Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! It's hard to believe that we're already here, but Week 16 is upon us and for many, that means Championship week across our leagues. If you failed to make your championship game, the season doesn't have to end for you as you can dabble into the Daily Fantasy waters if you've yet to try it out. Here's the disclaimer that I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points in conjunction with your own information and thought process rather than searching out your own players in the individual player diagnosis and turning that section into a linear start/sit guide. With that out of the way, let’s hit all of the Week 16 games in a PPR fashion....
San Diego vs. Oakland
|43.6%||Opp. Rush %||36.2%|
|56.4%||Opp. Pass %||63.8%|
- Road quarterbacks have averaged 15.3 points per game with only two top-12 scoring weeks (with a high of QB9) on Thursday games after Week 1 while home quarterbacks have averaged 16.7 points per game with just six top-12 scoring weeks.
- In seven games against teams in top half of passing points allowed per attempt, Philip Rivers has averaged 14.1 points and an average scoring week of QB19.
- In seven games against bottom half teams in the same statistic, he's averaged 22.2 points per game with an average week of QB8.
- After allowing opposing quarterbacks to pass for 325.1 yards per game through eight games, the Raiders have allowed just 219 passing yards per game over their past six.
- Over that span they've allowed just two top-12 scoring quarterbacks after allowing seven over their opening eight games.
- Danny Woodhead's 16 red zone targets lead all running backs.
- Oakland allows 11.9 red zone plays per game, the most in the league.
- The Raiders allow 6.0 receptions per game to running backs, the seventh most in the league.
- Amari Cooper's 68 receptions are just three short of Keenan Allen's 71 receptions for the most ever by a 21-year old receiver and only Randy Moss (82.1 yards) had more yards per game on average than Cooper's 74.3 yards per game as a 21-year old rookie.
- The Chargers have only allowed six top-24 scoring wide receivers on the season (second fewest), but both Cooper (WR5) and Michael Crabtree (WR14) accomplished that in Week 7.
- Through nine weeks, Latavius Murray had 132 carries (10th) for 630 rushing yards (sixth) for 4.8 yards per carry. Since then, he has 104 carries (fourth) for 326 rushing yards (12th) for 3.1 YPC with just two top-24 scoring weeks.
Trust: Antonio Gates (he’s had the steadiest target share in this passing game, seeing an average of 23 percent of the looks over the past three weeks and Oakland has had improved play on the perimeter)
Bust: Donald Brown (will occupy Melvin Gordon’s role and had late production against a team that had quit a week ago, but this role has proven to have little to offer for fantasy including from Brown a year ago), Amari Cooper (he got over in this matchup with Crabtree earlier in the season, but has largely struggled versus good corners on the season while exploiting softer matchups), Philip Rivers (he’s been matchup dependent for production since Keenan Allen was lost and Oakland has been a much tougher draw for quarterbacks of late while road quarterbacks have struggled on Thursday games)
Reasonable Return: Danny Woodhead (he played the fewest amount of snaps in a game since Week 5 last week, but his role is heavily used in the red zone, including two touchdowns versus Oakland in Week 7), Michael Crabtree (has been a top-30 scorer just once over the past six weeks, but once again has the best individual matchup), Derek Carr (he’s completed just 41.4 and 48.9 percent of his passes the past two weeks, but the team line and being home favorites points towards not discounting him), Latavius Murray (he hasn’t been good over the past month plus, but it’s hard to completely fade his type of volume in a game with Oakland as solid favorites with a high team total)
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Washington vs. Philadelphia
|43.2%||Opp. Rush %||41.9%|
|56.8%||Opp. Pass %||58.1%|
- Through six weeks, the Eagles were allowing just 94.2 rushing yards per game, but since have allowed 164.1 rushing yards per game, the most in the league.
- Alfred Morris led the team with 52.6 percent of the team snaps last week. He's never led the backfield in snaps played in back to back games this season.
- Since DeSean Jackson returned, Kirk Cousins has been the QB25, QB26 and QB19 against teams in the top half of passing points allowed per attempt and the QB1, QB9, QB7 and QB2 against teams in the bottom half (Philadelphia is the 13th worst).
- Only Russell Wilson (eight) has more games completing at least 70 percent of his passes as Cousins' seven.
- Jackson has eight receptions of 25 yards or more since his return (third most in the league). Washington had nine receptions of 25 or more yards as a team during Jackson's absence.
- Darren Sproles has led the Eagles backfield in snaps in each of the past three weeks, but has played more than 50 percent of the snaps in just one of those games.
- Zach Ertz has seen a season high 31.7 percent of the team targets last week and has led the Eagles in targets in three of his past four complete games played.
