13 Bold Fantasy Football Playoff Predictions

Dec 6, 2018

With DeSean Jackson out of the picture, Chris Godwin (pictured) is set up to produce nicely for the fantasy playoffs

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s finally here! Thursday night marks the official start of the fake football postseason. Millions of fantasy owners from all across the globe will need to be on their A-game with their lineup decisions to make it through the grueling gauntlet we know as the playoffs. Every one of those decisions will involve some level of risk, but hitting on those high-risk/high-reward choices could net you a title. Some of us may remember how starting Jerome Harrison in Weeks 14-16 in 2009 pushed many to a championship, but most may recall the much more recent example of how Blake Bortles transformed into the pivotal late-season player that fantasy GMs rode to the promised land last year.

Any player with the right schedule and situation could explode and lift you to greatness. The inverse is true as well, as a productive player who suddenly finds himself with a tough schedule and situation could be set up for a disappointing stretch run. It takes a certain degree of boldness to deviate from what got you to the big dance in the first place, but changing and evolving is sometimes necessary to overcome the odds. Even then, it’s difficult to decipher which players are primed to make a huge positive or negative impact when it counts the most. That’s why we’ve asked the most accurate experts to each give us their top player-related bold prediction for the playoffs.

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Predictions

Chris Godwin will be a top-10 receiver during the fantasy playoffs — a feat that will be made even more challenging by a pair of tough matchups against the Ravens and Cowboys. But DeSean Jackson is looking less and less likely to return this season and in his absence last week, Godwin went off for five catches, 101 yards, and a touchdown. If you recall, as a rookie Godwin finished as the WR14 over the final month and has a chance to put up similar numbers in his sophomore campaign. Despite playing on fewer than 60 percent of the Bucs’ snaps, Godwin is tied for fourth in the NFL with nine targets inside the 10-yard line. With his playing time on the rise and defenses keying in on Mike Evans, Godwin is primed for a strong final chapter to 2018.”
– Justin Boone (theScore)

Chris Godwin will score as a top-15 WR over the next three weeks. DeSean Jackson might not be back this season, which would lock Godwin into close to an every-down role in an offense that ranks first in passing yards and fourth in passing TDs. In three career games without Jackson, Godwin has posted receiving lines of 3-98, 7-111-1, and 5-101-1.”
– Jared Smola (Draft Sharks)

“Championships will be won on the backs of Nick Chubb and Phillip Lindsay. This is not a sentence any of us could have imagined when the season began, and yet these two running backs may hold the key to fantasy titles in 2018. Both have incredibly juicy end-of-season and championship-week matchups that should end up producing league-winning numbers. They weren’t the names you expected, but they’ll be the names that deliver the hardware in 2018.”
– Andy Holloway (The Fantasy Footballers)

Phillip Lindsay will finish as a top-five fantasy RB during each fantasy playoff week to conclude the season. Lindsay is coming off of back-to-back monster performances versus PIT (110 yds/1 TD) and CIN (159 yds/2 TDs) and will see a favorable upcoming schedule against SF, CLE, and OAK. Last week, Lindsay saw 19 carries, which marks his highest volume of the season. With Denver in must-win mode, we expect this trend to continue going forward.”
– Tozzi Brothers (Legion Report)

“It’s the playoffs! And since any game could be your last, we’re really going to have to go big…or go home. So let’s get BOLD! While everyone is racing to get Jaylen Samuels, Jeffrey Wilson, and Justin Jackson added (despite the majority not even knowing who they are), there is a WR in this group who has had his fate suddenly change as well. DaeSean Hamilton was a voluminous producer in his four years at Penn State, setting the school’s aall-timerecord for receptions (214), placing second in yards (2,842), and tied for fourth in TDs (18). Emmanuel Sanders (out for the season with torn Achilles) was still leading the team in receptions, despite the emergence of fellow rookie Courtland Sutton, averaging 8.25 targets in the four games since Demaryius departed Denver. Hamilton is the ideal heir apparent for the slot role that Sanders vacates, and I would expect him to be plugged in and garner five targets per game, at minimum. While the yardage and TDs might not be overwhelming, the receptions could add up, and make him a very nice addition to your PPR lineups. Every situation is different, but if you suddenly have a hole at WR, I wouldn’t be afraid to trust Hamilton going forward.”
– Andy Singleton (Razzball)

