By Sean Reis
With this being the final issue of the fall semester, I decided to take a slightly different approach than past columns. Rather than focusing on DraftKings and the weekly picks, I felt it would be better to discuss players who I think will be the best to start as your league playoffs near.
At quarterback, I think the No. 1 player to start is obvious — Tom Brady. He proved this past weekend that he can put up superstar numbers, no matter who he is throwing the ball to and no matter what defense he is facing.
Nonetheless, there is one specific quarterback that I feel has flown under the radar this season — Ryan Fitzpatrick. In Week Four, I was in trouble, 0-3, and sitting in last place. I needed someone to spark my season and, looking at my quarterback first, I decided to pick up Fitzpatrick. I then went on to win six out of my next seven games and I am now likely looking at a playoff position. Fitzpatrick is only owned in 23 percent of Yahoo leagues and he may have the ‘Fitzmagic’ your team needs.
At wide receiver, it is definitely tougher to define the No. 1 player, but I think Julio Jones has the best argument. Like Brady, he is unfortunately owned in 100 percent of Yahoo leagues, so looking for possible receivers to pick up as playoffs approach, I highly suggest Kamar Aiken, Rueben Randle and Cecil Shorts III.
All three of these WRs are not owned in a majority of Yahoo leagues, and if you are currently in need of a reliable receiver, I would trust any of these WRs in the rest of the season.
At running back, I still believe Devonta Freeman is the best back in the league, but I also would like to note that I do not like Darren McFadden or Todd Gurley in the playoffs. Both RBs have seemed to have fallen off as of late and I no longer trust either. With that being said, however, I would still start both, but remember I warned you.
As for less-owned backs, I suggest Alfred Blue (owned in 53 percent) and Shaun Draughn (owned in 28 percent). I also love Theo Riddick, but only in points-per-reception leagues.
At tight end, only if Rob Gronkowski is seriously injured, I say Tyler Eifert is the No. 1 end in the league, but the other top tier TEs are all trustworthy as well. If you need another TE in a pinch for the playoffs though, it is quite risky so I have a few various options to pick up: Benjamin Watson, Charles Clay and Jacob Tamme.
None are pretty pick ups, but if you really need a TE for the playoffs, one of these three names will likely be a free agent and I believe they will be your best bet in desperation.
Lastly — and sadly — for kickers and defenses, I have zero suggestions because both are week-to-week picks based on matchups. I bid you adieu and I wish you luck in your playoffs and for finals as well!