Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Inside the Matchup
Week 16

By: Andy Swanson | Jason Katz | Nick Caron | Jake Gordon



MIA @ KC | JAX @ SF | NYG @ ARI | BUF @ NE


- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)

Colts @ Ravens - (Swanson)

Passing Game Thoughts: Quarterback Jacoby Brissett enters Saturday’s road game against the Ravens as the 30th ranked QB in points per game at 16.4 in FFToday Default Scoring. His 11 passing touchdowns is the second fewest in the league for quarterbacks with at least 300 pass attempts, with Cleveland Browns rookie DeShone Kizer pulling up the rear with nine TD passes on 410 attempts. Like Kizer, Brissett’s fantasy points per game average is propped up by yards on the ground and rushing touchdowns. Brissett is tied with Tyrod Taylor for third in the league in rushing touchdowns (4), two behind league leader Dak Prescott at six.

Brissett has done a solid job this season taking advantage of sub-par defenses like the 49ers, Texans, and Browns, while top units like Jacksonville, Buffalo, and Denver have stymied the former third-round pick out of NC State. In his last five games, Brissett has failed to score more than 20 points, including an 8.5 point showing in a blizzard against the Bills Week 14.

A road game against a Ravens team that allows the third-fewest points to opposing quarterback constitutes a rough matchup for Brissett and one in which fantasy owners should avoid at all costs. Only owners in deep two-quarterback leagues should consider Brissett, but only as a low-end option.

Only Ben Roethlisberger and Blake Bortles have managed to post big fantasy points vs. the Ravens, a unit that held Case Keenum, Matt Moore, Brett Hundley, Tom Savage, and Kizer each without a passing touchdown this season.

Of the skill position players in the passing game, tight end Jack Doyle has the most upside and the best chance of delivering a solid performance for fantasy owners. Limiting points to tight ends has been somewhat of a challenge for Baltimore this season, as the Ravens have allowed the 12-most points to the TE position.

Three wide receivers have reached the century mark vs. Baltimore since top cornerback Jimmy Smith went down with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Smith’s absence helps T.Y. Hilton, especially on a possible deep touchdown, but Hilton’s lack of volume makes him a questionable play for owners in the Championship game.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

Running Game Thoughts: Frank Gore appears to be finally running out of gas, with a career-low 3.6 yard per carry average on 220 attempts. His 8.5 fantasy points per game places him 30th among running backs, tied with Joe Mixon and Jerick McKinnon. The 13-year veteran has just one game of over 100 yards this season and has scored just one rushing touchdown since Week 3.

Rookie Marlon Mack flashed some brilliance early in the season with a 9/91/1 game against the 49ers Week 5, only to fade out of the top 50 with six straight games of single-digit performances.

Considering the fact that the Colts have the No. 22 run blocking offensive line and the No.32 ranked pass protecting unit according to; it is not surprising that Gore, Mack, and the entire Colts offense has struggled in 2017.

On a positive note, the best way to attack the Ravens this season is on the ground, as Baltimore has allowed the 11th-most points to opposing RBs, including 30.5 points to Le’Veon Bell two weeks ago in Pittsburgh. Ten running backs have managed to reach double digits this season against Baltimore, giving Gore owners hope that a random rushing touchdown could be in the cards on Saturday afternoon.

Value Meter:
QB3: Jacoby Brissett (Low-End)
RB3: Frank Gore (High-End)
WR2: T.Y. Hilton (Low-End)
TE1: Jack Doyle (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: It may surprise many readers to know that Joe Flacco ranks just outside the top 12 in fantasy points by quarterbacks over the past five weeks. After a slow start to the season that included just one multi-touchdown game in his first eight matchups, Flacco posted three consecutive 20-plus point weeks, including 24.7 points last week against the Browns.

Another 20-point game from Flacco is not out of the question this week against a Colts unit that allows the 9th-most points to opposing quarterbacks. Only Jared Goff (lopsided win for Los Angeles), Marcus Mariota, Nathan Peterman (blizzard game), and Tom Savage have failed to score 20 points against the Colts this year. Even the much-maligned Brock Osweiler delivered a strong performance vs. Indy, completing 12 of 17 passes for 194 yards and three total touchdowns last week.

Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin left Sunday’s win over the Browns early with a knee injury and appears to be a question mark for Week 16 after missing practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. In the likelihood that Maclin will not suit up, Mike Wallace should continue his recent streak as the primary wide receiver target for Flacco, with Chris Moore and Breshad Perriman earning more playing time.

With double-digit targets in two of his last four games, including ten targets and six catches for 89 yards last week, Wallace should be considered a strong No.3 WR regardless if Maclin plays. But with Maclin likely out, Wallace enters into the conversation as a top 24 WR play this week.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

Running Game Thoughts: Head coach John Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Marty Morningwig gave Alex Collins owners a big slap in the face by breaking up carries between Collins and Buck Allen nearly even, with the latter proving to be more productive with 70 yards on 19 carries. Collins did get a few goalie carries and was the primary back to start the game, but Allen earned more than double his usage from the previous week.

For some reason, Harbaugh seems more comfortable giving Allen the majority of carries in games in which the Ravens are up big and are looking to run out the clock. Perhaps they feel that Allen is better at ball security, or maybe they want to keep Collins fresh as the season approaches January. Regardless of the reason(s), Allen is going to get more usage on Sunday if the Ravens take care of business and build a big lead over Indy. Collins owners will still want to start the second year back against the Colts, a team that allows the fourth-most points to opposing running backs in 2017. But the threat of losing carries in the second half is real, and owners should not be shocked to see an even split in carries once again.

Value Meter:
QB2: Joe Flacco (High-End)
RB2: Alex Collins (Low-End)
WR3: Mike Wallace (High-End)
TE2: Ben Watson (High-End)
Flex: Javorius Allen (High-End)

Prediction: Ravens 34, Colts 14 ^ Top

Vikings @ Packers - (Swanson)

Passing Game Thoughts: Case Keenum has been a revelation for the Vikings after the season seemed lost after another in a string of knee injuries for Sam Bradford. Not only did Keenum lead the Vikings to another NFC North Crown, the journeyman backup from Houston has played well enough to keep Teddy two gloves Bridgewater holding a clipboard.

With 264.2 fantasy points in 13 games (20.2 PPG), Keenum trails Drew Brees by just .5 points per game for the 12th spot among qualified QBs in 2017. The Vikings are 8-2 with Keenum under center, including impressive wins over Baltimore, Washington, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta, and Detroit.