Trust: Kirk Cousins (I’m a believer that his splits have been more opponent driven than a home or road angle and this week should tell the story), DeSean Jackson (vertical boundary threats have been an issue for the Eagles this season, here’s to hoping Jackson hangs on to his opportunities more than John Brown did a week ago), Jordan Reed (tied for the league lead in top-6 scoring weeks at tight end and dominating red zone targets)
Bust: Ryan Matthews/DeMarco Murray (the line is suggesting we trust this backfield as a whole, but the rotation has favored Sproles and Vegas has consistently missed on the Eagles all season long), Jordan Matthews (had 159 yards last week after 149 total over his previous five games), Sam Bradford (the last time he was in the front half of quarterback scoring was Week 5 and the Washington secondary is healthier than it was in their first meeting when Bradford threw three touchdowns), Matt Jones/Alfred Morris (Washington ran 32 times in this first meeting, but didn’t produce a top-30 scoring back. This situation just can’t be trusted week to week)
Reasonable Return: Zach Ertz (he’s been quietly solid for two months and now is starting to get some positive kickback on touchdown regression), Darren Sproles (I’m mostly avoiding this offense outside of Ertz, but he’s still the only option out of the backfield I feel moderately good about)
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Indianapolis vs. Miami
|42.3%||Opp. Rush %||46.8%|
|57.7%||Opp. Pass %||53.2%|
- The Colts have allowed 59 passing plays of 20 yards or more, the most in the league.
- Ryan Tannehill has nine games with fewer than seven passing yards per attempt, the most in the league.
- Jarvis Landry has 182 receptions through his first two seasons, tied with Odell Beckham for the most ever, but is 46th in receiving yardage (1,734 yards) through two seasons.
- DeVante Parker has seen 17.2 percent, 26.3 percent, 12.2 percent and 17.6 percent of the team targets over the past four weeks with scoring weeks of WR20, WR28, WR85 and WR40.
- Jay Ajayi played a season high 54.4 percent of the team snaps last week.
- The Colts have just two touchdowns on their past 38 possessions.
- Indianapolis has rushed for just 60 yards per game over the past five weeks, the lowest in the league (league average is 106.9 yards rushing over that span).
- Over that stretch, Frank Gore is seventh in touches (90), but 20th in total yards (330) and 27th in scoring for all running backs.
Bust: Frank Gore (the touch volume and the Miami defense dictate he could be useful, but you’re retrofitting that angle over the tangible results he’s provided now for several weeks), Ryan Tannehill (like Gore, I want to like this layout for him, but it’s hard to vault over what he’s done so far in similar spots), DeVante Parker (production and usage is still far too volatile to believe in), Donte Moncrief (scored for the first time since Week 7 and was still just the WR29 for the week), Lamar Miller (every time we leave him for dead he comes back with a great game, but I just don’t see how you can use him as it feels like Miami is ready to move on from him based on the past two weeks when he’s been supposedly been healthy enough to play but they haven’t used him. His involvement also clouds making any deep play on Jay Ajayi in the event he is completely phased out)
Reasonable Return: Jarvis Landry (he’s banged up and it showed last week, but is in line for another solid floor week), T.Y. Hilton (I don’t believe this offense is any shape to fully take advantage of this matchup, but he has been an every other week type of producer since mid-season and the Miami secondary has given their share of chunk plays up)
Chicago vs. Tampa Bay
|44.9%||Opp. Rush %||43.2%|
|55.1%||Opp. Pass %||56.8%|
- In games without Vincent Jackson active, Mike Evans has been targeted on 37.2 percent of routes as opposed to 25.6 percent while both have been active.
- In those games, Evans has been the WR47, WR11, WR7 and the WR11.
- Just 9.7 percent of Evans' fantasy output has come from touchdown production, the lowest of all receivers inside the top-50 of scoring on the season.
- Chicago allows the eighth most passing points per attempt (.494), but has faced just 31.7 attempts per game (29th).
- The Bears have only allowed five rushing touchdowns to running backs this season, tied for the fourth fewest in the league.
- Since returning from injury, Matt Forte has averaged 16.8 touches per game, down from the 22.3 touches per game he had averaged prior.
- Despite the new timeshare, Forte has 11 red zone touches to Jeremy Langford's two over those four weeks.
- Since allowing 139 rushing yards to Alfred Blue in Week 3, Tampa Bay has allowed just two individual rushers to rush for at least 70 yards with a high of 88 yards.
- In the three games Martellus Bennett has missed, Zach Miller has seen 22.6 percent, 19.4 percent and 16.2 percent of the team targets.
