The Playoffs are finally here! For those that received a coveted playoff berth, congratulations on making it this far. However, for those that just missed or were nowhere near making it to the playoffs, do not fret, we’ve all been there. While it can be easy to quit participating and quickly put this season in the rearview mirror, it is almost always more satisfying to continue on and keep setting your lineups. Although winning your league may be out of the question, there is almost always something worth fighting for in the final weeks of fantasy football. Whether it’s to avoid last place or to knock down a playoff contender down a peg in the standings, there are still a multitude of ways to make a serious impact on your league even if you’re not participating in the playoffs.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans (vs. Arizona Cardinals)
While it has been tough sledding for the Titans offense this season, Mariota is performing at a much higher level than he did earlier in the season. Besting his fantasy point projections four out of the last five weeks, Mariota has been much more accurate recently (completed no less than 65% of his passes in his last three games). While Mariota’s overall touchdown to interception ratio is a glaring concern (10 touchdowns, 12 interceptions), a favorable matchup against the Arizona Cardinals (have allowed 31 passing touchdowns this year) should allow the finicky quarterback to be highly productive this week.
Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots (vs. Miami Dolphins)
Since the Patriots bye week, Dion Lewis has scored double-digit points in his last four games. Effective as a rusher, pass catcher and special teams returner, Lewis’ versatility has made him the top back on the Patriots roster. Rushing for no less than fifty yards since week 10, Lewis is fantastic at making the most out his somewhat low volume share (5.3 yards per rush). With the best juke rate amongst running backs (42.5%), Lewis should be able to easily gash a Dolphins defense that is particularly porous when it comes to stopping the run.
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns (vs. Green Bay Packers)
Despite a lengthy hiatus from football, Gordon picked up right where left off against the Los Angeles Chargers (four receptions, 85 receiving yards). Considering Gordon was targeted 11 times against a formidable Chargers secondary, his production and target shares should increase fairly dramatically against a Packers team that allows the third most points to wide receivers.
Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Washington Redskins)
Since week 8, Hunter Henry’s target shares have steadily increased from two to five to nine last week against Cleveland. Catching 12 of his last fourteen targets, Henry is extremely reliable and has been a go-to target for quarterback Phillip Rivers when he is not throwing to wideout Kennan Allen. With an impressive catch rate of 71.7% (4th amongst tight ends), Henry should have no problem earning his tight end one status against a Redskins team that has struggled to cover tight ends all season long.