Fantasy football: Final advice for championship contenders

Rookie Josh Allen is playing like a top-flight fantasy quarterback, while Jared Goff poses too many risks to start in the finals.

If you’re reading this week’s fantasy football column, I have to presume you are among the few, proud finalists in your league. 

And it is to you, my fellow championship contender — I, too, am finals-bound — that I aim to offer my final advice of the season. If any of the following tips help you win your league, I’ll be pleased to have been a small part of your success. However, if you lose, blame Roger Goodell. It’s usually the NFL commissioner’s fault anyway, right?

Without further ado, keep these nuggets in mind when prepping for the fantasy football finals.

  • Roll the dice on Josh Allen, if you’ve got a QB conundrum. The Bills rookie is averaging 23.3 points over the last four weeks, second in the game. Don’t sweat his final two games against the Patriots or Dolphins.
  • Ditch Jared Goff (QB, Rams). Among projected Week 16 starters, he’s averaging the second-fewest points over Weeks 12-15. He’s not worth the risk.
  • Beware of Steelers and Chiefs RBs. Who knows how many touches James Conner will cede in Pittsburgh to Jaylen Samuels after the latter ably filled in for the injured Conner. No telling how Kansas City will divide what were once Kareem Hunt’s touches between Spencer Ware and Damien Williams.
  • Brace for rested starters. Most years, a few of the most important players sit out most or all of Week 17 to save themselves for the NFL postseason. The nerve of these coaches, am I right? It wouldn’t be a shock if fantasy MVP candidates like Todd Gurley (RB, Rams) or Patrick Mahomes (QB, Chiefs) see less action. Have a backup plan if your title round extends into next week.
  • Go get WRs Dante Pettis (49ers), Mike Williams (Chargers), Robert Foster (Bills) and Dede Westbrook (Jaguars). They’re widely available on waivers, and they’re among the 20 most productive wideouts over the past month. Even if you don’t play them, don’t let your finals opponent use them against you.
  • Stick with Rob Gronkowski (TE, Patriots). I sure am. There just aren’t many better options out there than Gronk, even if he isn’t his consistently dominant self. His big-game potential is rare.
  • Plan your Week 17 defense, if need be. Don’t wait until next week to scoop up the Patriots, Seahawks or Eagles, who face the soft Jets, Cardinals and Redskins, respectively, in the NFL season finale and are only at about 50 percent ownership.
  • Don’t ignore your kicker. Every position counts, even the one that seems the most interchangeable. Some have produced better than others of late, including widely available Daniel Carlson (Raiders). Two other kickers likely to be on waivers, Aldrick Rosas (Giants) and Michael Badgley (Chargers), have played great, aside from poor Week 15 scores.

Scott Fontana