If you’re reading this, you’ve either made the fantasy football playoffs or you just like torturing yourself.
In honor of Week 15 — the start of the postseason for some, or the second round for others — I’ve included additional players I like and dislike for each category.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers at Bears
Consider it bulletin board material if you want. Last month Rodgers said the Packers could help save their fading playoff hopes by, in part, going “to Chicago, a place we've won a number of times, beat them.” But the fact is, few quarterbacks have shown the propensity to get into the head of Chicago’s defense, no matter how good it is at the time.
Thanks to a rediscovered running game, Green Bay’s offense showed signs of life against the Falcons, and consider that Rodgers has only failed to throw fewer than three touchdowns against the Bears twice in the last five years.
2017: (one game): 4
2016: 3, 0
2015: 3, 1
2014: 4, 6
I’m not saying Rodgers can pull off the upset against his division nemesis, but unlike Jared Goff this is one California boy who won’t freeze up at Soldier Field. Alternative: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks at 49ers.
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals vs. Raiders
Three of Mixon’s last four games have gone for double-digits in fantasy points, and he’s coming off a career-high 26 carries against the Chargers.
“Our run is as good as it’s been,” offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said via mydaytondailynews.com. “You look at the numbers at the end of the game and you say you’ve got to get it to him more. We have to keep ourselves in positions where we can keep doing that.”
Meanwhile Oakland has given up the seventh most points to running backs. Alternative: Nick Chubb, RB, Browns at Broncos.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars vs. Redskins
This game is the draft pick Olympics but Fournette will be anxious to show the elder statesman across the sideline that he’s the new Adrian Peterson. Alternative: Lamar Miller, RB, Texans at Jets.
Robert Woods, WR, Rams vs. Eagles
Woods is the clear leader in the receivers group and he faces a secondary that essentially had one man to worry about (Amari Cooper) and looked clueless. Alternative: Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys at Colts.
Allen Robinson, WR, Bears vs. Packers
Robinson may not break off big chunks of yardage, but take note, PPR fans, he’ll likely see a lot of targets (think Doug Baldwin’s seven catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in Week 11).Alternative: Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers at Chiefs.
Eric Ebron, TE, Colts vs. Cowboys
Dallas has a well-deserved reputation for stifling pass-catchers: Yes — wide receivers. But for tight ends, they rank 10th in fantasy points allowed. Also: Ebron’s matchup proof.Alternative: Vance McDonald, TE, Steelers vs. Patriots
Brett Maher, K, Cowboys at Colts
Don’t be fooled by recent numbers, the Colts have had a run of anemic offenses. Indy was handing out field goals in the first half of the season like they were going out of style. Alternative: Greg Zuerlein, K, Rams vs. Eagles.
Ravens defense vs. Buccaneers
The Bucs have looked better in the last three game but they’ve set a low bar. They still gave 9 fantasy points to the Saints and have coughed up double-digit totals in six games. Baltimore’s defense won’t toy around with the Jameis Winston and company. Alternative: Texans defense vs. Jets.
Josh Johnson, QB, Redskins at Jaguars
Yeah, Johnson squeezed out a couple of scores — after it was clear the Giants had thoroughly stomped the Redskins. They were up 40-0 when Johnson put Washington on the board with a fourth-quarter rush. Johnson fills in for an offense that has been losing players by the week — now Jordan Reed’s (foot sprain) availability is in jeopardy. Don’t be enticed to start Johnson in Jacksonville. Also avoid: Josh Rosen, QB, Cardinals at Falcons.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Dolphins at Vikings
Lost in the theatrics of his Patriots-beating touchdown off a lateral is the fact that Frank Gore carried the load and Brandon Bolden had his share, too. If not for that score, Drake’s day would’ve been a bust.Also avoid: Theo Riddick, RB, Lions at Bills.
James White, RB, Patriots at Steelers
It’s a pity what has happened to White’s fantasy value, through no fault of his own. Sony Michel returned to take away the bulk of his carries. Then Rex Burkhead halved what’s left. Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski got healthy enough to diminish his targets, and any goalline scraps have gone to James Develin. Also avoid: Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers at Ravens.
