This article goes over anything that’s out of the norm from a fantasy perspective, or any potential differences we can see moving forward. In this case, specifically for Week 16.
NY Jets @ Baltimore Ravens
- Of course Jamison Crowder was going to bounce back when we least expect it. Having him on your bench definitely hurts, but it was so tough to trust him in your fantasy playoffs against a tough defense. He was averaging 18 yards per game over his last three games coming into Week 15. The lone bright spot is that he still saw decent volume over the previous two games, so good luck if you’re depending on him in Week 16. The Steelers next week are a neutral matchup for slot WRs, but the matchup hasn’t been the issue for Crowder. He’ll be a upside WR3 with a chance of busting.
- Mark Andrews bounced back after getting hurt against the Bills. He led the team in targets (7), caught a TD, and could’ve had a bigger day if Lamar Jackson hit him on another TD. He also had a TD called back, so there’s no doubt he’s super involved and making plays. He has extra time to heal that knee for Week 16, and he’ll be a high-end TE1 against the Browns.
New England Patriots @ Cincinnati Bengals
- Joe Mixon has turned his season around at the perfect time. Even in a game where the Bengals were trailing, Mixon still racked up 25 carries and took that work for 136 rushing yards. He caught 3 balls to add for a 28-touch total. Since Week 8, he’s averaging 23.4 touches per game for 117.5 yards, which equates to at least to a RB1 start. The good news is we don’t have to start him as a RB1… if he was on a better offense, we would feel a lot more confident, but he is playing like a RB1. Since that point, he is the overall RB6. He’s in the perfect spot to help you win a championship in Week 16 against Miami.
- Sony Michel saw volume against the Bengals, which makes sense when you think of what the Patriots will want to do coming into the game. They see Buffalo next week, where they used Michel in a similar fashion. He’ll be a TD dependent flex in any matchup, but I’m not sure I’d trust him to help me win a fantasy championship.
- Tyler Boyd underwhelmed in a tough matchup, but he’s back in play against Miami in Week 16 as a WR3 with WR2 upside. He did lead the Bengals in targets in Week 15.
- Julian Edelman didn’t play his full complement of snaps, but he only ran 3 less routes than Mohamed Sanu, who led the Patriots in routes run. Apparently his injury issues are relatively serious, but he’s playing through it. It didn’t seem like the Pats needed the WRs to do much, as they totaled 37 receiving yards. Even in a tough matchup next week, Edelman should be in lineups if he’s active.
Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers
- Tyler Lockett broke his 4-game streak of non-production. I guess Pete Carroll was right in saying that Lockett is back to himself during the week last week. He caught 8 of 9 targets for 120 yards and a TD. I can understand having him on your bench this week if you had another good option since he was pretty hard to trust coming into Week 15. He has an amazing matchup against the Cardinals next week, so if you’re still in it, at least he gives you some confidence to use him in a great matchup.
- DJ Moore bounced back in a big way after his down week; he caught 8 of 12 for 113 yards, so keep starting him as a WR1 next week against Indy. The potential switch to Will Grier makes Moore a riskier play; if you have Moore, you were hoping the stability continues, even if the offense as a whole suffers with Kyle Allen’s turnover rate.
- Ian Thomas’ production without Greg Olsen came to a halt; he was fourth in the target pecking order behind McCaffrey, Moore, and Curtis Samuel. He’ll still be a potential streamer in Week 16 against the Colts if Olsen is out, but he’s obviously less trustworthy.
Tampa Bay Bucs @ Detroit Lions
- Chris Godwin unfortunately got carted off late with a hamstring injury. Early word is that he won’t be available in Week 16, leaving Breshad Perriman as a must pick-up this week (for you or to block your opponent), and good start next week after catching 5 of 6 for 113 yards and a TD. AJ Brown was able to rack up 8 catches for 114 yards and a TD against the Texans’ perimeter secondary, so there’s room for Perriman to get work in next week against them. He’ll be a WR3 play with WR1 upside in the absence of both Godwin and Mike Evans.
- Jameis Winston didn’t seem to miss a beat even with an injured hand. He’s a high-end QB1; continue to keep him in your lineups.
- Danny Amendola led the Lions in targets in the absence of Marvin Jones. Kenny Golladay will likely be shadowed by Chris Harris next week, so it’s likely Amendola gets peppered once again. He’ll be a boom/bust WR3, and gets a bump in PPR leagues.
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
- David Montgomery will be extremely untrustworthy going into Week 16, even though he’ll have a chance at having a good game against KC’s bad rush defense.
