QB Notes: What is likely to be Lamar Jackson’s final start of the regular season will come against a Browns team that held him to one of his shakiest efforts of the year. Myles Garrett has since left the building. … Russell Wilson hasn’t had a three-touchdown day since Week 9. It came against the Bucs at home. The Cardinals at home are his best matchup since. No one silver platters more QB fantasy points than Arizona. … Deshaun Watson hasn’t had a 300-yard day passing since Week 7. That’s a number the Bucs have allowed opposing quarterbacks to reach six times, though not since Week 10. With Will Fuller another game healthier, it’s ultimately difficult to envision Watson not smashing. … Patrick Mahomes finally looked like Patrick Mahomes against the Broncos. Denver is roughly as stingy against the pass as Week 16 opponent Chicago. With everything on the line, you can trust Mahomes to find a way. … Headed to Tennessee, Drew Brees will be playing outdoors for just the third time in the past calendar year. One of those games was his thumb-shortened affair in Los Angeles. Currently sitting on every meaningful NFL passing record, Brees’ fire will be warmed by a 51 over/under.

Jameis Winston will be missing his Nos. 1, 2 and 4 receivers … against a defense allowing the third most quarterback fantasy points. An immovable object vs. an irresistible force. Vegas isn’t concerned, installing the no-run-game Bucs as one-point home favorites for a contest with a 53 over/under. Winston has been held below 300 yards once in his past nine starts. … New Orleans is a concerning quarterback matchup, but the main weekly question for Ryan Tannehill is volume. As was the case against the Texans, he should have it vs. the Saints in a tilt with a 51 over/under. Tannehill’s past eight finishes are: QB4, QB6, QB19, QB2, QB12, QB4, QB12, QB11. … The Jaguars have laid down their sword, getting destroyed by pretty much everyone at this point. Matt Ryan is well positioned for his best performance in over two months. … Dak Prescott is battling a shoulder issue heading into a glorious draw with the Eagles. I originally had him seventh before bumping him to ninth. Double check Prescott’s health before Sunday, but even if the Cowboys announce that he will be playing hurt, you will be hard pressed to find a better option on the waiver wire. For what it’s worth, Jerry Jones has insisted his quarterback will be fine.

Kyler Murray is quietly up to 504 rushing yards, one of the main reasons he checks in as the QB11 by average points amongst currently healthy quarterbacks. Just three teams are permitting more passing yards than the Seahawks. … Adam Thielen will be another week healthier for Kirk Cousins, who will be playing at home with Dalvin Cook’s (shoulder) status uncertain. … Aaron Rodgers has provided more than one touchdown once in his past six starts. Although none of his pass catchers have tough individual matchups, the Vikings remain bottom 10 in QB fantasy points allowed. The Vikings’ stout run defense does mean the Packers will have to pass more than usual. … All the way up to 10th in QBR, Ryan Fitzpatrick is Week 16’s top streamer against a Bengals Defense surrendering 8.2 yards per attempt, as well as the ninth most QB fantasy points. … Having Greg Ward as his No. 1 receiver hasn’t prevented Carson Wentz from passing for eight touchdowns over his past three starts. Wentz has stepped up when the Eagles needed him most. The Cowboys contained Jared Goff in Week 15 but coughed up big games to Mitchell Trubisky and Josh Allen in the two weeks prior.

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Jimmy Garoppolo has been too scattershot to rely on as anything other than a mid-range QB2. Week 16 opponent Los Angeles (Rams) has held Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray to QB20, QB26 and QB20 finishes, respectively, since getting immolated by Lamar Jackson in prime time. … Mitchell Trubisky has produced as the QB9, QB3 and QB5 over his past three starts. Bears coach Matt Nagy opted to go down swinging instead of drowning. The Chiefs have been tough on enemy quarterbacks, but Trubisky’s QB2 ceiling outshines his floor. … Sticking with the Weeks 13-15 theme, Jared Goff has been the QB11, QB14 and QB6. The 49ers are too tough to treat Goff as anything other than a middling QB2, but coach Sean McVay has made enough tweaks to prevent Goff from falling to the QB24-and-beyond hinterlands. … Philip Rivers has thrown three-or-more interceptions in three of his past five starts. Eliminated from playoff contention, I’m worried the Chargers might finally be ready to make a statement benching. That leaves Rivers as an unideal streamer even for plum spots like this week’s date with the Raiders.    

