For most of the fantasy football world, the playoffs are starting in Week 14. If your league got the party going earlier, good on you. But with the stakes raised and every move carrying much more weight, I thought it’d be wise to offer up a few potentially season-saving moves to make before the playoffs kick off. Some of these are pretty simple, while others require a little more foresight and bench maneuvering. Either way, these are the type of strategic plays to make to help position yourself to take home that fantasy championship.
Add Giovani Bernard and stash other handcuff running backs.
We’ve been writing for weeks about the importance of handcuffing top running backs this time of year, and Monday Night Football showed why. Joe Mixon suffered a concussion, paving the way for Giovani Bernard to step into a featured role — one he might hold onto next week as well. With only three weeks of meaningful fantasy football left, use your bench spots on players like Chris Ivory, James Conner, Javorius Allen, Austin Ekeler, and so on. Odds are most of them won’t be forced into duty, but if they are, you’ll be set up to reap the rewards.
Playing the matchups and streaming defenses is often a better strategy than locking one defense into your starting lineup. Looking ahead to the next three weeks, a combination of these two defenses could prove bountiful in fantasy. The Packers notched seven sacks last week thanks to the return of Clay Matthews and Kenny Clark and now get to face the Browns, who have been one of the most generous offenses for fantasy defensive scoring all year (12.67 fppg allowed). Washington has to face the Chargers this week, but after that, they take on the Blaine Gabbert-led Cardinals and free-falling Denver Broncos in Weeks 15 and 16. Unless you have an elite fantasy defense (Jaguars, Ravens, etc.), these two squads offer great upside all throughout the fantasy playoffs and are available in the vast majority of leagues.
I know, I know. He’s Blake Bortles. Spare me your @s, please. There’s a strategic element to adding Bortles if you’re gearing up for the fantasy playoffs. He has a great postseason fantasy schedule in Weeks 15 and 16, facing the Texans and 49ers, respectively. He gets the Seahawks at home this week, which isn’t ideal, but also not terrible given their stout run defense and injuries in the…