Matt Harmon and TJ Hernandez outline a helpful plan of attack in regards to backups who might see a lot of action in Week 18.
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MATT HARMON: TJ, you picked the Packers-Eagles. I'm just going to piggyback, basically, and we can have, like, I guess, a conversation about what to do with these teams that have clinched everything. Like, there's obviously-- because again, the Eagles just like all but looks likely they'll be facing the Bucs in the first round of the playoffs. The Packers number one seed. Like, these teams that have things for the most part locked up-- and by the way, like, things can also change from-- not too, too much but, like, in the early slate of games where, like you said with the Tennessee Titans, that can change based on Saturday's results with the Chiefs and Broncos. You know, so how do we handle these teams that have potential backups playing? Like, is there any interest in exploring, like, cheap value there?
TJ HERNANDEZ: Yeah, I mean, I think-- I don't think there's much of a science to it. Just the teams that concern me the most are these ones that are locked into a playoff seed or just can't really improve, like, anything significant. Obviously Packers locked into one. I think Eagles are locked into either six or seven, I believe. So those are the ones where it's not that, like, the backups can't have good games. They can. I do think there's a lot of value to that. Like, for example, the Green Bay wide receivers I think could be really interesting plays because, you know, Equanimeous St. Brown or something like that is someone that could play 95% of snaps.
But both of these spots where, you know, maybe the starters come out and play 20% of the snaps or something like that, you're just putting yourself at a big disadvantage against these-- you know, the players or the teams that are going to play their normal players their normal snaps here. So those are my concerns for me.
I think in big tournaments like the Yahoo Baller, I do think there is some value in-- you mentioned like with Rex Burkhead, you know, just getting some of these super cheap plays and having some very interesting studs and duds builds where you can, like-- you can build a team of, like, Jonathan Taylor with Cooper Kupp because there are a couple, like, pay-down wide receivers on the Eagles or the Packers that you can play.
But it's going to-- we really have to take projections with a huge grain of salt, right, because if you're saying you could confidently project the Packers' three backup wide receivers target share with Jordan Love, like, we really are throwing darts there. But if you do hit right, there's a ton of upside.
So I think just for me, those teams that are locked into playoff spots are the ones that I typically avoid the most. Like you said, I'd rather play a Seahawks or a Bears who are eliminated but we've seen them still playing hard than like a backup twos versus ones type situation.
MATT HARMON: Yeah, and it's like, again, you're going to be playing backups. Like, you really want to be playing, what, like Jalen Reagor for the Eagles? Like, no. Let me go ahead and tell you not to do that. Don't go ahead and play Jalen Reagor here in week 18. If he scores a touchdown, you can replay this back, although I guess he's a starter. But go ahead.
TJ HERNANDEZ: No, I was just saying, I think there probably is some interesting narratives where if you are just, like, paying very close attention to beat reporters, like rookies or, like, second-year players could be really interesting in these spots, like kind of similar to a late preseason game, right? Like, those are the players that they're probably going to want to get a look at, players that they're thinking about keeping like. Like, you can kind of read between the tea leaves on some of these situations, but you really need to be doing your homework. And if you're playing, like, cash games or anything or very small-field tournaments, I just don't think it's worth taking the risk on plays like that.
MATT HARMON: Yeah, right, like an Amari Rodgers for the Packers, right--
TJ HERNANDEZ: Yeah. That's a really interesting one.
MATT HARMON: --a rookie there that they might want to think about. But, you know, he's also been, like, pulled off special-teams duties at times because that's been a disaster, so maybe they do want to get a look at wide receiver and figure that whole thing out. But yeah. No, Amari Rodgers an interesting one there.
But, like, I guess if-- because Aaron Rodgers, right now he says he wants to play in week 18. Like, we'll see if they let him play week 18. But, like, I guess that's one that is interesting. Even if Jordan Love stinks, like, he is playing the Lions. Like, he might be a potential value quarterback, which then really does start to unlock things for you.
But that is probably-- I'm with you-- the only thing I'd consider. But for the most part, yeah, I completely agree with your call of, like, just stick with teams that have incentive to play in week 18 or even like have-- you know, like the Bears. You mentioned-- we mentioned the Seahawks. We mentioned these teams that, you know, they've got, like, future consideration-- future considerations. Like, you know, David Montgomery can't be mailing it in because, like, there's a whole nother coaching staff coming in. There's potentially a new front office coming in there too, like, going to give him a contract extension. Russ, you know, he's not really a mail-it-in guy anyways, but like, you know, these guys in Seattle are fighting for their futures as well. I do think that matters.