From a fantasy perspective, Keenum continues to be a solid weekly play for streaming QBs down the stretch of the season. He consistently throws at least two touchdowns, while limiting mistakes with just seven interceptions in 427 pass attempts. Keenum should continue his solid play against a Packers team that has allowed the second-most points to opposing quarterbacks over the past five weeks. Starting with Ben Roethlisberger’s four touchdown game Week 12, the last four quarterbacks to face Green Bay have topped at least 23 fantasy points, including Cam Newton’s 33.9 game last week at Bank of America stadium.

The primary beneficiary of Keenum’s breakout season is wide receiver Adam Thielen; an undrafted fifth-year player who emerged from obscurity last year to catch 69 balls for 967 yards and four touchdowns. Thielen has proved one-year wonder naysayers wrong with 83 receptions for 1192 yards and four touchdowns as the No.10 ranked WR in fantasy points per game.

Stefon Diggs has not flourished with Keenum as the signal caller, although the two appear to be building rapport with consecutive double-digit games over the past two weeks. Diggs carries a much lower floor than Thielen, but his upside is so high that he is a solid No.3 WR against the Packers.

With touchdowns in each of his last four games, tight end Kyle Rudolph should also be considered a top-five play this week against the Packers. On the season Green Bay has been one of the stingiest teams against tight ends, but they have fallen off over the past month and should no longer be considered a poor matchup for opposing TEs.

GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27

Running Game Thoughts: Jerick McKinnon flashed some of his SPARQ score brilliance against the Bengals last week, with 138 total yards on 15 touches for 13.8 fantasy points. It was only the second double-digit game for McKinnon him his previous six games, as Latavius Murray asserted himself as the Viking running back to own in fantasy.

Murray added 104 total yards on 21 touches, with his team-leading 6th rushing touchdown of the season. Both players should be considered reliable options against a Packers defense that allows the 9th-most points to opposing running backs, with Murray ranked as a mid-range No.2 RB and McKinnon as a high-end flex.

The Packers defense struggles in stopping both the run and the pass. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers is forced to blitz heavily to get pressure on the quarterback, as the Packers struggle to get pressure on the QB from their front four. Keenum ranks among the top passers against the blitz and will tear apart the Packer defense and build a sizable lead that will give Murray and McKinnon closing touch opportunities.

Value Meter:
QB2: Case Keenum (High-End)
RB2: Latavius Murray (High-End)
RB2: Jerick McKinnon (Low-End)
WR2: Adam Thielen (High-End)
WR3: Stefon Diggs
TE1: Kyle Rudolph (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: Aaron Rodgers returned to the field after missing eight games with the broken collarbone to throw three interceptions in a disappointing showing against the Panthers. Rodgers was clearly not himself, underthrowing passes and rusty with his accuracy.

With the Packers eliminated from playoff contention the Green Bay front office made the wise choice of returning Rodgers to IR so he can start the rehab process for 2018. Third-year QB Brett Hundley once again resumes the role of Rodgers’ injury fill-in as the Pack hosts divisional rival Minnesota on Sunday.

Hundley’s 2017 season is a mixed bag of impressive performances like his three touchdown game on the road against the Steelers, and head-scratching duds like his 84-yard, zero touchdown game at home against an injury-depleted Tampa Bay defense that ranks tenth in points allowed to QBs.

The Vikings have a chance for home-field advantage on the line in what is nothing more than an extended 2018 preseason game for the Packers. To make matters worse for Hundley, he will likely be without leading receiver and favorite target Davante Adams, who is suffering from a concussion sustained on a blindside block from Thomas Davis of the Panthers.

On the season, the Vikings allow the second-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks, just behind league-leading Jacksonville. Only four of 14 QBs have managed to score 20 or more points vs. Mike Zimmer’s defense and no quarterback has managed to throw for more than three touchdowns in a game. Expecting Hundley to be the first to break the three-touchdown plateau is stretch, especially for those teams still alive in the fantasy championship.

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

Running Game Thoughts: Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams combined for just 74 yards on 14 touches for 8.3 fantasy points in last week’s 31-24 loss to Carolina, the fewest combined touches by Packers running backs this year. Game script and the return of Aaron Rodgers contributed to the pass-heavy play calling by Mike McCarthy. With Rodgers now on IR and the Packers heavy underdogs at home to the Vikings, a return to the ground game to limit mistakes by Hundley is a smart course of action for the Packers.

But game script against Case Keenum and the Vikings offense may make running the ball an afterthought, as the likelihood of the Vikings opening up a significant lead is well within reason. Not to mention running the ball was difficult for the Pack when the two teams faced off Week 6 in Minnesota, with Jones, Ty Montgomery, and Aaron Ripkowski combining for 69 total years on 26 total touches.

The Vikings head into the fantasy playoffs allowing the fewest points to opposing running backs on the year, just ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers. If you removed the three-touchdown outlier performance by Jonathan Stewart in Week 14, only four opposing running backs have scored a rushing touchdown vs. Minnesota this season, and only Benny Cunningham of the Bears has managed to score on a receiving touchdown.

Jamaal Williams is worthy of a start based on the probability of double-digit touches and the chance of scoring a random touchdown. But expectations should be tempered, and all other skill position players on the Pack are red flag starts.

Value Meter:
QB2: Brett Hundley (Low-End)
RB2: Jamaal Williams (Low-End)
WR3: Randall Cobb (Low-End)
WR4: Geronimo Allison (Low-End)

Prediction: Vikings 28, Packers 10 ^ Top

Lions @ Bengals - (Swanson)

Passing Game Thoughts: Matthew Stafford and the Detroit passing game are the latest team to benefit from playing against a Bengals unit that quit playing with passion three weeks ago after a heartbreaking loss to the Steelers. With lame duck coach Marvin Lewis reportedly parting ways “mutually” with the Bengals and a defense riddled with injuries, the Bengals have no spark and have allowed four straight top 12 performances, including QB1 finishes for Mitchell Trubisky and DeShone Kizer, two of the worst efficient quarterbacks of 2017.

The timing is perfect for Stafford and the rest of the passing game skill position players, as the Lions have been out of sync as of late despite the benefit of a road game against the lowly Bucs and a home game against divisional foe Chicago. After starting the season with one interception in his first 175 pass attempts, Stafford committed four picks in his last four games and two against the putrid Bucs secondary.

