Wagoners! Now is the time for the toughest lineup decisions and most agonizing tinkering sessions we’ve had in 14 weeks. I will do my best to guide you through the madness today, all-the-while obsessing over lineup decisions of my own. Today’s post is full of gut-picks only. Obviously, I’ve fact-checked all season long, but sometimes facts don’t tell the whole story (like in message board debates). Read on, good luck, and STOP TINKERING!

Steelers @ Falcons

Ben Roethlisberger, QB
Big Ben should have an absolute field day against this Atlanta secondary as long as he isn’t handing it off to Bell all day.

Martavis Bryant, WR
Bryant has huge upside, obviously, but he’s such a boom or bust player that I just can’t trust him with my season on the line.

Harry Douglas, WR
Julio Jones will be a decoy at best this week and the Pittsburgh secondary is almost as bad as Atlanta’s. 

Julio Jones, WR
This is a no-doubter for me. Julio is banged up and I would avoid in all formats.
***UPDATE: Julio Jones is listed as OUT***

Jaguars @ Ravens

Marquise Lee, WR
This is only if you have no other options at WR. Lee has been coming on and Balty’s DBs are dropping like files.

Toby Gerhart, RB
I’ve heard he’s supposed to draw the start this week, but you can do much better, I’m sure.

Steve Smith, Sr., WR
Jacksonville doesn’t scare anybody and Torrey Smith should be sidelined or severely limited in this matchup.

Owen Daniels, TE
Daniels just hasn’t been as involved as you’d like but you may not have any other options this week. 

Packers @ Bills

Eddie Lacy, RB
I hate recommending him this week because of the injury and reported timeshare, but you have to dance with the one that brought you and if he’s healthy enough for a probable tag, he’s healthy enough for me. 

Jordy Nelson, WR
Buffalo has been fantastic against the run and pass (especially on big plays) which limits Jordy’s ceiling this week. 

Fred Jackson, RB
Fred has been the #1 RB in Buffalo for a couple of weeks in a row now and gets a generous matchup at home this week. It doesn’t matter if the Bills are leading or trailing, Jackson will be involved. 

Kyle Orton, QB
I expect him to throw some today, but I don’t think it will be enough to justify starting him over whoever your other option is, unless it’s Johnny Football. 

Buccaneers @ Panthers

Vincent Jackson, WR
VJax had himself a game last week and I expect a repeat performance today. Carolina has gotten better in the secondary with a few roster moves in the last two weeks, but I still think Jackson performs well. 

Doug Martin, RB
You just can’t count on any Tampa RB in your playoffs. Don’t gamble here. 

Jonathan Stewart, RB
Stewart looked fantastic as the lead guy last week against the Saints and I expect more of the same against a so-so Tampa D that may be missing one of its best LBs (Mason Foster). 


Bengals @ Browns

Jeremy Hill, RB
Cincy has stated that they want one guy to lead the way and based on recent performances, Hill should be that guy. 

AJ Green, WR
I hate to sit studs on just about any occasion, but I would sit AJ if I had a decent option on my bench this week. Joe Haden has his number. 

Isaiah Crowell, RB
With a rookie QB and a ground game that has been working well lately, I think you stick with Crowell to have a good day against an average Cincy run D.

Josh Gordon, WR
He just hasn’t shown me much and looks a bit lazy in his routes. I like the addition of Manziel this week, but I don’t think it helps enough just yet. 

Texans @ Colts

Arian Foster, RB
Foster is healthy and is going to be leaned on heavily in this one. This may be his best game of the season. 

DeAndre Hopkins, WR
With Andre Johnson out, Hopkins will see more targets, but he will also see Vontae Davis. That, coupled with his history against the Texans (don’t look, it’s ugly), makes him a sit for me this week. 

T.Y. Hilton, WR
I know it’s another obvious name, but Hilton absolutely owns the Texans and he’s better in his building. This will be your highest scoring WR of the week. 

Reggie Wayne, WR
Reggie is suffering from a torn triceps and I think Moncrief will start stealing more of his reps this week. 

Raiders @ Chiefs

Latavius Murray, RB
Look at what he did to these guys last time. And that was on 4 carries. He’s healthy this week and I think he gets loads of work. 

James Jones, WR
Or just pick any Oakland WR. 

Travis Kelce, TE
Welcome back to the circle of trust, Travis. Now go do it again. 

Alex Smith, QB
Unless you have absolutely nothing else. I’d start Manziel over him. 

Dolphins @ Patriots

Jarvis Landry, WR
I expect the Dolphins to get shut down today. Wallace will be on Revis Island and Miller will have a hard time finding lanes against an improving Pats run D. The Dolphins will need to “extend the running game” by working to Landry on screens and quick slants. 

Mike Wallace, WR
Because he’s headed to the Island. 

LeGarrette Blount, RB
I hate recommending a Pats RB (especially in the playoffs), but if New England wants to dominate this game, they’ll pound it in the trenches with the big-bodied Blount. 

Julian Edelman, WR
He got shaken up last week and didn’t look like he trusted his own legs. I’d avoid him against physical Miami corners this week. 

