It's Championship Week. I can't say it enough. In the Target Report, we drew the line between which WRs you play and don't play this week. The best news for fantasy owners is that when it comes to RBs, you pretty much know who to start and who to sit. Players who were question marks a few weeks ago you're playing now without question (Roy Helu, Felix Jones). Others have gone from fantasy hit-and-miss to full-fledged stars (Ryan Mathews, Reggie Bush), and one has gone from the waiver wire to being the best fantasy RB over the last two months -- which is, of course, why you sit him this week. Wait, what? The details are below in the Touches Report.
How about Ryan Mathews? Fourteen-plus fantasy points in each of his last four games. The only thing that has ever held him back has been health, and now, ironically, as an indirect result of being hurt earlier this year, he's fresher than the majority of RBs and is producing at a high level. He's almost become a low-end No. 1 RB and has a phenomenal shootout-type matchup with Detroit this weekâ¦
What to do with Peyton Hillis? Here's how we broke it down for him two weeks ago: None of us liked him against Pittsburgh. We liked him against the Cardinals. We don't like him against Baltimore for Week 16. So far, we've been on the money. Don't expect a big day from Hillis against the Ravens. You're only starting him in your flex if you don't have anyone else you can count on for more than six fantasy pointsâ¦
Steven Jackson was much better than we expected against Cincinnati, even with Kellen Clemens at QB. The Bengals have a pretty stout defense but Jackson was able to put up nearly 15 fantasy points. He has another horrible matchup this week at Pittsburgh, but for me it comes down to this: do you have a better option on your bench? You don't, so he plays for youâ¦
How good has Reggie Bush been? So good, not only is he a must-start, but he'll most likely be a second-round pick in fantasy next season. Remember, he didn't really explode until the Giants game. He had that one huge run against New York early on and he hasn't looked back. He's for real. Finallyâ¦
Roy Helu is still getting the carries even though he didn't have a big day Sunday against the Giants, but don't panic: Evan Royster only got some run late because the Redskins were up by 20. Washington is home against Minnesota this week so keep Helu in as your flex or a low-end No. 2â¦
Felix Jones has two 100-yard games in two tries as the Dallas Cowboys' starter. He's been a different back since losing his job and then regaining it after DeMarco Murray's injury. Jones is adding two or three yards at the end of every run with more forward momentum than he's ever had. Keep starting him just like Helu: as a low-end No. 2 or a flexâ¦
Marshawn Lynch. Big sigh. Deep breath. I didn't think he'd have even 75 yards against the Bears and he didn't -- though he did have two TDs to give himself another great fantasy day. However, this week he's playing the 49ers, and some trends you just don't ignore. ZERO rushing TDs allowed on the season is one of them. San Francisco allows 70 yards per game on the ground. As a team, they're still under 1,000 yards allowed through 15 weeks. Do I need to say more? I know Lynch is in beast mode but it's like he's going up against a super beast, three times the size of Lynch's beast. If you have a player on your bench you can trust for more than five points, you sit the hottest back in fantasy. It sounds crazy, but it's the 49ers' defense. It's like starting a top-flight WR against Darrelle Revis. You just don't do itâ¦
See Jason Smith on "NFL Fantasy Live", airing Sundays at 11:30 a.m. ET on the "NFL Red Zone" channel, and Tuesday-Friday on NFL Network at 2 p.m. and midnight ET. He writes Fantasy and other NFL pith on NFL.com daily. Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.