Last Week’s Result: Lamar Jackson was able to rush for a TD in a game the Ravens won, but he was also knocked out of the game for a period of time which limited his potential upside. He did return to the game and finished with 16.5 fantasy points, so overall it was an alright performance. He didn’t hurt your team like Drew Brees or Andrew Luck did, but was right in the middle of the road. That brings the season average for my streaming option to 23.1 fantasy points per week.
In most leagues this is the start of the fantasy playoffs, so all decisions matter even more now. There are not as many options available in at least 50% of leagues, likely because people are more likely to hold a QB with a positive playoff match up, but there is always value available so let’s dive into the guys I like this week.
Main Streaming Option: Josh Allen
Since returning from injury Josh Allen has been doing a lot more on the ground. He ran for 99 yards and a TD 2 weeks ago and 135 yards last week, so he is giving a very nice baseline for fantasy players. This week he is facing the Jets defense at home that gave up over 200 yards and 2 TDs to Matt Barkley last time these teams played. The idea of playing Josh Allen in the fantasy playoffs is pretty scary; he is a very high variance play. He is the type of player I would suggest if you are a team that snuck into the playoff and are a big underdog in your match up. If you need to plug in someone safe look at the other 2 options, Josh Allen could be the number 1 QB this week and he could give you negative points. I am not even certain he is any good at real football, but I do believe the Bills could find themselves in a lot of positive game scripts because of their defense and the fact that they are facing the Jets. It looks like Darnold will be back and he leads the NFL in interceptions even though he has only plays in 9 games.. His overall numbers are not pretty, but if there is a week to put Allen in this is it.
Alternate 1: Lamar Jackson
If you want safer production Jackson is the way to go, his floor is much higher than fellow rookie Josh Allen. One major difference is Allen has shown he is at least capable of throwing for 200 yards. It will be interesting to see how this game plays out with big clash of styles versus the Chiefs. Baltimore will try to slow them and this game down, but if they are forced to play from behind how much will they open things up with Jackson? He has more upside with this potentially high scoring match up. This is the game with the 2nd highest over/under of the week at 53, so the expectation is the game script will go more towards the Chiefs. This is a big moment for Jackson as the Ravens might get a glimpse of their future. This is the biggest challenge of Jackson’s young career and if he comes through like he did so often in college he could be in for a big day. Baltimore is trying to hold on to the 6th seed in the playoffs, so they need to pull out all the stops against the Chiefs.
Alternate 2: Derek Carr
Carr was in this same spot for me last week and he came through in a big way against the Chiefs. The game was high scoring as expected; the surprise was that the Raiders were still competing in the 4th quarter. Carr has had some boom or bust in him this season, with 3 games over 30 fantasy points and 4 games under 10. Similar to last week the Raiders are unlikely to stop the Steelers’ offense which means they need to score to compete. The Raiders are 22nd in rushing yards this season so it is unlikely they are able to rely on their ground attack, I mean they just signed CJ Anderson so that tells you what you need to know about their rushing game. Carr has attempted the 10th most pass attempts this season, he might not be efficient but the volume is there for him to have another useful fantasy day.
Good luck in the playoffs, I will be back next week with recommendations for week 15 for those of you who are still going for the championship.