’s a bit TD dependent. However, I like his chances to score this week. He should have plenty of opportunities against the Saints poor pass defense. Humphries is a solid WR3 this week.
Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
This is mostly based off the Seahawks matchup against the Vikings this week. Minnesota hasn’t allowed a RB to rush for more than 63 yards in the last five games. Carson also hasn’t topped more than 83 yards in his last four games. Rashaad Penny is also making good use of his touches. I wouldn’t advise starting either though.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Houston Texans
The Colts are surprisingly solid against WRs this season. DT also hasn’t done anything too special since being traded to the Texans. DeAndre Hopkins will see the vast majority of Deshaun Watson’s targets and rightfully so. Thomas just isn’t the same player he was a couple years ago. He’s barely on the WR3 bubble this week. Just bench him.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Watkins missed last week due to a foot injury. He may not play again this week. Even if he does, I don’t like his matchup with the Ravens stingy defense. While the Chiefs shouldn’t have too much trouble beating the Ravens, Watkins use will likely be limited. Don’t take a chance on Watkins this week.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
Golladay is the number one receiver in Detroit. There’s no questioning that anymore. However, Patrick Peterson will shadow him this week. That’s not a matchup that many WRs win. The targets may be there for Golladay, but the catches likely won’t be. I understand taking the chance on him with his status as the Lions best WR, but limit your expectations.
Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
Ingram has been a bit frustrating this season. He’s been a bit of a boom or bust player. He also only has four TDs this season. Those came in only two games. It’s possible he has a great day against the Buccaneers. He’s due for a solid game. But I’d have a hard time trusting him as anything more than a flex play.
Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders
Richard had a solid game against Kansas City last week. He totaled 126 yards on nine touches. However, he only saw six carries. Richard should see the field plenty against the Steelers, but they’re very good against pass-catching running backs. Richard is a flex play at best and only in PPR leagues.
There’s your advice for an important week. Don’t get too fancy in a must win for most teams. Good luck in your matchup. But as always, if you’re playing me, please lose.