Fantasy sports: Most wonderful time of the year

Stash Harry Douglas, the Falcons receiver could be fantasy gold if something happens to Julio Jones or Rodd White.

At long last, the pot of gold at the end of the fantasy rainbow is in sight. The playoffs are coming, friends.

With most leagues set to enter the single-elimination phase of their season in Week 14, we need to get ready. There’s no point to qualify for the playoffs and then get bounced in the first round. Ask Matt Ryan and the Falcons how that feels.
 
Special teams are special
The easiest place to ensure you have good matchups is at defense and kicker. Waste a bench spot now on the Browns (vs. Chiefs Week 14), Seahawks (vs. Cardinals) or Jaguars (vs. Jets). Don’t get stuck with the Texans against the Patriots just because you’ve been riding them all year. At kicker, the formula is simple. We want a guy in a high-scoring offense playing in good weather, preferably at home. Greg “Legatron” Zuerlein has a cool nickname, but he’s in Buffalo Week 14. Avoid.

Handcuffing elsewhere
We’ve talked plenty about how important running back handcuffs are. But at this point in the season, we can handcuff other positions. If Julio Jones or Roddy White went down, Harry Douglas would be a solid play. Wes Welker owners should have Julian Edelman on their bench. Matthew Stafford owners won’t do much better than Shaun Hill as a backup. Don’t let injury ruin your dreams.

Timeshares
We need to have backup plans if our runners are about to find themselves in timeshares. Marcel Reece owners should be shaking in their boots. Felix Jones’ owners have sucked all they can out of him as DeMarco Murray nears a return. Matt Forte’s ankle woes figure to expand Michael Bush’s role. Arian Foster could be rested some in Week 16 or 17 if the 10-1
Texans lock up the No. 1 seed.



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