Now that the fantasy playoffs are here, the Fantasy Doctor will be making regular house calls, answering readers' fantasy questions each Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Send your questions to the Doc at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm in the playoffs and have now lost Antonio Gates for this week. Whom should I grab from the waiver wire to replace him? The following players are all available: Rob Gronkowski (NE), Bo Scaife (TEN), Owen Daniels (HOU) and Benjamin Watson (CLE). Also, who would you start at WR: Anquan Boldin or Larry Fitzgerald? Thanks!
As someone who owns Dustin Keller in multiple leagues, Todd, I actually was on the hunt for tight ends this week myself, so I know your dilemma.
The guy I targeted was Daniels. Not only does he have the best track record of the bunch, but he put up solid numbers in his return from injury last week, catching five passes for 91 yards. It could have been a much bigger day had he not dropped multiple passes. If he corrects the drops, I see him finishing the season strong with matchups against the Titans, Broncos and Jaguars, as QB Matt Schaub is going to target him frequently.
My backup option was Gronkowski, who had a TD catch last week at Chicago and now has seven on the season. The rookie is a favorite of QB Tom Brady around the goal line, and I wouldn't be shocked to see him score again this week vs. the Packers. If you can't get Daniels, Gronk is a fine fallback.
As for your WR spot, as I said earlier in the week, I'm having trouble trusting Fitzgerald this week given everything going against him. Boldin has a difficult matchup against a good Saints pass defense, but this could be a high-scoring game in which he is very involved. In my eyes, he has a lot more potential than his former Arizona teammate.
Hey Doc, I made the playoffs and need some advice. I have Aaron Rodgers at QB, but I need a backup plan in case he doesn't go Sunday (which as of right now looks likely). I actually have some decent options available on waivers in my league like David Garrard, Jon Kitna, Kerry Collins and Alex Smith. I am leaning toward Kitna but would like a second opinion. Thanks!
— Greg, Forest, Va.
Given Rodgers' shaky status, Greg, I think finding a backup plan is definitely the right move. And at least you have some viable options out there.
Of the group you mentioned, I would agree that Kitna is the one who sticks out. He has been much better than expected since taking over for Tony Romo, throwing for 300 yards on three occasions and for multiple TDs four times. I like him a fair amount this week against a Redskins secondary that has been burned time and again this season, giving up 260.5 passing yards per game. I think he'll have a solid outing for the improving Cowboys.
If you aren't able to secure Kitna, Collins wouldn't be a bad start this week, either. He just threw for 244 yards and three scores against the Colts, and now he faces a Texans pass "D" that is simply brutal, yielding 29 TD tosses on the season. The 37-year-old is a bit riskier than Kitna, but I don't think he'll disappoint in this matchup.