The playoffs are coming, the playoffs are coming!
As we get set for Week 10, we need to have one eye on Week 14 when the playoffs begin. One key way to ensure we get the best shot at a ring is to think about matchups down the line.
STASH ON THE COLTS
With Andrew Luck (kidney) out at least a month, owners holding Colts are likely in true panic mode. They should be, as 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck will bog down the offense. But stashing guys like Luck, T.Y. Hilton or Donte Moncrief could prove very beneficial come playoff time. Assuming Luck is truly healthy by Week 14, he’ll get to face the Jaguars, Texans and Dolphins in the fantasy playoffs. It’s not going to get much softer than that. If you can afford to hold some Colts on your bench, acquiring them cheaply is an upside move.
MILLER LITES ALL AROUND
The firing of run-game averse Joe Philbin and installation of hard-nosed Dan Campbell as interim coach has done wonders for Lamar Miller. He’s suddenly a focal point of the offense and the primary redzone option. However, Miller has to face the rugged defenses of the Eagles and Jets in two of the next three weeks. After that though, he gets the Giants, Chargers and Colts in Weeks 14-16. Waiting for a down game and then pouncing on Miller for the playoffs should lead to profit.
JULIO DOWN BY THE PANTHER YARD
Julio Jones is arguably the best player in fantasy football and a big reason many first-place teams are where they are. Even thinking about trading him away – even for a King’s Ransom -- makes me queasy. But so does the idea of facing Josh Norman and the Panthers in Weeks 14 and 16. Quarterbacks have a passer rating of 30.5 when throwing at Norman this year, worst in the entire NFL (via PFF). He will be shadowing Julio when they face each other. This wouldn’t bother me as much if your league’s playoffs are only Weeks 15 and 16, but having to see Norman twice in a 3-week playoff span is brutal.
NBA PICKUPS OF THE WEEK
1. Nemanja Bjelica, PF, Wolves – Opportunity will only grow as Kevin Garnett and Tayshaun Prince fade further into the night.
2. T.J. McConnell, PG, Sixers – Averaging 9.0 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals over his last five games.
3. Jared Sullinger, PF, Celtics – Per-minute stats are exceptional once again. Worth holding just in case the Celtics' big-man logjam thins out.
Fire up these borderline wideouts in Week 10:
1. DeSean Jackson vs. NO – Hamstring looked healthy last week. Now it’s time to erupt against arguably the league’s worst pass defense.
2. Kamar Aiken vs. JAX – The way to beat the Jags is to throw on them. Aiken is the new No. 1 WR with Steve Smith done.
3. Brandon LaFell at NYG – Has come screaming off the injury list with at least seven targets in all three games. Patriots have a massive team total of 31.
In the Saints’ first game without Khriy Robinson, the usage went as expected. Mark Ingram played on 88.3 percent of the snaps and got 26 touches. C.J. Spiller got six snaps and three touches, and No. 3 Marcus Murphy didn’t touch the rock. Ingram’s stats didn’t look great against the Titans, but that was a result of some bad luck inside the 5-yard line. The underlying usage proved that Ingram is going to be an absolute monster the rest of the way as he’s looking at least 22 touches every week with upside for a lot more. His improvements in the pass game are an added bonus.