Reminder: We do Start & Sit a little differently at Breakout Live. Avoiding the obvious starts & sits, we offer advice on the not-so-obvious matchups. You know, the ones that can actually make the difference between winning and losing.
So on Breakout Live Start & Sit, we’ll do two things:
- Give Start advice on mid-to-low tier players who are set up for a blowup week.
- Give Sit advice on mid-to-high tier players who are set up for a letdown.
Read on and reap the rewards a well-deserved playoff win for KITTLE OF FISH or THE GOLDEN TATE WARRIORS:
Aaron Rodgers – I’ve been waiting all year for a softball and here she is. Any fantasy owner worth their salt will give pause to starting Rodgers against the killer Bears defense, especially when the experts have him as the #17 QB in composite rankings. Experts be damned. Here’s a sneaky nugget of knowledge for you: Bryce Callahan is Chicago’s slot corner. He’s also rated as the 9th best corner in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. That’s insane for a slot guy. Callahan broke his foot last week and is done for the season, which means special teamer Sherrick McManis is Chicago’s new slot corner. Think Rodgers is aware of this? You bet he is. Green Bay will run 3-receiver sets all day and #12 should pick McManis apart, especially if the Packers are trying to mount a comeback in the 2nd half.
PPR prediction: 27.2
Josh Allen – Never thought I’d be advocating for a Bills QB in the fantasy semis, but here I am. Here are the best fantasy QBs over the last 3 weeks: 1) Patrick Mahomes 2) Josh Allen. Are you kidding me? That’s what an NFL record 335 rushing yards will get you. This is the epitome of high risk, high reward, and I’m advocating for reward vs. a Detroit D that’s okay but can be exploited both on the ground and through the air.
PPR prediction: 24.7 pts
Matt Ryan – What’s the deal with Matty Ice? Oodles of talent all over the field on offense and yet Atlanta hasn’t hit 20 points once in their last 5. Here are Ryan’s point totals in those games: 21-14-21-8-20. If you believe in patterns, Ryan is on course for another crappy game. High teens/low 20’s aren’t exactly dud territory, but in the fantasy playoffs you need to know your QB is going to get you AT LEAST 20. There’s really no way of knowing that with Ryan, and that’s pretty scary.
Prediction: 16.8 pts
Russell Wilson – A QB in a run-first offense is always a risky proposition come playoff time, even one with the skill set of Wilson. The Niners pose a great matchup here in real life, but for fantasy purposes it’s not very good at all. Seattle could be playing from ahead for much of the game, and they’ve wholeheartedly committed to the run game, going with 6 offensive linemen on 25% of their snaps this season. That’s an old school, all-run formation, and if I were you, I’d run as far away from Wilson as I can this week.
Prediction: 15.9 pts
Jaylen Samuels – Steven Ridley vultured a TD from Samuels last week, but Samuels still finished with 16 PPR points. He’s a very good pass catcher and I think the Steelers go pass-heavy this week, especially if James Conner is out.
PPR prediction: 17.3 pts
Ito Smith – I hate time-shares like the one Atlanta has, but Smith seems to be on the right side of it. He’s out-touched Telvin Coleman two weeks in a row, and now he gets an Arizona defense that has allowed 18 rushing TDs and the 3rd most points to RBs this season. I can live with this time-share as a high-upside FLEX this week.
PPR prediction: 16 pts
Kenyan Drake – You may be hoping for some more magic by starting the star of last week’s Miami Miracle, but now is not the time to get sentimental. Over his last 5 games, Drake has only topped 44 yards once. Add that to the fact that he hasn’t had more than 8 carries in 5 straight, and you’re looking at a guy who could lose you a fantasy title if you start him this week.
PPR prediction: 7.7 pts
Sony Michel – 17 carries in 3 straight is good volume, and the Steelers have allowed a rushing TD in 6 straight. But don’t get too excited. Over his last 5 games played, Michel has hit double digits only once. This matchup has the feel of a pass-heavy approach on both sides, and New England’s crowded backfield and always-confounding game script makes Michel one RB to stay away from.
PPR prediction: 9.5 pts
DaeSean Hamilton – Hamilton was an absolute freak at Penn State, and now the rookie gets a chance to showcase his abilities as Emmanuel Sanders’ understudy. His first start in place of the injured Sanders couldn’t have gone much better, as he reeled in 7 catches for 47 yards and a TD for a cool 17.7 PPR points. It’s one game, sure, but the Browns are a bottom-10 defense vs. WRs, so it’s not a bad idea to strike with the Hamilton iron is hot.
PPR prediction: 16.5 pts
Dante Pettis – Over the last 3 weeks, Pettis has been the #4 WR in fantasy. That’s incredible for a rookie who’s 3rd in line for targets on his own team behind George Kittle and Marquise Goodwin. Seattle’s secondary has been playing their butts off, but Pettis went for 30 against them two weeks ago and I think he gets ‘em again – albeit not quite to the tune of a 30 piece.
PPR prediction: 18.6 pts
Mike Evans – If we’re going off talent alone, Mike Evans is the best WR the Bucs have. If we’re going off targets, though, he’s sort of their 3rd best. I say sort of because he’s tied with Chris Godwin at 20 targets and behind Adam Humphries (23) over the last 3 games, which knocks him to 3rd on my list due to my super scientific handicapping system. For whatever reason, Evans and Jameis Winston haven’t really clicked, and a matchup against the Ravens’ #1 defense won’t help.
PPR prediction: 12 pts
Larry Fitzgerald – I love Fitz, but this future Hall of Famer has been handicapped all year by an inept offense. The matchup is good vs. Atlanta, but he’s averaging 11.4 PPR points over his last 5, and that’s just not good enough with a spot in the fantasy finals on the line.
PPR prediction: 11.4 pts
Ian Thomas – Greg Olsen did virtually nothing before he got hurt, but Ian Thomas has filled in more than admirably. He’s scored 27 PPR points in his last two, including a 9-catch, 77-yard performance last week. Cam Newton likes him, and while the Saints have been great against TE’s, I just can’t get those 2 TDs they gave up to Cameron Brate in Week 14 out of my head.
PPR prediction: 14.9 pts
Kyle Rudolph – The Notre Dame product hasn’t seen the end zone in 10 weeks, and he’s scored single digits in 8 of his last 9. I pity the fool who’s stuck starting Rudolph this week.
PPR prediction: 6.1 pts