Pierce’s Picks: One Last Push for the Playoffs

Play-offs Loom for Fantasy Leagues


Pierce Munsey

Welcome back to the latest edition of Pierce’s Picks!

For most fantasy leagues, this is the last week of football before the playoffs. Thus, some teams do not need to worry about winning this week; instead, they are focusing on optimizing their lineup for a deep playoff run. However, if your fate has been undetermined, I have a player who has the potential to be a difference-maker in your “must-win” game this week. However, I want to emphasize that I said “has the potential,” as this player’s value is contingent on other factors. Let’s take a look:

ADD: Devontae Booker (RB), Las Vegas Raiders

It’s still weird writing “Las Vegas Raiders” instead of “Oakland Raiders.” Anyway, you should immediately pick up Booker off of the waiver wire, as he is currently only rostered in 10% of ESPN leagues. On Thursday, NBC published a report stating that Josh Jacobs, the Raiders’ primary back, missed a second consecutive practice due to an ankle injury, and he is “in grave danger of missing Sunday’s game against the Jets.” If Jacobs ends up playing, you should drop Booker. However, I recommend adding him to your roster now because if more news comes out that hints at Jacobs not playing, Booker will most likely be unavailable in your league.

Additionally, if Booker is the starting running back on Sunday when the Raiders take the field in New Jersey (yes, MetLife Stadium is in New Jersey, not New York), he will have a golden opportunity to succeed and put up a quality number of fantasy points. In the fourth quarter, with Jacobs out of the game, Booker got every running back touch—the other RBs, Theo Riddick and Jalen Richard, were non-factors. So, we can assume that Booker will get a majority of the touches against New York, which is a dream scenario. Gang Green has allowed the 8th most PPR points to running backs (ESPN), and assuming the Raiders bounce back from their atrocious performance against Atlanta and establish a positive game script, Las Vegas will be running the ball…a lot. Furthermore, when Booker was the starter in Week 10 against a respectable Denver Broncos’ defense, he totaled 16 carries and accumulated 21.3 fantasy points (ESPN). If he can get similar production this week, he can be the RB1 that pushes your team into the playoffs.