Hopefully, you are just getting started with late-season football! By now, you’re likely over the food coma and family quota of the year and are now fully focused on taking your team to the promised land. Now, the market is more volatile than ever! There’s no room for error when you’re this close to a playoff spot or trying to hold off someone from taking yours! These are the money weeks, folks. The ones that pay next year’s entry fee or leave you eating ice sandwiches for dinner! So who do we love, and who do we hate? This week has lots of new names and the same format you’ve come to love (or loathe!). Let’s ring the bell, please.
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LB Nick Bolton: Bolton is having a run here to end the year that is a fantasy footballer’s dream. He has had back-to-back double-digit tackle weeks and is also contributing in other ways on the stat sheet. He has a forced fumble and two interceptions on top of the tackle performances these past two weeks, leaving managers to believe that he could help contribute to championship football. It will be important to monitor KC’s success to end this year because when teams clinch, they begin sitting studs. But right now, you need to ride the hot hand that is Bolton to ultimate fantasy football glory. He’s contributed over 50 points in two weeks in standard-scoring leagues.
LB Jack Sanborn: Gone are the days of calling Sanborn anything other than a stud. The meteoric rise continued this past week to the tune of 15 tackles. What we are seeing doesn’t happen often, and to the managers that were savvy enough to get him off waivers when the Roquan Smith news broke, you may have found a league winner. In just four weeks of relevant playing time, Sanborn has 45 total tackles and two sacks. He’s an absolute beast out there and is a must-start in any and all formats.
LB Foye Oluokun: Let’s not overlook the great season the Oluokun is having. 113 tackles so far with six games left to be played, he sits at LB4, but one of the top three has yet to have their bye week. He has more than beaten the stigma of players moved to a second team and has not really garnered the love other players in his position have. He does one thing, make tackles. Not much else to show, but he’s arguably the best at a particular skill set. If you have him, you love him, and if you face him, you fear him. Oluokun is pacing over 150 total tackles, a feat we don’t often see.
S Derwin James: If you’re a James manager, you’re probably a bit disappointed in the season as a whole from James, but let me add some optimism to your outlook. What made James such a dominant player was his ability to score bulk points in multiple ways. One week was a tackle and sack-heavy performance; in another, he was a monster in the secondary with interceptions and deflections. This year he has been above average, but in the previous three weeks, he has been elite. 28 tackles, two forced fumbles, and one interception over these last three games is a snapshot of how dominant he still is. He will be a great asset for a stretch run of must-win games for managers. Keep in mind his “down season” still has him as S1 in standard-scoring formats!
DE Brian Burns: One of the few bright spots of the Carolina Panthers has been Burns this season. While he was rumored to be in trade talks as the team seemingly was spiraling prior to the firing of coach Rhule, they elected not to move the stud pass rusher, and his stats are showing us why. The 24-year-old currently has his career high in tackles and sacks with five more games to be played! As far as young defensive ends go, Burns is on the short list of players not named Maxx Crosby whom you want in dynasty fantasy football. He’s absolutely one of the best at his position and a great age for an ascending asset. He’s a stud, nothing more to say!
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