It may surprise some readers to learn that the Lions rank third on the season in fantasy points scored by the wide receiving corps, behind only the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams, and ahead of the Texans, Packers, and Falcons.

Marvin Jones has quietly put together a top-10 season with 54 catches for 970 yards and eight touchdowns. His 10.4 fantasy points per game places him tied with A.J. Green for seventh best among wide receivers and less than half a point behind Keenan Allen for 5th place. Fellow receiving mate Golden Tate (pardon the rhyme), has been a PPR stud with 82 catches for 885 yards on 107 targets.

Both players should find it easy to get open against a Bengals defense that is littered with injuries, including linebacker Vontaze Burfict who is still not able to practice with a concussion, and ankle and knee injuries to Nick Vigil and Darqueze Dennard.

After starting the season off strong and continuing to be ranked toward the lower half of the league in points allowed to QBs and wide receivers, Cincinnati has been purging points over the past five weeks as the 7th-worst in points allowed.

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

Running Game Thoughts: Second-round bust Ameer Abdullah appears to be changing his tune after telling reporters two weeks ago that the struggles of Detroit’s run game begin with him. Now he is reportedly upset with his lack of touches and is unhappy with coach Jim Caldwell opting to give Theo Riddick and rookie Tion Green ten carries last week while Abdullah was active but on the sideline.

The Lions struggles with the run can be attributed to three things. The stable of running backs lacks a true workhorse capable of breaking arm tackles with power while showing elusiveness in the hole and outside the tackle box. Also, the Lions boast one of the worst run blocking lines in the NFL according to, with nearly half of all run plays ending at or behind the line of scrimmage. And finally, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter continually tries to run smaller backs like Abdullah and Riddick on inside traps and counters, despite the fact that they are too small to break tackles by linebackers at the point of attack and the interior line of the Lions cannot sustain blocks against defensive lineman.

Needless to say, even in attractive matchups against a Bengals defense that is currently missing their top two run stopping linebackers, starting a Detroit running back is not a smart play.

Desperate owners in need of a flex play may want to consider Riddick for his pass-catching upside. The unknown usage of Abdullah and Green and the fact that either one could enter Caldwell’s doghouse for fumbling, make both players much too risky in a championship weekend.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matthew Stafford (Mid-Range)
RB3: Theo Riddick (Low-End)
WR1: Marvin Jones (Mid-Range)
WR3: Golden Tate (High-End)
TE1: Eric Ebron (Low-End)

Passing Game Thoughts: After a strong start to the season that included two 100-yard games and three receiving touchdowns, A.J. Green has been disappointing since the team’s Week 6 bye. Since that time, Green’s 35 receptions and 476 yards place him 20th overall for wide receivers, and he has not reached 70 yards or a score in Cincinnati’s last two losses to Chicago and Minnesota.

Green’s woes coincide with quarterback Andy Dalton coming back down to Earth after a streak of six games in which the Red Rifle did not throw an interception. Dalton has been downright putrid in December, with one touchdown pass and three interceptions in the team’s last two games, while the Bengal offense has managed to score just 14 points in the last eight quarters.

Green owners will still want to start the former first-round pick based on this touchdown upside and volume. But expectations should be tempered, as the Bengals continue to play uninspired football and lack continuity on offense.

On a positive note for Dalton, Green, and the entire Cincinnati passing game, the Lions have been terrible against the pass over the past five weeks,. All four quarterbacks to face Detroit Since Week 12 have managed to top 20 or more fantasy points, including subpar fantasy options like Joe Flacco and Mitchell Trubisky. The Lions present exactly the type of defense right now that is conducive for Green and Dalton busting out of their recent slump. The question is will the Bengals respond and take advantage of Detroit’s secondary, or will they continue their self-destructive ways.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

Running Game Thoughts: Joe Mixon was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, making Week 16 a likely return to action for the former Oklahoma Sooner star after missing a couple games with a concussion.

Veteran Giovani Bernard carried the load well in Mixon’s stead, with double-digit performances in each of the last three weeks. Bernard’s rushing touchdown last week in the lopsided 34-7 loss to the Vikings proved to be the only bright spot for the Bengals in an otherwise forgettable showing.

Look for Mixon to once again earn the majority of first and second down carries, but Marvin Lewis has a history of rewarding veteran players for their strong play, and Bernard certainly deserves to continue to be a part of the rushing attack after his recent performances.

Assuming the Bengal defensive unit can keep the offense in the game, look for Mixon and Bernard to get a heavy workload against a Detroit team that allows the third-most points to opposing running backs. Only Buffalo and the Bengals have allowed more points to opposing backs, and Lewis is an old-school coach who is not afraid to run the ball repeatedly.

Value Meter:
QB2: Andy Dalton (Low-End)
RB3: Joe Mixon (High-End)
RB3: Giovani Bernard (Low-End)
WR1: A.J. Green (Low-End)
TE2: Tyler Kroft (Low-End)

Prediction: Lions 28, Bengals 10 ^ Top

Browns @ Bears - (Swanson)

Passing Game Thoughts: Head coach Hue Jackson continues to give mixed messages regarding his feelings and confidence of rookie DeShone Kizer, a player whom Jackson has benched multiple times this season, and recently roasted in a press conference after practice. Jackson’s comments prompted running back Duke Johnson to question whether Kizer will ever get his confidence back after the way Jackson has handled the first-year quarterback in this year.

Kizer’s inaccuracy and questionable decision making have been frustrating to watch, while his impressive athleticism and arm strength give Jackson and Browns fans hope for what may lie ahead for the former Notre Dame star. One area in which Kizer has killed the Browns is in the red zone, with a league-leading six interceptions from within the 20-yard line.

The return of Josh Gordon from suspension looked like a shot in the arm for Kizer and the Browns passing attack, as Gordon and Kizer connected for 80 yards against the Chargers Week 13 and first quarter touchdown against the Packers to begin the following week. But the Gordon hype stalled against Baltimore, as the Ravens pressured Kizer repeatedly and Gordon managed to haul in just five of his 11 targets for 47 yards.

Gordon’s near-elite level of target share since returning from suspension makes him a must-start in all formats, even against a difficult secondary like the Bears that limits the 28th-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. As good as the Bears have been at limiting points for QBs, the one area in the passing game that they struggle is against big, physical wide receivers like Gordon.

