12 Bold Fantasy Football Playoff Predictions
We see players get hot at the season’s most critical time every year. After starting 2019 on a terrible Miami team, Kenyan Drake had little chance of being a late-season savior until he was traded to Arizona and stole the lead-back job, resulting in a mind-blowing 71 half-PPR fantasy points in Weeks 15 and 16 alone. Most people would’ve laughed at you if you said that Tyler Higbee was going to be targeted no fewer than 11 times and gain over 100 yards in all three fantasy playoff games last year. You would have been called crazy at the beginning of last season if you thought that Ryan Tannehill would score three touchdowns in each game during Weeks 14-16. Your credibility would be trashed if you projected four touchdowns and nearly 300 yards for Breshad Perriman during that same span last year. These guys were arguably the most unlikely heroes of the fantasy postseason and few (possibly no one) would have expected them to come through in the clutch.
This is a weird game we play and some outcomes are difficult to explain, but even the success of the aforementioned players boiled down to just two primary factors — matchups and opportunity. Those athletes largely turned lemons into lemonade when given the chance and easy schedules had plenty to do with it. Who will end up rising to the occasion to push your squad to the next level? See which players our most accurate experts are touting as we enter the three biggest weeks!
Q. What’s one bold prediction for the fantasy playoffs and why could it happen?
“Cole Kmet will perform as a top-10 TE in the fantasy playoffs. He had a breakout performance — 5/37/1 (TE7) on seven targets — in Week 13, but his role had been expanding heading into last week. The Bears have been shifting from Jimmy Graham (58%, 35%, and 49% snap percentages, respectively) to Kmet (70%, 79%, and 79%) in Chicago’s past three games (Weeks 10-13). Before that (Weeks 1-9), Graham had played 62% or more and Kmet played in 47% or less in every game. At a position group with a relatively small gap beyond the top five or so options, Kmet has the potential to surprise fantasy managers as he continues his late-season surge.”
– Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball)
“Mitchell Trubisky and Cole Kmet (seven targets in Week 13) become a QB/TE tandem that wins championships. They face Houston (23rd in passing yards allowed), Minnesota (24th in passing yards per game allowed), and Jacksonville (29th in passing yards allowed) in Weeks 14, 15, and 16. Against TEs, the Texans rank 17th, the Vikings are 19th, and the Jags are 22nd. For those owners willing to risk it for the biscuit, this duo will play huge dividends.”
– Ken Zalis (Pressbox)
“Jonathan Taylor will be a top-three running back for the fantasy playoffs. I can’t, in good conscience, predict that he will finish above Derrick Henry, but there’s certainly a path for him to finish as one of the top backs over the next three weeks. Taylor played 48% of the snaps in Week 13 and 55% in Week 11 (he missed Week 12 because he was on the COVID-19 reserve list), and he touched the ball 42 times for 249 yards and a touchdown combined in those games. He’ll now get two of the bottom seven teams in defensive DVOA against the run (the Raiders and the Texans) and a Pittsburgh defense that has been much weaker against the run since Devin Bush’s injury. If the Colts lean into Taylor (still a big if, of course), then he has the potential to be one of the top running backs during the fantasy playoffs.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)
“Jonathan Taylor will finish as a top-five RB for the rest of the season. It finally appears the Colts have figured out they need to give him the ball more than their other backs and he is performing. Taylor and the Colts have a very favorable Week 14 and 15 against the Raiders and Texans. Week 16 is much tougher against the Steelers, but they have allowed solid RB performances against them this season when facing good backs.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)
“Tom Brady and the Bucs’ WRs go berserk. Indeed, Brady’s first season in Tampa has been marred with inconsistency, punctuated by his withering deep accuracy within the ‘No Risk It, No Biscuit’ Arians offense. Yet, his stretch run schedule has him set up to carry owners to titles. The Vikings, Falcons, and Lions all field some of the NFL’s worst secondaries while having enough offensive juice to keep games tight and keep Brady slinging. I expect 300+ yards and two-plus TDs every week from here on out with all the Bucs WRs exploding as a result. In particular, I expect Antonio Brown to finally find his footing following the bye and light up the league as if it’s 2017 for these final three weeks.”
