Derek Carr, QB (Oakland Raiders)
Like it or not, matchups can have more meaning then name value of a player in the playoffs. Yes, I'm still rolling out Pat Mahomes and Ben Roethlisberger, but if you need an injury replacement for Carson Wentz or just a flat out streamer, look no further than Derek Carr this week. One thing I noticed was that Carr has been playing well over the past weeks and that the defenses he's played against are terrible. This week Carr gets possibly his easiest matchup of the season and fantasy owners should take advantage. The Bengals are allowing the second most points on average (21.8) to opposing QBs and Carr should be able to score 20+ points this week.
Justin Jackson, RB (Los Angeles Chargers)
With both Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler due to miss this week's early matchup on Thursday, Justin Jackson becomes a hot start this week. Jackson faces a Chiefs defense that's allowing an astounding 31.7 fantasy points to opposing running backs, and he may have the backfield to himself in this one. The Chargers love their quick dump-off passes to get their running backs involved and while Jackson isn't on the same level as Gordon or Ekeler, he will see tons of volume on a team that puts up a ton of points every week.
D.J. Moore, WR (Carolina Panthers)
Fantasy production has been consistent as of late for D.J. Moore as he's averaged 6 receptions for 89.75 yards over his past 5 games. While he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 11, Moore provides a solid PPR floor each week and has the upside to score a TD this week against the Saints who are giving up an average of 45.0 fantasy points to opposing team's wide receivers. If the Panthers fall behind early in this one which is expected, Moore could have upwards of 9 receptions for 100+ yards and a touchdown this week.
David Njoku, TE (Cleveland Browns)
Over the past 6 games, even with the emergence of Baker Mayfield, David Njoku has only managed to find pay dirt once and has only topped double-digit fantasy points once, both of which came in Week 12. Njoku should get back to scoring more fantasy points this week as he's up against the Broncos who are giving up an average of 111 yards per game to the TE position over their last 4 matchups and have allowed 2 touchdowns in that timeframe. While it's a risky play, Njoku could pay off huge dividends for those who roster him this week.
Matt Bryant, K (Atlanta Falcons)
The Cardinals are only allowing 7.2 fantasy points to kickers this season however the Atlanta Falcons have an implied team total of 26.25 which is the 6th highest this week. The Falcons play some of their best football at home and Matt Bryant should see quite a few opportunities to put up points given the matchup this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars, DEF
The Jacksonville Jaguars defense gets to feast on the Arizona Cardinals this week who are giving up the 2nd highest amount of fantasy points to opposing defenses this season on average (11.5) including 17 to the Detroit Lions defense just last week. While the Jaguars have been mediocre at best on the season, ranking 20th in fantasy points scored, they should be able to score more than 10-13 fantasy points easily in this matchup.
Jameis Winston, QB (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Jameis Winston has averaged 21.6 fantasy points over his past three games against the 49ers, Panthers, and Saints but now faces a much tougher test on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are only allowing 12.7 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over their last three games and were able to contain Patrick Mahomes last week and limit him to only 20.8 fantasy points. Baltimore has been the 6th strongest team against opposing QBs this week and owners should think twice before playing Jameis in their semi-final matchups.
Marlon Mack, RB (Indianapolis Colts)
Marlon Mack has been the primary ball-carrier for the Colts as of late and has received an average of 14.5 carries a game this season. Volume is there, however, production is not. Over the 9 games Mack has played in, he's surpassed 14.0 fantasy points just twice, a pair of games in which he scored 67% of his touchdown total on the year. Besides being inconsistent, the matchup against the Cowboys will be challenging to say the least. The Cowboys defense is ranked 7th in terms of fantasy points allowed to RBs on a weekly basis and over their past five matchups, they've allowed only an average of 56.8 yards rushing to the position.
Amari Cooper, WR (Dallas Cowboys)
One week Amari Cooper produces, the next he falls flat or has a mediocre performance. Last week he blew up for 49.7 fantasy points so this week you can expect less than 10. Realistically his matchup against the Eagles last week was great and this week he plays a Colts team that has been excellent against WR1's as of late. On the season the Colts are allowing the 6th lowest amount of fantasy points from wide receivers so low(er) production from Cooper in this matchup is expected.
Evan Engram, TE (New York Giants)
Between injuries and just lack of production, Evan Engram has been a huge bust this season. Much like last season, Engram produced last week because the main weapon in the offense (OBJ) was absent - Engram posted a season-high in receiving yards (77) but failed to find the end zone. Engram now faces the Titans who are excellent at guarding the TE - they are the best in the league and allow only 7.4 fantasy points on average and have only allowed 50 or more receiving yards twice this season. With Beckham back this week and with a difficult matchup I would not be relying on Engram to post any more than 8.0 fantasy points.
Matt Prater, K (Detroit Lions)
Matt Prater comes into the week as the 12th highest scoring fantasy kicker but caution should be taken this week. While the Buffalo Bills are currently giving up an average of almost 9 fantasy points to kickers each week, the Lions are only expected to score 18.25, which is the 4th fewest amount this week. Prater has only scored 10 fantasy points or more in 5 of 13 games this season which is another risk of playing him this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers, DEF
Over their last three games, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense has only scored an average of 2.3 fantasy points and the last time they played a formidable opponent (Chargers) they scored 0 fantasy points. The Patriots have the ability to load on points especially when it comes to finishing the season. The Patriots will be out in full force Sunday afternoon after their last-second Miracle in Miami loss last week. The Patriots have put up 25+ consistently for years now on the Steelers and the defense should not be played this week.