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

Running Game Thoughts: In continuing the theme of AFC & NFC North running backs who are unhappy with their usage, Isaiah Crowell joined Ameer Abdullah in complaining about the number of touches he has been given in the run game. Unlike Abdullah, Crowell may have a valid argument regarding his lack of usage, with 72 yards last week against the Ravens on just five carries. Crowell also impressed in his previous outing against the Packers with a season-high 121 yards on 19 carries.

When game script allows Jackson to give his early-down back more than 15 carries, Crowell has been a decent running back in 2017. The problem is the Browns are winless on the year, and negative game scripts are commonplace for this organization. If anything, Crow should be rooting for his defense and quarterback to provide an environment conducive to a heavy workload.

Assuming Kizer does not fall into the trap of turning the ball over to an above average Chicago secondary, Crowell may be presented with a positive game script to allow for at least 15 carries. But what he does with those carries may not please his fantasy owners, as the Bears have been the fourth-stingiest unit in points allowed over the past five weeks.

The Bears have not allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 10 and no running back this season has topped the century mark vs. Chicago. The Bears do provide some opportunity for running backs catching passes out of the backfield as the 16th ranked team against RB receiving yards, but only one player has reached the end zone on a pass out of the backfield, making Duke Johnson a somewhat questionable play on Sunday.

Value Meter:
QB2: DeShone Kizer (Low-End)
RB3: Isaiah Crowell (High-End)
RB3: Duke Johnson (Low-End)
WR2: Josh Gordon (Mid-Range)

Passing Game Thoughts: With Jimmy Garoppolo leading the 49ers to wins in each of his first three starts and former first-round picks Carson Wentz and Jared Goff leading their respective teams to the playoffs, Chicago fans and front office executives may question if they made the right move trading up for Mitchell Trubisky.

The former North Carolina Tar Heel has made some impressive plays with both his legs and his feet, but he doesn’t appear to present the same leadership moxy of the other three quarterbacks. Perhaps he will show more when he has a full offseason as the clear-cut starter for the organization.

Until that happens, fantasy owners have no business playing Trubisky in anything other than deep two-quarterback leagues. His 14.5 points per game places him just above Tom Savage for dead last in fantasy points for quarterbacks with at least 220 pass attempts. Trubkisy has yet to throw for more than one touchdown in a game and his three interceptions last week against the Lions gives him seven on the season to match his seven passing touchdowns.

On a positive note, Trubisky enters Sunday’s game gains the Browns with back-to-back 20-point performances - his only two on the year. Owners looking for a GPP play in DFS may want to roll the dice on Trubkisy, but season-long owners still alive in the playoffs hopefully have much better options.

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

Running Game Thoughts: Jordan Howard is without question the most attractive matchup in this game on both sides of the ball, and the only player fantasy owners should have full confidence in starting on Sunday. Although Howard continued his recent string of following up a monster game with a dud last week against the Lions, he returns home to play against a Browns team that has struggled against the run in the second half of the season after starting out strong in September.

Cleveland has allowed well over 100 total yards or a score since Week 10, including a monster 23.8 point game by Green Bay Packer running back Jamaal Williams Week 14.

The Bears will have a simple game plan on Sunday - one in which will likely lead to a victory over their neighbor to the East. Run the ball early and often with Howard while mixing in a few splash plays with Tarik Cohen, and wait for turnover king DeShone Kizer to make poor decisions with the football that will lead to short fields.

In deep leagues with large rosters, Cohen could be a sneaky flex option. The Browns are tied for third in touchdowns allowed to receiving backs, and they have allowed the 6th-most catches to RBs over the past five games.

Value Meter:
QB2: Mitchell Trubisky (Low-End)
RB1: Jordan Howard (Mid-Range)
RB4: Tarik Cohen (High end)
Flex: Kendall Wright
WR4: Dontrelle Inman (Mid-Range)

Prediction: Bears 28, Browns 21 ^ Top

Rams @ Titans - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: Once the Rams clinch the division they won’t have much to play for in the standings as they are basically locked in as the NFC’s No.3 seed. The good news is that they need a Seattle loss or a win to achieve that goal this weekend and the Seahawks play after the Rams. As a result, Los Angeles should be playing to win and fantasy owners shouldn’t have to worry about anyone being “rested” for the playoffs - at least until late in the fourth quarter. Jared Goff’s numbers have come down over the past month but expect the team to have a rebounding effort this week. Robert Woods returned to action last week and promptly picked up his touchdown scoring ways. He has now scored five touchdowns in his last four games played and isn’t likely to slow down against Tennessee.

Having Woods back to pair with Cooper Kupp and Sammy Watkins certainly makes Goff’s fantasy outlook brighter. Kupp’s production has declined in four straight weeks. The Rams have to be pleased with their rookie wideout this season but he gets squeezed a bit by Woods return and can be safely stowed away on your fantasy bench. Meanwhile, Watkins keeps plugging along as a tough fantasy lineup choice. He had his touchdown streak broke last week and hasn’t gone over 100 yards receiving since Week 3. He’s been touchdown or bust for most of the year but Goff has posted multiple touchdowns in six of his last seven games to keep Watkins’ fantasy value alive. He’s not the safest WR3/Flex choice but he’s not the worst.

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

Running Game Thoughts: Todd Gurley has been a beast for fantasy owners this season. His 17 total touchdowns have given him a nice cushion on Le’Veon Bell and make him the favorite to finish the year as the best running back in all of fantasyland. He’s an easy start despite the fact that the Titans have been the third toughest team against opposing fantasy running backs over the past five weeks. However, I might look elsewhere for an anchor in my DFS lineup. L.A. has not taken Gurley out of the game much this season but don’t be surprised if the horse gets a break late in the game. The Rams are eyeing a deep playoff run and would love to give their leading man a little rest if the deficit becomes too large. I wouldn’t worry about this ruining your fantasy playoff run this week but it may present an issue next week.