We are seeing the worst football of Tom Brady’s career, or at least since Randy Moss brought the Patriots’ offense into the modern age. Now his elbow is a complicating factor. Brady’s worst start of all came against the Bills in Week 4. … The Pats are as foreboding for Josh Allen as the Bills are for Brady. Allen looked like a high school quarterback in the sides’ first meeting in Week 4. Allen is averaging 175 yards passing over his past four starts. Only his legs are keeping him in the top 20. … Daniel Jones (ankle) is tentatively expected to return against Washington. Bill Callahan’s team has been playing decent defense, but this certainly feels like a spot where Jones could blunder into a top-12 day. … Stream Andy Dalton if you must. The Dolphins give up the fifth most quarterback fantasy points. Just know “ceiling” is not a concept that exists for Dalton in 2019. … Personally, I would rather bet on Drew Lock running into a few big plays than Dalton paying his bills vs. the ‘Fins. … Gardner Minshew is still good enough to break the Raiders’ heart. The way the Falcons’ defense has been playing of late, they are more liable to break Minshew than vice versa.

Don’t forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB or @RotoPat on Twitter.

Week 16 Running Backs

 

RB Notes: Christian McCaffrey needs 14 catches over his final two games to break his own running back receptions record. We’ll see if the tanked Panthers are in a history-making mood. … Rashaad Penny’s season-ending knee injury has made Chris Carson the safest volume bet in football. Horrid against the pass, the Cardinals continue to get too little credit for how bad they are vs. the run. … Saquon Barkley looked better in Week 14, but it didn’t translate to the box score. A few days later, he talked about how difficult the mental aspect of his ankle injury had been. Then, finally, he was back, posting his first 100-yard day on the ground since Week 2. Barkley follows up against a Redskins Defense handing out the eighth most running back fantasy points. Just four teams surrender more weekly rushing yards. … Well fed the past two weeks, Ezekiel Elliott encounters an Eagles D coughing up the third fewest rushing yards. Always established, Elliott will still need touchdowns to meet his Week 16 RB1 destiny. … Updating a stat I trotted out last week, Joe Mixon now has 14 more carries than any other running back since the Bengals changed their offensive approach following their Week 9 bye. Already completely inept at stopping the run, the Dolphins are now minus MLB Raekwon McMillan.       

The Texans held Derrick Henry out of the end zone for the first time in six weeks. Permitting the fourth fewest RB fantasy points, the Saints are not an ideal bounce-back foe, but Henry’s volume and touchdown chances are simply too bankable. The Saints have also recently lost Sheldon Rankins and Marcus Davenport to I.R. … Yet to be held below 16 touches, Nick Chubb is averaging 7.28 yards per carry over the past two weeks. The Browns’ only path toward moving the ball against the Ravens is on the ground. … Even with an entire half of garbage time, Todd Gurley played 96 percent of the Rams’ Week 15 snaps. With the Rams’ faint playoff hopes on the line, a running back rotation will not be returning. … I feel no choice but to bet on Aaron Jones’ upside for the fantasy finals. That’s about as far as the logic goes. I comfort myself knowing no one reading this would be benching him in season-long, anyways. As for DFS? The Vikes are a top-10 run defense just about any way you look at it. … Alvin Kamara has essentially been Aaron Jones without the touchdowns, albeit with a slightly higher floor. Kamara is averaging six catches to Jones’ three.  

The Vikings are tentatively talking as if Dalvin Cook will play through his latest shoulder aggravation, though ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that’s unlikely to be the case. Monday’s game against the Packers is all important. Cook, of course, will be at risk of re-injury if he does play. Even if Cook suits up, Mike Boone will maintain FLEX appeal. If both Cook and Alexander Mattison sit, Boone will rocket into the top 15. Mattison appears to be on the wrong side of questionable. … Leonard Fournette, I’m over it. After a mid-season burst of energy, the bruising back is averaging 3.33 yards per carry over his past six games. A 6.5-point road underdog for the fantasy finals, Fournette is not set up well to regress to the touchdown mean. … The Ravens are seven-point road favorites against the Browns, setting up nicely for Mark Ingram vs. one of the league’s most run-upon defenses. … Briefly benched following a pair of Week 15 fumbles, Melvin Gordon is at a multi-week low ebb. With the Chargers operating as 6.5-point home favorites, the Raiders profile as too juicy of a bounce-back spot to rank Gordon any lower. 