“In his last three starts, Lamar Jackson has played average at best, but is finding ways to win football games. While completing 60% of his passes for 453 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions against the Bengals, Raiders, and Falcons is nothing to gloat about, Jackson’s managed to find the legs that earned him Heisman honors in 2016 during those games, rushing 54 times for 265 yards (4.9 YPC) and two touchdowns. Expecting Joe Flacco to sit out in Week 14, Jackson’s offered the opportunity to play keep-up with a Chiefs team that while undefeated at home, has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and third-most fantasy points to running backs. While I don’t expect Jackson to pull off the upset this week, I believe he could put up top-three quarterback numbers in the losing effort and present John Harbaugh with a good enough performance to consider him as the Ravens best chance for a Wild Card berth. Therefore, when Jackson starts these next three games (at KC, vs. TB, at LAC), he will finish the fantasy playoffs as a top-five quarterback.”
– Robert Waziak (Pyromaniac)

“While everyone gets scared off by Jameis Winston’s playoff schedule, I see Winston finishing Weeks 14-16 as a top-three QB. The Bucs must face New Orleans and then hit the road against Baltimore and Dallas — no cupcakes in there — but all three of those offenses should completely shut Peyton Barber down and leave the offense in Winston’s hands. Since returning to his starting role in Week 11, Winston has shown a willingness to take the sack or check it down (resulting in a 72.6% completion rate and three QBR’s north of 114) instead of tossing risky deep bombs that get picked. With a stout WR corps that doesn’t need DeSean Jackson, fantasy footballers should also be on the lookout for a speedy Bobo Wilson sighting down the stretch.”
– Nick Mariano (RotoBaller)

“Aaron Jones is better than Jamaal Williams. While that statement doesn’t exactly qualify as a “hot take,” it did seem like the one person who didn’t understand this fact was Mike McCarthy, as he never could bring himself to fully commit to his best back. Now that McCarthy has been mercifully removed of his head coaching duties, look for a liberated and loose Packers offense to dominate down the stretch. Think of how dramatically Cleveland turned things around once Hue Jackson was gone; I expect a similar resurgence in Green Bay, with Aaron Jones doing all of the heavy lifting on the ground. Look for Jamaal Williams to largely stay on the sidelines while Jones scores four-to-six touchdowns, piles up 400+ total yards, and finishes as a top-three back from Weeks 14-16.”
– Matthew Hill (DataForce Fantasy Football)

“Currently the QB19 on the season, Dak Prescott should post top-10 numbers in the fantasy playoffs. Prescott has been a little up and down this season, but he has posted 20+ fantasy points in four of his last seven games and has three good matchups against the Eagles, Colts, and Bucs down the stretch. In addition to having mediocre to poor secondaries, these three teams can score, so the Cowboys may have to throw more than usual to keep pace. Moreover, two of the games are at home (where Prescott is averaging 19.9 FP this season) while the third is in the RCA Dome, so weather won’t be a factor.”
– John Paulsen (4for4.com)

Lamar Miller is going to be a top-five RB the rest of the way. To lessen the amount of punishment that QB Deshaun Watson was taking, the Texans have been working Miller hard since Week 7. He’s averaged 17.2 carries and 100.8 rushing yards over his last six games and could become a major difference-maker down the stretch if he can start punching in touchdowns at a higher rate. Miller has become the player we thought he was going to be when he left Miami.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

“Kenny Golladay will fail to lead teams to championships by ranking outside the WR2 range the final three weeks. I wish it weren’t true, but just like Corey Davis earlier this season, sometimes even 30% target share can’t help. Golladay faces Patrick Peterson this week, Tre’Davious White and the Bills next week, and Xavier Rhodes (and/or Trae Waynes) in Championship Week. That’s bad news even for the best of the best.”
– Jake Ciely (The Athletic)

“Matt LaCosse will be a top-10 fantasy tight end during the playoffs, while sitting on waiver wires after laying a game-script-induced goose egg last week. He still has the Broncos’ near-20% tight end target share all to himself, and now Emmanuel Sanders’ 30+% target share is up for grabs. Denver faces the 49ers without Rueben Foster, the Browns (most tight end targets faced), and the Raiders — who allow the most fantasy points to tight ends.”
– Patrick Thorman (Pro Football Focus)

Zay Jones is going to be a credible performer in the fantasy playoffs. Zay Freaking Jones. Kelvin Benjamin is mercifully out of town, Josh Allen is starting to see a better picture, and the schedule is reasonable. Jones was in over his head last season, but that’s fairly common for rookie wideouts. He’s quietly blown up in two of his last three starts, too.”
– Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Sports)


Thank you to the experts for providing their bold predictions. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter if you’re not already doing so and check out our latest podcast below for more great advice.


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