Fantasy Football Semifinals: Here are the QBs and RBs to help you take the crown

Fantasy Football Semifinals: Here are the QBs and RBs to help you take the crown

So, you made it through your first round of the playoffs and you’re on to the semifinals. Congratulations! I would like to take a moment to pat my degenerate self on the back — of 27 fantasy football rosters, I had 17 make the playoffs, and all 17 are on to the next round. That was easily my best week ever in fantasy football, so excuse me while I continue to revel in it.

We can only revel for so long, however. Last week’s victory is in the rearview, and it’s time to make our plan of attack for the next round. After all, in the infamous words of Herm Edwards, “you play to win the game.”

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Quarterbacks: The Good

Quarterbacks: The Good

Illustration for article titled Fantasy Football Semifinals: Here are the QBs and RBs to help you take the crown
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Justin Herbert @ Las Vegas Raiders

I know, I know… Herbert hurt your feelings last week with a disappointing outing against the Falcons. It was weird. The Falcons defense has been playing much better as of late, and Mike Williams was hurt during the game. He’s done enough to earn my trust this year, so If you made it to the next round with Herbert as your quarterback, I highly recommend going back to the well. The Raiders have crashed and burned over the last four weeks, allowing a whopping 37.5 points per game, and will be without their leading tackler in Jonathan Abram on Thursday Night Football. Trust Herbert in this one.

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Quarterbacks: The Good

Quarterbacks: The Good

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Jared Goff vs New York Jets

Sometimes fantasy football is easy. This is one of those instances. You play every player, at every position, against the Jets, always. Goff has largely been a disappointment for fantasy football this year with only the 15th most fantasy points per game, but he and head coach Sean McVay should have their way with the Jets defense which gives up the second most fantasy points per game to the quarterback position. Goff and Co are only one game back for the coveted #1 seed in the NFC, so they will be heavily motivated to take care of business this weekend. Goff is a QB1 this week.

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Quarterbacks: The Bad

Quarterbacks: The Bad

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Rusell Wilson @ Washington Football Team

Speaking of the #1 seed in the NFC, Seattle is in the same boat as the Rams, having the same record. While the Rams face the worst defense in the NFL, the Seahawks will be playing one of the best units in the league, especially as of late. The Washington defense is no joke, friend. If you have Wilson, you have to play him, but temper expectations — they have generated the fourth most sacks, are giving up the third fewest fantasy points per game to the wide receiver position, and haven’t allowed more than 17 points to an opposing team in four weeks. As a Seahawks fan, I am nervous.

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Quarterbacks: The Bad

Quarterbacks: The Bad



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Teddy Bridgewater @ Green Bay Packers

Teddy is the QB14 on the year, but his ceiling is low, and so is his floor — he has five games this year with less than 15 fantasy points, and hasn’t thrown for more than two touchdowns in any game this year. He has essentially been the quarterback equivalent of a touchdown-dependent goal line back — he has four rushing touchdowns this year, which have saved some terrible performances. In games where he has logged a rushing score, he has posted over 20 fantasy points each time. In all his other games, he has only topped 20 fantasy points once. Green Bay is allowing the 6th fewest fantasy points per game to the quarterback position. I’m not trusting that rushing touchdown-reliance to get me to the fantasy championships.



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Running Backs: The Good

Running Backs: The Good

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Jonathan Taylor vs Houston Texans

He’s finally here, folks. The elite prospect out of Wisconsin with 4.39 speed at damn near 230 pounds, who ran for over 6,000 yards in his college career, has burst onto the scene in a big way over the last month. Over the last four weeks, Taylor is averaging 22.8 fantasy points per game, good for third-best in the NFL. Getting a divisional matchup against the 2nd-worst run defense in the league this week will continue to assert his dominance as an elite fantasy option. Against this same defense only two weeks ago, Taylor posted 19.5 fantasy points on only 13 carries and two receptions. He’s a must-start.

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Running Backs: The Good

Running Backs: The Good

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J.K. Dobbins vs Jacksonville

Speaking of rookies with great matchups against AFC South run defenses, Dobbins is also in a smash spot this weekend. While Gus Edwards does continue to split carries with Dobbins, the Baltimore offense is humming lately and looking like the offense from last year that we all expected — and that means a lot of rushing opportunities. Even though Dobbins hasn’t topped 15 carries at all this season, he has now scored in three straight games. He’s a good flex option against the 5th-worst rush defense in the league.

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Running Backs: The Bad

Running Backs: The Bad

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Todd Gurley vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Boy, how the mighty have fallen. The once-star running back is being phased out of the offense, and is being out-snapped and out-touched by Ito Smith over the last three weeks. Last week, Smith saw 25 carries to Gurley’s 19, and 12 touches to Gurley’s 8. Not great. Add in the fact that they have a rough matchup against the Buccaneers, who teams simply don’t try to run against — they have the 2nd-lowest run-rate against in the NFL. Gurley isn’t startable this week, and probably isn’t the rest of the season.

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Running Backs: The Bad

Running Backs: The Bad

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Ezekiel Elliott vs San Francisco 49ers

Another stud-who-doesn’t-look-like-a-stud-anymore, Ezekiel Elliott has apparently fallen off a cliff. He looks sluggish and disinterested, and now that his perfect little ecosystem has deteriorated, his stats are deteriorating right along with it. In what was supposed to be a get-right game, Elliott gave you only 7.9 PPR points… against Cincinnati… in a blowout win. What the hell is going on? Now he’s missing practice with a “calf contusion,” and even if active, will have to go against a 49ers defense that allows the 6th-fewest fantasy points per game to the running back position. Do not fall for the name — he is not startable.

Check back later for wide receiver and tight end advice for Week 15!

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