Fantasy owners should also note that Kicker Greg Zuerlein was placed on IR this week. Sam Ficken has been picked up by the team and although there will be plenty of opportunities for the rookie free agent out of Penn State, I would prefer a known commodity in my Semifinal or Championship lineup.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jared Goff (low end)
RB1: Todd Gurley
WR2: Robert Woods
Flex: Sammy Watkins
Bench: Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, Tavon Austin

Passing Game Thoughts: It feels like the Titans couldn’t get on the same page this year. By the time the defense figured things out, the offense was swirling the drain. That’s the current state of the passing game as we head into Week 16. That might be overstating things, but it certainly feels like Tennessee has come up short on expectations every week. The interceptions have not been as frequent for Marcus Mariota but he isn’t even a lock to surpass 200 yards passing on a weekly basis. The lack of output in the passing game has not only deflated the fantasy value of his receivers, but it has made it more difficult on the running game as well. The Titans have tried to help Mariota out by using more Delanie Walker in recent weeks but even that isn’t working. Walker’s 19 targets over the past two weeks have led to only ten catches and 79 yards. That number of targets is not easy to find at the tight end so he’ll be a low end TE1 despite the lack of production. Rishard Matthews has been the most consistent receiver on this team but the matchup isn’t great. L.A. just held the Seahawks and Russell Wilson without a passing touchdown and Mariota isn’t on the same level of Wilson. Matthews is still in contention for a Flex spot in deeper pools but he I wouldn’t touch him with a thirty-nine and a half-foot pole otherwise.

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

Running Game Thoughts: The Rams are not a “lock down” rushing defense but Tennessee is not playing well enough to take advantage of any matchups these days. DeMarco Murray tied a season high 18 carries in last week’s loss to the 49ers. Unfortunately, he still couldn’t muster up a decent RB2 outing with only 59 rushing yards and four receiving yards towards the ledger. It’s been a lost season for Murray supporters and this week’s game will only add to the slope of his decline. The coaching staff’s desire to use Derrick Henry more in the second half doesn’t work out well when the other team is winning. I do think this game will be close until about halfway through the fourth quarter to allow Henry to reach double digit carries for the first time since Week 13. Nevertheless, it’s hard to get excited about the minority player in Tennessee’s RBBC no matter how talented they appear.

Value Meter:
TE1: Delanie Walker (low end)
Flex: Rishard Matthews
Bench: Derrick Henry, DeMarco Murray, Marcus Mariota, Corey Davis, Eric Decker

Prediction: Rams 21, Titans 13 ^ Top

Steelers @ Texans - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: Ben Roethlisberger has not faced Houston since 2014 but he has thrown six touchdowns in his three career games started against them. He’s scored less than 15 fantasy points eleven times in 2017 but has come on stronger within the past five weeks. He hasn’t been consistent enough to lock in as a starter but the matchup is good enough on Monday night to push into the top 12 for Week 16. Antonio Brown is wearing the yellow jersey as we enter the second to last week in the NFL. He has more than 200 receiving yards than the next best player and just went over the 100-reception mark for the fifth straight season. Unfortunately he will miss this game due to a calf injury. Martavis Bryant has been as streaky as Big Ben and remains a touchdown or bust fantasy play. JuJu Smith-Shuster returned from his suspension and promptly posted a six-catch 100-yard performance. Like Bryant, the inconsistencies have made JuJu a risky flex option but he has received at least five targets in every game he has played since Week 8, but with Brown out his Flex appeal can be bumped up to WR2 status. Eli Rogers and tight end Jesse James are splitting the remaining reps in the passing game with. Both players have struggled to get consistent looks as a result and cannot be trusted in fantasy lineups.

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

Running Game Thoughts: There isn’t any reason to deviate from standard operating procedure this week. Le’Veon Bell has been fantasy football’s second best running back behind only Todd Gurley. He is an elite option and nobody is benching him in redraft leagues. The Steelers are playoff bound and will want to lock in the No.2 seed in the AFC with a win this week. That should prevent the possibility of the team resting Bell towards the end of the game, making him a strong play in DFS leagues as well. The Steelers placed James Connor on IR this week and picked up Stevan Ridley to take his place on the roster. Ridley will serve as depth in this game while Fitzgerald Toussaint gets bumped into the primary backup role. Toussaint saw only one carry a week ago so don’t expect him to see more than a few token snaps in this game.

Value Meter:
QB1: Ben Roethlisberger
RB1: Le’Veon Bell
WR2: Martavis Bryant, Juju Smith Schuster
Bench: Fitzgerald Toussaint, Jesse James, Eli Rogers, Antonio Brown

Passing Game Thoughts: T.J. Yates didn’t do much against the Jags last week but he was able to notch at least one score to get DeAndre Hopkins owners through a rough matchup. Reports are going back and forth this week as to whether Tom Savage (concussion) has been placed on IR. Either way, it looks like the team is moving forward with Yates at the helm. The passing game isn’t likely to soar against the Steelers this week so taking a chance on anyone behind Hopkins is a risk fantasy owners should avoid. For those thrill seekers looking to Houston to deliver in Week 16, Will Fuller represents the best plan B. He hauled in five passes in his return from a collarbone injury. Targets are the limiting factor in Fuller’s fantasy prospects this week. I just don’t see Houston throwing the ball more than they need to and Hopkins will surely get a large share. The lack of another solid option in the passing game may be just enough to make Fuller a top 30 wide receiver in PPR leagues but he’s a risky flex in standard scoring.

PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

Running Game Thoughts: There are slim pickings in the Texans backfield these days. Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue saw identical offensive snap counts (31) in splitting the entire workload in Week 15 (Jordan Todman and Andre Ellington didn’t see a single snap on offense). Miller had nine carries to Blue’s twelve but Miller’s four targets helped make up the difference. If Houston is going to use both running backs in an even split with Yates under center, there won’t be much fantasy value to mine. Blue was effective last week (4.1 YPC) which only makes him more likely to get half the workload again this week. However, there is a glimmer of hope for anyone settling on a Houston running back as their RB2 in Week 16. Pittsburgh has given up five rushing touchdowns over the past two games and although Blue could easily vulture any red zone carries it is conceivable that either guy could see his number called at the goal. Both players are low-end (desperation) RB2 options with an expected 10-15 touches in a RBBC situation.

