By Marcus Drake
They’re finally here! The fantasy football playoffs are upon us. Unfortunately we had some key injuries and a potential suspension looming for a star player in Rob Gronkowski. If you’re an owner who has Gronk, trust me, I feel your disappointment. I have him in my league as well and you know what? He might appeal this one game suspension but we the fantasy owners who rely on him have no choice but to install a back up plan.
Aside from Gronk Week 13 saw many other key players leave the field. Zach Ertz, another star tight end, left with a concussion and Tyrod Taylor was carted off with what is being called a patellar tendon contusion. Then we have Matt Stafford, who injured his throwing hand with 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter. The good news is that the doctors say it’s not broken, but Stafford says it feels like a burning nerve sensation with the simplest of movements. Last season, when Stafford broke his middle finger and kept playing he threw 5 picks in 4 games, so you may need to find a plan B in case Stafford gets too careless with the duke.
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Josh McCown (NYJ) — Its hard to believe I’m typing this but Josh McCown, the same guy who was a quarterback for the HARTFORD COLONIALS in 2010, is playing lights out in 2017. His stat line for the year is a remarkable: 2880 yards to the tune of 18 TD’s to only 8 Nathan Peterman’s (see what I did there?). Honestly, if there is even a remote chance he’s still available and you had Taylor or Stafford, McCown should be your number one pickup this week.
David Njoku (CLE) — The talent is undeniable here, and Njoku has proved to be a somewhat consistent red zone target for the hapless Browns offense. He’s got 4 touchdowns on the season and a pair of consecutive 4 reception games, the most recent being 4 for 74 yards and a touchdown — a career high in receiving for the young tight end. Now one could assume that with Gordon back, some of Njoku’s red zone targets might go away. This may be true, but it also gives opposing defense’s another guy to worry about and should allow Njoku more free space to operate in the middle of the field. If you need to replace Ertz or Gronk, this should be the guy.
Mike Davis (SEA) — Here’s hoping this is the last Seahawks back to make the waiver article this year. Since Chris Carson went down, the Seahawks have tried everything to figure out their running game to no avail, until now. Davis had 16 attempts for 64 yards and caught all four of the passes thrown his way for an additional 37 yards. Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy each got just 1 rushing attempt, meaning this is Davis’s backfield to lose now.
Dede Westbrook (JAC) — I hope the people who read this article every week we’re paying attention back in Week 11 when I said to stash the likes of Josh Gordon and this talented young rookie. If you did, you were greatly rewarded for your patience and foresight in Week 13. The rookie 4th rounder has an astonishing 19 targets in his last two games and he has produced solid flex numbers in the past two contests. As long as Allen Hurns is off the field, that shouldn’t change, as Westbrook has clearly earned the trust of quarterback Blake Bortles and he should have yours as well.
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) — Jimmy G passed the eye test this week, throwing for nearly 300 yards. Alas, a no touchdown day and a pick made his debut a bit underwhelming as far as fantasy production. Coach Kyle Shanahan has since named him the starter for a favorable matchup against the Texans, who have just been shredded by opposing quarterbacks all year long. Look for Tom Brady’s apprentice to hook up with Goodwin on a couple long balls and get you some solid fantasy points this week against the Texans.