Trust: Mike Evans (this game screams low volume for both sides, which is worrisome, but Evans is soaking in targets and has the upside to turn them into high end production)
Bust: Jay Cutler (this is set up as an eerily similar spot that he was in last week), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (a junk score saved his line last week and he was still just the TE13 in a week where Winston threw for 363 yards), Matt Forte (has saved back to back dull weeks with a score and the rushing yardage here should be hard to come by without a standalone workload)
Reasonable Return: Doug Martin (steady volume in the run game, but still has been limited by lack of touchdown and reception production as he has just two top-12 scoring weeks over his past eight games), Jameis Winston (the Bears have been inefficient, but it’s been masked overall by lack of faced volume, something that may happen again this week. Winston will need to make the most of low volume if the game plays out in a mundane fashion), Alshon Jeffery (when he’s played fully, he’s been a top-10 option, but that has happened in just a handful of games), Zach Miller (the Bears have shallow ball distribution in the passing game, making Miller’s usage a solid bet if you’re making a floor play)
Cleveland vs. Kansas City
|46.1%||Opp. Rush %||36.2%|
|53.9%||Opp. Pass %||63.8%|
- Through four weeks, the Chiefs allowed 15 touchdowns on 49 drives (30.6), the highest rate in the league. Since then, they’ve allowed just 15 touchdowns on 110 drives (13.6 percent), the lowest rate in the league.
- Gary Barnidge has had 11 top-12 scoring weeks on the season, tied with Rob Gronkowski for the most in the league and has had eight top-6 scoring weeks, tied with Gronkowski and Jordan Reed for the most.
- The Chiefs rank 17th in tight end targets faced per game (7.5), but they allow the fourth fewest receptions (4.0) and the least amount of receiving yardage (37.8 yards) to the position per game.
- Cleveland is right on par with the Kansas City against tight ends on the season, ranking first in targets faced (5.3) and receptions allowed (3.8) and second in yardage (38.1) per game.
- Only New Orleans (9.7 yards) allows more adjusted yards per attempt than Cleveland at 8.6 AY/A.
- Over the past five games Jeremy Maclin has had 37.7 percent of the team targets and has been targeted on 29.3 percent of his routes. Both of those marks are up from his earlier 25.3 percent of team targets and being targeted on 21.7 percent of his routes.
- Since Jamaal Charles was lost for the season in Week 5, the Chiefs have rushed for 130 yards per game, fifth most in the league.
- Cleveland allows 116.7 rushing yards per game to running backs, 29th in the league.
Trust: Jeremy Maclin (Cleveland has had their hands full with lead passing targets all season long, the only concern here is if play volume is compromised), Charcandrick West/Spencer Ware (even if Ware returns, this is a week where both players should find good, usable production and if Ware is out, then West becomes a top-5 play)
Bust: Browns Offense minus Barnidge (another extremely low point total for Cleveland on the road and Kansas City has made short work of a very favorable schedule)
Reasonable Return: Alex Smith (a solid floor option once again, but shouldn’t be asked to do too much lifting like last weekend), Travis Kelce (the matchup is poor again like last week, but still managed a low TE1 scoring week with his involvement), Gary Barnidge (not a good spot for him, but he’s the odds on favorite to score a touchdown if Cleveland makes that happen)
New England vs. New York (AFC)
|37.3%||Opp. Rush %||34.8%|
|62.7%||Opp. Pass %||65.2%|
- Brandon Bolden (28), James White (22) and Joey Iosefa (24) all played fewer than half of the New England snaps in Week 15.
- With Dion Lewis out back in Week 7 against the Jets, White played a season high 43 snaps.
- In that meeting, the Patriots ran just nine times, tied for the second fewest total in franchise history.
- 59.6 percent of fantasy points scored by running backs against the Jets this season have been from receiving, the largest percentage in the league.
- After playing just 61.2 percent of the snaps in Week 14, Rob Gronkowski was back up to 93.9 percent this past week.
- Eric Decker has at least 80 receiving yards or a touchdown in every game this season.
- Decker leads the NFL with 26 red zone targets.
- Brandon Marshall had just 17.9 percent of the team targets in the first meeting between these teams, his lowest mark on the season.
- Since Bilal Powell returned, Chris Ivory has been the PPR RB40, RB8, RB26, RB22 and RB51 while Powell has been the RB17, RB45, RB3, RB7 and RB6.
