About the Author
Recent posts by William Del Pilar
Wild-card Sunday, late game
Steelers @ Broncos
Broncos WR Eddie Royal was a full participant in Friday's practice but was a nonfactor in Denver's offense even before QB Tim Tebow took over. With the offense devoid of a legitimate passing attack, he has no value. Demaryius Thomas is the only WR to own, and he's a boom-or-bust option.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (ankle) practiced in full Thursday and Friday and is set to play. He has been erratic this year but has upside if 100 percent healthy and is a No. 1 fantasy QB in most formats.
Steelers RB Isaac Redman has a perk that Rashard Mendenhall (knee) didn't have; Redman will be the every-down back. Look for him to stay in on passing downs and he could be the sleeper of the playoffs if the Steelers can advance. Mendenhall is out for the playoffs leaving Redman as the starter.
Wild-card Sunday, early game
Falcons at Giants
Falcons RB Michael Turner (groin) did not practice Wednesday and was limited on Thursday and Friday, but the team was being cautious. He ended the season with a 17-172-2 performance against the Bucs to enter the playoffs on a high note and has value as a low-end No. 1 fantasy back.
Falcons WR Roddy White (hip) was a full participant in practice Thursday and Friday and is a highly rated fantasy WR this week in all formats.
Falcons WR Harry Douglas (groin) was limited in practice this week but has minimal value with Roddy White and Julio Jones starting.
Falcons RB Jason Snelling (knee) was limited in practice this week before fully participating Friday but has been a nonfactor this fantasy season.
Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) did not practice most of the week and was limited in practice Friday, but this has become routine for Big Blue. Since his foot injury, the team has cut back his practice time to keep him from aggravating his foot. He warrants a fantasy start as a flex back.
Giants TE Jake Ballard (knee) was limited in practice all week but is active, and if he’s healthy enough — a big question — he has some low-end fantasy value in some formats.
Wild-card Saturday, late game
Lions at Saints
Saints WR Robert Meachem (knee) was limited on Friday after practicing previously in the week. He is active and could see an increase in targets as a result of Lance Moore's absence. Meachem did have three TDs in the final seven games.
Lions RB Kevin Smith (ankle, knee) was limited in practice this week and was involved in a collision Wednesday with TE Tony Scheffler, but both players came out fine and Smith is active. He should be his healthiest yet, making him a No. 1 fantasy back this week against a Saints team that has struggled defensively.
Lions WR Calvin Johnson (Achilles) did not practice this week but is active, as the team was being cautious. He’s a high-end fantasy WR this week after ending the season with a three-game average of eight catches for 186.7 yards and 1.3 TDs.
Wild-card Saturday, early game
Bengals at Texans
Bengals QB Andy Dalton (illness) is active, practiced and is a low-end fantasy QB after dealing being sick with flu-like symptoms. He ended the season on a down note without a TD in Weeks 15 and 17 with a two-TD performance against the Cardinals in Week 16.
Bengals RB Cedric Benson (foot) practiced late in the week, is active and will play. Benson hasn't rushed for more than 100 yards since Week 12 and in Weeks 13-17, was a fantasy bum during the fantasy playoffs with only one TD. He’s a flex back in most formats this week.
Texans QB T.J. Yates (shoulder) practiced in full this week, is active and will start. While committed to Yates, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see veteran Jake Delhomme enter if Yates struggles.
Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) practiced this week, is active and a No. 1 fantasy RB in any format after rushing for nine TDs in his last nine games and averaging 25 utilizations for 131.5 yards from scrimmage and 0.9 TDs per game.
Texans WR Andre Johnson (hamstring) has practiced in full this week, is active and should help owners for at least one game after missing nine games this season and not finishing two. He's a No. 2 fantasy wideout with upside.
Texans WR Bryant Johnson (thigh) practiced all week and though he went 2-45-1 on two targets in Week 17, that was a product of the team resting its starters. He has no or minimal fantasy value during the playoffs barring injury to Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter.
Texans TE Owen Daniels (knee) was limited in practice this week after being inactive in Week 17. He’s active and will play, but look for Joel Dreessen (knee) and James Casey (knee) to cut into his playing time if he’s not 100 percent. Dreessen's strength is as a TD vulture, making him a boom-or-bust fantasy TE while Casey went 7-91 on seven targets in Week 17.
Players ruled out prior to Saturday's wild-card kickoffs
Saints RB Mark Ingram (toe) is out for the playoffs, giving Chris Ivory value but he will share time withPierre Thomas and Darren Sproles for touches. All Saints RBs make at least a flex-back start with Sproles a No. 1 this week. Ivory went 19-127-1 in Week 17 and it wouldn't be shocking for him to touch the ball that many times this week.
Saints WR Lance Moore (hamstring) did not practice all week, was inactive in Week 17 and is out for the wild-card game. Look for Robert Meachem (knee) and Devery Henderson to potentially see a few extra targets.