2012 NFL Playoffs Fantasy Football Start and Sit | Wild Card Edition
The 2011 fantasy football season is in the books, but there are still serious fantasy gamers out there trying to win cash or specific leagues based off of the NFL Playoffs. It starts this week with the Wild Card games, and we’re not leaving any needy fantasy enthusiasts behind.
We’re busting our rankings and other fantasy columns during the “real” playoffs, but in this column we’re taking a look at some guys we flat-out love and hate for the first week of playoff action.
Here are some guys to Start and Sit in fantasy football games for the first week of the NFL Playoffs:
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
If you have the option, you have to take either Drew Brees or Matthew Stafford at quarterback. It’s not even close. That game should be a classic shootout, and both guys should have big numbers. With that said, Ryan is the next guy in line out of the first week of games. As long as he gets even close to decent protection, he’ll hit Roddy White and Julio Jones left and right, and he still has that guy named Michael Turner to help out. The Giants rush the passer insanely well, but their secondary is still shaky.
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
If Manning is cheaper than those other elite guys, he’s not a big drop-off play, as he could still feast on a pretty vulnerable Falcons secondary at home. The Falcons stop the run well and have been exposed plenty all year through the air. Eli has been pretty hot overall lately, and his weapons are solid.
Isaac Redman, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Redman could be dirt cheap depending where you play, and he’s almost guaranteed to see a big load with Rashard Mendenhall (torn ACL) done for the year and Mewelde Moore nicked up. Redman could see 15-20 touches against a weak Broncos run defense, which could mean big fantasy numbers.
Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit Lions
Smith is getting healthier by the week, and he could find some success against a beatable Saints run defense. He has one of the better matchups in the first round of the playoffs, so he could be worth a shot – and had for cheap.
Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints
Sproles already has a pretty solid role as a receiver out of the back-field, but with Mark Ingram out for the playoffs with an injury, he could see more carries than usual, too. I like his chances against a weak Lions run defense.
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
With Mike Wallace shadowed by Champ Bailey all day (likely), the play-making Brown could be free to do some damage against Denver’s second and third corners.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben can be a beast, but his top receiver will be shadowed by Champ Bailey and Denver’s pass defense is actually usually pretty good. He’ll have a chance to do very well if the Steelers get the ground game going, but if not, his numbers could suffer on the road.
Tim Tebow, QB, Denver Broncos
Timmy Teebs hasn’t been a fantasy asset the past two weeks, and now he has the mighty Steelers on his home field. He could shock the world with some magic, but that doesn’t mean you should trust his fantasy potential this week.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants
I like what I’ve seen out of Bradshaw and the Giants as a whole lately, but that doesn’t change how effective the Falcons run defense can be at times. He could still be solid at home if he breaks them down, but it’s not a favorable matchup to trust in.
Willis McGahee, RB, Denver Broncos
McGahee hasn’t been himself for about 3-4 weeks now, and you know you can’t trust him if you can’t trust Tim Tebow. He’s at home, but he’s up against a brick wall in the Pittsburgh Steelers run defense.
Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Wallace can beat any matchup, but with money on the line, you can’t bank on him owning a solid shutdown corner like Champ Bailey in a huge game.
Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans
AJ is an elite receiver when healthy and when without limitations. Unfortunately, he’s probably not 100% yet and he still may be monitored a bit – especially if Houston has control of the game. T.J. Yates playing hurt can’t ease your concerns, either.