Trust: Rob Gronkowski (more passing volume means more opportunities for the best touchdown producer in football), Eric Decker (in the best spot again this week to produce with Brandon Marshall drawing attention outside)
Bust: Chris Ivory (his only good game since Powell returned was a game in which the Jets led wire to wire, something we can’t feel confident in this week. He’s a touchdown or bust play), Brandon Bolden/Joey Iosefa (the Pats may not even try to run again and if they do, it’s hard to feel good about them finding success with it), Keshawn Martin (has seen just 17 targets over his four games, so he’s a blind faith play even with the possibility of targets getting funneled his way due to injuries)
Reasonable Return: Tom Brady (has thrown for 300-yards just once over his past five and has been a top-10 scorer in only two of those games as his weapons have been compromised, but the game plan should be extremely pass heavy once again this week), Ryan Fitzpatrick (back and forth volume should be high in this game and he’s been an excellent floor up fantasy option all season), Brandon Marshall (his second worse game this season was in the first matchup between these two, but he also had a touchdown in that game. Decker still has the better draw on paper to keep him as a floor play this week), Bilal Powell (has found the end zone in three straight games and the potential script here should favor him), James White (see Bilal Powell and with Danny Amendola expected to be out, should be utilized), Brandon LaFell (has been a top-30 play in just one of his nine games, but with Amendola expected to be out, targets have to find somebody at wide receiver)
Dallas vs. Buffalo
|43.9%||Opp. Rush %||38.7%|
|56.1%||Opp. Pass %||61.3%|
- Buffalo has allowed 53 passing plays of 20 or more yards, the third most in the league. Dallas has just 28 pass plays of 20 or more yards, the fewest in the league.
- No team passes less in the red zone than Buffalo at 41.8 percent of their play calls.
- Opposing teams run 54.9 percent of the time in the red zone against Dallas, the highest in the league.
- Dallas hasn't allowed a quarterback to score inside of the top-10 since Tom Brady in Week 5.
- Since returning in Week 9, Sammy Watkins ranks fourth in the league in receiving yards per game (97.1), tied for second in touchdowns (seven), third in points per target (2.7) and fourth in points per game (20.4) of all receivers despite ranking 29th in targets per game (7.6).
- Watkins' 11.0 yards per target is the highest of all receivers with 50 or more targets on the season.
- Dallas has allowed just eight touchdowns to wide receivers (T-4th) and only three of those were allowed to receivers on the either boundary, where Watkins has scored all nine of his touchdowns.
- Dez Bryant's 5.6 yards per target is ahead of only Harry Douglas (5.4) and Davante Adams (4.7) for all receivers with 50 or more targets on the season.
Trust: Karlos Williams (there's some risk as he played fewer snaps Mike Gillislee last week and they each had four carries after LeSean McCoy left the game; However, the Bills were trailing by 21 to start the half and threw 62 percent of their plays so I'm banking on Gillislee’s role remaining unchanged as the ancillary back while Williams leads in touches. Even if he does lose some carries, there's enough in this offense in the run game to take a swing on his upside)
Bust: Jason Witten (the last time he was a top-12 scorer was Week 7)
Reasonable Return: Sammy Watkins (the matchup is tough and he could be asked to do a lot with a small amount of targets this week, but that’s just enough to downgrade him ever so slightly given how hot he’s been), Tyrod Taylor (ditto), Darren McFadden (has been a top-24 scorer in eight of his past 10 games and Buffalo has allowed 130.8 yards per game on the ground over the past month), Dez Bryant (Kellen Moore seemed content being the first quarterback to force him targets as he threw towards Bryant 28 percent of the time and Buffalo has been vulnerable on the outside recently, giving us hope, but I’d still have him as a WR3 with upside option)
Carolina vs. Atlanta
|33.7%||Opp. Rush %||42.6%|
|66.3%||Opp. Pass %||57.4%|
- Carolina runs 12.1 red zone plays per game, the most in the league and has 39 red zone touchdowns, tied with New England for the most.
- Cam Newton was just the second player ever to pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game last week.
- Through seven weeks, Newton had just two top-10 scoring weeks (averaging 19.6 points per game). Since then he's been the QB1, QB6, QB1, QB16, QB1, QB5 and the QB1 (averaging 29.2 points per game).
- Over that span Newton has completed 62.9 percent of his passes after completing 54.2 percent over those first seven games.
- The Panther backfield snap split last week was Fozzy Whittaker (43), Cameron Artis-Payne (31) and Mike Tolbert (30).
- Touches were Artis-Payne (16), Tolbert (five) and Whittaker (four).
- Ted Ginn had 31.1 percent of the team targets last week, his second largest total on the season (33.3 percent in Week 7).
- Ginn is the first Panther receiver to ever catch multiple touchdown passes in three consecutive games.
- Julio Jones has been targeted on 22 percent of his snaps, the highest rate in the league.
- Matt Ryan has just two passing touchdowns outside of the red zone this season, the fewest in the league.
- Per Pro Football Focus, just 12.9 percent of Jones' targets have been on throws 20 or more yards downfield this season after having a 22 percent rate over his career entering the season.
- After having 19 runs of 10 or more yards through his first seven games, Devonta Freeman has eight such runs since.
