Thursday Night Fantasy advice for playoff goers

Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute

Just two weeks ago, Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew put forth his best fantasy effort of '13 against Houston, rolling for 144 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. And while that stands out as his best performance of the year, he's been more than serviceable as a fantasy back over the past several weeks, ranking as a top 15 fantasy RB since Week 8. On the flip side, the Texans, who MJD faces on Thursday, have struggled of late to stop the opposition's running backs, allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to the position over the past three weeks. Given the recent success of MJD against his division rivals and Houston's inability of late to hold runners in check, MoJo has easy top 20 upside at the RB position this week.

Houston's Garrett Graham, however, is one player that owners should look to avoid on Thursday night. The matchup against Jacksonville looks very friendly on paper, as the Jags allow the second-most fantasy points per game to the TE position. But Graham whiffed in this matchup two weeks ago (five catches, 32 yards, no touchdowns) and, in fact, he's struck out for the most part seven times in his past eight contests – 46 yards or less without a score. With this being the first round of the fantasy playoffs for most Yahoo! Leagues, there's no way you can feel good about going to battle with Graham in your starting TE slot.

Moving past the Thursday night game, owners looking for a widely-available flex option should consider Baltimore's Jacoby Jones, who can still be had in more than 80 percent of Yahoo! Leagues. He's averaged a respectable 78 receiving yards over his past two games and his matchup against Minnesota in Week 14 is about as ideal as it gets. Minnesota's corners have struggled mightily in coverage all season and the Vikings allow the fourth-most fantasy points to the WR position. Jones has a good shot of connecting on a deep ball or two from the arm of QB Joe Flacco on Sunday.

Follow Brandon Funston on twitter @1befun.