Photo: Getty Images/Patrick Smith
There’s three weeks left in the NFL regular season and the fantasy football playoffs are picking up steam.In this must-win week, we’ve done our best to recommend the players we feel should be in or out of your fantasy lineup.
The advice is based on standard 10-team leagues.
Best of luck in your playoff matchup!
It's hard to overlook a matchup against the New Orleans pass defence. They've given up the most passing touchdowns in the NFL (27), and give up 297 yards per game through the air.
Freeman has eight multi-touchdowns in the Buccaneers' last nine games.
Season Total: 231/422, 3192 yards, 25 TDs, 8 INTs
32 carries, 112 yards
The Bears need Cutler to play well to stay on top of the NFC Wildcard race, but the odds are stacked against him this week. Cutler is battling back from a neck injury and must go against the stingy Packers defence.
He should only be started if you're really desperate this week.
Season Total: 213/356, 2,495 yards, 16 TDs, 13 INTs
32 carries, 187 yards
Green-Ellis is averaging 5.4 yards per carry over the Bengals' last four games. He's been racking up fantasy points away from the end zone, which is unusual for a touchdown threat of his stature.
If he gets a steady helping of carries against Philadelphia, Green-Ellis will be a solid No. 2 option. And a touchdown isn't out of the question.
Season Total: 238 carries, 974 yards, 5 TDs
21 catches, 104 yards
The Texans will provide a difficult challenge for the inexperienced Ballard. Houston has given up just three rushing touchdowns and allowed just one 100-yard rusher all season.
Ballard has one touchdown all year and just two games with more than 80 rushing yards. He should be nothing more than a flex option for your team this week.
Season Total: 146 carries, 562 yards, 1 TD
15 carries, 143 yards, 1 TD
Wilson exploded on to the scene last week against New Orleans when he stepped in for an injured Ahmad Bradshaw. He had two rushing touchdowns and added another on a kick-off. Bradshaw could miss Sunday's game or be limited dramatically, so expect Wilson to make the most of his touches.
The Falcons are the ninth-worst run defence in the league, giving up an average of 127 yards on the ground per game.
Season Total: 41 carries, 211 yards, 3 TD
2 catches, 8 yards
No one can ever be confident that Sproles is going to get carries. He had his first carries since Week 8 last week and made the most of it, but with Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram in the backfield, touches are still hard to come by.
Sproles' real value is in the passing game, but it's best to have tempered expectations with that being the case.
Season Total: 31 carries, 173 yards, 1 TD
55 catches, 463 yards, 5 TDs
Steve Smith has had his share of ups and downs this season, much like his quarterback Cam Newton. But Newton has found his groove in recent weeks and Smith has benefitted to the tune of 229 yards and a touchdown over the last two weeks.
The Chargers are tied with the Saints for the most touchdowns (18) given up to wideouts this season.
Season Total: 60 catches, 999 yards, 2 TDs
Many fantasy owners expected Jennings to turn in a solid performance against Detroit with Jordy Nelson out, but he had just one catch for 27 yards. Randall Cobb has caught the eye of Aaron Rodgers in the passing game.
Jennings is still trying to find that next level since returning from his hamstring injury.
Season Total: 17 catches, 151 yards, 1 TD
Colin Kaepernick seems to have found his favourite weapon in Crabtree, throwing his way 11 times in each of the last two games. Crabtree has made the most of it, hauling in 16 catches for 194 yards.
Crabtree should be a big factor in the 49ers offence this week as they try to counter the Patriots juggernaut offensive attack.
Season Total: 66 catches, 761 yards, 5 TDs
The Seahawks secondary has tormented opposing quarterbacks all season long. Johnson will likely go up against Richard Sherman, who has proven to be one of the most difficult to cornerbacks to beat in the NFL.
Johnson has struggled to find the end zone over the last few weeks, and it only gets tougher this weekend against Seattle.
Season Total: 61 catches, 776 yards, 5 TDs
Myers has a down performance against the Broncos last week, reeling in just one catch for seven yards, but it seems to be a deviation from what he has done all season. He had five catches or more the five weeks beforehand.
The Chiefs are average against tight ends, but Myers has been one of Carson Palmer's favourite targets. He's a solid starting option this week.
Season Total: 70 catches, 728 yards, 4 TDs
Over the last five weeks, Pitta has three games with at least five catches and a touchdown. But in between those three solid performances, Pitta has two games with only one catch.
It's been hit or miss with Pitta, and starting him this week comes with great risk.
Season Total: 50 catches, 488 yards, 5 TDs
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