Trust: Cam Newton (has 30 plus points in four of his past seven with a low of 17.8 over that stretch), Greg Olsen (proved he was healthy last week and was on his way to a solid game in this meeting two weeks ago prior to injury)
Bust: Matt Ryan (nobody needs the reset button of the offseason more at the quarterback position), Jacob Tamme (has just 10 total targets over the past three weeks which he’s turned into just 52 total yards)
Reasonable Return: Devonta Freeman (living off of his receiving game involvement, which is still high since Atlanta has two offensive options), Julio Jones (back to being a WR2 with volume for more in this bookend matchup with Carolina in which he was WR23 on 10 targets two weeks ago), Ted Ginn (the floor potential is still low, but he is seemingly wide open two to three times per game 50 yards downfield and he only needs to catch one of them), Cameron Artis-Payne (was the lead back in terms of rushing touches and even had a goal line opportunity last week)
San Francisco vs. Detroit
|46.9%||Opp. Rush %||42.9%|
|53.1%||Opp. Pass %||57.1%|
- Since Blaine Gabbert took over as the starter, the 49ers have run just 34 plays (5.7 per game) in the red zone, fewest in the league. They ran 9.1 per game through eight weeks, 12th in the league.
- Detroit leads the NFL in red zone touchdown rate, scoring a touchdown on 71.4 percent of their red zone trips.
- The 49ers allow 3.9 red zone trips per game on the road, 26th in the league.
- The 49ers have been outscored by 113 points on the road this season, the most in the league.
- San Francisco is allowing 165.6 rushing yards per game on the road as opposed to 91.6 yards rushing per game at home.
- San Francisco has allowed a rushing touchdown in 10 games this season, tied for the most in the league and multiple rushing touchdowns in seven games, the most in the league.
- Since the Lions changed offensive coordinators in Week 8, Golden Tate averages 6.9 receptions (sixth) and 16.9 points (13th) per game with an average scoring week of WR21.
- Over the same time, Calvin Johnson averages 4.1 receptions (30th) and 13.7 points (29th) per game with an average scoring week of WR42.
- Since their Week 9 bye, Matthew Stafford ranks fourth in passing points per attempt (.531), fourth in touchdown rate (6.5 percent) and seventh in points per game (21.7).
Trust: Matthew Stafford (has been playing well and this matchup is another low bar to hurdle)
Bust: San Francisco Offense (even floor only options such as Anquan Boldin and Shaun Draughn are sketchy plays on the road), Eric Ebron (hasn’t had a top-12 scoring week since Week 7), Theo Riddick (Detroit should be able to find a semblance of a running game like they did last week and the game script should never get to a point to inflate Riddick)
Reasonable Return: Golden Tate (his volume and floor is trustworthy, but his touchdown production has carried is ceiling as he’s doing his best Jarvis Landry impersonation by not topping 80 yards on the season), Calvin Johnson (whether it’s the offensive change or his injury is worse than Detroit is letting on, he’s been the WR33, WR95 and WR96 the past three weeks, but San Francisco has been poor against lead boundary receivers all season), Ameer Abdullah/Joique Bell (Abdullah has just one carry inside of the 5-yard line all season long, Bell has 75 plus yards in three of his past four games)
Houston vs. Tennessee
|41.8%||Opp. Rush %||44.9%|
|58.2%||Opp. Pass %||55.1%|
- In games without Arian Foster, Alfred Blue averages 20.7 touches and 13.0 points in wins and just 6.7 touches and 3.1 points in losses.
- Seven of Brandon Weeden’s 17 aimed throws were directed to DeAndre Hopkins last week.
- Zach Mettenberger has thrown an interception once every 23.4 pass attempts, the second worst behind only Jake Locker (20.9) of all quarterbacks with at least 100 pass attempts since the start of last season.
- Mettenberger has scored fewer than 12 fantasy points in four his seven career starts, including 2.8 points against Houston in Week 8.
- Houston allows just 228.9 passing yards per game to quarterbacks, the second fewest in the league.
- Delanie Walker has been a top-12 scorer in nine of his past 10 games, leading all tight ends in targets per game (8.3) while ranking third in points per game (17.1) and second in yards per game (78.2) over that span.
- After allowing just one top-20 scoring receiver through six games, the Titans have allowed eight since.
Trust: DeAndre Hopkins (despite possibly going to his fourth quarterback on the season, he should still be able to get over in this matchup and see plenty of targets)
Bust: Zach Mettenberger (leave him off of your streaming list this weekend)
Reasonable Return: Dorial Green-Beckham (has gotten some serious involvement averaging 21.6 percent of the targets over the past three weeks while being a top-30 scorer in two of those weeks), Delanie Walker (turned in some magic last week on just five targets and had just six targets in the first meeting between these teams), Alfred Blue (if we’re expecting Houston to have positive game script, Blue has proven to have steady value in those games), Antonio Andrews (he keeps hanging around with weekly RB2 production and was the RB21 back in Week 8)
Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore
|36.2%||Opp. Rush %||41.9%|
|63.8%||Opp. Pass %||58.1%|
- The Steelers average 35 points per game with at least 30 points in all of their past six games.
