ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Setting aside the most obvious choices (Mahomes, Gurley), who will be the MVP of the fantasy playoffs?
Sign me up for Christian McCaffrey as a leading candidate for fantasy MVP over the playoffs. For starters, McCaffrey is simply on fire -- he’s not just the No. 1 running back over the past five weeks, he’s the No. 1 overall player period over these past five weeks (averaging 139.6 yards per game, 6.2 receptions and 1.8 touchdowns). At 6-5, the Panthers will likely be fighting for a playoff spot down to the final week of the season. McCaffrey has some great match-ups as well: at Cleveland in Week 14, home for the Saints in Week 15 and home again for the Falcons in Week 16. Expect more fireworks.
Satterlee is the Fantasy Football Insider for the Charlotte Observer and is syndicated in a few other newspapers in the southeast. Satterlee first started playing fantasy football in 1990.
Nick Chubb. Chubb had a great catch last week which gives me more confidence he will be asked to do more of the same in the fantasy playoff weeks. He has 3 catches in each of his last two games. He is the dominant force in the Browns run game and augments Baker Mayfield's prowess perfectly. He has had a rushing TD in 4 of his last 5 games (along with a receiving TD in his last two games too). They play Carolina at home, Denver away and Cincinnati at home. Championship!
Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 25-year fantasy football veteran who participates in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013. Follow him at his web site, www.ffguidebook.com.
I like the way things are shaping up for Phillip Lindsay. He’s really good. To me, he looks like he might be the most explosive running back in the league — the fastest through the hole. I’m not saying he’s as good as Gurley, Elliott or Barkley, but he’s a really nice player who’s on top of his game right now. And the schedule is arranged for him to have some huge games coming up. Two of his next four are against the two worst run defenses in the league (Cincinnati and Oakland). In Week 15, he’s at home against the Browns, who have a bottom-5 run defense. The fourth game in there isn’t bad either (at San Francisco in Week 14). Lindsay, I’m thinking, will help determine a lot of key fantasy games.
Allan co-founded Fantasy Football Index in 1987. He and fellow journalism student Bruce Taylor launched the first newsstand fantasy football magazine as a class project at the University of Washington. For more than three decades, Allan has written and edited most of the content published in the magazines, newsletters and at www.fantasyindex.com. An exhaustive researcher, he may be the only person in the country who has watched at least some of every preseason football game played since in the early 1990s. Allan is a member of the FSTA Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame.
Both Gronkowski and Edelman have been out of the spotlight most of the season due to injury. Now that it's late November and they're both back on the field and healthy, the cream rises to the top. Both had good fantasy stats last week, each with a TD, and when the pressure is on and a crucial play needs to be made, Tom Brady truly trusts them. As we move into December, the Patriots have a lot to play for. Although they are a lock to win the weakest division in football, they are still jostling with Kansas City, Houston, Pittsburgh, and possibly the Chargers for homefield advantage. In the Belichick era, playing New England in Foxborough in December and January is a daunting task for any opponent. This is money season for fantasy football, so there's a good chance Gronk, Edelman, and Brady will lead the way.
With two perfect seasons and multiple league championships to his credit, Scott Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, featuring live talk and text advice. Scott won the 2011 and 2016 Fantasy Index Experts Auction league, plus he was the winner of the 2012 Fantasy Index Experts Poll.
Apologies to Alan Satterlee if I’m stealing his guy — and to podcast listeners, who already know this is my guy — but it’s Carolina receiver D.J. Moore. Never mind that he has stepped into the WR1 role and produced as such for the past couple of weeks, and never mind as well that he’s always a threat to break a big play on one of his weekly end-around chances. The key to winning with him in the playoffs was baked in all along. In Weeks 15 and 16, when every fantasy league will be in playoffs mode, the Panthers host New Orleans and then Atlanta, which as of this writing have allowed the most and 7th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. (In Week 14 they’re at Cleveland: 9th-most.) I know the usual tendency is for division games to be lower-scoring, but the usual tendency has nothing on the NFC South in 2018. More Moore, please.
Eleff hosts the Fantasy Index Podcast, available in the iTunes Store now. He has worked for Fantasy Index off and on all century.
There are many players that could easily be fantasy playoff MVPs, but oftentimes a lightly regarded hero emerges. I could see someone like Robert Woods of the Rams stepping forward this year. As a top 20 scorer averaging almost 17 PPG, he has been a highly consistent part of a potent Rams offense. Count on him to be there for you when the going gets tough.
Nease is a member of the FSWA and has been playing the game since 1985, while also writing about it since 2001. He is a writer for Big Guy Fantasy Sports. Over the years he has sampled about all the playing scenarios that fantasy football offers, including re-drafter, keeper, dynasty, auction, IDP and salary cap leagues. You can contact Mike at email@example.com anytime and during the football season follow him @mike-insights.
Two quarterbacks stand out for me. Russell Wilson in the next four weeks has a pair of games against San Francisco (just picked up the Seattle defense in two leagues) and home games against the Vikings (not great, but they're toughest on the run) and Kansas City (great). I like Wilson to be good for multiple touchdowns in most of those games. Ben Roethlisberger is home against the Chargers this week, and then has three great matchups: at Oakland, home against the Patriots, and at New Orleans. Home versus the Bengals in Week 17, for those still playing then. Finally, the Bengals are in freefall, but Joe Mixon plays Oakland and Cleveland in Week 15 and 16. Might be good for Adriel Jeremiah Green, too.
Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.