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The Fantasy Life: Championship Sunday start/sit

Life is just a fantasy, can you live this fantasy life?

NFL: Washington Redskins at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Some players are must starts (Aaron Rodgers, Alvin Kamara, and Rob Gronkowski, to name a few), but here we work to give you value and over-performers, depending on what type of fantasy format you are playing. At this point we are breaking up start/sit for Thursday and Sunday/Monday games. We apologize to those who must have complete lineups in by Thursday’s game.

Matt Phillips is a multiple fantasy football champion, and co-host of the podcast “Pigskin Dynasty: Your Podcast for All Things Fantasy Football”. You can find him on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Podbean, and other podcast mediums. He also has live episodes on Facebook every Sunday morning at 9:00 am EST.

OUCH! The Philip Rivers run of efficiency died a quick death. The Baltimore Ravens defense traveled west and dominated like a boss. If, like me, you started Rivers then you definitely need some players to step up on Sunday. Additionally, the offensive game plan of the Tennessee Titans surely irritated those who started Derrick Henry. Thankfully they fed him in the second half, but he easily should have been over one hundred yards.

We take a final swing of the season at delivery some quality options beyond the must-start studs. If you’re looking for sleepers, look to the Browns and the Jets. Yeah, I typed that.



QB Russell Wilson, Seahawks

He was a bright spot last week on a lackluster Seahawks offense, and is heading into a prime matchup against a Kansas City defense that is a true liability. Facing a defense ranks 30th amongst quarterbacks, and at home, Wilson is a must-play.

Projection: 252 pass yards passing with 3 touchdowns and 56 yards rushing

QB Sam Darnold, Jets

I’m calling this is one of my sleeper picks of the week. Donald had one of his best games last week against a top notch Houston defense on the road. I believe he will try to end the season on a high note. The Packers rank 10th against the pass, but Green Bay hasn’t won a road game all season.

Projection: 289 yards passing with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception

RB Jamaal Williams, Packers

He better enjoy it while it last. With Aaron Jones on IR, Williams is next in line for workhouse role. The matchup may not be the best going up against the New York football Jets, but the volume is important and I expect a pretty high volume for Williams.

Projection: 22 total touches, 85 total yards and 1 touchdown

RB Elijah McGuire, Jets

He has taken over the role of lead back due to injuries and could be in line for a good game against the bottom tier run defense of the Packers. I suspect a 20+ touch game here, and when you have a running back that is getting 20+ touches chances are he will have a good fantasy performance.

Projection: 24 total touches for 101 yards and 1 touchdown

WR Calvin Ridley, Falcons

I know he hasn’t produced much as of late, but I have a feeling he will post a decent stat line against the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons usually play divisional opponents tough. Look for Ridley to get a touchdown catch.

Projection: 5 receptions for 52 yards and 1 touchdown

WR Jarvis Landry, Browns

Landry’s up and down season was down last week as he led the team in targets last week, but only caught three of them. Early in the season he was getting double digit looks. That has since tapered, but Iike him to bounce back this week against the Bengals who have given up the fifth most receiving yardage per game.

Projection: 8 receptions for 65 yards and 1 touchdown

TE Eric Ebron, Colts

He didn’t perform great last week, but the matchup against the Giants is so good. They give up on average five catches a game to the position. Start him

Projection: 6 recpetions for 52 yards and 1 touchdown

TE David Njoku, Browns

He has been producing duds as of late but the matchup is too juicy. In the last showdown against the Bengals he scored over 17 points. I suspect a repeat performance.

Projection: 6 receptions for 62 yards and 1 touchdown

Colts Defense

They have been stellar as of late, combining for over 30 points in the last three weeks. They have a pretty good streaming matchup against New York football Giants. I will start them.

Projection: 13 points allowed with 3 sacks and 2 turnovers

K Adam Vinatieri, Colts

He has produced at least eight fancy ports in four straight games, and the streak should continue against the Giants who have given up the second most fantasy points per game to opposing kickers. A Luck led offense should give Adam opportunities.

Projection: 3 for 3 of field goals and 2 for 2 on extra points



QB Jameis Winston, Bucs

The Dallas Cowboys have given up roughly 16 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks when they play at home. I believe they are going to try to redeem themselves after that debacle in Indy. Fade on Winston.

Projection: 215 yards passing with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions

QB Jared Goff, Rams

He has been on a bit of a slow streak and he is facing a Cardinals team that give up average 11 fantasy points per game when they play at home. In a practically meaningless game, I will fade on the Goff for the championship

Projection: 305 yards passing with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions

RB Kenyan Drake, Miami

He played fewer snaps than Ballage when he went down and that scares me. Not figuring out what his role is on this and the match up against the Jacksonville Jaguars makes me fade on Kenyon Drake in all formats.

Projection: 13 rushing attempts for 65 yards

RB Matt Breida, Niners

I know you may be tempted giving that his workload may be sufficient, but he is going against the Chicago Bears who are arguably the best defense in football. The stock is down and the probability of him producing a dud is pretty high. I’m not willing to take that risk for the fantasy football championship.

Projection: 14 rushing attempts for 71 yards

WR DJ Moore, Panthers

Cam newton isn’t playing so his stock is already low. Tyler Heinicke isn’t going to do well in his first career start. Don’t be fancy on championship weekend.

Projection: 5 receptions for 45 yards

WR Adam Humphries , Bucs

He has been a reliable receiver in fantasy as of late. The matchup against the tough Cowboys defense scares me into not starting him. The Cowboys have given up the fifth fewest points to opposing wide receivers.

Projection: 4 receptions for 32 yards

TE Trey Burton, Bears

Temper expectations for him. The Niners only average around 9 fantasy points per game to the position.

Projection: 4 receptions for 32 yards

TE Vance McDonald, Steelers

You may be looking at McDonald because of the playoff implications for the Steelers, and because it might be a shootout. Be careful here. The Saints have been efficient at stopping tights ends this year.

Projection: 4 receptions for 41 yards

Steelers Defense

After only producing seven fantasy points against the not so hot New England Patriots, they get Drew Brees in New Orleans. If there’s one thing I have learned during this football season it is that Drew Brees and the Saints are a much different team win they play in the Dome. Stay away from the Steelers defense.

Projection: 28 points allowed with 3 sacks and 1 turnover

K Dan Bailey, Vikings

After solid production last week, Dan Bailey faces a pretty brutal matchup for kickers in the Detroit Lions. The team has surrendered just 17 field-goal attempts and I have a feeling the opportunities may be slim.

Projection: 1 for 2 on field goals and 2 for 2 on extra points