If you haven’t already assessed your Week 14-16 matchups, you should do it now — yes, right now. Most fringe Free Agents at this point of the season are too risky to add/start, so they are few and far between — and essentially not listed (just 1 RB and 1 QB). The best way to find extra points during the playoffs – as many of you know — is by exploiting the right Defense/Special Team matchups. Any NFL Defense is capable of putting up a big point total in the right situation. Especially when half the teams have mailed it in by Week 15. Also consider that most fantasy league owners carry only 1 DST on their roster, and you’re looking at 15-20 Free Agent D/STs available on any given week. A gem could be available in your league if you keep an eye on that FA pool.

Note: I didn’t list any D/STs that are over 80% ownership in standard 12-team leagues. Anything below that, though, and you need to keep your eyes open — they could be available, and you need to scoop them up.

The Cliffs Notes version of the post below: Pick up the Chiefs Defense and Jay Ajayi (RB, Dolphins) if they’re available in your league. KC is a sure-fire playoff juggernaut — the prized jewel of the free agent playoff pool. I was surprised that they were available in my 12-team league, which is extremely active & competitive. I put in my waiver claim yesterday, and it was granted today. Hallelujah. Jay Ajayi (read Week 12 review) is a lottery ticket waiting to explode, but it all depends on what the Dolphins decide to do with the rest of their disappointing season. If they want to start playing their unknown players during the last few weeks, then it’s looking really good for Ajayi. The Dolphins play AT HOME — 3 weeks in a row — against the Giants (Wk 14), Chargers (Wk 15), and Colts (Wk 16). These three run defenses are ranked 21st, 32nd, and 25th respectively… WHAT??? That’s a whole lotta upside, so grab him now if he’s available.

For any drop/add or lineup questions, tweet me at @VoodooBrown.

New Hits for your playoff run:
A “New Hit” will be a likely free agent that could be on the verge of a big week, and even regular production down the road. Some will be well known, others will be somewhat unproven & unknown. But it is much easier to scoop up a new hit BEFORE the waiver wire protocol hits. Get on these New Hits to set yourself up for that playoff run.


CINCincinnati Bengals Defense: It’s a division game against in-state rival Cleveland, but the Browns are in shambles (again), and the Bengals have home field advantage in their sights. No way they lose this game; and very good chance they completely shut down the Browns.
Bottom Line: They are the ultimate add/start. #1 defense on my list this week, OVERALL.

CHIChicago Bears Defense: They’re playing at home against the lowly San Francisco 49ers. These two teams are trending in opposite directions. Great matchup with high upside.
Bottom Line: They are add/start worthy if you don’t have the Bengals, Pats, Panthers, Cardinals, Broncos, or Seahawks.

TENTennessee Titans Defense: They’re playing at home against Jacksonville. Mind you, this isn’t the same Jaguars from the past couple of years — they do have some firepower. They’re inconsistent, though — typical of a young team. The Titans pass D is pretty tough, and Bortles tends to makes mistakes. They’re not as juicy of a start as the Bengals or Bears, but they should give you a few turnovers & sacks… which can always lead to a TD.
Bottom Line: They are add/start worthy, and listed right behind the Bears in my rankings.

PITPittsburgh Steelers Defense: This Colts team is not that good to begin with; now put them on choppy turf that they’re not used to, in a hostile environment, and you have the makings of a non-productive, accident-prone day by Hasselbeck. A rare spot where I would start the Steelers D.
Bottom Line: They are add/start worthy if you don’t have one of the top 10 defenses listed in my rankings. I’d put them at #11.


KCKansas City Chiefs Defense: The Chiefs are rolling along, and their defense is working its way back to a being one of the upper-tier units in the NFL. The 2015 Chargers are the ultimate Jekyll & Hyde team, so naturally it’s tough to figure when they’ll show up and when they’ll fold it up. A few reasons I’d circle this matchup: 1) Arrowhead is one of the most lopsided home-field advantages 2) the Chiefs are on a hot streak, winners of 5 in a row, 3) they have something to play for, and 4) the Chargers season is already over. If Bad Philip Rivers shows up, it could be a Chief D party.
Bottom Line: Already talked about the Chiefs in the intro. Top 5 from here on out.

GBGreen Bay Packers Defense: At home, against beat-down Dallas, with 10 days rest, after the most amazing Hail Mary victory, which saved their season. After losing their last home game on Thanksgiving Day, you can bet everything you own that the Packers will abuse the Cowboys inside & out. This game will be ugly on both sides of the ball.
Bottom Line: They will be a top 10 start for sure.

ajayiJay Ajayi, RB Dolphins: Week 1 of the fantasy playoffs, and Miami hosts the Giants. Hopefully the Dolphins decide to close out the season the right way — i.e., they start playing the shit out of their rookies.
Bottom Line: Already talked about Ajayi in the intro. Potential lottery ticket.


