It's playoff time, my friends: The culmination of an embarrassing amount of draft prep and research, weekly angst over start/bench decisions and waiver-wire bids, and countless zombie-like viewing sessions of the Red Zone Channel.
The grand prize awaits, whether your payoff is counted in dollars, your name etched on the side of a traveling trophy, or a year of bragging rights over your fellow owners. So this is no time to get cute. The old fantasy axiom remains: "Dance with the ones that brung ya."
Ask any Calvin Johnson or Drew Brees owner. They know what I'm talking about.
To win a fantasy football championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling in your roster throughout the season with the right free agents is also important. Here's a look at players worth considering, and others who would look better in someone else's lineup during the postseason.
Catch 'em while you can
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Texans. The last thing you want to do is chase points in fantasy football, and latching onto Fitzpatrick after his career day is the definition of that practice. That said, next week's opponents (the Jags) are every bit as vulnerable as the Titans.
Fitzpatrick should be in for another solid, if not stellar, outing in Week 14; though your best strategy may be simply to grab and bench him so you don't have to worry about your opponent getting lucky.
Michael Bush, RB, Cardinals. Depending on the severity of Andre Ellington's hip pointer injury, the newly acquired Bush could be pressed into action next week. He'll first have to vault over Marion Grice and Stepfan Taylor, so he comes with caveats. But Bush has starting experience and the pedigree you would expect to get the nod going forward. Only Ellington's owners should be interested, however.
Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins. Struggling at the tight end position? Reed seems to have finally put this season's injury woes behind him, and he's available in roughly three-quarters of all leagues. Following his nine-catch, 123-yard outing against the Colts, Reed is poised to contribute to a championship contender.
Don't be fooled
Johnny Manziel, QB, Browns. You wouldn't launch your postseason run with a rookie QB making his first start, would you? Of course you wouldn't. And you shouldn't. The Johnny Football era may have arrived in Cleveland, but that just means the growing pains are about to begin in earnest. Sure, he'll dazzle us a time or two, but his mistakes will likely be to much to overcome.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts. I said after his Week 8 explosion that this rookie couldn't be counted on to be a consistent contributor, and I was right. Following Sunday's monster outing, nothing has changed. More often than not, Moncrief will remain behind T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne, and the tight end in Luck's pecking order.