Value Meter:
WR2: DeAndre Hopkins
RB2: Lamar Miller, Alfred Blue
Flex: Will Fuller, Andre Ellington (PPR only)
Bench: T.J. Yates, Stephen Anderson, Tom Savage

Prediction: Steelers 34, Texans 16 ^ Top

Buccaneers @ Panthers - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: Jameis Winston threw a pair of interceptions and failed to throw for a touchdown when these two teams last met in October. He’s coming off an excellent game against the Falcons and has another quality matchup to keep things going this weekend. The Panthers have been good at containing Mike Evans over the years but they are not going to stop Winston from locking onto his favorite receiver. The team isn’t going to stick with the run when their best chance at winning this game is through the air. O.J. Howard had his rookie season cut short by an ankle injury. Now that Howard has been placed on IR, Cameron Brate gets the spotlight to himself over the next two weeks. That could be a boon for fantasy owners considering only the Eagles have gotten more production out of their tight ends this year. Brate makes for a tidy stocking stuffer this week with an average of 17 yards per catch in four games played against the Panthers. It took 15 weeks, but Adam Humphries finally scored his first touchdown of the season. That’s not a ringing endorsement for Humphries but he has been consistently better than DeSean Jackson for a while now. I wouldn’t plug him into a lineup but it does reflect the limited nature of the Bucs passing game after you get past Mike Evans.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

Running Game Thoughts: Doug Martin emerges from the dog house on a short lease this week. At least it appears that he has. After last week’s healthy scratch stemming from a violation from team rules, fantasy managers hoping to use Martin will want to have a backup plan in place. The Bucs may simply decide to give other players a longer look if they are ready to cast Martin aside in the off-season. With Martin in “time-out” Peyton Barber has been given more opportunities. Barber isn’t the talk of the town but he has earned a few carries even if Martin returns for this game. Tampa Bay isn’t giving their running game much room to run this year as evidenced by being the second least productive fantasy backfield through 15 weeks. A RBBC on a poor running football team does not equal fantasy success. Unless the Bucs announce Barber as the clear-cut starter prior to the game, I’d simply avoid this backfield until 2018.

Value Meter:
QB1: Jameis Winston
WR1: Mike Evans
TE1: Cameron Brate,
Bench: Doug Martin, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries, Peyton Barber

Passing Game Thoughts: What happens when you take CB Vincent Hargreaves (placed on IR) out of a secondary that has been extremely kind to opposing passing attacks? It may not be five golden rings but it could help them reach their fifth NFC division title game. In a year that has seen much of the fantasy picture in the AFC already sewn up, the NFC South offers plenty of last minute intrigue. Carolina can take a one-game lead in the division with a win over the Bucs and a Falcons road win against the Saints. Carolina may be up for sale, but Cam Newton is set up to be the perfect drummer boy for plenty fantasy wins this week.

Newton is back on the upswing as a fantasy quarterback and why not play him in a crucial game against one of the worst defenses in the league? Devin Funchess is among the long list of banged up fantasy assets this time of year. The talented wideout missed practice Wednesday but he’s not likely to miss this big a game. He’s coming off a poor outing versus the Packers but the immense upside outweighs the potential failure so give him a mulligan and squeeze him into your lineup.

The real man of the hour will likely be Greg Olsen. The longtime Panthers tight end reeled in nine of twelve targets to pave the way for Carolina’s tenth win of the year a week ago. He might actually post even stronger numbers this week considering the difficulties Tampa has had with covering tight ends this season. Damiere Byrd saw 28 more snaps than Russell Shepard last week to take over as the No.2 wide receiver on the depth chart. He came out of nowhere to score twice last week and figures to see a handful of targets once again in Week 16. I’m not jumping aboard the hype train here, but there is value to a guy getting targets in a quality matchup to put up Flex worthy numbers. Christian McCaffrey will vacuum most of the remaining passes so keep the rest of Carolina’s pass catchers on the bench.

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

Running Game Thoughts: It was only a matter of time before the resurrection of Jonathan Stewart broke down. He stalled against the Packers and saw his three-game touchdown streak end in the process. He’s not likely to see a ton of yards this week but the team he could still wind up being a decent fantasy play if he can find the end zone. I expect the Carolina offense won’t have too much trouble moving the ball against the Bucs giving Stewie has a good shot at seeing some carries near the goal. Christian McCaffrey supplemented both the running game and receiving game last week and dynasty league owners saw a glimpse of what could arrive in 2018. If given the touches he should light up Tampa Bay’s defense but the team shouldn’t need to lean on him this week. I expect a solid game but he’s more Flex in standard leagues while retaining his typical RB2 status in PPR leagues.

Value Meter:
QB1: Cam Newton
RB2: Christian McCaffrey (PPR leagues)
WR2: Devin Funchess
TE1: Greg Olsen
Flex: Christian McCaffrey (standard leagues), Jonathan Stewart, Damiere Byrd
Bench: Russell Shepard

Prediction: Panthers 35, Buccaneers 24 ^ Top

Falcons @ Saints - (Gordon)

Passing Game Thoughts: It’s a rematch of two NFC destroyers and should be fun to watch. Unfortunately, Julio Jones is nursing a tweaked ankle and has missed practice all week. He’s going to play and have his moments, but it’s tough to get a sore ankle loose in warmups let alone keep it that way throughout four quarters of football. I’d steer clear of him in DFS lineups and at least entertain the notion of sitting him this week if you have better options (chances are you don’t). Matt Ryan gets downgraded this week; more so because of the overall matchup than Jones’ health. The Saints have been a slightly favorable matchup but the Falcons veteran quarterback hasn’t been playing well. Whether it is the game plan or Ryan himself, he comes into a tough road game with a lot of questions marks. Julio’s ankle problem should benefit Mohamed Sanu in this game. He caught six balls against New Orleans a couple of weeks ago and could see that number climb in Week 16. Justin Hardy isn’t going to sneak up on anyone when he is in the huddle for goal line situations. Yet he and Tyler Gabriel represent dark horse fantasy options this week. If Jones exits early and Coleman isn’t chipping in with a few receptions, one of these two players will get more opportunities. Without knowing the full extent of Jones’ injury, however, it’s probably not wise to go down this path.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

Running Game Thoughts: New Orleans has been vulnerable against the run this season and Atlanta brings a good rushing game to the table. Devonta Freeman runs with a purpose and no doubt feels the same motivation as the rest of the roster as they head to the bayou for a critical divisional game against the Saints. He’s going to see optimal touches as the team leans on him to keep the Saints off the field. Tevin Coleman returned to practice this week and has made progress in the concussion protocol. However, he hasn’t been practicing at full and his status for this weekend’s game is very much up in the air. Normally a worthy Flex option, Coleman becomes a risky play if given clearance since his touches may be suppressed in his first game back. Should Coleman miss another game, Terron Ward will step into a backup role. He isn’t worth starting but he may be worth putting on your roster just in case things go wrong for the Falcons this weekend.