- Since Ben Roethlisberger came back in Week 8, Antonio Brown ranks first in targets (13.7), receptions (10), yards (130.7) and points (29.1) per game for all wide receivers.
- Martavis Bryant has been targeted on 19.0 percent of his snaps, the third highest rate in the league.
- Markus Wheaton has 19.5 percent of the team targets over the past four weeks after seeing 9.8 percent over the first 10 games.
- After catching 32 passes for 338 yards against the defense that allows the third fewest receptions and the fewest yards to wide receivers, the Steelers face a Ravens defense allowing 13.5 receptions (26th) and 175.1 yards (23rd) to receivers this season.
- Kamar Aiken averages 10.2 targets (eighth) since Steve Smith was lost for the season.
- Aiken has averaged 17.0 points per game over those six games and has been a top-30 scoring receiver in five and a top-20 scorer in four of those games.
- Pittsburgh allows just 10.5 rushing points per game, second fewest in the league (Jets at 8.6 points per game).
Bust: Javorius Allen (unbelievably benched for a mistake last week on a team that’s made a litany of them all season long, but he only has a passing game floor this week in terms of playability)
Reasonable Return: Kamar Aiken (Steelers are 31st and 32nd in receptions and receiving yards allowed to wide receivers on the season and he’s been getting targets no matter who is under center), Martavis Bryant (hasn’t been lower than a WR3 over past six games, but also only a top-12 one twice), Markus Wheaton (has been a WR3 or more in four straight games, the only hesitation for going all in is this may be more of a 5-7 target game than a double digit one like he saw in script versus Seattle and Denver)
Jacksonville vs. New Orleans
|41.6%||Opp. Rush %||43.1%|
|58.4%||Opp. Pass %||56.9%|
- New Orleans allows 32.3 points per game at home, the most in the league.
- Blake Bortles leads the league in red zone pass attempts at 88, he had 41 red zone pass attempts all of 2014.
- The Saints have allowed 31 passing touchdowns in the red zone, the most in the league.
- Over the past five weeks, only Delanie Walker (18.3 points) and Jordan Reed (18.8) average more points per game than Julius Thomas' 16.0 points per game.
- Over that same span, Allen Hurns has 15.5 percent of the team targets after seeing 19.4 percent through the first nine games.
- Denard Robinson played 100 percent of the snaps with T.J. Yeldon out, just the second time all season (Shaun Draughn in Week 12) that a running back played every snap in a game.
- The Saints have allowed 65 runs of 10 of more yards on the season, the most in the league.
- The Saints allow the most receiving yardage per game to tight ends (81.6 yards) and running backs (59.6) in the league.
- After playing 70.7 percent of the snaps in Week 14 as the Saints didn't trail at all in the game, Tim Hightower played 39.4 percent this past week as the Saints ran 92 percent of their plays trailing.
- Drew Brees is averaging 25.1 points with an average scoring week as the QB10 at home this season as opposed to scoring 13.9 points on the road with an average week as the QB18.
- Jacksonville has allowed 21.4 points per game with an average scoring week as the QB10 on the road this season.
Trust: Blake Bortles (he had a 16 to five touchdown to interception rate on the road and New Orleans is giving away quarterback points), Julius Thomas (has passed Hurns as the second option in the passing game), Denard Robinson/T.J. Yeldon (whoever is the starter here is a target for production because of the passing game floor with upside in the running game despite the overall team struggles there), Drew Brees (monitor his availability because there's no real reason why he should play, but for the sake of hypotheticals I'm projecting the game as if he will play. If he plays, he makes everyone on both sides of the ball a better option. Downgrade all Saints a tier if he is out), Brandin Cooks (knock him down if Brees is out but he’s gone as Brees has at home, finishing as the WR6, WR19, WR10 and WR5 over his past four home games)
Reasonable Return: Willie Snead (17 receptions over his past two as he’s over his knee issues and back to a weekly WR2 performer), Ben Watson (eight or more targets in four straight games while averaging 13.5 points), Allen Robinson (the ceiling is still here as he has hit 100-yards or scored in 10 straight games, but New Orleans is so giving to backs and tight ends that they’ve only allowed three top-12 scoring receivers on the season) , Allen Hurns (has turned a small amount of targets into production often this season in a game that should feature a lot of points), Tim Hightower (even with the snap loss last week in completely opposite script managed to have an RB2 floor without a touchdown)
St. Louis vs. Seattle
|42.1%||Opp. Rush %||38.2%|
|57.9%||Opp. Pass %||61.8%|
- The Seattle backfield snaps in Week 15 were Christine Michael (24), Bryce Brown (22), Derrick Coleman (14) and Fred Jackson (13).
- Michael carried 16 times for 84 yards, while the other carried 14 times for 53 yards.
