The Fantasy Football Playoffs are not the ideal time to be rolling sleepers into your lineup, though the Giants passing game came through for us last week. Here’s hoping you have mostly simple decisions as you get ready for the championship game, but if not, we have some things to keep in mind this week.
Perhaps some of these sleeper calls will make more sense as DFS options, or encourage you to make a prop play. In deeper leagues they could factor as fantasy starters, but we want to be mindful of how the game is different at this time of year.
However you want to use (or ignore) the piece, we’re onto Week 17. And we’ll start with a couple of plays that are likely obvious to you.
The only reason I’m shoehorning these backs into this piece is because both of them are probably misranked in the industry (Akers sits at 16, Allgeier at 23). Allgeier charted as the RB7 and RB12 the last two weeks, while Akers is on a run of RB7, RB23, RB23, RB1. Both backs have double-digit touches in their back pocket, and offer goal-line equity. Allgeier probably has a better floor, given that he’s at home and the Falcons are favored over the scuffling Cardinals. But Akers should also find running lanes against a Chargers defense that’s handing out 5.3 yards per carry.
TE Cole Kmet at Lions
The Bears do not have a high-volume passing game. Justin Fields has made it to 200 yards just twice in 14 starts, and he was limited to 119 yards last week against Buffalo. That established, Fields and Kmet hooked up four times for 74 yards and two scores in the last Detroit meeting, and the Lions secondary has given out the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Kmet hasn’t seen the end zone since, but he’s still collecting a reasonable market share, and he’ll be on the field for just about every offensive snap.
QB Teddy Bridgwater at Patriots
It’s possible Bridgewater has been given a bad rap through the years, as he’s bounced from team to team. Miami is his fifth stop, but let’s acknowledge he held a passer rating over league average at Denver, Carolina and New Orleans. He’s not a hero, but he’s certainly not a zero.
Bridgewater’s two games of volume this year were relief appearances, 193 yards and a score against Cincinnati (meh) and 334 yards and two scores against Minnesota (bingo). The Patriots defense is no easy mark, but Bridgwater will get a full week to prepare as Miami’s likely starter, and he’s throwing to wideout royalty in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. I expect multiple touchdowns from well-traveled Teddy this week.
WR Curtis Samuel vs. Browns
Normally we think of Samuel as the No. 3 passing option on a Washington offense that has a capped ceiling, but Samuel gains fantasy juice with Carson Wentz getting the start. And although Samuel doesn’t look dynamic as a runner, he’ll probably add to his line with a few gadgety plays; he’s collected 29 rushing attempts for 140 yards and a score over the last nine weeks.
I would only consider Samuel as a fantasy starter if I were in an especially deep league that required three or more WR fills, but the Wentz appointment raised Samuel in my rankings.
DST Giants vs. Colts
The New York DST has been aggressively added in the last couple of days, but it still rests under 50 percent rostership. Even if you don’t start them yourself, you might want to block them from your opponent. The Colts offense has given away 20 or more DST points on four different occasions, including last week against the Chargers, and has been the biggest DST giveaway in cumulative points surrendered. Indianapolis struggles to protect its immobile quarterbacks, and the Colts generally lose the turnover battle. It could get messy in the Meadowlands.