- Allen Robinson continues to be the staple of the Bears passing game, and Anthony Miller is getting into that mix in a big way. Both went over 100 yards against the Packers. It’s getting tough to bench ARob at this point, even in a tough matchup next week against KC. The good news is that he plays in the slot a ton (45-55%), and Miller runs out of the slot almost around 70% of the time. The Chiefs vulnerability in their pass defense is the slot, as they’re stout on the outside. They’re giving up the 2nd least amount of fantasy points on the perimeter, but the 8th most fantasy points to slot WRs (coming into Week 15). ARob is a borderline WR1; he’s averaging 22.25 PPR fantasy points per game over his last 4. Miller is averaging 10.4 targets over his last 4 games, and is a confident WR2 play as long as Taylor Gabriel is out, in which case he’ll be a boom/bust WR2 play. Game flow should help these two against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. By the way, these two were #1 and #3 in air yards in Week 15.
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
- Phillip Lindsay was on the bad side of game script against the Chiefs in what could’ve been a great matchup for him if they were able to stay in the game. He out-carried Royce Freeman only 7-5, which doesn’t give you much excitement for Week 16 against Detroit. He’ll be a TD dependent flex play next week.
- Courtland Sutton saw 10 targets this week and had a decent game in a tough matchup. He’ll have a great matchup next week against Detroit, even if Darius Slay chooses to shadow him on a percentage of his routes. We just saw what Chris Godwin and Breshad Perriman were able to do against them, so Sutton will be a WR2 with WR1 upside. Coming into Week 15, Detroit was already giving up the 5th most fantasy points to WRs over their previous 8 weeks.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants
- DeVante Parker continues to ball the f out with a 2-TD game after coming back from a concussion. He’s a WR1 play next week against Cincinnati. Since Ryan Fitzpatrick took over in Week 7, Parker is the overall WR3 in PPR, and WR2 in non-PPR.
- Saquon Barkley came through in your fantasy playoffs with his 27 touches. The Dolphins matchup couldn’t have come at a better time for your fantasy team. He has another great matchup against the Redskins next week, so keep him in your lineup as a RB1.
- With all three starting Giants WRs active for the second straight game, Sterling Shepard took control of target share. He caught 9 of 11 for 111 yards after switching his normal position. He shifted from primarily playing on the right perimeter to playing a majority of snaps on the left perimeter, where the best matchup was coming into the game. Unfortunately, Darius Slayton was manning that position for the most part, but the Giants played him on that left perimeter only 58% of his outside snaps compared to the 77% he played there the week prior. Slayton did save your day with a TD, but only received three targets. Golden Tate had 1 catch for the second straight game. Next week is going to be tough, as the slot is actually the Redskins’ funnel through the air. They have been stout on the perimeter, while giving up the 4th most fantasy points to slot WRs coming into Week 15. Tate primarily runs in the slot, but hasn’t produced over the last 2 weeks. All of the Giants WRs will be risky starts in Week 16. Shepard might be the best start of the three, but should be considered a flex option because of the ambiguity. Tate is a potential low-owned GPP DFS flier because of his particular matchup and the lack of recent production.
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
- Carlos Hyde finally got volume (26 carries) – it’s the first time he’s seen more than 16 carries since Week 9. He went over 100 yards and scored. He has a tough matchup next week against Tampa Bay, and he remains a TD-dependent flex option.
- Unfortunately, both of Deshaun Watson’s passing TDs went to Kenny Stills, who no one started. Will Fuller is a high-upside WR3 next week; it’ll be tough to bench him against a Bucs secondary giving up the most fantasy points against perimeter WRs over the 8 weeks coming into Week 15.
- Derrick Henry’s not involved in the pass game, so a game in which he doesn’t score will leaves fantasy owners scratching their heads. Either way, continue to start Henry for his massive ceiling and his likelihood of scoring in a tough matchup against New Orleans next week.
- AJ Brown has now scored and went over 100 yards in 3 of his last 4 games coming out of the Titans’ Week 11 bye. Brown caught 8 of 13 targets for 114 yards and a TD, and it’s the first time he’s had 7 targets in that 4-game span. With him averaging 100 yards and a TD in the last 4, start him as a WR2 against the Saints next week, even with the Marshon Lattimore potential shadow.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins
- Miles Sanders and Boston Scott were on the field together a ton; Sanders was on the field for a very healthy 71%, with Scott seeing 45% of snaps. Sanders got workhorse opportunity, getting 25 touches, while Scott caught all 7 of his targets. Keep Sanders in as a high-end RB2 next week against Dallas if Jordan Howard can’t make it back.
