Emily Zhang/Daily Nexus

Emily Zhang/Daily Nexus

Congratulations to those of you reading this today that still have an opportunity to win some money in a couple weeks. For those of you that are out, there is still pride to fight for and hopefully this will still come of use to you as I hope it has all season. I personally get to relax a bit with a first round bye and I’m looking forward to my two first round matchups in my other leagues. Regardless of rank, it is playoff time, which means that many concepts of traditional fantasy football head out the window, so I thought that I’d start with some strategies first.

Playoff Tips

Kickers and Defense

You need to understand that now that it’s the postseason, you live on a week to week basis and nothing more. There is no more holding out on a player that is set to have a bad week so you can keep him for the next, as you may not have another chance. Kickers and Defense are the prime examples of this notion due to the fact that their production varies the most amongst players. One week, Stephen Gostkowski gets you 16 points, and the next he gets one field goal attempt. Same thing with defenses whose production relies greatly on who they are playing. If you have a strong defense such as Seattle, you may want to consider sitting or dropping them since they play a high-caliber offense in Philly this weekend. Instead, you may want to start Houston which is the 27th ranked defense, but plays the Jags on Sunday. Consider these thoughts, take a look at the waiver wire, and make an executive decision. It could make or break your playoff chances. At this point, these players on your roster can be better replaced by those who are in better condition to thrive in a particular week.

Beware Playoff Teams

If you watch the NFL at all, you know that is a brutal sport for just about every player except the kickers and punters, for the most part. NFL clubs are well aware of this and they know the danger of having their top players exhausted or even injured with their postseason just around the corner. Players like Aaron Rodgers and other fragile QB’s, as well as many backs, will sit out or take a hit on reps in what may be your championship week for fantasy. Luckily right now, there is not one team that has clinched pa layoff spot, but many are close. In retrospect, this means that players whose teams are already out will be playing without pressure and probably against lesser competition. Evaluate these aspects when fixing your lineup throughout the playoffs.

Waiver Wire and Start/Sit

Young QB’s

I hate to say it, but it may very well finally be Money Manziel time. 

Johnny Football took the reins of a Browns franchise last week that is a hop and a skip away from the playoffs. He showed both that he can run at the professional level and that anyone can pass to Josh Gordon, so this kid may very well be a great fantasy pickup – especially for those Manning and Brady owners whom may have their regular QB’s sacked for reps in these final weeks. Another guy that may be of value is Colt McCoy. He has filled in permanently for Griffin, and with a weapon like DeSean Jackson, he could surely make for an excellent December. Barring an injury, he will start for the rest of the season without sharing reps.

Defense/Special Teams

The matchups that I like this week include the Minnesota and St. Louis defenses. Last week, the Vikings scored on two special teams plays to go along with four sacks, totaling 26 Fantasy points in Yahoo! leagues. This same team gets to play Geno Smith and Rex Ryan this week. You do the math. Contradictory to my QB advice, I like the St. Louis defense against the redskins as in the last five weeks, they have reeled in 22 sacks and 11 turnovers.

There are just four weeks left of fantasy football this year, but don’t worry! Fantasy Sports Island will continue throughout the year! Check back next week Wednesday for your weekly fantasy update.