It’s the most beautiful time of the year. If you’re still hanging with me, that means you are just one game away from a dynasty fantasy football championship! I appreciate you, Nerds, for following along all year; your support is always appreciated. We remained hot last week in a do-or-die scenario coming in at 73.3%, which makes three consecutive weeks with over 70% accuracy. Also, we have finished above 60% accuracy for five consecutive weeks. Much like most dynasty managers are hoping for, it’s about getting hot at the right time, and we surely are doing that. The season total for accuracy has climbed up to 64.9%, with a big climb over the last month and a half. Let’s look at the matchups for Semi-Finals week in your dynasty playoffs.
Check out the teams putting together the start/sit columns this season. Follow us, friend us, and tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!
- Changing the Call (QB): Jayson Snyder (@Spydes78)
- The Cutback (RB): Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks)
- Slant Pattern (WR): Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook)
- 12 Formation (TE): Ethan Wyatt (@ethanAwyatt)
- Flex on ‘Em (FLEX): Evan Brown (@FFEvanlution)
- IDP Start/Sit (IDP): Jon Glosser (@Glosser13)
NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.
Atlanta Falcons @ Baltimore Ravens
Richie Grant DB, Atlanta Falcons
The second-year safety from UCF has stepped up for IDP managers in 2022. Richie Grant has finished with double-digit fantasy points in 78% of his games this season. He’s on pace to record over 100 tackles this season while outperforming his rookie season by more than 100 fantasy points. The Falcons defensive back has played 99% of the team’s defensive snaps this season while not finishing a game with under six tackles since Week 8. He’s averaging 11.6 fantasy points per game against AFC North opponents this season. I like the defensive back’s chances to post another solid week and help IDP managers get to the title game next weekend.
Detroit Lions @ Carolina Panthers
Aidan Hutchinson DL, Detroit Lions
I’ll be honest I’m not married to this one, but this was a tough game to decide on that wasn’t glaringly obvious. The former Michigan Wolverine is undoubtedly capable of posting a huge matchup-swinging performance. He’s also shown he can lay a goose egg for you, and I fear it could happen at the absolute worst time.
Aidan Hutchinson is coming off seven stops and one sack over his last two starts. He finished with double-digit fantasy points in both contests. However, he had seven fantasy points total over his two starts before that. I would only make this call if you had a significantly better option but don’t take benching him off the table if it’s the difference between advancing or kicking yourself all off-season for starting him because he was a first-round pick.
Buffalo Bills @ Chicago Bears
Nicholas Morrow LB, Chicago Bears
Nicholas Morrow steps in a next-man-up scenario for the depleted Chicago defense. Morrow has been a journeyman linebacker around the NFL for most of his career but has yet to carry much value in IDP leagues. The 27-year-old linebacker is on pace for his first career 100+ tackle season and will be relied on heavily as the number one seed in the AFC Buffalo Bills head to town. This game has all the makings of a cold, windy run-heavy game. Nicholas Morrow should be on the field all day trying to contain the Buffalo ground game, which has gotten back on track over the past few weeks.
New Orleans Saints @ Cleveland Browns
Kaden Ellis LB, New Orleans Saints
Most IDP managers were very concerned with the return of linebacker Pete Werner and what that would do to Kaden Ellis’ production. We were right to be concerned as his snaps drastically dipped; however, his production did not thank him for being able to record a sack. Ellis will be back to normal volume this week as Pete Werner has been ruled out for the week 16 matchup against the Cleveland Browns. Since the Werner injury, he’s averaged 20.3 fantasy points per game, including sharing snaps last week. I expect another big game from the former Idaho product as he looks to contain Nick Chubb and the Browns running game.
Seattle Seahawks @ Kansas City Chiefs
Frank Clark DL, Kansas City Chiefs
There’s nothing quite like a good revenge game scenario in the semifinals of the dynasty playoffs. Frank Clark will suit up against the team that drafted him for the first time on Saturday. Clark recorded 35 of his 58.5 career sacks for the Seattle Seahawks despite being named to three consecutive Pro Bowls and becoming a Super Bowl Champion while playing with the Chiefs. The former Michigan Wolverine has fifteen tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble over his past four games. If you’re stuck between options on the defensive line, Clark is a legitimate option in a must-win game.
New York Giants @ Minnesota Vikings
Danielle Hunter DL, Minnesota Vikings
There’s likely a scenario where you can’t go wrong starting any pass rushers in this game. The Giants and Vikings are ranked 5th and 6th, respectively, in sacks allowed this season. The former LSU Tiger is not only one of my favorite EDGE rushers in the NFL, but he’s had very good success against the New York Giants. In his last three games against them, he’s averaging four tackles per game and a sack. Hunter is on pace for his first 200-point fantasy season since 2019. IDP managers have no fear in firing up the Vikings’ EDGE rusher this week.
Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots
Germaine Pratt LB, Cincinnati Bengals
Very few linebackers in the IDP community are as underrated as Germaine Pratt. He doesn’t have the respect among IDP analysts like most of his peers, but he certainly deserves it. The former North Carolina State linebacker has just one game under ten fantasy points all season and has 50.2 fantasy points over his last three games. Do yourself a favor, and don’t overthink this one. Just start the Bengals linebacker in a low-scoring defensive game against the defensive-minded New England Patriots team fighting for their playoff lives.