- Doug Baldwin is just the third receiver ever to catch multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games; no one has done it in five games in a row.
- Baldwin has 11 red zone targets (tied with Eric Decker for the most in the league) over that stretch after having just four through nine games played.
- Only four wide receivers in the league with 50 plus targets have caught at least 70 percent of their passes and averaged over 10 yards per target. Three are Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Jermaine Kearse.
- Russell Wilson has 19 passing touchdowns over his last 148 pass attempts. He had 20 passing touchdowns on 452 pass attempts all of 2014.
- After allowing just 239.2 passing yards to quarterbacks through nine games, The Rams have allowed 301 per game over their past five games.
- Since taking over as the starter, Todd Gurley has been the RB19, RB52 and the RB60 in the three games the Rams have been -4.5 point underdogs or larger.
- Seattle has allowed just 20 runs of 10 or more yards, the fewest in the league.
- Tavon Austin's 43 rushing attempts are the most by a wide receiver since Josh Cribbs' 55 in 2009.
Trust: Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin (will regression hit eventually? Sure. But that doesn't mean it happens this week and you keep riding this wave until it actually shows up consistently while the opponent doesn’t strike any level of fear here)
Bust: Todd Gurley (has shown he’s needed neutral script to tap into his ceiling and it’s hard to see that happening here while Seattle hasn't allowed a back to hit 75 rushing yards in a game since Week 6 or a 100-yard rusher all season), Tavon Austin (he’s the worst kind of fantasy option because his overall point totals hide his usage being wildly unpredictable and his floor is bottomless as he’s been WR67 or lower in three of his past six games)
Reasonable Return: Tyler Lockett (has been a top-30 scorer in four of his past five), Jermaine Kearse (has been a top-30 scorer in three of his past four), Christine Michael/Bryce Brown (it’s likely that both guys splits snaps again with Michael seeing more overall rushing volume and the script and matchup should align again as the Rams are allowing 138 rushing yards per game over their past seven)
Green Bay vs. Arizona
|40.4%||Opp. Rush %||36.6%|
|59.6%||Opp. Pass %||63.4%|
- David Johnson averages .892 rushing points per attempt, the most of running backs with at least 100 carries on the season.
- Johnson leads all backs in touches (81) and has 472 yards from scrimmage which are 160 more than the next closest back over the past three weeks.
- Both John Brown and Michael Floyd have each outscored Larry Fitzgerald in all of the past three games.
- Aaron Rodgers averages 221.8 passing yards over the past five weeks, 25th of all quarterbacks.
- Rodgers is averaging just 6.8 yards per attempt, the lowest of his career after averaging 8.2 yards per attempt prior to this season.
- Arizona allows just 65.8 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs, the second fewest in the league.
- Green Bay has allowed 5.6 yards per carry over the past three weeks, the most in the league.
Trust: Carson Palmer (despite losing touchdowns last week to Johnson, Green Bay has shown they will give up some yards to above average passing attacks despite their sound seasonal numbers), David Johnson (a physical dual threat back getting heavy volume on arguably the league’s best offense, what more could you want?)
Bust: Eddie Lacy (shouldn’t find too much on the ground this week and when he hasn’t gotten off to hot starts, he’s been phased out throughout the game), Davante Adams/James Jones (outside receivers have found little success against Arizona all season), Aaron Rodgers (his ceiling over the past five weeks has been a low QB1 and Arizona has allowed only three top-12 scoring quarterbacks on the season. I’d put him in a the QB10 range as his ceiling this week)
Reasonable Return: Michael Floyd/John Brown/Larry Fitzgerald (with all healthy over the past five weeks Floyd has been a WR1/WR2 option, Brown a WR2/WR3 one and Fitzgerald a WR3/WR4 one while Green Bay has defended the slot consistently the best of all areas of the field in the passing game), Randall Cobb (still has a limited ceiling, but has seven rushing attempts over his past two games and with Tyrann Mathieu out, has the best matchup by default again), James Starks (this feels like a game in which Starks’ receiving versatility will give him higher usage over Lacy), Richard Rodgers (he’s been a low floor option, so there’s risk, but with Arizona so good on the perimeter and Cobb such an unknown, Rodgers could be used more often and the Cardinals were vulnerable to Zach Ertz last week and the Vikings’ tight ends two weeks ago)
New York (NFC) vs. Minnesota
|38.9%||Opp. Rush %||41.4%|
|61.1%||Opp. Pass %||58.6%|
- The Giants allow 316.6 passing yards to quarterbacks per game, the most in the league.
- After averaging just 6.9 yards per attempt through 12 games, Teddy Bridgewater has passed for 9.3 yards per attempt and 11.6 yards per attempt the past two weeks, the first time in his career he's gone over 9.0 Y/A in back to back games in his career.
