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It is that time of year, folks. Time to gobble up all the fantasy information you can. Whether it is a feast of good vibes looking at your roster and its potential or the tryptophan-like slumber after looking at analytics for an hour, you need to make sure you leave room for dessert this holiday season. The desert, of course, is that sweet, sweet victory in your league's Super Bowl! How do you get there, though? BY MAKING MOVES BAYBAY! So, whether you're a fan of the role players of your team (dare I say, side dishes) or have the elite players of the league (turkey, of course!) Now is the time to get risky and win your league. No more puns! Just that bell signifying the start of another week of the IDP Stock Market!
The Fortune 5
LB Blake Cashman, Texans: Let's make sure there are no more doubts about what the Houston linebacker order is. You can debate 2-3, but number one is no doubt, Blake Cashman. After a fantastic Week 11 where he had a career-high 19 total tackles along with a sack and defended pass, he plays 6 straight games against noteworthy running backs. Jaguars, Broncos, Jets, Titans, and Browns are the opposing teams in the home stretch and the fantasy playoffs. He has the potential to be a true league winner at the position and needs to be starting on your rosters in perpetuity. Make CASH by playing CASHman!
EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Dolphins: You ever have that defeated feeling when you go all in on a guy, and then he gets hurt, leaving you wearing that scarlet letter? That was me with Phillips this offseason and the early part of this year. Through the first six weeks of the year, due to various injuries, Phillips had 13 tackles and 0.5 sacks. Since then, he is clearly the player who we knew he could be. 26 tackles, 5 sacks, and even an interception this past week! He has a sack in four straight games and is showing no signs of slowing down. Hopefully, you didn't give up on the young man; he may be the next big thing at the edge position if he remains healthy down the stretch.
LB Alex Anzalone, Lions: Anzalone is the type of player who just survives roster construction and moving pieces. He is like Neo of the Matrix franchise if the slow-motion bullets were young linebackers trying to take away from the man's tackle production. To this point, no man has been effective in doing so, and we get yet another Anzalone-relevant fantasy season. He is currently on pace to have his best season yet, thanks especially to his 15-tackle performance this past week. Like him or not, he is a guy who needs to be starting for you down the stretch and, honestly, should be a long-term hold for your team.
CB DaRon Bland, Cowboys: I need to be honest with the readers here. I am anti-corner in fantasy, which does eliminate a lot of players from the player pool. The reason is simple: the good ones never get targeted, shrinking their ceiling. Something special is happening in Dallas this season, though. Bland has had four, read that again, FOUR touchdowns this season on interceptions. This is tied for the NFL record set in 1993 by Eric Allen. He is necessary to be a starter for you in leagues that demand corners but also may be worth a flyer in DB designation leagues. He plays some pass-happy teams down the stretch, including the Bills and Dolphins, around Super Bowl week!
S Kevin Byard, Eagles: We may have a rare IDP situation in Philadelphia this season. We don't typically get two fantasy-relevant safeties on the same team, so when the Eagles traded for Kevin Byard, there was the belief that either Reed Blankenship would dip or Byard wouldn't contribute. Neither of these things have happened. In fact, we have seen an uptick in production from both players since the trade, specifically from Byard. Since the move, Byard has played three games. In each of them, he has had 7+ tackles and last week defended two passes, one being an interception. Byard is here to stay and should also stay in your lineups down the stretch!
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