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Four teams remain in the NFL playoffs after an eventful Divisional Round that was capped off by Stefon Diggs making a play that will forever endear him to Vikings fans. It was wild. It was wonderful. Even the non-football fans at a bar were amazed by it. The Case Keenum fan inside of me went wild. (Note: we went to college together and this win was just crazy to see, though personally it doesn't top UH beating Texas Tech in Houston back in like...2009? I was at that game and sitting in the end zone as Keenum ran in a go ahead touchdown late in the game. We thought we were going undefeated and storming into a BCS bowl. Sad it didn't happen. Also last week's play is a million times bigger than that but hey SENTIMENTALITY COUNTS FOR SOMETHING OKAY.)

Now, with the final games before this year's Super Bowl set, it's time to dive into the match-ups and determine which players might not be up to the task this weekend. While the last two weeks of this column emphasized just one player per team, this week's column is not bound by that restriction. (In fact, one team doesn't appear on this list, which is probably due to lots of #HYPE and also lots of low expectations for their opponents.)

Below are seven lineup busts and avoids for the Conference Championships of NFL action.

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Top Seven Busts - NFL Conference Championships


Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles)

The Eagles ride to the Super Bowl hit a major bump after quarterback Carson Wentz went down with a knee injury. Nick Foles is a fine replacement for, like, regular season games, but it's hard to bet on him in a playoff game against a Vikings defense that spent the regular season giving up just the third fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. Foles went 22-of-30 for 246 yards against the Falcons, but he didn't manage to throw a touchdown. The Vikings gave up three touchdown passes to Drew Brees, but they also picked him off twice. Obvious statement alert: Nick Foles is not Drew Brees. Even playing at home doesn't help my confidence level with Foles--he's fourth on my quarterback list this week. (Yes, he is behind Blake Bortles. Really.)

Tom Brady (New England Patriots)

If Brady is healthy this is obviously a stupid, stupid call, but what if this hand injury isn't just some Patriots mind game? What if Tom Brady has a serious injury to his hand and the Jaguars--the league's best passing defense--get let loose against an aging quarterback who isn't at 100 percent? I mean look, Tom Brady is still Tom Brady and the Patriots should win this game--especially after we saw the Jacksonville defense falter some last week--but there's at least a non-zero chance that Brady struggles this weekend.


Running Back

Jay Ajayi (Philadelphia Eagles)

This week's column is going to feel like I have no faith in the Eagles, which isn't entirely true--I think this is a winnable game for them, but I think it's also an uphill battle against a Vikings team that has a strong defense and some good offensive pieces. That defense was the best defense against fantasy running backs during the regular season and held New Orleans's rushing duo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram to a combined 21 carries for 68 yards and no scores. Ajayi was able to do a little bit of work last week, but 44 of his 98 total scrimmage yards came through the passing game, a thing that should be stifled a little bit more this week. It's hard to trust Ajayi.

James White (New England Patriots)

For the second week in a row, I call someone a bargain play on Tuesday and then a possible bust on Friday, which is a thing that's almost inevitable when we get to this point in the season. White's been great over his past two playoff games--last year's Super Bowl performance in which White had 14 receptions and three total touchdowns will never be forgotten--but he does a lot of his damage as a receiver and now plays the Jacksonville defense. This may be a week where the Patriots spend a little more time running the ball since the Jaguars rate much more weakly in that area.


Wide Receiver

Brandin Cooks (New England Patriots)

The Jaguars allowed just eight touchdowns to wide receivers during the regular season. Against Tennessee last week, Cooks caught just three of his nine targets for 32 yards. He's had just two 100-yard games this season and two of his seven touchdowns game in a Week 3 shootout against the Texans. To put it another way: Cooks has been really inconsistent this season and he plays a defense that seems to be very, very good against every wide receiver who is not named Antonio Brown. Guess what? Brandin Cooks is not named Antonio Brown, and at this point in the season I'm scared to trust a lineup to someone who has the potential lows that Cooks has.

Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia Eagles)

I really wanted to put Vikings receiver Adam Thielen here because he struggled some at the end of the regular season and three of his six catches last week came on one drive, but ultimately the Eagles passing defense just isn't as scary as the Vikings passing defense. Jeffery suffers from inconsistency issues in a way similar to Brandin Cooks, but he's got even less upside this week because his quarterback isn't Tom Brady. It's Nick Foles! Not feeling great about Alshon.


Tight End

Any Jacksonville Jaguars Tight End

They're all bad. Marcedes Lewis has the potential to find the end zone so he could find a spot in your DFS lineups if you're really feeling the need to save money at the tight end position, but still...I don't know. The other three teams all have a tight end that ranked in the top ten for fantasy scoring at his position during the regular season (and that's with those players missing time as well!), but Jacksonville's top guy, Marcedes Lewis, finished as the TE25.


More Conference Championship Lineup Prep