With the redesign leagues finished and the champions crowned, the growing NFL playoff game fantasy football It gives us a few more weeks to enjoy completing the starting lineups. As the level of competition increases, the go-or-sit fantasy decisions get a little more difficult as the margins start to shrink. Let’s dive into the decisions to start or sit in fantasy football for the 2022 NFL playoffs.
NFL Start ‘Em, Sit’ Em for the 2022 NFL Playoffs: quarterbacks
While the focus in most fantasy leagues falls on skill positions, quarterbacks, more often than not, consistently get the highest weekly total. Which quarterbacks are mandatory starters and who should remain on the bench in the NFL playoffs?
Comience ‘Em | Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (@TEN)
There are no easy games. It’s the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs, and we’re down to the top eight teams. We are looking for advantages in tough matchups. When it comes to QB, Joe Burrow has all the advantages in the world. Add in the full complement of receiving options, and it’s an intriguing pick from DFS every week.
Against the Raiders, Burrow completed 24 of 34 passes for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns while returning to Earth after throwing for 971 and 8 TDs in his previous two. Burrow and the Bengals get the No. 1 seed Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round, who are coming off a bye. In terms of matchups, this is arguably the most QB-friendly on the list, with the Titans ranking 23rd against the position (17.58 points per game). If the Bengals want to keep their season alive, Burrow has to have one of his best games of the season. Trust him to do it and get him started on DFS and fantasy.
feel them | Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (@GB)
Of the quarterbacks still playing, Jimmy Garoppolo is the “playing director” of the group. He did it last week. Against the Cowboys, Garoppolo completed 16 of 26 passes for 172 yards with an interception. The irony is that, whatever he does, Garoppolo won’t be on this team next season. What he’s doing right now is auditioning for 31 other teams.
Dynasty Rookie Rankings 2022: Where do Jameson Williams, George Pickens and James Cook rank in our rankings?
The Packers got a well-deserved bye and are getting healthier at the right time. Za’Darius Smith has been tagged to return, plus Jaire Alexander could return as well. He has scored 20 points just once since Week 9, and is a DFS QB to avoid for the 2022 NFL Playoffs Divisional Round.
While these RBs found themselves with tight roles following injuries to surrounding players and poor play from others, they’re on opposite sides of the starting/sitting-out debates for the 2022 NFL playoffs. Let’s look at the best starting options and fantasy seat of the league’s RB committees for this week.
Comience ‘Em | Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (contra CIN)
Oh Henry! The king has returned. Derrick Henry is ready to return after missing half the season with a foot injury. In just eight games, Henry rushed for 937 yards with 10 touchdowns. Yes, you read it right. He is still No. 9 on the season in yards, 10th in attempts (219) and tied for No. 6 in TDs. It’s funny how good it was.
This is also why I can see the sideways glances when I include Henry as a DFS to start with when it should be a no-brainer. There will be trepidation for some when it comes to Henry. The Bengals are hot right now and he hasn’t played since Halloween.
Is it at full strength? Will Henry be on a quick count? Honestly, we won’t know until the game starts. All I know is if Henry comes back, he’ll be in my starting lineup. Plain and simple. Henry is ready to reclaim his throne against a Bengals defense that has ranked 27th against RBs (25.4) in its last four games.
feel them | Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs (@BUF)
With Clyde Edwards-Helaire out (shoulder), Darrel Williams has become Kansas City’s RB1. In Weeks 16 and 17, Williams averaged 15.5 touches, 96 yards and one TD per game as a lead rusher. There was every reason to expect a similar game Sunday against one of the worst running defenses in the NFL. However, after being limited all week, Williams did nothing. He played 8 snaps, recording 1 run for 4 yards. Jerick McKinnon was the primary running back, playing 51 of 65 snaps (18 touches).