Giants @ Redskins

Eli Manning, QB
Eli loves destroying Washington. Odell Beckham, Jr. may very well have the best game of his career today. I hope. 

Rashad Jennings, RB
I don’t like the matchup and I’m not sure he’s healthy enough to start for any fantasy team that’s in a do-or-die playoff situation this week. 

Alfred Morris, RB
The Giants’ run D has been bad and Washington doesn’t have the QB to stretch the field. I think they pound Morris over and over this week.

DeSean Jackson, WR
He’s “50/50” to play today and that isn’t good enough for me. Even if he plays, I can’t see him doing much with the Redskins probably planning to run and control the clock. 

Broncos @ Chargers

Julius Thomas, TE
I know he burned us all last week, but I think he’s 100% this week and bounces back in a big way. 

DeMaryius Thomas, WR
Don’t go benching DeMaryius on this recommendation, but certainly take a longer look at him than you normally would this week. I’m not sure he’s 100% healthy and he gets Brandon Flowers in coverage this week. Surely you don’t have a better (or even equal) option, but if you do and you’re choosing between three studs, sit this one. 

Keenan Allen, WR
It’s the Broncos! Keenan loves playing the Broncos! But seriously, take a look at his history against them. I’ll wait. 

Branden Oliver, RB
He may end up getting the start today, but you don’t want anything to do with him against this stout Broncos run D. 

Jets @ Titans

Chris Johnson, RB
The revenge game! Also, CJ has looked pretty spry lately. I think he gets the majority of the carries and looks this week and has a fantastic day against a putrid defense. 

Eric Decker, WR
Rex Ryan refuses to throw the ball and Eric Decker is someone who’s in a position that catches throws. No throws = no catches. 

Nate Washington, WR
Tennessee’s WR corps has taken a big hit in the last couple of weeks and has left Washington as a starter. Now obviously I don’t trust him over bigger named players, but the Jets secondary is awful and SOMEONE has to take advantage. 

Kendall Wright, WR
As I mentioned above, the WRs are hurting right now for the Titans and Wright is listed as questionable. AVOID.

Vikings @ Lions

Charles Johnson, WR
Detroit has a great defense, but they’ve been vulnerable to the WR position lately. Johnson, meanwhile has developed excellent rapport with Teddy Bridgewater and looks like a good bet to have a good day in this one. 

Kyle Rudolph, TE
Rudolph has been regarded as having less burst since returning from his injury. He’s still a redzone threat, but I don’t think Minnesota gets in the redzone very often today. 

Joique Bell, RB
This is a borderline start-of-the-week at the RB position for me. Bell has been on a rampage lately and Minnesota should not pose a threat at all. 

Golden Tate, WR
Solid QBs have struggled against Minnesota (look at Aaron Rodgers’ games against them) and Tate has been targeted less frequently since Megatron is setting the world on fire across from him. More of the same today. 

49ers @ Seahawks

Phil Dawson, K
I’ve done this before (recommending a kicker in a defensive matchup) and that got me 4 FGs. So, you’re welcome. 

Everybody. Ugh. 

Marshawn Lynch, RB
The Beast will eat today. 

Russell Wilson, QB
He’s been up and down and struggles against San Fran. Find a better option. 

Cowboys @ Eagles

Tony Romo, QB
Romo looked terrible on Thanksgiving the first time these two teams played. Don’t forget he was still pretty banged up and Philly took full advantage of that with blitz packages galore. I think it’s a different story this time around. 

Jason Witten, TE
Cole Beasley has emerged as a threat in this offense and seems to be getting the looks that Witten once got. You probably don’t have any other options at TE though, so, you know..

Mark Sanchez, QB
He looked AWFUL last week. Against Seattle. Otherwise, he’s been a useful fantasy QB who figures to get you at least 250 yards and 2 TDs. I’d take that this week. 

Darren Sproles, RB
This is a gut call, but with the success that McCoy had against Dallas the last time these two teams played, I just can’t put Sproles in my lineup. I couldn’t put him in a playoff lineup anyway, since he’s boom or bust. No room for those kind of players this week. 

Saints @ Bears

Kenny Stills, WR
I know, he busted last week. I have no explanation as to why, either. But this is gut-pick week and my gut says you start Stills. 

Mark Ingram, RB
I know it’s a tasty matchup, but I think the Saints may be more inclined to throw it this week and they also just keep adding RBs to the fold as they get healthy, which eats into Mark Ingrams carries but does NOT eat into my run-on sentences. 

Martellus Bennett, TE
I just love recommending this guy. With Marshall out and against a vulnerable Saints D, Bennett may be the best pass-catcher in this game (Remember that Alshon Jeffery gets Keenan Lewis all day). 

Marquess Wilson, WR
I know he’s a trendy sleeper pick, but he’s another boom or bust play and, as I mentioned earlier, I just can’t find room for those kinds of guys in a playoff lineup. 

Alright, folks, that does it for this week. Sorry for the late post, but it’s the playoffs and I have my own lineup to tinker with and obsess over! haha As always, if you don’t see your guys, tweet me @waiverwagon, and I will do what I can to get you into the next round of fantasy glory.

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