- For the first time since 2009, Adrian Peterson has gone three consecutive games averaging less than 4.0 yards per carry.
- 48.8 percent of Eli Manning's fantasy output comes from passing touchdowns, the second highest dependency in the league.
- 41.2 percent of Manning's output this season was targeting Odell Beckham, no other Giants player has accounted for even 20 percent after him.
- Will Tye ranks eighth ninth in targets (6.20, sixth in yards (54.6), in points per game (12.7) over the past six weeks.
- Rashad Jennings has 68.8 and 59.3 percent of the team rushing attempts over the past two weeks, his two highest totals on the season as he’s been the RB21 and RB14 over those weeks.
Trust: Teddy Bridgewater (he could be luring me in here as his yardage floor is still low, but the Giants have been that bad against the pass allowing five top-12 scorers over their past six)
Bust: Eli Manning (move him up if Odell Beckham’s suspension is reversed, but the talent level of this passing offense without Beckham is a nightmare), Dwayne Harris (nearly all of the useful fantasy weeks registered against the Vikings have been from boundary receivers, so it’s hard for me to buy into Harris getting a large bump), Shane Vereen (I’d likely use Vereen before any of the wide receivers here, but even his usage has been too volatile to trust above a flex consideration)
Reasonable Return: Adrian Peterson (he’s been inside the top-15 in scoring just once over his past five games and is now hobbled while the Vikings have a good grip on a playoff spot, so it’s hard to go all in on what would be a juicy matchup and potential script), Stefon Diggs (there’s not a great paper play here as the passing game is so disparate that Bridgewater is the hedge, but Diggs gets the best draw of the receiving unit in terms of individual matchups, but also saw just four targets last week), Kyle Rudolph (has a better matchup than any of the receivers as the Giants are allowing 75.4 yards per game to tight ends, the second most), Rashad Jennings (without Beckham, the Giants should recalibrate some more to the run and Jennings has looked strong the past two weeks, but he’s still a flex option only), Rueben Randle (process of elimination points to Randle getting the most gain if Beckham is out, but he’s still a fringe WR3 given what we know about him as a receiver), Will Tye (outside of Beckham, he’s been the sturdiest branch in the offense to grab ahold of)
Cincinnati vs. Denver
|33.9%||Opp. Rush %||38.6%|
|66.1%||Opp. Pass %||61.4%|
- The Bengals face just 5.4 red zone plays per game, fewest in the league. Denver faces just 6.9 per game, the fourth fewest.
- Jeremy Hill's 16 rushing attempts from inside the 5-yard line are second behind only Chris Ivory (18).
- 39.3 percent of Hill's seasonal fantasy output has come on those 16 rushing attempts.
- Giovani Bernard's 18 touches last week were the most he's had since Week 5 (20).
- Cincinnati ran 59 percent of their plays last week, the most they’ve run all season.
- Denver allows the eighth fewest rushing points per game to running backs (10.5), but the ninth most passing points (11.6) per game.
- Cincinnati is in the same ilk, allowing the fifth fewest rushing points (9.8), but the fourth most receiving points (12.4) to running backs per game.
- Demaryius Thomas has scored four times on 53 targets since Brock Osweiler took over as the starter after scoring once over his first 103 targets through nine games.
- Osweiler completes 23.4 percent fewer of his passes in the second half, the largest drop-off for any quarterback in the league.
- The Broncos (5.67) and Bengals (5.70) allow the second and third fewest adjusted yards per attempt in the league.
Trust: Giovani Bernard (I see this as a lower scoring game overall and don’t like a lot of the individual pieces outside of Bernard. Denver has allowed ten top-20 scoring backs and those backs have averaged four receptions for 38.1 yards in addition to their work on the ground)
Bust: Jeremy Hill (completely touchdown reliant in a matchup as poor as this on the ground), A.J. McCarron (Denver has been lights out against bottom half quarterbacks on the season and will be at home), A.J. Green/Marvin Jones (even though the Steelers receivers got over last week, it’s hard to see the Bengals having similar success with a backup quarterback on the road), C.J. Anderson/Ronnie Hillman (this is a matchup you’re playing for a receiving floor and usage between the two is too even to pursue that), Brock Osweiler/Peyton Manning (regardless who starts, this is a rough spot for either and it would be an extremely difficult spot for Manning to come back to after a long layoff)
Reasonable Return: Demaryius Thomas (has been Osweiler’s favorite target and has been finding the end zone with him under center), Emmanuel Sanders (he gets the most favorable individual matchup as Thomas deals with Adam Jones, but has shown a much lower floor than Thomas all season when it hits), Tyler Eifert (if he’s back, tight ends see 9.1 targets per game against Denver, the third highest in the league and he carries the largest touchdown upside)
Trust = Set him in your lineups this week
Bust = Player to underperform season average
Reasonable Return = On par with seasonal average