In most leagues, either those with 2-week playoffs or the one and done variety, week 15 is usually the last week before the playoffs. If you rostered and started one of these studs, chances are you made it to the Promised Land, you are in the title game and you probably have the mental edge as your opponent is wondering who he should start to counteract the fact that you have one of these guys in your lineup. Scores here reference the Standard scoring format.
QB: Alex Smith, 30pts
He’s been called a lot of things, the thinly veiled jab at his arm strength/decision making title of “game manager” being used the most often. Smith has been at or above 21 points in five of his last seven games. Fantasy owners should not care how, why or when the points come, only that they’re consistent. Also with his tendency to not throw interceptions, he has a safer floor than some of the more trigger happy QBs in the league. In your finals, you have to decide if you want to swing for the fences or if you’d rather play it safe.
RB: Jamaal Charles, 51pts
The extra “a” in his name is for ass-whooping. That’s what you should have dispensed on your hapless semifinal opponent as Charles staked his claim as the fantasy football MVP. There have been few games in fantasy history that eclipse this onslaught, and I personally can’t think of another one that has happened in what, for fantasy owners, would be a bigger spot. This is the equivalent of Charles having this same game in the AFC title game for fantasy purposes. If you were playing against him, you have my sincerest condolences.
RB: Matt Asiata, 24pts
Sometimes it’s necessary to show some love to the little guy, and while Asiata is far from small, this is almost undoubtedly going to be the best game of his NFL life. He managed to turn 30 carries into a whopping 51 yards, but he did manage to make the most of his red zone opportunities, tying a franchise record with three touchdowns. As the superhuman healing factor of Adrian Peterson will probably have him ready to go this week, we can take this time to let Asiata have his moment in the sun.
WR: Desean Jackson, 25pts
Back in the day, Jackson was really boom or bust, with the boom being 50+ yard touchdowns and the bust being zero catches. In the high-flying Chip Kelly offense, however, Jackson has taken off, posting career numbers in every category. This week against a Viking defense, he went off for 195 yards, a touchdown and almost had a long rushing touchdown. He’s as dangerous as they come and should have had you happy you started him in a big spot.
WR: Greg Jennings, 22pts
Turns out that Greg Jennings can put the team on his back without a broken leg, as he hauled in 11 balls for 163 yards and a touchdown. He’s probably the most notable beneficiary of Matt Cassel’s resurgence and looks to try to keep their chemistry bubbling against an up and down Cincy defense.
TE: Timothy Wright, 14pts
Tim Wright managed to crack double digits for the first time since week 11, the stud designation comes because this was against the still-fierce 49er defense. This is looking to be like a touchdown dependent guy, but with two straight games finding pay dirt, it might be a smart bet to hope he scores again.
D/ST: Seahawks, 22pts
This was a wood shed game. It’s not often that a defense scores 20-plus points without multiple touchdowns, but posting a shutout and getting five interceptions has a way of padding a unit’s stats. This is the second ranked defense in the league, and the 38th ranked fantasy entity overall. Need any more incentive to start them in the finals? Carson Palmer may be without Larry Fitzgerald.
K: Justin Tucker, 23pts
Though he wasn’t the top scoring kicker of the week, he was the only kicker to hit a kick from the other team’s logo to keep his team in the playoff hunt and afterwards give his fantasy owners, including himself, a shout.
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