The Chiefs are likely to accept this committee/heavy-handed approach and may see the return of Edwards-Helaire. For the Chiefs to win, it will be on the arm of Patrick Mahomes. I can see RBs taking a noticeable hit in volume against the Bills’ No. 6-ranked defense (21.2 PPR). I would plan on sitting in any Chiefs RB from now on.
NFL Start ‘Em, Sit’ Em for the Divisional Round: Open Receivers
The WR position is the deepest in fantasy football, with a plethora of quality starting options to choose from each week. As matchups can be the ultimate deciding factor, here are some of our fantasy recommendations to start or sit in for the NFL playoffs.
Comeience ‘Em | Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills (against KC)
Since early December, Gabriel Davis has been as hot as anyone. He is averaging 65 goals per game and has scored 5 TDs. Against the Patriots, Davis led all Bills WRs in plays (40) and was No. 2 in routes behind Stefon Diggs (18). He was in constant rotation with Diggs and Emmanuel Sanders on the perimeter. Since his appearance last season as a rookie, he seems to have found a connection with Josh Allen.
Cole Beasley appears to have been overtaken by Isaiah McKenzie for the No. 4 spot, but Davis’ positive play could complement Diggs at DFS. We know this will be a high scoring affair. And while the Chiefs have been better at times, they’re still ranked 30th in their last four games against WR at 43.99. Most likely, this will be the de facto AFC Championship Game. Give me Davis to make a big impact and take the Bills one step closer to the Super Bowl.
feel them | Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (@TEN)
While the Bengals got the win, it didn’t go as we expected. This was supposed to be Tee Higgins’ big game. He had the best matchup of any WR all weekend and had the momentum too. Everything pointed to him. What happened? He caught 1 pass for 10 yards. It’s a case of the process being correct, but sometimes it doesn’t matter. That’s the NFL and fantasy/DFS.
The No. 2 WR was Tyler Boyd, but that’s not without controversy. Boyd caught 4 of 5 Burrow targets for 26 yards, including a touchdown that should never have counted due to an umpire inadvertently blowing his whistle in the middle of the game. With Ja’Marr Chase coming off another 100-yard game, I see this as a “get it right” game for Higgins, relegating Boyd to boom-or-bust territory. In DFS, I’d rather pay Chase or Higgins than start Boyd in the Divisional Round against Tennessee.
It’s notoriously difficult for fantasy managers to find consistent production from the tight end position. In the NFL playoffs, decisions to start or not to play can mean the difference between a fantasy win or loss, as the margins are so slim.
Comience ‘Em | Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (contra KC)
Dawson Knox has as high a ceiling as any tight end in fantasy when he hits. We saw it again on Saturday against the Patriots, who ran into a buzz saw. Knox caught all 5 of his targets for 89 yards and 2 TDs. He has exceeded his preseason expectations, recording 49 receptions on 71 targets for 587 yards and 9 touchdowns.
He has scored in nine games this season with three multi-scoring outings. Knox now has seven games in double-digit fantasy points with five games over 18 points. When he hits, Knox has TE1 overall on the upside. He’ll get another great chance to duplicate this performance against the Chiefs, who are ranked 16th against the fantasy scoring position.
feel them | CJ Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals (@TEN)
I’ll be honest, this was almost George Kittle, and I’m not convinced it won’t end here before the week is out. Kittle is being used as the sixth lineman and has gone for less than 30 yards in each of his last four games. Fading his talent so early in the week might be rushed, but I know my faith is wavering in “The People’s Tight End.”
Instead, I’ll go with CJ Uzomah, who had a good game last week. He played on 52 of 62 offensive snaps, tied for second-most routes with 32, and caught all 6 targets for 64 yards and a touchdown. But while Las Vegas ranked 28th against rival TEs, the Titans rank No. 5, allowing 8.65 points per game.
It was Uzomah’s first game since Week 7 with more than 60 yards or a touchdown, and he was entering the game with three straight at 40 or less. In a game where I expect Higgins to recover, Uzomah will take a hit. I’d watch him as a low volume play on DFS, but he’s someone to sit on.