Devin Singletary’s workload has become one of the most consistent in fantasy football over the past six weeks. As was the case against the Steelers, the Patriots are a tough matchup, but one that is unlikely to rout the Bills, keeping game script in Singletary’s favor. If you’re looking for a touch of gray, Singletary was briefly benched following a Week 15 fumble. … Making big plays both on the ground and through the air, Miles Sanders is a comfortable 18-20 touch projection vs. the Leighton Vander Esch-less Cowboys. … Austin Ekeler is just 108 yards shy of becoming the ninth running back in NFL history to post a 1,000-yard receiving campaign. … I can’t really decide what’s going on here (here being my ranking) with Kenyan Drake. Even if it’s point chasey, it just feels right. Drake’s four-score game was the first positive thing any Cardinal had done in weeks. … Marlon Mack has been a complete bust since his return from a broken hand, but it’s hard to see how he screws up the Panthers’ league-worst running back defense, especially with Carolina trotting out its No. 3 quarterback. The Colts will control this game at home. 

If there were such things as good Devonta Freeman matchups, the Jags would be at the top of the list. Atlanta is 6.5-point home favorites vs. a “defense” hemorrhaging 5.2 yards per carry. … James Conner survived his 12-touch return unscathed. He is not listed on the Week 16 injury report. Even in a tough matchup with the Jets, he could really outkick his ranking. The Steelers have no chance without the run. … I have nothing to say, ever, about Phillip Lindsay. The Lions hand out the third most RB points. There. … Raheem Mostert played just 53 percent of the 49ers’ Week 15 snaps. With touchdowns in four straight games, Mostert is controlling the touches that matter, but not to the degree that he is anything other than a low-end RB2. … Le’Veon Bell is coming off a season-high 87 yards rushing. Yikes. It’s time to fade his empty volume against the Steelers’ elite defense. … Kerryon Johnson (knee) is expected to return and start for the first time since Week 7. Johnson was having a disappointing year before going down, but he was positively Barry Sanders-ian compared to what’s come after him. … DeAndre Washington hogged the touches that mattered in Josh Jacobs’ previous absence. The way to get the Chargers is on the ground. … Bucs coach Bruce Arians has said his running backs will need to catch passes against the Texans. Dare Ogunbowale still isn’t worth more than a desperation dart throw in PPR leagues.    

Week 16 Receivers

 

WR Notes: Michael Thomas needs 11 receptions over the next two weeks to break Marvin Harrison’s single-season record. That’s a number he’s reached five times, including each of his past two games. … The Falcons finally forced the issue with Julio Jones in Week 15, and he responded with one of the biggest PPR efforts by any wideout all season. The collapsed Jaguars will offer a golden opportunity for Jones to stay scorching at home. … DeAndre Hopkins managed 6/119 in Will Fuller’s Week 15 return, but his targets declined from 13 to eight. That’s the state of play for the Texans’ No. 1 wideout. Even eight targets would be enough for a top-five day vs. the Bucs’ swinging-gate defense. … Tyreek Hill hasn’t reached 70 yards since his (minor) hamstring injury, though he has gone at least 5/55 each week out. His fuse can’t have much farther to burn. … Davante Adams came correct in Week 15. The Vikings have devolved from an overrated pass defense into a straight up attackable one. A critical divisional tilt with a decent 46.5 over/under could be what finally wakes Aaron Rodgers from his slumber.

While you weren’t looking, the Chiefs became a tough pass defense. Allen Robinson has simply been too good to fade, producing like an alpha WR1 for longer stretches than anyone realizes. He’s now the WR12 by average points in PPR and WR14 in standard. … DeVante Parker tallied up 41 targets in four games before his concussion, reaching at least 10 each week. He was held to seven looks in his Week 15 return but turned them into 4/72/2. The Bengals provide the perfect opportunity to get back on his pre-injury upper echelon WR1 track. … Amari Cooper should shake off his one-catch Week 15 vs. an Eagles secondary he has dominated since arriving in Dallas. … Julian Edelman is coming off his first quiet effort in two-plus months. His last quiet game? Against the Bills in Week 4. With both Edelman and Tom Brady banged up, the slot machine is more of a low-end than mid-range WR1 for the fantasy finals. … D.J. Moore leads the NFL in receiving (711) since the calendar flipped to November. The problem for the fantasy finals is the Panthers’ latest quarterback change. Kyle Allen could be counted on to funnel looks Moore’s way. We aren’t sure with Will Grier

