Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Nov 2013

Which WRs to keep for the fantasy playoffs?

In a 12 team, 0.5 PPR league that plays 2 WRs and no flex, I have the following 5 WRs:

Victor Cruz
Steve Smith
Steve Johnson
Miles Austin
Michael Crabtree

I've already guaranteed myself a playoff spot and have no hope of getting a first round bye so this week doesn't matter to me, but the fantasy playoffs will be weeks 13, 14, 15, an 16. I'd like to drop one of these WRs to pick up another defense so that I'm always playing a defense with a plus matchup in the fantasy playoffs (already got the Brown vs. Jacksonville for week 13). My question is, which of these guys should I drop where I can guarantee myself always having a good pair of WRs to play. Below are their matchups in the relevant weeks:

Week 13:
Victor Cruz - Was
Steve Smith - TB
Steve Johnson - Atl
Miles Austin - Oak
Michael Crabtree - StL but could be limited in playing time

Week 14:
Victor Cruz - SD
Steve Smith - NO
Steve Johnson - TB
Miles Austin Chi
Michael Crabtree - Sea

Week 15:
Victor Cruz - Sea
Steve Smith - NYJ
Steve Johnson - Jac
Miles Austin - GB
Michael Crabtree - TB

Week 16:
VIctor Cruz - Det
Steve Smith - NO
Steve Johnson - Mia
Miles Austin - Was
Michael Crabtree - Atl

Posted by: Red Hedgehog on 21 Nov 2013

1 reply , Last at 24 Nov 2013, 3:02am by Sifter

Re: Which WRs to keep for the fantasy playoffs?
by Sifter :: Sun, 11/24/2013 - 3:02am

Let's have a look hey...I think Cruz and Stevie Johnson are definite keeps. Johnson should get better service from Manuel and has a couple of excellent matchups vs ATL and JAX.
Steve Smith has the worst schedule - I know because I have him and was trying to shop him before the trade deadline. Unsuccessfully :( He'll face Revis, Keenan Lewis x 2 in 4 weeks.
Crabtree might have to face Seattle and Revis back to back, that's not real appealing either I guess. He may not be firing anyway when he gets back. I own Crabtree too and I've been scared of dropping him, only to get picked up by another owner and catch fire in the playoffs. But I would predict he'll be the least productive of these 5 in wks 13-16.
Austin is probably the least important of the 5, but he's got a good schedule. You could probably drop him safely and still get him next week if there's bad news with any of the other 4.

I'd probably think like this: If you think you'll need to take risks to win in the playoffs, keep Crabtree and drop Austin. If you think you're strongest team already drop Crabtree and let someone else take the risk with him.

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