MetroBet dishes out fantasy football advice for Wild Card weekend.
Trust Trubisky in Playoff Debut
The Bears draw the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs, which means we’ll get our first look at sophomore quarterback Mitch Trubisky in the postseason. He had some true moments of greatness in 2018, including a six-game stretch from Weeks 4-10 in which he posted an absurd 17:4 TD-INT ratio. He is a bona fide fantasy stud when he’s on, and the door is wide open for him to flash his stuff in the first round. Trubisky will take on the 30th-ranked Philadelphia pass defense on Sunday, and assuming that Trubisky’s primary weapons are healthy he should have a field day. Unfortunately, Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel are all banged-up heading into the weekend, so it will bear monitoring if they are all able to suit up. Even if one or more of them misses the game, expect Trubisky to lean on tight end Trey Burton and scat-back Tarik Cohen and find his way to fantasy success anyway.
Volume Monster Hopkins an Easy Target
DeAndre Hopkins is regarded by many as the most talented receiver in football today, and he certainly showed that off in the fantasy playoffs. Over the final three weeks of the season, Hopkins posted a ridiculous 31 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns, and he enters the NFL postseason as the hottest player in the game. The Texans will definitely need to throw to keep up with or beat the Colts, as they will find little success bashing Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue into the 8th-ranked Colts run defense, and with little else to throw to you can expect DeShaun Watson to look at DeAndre Hopkins early and often in that game. While I don’t know that I feel confident in the Texans’ chances to win the game, Hopkins might be the safest bet for fantasy production of anyone on this weekend’s slate of games.
Mack An Uncertain Option
As good as the aforementioned Colts run defense is, the Texans’ is better. Their third-ranked run defense allowed an average of just 82.7 rushing yards per game, and Marlon Mack simply isn’t the kind of dual-threat back who can overcome that kind of stone walling front seven. If the Colts look to pass to a running back, it’ll be Nyheim Hines who gets the call, and Mack will likely be left as a touchdown-dependent fantasy option. Weighing even heavier on the confidence in Mack is the fact that the Colts could be without center Ryan Kelly, who is currently dealing with a neck injury and is no sure bet to suit up this weekend. In the games that Kelly missed for the Cotls this year, Mack averaged a full half-yard less per carry thatn in games Kelly played through. There are too many factors working against Mack for him to be reliable this weekend.
NFL Sleepers of the Week
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks – Doug Baldwin is dinged-up, but should play. Assuming he does, he will draw the top attention from the Dallas secondary, leaving Lockett’s big-play potential on the table for those willing to roll the dice.
Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears – For Trubisky to succeed, he’ll need to throw, and Miller could be the target with the most upside. He caught seven touchdowns in the regular season, and Allen Robinson should draw most of the heavy coverage from the Eagles if he starts.
Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens – If the Ravens are going to hang around on the Chargers, they’ll need to control the football and keep it out of Philip Rivers’ hands. That should mean an extremely run-heavy approach in which Edwards should see enough volume to do damage.