Davis Mills (Sit, Low-QB2)
I mention a list of QBs I’d start over Ryan Tannehill (Sit, QB2) and Malik Willis (Sit) down below. Davis Mills is not on that list. I’m not going to detail why you shouldn’t start Davis Mills in the fantasy playoffs. You made it this far, you know better.
Royce Freeman (Sit, Low-Flex), Rex Burkhead (Sit), Dare Ogunbowale (Sit)
Without the Snowpiercer, this backfield is just sad. Royce Freeman handled the majority of carries last week, gaining 51 yards on 11 attempts. I’m not starting any of the three unless I’m truly desperate. The Titans allow the second-fewest points per game to RBs, 11.71 ppg.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Chris Moore (Sit, WR3 with upside), Jordan Akins (Start, High-TE2)
Maybe Week 14 was lightning in a bottle for Chris Moore. Surrounding his WR5 performance is a sandwich of WR55 and WR52 finishes. The upside is he did see 9 targets last week, though he was only able to bring in 4 of them. I don’t trust Moore with my playoffs on the line.
I had low expectations for Jordan Akins coming into this, but the deeper I dive the more I like him. Akins has caught a touchdown in two of his last four games, and the Titans allow 9.57 ppg to opposing TEs, the fourth-highest across the league. He’s also had 5+ targets in three of the last four games. The Texans need to throw to someone, and I don’t think Akins is getting enough respect.
Ryan Tannehill (Sit, QB2), Malik Willis (Sit)
Due to his ankle injury in last week’s loss, Ryan Tannehill missed practice on Tuesday. In 1QB leagues, I’m never in a situation where I’m starting Tannehill. Here’s a handful of QBs I’d start over Tannehill (and, if he plays, Willis):
- Brock Purdy (SF) vs. WAS
- Deshaun Watson (CLE) vs. NO
- Derek Carr (LV) at PIT
- Lamar Jackson (BAL) vs. ATL
- Matt Ryan (or Nick Foles) (IND) vs. LAC
- Sam Darnold (CAR) vs. DET
- Gardner Minshew II (PHI) at DAL
- Zach Wilson (NYJ) vs. JAC
- Andy Dalton (NO)
Not only does the injury have me worried, but it’s also the matchup. The Texans allow 14.43 points per game (ppg) to opposing QBs, the fourth-fewest in the league. The reason is everyone can run all over them with ease. While that’s true, it’s Week 16 and the Houston Texans allow the fourth-fewest points against QBs across the league. Tannehill has finished as a top-10 QB twice this season (Week 3 & Week 10).
Derrick Henry (Start, The RB1), Hassan Haskins (Sit)
You’re definitely starting Derrick Henry this week, that’s a given. The Texans are far and away the worst team against the run, allowing 25.57 ppg, 3 more ppg than number two. In case you needed extra motivation, here’s how Tractorcito has performed in his last four games against the Texans.
Derrick Henry rushing last four games against the Texans:
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) December 20, 2022
Enjoy the show Henry managers.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Treylon Burks (Stash, Potential High-WR2), Robert Woods (Sit), Chigoziem Okonkwo (Start, TE2)
While it’s unclear if Treylon Burks suits up this week, he should be rostered in most leagues. From Week 10-12, his last healthy stretch, he averaged 6 targets a game. He caught his one and only target for a touchdown before he left the game in Week 13. When Burks does come back I can see him filling a hole in your lineup left by Deebo, Lockett, etc.
The best finish Robert Woods has had over the last four weeks was WR40 in Week 14. My expectations couldn’t be lower for him during these fantasy playoffs.
I mentioned him on the waiver wire podcast the last two weeks and I’ll mention him here, Chigoziem Okonkwo is someone I like during these fantasy playoffs. He’s led the team in targets in two of the last three weeks and has led the team in receptions in all three. He’s finished top-8 in two of the last three including a TE3 finish in Week 14. If Burks does come back that’s fewer targets for Okonkwo, but even then I’m starting him over most for his upside.