Fantasy football week 14: Stay away from Patriots QB Tom Brady!

It’s playoff time for most season-long leagues, so it’s a huge week for everyone. One choice could be the difference between winning and losing. Hopefully this helps you make the right one.

MUST START

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers: He was on my “Be Careful” list last week, and now he’s on my “Must Start” list just a week later. Why? Well, out went Mike McCarthy, who Rodgers reportedly had lots of problems with, and in comes a struggling Falcons defense. If Rodgers is happy that McCarthy is gone, that could lead to him playing a lot better than he has so far this season. Look for Rodgers to have a classic Rodgers game this weekend.

Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos: At the beginning of the season, everyone thought Royce Freeman would be the bell cow in Denver. It turns out everyone picked the wrong rookie. Lindsay has 100+ rushing yards in his last two games, and seven touchdowns in his last six. He faces a middle of the road 49ers defense this weekend. Look for him to put up some numbers again this weekend.

Michael Thomas, WR, Saints: Thomas is in the middle of a slump. He has nine catches for 78 yards in the last two games combined. In the middle of a slump, you need a slump buster. Enter the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Look for the Saints to use the ten days they’ve had to think about their loss to the Cowboys and come back pissed and firing on all cylinders. You can almost guarantee that Thomas will have a big week this week.

ON THE FENCE

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers: Winston has been doing a great job taking care of the ball, with only one interception in his last three games after coming back from being benched. Let’s not forget he was benched after throwing four picks against maybe the worst defense in football. I expect his decent play to end this week against a pissed off Saints team.

Jaylen Samuels, RB, Steelers: If you’re the Steelers starting running back, there’s a good chance I’m going to start you. It doesn’t really matter who you are. We’ve seen a very limited sample of Samuels, but it looks like he’s at least competent, and the way they rely on their back makes this an intriguing play. They say that he’ll split time with Ridley, but no Pats fan really believes that Stevan Ridley will be stealing carries from anyone, other than just to spell him. Either way, his first start makes it still questionable, but I wouldn’t mind starting him, even if it is the fantasy playoffs.

Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs: Hill is an interesting play this week. He is the #2 receiver in PPR leagues this year, but he has had some bad weeks in there too. Like last week, where he only had one catch. I’m definitely playing him in a full season league, there’s no doubt about that, but, in a DFS lineup, I’m not so sure he’s worth what it would take to get him. He has a very tough matchup against the Ravens, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him outside the top 15 this week.

BE CAREFUL

Tom Brady, QB, Patriots: Brady has had a rough fantasy season. He is just barely in the top 15 quarterbacks this year, and has only cracked 300 passing yards three times. The Patriots play in Miami this weekend, where Brady, historically, has been terrible. I’m not touching Brady in any league, season-long or DFS.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings: Cook has been a disappointment this year, mostly because of injuries. He’s played OK since coming back, and was used a lot more than normal out of the backfield against the Patriots last week. With that being said, with a game on the road in Seattle, a very tough place to play, I don’t see a big week from him. I know that the Seahawks are a middle of the road run defense and this is basically a must win for the Vikings, but Cook has yet to top 100 yards rushing in a game this season, and only has one touchdown. I’d stay away.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals: A.J. Green went down for the season last week, so Boyd should see an increase in targets. The problem is that he’s not a real #1 receiver, meaning he’ll have a tough time with the corners that will be covering him. He also has Jeff Driskel throwing him the ball. Combine that with the fact he has a tough matchup this week, and it’s probably going to be a struggle for him. I know it’s all hands on deck come playoff time, and I suppose he’s better than some random waiver wire pickup, but I don’t love it.

Pat is the host of The Patriot Nation Podcast

Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats

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