Value Meter:
QB1: Matt Ryan
RB1: Devonta Freeman
WR2: Mohamed Sanu
WR3: Julio Jones
Flex: Justin Hardy (deep leagues only)
Bench: Austin Hooper, Tyler Gabriel, Tevin Coleman

Passing Game Thoughts: Drew Brees has plenty of motivation coming into this weekend. Not only is he trying to capture another division title for the Saints, but he will be looking to erase the ill-advised passes he made the last time these two teams met. The couple of touchdowns that weren’t allowed last week probably are not going over too well either. After years of being known for spreading the ball around, Brees has efficiently used Michael Thomas and his running backs to beat defenses all season long. The team’s wins have piled up but it has dented some of the fantasy expectations along the way and the same holds true this week. Adding more motivation, Ted Ginn Jr. practiced this week after missing last week with a rib injury he suffered at the hands of the Falcons two weeks ago. Karma has a way of showing up in these types of football games and I wouldn’t be surprised if Brees makes a point of finding Ginn in the end zone at least once as a result. Be warned, outside of Thomas, everyone in this passing game carries inherent fantasy risk this week. Ginn is coming off an injury, Brandon Coleman hasn’t had more than three receptions since the second week of the season. Willie Snead hasn’t gone over three targets in a single game this year and TE Josh Hill hasn’t seen more than three targets in the past five weeks.

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

Running Game Thoughts: New Orleans must win to retain their claim on the NFC title so don’t expect the team to deviate from their bread and butter. Mark Ingram has come on strong with Alvin Kamara getting over a concussion. Both backs are as healthy as any running back can be in Week 16 of the NFL and there isn’t much to analyze at this point. Kamara was still productive despite seeing a few less touches coming off a concussion last week. Ingram was involved all over the field to keep providing quality production to his owners. Continue to start both players with confidence and hope an unforeseen early exit doesn’t rob you of a fantasy title in the process.

Value Meter:
QB2: Drew Brees
RB1: Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram
WR1: Michael Thomas
Flex: Ted Ginn Jr.
Bench: Brandon Coleman, Josh Hill, Coby Fleener, Willie Snead

Prediction: Saints 27, Falcons 23 ^ Top

Dolphins @ Chiefs - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: After a shocking win over the Patriots in Week 14 in which he threw three touchdowns without an interception, Jay Cutler returned to his usual self in Week 15 as he did the opposite – zero touchdowns with three interceptions against the Bills. Cutler himself has always been a volatile QB but it’s been as bad as ever this season and that makes him hard to trust even in quality matchups like the one he faces in Week 16 against the Chiefs. Cutler will also be without tight end Julius Thomas who was placed on season-ending IR this week and may be without DeVante Parker who has not yet practiced this week as of Thursday. Even if Parker does play, his usage has been spotty enough that he’s nothing more than a WR3 at this point without huge upside as he hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 3 and hasn’t topped 100 receiving yards at all this season. The one player in this passing game who has been and will likely continue to be the go-to man is Jarvis Landry who, despite one of the lowest yards per reception averages in the league, is one of the most efficient players in target-to-reception ratio. Landry has now surpassed 90 receptions in three straight seasons and is on pace to challenge his own career high of 110 receptions in a season. Landry has caught at least five passes in every game this season which makes him one of the highest floor players in all of fantasy football but he has also not topped 100 yards in any game so his upside isn’t great either. He’s a low-end WR1 in PPR formats and a mid-to-low level WR2 in non-PPR formats against this Kansas City defense that has given up seven 100-plus-yard days to opposing wide receivers in 2017.

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

Running Game Thoughts: With Damien Williams trending likely to miss his fourth straight game, the late-season breakout of Kenyan Drake figures to continue in Week 16 as the young running back will face a Kansas City defense that has given up an average of 140 total yards per game to running backs over their past five contests. The Chiefs are looking to secure their spot in the playoffs but the Dolphins don’t appear to be ready to fold yet this season so look for them to feed Drake both in the running and passing games, making him nearly a lock for around 20 or more touches in this game. That kind of usage alone should make Drake a viable RB1 for fantasy with plenty of upside to produce yet another top five week at the position.

Value Meter:
RB1: Kenyan Drake
WR1: Jarvis Landry (low end, PPR)
Flex: DeVante Parker
Bench: Damien Williams, Kenny Stills, Anthony Fasano

Passing Game Thoughts: The high upside that Alex Smith put on display in the first half of the season feels like a thing of the past now as Smith has failed to reach 20 fantasy points in six of his past seven games, but Smith has remained one of the higher floor players at the quarterback position. Much of that is due to the lack of interceptions that he has thrown, with only five on the year, and he’ll be against a Miami defense that has only forced nine total interceptions – tied for eighth-fewest in the league. Smith himself is only a low-end QB1 for teams that are just trying to play it safe in their championship week but his top targets, Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, remain among the top players at their respective positions. Hill has caught four or more passes in five straight contests, displaying the explosive playmaking ability that gives him incredible upside but also the target volume to remain a high floor player most weeks. That lethal combination has made Hill one of the best overall fantasy receivers this season as he’s been able to limit his truly “bad” games while still producing some monster weeks for his owners. He’ll be among the better WR1’s on the board this week. Kelce is dealing with a back injury that has kept him out of practice but he is expected to suit up this weekend and should again be one of the top tight ends. He has caught three or more passes in all but one game this season and he’s the top-scoring tight end in fantasy football on the season so the only real concern here is health. If he’s able to play, he’ll be a big part of the Chiefs offensive gameplan so feel free to place him in your lineup as usual.

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

Running Game Thoughts: Kareem Hunt started the 2017 season as the breakout star of fantasy football but a long stretch of weak performances through the middle of the season had fantasy owners wondering if they had made the wrong decision in acquiring him. Hunt has come through down the stretch, however, as he has now produced huge games in back-to-back weeks leading into this Week 16 contest against the Dolphins. Miami has done a great job of slowing down opposing running games in recent weeks but their three game sample size of holding the Patriots, Broncos and Bills running games in check looks more like a blip on the radar when you consider the entirety of the season, where they’ve been among the worst run defenses in the league. One interesting point to note is that the Dolphins have given up the firth-most receptions to opposing running backs this season and Hunt has shown the ability to make plays in the passing game when given the chance. Look for the Chiefs to give Hunt a healthy workload on the ground along with five to seven targets in the passing game, which should make him one of the better options in the league this week.

