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Tired vs. Wired: Beware getting burned by Brissett vs Bucs

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There's nothing wrong with conventional wisdom. But being predictable is usually a pretty good way to get beat. Sometimes it's best to zig when people zag. Yin when people yang. Be unpredictable like an M. Night Shyamalan film (one of the good ones). That's where this column comes in. The tips below aren't for everyone and not all of them may be appropriate for your draft. But keep these handy when you want to throw your league-mates a curveball each week.

The regular season is over. We have culled the wheat from the chaff. Though if you're chaff and still reading this ... thanks! I'm glad you're here. But now it's time to buckle up and prepare yourself for the adventure that is the fantasy playoffs. In most situations, this isn't the time to try and get weird. Unless it is. Not every decision is an easy or obvious one. Tired/Wired is here to help with the rest.

Beware Brissett


Tired -- The Bucs are a soft target. Much like a cranky toddler that can only be calmed by an annoying musical toy, we've been loathe to give up on using the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense as the cure-all for our fantaay passing games. We learned early in the season that the Bucs were pretty tough against the run -- they're currently ranked second against the run. But so far this season, it's been open season on their secondary. You can't allow an average of 21 fantasy points per game without being pretty consistently awful. Fear not, friends, and let Brissett ball out.

Wired -- Brissett might walk the plank. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but the Buccaneers have been Fantasy Krampus this holiday season. Two weeks ago, they clamped down on Matt Ryan, limiting him to seven fantasy points and sending him to then bench. Last week, well ... do we really have to relive what happened with Nick Foles? I'm sure many of you are still scarred. So there's that part of this negative equation. The other part is that Indy has been a much more run heavy team on the road this season. You might think Frank Reich and company would try to attack his opposition's weak spot but we can flash back a couple of weeks when Indy played a Houston defense that struggled against the pass but the Colts loaded Jonathan Williams with 26 carries while Brissett threw it just 25 times. This feels like this offense could bang its head against a wall yet again.

Liking Lockett


Tired -- Be afraid. Be very afraid. Few things in fantasy football are as terrifying as having one of your fantasy stars fall apart right as you hit the playoffs. That's been the case with Tyler Lockett. Even before he got completely shut out last week against the Minnesota Vikings, his previous couple of games left a lot to be desired. In Weeks 10 and 12 (Seattle had a bye in Week 11), Lockett had a combined four catches for 64 yards. Not great, Bob. This week, the Seahawks face a Rams team that's been decent against wide receivers this season and, more importantly, is desperate for wins to stay in the playoff race. Taking out Seattle's top receiving threat would seem to be a key to Los Angeles getting a big win.

Wired -- Lockett into your lineup. I hear your cries of despair over Lockett's recent disappearance. And I sympathize. I really do. But I just can't quit Tyler Lockett. Especially right now. Part of it is the belief that a major target overcorrection is coming. Even with the Seahawks winning recently, this offense still needs production from Lockett to excel. But the other part is that the Rams haven't been quite as tough on slot receivers as they have been on boundary wideouts. Don't expect Jalen Ramsey to move to the inside since he's never excelled in that spot. This is a get right spot for Tyler Lockett.

Plug in Sony


Tired -- Sony Michel has been a lineup killer. This year has not gone as expected for Sony Michel. You probably spent a mid-round pick on him hoping he could be a solid RB2. You haven't gotten anything close to that level of production. Entering Week 14, Michel was the RB33 with nearly 40 percent of his production coming in two games. As long as Rex Burkhead has been active, Michel hasn't been worth starting. At this point in the season, it's hard to make a viable case to keep rolling with him at such an important part of your fantasy season.

Wired -- Play that Sony. There are two things working in Sony Michel's favor this week. The first is that the Chiefs run defense is bad. But you already knew that. It's probably the reason you're at least considering Michel in the first place. (Don't lie. I've seen one or two of you in my mentions.) But the other reason might have something to do with the Patriots receivers -- or lack thereof. Much has been made in the past week of New England's passing game struggles and Tom Brady's sideline, uh, "encouragement" of his receiving corps. Since that group isn't likely to turn into a Hall of Fame lineup in the space of a week, New England could lean more heavily on its running game. That might also be a good way to keep Patrick Mahomes and company on the sideline. This might be your last good shot to get Sony in the lineup. Use it wisely.

Sprinkle in Sprinkle


Tired -- Like...what? "Bro, are you suggesting that I'd even consider starting a Washington player not named Derrius Guice? What even is a Jeremy Sprinkle?" I know that's probably what you were saying when you read this header. I get it. This offense wasn't much to speak of for most of the year, minus a few nice weeks from Terry McLaurin. Ever since Dwayne Haskins took over at quarterback, there's been little reason to consider any of the assets in the passing game. A trip to visit a cold Green Bay this weekend isn't going to get anyone fired up.

Wired -- Just a little Sprinkle. Okay, hear me out. This isn't likely to apply to the majority of fantasy managers. In fact, this might only be of interest to the spiciest of daily enthusiasts. But matchups and game script could play into Sprinkle being fairly heavily involved. If Washington can't figure out how to slow down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers passing game, it could fall on Haskins to try and keep his team close. Green Bay has been stingy when it comes to wideouts but fairly forgiving against tight ends. Last week, Sprinkle was among Washington's target leaders and it's very possible that it happens again this week.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy analyst for NFL.com and a man who wonders why we keep being subjected to medieval-themed advertisements for adult beverages. Send him your televised annoyances or fantasy football questions on Twitter @MarcasG or Instagram at MarcasG.

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