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Wild Card Round QB Rankings

by , and • January 2, 2019

Each week, as we prepare to make some difficult lineup decisions, our team, which includes Rob Willette, Ryan McDowell, and Sal Leto, will bring you a few sleepers and landmines for each position. Our sleeper picks could be on your waiver wire or a low-priced DFS target or could simply be going overlooked this week. On the other hand, our landmine players are getting attention, too much attention. These are players we feel are being overvalued and overpriced and would avoid for this week.

Rob Leath

1Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck heads to Houston having eviscerated the Texans twice already (399 yards and 464 yards in their two meetings) and has the skill-set to take advantage of the Texans’ deficiencies in the secondary. With his supporting cast relatively healthy, this is a prime spot for the Colts to lean on Luck given Houston eliminated running backs in 2018, allowing the second-fewest rushing yards to backs in the league.
2Deshaun Watson
Luck’s adversary in the Wild Card round is also set up for a strong outing. Deshaun Watson’s gained more trust in his legs post-ACL surgery as the year has worn on, and has racked up 21 carries in the past two weeks in very important games for Houston. I’ve read playoff games are also important tilts, and Watson utilizing his legs is a huge boon to the Texans in their efforts to move the football. As a bonus, Watson put together two strong efforts against the Colts this year, and for all Indianapolis’ improvement on the defensive side of the ball, they’re still an off-season or two away from having the personnel to shutdown Watson. In a game with sneaky shootout potential, Watson is an easy play.
3 – Russell Wilson
It is risky rolling with Russell Wilson this weekend given volume is always a concern, but he has erased volume concerns all season long. Dallas is a stout run defense; they could eliminate the run game for Seattle, despite the Seahawks commitment to it. The arm and legs of Wilson are going to be essential if Seattle is to win on the road, making Wilson a strong play in the friendly confines of Jerry World.
4 – Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson’s legs will always make him a viable play. Even in a tough matchup against a Chargers defense which has been strong against the pass (and running quarterbacks) all year, Jackson’s a safe play as someone who should see at least a dozen carries. He averated 9.27 yards per attempt againt this same defense in Week 16; his growth as a passer these past few weeks only adds to his ceiling.
5 – Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott’s earned back the favor of fantasy owners following an abysmal first half. The acquisition of Amari Cooper and emergence of Blake Jarwin has changed the dynamics of this passing offense. While the Seahawks have done an admirable job of playing defense given all the personnel losses over the off-season, they’re still an exploitable unit on the back-end. Dak’s not going to match his monster Week 17 performance against the Giants but he’s a steady play at home in a reasonable matchup.
6 – Mitchell Trubisky
Mitch Trubisky closed the year with a bit of whimper, tallying only 3 touchdowns over his final 3 games and failing to surpass 16 rushing yards in any of those games as well. While the Eagles secondary injuries are well-documented, they’ve been able to at least offer some resistance despite shuffling through street free agent bodies at cornerback. With his top two receivers ailing and the game being played outdoors in January, I am not expecting fireworks from Trubisky.
7 – Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers heads to Baltimore to face a defense which erased him only two weeks ago, holding him to 181 scoreless yards and forcing two interceptions. While I do not expect a talented quarterback to stumble to the same degree twice, it is an incredibly difficult matchup only exacerbated by the fact the Ravens control the football with their running game. I am fading Rivers based on matchup in this one.
8 – Nick Foles
I am counting out Nick Foles at my own peril. He continues to work his magic, but in Chicago for a playoff game is not a place I want to dial him up. The Bears stifled Jared Goff in a cold, winter football game and they just continue to give offense’s fits. With so many better options on the slate, dialing up an underdog quarterback in the toughest of matchups is not something I have the stomach for.

