It’s crunchtime in fantasy football. For some, it’s all or nothing in the playoffs. For others, there is one more week to get your team qualified for the postseason.
Injuries at running back — Doug Martin (concussion), Joe Mixon (concussion), Adrian Peterson (neck) and Ameer Abdullah (neck) — might have you scrambling for a quality replacement. Same if you have been relying on Matthew Stafford (hand) or Tyrod Taylor (knee) at quarterback.
If so, we’ve got you covered.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers
The Garoppolo era has begun in San Francisco. In his first start for the 49ers, Tom Brady’s former backup completed 70.3 percent of his passes for 293 yards and an interception. His next start, against the Houston Texans, should be more fruitful: They are allowing the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns
Gordon took the field for the first time since 2014 and caught four passes for 85 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers, a team whose secondary ranks second behind the Jacksonville Jaguars per the game charters at Pro Football Focus.
Gordon and the Browns will face the Green Bay Packers next, the fourth-worst pass coverage unit in 2017. Plus, opposing receivers are scoring 5.2 points more per game than expected against Green Bay after taking into account down, distance and field position at the time of the pass, the sixth-worst mark this season.
Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets
Forte has carried the ball 10 or more times in three straight games, and in Week 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs he outgained Bilal Powell on the ground 58 to 48 with three fewer carries.
Forte also has a slight edge in yards produced per carry after contact, a talent that could come in handy against the Denver Broncos’ defensive front, which stops 27 percent of rushers at or behind the line of scrimmage, the third-best rate in the NFL this season.
Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
Goff is a key reason the Rams are 9-3 and at the top of the NFC West, but that Philadelphia Eagles pass rush, rated No. 1 this season by PFF, is relentless and can be difficult to overcome.
Defensive end Bradon Graham, PFF’s fifth-highest rated edge-rusher, has 50 total sacks, hits and hurries this season with 30 stops (including sacks) at or behind the line of scrimmage. And when Goff is under pressure, his passer rating drops from 108.0 to 76.5.
|Jarred Goff in 2017||Completion rate||Yards per attempt||Passer rating|
|Plays under pressure||43.7||6.6||76.5|
Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
It has been a disappointing year for Howard. His production is down across the board and the second-year back is ranked 16th out of 19 rushers who have played at least half of their team’s rushing snaps this season by PFF.
He’s produced 44 yards on 20 carries in his last two games and that doesn’t figure to improve on Sunday when the Bears face the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are 6-point favorites, indicating Chicago could trail early and stay there. And when they are behind on the scoreboard the Bears are rushing the ball just 37 percent of the time, compared to 61 percent of the time when they are tied or leading.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are playing great, but you don’t go against Jacksonville’s pass defense. They are allowing a league-low 65.6 passer rating against and just one receiver, Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, has topped the 100-yard mark against them this year. Just four wideouts have caught a touchdown pass against them with none doing it more than once.