Whether you are playing in a consolation bracket, third place, or league championship everyone is looking for that final win and the varying amounts of fantasy glory that go along with it. I mean let’s be honest: winning the consolation is akin to being homeless and having the nicest cardboard box. But hey, a win is a win.
Let’s go get it.
Eli Manning @ PHI
Store this little nugget away for next year.
If you are on the fence between two players and one of them plays on Thursday night, go the other way. I have yet to see hard research done on the topic, but it seems like for the most part every position under-performs. Sure, there were some exceptions, but for the most part fantasy owners had a hard time getting out of bed Friday morning.
Now, after saying all that it doesn’t make a ton of sense to recommend starting a quarterback playing on Thursday night. Hear me out though: I think we have a good spot that owners should capitalize on.
Look up solid in the dictionary and you will see a picture of me without a shirt on. Beside that you will see Eli Manning’s game logs. While he has been lacking in the yardage department he has more than made up for it with touchdown passes, throwing for at least two in seven of his last eight games. After a tremendous start to the season, the Eagles defense has allowed multiple touchdown passes in eight of their last 11. The trends are pointing to a two or more touchdown performance from Eli.
Marcus Mariota @ JAX
After a smoking hot stretch, Mariota went ice cold the last two games, posting single digit efforts. I am going to give him a pass based on tough matchups with Denver and at Kansas City. This week will seem like a vacation when he visits sunny Jacksonville. He scored 19 points against the Jags in their first matchup this year with the majority of those points coming in the first half of a blowout. If owners were able to get by on his lackluster semifinal performance he should make up for it in the championship.
Cameron Brate @ N.O.
Brate is shaping up to be the waiver wire player of the year at the tight end position. He is currently sitting as the number nine tight end for the season and looking to move up. He has been heavily involved in the offense, catching at least four passes in seven of their last eight games. Most importantly, with as volatile as tight end production has been this year, Brate should provide some security. He has four consecutive games with 47 or more yards receiving.
Charles Clay vs. MIA
This play isn’t for the faint of heart. Although with the way the year has been at the tight end position there are no sure week to week players.
So why not roll with the hot hand?
You want hot? This Clay is fresh out of the kiln and piping hot. No tight end has scored more points than he over the last two weeks. He cashed in on all seven of his targets in Week 15 for 72 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins have allowed three tight end touchdowns over their last three games. Stay hot Chuck.
Ryan Griffin vs. CIN
This play will be dependent on the availability of C.J. Fiedorowicz. If he is out again, Griffin could be a sneaky good play this week. He obviously had a strong rapport with new Texan quarterback Tom Savage as he caught all eight passes thrown his way. The matchup is strong as well. The Bengals are allowing just under seven receptions per game to opposing tight ends.
Carson Palmer @ SEA
If you have Palmer on your roster I want you to call him in, thank him for his 318/2 effort in Week 15, and tell him you’re going in a different direction for the championship game. He is a long-time pro, the competitor in him will want to play, but he will understand the decision.
I get that he threw for 342 in his first meeting with Seattle. However, you need to keep two things in mind. Number one, it took him a full five quarters to achieve that. Number two, it was in Arizona. Seattle is tough at home, and I would not want my championship riding on a quarterback needing a good game in that atmosphere.
Jameis Winston @ N.O.
I know on paper this looks like a strong matchup, but for whatever reason, Winston does not perform well against the Saints. In three career games he has yet to throw for more than 207 yards or multiple touchdowns in any game. The turnovers are always a concern for Winston. If your league has a heavy penalty for turnovers, it is even more reason to keep him on the bench.
Jimmy Graham vs. AZ
After a great first half of the season, Graham has been quiet recently. In his last six games he has only gone over 48 yards receiving twice and has had no more than 67 yards in any game. He has been virtually nonexistent in his last two games catching only one pass in each game.
If it were a decent matchup I could look past his prior two games, but the Cardinals have allowed the fewest points in the league to opposing tight ends. They have surrendered just one touchdown on the year and no more than 52 yards in any game.
Tyler Eifert @ HOU
The book has been written on Eifert. After posting 102 and 96 yards in back to back weeks earlier in the season I thought they were going to have to add another chapter, but his recent play has supported the narrative.
He is touchdown dependent.
Fortunately, for his fantasy owners he scores enough of them to keep his bottom line looking good. However, in the week to week grind he can leave owners high and dry. In his 37 career games he has gone over 60 yards only seven times. With the Texans allowing only three touchdowns to opposing tight ends on the season, this would be a good week to sit Eifert who has a scary low floor.
Good luck in the championship…and the consolations.
Hit me up on Twitter @barkballin with any questions.