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The Gut Check No.461: The Backdoor Playoff Crew

Matt Waldman shares sneaky additions to the back end of your roster who could deliver at the right time during the late hours of your fantasy season.

When we begin preparation for our annual fantasy campaigns, we're all hoping for players who will deliver championship-caliber production wire-to-wire. We're also dreading the idea that, in Weeks 15 and 16, we'll face the prospect of starting players we wouldn't draft to help us take the title home.

Blake Bortles and Keelan Cole whose Weeks 15 and 16 led all fantasy quarterbacks and wide receivers last year. Kapri Bibbs, Alfred Blue, and Benny Cunningham, who offered top-tier RB3 fantasy production during the same stretch. Jakeem Grant, Tavarres King, Jaydon Mickens, and Damiere Byrd were fantasy free agents who became Week l5 and 16's No.13, No.14, No.16, and No.17 fantasy receivers in standard leagues.

It happens every year. Look here, and you'll find players with starter production who would not be drafted in the first 15 rounds of any format at that time: Zach Zenner, DeAndre Washington, Marcel Reece, Tim Hightower, Cameron Meredith, Eli Rodgers, Deonte Thompson, Dontrelle Inman, Mike Gillislee, Rashad Jennings, Donald Brown, Travaris Cadet, Matt Barkley, and Matt Moore.

These backups, underachievers, journeymen, and positional misfits may not be on your mind as you're jockeying for playoff position, but they are all part of a crew of backdoor men that you can sneakily add to the end of your rosters with the expectation of delivering at the right moment. This week, we'll look at potential members of 2018's Backdoor Playoff Crew. It's best to do this now because if you have starters ahead of any of these players and room to add one of these players, it's likely a free, preemptive addition this week or during the next 2-3.

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