My 2016 Fantasy Football Playoff Preview

I finished with a 10-win season in my 2016 Scout online Championship. That was the exact record I had when I won my 2014 Scout league.

My teams sucked last year, so it feels good to be in the playoffs again.

Today, I wanted to share what my team looked like, and what moves I made in the draft and free agency that have helped my team.

Let’s start with the quarterback position…

Starting Quarterbacks in the 2016 Fantasy Football Playoffs

I have a decent track record when it comes to finding overlooked quarterbacks.

When I won my Scout league in 2014, I drafted Andrew Luck in Round 5. When I looked at trying to find the next quarterback studs in 2015, I recommended Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill.

Tannehill was a bad call. But you could have drafted Newton in Round 10 or later.He was a steal.

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Last year, I had the most accurate rankings for quarterbacks on FantasyPros.

This year, I was all in on Blake Bortles. The main argument I saw against Bortles was most of his production came in garbage time.  The other argument against drafting Bortles was he threw a lot of interceptions.

Worrying about the interceptions was valid. Throwing 18 interceptions isn’t great. But I justified it by thinking Bortles was put in a bad position. The Jacksonville Jaguars did not have a rushing attack last season, and the bad play of the defense forced Bortles to make too much happen with his arm.

I thought with Chris Ivory in the mix, the offense would be more balanced.

For the argument that Bortles was only valuable because of his garbage time production, I didn’t understand that idea. Who cares if his production is mostly after half time? The defense wasn’t going to become a top-tier defense overnight.

The defense would still be bad, and Bortles would have plenty of opportunities to throw the ball to keep Jacksonville in the game.

When I looked at the win totals Vegas was projecting at the beginning of the year, the Jaguars weren’t even supposed to win half of their games.

So what exactly happened?

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Well, the Jaguars are allowing the eighth-most points per game in the NFL. So Jacksonville needs to score a lot of points to win games. That didn’t go away, so I was right that Bortles’ garbage time production wasn’t a reason to avoid him.

However, the offense isn’t in sync. It’s true Bortles is a top-15 quarterback in most formats, but I didn’t draft him expecting him to be mediocre. I was expecting a diamond in the rough like Luck in 2014 and Newton in 2015.

Looking ahead to the Fantasy playoffs a few weeks ago, I knew there was no way I could start Bortles. I saw Colin Kaepernick had one of the best schedules for the Fantasy playoffs, so I picked him up.

I rolled the dice on him in Week 12, and he scored 37.1 Fantasy points. He crushed me last week with just 2.2 Fantasy points, but I’m hoping that was mostly because of the weather conditions.

I’m starting him in Week 13. The defense for the New York Jets are allowing the 17th-most Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. That’s mediocre, but Bortles has a tougher matchup.

The defense for the Minnesota Vikings is allowing the third-fewest Fantasy points per game.

Now, let’s look at the running back position.

Starting Running Backs in the 2016 Fantasy Football Playoffs

For my running backs, my best decision of the season was to draft Ezekiel Elliott with the 11th pick in my draft. I almost had a chance to draft LeVeon Bell in Round 2, but it didn’t work out.

I’m lucky Zeke has been so effective, because my running backs are a weak spot on my roster.

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I drafted Doug Martin in Round 3, and I haven’t been able to use him for most of the season. I drafted DeAngelo Williams, knowing he could give me a few good games to start the season.

I also drafted Justin Forsett, Isaiah Crowell, Darren McFadden, and Alfred Morris. Crowell has worked out, as I drafted him in Round 12 and he’s a top-20 back.

But since then, I’ve cut Forsett, McFadden, and Morris. In there place, I now have Shane Vereen, Damien Williams, DuJuan Harris, and Denard Robinson.

All of those backs are basically the next man up if something happens to the starters. However, I think Vereen has potential for a more expanded role if he’s healthy. The Giants have not found the answer yet at running back, which could mean they give Vereen more carries than he would normally have in an average game.

Elliott is obviously in my lineup. Martin is also in my lineup. I only have to start two backs, and the only other running back I’d consider starting in a flex spot is Crowell.

But because of the depth I have at wide receiver, I’m sitting him right now.

Starting Wide Receivers in the 2016 Fantasy Football Playoffs

I drafted Mike Evans in Round 2, and drafting Zeke in Round 1 means I crushed the start of my draft.

The next receiver I drafted was Jordan Matthews in Round 4, DeSean Jackson in Round 5, and Sterling Shepard in Round 6.

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I then drafted Sammie Coates in Round 10, Anquan Boldin in Round 16, and Andre Johnson  in the last round. I wish Coates would have worked out, and it was a long shot that Johnson would do anything this year.

But I’m happy with how my receivers have worked out for the most part.

I also added Kenny Britt and Marqise Lee during the season, so this is how my options look for wide receiver in the 2016 Fantasy Football playoffs:

-Mike Evans

– Jordan Matthews

– DeSean Jackson

– Kenny Britt

– Sterling Shepard

– Anquan Boldin

– Marqise Lee

Since you start three wide receivers, Evans, Matthews and Shepard have normally been my three I always start. I also have Britt in there as a flex. I’ve only started Jackson for a few games.

But I’m starting him this week. However, it might come down to the wire between starting him and Crowell.

Starting Tight Ends in the 2016 Fantasy Football Playoffs

I whiffed at the tight end position.

I drafted Gary Barnidge and Jordan Cameron. But when Cameron looked like he wasn’t going to work out and Barnidge was struggling, Dennis Pitta had just started to peak.

I spent a lot of money from my blind bidding to make sure he was on my team, but it’s been worth it. He helped save me last week with his 30-point performance, and he’s currently the eighth-highest scoring tight end in PPR leagues.

For my defense, I’ve stuck with the Kansas City Chiefs all year other than the bye week. My kicker is Nick Novak.

So that’s my team. Although my team was 10-3, I had some down weeks in terms of points. I’m chasing a few people who are ahead of me.

Here’s my lineup for Week 14.

0 Kaepernick,Colin
0 Martin,Doug
0 Elliott,Ezekiel
0 Britt,Kenny
0 Shepard,Sterling
0 Jackson,DeSean
0 Matthews,Jordan
0 Evans,Mike
0 Pitta,Dennis
0 Novak,Nick
7 Chiefs,Kc


If you have any questions about your team, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. If you want a more detailed answer, shoot me an email.

Best of luck in Week 15! Unless you’re going against me…


Categories: 2016 Fantasy Football, Fantasy Football

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