A.J. Brown finally saw WR1 volume in Week 15 and he did not let it go to waste, ringing up 8/114/1 on the Texans. Part of that was because Ryan Tannehill was forced to dial up 36 passes, but do you think Tannehill is going to able to curtail his volume against the Saints? A 1-on-1 with Marshon Lattimore looms. … Whether you would prefer Keenan Allen’s floor or Courtland Sutton’s ceiling for the fantasy finals is a matter of personal preference. With everything on the line, I want to aim as high as possible. The Lions allow the sixth most receiver fantasy points. The Raiders, the seventh. … Adam Thielen wasn’t close to his typical role in Week 15, playing just 33-of-65 snaps. It’s been easy to be frustrated by Stefon Diggs, but he has cleared 75 yards in 3-of-4 contests. … Fantasy players have no choice but to chase Tyler Lockett’s Week 15 points vs. the Cardinals’ impressively bad defense. … When he’s healthy, Will Fuller’s floor is higher than you think. He’s healthy right now. His ceiling is amongst the stars against the Bucs’ league-worst WR defense. 

The Giants were already allowing the fourth most WR fantasy points. Then they waived Janoris Jenkins. With scores in each of his past two games, Terry McLaurin will have an excellent shot at repeating last week’s spike. … Breshad Perriman gets a week of No. 1 receiver duties for fantasy’s No. 2 quarterback. The Texans can’t stop anybody. With Scotty Miller (hamstring) on I.R., Justin Watson is the only other Bucs wideout worth considering. He’s a plug-and-play WR4 vs. ex-Bucs doormat Vernon Hargreaves in the slot. … Even in his first down game in over a month, Robert Woods managed to draw nine targets. Of course, we can’t escape without mentioning that the 49ers held Woods catch-less in Week 6. Splitting the difference as a low-end WR2 is a realistic expectation. … Michael Gallup has drawn 10-or-more targets in 3-of-6 games. Don’t let last week’s dud discourage you from starting him vs. the Eagles’ burnable secondary. … DK Metcalf had drawn six-plus targets in five straight games before last week. It’s hard to say whether a date with Patrick Peterson is a negative or a positive. … Playing hurt and playing angry, Odell Beckham will probably mostly be playing sad vs. a Ravens Defense that could send Baker Mayfield back to the Big 12. … Anthony Miller is the PPR WR13 by average points over the past five weeks. He’s set a new career high for targets three times in the process. 

Jarvis Landry’s ceiling has been scarce in December. It will probably be out of reach vs. the Ravens. … Tyler Boyd should move on from last week’s Stephon Gilmore erasure against a Dolphins Defense that has been super soft in the slot. … T.Y. Hilton’s Week 15 return was a snap-counted calamity, though coach Frank Reich has pledged that his playing time will increase against the Panthers. … I frankly have no idea where to put Kenny Golladay. He’s done close to nothing, relatively speaking, since David Blough’s first half of play. Golladay does have a massive size advantage on Week 16 shadow date Chris Harris. Danny Amendola is looking like a life hack WR4 against the Broncos. … Everything, especially the uncertain quarterback situation, makes me confused about Darius Slayton vs. Sterling Shepard for the fantasy finals. Shepard had the better Week 15. Slayton has had the better month. I will stick with the hotter overall player in Slayton. … John Brown vs. the Patriots feels destined to end poorly. … It’s been all or nothing for Emmanuel Sanders as a 49er. The Rams have been more of a nothing than all since adding Jalen Ramsey. … Robby Anderson can take Steven Nelson, but Sam Darnold probably can’t take the Steelers. … With 18 targets over his past two games, Greg Ward is worth a desperation look if you’re short-handed.   

