Scott Engel is in his ninth season of Fantasy Football coverage on Seahawks.com. Scott is a 20-plus year veteran of the Fantasy industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. You can find more of his Fantasy analysis at RotoBaller.com and SportsLine.com. You can listen to Scott on weekend mornings and on demand on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Scott has also won his highly competitive Fantasy Football league with other experts and top players in each of the past three years.
As the Seahawks close in on an NFC playoff berth, the postseason is finally here in Fantasy Football. The stakes are obviously raised, as it will now take two to three victories to finish off your quest for a Fantasy crown. When you consider it took eight or more wins to get this far, the rest of the playoff mountain should not look so daunting to scale. Making it to the postseason is a significant Fantasy accomplishment, and should validate that you have what it takes to win every game from this point on.
Once again, we invoke one of Pete Carroll's mantras to help you approach the Fantasy playoffs properly. Take each single game as a "championship opportunity," and view each matchup as a single chance to advance, rather than putting extra pressure on yourself to win it all from the very start of the playoffs. Each victory will be very significant, and takes as much sharp focus as possible. Instead of looking too far ahead before you have actually advanced, concentrate your energies on one game at a time, As much as that sounds cliché, it is very true at this critical time of the year.
By this point, you know who your core star and essential players are, and do not plan on reserving them regardless of matchups. After 13 weeks, DK Metcalf is the No. 3 wide receiver in Fantasy Football and has faced several of the top cornerbacks in the game and still produced quality or outstanding totals. Chris Carson has scored nearly 34 Fantasy points in his last two games since he returned to action and is a lineup lock for your Fantasy playoffs. How you stream around these central type of Fantasy figures will be a major key to your postseason success.
Matchups are an essential consideration in making your postseason lineup decisions, but should not be the only factor in making in any singular decision. You should not start a less productive player with a more attractive matchup over a guy who has performed better for most of the season based on a singular defensive draw. Matchups should only be used to govern decisions between similarly valued players.
The waiver wire should be used to add depth at this time of year, and will not produce too many players that deserve immediate lineup consideration at this point. But there will be a few potential Fantasy playoff heroes available, so you must stay active in free agency. You should also make some "insurance" pickups in case of injuries. Make sure you have a quality backup quarterback and tight end, and as we indicated in last week's Fantasy Insider, you should roster the immediate NFL backups to your usual starting running backs. You will continue to stream defenses in most cases, so a good chunk of your waiver wire attention will be devoted to adding the right units for upcoming weeks.
Engaging in Fantasy Football postseason matchups is stress-inducing enough without worrying about who your opponent has and what the pregame projections are. Simply enter your best possible lineup you can based on all information gathered and then let your players do the work from there. You cannot control who the other team starts and there is no way to truly neutralize the players on your opponent's squad. Your singular focus should be on outscoring the opposition. Pregame site projections are fun, but should not be taken as hard indicators of how your team will perform overall.
One way you can get in the way of the opposition, though, is by being an impediment on free agency. With all bye weeks done and less teams competing on for available players, plus having the main structure of your roster built out, you can use a move or two to block your opponent from getting the players they want on waivers. If you see the opponent needs a tight end for your upcoming matchup, and you are ahead of him in the waiver order, make sure to grab the top tight end available to keep your opponent from getting him. This is one proactive type of defensive move you can make vs. your opponent, but otherwise you should concentrate on your own squad.
Now that you have arrived at the postseason, avoid putting extra pressure on yourself. Don't second-guess lineup decisions too much and realize that if you made it this far, so your chances of continuing to advance are very good. Proceed with confidence, especially when you consider that once lineup decisions are made, it's on the players to execute, and you can just hope for the best from there. If you are an experienced Fantasy player, you should enter the postseason with poise. In playoff atmospheres, players such as Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner will prove that experience counts. If you have been to the Fantasy playoffs before, your experience matters a whole lot, too. It can help you make the right calls and maintain a level-headed approach.
Week 14 Waiver Targets
Listed in order of preferred waiver acquisition at each position
J.D. McKissic, RB, Washington (34.8 percent rostered on NFL,com): After some Fantasy players cut McKissic, he resurfaced to catch 10 passes for 70 yards on Monday. He can be a quality flex performer in the Fantasy playoffs, as he is the second-best pass-catcher on the Washington roster.
Ty Johnson, RB, Jets (0.2): In a relief role, Johnson rushed for 104 yards and a TD, and could play a prominent role in the New York backfield going forward with Frank Gore out. Johnson is worth a depth add to see if he can sustain the momentum from Week 13.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Lions (43.4): He has four TDs and 17-plus Fantasy points in each of his past two games. If De'Andre Swift continues to miss time, Peterson will remain a strong drive finisher for an offense that has totaled 75 points in his past two games.
Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, 49ers (1.0): Wilson was one half of a time share with Raheem Mostert on Monday night, and is a decent depth add. You can never have enough RBs on your roster for the playoff drive, and Wilson could play a more prominent role at any time in a San Francisco backfield that has seen a lot of changes this year.
Keke Coutee, WR, Texans (5.2): Pushed into an expanded role in Week 13, Coutee scored 22.1 Fantasy points vs. the Colts. That was an impressive feat vs. a team that was sixth-best in Fantasy Points Per Game allowed to WRs coming in. He should continue to operate as a prime target for Deshaun Watson and is a top pickup of the week.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts (38.3): The longtime Fantasy star has re-emerged in the past two games with two TDs and over 43 points. His next two matchups are with the Raiders (23rd in FFPG allowed to WRs) and the Texans, who he had eight catches for 110 yards against on Sunday.
Tim Patrick, WR, Broncos (7.0): He scored twice vs. the Chiefs in Week 13 and is a quality streaming option for the Fantasy postseason.
Gabriel Davis, WR, Bills (0.5): This big-play rookie has two TDs and over 32 Fantasy points in his past two games. He is an upside play when you need one.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles (0.5): He will start this week, and the rookie performs well enough vs. a tough Saints defense, his rushing promise will make him worthy of lineup consideration deeper into the Fantasy playoffs.
Logan Thomas, TE, Washington (14.1): A consistent TD target, Thomas busted out for the best game of his career vs. the Steelers on Monday, catching nine passes for 98 yards and a TD. Thomas has boosted himself into Fantasy TE1 territory.
Week 14 Lineup Considerations
Jonathan Taylor should continue to build on recent positive momentum vs. the Raiders, 29th in FFPG allowed to RBs. … Melvin Gordon is coming off a good performance, and Carolina is 27th vs. RBs. … Kenyan Drake will find the end zone against vs. the Giants. … Ronald Jones will be a quality flex play vs. Minnesota . … D.J. Chark should be started as a Fantasy WR3 vs. Tennessee (30th vs. WRs). … Tyler Lockett has significant upside in a Week 14 matchup with the Jets. … Antonio Brown could have his best game of the year so far vs. the Vikings. … Michael Pittman Jr. has TD potential vs. the Raiders. … Tom Brady will be a solid starter vs. Minnesota. … Philip Rivers is playing well and gets a good draw vs. Las Vegas. ... Jordan Akins faces the Bears, 30th vs. TEs. … Jared Cook has TD potential vs. Philadelphia.
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Fantasy Insider Scott Engel identifies players to try to grab on the waiver wire in the lead up to Week 14. Read more: https://shwks.com/m3caf