Box scores never tell the whole story, so which fantasy options are rising and falling following the first week of fantasy playoffs? If you want to completely dominate your league, consider Fantasy Consigliere for premium analytics and next-level advice for all your leagues, all year long.
Stock up: Tom Brady, NE
It shouldn’t be a surprise that December has brought the best out of Tom Brady, as he followed up a 300-yard game against the Vikings with a 26-point fantasy performance in Miami. Anyone that has been holding onto TB12 shouldn’t hesitate to get him back in lineups for a potential shootout in Pittsburgh this week, and then he will get to beat up on the Bills and Jets at home to close out the regular season.
Stock down: Lamar Jackson, BAL
I had Lamar Jackson here last week because Joe Flacco (hip) is nearing a return, and now that John Harbaugh has said the former Super Bowl MVP will see the field in some capacity, the floor and ceiling for Jackson both take a hit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the rookie’s ankle injury puts him on the lesser end of a two-quarterback system, as Baltimore can’t worry about the future—or outside noise—in a playoff race, and Flacco is a proven performer in big moments. Jackson is probably more of a low-end QB2 than low-end QB1 the rest of the way.
Stock up: Derrick Henry, TEN
He didn’t even draw the start last week, but Derrick Henry was finally featured once he got rolling on Thursday Night Football, and the Titans simply have no choice but to give the monster runner touches down the stretch after a record-breaking night. Henry is suddenly in the top 20 at the position in standard leagues, and he gets three unimposing matchups to close out the season (@ NYG, v WAS, v IND).
Stock up: Dalvin Cook, MIN
You obviously never want anyone to lose their job—especially during the holiday season—but former Vikings offensive coordinator being fired will likely lead to more runs in Minnesota, which is tremendous news for Dalvin Cook. The Florida State product is still looking for his first rushing touchdown of the year, so we’ll see if a newfound commitment to keeping the ball on the ground allows him to provide late value for fantasy owners.
Stock down: Tevin Coleman, ATL
The Falcons have been at their best when they give Tevin Coleman touches, but their unwillingness to feature him on a consistent basis—along with defensive injuries—are two of the biggest reasons for their 4-9 record. Now out of the playoff race beyond a shadow of a doubt, Atlanta could decide to see what they have in Ito Smith for 2019 in beyond, so Coleman (who is in a contract year) is better viewed as a high-upside RB2/FLEX than high-upside RB1/RB2.
Stock down: Gus Edwards, BAL
Kenneth Dixon has handled 16 carries for 96 yards (6.0 YPC) and one touchdown since returning to the lineup, and his versatility could give him the edge over Gus Edwards, especially if Joe Flacco sees action as soon as Week 15. I still think Edwards is the preferred FLEX option, but his time as an RB2 has probably passed, so fantasy owners should feel free to look elsewhere.
Stock up: Curtis Samuel, CAR
I have been saying D.J. Moore is a great target down the stretch due to an easy schedule, but Curtis Samuel has actually emerged as the team’s No. 1 wideout over the past couple weeks with a combined ten receptions for 168 yards. The former Ohio State star was a 2017 second-round pick compared to Moore’s 2018 first-round status, but I think Samuel—who has at least 7.8 standard fantasy points in every game since the start of November—is a more developed player and has game-breaking explosiveness that fantasy owners in need of a big week can rely against the Saints (twice) and Falcons.
Stock up: John Brown, BAL
“Smokey” was able to find the end zone last week in Kansas City, but he’s averaged just one reception per game in Lamar Jackson’s four starts, so news of Joe Flacco seeing the field this week gives John Brown an immediate boost. Plus, the versatile deep threat gets three quality matchups (v TB, @ LAC, v CLE) that he should be able to take advantage of.
Stock down: Chris Godwin (@ BAL)
A lot of fantasy owners were disappointed in Chris Godwin’s output as a WR2 in Week 14, and it serves as a reminder that potential quarterback play needs to be considered in close roster decisions. Godwin is undoubtedly worth holding onto and starting if DeSean Jackson (thumb) doesn’t return in 2018, but his floor is lower than it should based on talent thanks to the up-and-down nature of Jameis Winston.
Stock down: Golden Tate, PHI
Just when it looked like Golden Tate was emerging as a reliable FLEX play for the Eagles, he fell out of the game plan with just one catch for seven yards in an overtime loss to the Cowboys. The Philly offense will continue to be heavily reliant on Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery, so Tate can’t be ranked as a top-30 option in any format for the fantasy playoffs.
Of course I had Henry benched last week.