It's the final week of the regular season for most fantasy leagues and playoff hopes can be won or lost with one roster move. The difference between winning your division and missing the playoffs could be as simple as benching Antonio Brown for Julio Jones, as I may end up finding out the hard way if I can't pull one out this week. It's more important than ever to pay attention to injury reports and match ups if you hope to win your league.
GOOD MATCH UPS
LeGarrette Blount vs. Panthers defense: Blount made it two straight weeks with at least 100 yards rushing last week when he ran for 103 against the Tennessee Titans. He also hauled in three passes for 56 yards, a season high in both categories. Next up is a not-so-impressive Carolina Panthers run defense, which is allowing 137.5 rushing yards per game this season so there's a decent chance Blount will make it three straight weeks of 100 or more rushing yards.
Pierre Garcon vs. Patriots defense: After a hot streak for a couple of weeks earlier this season, Garcon hasn't had much fantasy value. He'll have some good value in this week's match up for a couple of reasons. The New England Patriots are allowing an NFL-worst 307.5 passing yards per game this season and, with the disparity of talent between the Colts and Patriots this season, there's a very good chance Indianapolis will be trailing for the majority of the game and therefore throwing the ball a lot. Two good reasons to have Garcon in your lineup this week.
NOT SO GOOD MATCH UPS
Steven Jackson vs. 49ers defense: Jackson has struggled over the past two weeks and hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 8 against New Orleans. It's not entirely his fault, as the Rams offense just hasn't played very well overall during that time. This week, Jackson and the Rams head to San Francisco to square off against the league's best-run defense. The Niners are allowing a minuscule 75.5 yards rushing per game this season so it's likely Jackson will submit a sub-par fantasy performance for the third straight week.
Julio Jones vs. Texans defense: Battling hamstring issues, Jones was back in the Falcons lineup last week only to throw up a donut in the fantasy points column. It doesn't get any easier this week for Jones as he'll face the number two pass defense in the league, the Houston Texans. At this point, you just can't trust Jones enough to keep him in your lineup unless you're desperate.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Roy Helu, RB, Redskins: Helu finally got a full workload this season and he did not disappoint, rushing for 108 yards and a touchdown while also catching seven passes for another 52 yards. Expected to receive another full workload this week, Helu draws a match up against a surprisingly mediocre Jets run defense.
Kyle Mulligan is a contributing sports writer for the Observer. He welcomes your feedback and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.