The playoffs are finally here! for those of us in leagues with 3-week playoff brackets, the time has come to start playing for the money.
Your Commish took some time off last week just as the Bucs did, so my apologies for not getting a start ‘em or sit ‘em article out. However, I did manage to squeeze out another episode of the Commissioner’s Corner Fantasy Football show on Bucs Nation Podcasts. Last week I was joined by our very own Deputy Editor, James Yarcho. This week I was joined by a very special guest, Cory Curtis. He’s the Sports Director for WKRN-TV Channel 2 locally in Nashville where he covers the Titans for the region.
Hopefully you got a chance to listen and took advantage of the amazing analysis and fun topics as we talked about all of our favorite picks across the league.
This week we’re jumping straight into our starters and sitters for the week. Let’s get it on!
Start: Ryan Tannehill (QB8), Tennessee Titans (@ Jacksonville Jaguars)
I’ll echo what Cory Curtis of WKRN-TV Channel 2 Nashville said:
Jacksonville is not stopping anyone!
The Jags defense is simply not the power house it may have been once upon a time. The Titans are still fighting to lock in their playoff spot and stay atop the Colts in the AFC South. Although they may have slumped a bit in the past few weeks, they’re looking to rally a win in at least 3 out of 4 of their last games (the fourth being the Packers).
Tannehill is currently averaging 22 fpts on the season. After scoring in the 30’s through week 5, he’s unfortunately only seen 20+ fpts in three out of his last seven games. With Corey Davis finally getting his catching hands back, it’s boding well for the 8-year veteran.
Tannehill is coming off of an impressive 35 fpts outing against the Cleveland Browns. I think we can safely say he could run up the scoreboard in this one since the Jags are ranked second to last against opposing quarterbacks, only to be better than the Falcons in total defense.
Sit: Josh Allen (QB4), Buffalo Bills (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
This is a hard one, and I sure would hope you have a strong QB1 or QB2 to plug in here. This is absolutely the marquee game of the week. The Steelers are coming off of a loss, and they are out for blood. I would just hate to be on the receiving end of that.
Allen is absolutely one of the best quarterbacks to lead your team through the playoffs, but I’m just not a fan with this matchup. The Steelers are allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. The most they allowed this year was 18 fpts, twice in weeks one (NYG) and seven (TEN).
If you have to play him, go ahead, but I just feel there are plenty of other options with really solid matchups that could get you QB1 numbers this week including the aforementioned Ryan Tannehill who is still available in nearly 30% of leagues.
Start: Ronald Jones II (RB12), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Minnesota Vikings)
I have had RoJo on the Commissioner’s Corner as my starter for several weeks. I will continue to have faith that the big-wigs calling the shots at 1 Buc Place will wise up and keep giving RoJo the Rock!
I keep preaching it on the podcast, as well as here, that when the running game is effective the Bucs have a higher chance to win the game. I have to remain optimistic that Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich are coming out of the bye week finally seeing the value to keep him in as an every down back.
This week, they have the Vikings who are allowing the 14th most fantasy points to opposing running backs. They allowed 22 fpts to James Robinson last week.
Jones is averaging 12 fpts per week, and could be a lot higher if he continued to be utilized. He’s averaging over 7 ypc and has one of the highest yards after contact in the league. He’s a downhill runner and one of my favorites
Sit: Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
Not much analysis to do here. Just DO NOT play any running backs against the Steelers this season. Unless you have to, there’s just not reason to be cute. The Steelers have only allowed more than 20 fantasy points to opposing backs in three weeks.
Singletary is only averaging 8 fpts per game, and Moss only 7 fpts. For the 24% of you still starting Singletary, you likely didn’t make it in the playoffs anyway so you’re good (wink).
Start: Calvin Ridley (WR12), Atlanta Falcons (@ Los Angeles Chargers)
I originally had Justin Jefferson, because he’s likely to shred the Bucs secondary just like Cooper Kupp and Tyreek Hill did in recent weeks. However, when I started looking at the rosters I realized that Julio Jones is out this week.
Expect this game to be the Ridley show. He was highly effective while Jones was out with the hamstring injury averaging 16.5 fantasy points per game. Even with Julio in the game he’s still racking up double digits for owners. He’s not available in any league, but there’s about 20% of you that are not starting him. Not sure what your rosters look like obviously, but he is a solid WR1 option heading into this week.
The Chargers aren’t allowing a whole lot of points to wideouts this season, but other than Younghoe Koo’s foot, they don’t have many other options. They’re certainly not depending on Todd Gurley. I’m foreseeing a lot of throws down the field because the Falcons will be playing from behind all game long.
Sit: DJ Chark Jr. (WR37), Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Tennessee Titans)
I see that over 30% of owners that have Chark are already benching him, and you should continue to do so. The Titans do not have a strong secondary at all and they’ve been known to get torched a time or two, but I’m seeing the Jags be effective at all. I think I actually like Keelan Cole Sr. more than Chark this week simple because of his faster speed.
I know many of you loved this guy from last year, but the carousel of quarterbacks is not helping any of the receivers. He certainly gelled with Minshew last season, and seemed to be heavily utilized while Minshew was still in the game. The former Buccaneer Mike Glennon is behind center now and not connecting with anyone. Chark has two games with zero output, and 3 out of 4 games with less than 9 fpts. I just think all of the Jags receivers are better suited on the bench this week.
Start: Robert Tonyan (TE4), Green Bay Packers (@ Detroit Lions)
I’m elevating Tonyan from Sleeper to must start for the remainder of the year. I think he’s proven himself to be in the Top 5 tight end discussion in 2020. Now, the Packers are not known for their tight end usage.
Tonyan is currently ranked fourth among other tight ends, and he’s been a key contributor to the Packers’ success. He’s scored in double digits in four out of his last six games. He scored 33 points in week 4 against Atlanta and 15 fpts against Indianapolis who has allowed the fewest points to opposing tight ends all year.
He’s squaring up against a struggling Detroit Lions squad this week who just fired their head coach and GM in an effort to keep the team from completely drowning. I’m not putting much stock in any teams OPRK against tight ends this year, so I fully expect Tonyan to shine and hit at least 14 fpts as long as he sees the end zone which is the common trend.
Sit: All Titans Tight Ends, Tennessee Titans (@ Jacksonville Jaguars)
If Cory Curtis of WKRN Nashville doesn’t trust the Titans tight ends this week, I don’t trust their tight ends this week.
If you’ve listened to Episode 5 of the Commissioner’s Corner Fantasy Football show on Bucs Nation podcasts, you’ll hear Cory talk about the distrust factor in the Titans tight ends this week against Jacksonville. The Jags aren’t necessarily allowing too few of points to opposing tight ends, it’s more based on the game plan and how ineffective the tight ends have recently been.
Obviously this is not the year to over think your tight end position very much, but you still need the points. Jonnu Smith was beloved by all earlier in the year. Definitely many had him listed as a TE1 sleeper pick across the league. Since week 5, he’s had a significant decline in production. He hasn’t scored more than 11 fantasy points in 5 out of his last 7 outings. Plus, he was out with an injury last week, which further reduces his trust factor.
Although Firkser was somewhat effective in Smith’s absence, he’s going back to his third spot on the roster and can’t be trusted in any capacity heading into this week. If we start seeing Tennessee get the tight ends involved again, and Smith goes down. Then, and only then, you should consider him.