Each week Bobby Smith previews the Flukes or Flames from the fantasy world! Follow Bobby on Twitter at @fosterfantasy
Week to week we know we have surprise fantasy producers, wild weeks from regulars and then our disappointments from all over the board. This column is to help you, the waiver-wire searching, deep stat diving, sometimes FAAB spending fantasy enthusiast know which players are worth picking up or stashing. I will give you a fluke and a flame for each position, unless there are a couple that either have major bust or boom capability. Flukes will be those who have put up big numbers and are either down or are trending down. Flames will be those who are lighting the fantasy world on fire or look to keep stacking up points for those who took a chance on them.
We have made it to the end of the 2020 fantasy football road! Most everyone has either finished up and handed out trophies ( or consequences ) or that will be the goal for this coming weekend. For some, it will be another gift in a merry Christmas and for others it will be the final letdown and a maybe next year.
Last week was a little bit of a letdown. I rode the hot matchups and, like a lot of us in the playoffs, bore the brunt of those decisions. For some of us, like me, it only made the week closer than it should have been, but for some it cost them a title. So here’s a shaken fist at the Rams and Steelers and we trudge on to next week ( or next year ).
This week’s F&F will look a little different. This week is for those who have made it to the finals! Hopefully no one has to worry about a Week 17 when you have no idea who is playing or for how long and how hard. I will list 5 flukes and 5 flames in positions that usually are multi-start positions ( 3 in the rest) and the last one in each list will be a pick up target that is at least available in 40% of leagues in a fantasy provider. Quick, easy and hopefully better than last week! Good luck, Merry Christmas, and congratulations to those who have made it this far and to those who come out with the ultimate victory!
Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens
Jared Goff – LA Rams
Drew Brees – NO Saints
Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
Lamar is on this list because the NY Giants have been playing well against the run and running QBs. Goff and Big Ben are avoid at all costs and you could throw Cousins in the same realm but not quite as bad as the other two. Brees is rounding back into form after the rib injury and I would only start him if I had no one else to turn to for points.
Patrick Mahomes – KC Chiefs
Aaron Rodgers – GB Packers
Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns
Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills
Jalen Hurts – Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen is my pick for the waiver wire special mainly because he is more widely available. He has been gold so far both Philly and those who have put their fantasy hopes on the line with him. He has Dallas this week which is a pretty good matchup even if they have been playing better as of late. Baker would be my other suggestion as he has been on fire in the last few weeks and has the same sort of matchup as Jalen with a trip to face the Jets.
Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings
Josh Jacobs – LV Raiders
Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks
D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions
James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
Tough matchups abound in this list. This doesn’t necessarily put these guys as unstartable but if you have 4 good RBs for 3 spots or something like that, these are the guys I’d most likely sit…. especially the last 3. Robinson has been rested all week but be wary with a balky ankle and a date against the Bears.
Derrick Henry – TN Titans
David Montgomery – Chicago Bears
Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles
Leonard Fournette – TB Buccaneers
Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals
After last week and the Bengals taking it to the Steelers, if I needed an extra RB to stash for COVID protections or to plug in a flex or whatever, Bernard would be the best guy that is available enough to list here as the pickup flame. Ito Smith is widely available but isn’t as good and doesn’t have a great matchup either. Everyone else is either a beast that can’t be stopped or has the hot hand and a great matchup.
DK Metcalf – Seattle Seahawks
Chris Claypool – Pittsburgh Steelers
Robby Anderson – Carolina Panthers
T.Y Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
Marvin Jones Jr. – Detroit Lions
The first two guys on the list are facing tougher matchups on sputtering offenses, making for big time question marks. Anderson and Jones are 2nd fiddles that may or may not play the 2nd fiddle against better defenses. T.Y is due for a down game and the Steelers can’t possibly suck for four straight…. can they?
Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears
Mike Evans – TB Buccaneers
Brandon Aiyuk – SF 49ers
Jarvis Landry – Cleveland Browns
Emmanuel Sanders – NO Saints
Sanders is the primary benefactor of Mike Thomas on IR. Brees will be a little better this week as he gets back into form and should give Sanders more targets against a weak Minnesota pass D. If you need double digit points in a FLEX or a WR3 this week, or just want to keep someone from picking him up, grab him as your waiver wire flame!
Hunter Henry – LA Chargers
Dallas Goedert – Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Ebron – Pittsburgh Steelers
Hunter hasn’t fared very well verses the Broncos this year or in his career. Goedert and Ebron have fallen out in the last part of the season for different reasons and should be avoided, especially Ebron after the injury scare.
Rob Gronkowski – TB Buccaneers
Robert Tonyan – GB Packers
Austin Hooper – Cleveland Browns
Hooper is widely available on a hot team with a juicy matchup. If you have streamed TEs all season and need one for the championship, this would be your best bet and what a good one it could be. The two Robs are facing bad teams as well. Even if Gronk’s matchup with Detroit is in the red, there is ample opportunity against Detroit through the air.
You would think that the matchups these three teams have would point to them being off this list, and it could be right. But the teams they face, Atlanta, Philly, and Seattle, can all move the ball even if they don’t score fairly well. The last two defenses have been struggling as well, especially the Rams debacle last week.