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Risk it All to Win it All - Fantasy Playoff Hail Marys

If you’ve made the playoffs, you’re either a Have or Have Not. You’re either a team that feels confident having seen your team boom over the past few weeks, or you’ve limped in with some luck and face an uphill battle against juggernaut teams.

Are you really going to put that same team out there that squeezes to victory with 120-140 points against booming teams with Russell Wilson and Keenan Allen? If you are a limper, here are two strategies that could yield you a greater chance against Goliath. As El Camello (@pfunk00) once said, “Go big or go home.”

Let's look at some players who aren't shoo-ins to be in a majority of fantasy lineups this weekend, but might just win you a first-round playoff game.

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Play the Ceilings

Projections are limited in their ability to help you select starting players. These numbers are aggregates or averages, and don’t do a very good job of helping you to compare the different types of players or players with different ranges of outcomes. If you are facing an uphill battle in the playoffs, you need to start players with higher ceilings.

The problem is that boom/bust players have projections that fall somewhere in the middle of their possible outcomes, which is misleading. If you are facing a much better team, a consistent player with a lower ceiling shouldn’t be started over a guy that could boom and give you a shot.

Sure, you could take the conservative strategy and start boring consistent players, but I personally would rather go down in flames knowing that I went for the Hail Mary. But hey, I’m a Bitcoin guy and you may prefer MMAs. Here are some guys I love as potential booms:




Wide Receivers


Running Backs


Tight Ends



Play the Stacks

Another way to take an even bigger risk when playing a high scoring opponent is to play stacks, even at the expense of potentially better or higher ranked players. Look at the matchups and see if you can benefit from a high scoring game or a good game script.

Remember, we are talking about ways to give you a chance in large mismatches. Do you have the cojones to start these guys over higher ranked players? A double boom could be just what the doctor ordered.


Boom Stacks: 


This type of risky behavior isn’t for everyone and it’s controversial and provocative.  But what the hell do you have to lose other than losing, which you were going to do anyway with that weak sauce of a team that squeezed into the playoffs with the trophy for least points against? Do something insane and maybe you’ll go down as a legend.

As always thanks for reading my various fantasy football strategy pieces. I hope at minimum you find them entertaining. Hit me up on Twitta @brettmitchellFB.


Brett Mitchell


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