FANTASY BLITZ: Under the Radar for Championship Week

Fantasy FANTASY BLITZ: Under the Radar for Championship Week

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Congrats to those of you who made it this far! Let’s look at some under-the-radar players that could help you win Fantasy Gold!


Kirk Cousins— Redskins vs. Cowboys

The Dallas defense has been bad all season, but in the past couple of weeks they’re moving into historically bad territory, allowing back-to-back four-touchdown games to Josh McCown and Matt Flynn. Robert Griffin III somehow didn’t manage to score a single touchdown when they met in Week 6, but he still came away with 19 fantasy points. In his first start of the season last week, Cousins threw for 381 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions against a Falcons defense that is almost as bad as the Cowboys. Cousins amassed 29 fantasy points and he has a shot at 30-plus in this contest.

Running Back

Bobby Rainey— Buccaneers at Rams

In five starts, Rainey has had two huge games against teams with poor run defenses (Atlanta and Buffalo) and three duds against teams with strong run defenses (Detroit, Carolina, and San Francisco). The Rams are up next and they are very average. A run-of-the-mill defense against the run, they’ve allowed the fifth-most points to running backs. They’ve allowed 16 rushing touchdowns—5th most in the league—along with 155 total yards per game to backs.

Trent Richardson— Colts at Chiefs

Richardson could get the start this week and the bulk of the touches in the Colts backfield with Donald Brown questionable after leaving Sunday’s game with a stinger. Richardson is a bit like Ray Rice this year – gaining just about three yards a carry – but he should catch a few passes and find the goal line. Montee Ball put together a pair of strong outings against the Chiefs and Rashad Jennings dropped 103 yards and two scores on them Sunday. Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews combined for 31 fantasy points against this defense in Week 12. With Donald Brown hurting, Richardson can score you a bunch of points.

Wide Receiver

Marvin Jones— Bengals vs. Vikings

The Vikings secondary is running out of corners. Down the stretch they’ve been beaten badly by DeSean Jackson’s 10-195-1 last week and Alshon Jeffery’s even more impressive 12-249-2 line three weeks ago. Other secondary receivers have turned in impressive outings against them in the last month as well (Marlon Brown 7-92-1, Jarrett Boykin 5-60-1 and James Jones 7-80-0). Needless to say, only the Eagles have allowed more points to opposing receivers. Jones has been a weekly boom or bust, but after a couple of bad games, he has turned in back-to-back double-digit games with lines of 3-60-1 and 5-48-1.

DeAndre Hopkins—Texans vs. Broncos

If there is hope for Hopkins and the Houston receivers this week it comes by the name of Matt Schaub. With Case Keenum hurt, Schaub retakes the leadership of this offense against a Bronco defense that has allowed the ninth-most points to opposing receivers. The Broncos have given up a touchdown to an opposing receiver in five straight games. After a two-week drought where he caught only one pass in each game, Hopkins is back on the radar with three straight games with at least five receptions and 50 yards. He is still a risky play during championship week, but in deeper leagues he could be a worthy option with his size, hands, and ability to get open deep.

Tight End

Delanie Walker— Titans at Jaguars

Walker is coming off of a strong game against the Cardinals to face the next-worst team in the league at defending the tight end in the Jaguars. Jacksonville is allowing an average line of 6-68-0.6. Scott Chandler had a healthy 5-54-0 line against them on Sunday. Walker himself had 4-62-1 against them when they last met in Week 10. He has turned into a solid fantasy football tight end for a few weeks, and he’ll be a reasonable play in this week’s game.

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Kurt Backert

About Kurt Backert

Kurt's passion for the game began in the 60's watching the Colts on TV and at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. He began following the statistics of not only his beloved Colts but also those of the Colts opponents, with a keen eye on Vince Lombardi's Packers. His thirst for and attention to statistical detail would eventually lead Kurt on a journey to the world of fantasy football in the late 1980's where he's captured more titles than John Wooden's UCLA Bruins   Kurt carries a distinction that no other fan of the NFL can boast about.  He is the reigning NFL National Trivia Champion and he credits his Dad for passing on such passion for the game, something Kurt also hopes to pass along to his 9-year-old son. More from Kurt Backert


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