Week 16 Tight Ends

 

TE Notes: Zach Ertz has reached 10 targets in 5-of-6 games, rare air for a tight end. He’s scored five times in the process. The Cowboys have struggled to defense the seam without Leighton Vander Esch. … George Kittle’s 17 Week 15 targets were seven more than his previous season high set back in Week 1. With at least six grabs in 5-of-6 games, Kittle has put the 49ers’ passing attack on his back. … Like Kittle, Travis Kelce is also coming off a new season high in targets (13). The Bears are a tough matchup, but Kelce has reached 60 yards receiving in seven straight games. … No. 2 in tight end yardage (1,001), Darren Waller is the Raiders’ lone pass-catching threat. He was held to one of his quietest efforts of the season (3/40/1) the first time Oakland and the Chargers played in Week 10. … No tight end has more scores than Mark Andrews’ eight. The Browns could struggle to keep the proceedings close, but Andrews’ usage — red zone and deep targets — make him a bankable TE1 even on limited volume. 

Tyler Higbee is No. 5 in targets, regardless of position, over the past three weeks. The seam has not been a particular vulnerability for the 49ers but how low can you rank someone coming off three straight 100-yard performances? … Suddenly invisible in the Chargers’ offense — he has six catches for 78 yards on nine targets over the past three weeks — Hunter Henry has a get-right spot in a Raiders D permitting the second most TE fantasy points. … Austin Hooper has just five grabs for 52 yards in two games since returning from injury. The good news is that his snap rate jumped back to normal in Week 15. The Jags are as soft as it gets for a championship week home matchup. … Jared Cook is No. 3 in tight end yardage (409) since his Week 10 return from injury. The Week 16 variable is a rare Saints road game in the great outdoors. … Is O.J. Howard a Week 16 risk? Yes. Is he still a no-brainer TE1 for the fantasy finals? Yes. The Bucs will be missing their Nos. 1, 2 and 4 receivers vs. a Texans Defense coughing up the sixth most TE fantasy points. You need to go down with the Howard ship. 

Jacob Hollister has failed to display any semblance of upside over the past month, but the Cardinals’ life-affirming tight end defense keep him firmly in the TE1 ranks for the most important week of the year. … Jack Doyle is 2/48 over his past two games. A target floor of 5-6 keeps him on the TE1 periphery. … Despite Noah Fant’s volatility, I would bet on his big-play ability against the pathetic Lions over Doyle’s floor. … Mike Gesicki’s usage remains prime. He feels like a TE2 market inefficiency for the fantasy finals. So why is he ranked here? Ceiling is just so hard to come by in this offense. … Greg Olsen has cleared the concussion protocol. Will Grier’s NFL debut is the wildest of wild cards for what could be one of Olsen’s final games. … Like everything else, the Saints police the seam well. Be that as it may, Jonnu Smith’s game-breaking ability — he reached 20 MPH twice in Week 16 — makes him an ideal TE2 dice roll.

 

Week 16 Kickers

 

Week 16 Defense/Special Teams

RK

Player

TM

Opp

1

Baltimore Ravens

BAL

@CLE

2

Pittsburgh Steelers

PIT

@NYJ

3

New England Patriots

NE

BUF

4

San Francisco 49ers

SF

LA

5

Denver Broncos

DEN

DET

6

Atlanta Falcons

ATL

JAC

7

New York Jets

NYJ

PIT

8

Kansas City Chiefs

KC

@CHI

9

Seattle Seahawks

SEA

ARI

10

New Orleans Saints

NO

@TEN

11

Buffalo Bills

BUF

@NE

12

Los Angeles Rams

LA

@SF

13

Los Angeles Chargers

LAC

OAK

14

Indianapolis Colts

IND

CAR

15

Houston Texans

HOU

@TB

16

Washington Redskins

WAS

NYG

17

New York Giants

NYG

@WAS

18

Chicago Bears

CHI

KC

19

Minnesota Vikings

MIN

GB

20

Dallas Cowboys

DAL

@PHI

21

Philadelphia Eagles

PHI

DAL

22

Carolina Panthers

CAR

@IND

23

Green Bay Packers

GB

@MIN

24

Oakland Raiders

OAK

@LAC

25

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TB

HOU

26

Miami Dolphins

MIA

CIN

27

Cincinnati Bengals

CIN

@MIA

28

Detroit Lions

DET

@DEN

29

Jacksonville Jaguars

JAC

@ATL

30

Cleveland Browns

CLE

BAL

31

Tennessee Titans

TEN

NO

32

Arizona Cardinals

ARI

@SEA



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