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
Jalen Pitre DB, Houston Texans
This one shouldn’t surprise anyone this season, as I’ve been extremely high on the Texans’ rookie defensive back. Jalen Pitre has been remarkably consistent this season, and as scary as it is, he is playing his best football of the season. The former Baylor Bear has had 41 stops over his last three games, averaging 13.6 tackles per game. Jalen Pitre is here to stay as one of the top defensive backs in all of IDP fantasy football, be prepared to adjust your dynasty rankings heading into next season. This kid is a stud performer in all IDP formats.
Washington Commanders @ San Francisco 49ers
Jamin Davis LB, Washington Commanders
The year two breakout for Jamin Davis has been a blessing for IDP managers. The former Kentucky Wildcat has set new career highs in tackles and fantasy points this season. His 29 stops over the last three games have made IDP managers more trusting of starting him without hesitation.
I’d look for another high-volume tackling week as the Commanders look to stop the Christian McCaffrey show offense that the 49ers have been relying on as of late. Davis has recorded ten fantasy points or more in seven of his last eight games.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Micah Parsons LB, Dallas Cowboys
I’ve never been hurt so much writing a breakdown in my recent memory. I love Micah Parsons and have shared him across many leagues with competing teams. His questionable tag goes along with the fact that Jalen Hurts is out, and the Cowboys have next to zero chance of winning the division. The fact that Dallas has confirmed they won’t reveal Parsons’ status until 90 mins before kickoff puts fantasy managers in a bad spot.
If there’s a scenario where you can play the elite pass rusher at defensive line, I would be more open to the idea of waiting it out, but with the depth, at linebacker, he’s not worth the risk of a potential zero in the semifinals. There’s no secret that even if he plays, the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line will be targeting him all day for comments made on social media over the past month by the Cowboys’ best defensive player. This is a really unfortunate and sad situation for IDP managers.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Alex Highsmith LB, Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m fairly certain I’m still in the minority regarding Alex Highsmith’s value from a dynasty perspective, but I trust the numbers in these situations. Over the past six games, the Steelers’ EDGE rusher has scored 19 fantasy points or more three times. In the other three games, he has 13 fantasy points. I still see the University of Charlotte product as a boom or bust player. He’s been solid this season, recording his first 10-sack season and his first 200-point fantasy season.
The rollercoaster of production makes it easy for me to recommend sitting with him when you need consistency the most. If I could put him in a flex position or at defensive line, I would feel more comfortable. Even then, he still has a matchup against the LAs Vegas Raiders, who have allowed the 7th fewest sacks this season.
Green Bay Packers @ Miami Dolphins
Bradley Chubb DL, Miami Dolphins
The trade from Denver to Miami for Bradley Chubb never really excited me. In recent weeks Jaelan Phillips has looked like the best pass rusher on the Dolphins. Chubb has struggled over the past few weeks, with three tackles and no sacks over the last eight quarters of football. Former N.C. State product has been off and on the injury report over the last couple of weeks. I would be a bit concerned with how late the game is on Saturday, with few options if he does not suit up. The Green Bay Packers offensive line allows the 8th fewest sacks in the NFL, which also doesn’t bode well for the struggling pass rusher.
Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Rams
Greg Gaines DL, Los Angeles Rams
I can’t let you out of here without some defensive tackle love. I’m taking a shot here in DT-premium formats with a solid streaming option. Greg Gaines has stepped in admirably for star defensive tackle Aaron Donald. It’s unlikely and makes zero sense for Donald to suit up again this season, given the Rams’ record. In his absence, Gaines has recorded six tackles in his past two games and one sack. It’s always a roll of the dice when streaming defensive tackles in fantasy football, so if you’re looking for value this late in the season, why not go with a guy who has scored 32 fantasy points over his last two starts?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals
J.J. Watt DL, Arizona Cardinals
I almost had to pinch myself during the future hall of farmers three-sack performance last week. I may have checked the calendar and made sure it was 2022 and not 2015. As excited as dynasty managers were, there couldn’t be a worse matchup for Watt playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. Tampa Bay allows the fewest sacks in the NFL and will likely find a way to limit the production from the Cardinals’ front seven.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts
Stephon Gilmore DB, Indianapolis Colts
I saved the CB-required league streamer for last week. Stephon Gilmore has been extremely solid from a fantasy perspective, with Kenny Moore out the last two games. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year had posted 48 fantasy points in those games. He will continue to see a full workload for the Colts’ secondary. Justin Herbert is playing his best football of the year with all his pass-catching weapons back. There’s a high chance Gilmore will post a third consecutive 20+ point fantasy performance.
That will do it for this week, Nerds. It’s crazy to think how long the season has been, and it comes down to so few games. Let’s lock in and bring home those dynasty championships. We just need to score more than the other team two more times! We are so close, and I believe you will all get it done. As always, thank you for your support, and keep checking out all the great content at dynastynerds.com. Good luck this week, and I hope to see you back next week for the dynasty fantasy football championship edition of ‘Man Coverage.’