- Greg Ward now has two straight games with 9 targets for the Eagles, and he came through this week, catching 7 for 61 and a TD. Ward played a ton in the slot over the last 4 weeks, and will cede some of that opportunity to Nelson Agholor if he makes his way back. If Agholor can’t return, he’ll have a good matchup in the slot against Dallas, who have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to slot WRs over the 4 weeks coming into Week 15. He’ll also spend more time away from Byron Jones when he’s on the outside. If Agholor gets full practices in this week and plays, he’ll have the matchup advantage and preferred play.
- Terry McLaurin had a great matchup and took advantage, catching all 5 of his targets for 130 yards and a TD. He’ll have a good matchup next week against the Giants, and will be a solid WR3.
- Steven Sims Jr. had his targets go up in each of the last two weeks. He caught 3 of 4 in Week 13, 4 of 7 in Week 14, and 5 of 11 including a TD in Week 15. He doesn’t have a great matchup in Week 15, so he’s not someone you want to trust in your lineup.
Cleveland Browns @ Arizona Cardinals
- OBJ and Jarvis Landry combining for less than 90 receiving yards is a huge letdown against a Cardinals defense who was giving up the 2nd most fantasy points for the year, and the 2nd most over the previous 8 weeks coming into Week 15. The left perimeter, the right perimeter, and the slot were all vulnerable. Both are WR2s against Baltimore, but Landry is likely the better start between the two.
- Kenyan Drake had complete control of the backfield and went off for 137 rushing yards and 4 TDs. He singlehandedly won you your week (hopefully) if you started him. His snap count went down last week from 79% to 66%, but jumped back up 75% in Week 15. Those are workhorse snaps, and should be started as a high-end RB2 against Seattle next week.
- Christian Kirk’s day was disappointing, as Damiere Byrd led the team in targets and receiving production. The Cardinals only threw the ball 25 times, so Kirk wasn’t needed as much. He’ll likely be used a lot more against Seattle next week, who’ve given up the 6th most fantasy points to right perimeter WRs over the 4 weeks coming into Week 15. He’s a WR2 start in PPR leagues next week, and a high-end WR3 in standard or half point leagues.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Oakland Raiders
- In DJ Chark’s absence, Chris Conley led the Jaguars in targets, and caught 4 of 8 for 49 yards and 2 TDs. Keelan Cole was next up as far as production and targets for WRs. It makes sense, as the perimeter was where Oakland was most vulnerable. Chark actually has a chance to play this week, as Doug Marrone said he was cleared to practice. He has a great matchup against Atlanta, and would resume his duties as a high-end WR2 if he suits up.
- Darren Waller was the only Raider to see more than 3 targets, and he saw 10. He caught 8 of 122. He now has three straight games of at least 6 receptions and 70+ yards. High-end TE1 next week against the Chargers.
- Josh Jacobs came in and took 24 carries for 89 yards. The work is great, but it’s unfortunate that he didn’t reach the end zone or go off against a very vulnerable Jaguars rush defense. He’s still in play as a low-end RB1 against the Chargers next week. The good news for your fantasy team is that the Raiders were willing to give him 24 carries even with his shoulder issue. Hopefully he doesn’t have leg injury on top of his existing shoulder injury.
Minnesota Vikings @ LA Chargers
- With Dalvin Cook re-injuring his shoulder and Alexander Mattison out due to an ankle injury, Mike Boone took over the Vikings backfield and took 13 carries for 56 yards and 2 TDs. The Vikings have the Packers next week, and if Mattison is out, Boone will carry the load as a high-end RB2 play. If Mattison is in, things get dicey, especially if he doesn’t get any full practices in. If he does, Mattison would be the play as a low-end RB1. Both need to be rostered to either play or block your opponent.
- Adam Thielen ran 18 routes to Stefon Diggs’ 23 in his return from a hamstring injury. They weren’t needed much, as Kirk Cousins only threw the ball 25 times while up the entire game. He left unscathed, and both Diggs and Thielen will have advantages against the Packers’ secondary, especially Diggs on that right perimeter. Coming into Week 15, the Packers have allowed the 7th most fantasy points to WRs over the previous 8 weeks to those left perimeter WRs; Diggs runs most of his routes on that side, and Thielen rans about a third of his on that side.
- Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler both had 7 carries each in a game in which the Chargers were down the entire time. They should each have better games against Oakland in Week 16. Gordon should be started as a low-end RB1, while Ekeler is a RB2 because of the upside he presents. The good news is that his floor is relatively safe in PPR leagues.
- Mike Williams ended his no-TD streak last week and now has a 2-game TD streak. He has a good shot at keeping that going against Oakland on the perimeter. Keenan Allen also plays half of his snaps on the outside, so he’ll also be able to take advantage of that Oakland perimeter defense who has given up the 8th most fantasy points over their previous 8 weeks coming into Week 15. Allen is a high-end WR2 while Mike Williams is a high-upside WR3.