– Wolf of Roto Street (Roto Street Journal)
“Tom Brady will finish as the overall QB1. Many have jumped off the Brady bandwagon with Tampa Bay’s offense struggling prior to the bye, but I still believe in him as a high-end QB1 over the next three or four weeks. Aside from the playmakers being among the best in football, it’s also important to note that there might not be a passing attack set up more favorably based on the remaining schedule: vs. MIN, @ATL, @DET, and vs. ATL. Brady has routinely proved the doubters wrong in the past; look for him to do it again.”
– Dylan Chappine (Wolf Sports)
“It’s not even close to sexy, but J.D. McKissic will be a fantasy RB2 with back-end RB1 upside for the next two weeks and potentially through the fantasy Super Bowl if Antonio Gibson is out that long. Since Alex Smith’s first game in Week 5, during Washington losses (plus this week, without Gibson and while losing all game) McKissic averages 10.6 targets and 7.6 catches. He’s been the fantasy RB6, RB8, RB8, RB11, and RB28 in those weeks. Washington is an underdog this week and will be again next week against Seattle. They then face the run-defense deficient Panthers in Week 16. Flags fly forever, and no one will remember if a J.D. McKissic helped get you one.”
– Patrick Thorman (Establish the Run)
“J.K. Dobbins is going to outscore Dalvin Cook in the fantasy playoffs. Cook has carried fantasy teams on his back all season, but he’s about to run a three-week gauntlet against the Buccaneers, Bears, and Saints, who rank second, 10th, and first in fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing RBs. Those three teams have allowed 17 rushing TDs in a combined 36 games. The Bucs and Saints are both giving up 3.3 yards per carry. Dobbins hasn’t *quite* seized a featured role for the Ravens, but he’s at least getting a plurality of carries in a three-man backfield, he’s wildly talented, and a stretch run against the Browns, Jaguars, and Giants isn’t terribly daunting.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)
“Lamar Jackson may not have been the quarterback many thought they were getting when they drafted him, but he’s going to catch fire over the final stretch of the season and finish as the QB1 from Weeks 14-16. He’s completed 70-plus percent of his passes in three of the last four games, will get getting Mark Andrews back, while Marquise Brown has finally gotten involved the last few weeks. With matchups against the Browns (who he’s thrown three touchdowns against in each of their last three meetings), Jaguars, and Giants remaining on the schedule, he’s going to carry many to fantasy championships.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)
“One quarterback fantasy championship squads will have in common is Jared Goff. The man is the QB9 over the last three weeks and faces the Jets and Seahawks in Weeks 15 and 16, respectively — two of the three worst fantasy defenses against quarterbacks. The Jets in particular have been especially atrocious of late. If your playoffs have already started, I don’t necessarily advise starting Goff this weekend as he plays the Patriots. If you live to fight another day, Goff represents an elite postseason play.”
– Zach Greubel (Gridiron Experts)
“David Montgomery will score as a top-10 RB during the fantasy playoffs. Based on my eye test, he’s turned in two of his best games as a pro over the last two weeks. The volume remains strong, and most importantly, he has the Texans, Vikings, and Jaguars on tap. Those teams rank 32nd, 13th, and 30th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs.”
– Jared Smola (Draft Sharks)
“Allen Robinson could end up a league winner. He’s always a consistent option, but the schedule and Mitch Trubisky’s mobility could provide a higher ceiling in his end-of-year matchups against Houston, Minnesota, and Jacksonville. The Bears have been difficult to watch, but Robinson’s fantasy contributions will be defined by these final three games, and I think fantasy players may be writing him thank you notes very soon.”
– Andy Holloway (The Fantasy Footballers)
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.