December may feel like it’s a long way away, but that’s only because, well, it is.
From a fantasy football perspective, however, it doesn’t hurt to think ahead to the end of the year. If all goes according to plan, that’s when you’ll be in the playoffs.
It goes without saying that a lot will change before the fantasy postseason rolls around. Still, if you’re debating which player to pick among two qualified candidates, it wouldn’t hurt to factor in which has more value later in 2016.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some players with potential to post big numbers between weeks 14-17 and a few who could disappoint at that critical time.
Carson Palmer (QB, Cardinals)
The Dolphins (Week 14) and Saints (Week 15) are ripe for the picking. Just be wary of the Seahawks waiting in the wings — pardon the pun — in Week 16.
Doug Martin (RB, Buccaneers)
A pair of matchups against the recently porous Saints defense offer the chance for some big performances in weeks 14 and 16.
Julio Jones (WR, Falcons)
With no shutdown corners on tap for the final four weeks, Jones is a safe play. Heck, he’s a safe play regardless.
Travis Kelce (TE, Chiefs)
With the Raiders on tap for Week 14 and the Titans a week later, Kelce will face two of the top seven TE-friendliest defenses from 2015.
Blake Bortles (QB, Jaguars)
Weeks 14-16 may be tough on the Jacksonville passer. He’ll face the Vikings, Texans and Titans in succession.
Mark Ingram (RB, Saints)
While Martin should shine, his New Orleans counterpart could struggle against Tampa Bay. The Cardinals (Week 15) won’t be any friendlier.
Jarvis Landry (WR, Dolphins)
He may be Miami’s slot receiver, but he could draw coverage from Patrick Peterson (Cardinals, Week 14), Darrelle Revis (Jets, Week 15) and Stephon Gilmore (Bills, Week 16). Yikes.
Zach Ertz (TE, Eagles)
The Ravens (Week 15) and Cowboys (Week 17) were among the top four at holding fantasy TEs in check last year.