Fantasy football tips for the playoffs: Don’t bench Melvin Gordon, other key players

Don’t get cute before the playoffs.

Congratulations are in order if you’re one of the lucky minority — and make no mistake, there is plenty of chance involved — who’ll be competing in the fantasy football playoffs.

The silly little game we play can make for some exciting December distraction, especially if you’re favorite pro team has you bummed ahead of the holidays. I’m talking to you, Jets fans.

Whether your league’s postseason begins this week or next, here are a few helpful tips for team management down the stretch.

Don’t get cute

In my league, the top five RBs — David Johnson (Cardinals), Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys), Melvin Gordon (Chargers), DeMarco Murray (Titans) and LeSean McCoy (Bills) all are on the four playoff teams. They’re the driving force behind each team’s postseason berth.

And barring injury, none of them should be benched.

Forget matchups when it comes to the top-flight players. Such players are capable of busting out against any team. Nobody wants to be the guy or gal who sat a star because of the opposing defense, only to see him go off for 20 points.

Ride or die with the best players you’ve got.

Details matter

It’s easy to get complacent with TEs, D/STs and Ks because, outside of a select few at those positions, they’re often quite interchangeable.

There’s no need to overthink the starters here, but don’t overlook them either.

Defenses are volatile, depending on the matchup. Only a select few units (Seattle comes to mind) are nearly matchup-proof.

Tight ends often are a crapshoot, but be wary of those who are overly reliant on touchdowns as a source of points, unless they work in a truly elite passing attack.

Kickers often are similar, but snatch up any available top 10 kicker if you’re not happy with your production. Three such players are waiting to be signed in my league. Check yours.

Watch the wire

Usually when I say that, I’m referring to the HBO’s brilliant “The Wire” — seriously, watch it — but here I’m talking about the waiver wire.

If you’ve been saving your favorable waiver priority, now is the time to cash in. If you’re concerned about a key starter’s availability or think they might rest for the NFL playoffs in one of the final few weeks, add their backup as insurance.

Make sure to add any young RB who’s in position to get touches. There’s always a chance that player explodes over the final stretch, and you might as well have the option to use him.

Scott Fontana