“As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.”
-1 Samuel 17:1-25:7
Don’t fret, you are still at the Dynasty League Football website and not a weekly Bible study. The story of David and Goliath is oft quoted to describe any underdog situation. As a society, we are enamored with cheering for people to not only defy the odds, but doing so in simplistic yet spectacular fashion. Hollywood has capitalized on this desire as movies like the Mighty Ducks or the Karate Kid (the 80s version, not the nonsense remake with Jayden Smith!) highlight a person or team defying all odds to bring home the trophy.
David’s slingshot, the Flying V of the Ducks, or Danielson’s Crane Kick all highlight an important idea; sometimes it only takes a simple action to bring down a giant. Enter the below list of players. Now let me be perfectly clear about one thing, I am NOT advocating starting anyone mentioned in this article over any reliable, consistent fantasy contributor or a stud player who has had a few down weeks. Please read my article from a few weeks ago if you’re considering this at ANY point during this stretch run.
These players are designed for those dynasty degenerates who may be facing long odds in their playoff matchup and/or are searching for that last starter in a Flex spot in leagues with no kickers or defenses (the preferable way to operate a dynasty league).
The zero hour is now upon us and you’ve survived. You survived a plethora of injuries to star contributors, a trade possibly gone awry, not spending enough FAAB on a coveted player, the endless smack talk from your opponents, and so on and so forth. YOU ARE IN THE ‘SHIP! Now go out and…
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You don’t have to do a choreographed Broadway number with your friends, but go Seize the Day and bring home the trophy! With a win, you can take home a hefty cash prize, gloat to your friends for the next nine months, and be a part of dynasty football immortality. A loss… is unacceptable!
Week 15 Slingshot Plays
Kenneth Dixon, BAL RB: 11 Att, 48 Yards; 1 Target, 1 Rec, 2 Yards- Miss
Darren Sproles, RB PHI: 3 Att, 30 Yards; 4 Targets, 3 Recs, 16 Yards- Miss
Justin Jackson, RB LAC: 16 Att, 58 Yards, TD; 4 Targets, 3 Recs, 27 Yards- Hit
Robert Foster, BUF WR: 5 Targets, 4 Recs, 108 Yards, TD- Hit
Anthony Firkser, TE TEN: 0 Targets, 0 Recs- BIG MISS
I hope Jackson’s top 20 performance (RB16) helped propel you to the championship as he will turn back into a fantasy pumpkin with the likely return of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler this week. Foster has finished at least as a WR2 in four of his last five games (WR22, WR23, WR86, WR16, WR8) and should be considered a high-end flex play with a strong ceiling the rest of the season.
Dixon truthers can now retreat to their hiding places until an undisclosed time next season when the Ravens’ running back has another random strong performance. He can’t be trusted in this most important of weeks. Depending on a running back due to a projected game script is always a risky proposition and Sproles showed us why on Sunday night. Firkser’s back of a milk carton performance is the epitome of the tight end position this season in fantasy football. I’ve run out of creative descriptions for the carnage.
Championship Slingshot Plays
Jamaal Williams, RB GB
It was French novelist Alphonse Karr who said: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” After weeks of hand-wringing from fantasy analysts and Packer fans alike over the team’s running back situation, we are at exactly the same point as week one; Williams as the starting running back with Aaron Jones unable to play. The BYU product flopped in the first two weeks with Jones suspended tallying only 118 combined scoreless yards (106 rushing, 12 receiving) on a healthy 34 touches (31 rushing attempts, three receptions).
Williams took full advantage of his opportunity in week 15 producing 55 rushing yards, finding paydirt on the ground, caught four of five targets for 42 yards, and finishing the week as the RB11 against the Bears stout (second fewest rushing yards per game allowed) run defense. The fantasy afterthought of the Green Bay backfield appears to be attacking defenses with much more confidence knowing Jones is not looking over his shoulder. The former Cougar is a strong RB2 play with touchdown upside despite a below average matchup against a surprisingly effective (21st in fantasy points allowed to enemy backs) Jet front-seven.