- Hunter Henry’s lack of volume since his bye week three weeks ago is pretty concerning. Just 2 targets on 39 attempts from Rivers? I’m not reaching to start a tight end over Henry in Week 16, but I’m hoping he can take advantage of the great matchup and come through. The Raiders have given up the 4th most fantasy points coming into Week 15.
LA Rams @ Dallas Cowboys
- The Rams fell into a hole very quickly, so I wouldn’t take Todd Gurley’s lack of a workload as an indicator of anything. He did see 7 targets, played on 96% of snaps, and saw every RB opportunity. That’s what you want to see going into Week 16. He has a tough matchup against the 49ers, but he should still be viewed as a RB1.
- Tyler Higbee is winning people fantasy championships this year. He caught another 12 passes for 111 yards on 14 targets. Over his last three games, he’s averaging almost 9 catches for 111 yards. Keep starting him even in a tough matchup… just hope Gerald Everett doesn’t make it back.
- Robert Woods shit the bed in a huge way, catching only 4 of 9 targets for 17 yards. He did lead the WRs in targets with 9, but has a tough matchup in Week 16. If Richard Sherman is out, he’ll be in a better spot.
- Dak Prescott only threw the ball 23 times (36 total rushes for Zeke and Pollard), which resulted in only 2 targets for Amari Cooper, and 3 targets for Michael Gallup. With Philly on deck in Week 16, you can breathe a sigh of relief if you managed to make it despite these guys not coming through.
Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 49ers
- Julio Jones caught 13 of 20 targets for 134 yards and 2 TDs. Amazing performance and usage.
- Austin Hooper’s last 2 games are the only 2 games this season under 4 catches for Hooper. He has a chance to bounce back in Jacksonville, and I wouldn’t reach far to replace him if you’re starting to lose trust. He’s still a mid TE1 at the very least.
- Raheem Mostert was the primary back, playing on 53% of snaps. He saw 16 total opportunities (carries + targets) to Matt Breida’s 6 and Coleman’s 5. Mostert a high upside RB2 going forward. He’ll go up against as Rams team that couldn’t stop the Cowboys run game this past Sunday.
- Deebo Samuel caught 1 of 3 and Emmanuel Sanders caught 2 of 4. Very disappointing performance from both WRs in a good matchup. You would think at least one of them would come through. One of these two will likely be shadowed by Jalen Ramsey; my guess is it’ll be Sanders.
- George Kittle was the one getting all the action in the passing game, garnering 17 targets. The next highest was Sanders with 4. By the way, that 17 accounts for 50% of Jimmy G’s distribution.. that’s kinda ridiculous.
Buffalo Bills @ Pittsburgh Steelers
- The fact that Devin Singletary didn’t get shut down by a stout Steelers run defense is a great sign moving forward to New England next week. He racked up 21 carries for 87 yards and added 2 targets. Joe Mixon was able to do his thing against the Patriots last week, and as long as the Bills stick with the run game as the right game plan, Singletary should be able to rack up volume once again. There’s no reason to think the Patriots run up the score with their offense struggling. The good thing is that Singletary is game script independent because of his involvement in the passing game when necessary.
- John Brown also came through in a pretty tough matchup; he was targeted 10 times and caught 7 for 99 yards, more than his last 3 games combined. Despite him overcoming this one, I would leave Brown on my bench next week while he’s shadowed by Stephon Gilmore. If you don’t have any other good option, there is some hope at a decent game; Brown caught 5 of 11 targets for 69 yards last time against New England, of which 4 for 68 was in Gilmore’s coverage.
- James Conner played on only 58% of snaps in his return, but didn’t seem to re-aggravate his injury. He has a tough matchup against the Jets next week, but should make up for it in the passing game as a solid PPR RB2.
- James Washington led the Steelers with 11 targets, and he’s in play for upside if you need it against the Jets next week. This is Washington’s 4th 80+ yard receiving game in his last 6 games. Juju might be back, so that would throw a wrench into that.
Indianapolis Colts @ New Orleans Saints
- Marlon Mack couldn’t get anything going because of the tough run defense, and couldn’t get volume because the Saints blew them out. And of course Jordan Wilkins had to be the one to vulture the garbage-time goal line TD. If you were able to move onto Week 16 despite that, he has an amazing matchup against Carolina where he should be considered a high-end RB2.
- TY Hilton saw 9 targets in his return on only 40% of snaps. He’s in a high-end WR2 against Carolina next week.
- Nothing to say about Michael Thomas except he’s a beast.