Sal Leto

1Andrew Luck
This is pretty cut and dry, Lucks two top passing games of the season came against Houston. 464 and 399 yards respectively, not to mention six total touchdown passes one interception.
2Deshaun Watson
Watson’s best passing, 375-2 touchdowns, came against the Colts as well this year with a rush touchdown added in. I expect this to be the highest scoring most wide open game of the weekend
3Russell Wilson
My top three QBs are the ones whose offenses sit squarely on their shoulders. Sure the run game has been huge for the ‘hawks this year but with a career playoff record of 8-4 this game rides on Wilson.
4Lamar Jackson
From the most playoff experience in Wilson to zero with Jackson. He’s the wildcard of the group. A top four QB over the final five weeks you’re basically getting an RB2 with passing touchdown upside.
5Dak Prescott
I’m legitimately only confident in Luck and Watson but Dak finished strong (top six final five weeks) and closed the season out with a game winning drive. He was second in the league in QB rushing touchdowns but the Seahawks didn’t allow any all season.
6Philip Rivers
he finished brutally to end the season and was eaten alive by these Ravens in week 16. The only hope is they follow the game plan of the Browns in week 17 but not likely.
7 Nick Foles
Foles has done enough to earn a shot to start somewhere next year but the run ends this week and he can start to plan for his future. With 50 sacks and 27 interceptions the Bears terrorized quarterbacks and allowed two total touchdown passes over the final six weeks including zero to Goff and Rodgers.
8Mitch Trubisky
After returning from the injury it just wasn’t the same as the first half of the season. Over the last four games Trubisky averaged 11 points for 28th overall in that time. Facing the worst remaining pass defense of the weekend is the one positive he has.

Ryan McDowell

1Deshaun Watson
The Texans and Colts game is expected to be a high-scoring affair , sporting the highest over/under of Wild Card weekend by far. This means I want pieces of this game when setting a playoff lineup. That begins with Texans QB Deshaun Watson. Not only does he have the obvious passing upside and has formed a sick connection with WR DeAndre Hopkins but Watson also has the rushing upside. Watson has led the Texans in rushing in each of the past four games.
2Andrew Luck
Again, the Houston and Indy game should be an offensive smorgasbord and these are the players I want. The difference between Watson and Colts QB Andrew Luck is razon thin. Luck’s best fantasy performance of the season came against Houston in Week Four when he hung over 35 fantasy points on the Texans.
3Lamar Jackson
There might not be a hotter team in the league than the Baltimore Ravens. In a year when high-powered offenses have seemingly changed the game, the Ravens take their opponents back in time, winning games with defense and a relentless running game. The head of that is rookie QB Lamar Jackson, who sent longtime starting QB Joe Flacco to the bench (and soon out of town). Jackson offense fantasy players a safe floor with his rushing ability alone and his passing efficiency is seemingly improving by the week. Facing the Chargers at home with an early starting time will be the difference maker. Jackson’s worst finish in the seven games he’s started is QB17.
4Mitch Trubisky
The defending Super Bowl champion Eagles are a great story as everything fell into place for them to make the playoffs thanks to a late-season run led by QB Nick Foles. The reality is that the Eagles defense is still pieced together after numerous injuries, especially to the secondary. While the Bears have a nice RB duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, the Bears have been at their best when QB Mitch Trubisky has thrown the ball all over the field. Chicago is at home and expected to have WR Allen Robinson back on the field.
5Russell Wilson
The Cowboys and Seahawks will face off, matching up two teams who like to operate in the same way, leanign heavily on the run and slowing down the game with defense. This means neither Russel Wilson nor Dak Prescott makes for an exciting fantasy option this week. When choosing between the two, Wilson is more likely to add fantasy production as a runner and the Cowboys defense has taken a slight step backward in recent weeks.
6Dak Prescott
The Cowboys barely eeked out a win last week over the lowly Giants despite playing QB Dak Prescott and most starters all game. The Cowboys were riding a major hot streak, both on offense and defense a few weeks ago, but that seems like ancient history now. Prescott has been much improved since the team acquired WR Amari Cooper but he hasn’t made a difference over the past two weeks.
7Philip Rivers
Chargers veteran QB Philip Rivers has been an excellent fantasy asset this season, sporting eight QB1 games on the year. The bad news is he has struggled against elite defenses, including the same team he’ll face in Baltimore just two weeks ago. In a Week Sixteen home loss, Rivers managed just 181 passing yards and no touchdowns, finishing as the QB33 for the week. Factor in the cross-country travel and early kickoff facing the Chargers and it could be a long day for Rivers and company.
8Nick Foles
This is a tough spot for the defending Super Bowl MVP, Eagles QB Nick Foles. Not only is he banged up, leaving Week 17’s game with a chest injury, but he also draws the Bears defense in Chicago. The Bears have only allowed four QB1 games all season and none in nearly two months. This could be the end of Foles’ fairy tale run.

 

 

Sal Leto (@LetoSal), Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23), and Rob Willette (@RobWillette24) are freelance contributors for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.