Golden Tate, WR, Eagles at Rams
My bad. I thought he’d shine with Carson Wentz but the Eagles are wasting Tate’s talents compared to his how old team used him — and we’re talking about the Lions here. His only game with a score or minimum 50 yards came against Washington. Meanwhile, the Rams secondary has gotten healthier. Also avoid: Adam Humphries, WR, Buccaneers at Ravens.
DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins at Vikings
Parker’s biggest contribution last week against the Patriots was lateraling to Kenyan Drake before his scored his “Miami Miracle” touchdown. Otherwise, he has only scored once and has failed to top 43 yards since his “breakout” game against the Texans in October. Also avoid: Antonio Callaway, WR, Browns at Broncos.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Packers at Bears
Joe “tight end” Philbin has taken over as head coach and Graham still is only a marginal factor. The Bears are strong defending the middle, with speedy safety Eddie Jackson. Also avoid: Evan Engram, TE, Giants vs. Titans.
Cairo Santos, K, Buccaneers at Ravens
Baltimore is second best against kickers and Santos has just three field goals over the last four games. Also avoid: Jason Myers, K, Jets vs. Texans.
Chargers defense at Chiefs: Last time around, L.A. wound up with negative-3 points. And that was in Week 1, before Patrick Mahomes really knew what he was doing. Also avoid: Eagles defense vs. Rams.
Jeff Driskel, QB, Bengals vs. Raiders
What do either of these teams have to play for, really? At least Driskel is at home and faces an Oakland defense that allows a league-high 2.3 passing touchdowns per game, according to Yahoo data. Alternative: Josh Allen, QB, Bills vs. Lions.
Elijah McGuire, RB, Jets vs. Texans
According to the team website, McGuire played 74 percent of snaps and has taken the majority of practice reps for the past month. The Texans are tough on yardage but they’ve allowed a rushing touchdown in five of the last six games. Alternative: Ito Smith, RB, Falcons vs. Cardinals.
Dion Lewis, RB, Titans at Giants
Derrick Henry should get his fill against the eighth-most generous defense, but last week he declined to try for a record fifth rushing touchdown because he wanted Lewis to “eat” too. The Giants are vulnerable through the air, getting torched for 156 yards by Tarik Cohen and even letting Adrian Peterson catch a touchdown pass. Alternative: Doug Martin, RB, Raiders at Bengals.
Dede Westbrook, WR, Jaguars vs. Redskins
He edges Donte Moncrief in targets and is their top scorer (for what that’s worth in Jacksonville) with five. The wheels are coming off in Washington and Westbrook is the most likely candidate to take advantage of the situation. Alternative: D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers vs. Saints.
Dante Pettis, WR, 49ers vs. Seahawks
Despite Kirk Cousins’ ineptitude Monday night, Stefon Diggs showed the Seahawks can be beaten deep. He had a season-high 129 yards and two scores against Seattle in two weeks ago. Alternative: David Moore, WR, Seahawks at 49ers.
Anthony Firkser, TE, Titans at Giants
Ian Thomas stepped up in place of Greg Olsen, so maybe Firkser can do the same with the loss of Jonnu Smith (knee). “I think we have to get Anthony in there more regardless of who is healthy,” coach Mike Vrabel said tennessean.com. “He gets open, he catches the ball. The quarterbacks have confidence in him. Alternative: Blake Jarwin, TE, Cowboys at Colts.
Ryan Succop, K, Titans at Giants
The Giants are the perfect bend-but-don’t-break defense for the kicker behind a drive-but-don’t-score offense (last week, notwithstanding). Alternative: Jason Sanders, K, Dolphins at Vikings.
Titans defense vs. Giants
Over the last six games, Tennessee has held all but one opponent to 17 points or fewer and has racked up 18 sacks. Not good news for Eli Manning. Alternative: Lions defense vs. Bills