One of the hottest topics in fantasy football this week is not the looming specter of trying to trust a 49ers running back like Raheem Mostert, although I have him in a number of spots. I will tell you that Mostert saw his touches drop from 21 in Week 13 to just 12 last week. But how productive was he? You're worried, however, even in a potential smash matchup this week against the Falcons. But realize, he still leads the team in snaps and touches, and he's the dude when it comes to the goal line. So you're cool. I mean, until you realize that this is a Tevin Coleman revenge game. (Sorry if I just ruined your week.)
But what people are really arguing about on the internets is whether you should lock up your waivers from non-playoff teams. And what it really boils down to is an argument for people who like to have fun, and those who take things so seriously that they try to take the fun away from everybody else. Allow me to say a few things about this.
First, if you're playing in an NFL.com league with a bunch of people whom you don't know. A bunch of men and women who you're never going to see again in your life. My suggestion to you would be to take the gentlemen's (or gentlewomen's) way out and just don't pick up waivers after you've been eliminated from the playoffs. That's fine.
But if you're playing with your friends? Then let's rock. I play in a league with all of my friends that I grew up with in Corona, Calif., and we have long-standing rivalries that date back to the elementary school we went to. Which church we went to. What street we lived on. There are a lot of battle lines being drawn. And you'd better believe that, being a guy who has locked up ninth place in this league (my first four picks: David Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Antonio Brown, Kerryon Johnson), I'm out there working the wire like I'm playing in the championship game. If I notice that my buddy Dave needs a quarterback to beat my guy Frank Hetland (who watches NFL Fantasy Live every day and I'm going to favor him), then I'm going to grab Ryan Tannehill off the waiver wire. BTW, Tannehill is my QB3 this week behind Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson. He's a near-lock for roughly 20 fantasy points every week. You're absolutely starting him, though it feels like the regression is going to hit him at some point. Unless, of course, he really is the second-coming of Joe Montana. (Yes, I'm a boomer who is old enough to remember Joe Montana playing an NFL football game. For the 49ers no less).
Now, are my moves petty? Sure. Am I working to protect my boys like the Dipaolo brothers, turning my back on the guys I grew up with on Citron Drive? Yes. It's a super heel move. Kind of like what you would see in the Royal Rumble. Where you see a guy get tossed from the ring, but he ends up ruining the night for somebody else by still eliminating another rival. And since I live my life like it's a work, you can see where I'm coming from.
All right, here are some other sleepers who can get you to the finals. Some of these might be a little more obvious than usual.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
I know, I know. It didn't work out that well for Duck Hodges last week in Arizona. But let's not pretend that Hodges was the first-overall selection in the draft, either. The Cardinals have allowed the most points to fantasy quarterbacks this season. Which is great. The Cardinals are also 12th worst in sack rate this season, too. A lot of the Browns' problems have stemmed from the pass rush closing in around him. This should be a good opportunity for him to get some production.
Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
I know, this isn't traditional. But I like this spot for Goff and the Rams. Los Angeles is 5-0 against teams on a three-game losing streak or worse during the Sean McVay era. And during those games, the average margin of victory has been greater than 20 points. So I'm looking to lock in on Goff who could have a huge game against the Cowboys who have given up a lot of production to quarterbacks.
DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders
The status of Josh Jacobs is going to be fluid, though the MRI was positive this week. Washington took over last Sunday and had 20 touches (up from five the previous week). I know this is a risky proposition for the fantasy playoffs. But the Jaguars have given up the most-points to running backs since Week 10. There is a great chance that even if Jacobs does play, he might not be able to handle a huge workload, which would mean more opportunity for Washington.
Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I know that we kind of put him out to sea and lit the pyre a couple of weeks ago after some huge disappointments. But I would like to point out that he went from six touches in Week 13 to 15 touches last week. He's got a great matchup against the Lions this week. Well, a good enough matchup. The lone holdup is that Peyton Barber continues to remain a thing.
A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans
The Texans have allowed the fewest points to receivers since Week 10. Which seems weird to me. But I'm going with the top receiver in this offense that is rolling right now behind Tannehill.
Breshad Perriman, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Perriman and Justin Watson will see an increase in targets with Mike Evans likely done for the season. The Lions have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers over the last four weeks.
Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears
Miller is enigmatic for Bears fans. We see plays of brilliance, and then some, "what is he doing?" moments. The thing is, he's had at least 11 points in four consecutive games. He's had at least nine targets in four of his last five.
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
I'm throwing a YOLO ball like Philip Rivers in this one. Williams finally got into the end zone last week, and maybe it's time for some regression to the mean for a guy who had 12 touchdowns last year. The Vikings have struggled in the defensive secondary in 2019, in particular on deep throws. I just need one of those YOLOs to go my way in this one.
David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
This didn't work out for Vance McDonald last week. But I don't think anybody is going to confuse Njoku with McDonald. The Cardinals allow an average of close to 17 points per game to tight ends. This is just crazy.
And if you need a crazy defensive streamer, let's roll with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.