KCKansas City Chiefs Defense: The streaking Chiefs go on the road to Baltimore in Week 15. They’ll be greeted by the amazing Matt Schaub, who held the record for “most consecutive games with a pick-6” as the QB for the Texans — 4 games in a row. In his first start for Baltimore in Week 12, he threw another pick 6. It’s honestly mind-boggling. He didn’t do much against the depleted Browns secondary, and I don’t think he’ll have too much success against the hungry, streaking Chiefs D. Love this defense in Week 15 too.
Bottom Line: Already talked about the Chiefs in the intro. Another enticing matchup.

NYJNew York Jets Defense: I feel like I keep picking on the same teams… but if you suck, you suck. The Cowboys are a disaster, mostly due to injuries. But it is what it is. The Jets defense is pretty solid, and they should be putting plenty of heat on whoever is throwing the ball for the Cowboys in Week 15.
Bottom Line: Should be a great start, as long as the Jets are still in the hunt in Week 15.

CINCincinnati Bengals Defense: As we’ve already established, San Francisco is a disaster. But this is a home game for the Niners, and they’ve been OK at home. So I’d temper expectations a bit. It should STILL be a pretty active game for the Bengals Defense, particularly if the Niners show signs of mailing it in in the weeks leading up to Week 15.
Bottom Line: Potentially a good start, but not as lopsided in the Niners’ house.

ajayiJay Ajayi, RB Dolphins: Week 2 of the fantasy playoffs, and Miami hosts the Chargers (arguably the worst run D in the league). Lets hope that Ajayi cracks his way into the starting role at this point.
Bottom Line: Already talked about Ajayi in the intro. Potential lottery ticket.


KCKansas City Chiefs Defense: The Cleveland Browns visit Arrowhead in Week 16. Holy crap, what a gift. The Browns are in shambles — they should honestly stop playing for the rest of the year so they can lock up the #1 draft pick. Maybe that’s their plan. Regardless, it’ll be UGLY. If you have the Kansas City defense on your roster, and you’re in the Finals, you’re looking at 25-40 points off the bat.
Bottom Line: This is the ultimate D/ST start. I can safely project this one 3 weeks out — they’ll be the #1 defense on my board.

DETDetroit Lions Defense: Week 16 is the Lions’ home finale. It’s a season they’d like to forget, quite honestly… but they’re hosting a cupcake Niners team to close out the season, and I’ll be damned if they don’t obliterate them on both sides of the ball. San Fran all be fully checked out at this point, and dying to get back to sunny California. They provide a good chance for some bonus points in Finals week.
Bottom Line: Should be a very solid start regardless — home finale against a team that’s already mailed it in.

cousinsKirk Cousins, QB Redskins: Cousins is playing the Eagles in Week 16. Championship Week. If you’re considering starting Kirk Cousins in the finals (yes it’s frightening), you could do worse. The Eagles D is spent, it looks like the entire team has given up, and I think every QB is going to have their way with them until Chip Kelly is run out of town. Enough of the stream of consciousness rant… I can’t imagine a situation where Cousins puts up anything less than 300 yds & 2 TDs (probably more like 3-4 TDs). Yes it’s a ballsy start for the Championship game, but if you’re, say, a Matt Ryan (vs CAR) or even an Andy Dalton (@ DEN) owner, you might want to consider starting Cousins, given the juicy matchup.
Bottom Line: I’d stash him away if you have room on your bench. Need to assess the Week 16 landscape before ranking him.

ajayiJay Ajayi, RB Dolphins: Finals week, and Ajayi gets to play the Colts — bottom of the barrel run D. Miami is also at home for the 3rd week in a row, as I mentioned above. What’s not to love about this prospect? We just need to hope that he gets his shot.
Bottom Line: Already talked about Ajayi in the intro. Potential lottery ticket.

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Voodoo Brown
Voodoo Brown started playing fantasy football way back in 1994 — when you had to manually add up scores with the Monday edition of USA Today (yes, that’s how it was done). Since that time, he has amassed 16 championships and 7 runner-ups, with most of his success coming after 2003 (avg. participation of 2-3 leagues per year). These accomplishments are evidence that Voodoo steadily adjusts to the ebbs & flows of the ever-changing fantasy landscape. It’s a different game now than it was in 1994 — hell, even 2004. Rarely finishing as a doormat, Voodoo’s teams are always in the mix. If you want any roster or lineup feedback, you can message him at vb@voodoobrown.com, or hit him up on Facebook or Twitter (@VoodooBrown)