MFK: The Survival Fantasy Football Strategy

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As the season rolls on and teams lock up playoff spots while others are eliminated, some owners are forced to start thinking about next year. Roster decisions are tough and choosing between a proven veteran and an up-and-coming player is one of the most difficult calls to make. It’s not always the case, but a general rule of thumb is to get off a fading player’s bandwagon a year early rather than a year too late. With that in mind, here’s a little MFK – fantasy football style. (If you don’t know about the original version of the game, check out Urban Dictionary.

Key:

M – Maximize the rest of the season and then cut bait.

F- Fling to waivers immediately and don’t look back.

K – Keep for next year and feel good about it.

QB:

M – Philip Rivers: Even though his play has slipped off since his scorching hot start, Rivers has been a more than serviceable fantasy QB in 2013. However, given San Diego’s problems at WR and the likelihood that he’ll go back to his turnover-happy ways, Rivers shouldn’t be counted on for the same level of production next season.

F- Joe Flacco: The Super Bowl winner was able to turn his phenomenal postseason play into a huge contract that got him paid but crippled the franchise’s ability to keep him adequately supplied with pass-catchers; he also has a negative TD-to-TO ratio (13:15) for the first time in his career.

K – Russell Wilson: He might not always have the flashiest passing numbers, but Wilson is quietly second amongst QBs in rushing yards, trailing only Terrelle Pryor. That alone will always give him stable fantasy value and having a healthy Percy Harvin back in the fold should improve his passing numbers for the rest of this year and beyond.

WR:

M – Riley Cooper: Given what happened earlier this year, it’s amazing that Cooper is playing at all, let alone producing at the level he’s at (31 catches, 592 yards, seven TDs). That said, the Eagles reliance on him has been out of necessity, not desire; he has more scores this season than in his previous three combined and this is likely his career year.

F- Mike Wallace: With only one TD on the year, Wallace is on pace to get in the end zone fewer times than he did in his rookie season. He’ll be 28 by the time the season starts in 2014 and, if the Jonathan Martin fiasco has revealed anything about the operation in Miami, it’s that the Dolphins have no clue about what to do with volatile personalities – Wallace certainly qualifies as one of those.

K – Even though things have been a complete mess in Pittsburgh, Antonio Brown is still putting together the best season of his life and is all but guaranteed to set new career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns. He’s averaging 35 more yards-per-game than he did last season and will be helped, not hurt, if the Steelers get back on track in 2014.

RB:

M – Knowshon Moreno: He’s been a revelation for the Broncos this season despite Denver having three young backs on the roster. The problem is that Moreno is always an injury concern and it’s unlikely the Broncos will keep their young RBs sidelined forever. 

F- Steven Jackson: He’s been an unmitigated disaster in Atlanta and the team’s slide in the wrong direction will likely continue next year. Jackson hasn’t been over 100 yards since Week 1 of this season and will probably see even fewer touches going forward.  

K – Giovani Bernard: There are only five more backs in the league with more receptions than Gio and only five more backs with more total TDs. The “Law Firm” is looking more likely to close up shop with each passing week and Bernard is on his way to being a star.

TE:

M – Delanie Walker: Every quarterback needs a binky, it appears like Walker is going to fill that role for Tennessee starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. With Walker functioning as Fitzy’s security blanket, he caught 10 of 10 passes for 91 yards and a TD vs. the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11. With Jake Locker done for the year, Walker should be good to go.

F- Jared Cook: At a certain point, it’s time to give up. As anyone who has followed Cook’s career knows all too well, it is that time. He has all the talent in the world, but following a Week 1 outburst of seven catches, 141 yards and touchdowns, Cook has yet to catch more than five passes or go over 50 yards in a game this season.

K – Julius Thomas: Although there might be a few concerns about his durability, there’s no disputing that Thomas is one of Peyton Manning’s top targets in the red zone. The 6’5 tight end has 10 touchdowns in 10 games and has only been held out of the end zone twice this season. As long as Manning is in Denver, you’ll want Thomas on your fantasy team.

Evan Bleier is a freelance writer based out of wherever he can plug in his laptop. You can send him questions, comments and Buffalo wing suggestions @itishowitis or "like" CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.

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