Kalen Ballage, RB MIA
Expect to see a lot of Kalen Ballage down the stretch. Frank Gore took the rookie under his wing this season and has told me he likes his potential to be a difference maker.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) December 17, 2018
When Frank Gore was carted off the field in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings, his replacement literally picked up the ball and ran with it 12 times for 123 yards, scored on an impressive 75-yard run, and finished as this week’s RB13. Much to the chagrin of his fantasy owners, the next man up for Miami was NOT Kenyan Drake, but the enigma of the 2018 draft, Ballage. The Arizona State product was still out snapped by Drake 28-26, but dominated the touches (13-4) against a tough Vikings defense.
While this was obviously a career day for Ballage, the optimism for him needs to be of the cautious variety. In nine games being active this season, the Dolphin first-year back had only 13 touches (eight runs, five receptions) for 29 total yards and not even a whiff of the end zone. Plus, Ballage has a history dating back to his collegiate days of having a monster game (eight total touchdowns) followed up by several mediocre weeks (only 131 rushing yards and one TD in the next five games).
It would be the smart move for the Dolphins to give their fourth-round pick an extended look these last two games, but Adam Gase doesn’t operate in common sense. It would be no surprise for the incompetent Gase to feature fourth-string running back Senorise Perry who has played on literally zero offensive snaps in week 16. Due to the unpredictability of his workload and his past inconsistencies, Ballage is a high ceiling/basement floor Flex play in a below-average home matchup (19th in rushing yards surrendered per game) against the Jaguars.
Elijah McGuire, RB NYJ
Despite an early fumble and struggling to gain much traction in the running game (18/42), McGuire rescued his fantasy day with a late scoring plunge from the two-yard line. The second-year back from LA Lafayette caught three of four targets for 29 yards leading the Jet backfield in touches (21-10) and offensive snaps (56-23) against a Texans D that hasn’t been kind to opposing runners (second-fewest fantasy points allowed) the last four games.
Since Isaiah Crowell left in week 14 with an injury, McGuire has added 102 rushing yards on 35 attempts, converted eight targets into six receptions for 52 yards, and played on 74.4% of the available offensive snaps. More importantly, he’s seeing consistent goal-line touches turning five rushing opportunities inside the ten-yard line into two touchdowns. Fire up the Jets’ starting running back as a volume-based RB2 against a Packers’ defense that just allowed a combined 28.7 fantasy points (14.2, 14.5) to Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard respectively.
Robby Anderson, WR NYJ
The Jets might have lost three of their last four, but, like the above-mentioned McGuire, have gotten solid production from receiver Anderson. In these last four games, he has led the New York squad in targets (30), receptions (17), and receiving yards (242). The third-year pro has not only played 78% of the offensive snaps (with a season-high 94.7% in week fifteen) over the same span, but has been given four goal-line targets (inside the ten-yard line) which he’s spawned into two touchdowns.
The matchup couldn’t be better as the Jets host a deflated Green Bay squad simply playing out the string on this season. The Packers defensive secondary has been in the Christmas spirit of giving since the beginning of September; gift-wrapping the fifth most fantasy points to the receiver position making Anderson a flex play with both a reasonably high ceiling and floor.
Dede Westbrook, WR JAC
Lost in the shuffle of the Jacksonville Jaguars absolutely miserable season is the recent play of Westbrook. The Oklahoma alum has caught 16 of 24 targets for 178 yards and two scores while adding 62 yards on the ground the last four weeks. Westbrook underwhelmed in the passing game in week 15 (3/21), but took a punt return to the house to save his fantasy day and put himself as the WR22 over said stretch.
Westbrook has become the WR1 for the Jaguars in this back-nine of the season leading the team in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns over this strong four-week run. The former Sooner is a strong flex play against a Dolphins defensive secondary which is in the bottom ten of the league (24th) in passing yardage allowed per game.
Do you disagree with any of my assessments? Have a tough lineup decision not involving any of the above players? Reach out on Twitter or in the below comments.
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