Value Meter:
QB1: Alex Smith (low-end)
RB1: Kareem Hunt
WR1: Tyreek Hill
TE1: Travis Kelce
Bench: Charcandrick West, Demarcus Robinson, Albert Wilson, De'Anthony Thomas

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Dolphins 17 ^ Top

Jaguars @ 49ers - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: Desperate fantasy owners who took a chance on Blake Bortles this past week were rewarded in a big way as the Jaguars QB delivered one of his best performances of the season, a 326-yard, three touchdown, zero interception game against a dreadful Houston defense. Bortles will again be one of the top streaming options here in Week 16 as he’ll be against another bad pass defense in San Francisco. The 49ers have forced just one interception while allowing nine passing touchdowns over their past five games, and most of those games have been against bottom-half starters including Eli Manning, Mitchell Trubisky and the ugly combination of Tom Savage and T.J. Yates. Bortles is rarely someone who we’re excited to roll out for fantasy purposes but we’ll make an exception against defenses like this. He’s still not an elite option but you could certainly do worse than Bortles in this matchup.

What’s interesting is that, while Bortles has been very productive as of late, his receivers have been quite difficult to predict production from. With Marqise Lee sidelined due to injury, it’s been the combination of Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole and Jaydon Mickens who have stepped up as of late. Westbrook is the player with the most invested in him but Cole has been the most successful of the bunch, catching 13 of his 15 targets for 334 yards and three touchdowns over his past three contests; making him the third-highest-scoring wide receiver in the league over that stretch. Cole is far from a sure thing but he seems to have solid chemistry with Bortles and he’s been playing a high number of snaps even when Lee has been healthy. None of the Jacksonville receivers are ones that fantasy owners should be locking themselves into this week but if Bortles is going to go off again, there are fantasy points to be had from the wide receivers. Cole and Westbrook are both WR3 options with Cole being the preferred option due to his recent surprising output.
SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19

Running Game Thoughts: It’s been frustrating to own Leonard Fournette this season mostly due to injuries and a random suspension that kept him out of the lineup one week but one thing's for sure – when he’s been on the field, he’s been excellent for fantasy purposes. Now that he’s practicing in full after missing last week’s game with a quad injury, Fournette figures to be back in the conversation as a high-end RB1 in Week 16 against a 49ers defense that ranks in the bottom-10 in fantasy points given up to opposing running backs this season. While they’ve actually been quite good as of late, the reality is that they’ve been going up against some struggling offenses and that has certainly helped to make their defense look substantially better than it really is. With Jacksonville seemingly unlikely to fall behind further than a score at any time during this game, look for them to lean heavily on the running game, potentially leading to Fournette getting the most total touches of any running back in the league this week. That alone makes him a must-start RB1.

Value Meter:
QB1: Blake Bortles (low-end)
RB1: Leonard Fournette
Flex: Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook
Bench: Chris Ivory, T.J. Yeldon, Corey Grant, Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns, Jaydon Mickens, Marcedes Lewis

Passing Game Thoughts: The 49ers’ trade to acquire Jimmy Garoppolo is looking better and better with each passing week as the young quarterback has shown the type of leadership, poise, arm strength and touch that NFL Draft scouts only dream about. Taking over under center for one of the worst rosters in football, Garoppolo has truly changed the mentality of this franchise in just a matter of weeks. He has the team playing better in seemingly every aspect but the fact that they’re actually able to throw the ball with some consistency has been a major change for the offense. The connection between Garoppolo and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is the one we’re looking at for fantasy purposes as the duo has connected an impressive 24 times for 319 yards in Jimmy G’s three starts. Unfortunately, after facing some of the league’s worst secondaries during that stretch, the 49ers will now matchup against perhaps the best secondary in football as they host the Jaguars in Week 16.

Jacksonville has given up the fewest fantasy points to both opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers this season. They also lead the league in sacks. All of these factors have to be a major concern for owners of both Garoppolo and Goodwin, who are the only players who should be in fantasy consideration in this passing game in Week 16. The downside is strong enough in this game that Garoppolo should really only be in two-QB lineups, while Goodwin goes from being a strong WR2 to more of a flex-worthy lottery ticket type player who could beat the defense deep if he gets lined up in the right spots to avoid A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey.

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

Running Game Thoughts: He touched the ball 18 times in Week 15 which is exactly what we hoped for but 39 total yards and no touchdowns against the Titans has to be considered a gigantic letdown for Carlos Hyde owners. Hyde has been one of the more consistent players in fantasy in terms of getting the ball, especially over the second half of the season, but the 49ers’ new found love with the passing game has seemingly not been good for Hyde’s fantasy production as he’s been held to an average of fewer than 10 fantasy points (PPR) per game since Garoppolo took over. Hyde has another very difficult matchup against a great Jacksonville defense this week that has held opposing running backs to the seventh-fewest fantasy points in the league this season. One area where they’ve been particularly good is against pass-catching backs, as they’ve given up the sixth-fewest receiving yards to opposing backs this season. This doesn’t bode well for Hyde as he’s been doing a lot of his fantasy damage as a receiver after struggling to do so in previous San Francisco offensive schemes. Hyde is still unquestionably the player to own in this backfield and he could sneak into the end zone, but he’s more of a mid-to-low-end RB2 this week as opposed to the low-end RB1 that he usually is in easier matchups.

Value Meter:
QB2: Jimmy Garoppolo
RB2: Carlos Hyde
Flex: Marquise Goodwin
Bench: Matt Breida, Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson, Kendrick Bourne, Garrett Celek, George Kittle

Prediction: Jaguars 24, 49ers 20 ^ Top

Giants @ Cardinals - (Caron)

Passing Game Thoughts: Eli Manning did everything he could to will his Giants to a victory over the Eagles this past week but it just wasn’t quite enough. Manning did make his fantasy owners happy, though, with a gigantic 434 yard, three touchdown performance where he threw just one interception in 57 pass attempts. The Giants needed that type of passing volume to keep up on the scoreboard against Philadelphia but that doesn’t seem likely to be the case again this week as Eli and the Giants head to Arizona to face the low-scoring Cardinals. Arizona’s offense has been decimated by injuries this season once again which has kept them in low-scoring games most week, which does hurt Manning’s potential in this contest enough that he should again only be considered as a bottom-end starter in two-QB formats.

However, two players who need to be strongly considered for starting spots on your fantasy roster are wide receiver Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram. Shepard blew up this past week with his best fantasy game of the season, an 11-catch, 139-yard game with a touchdown against the Eagles. Normally Patrick Peterson shadows the opposing WR1 on teams but Shepard plays most of his snaps out of the slot, where Peterson rarely lines up in coverage. This should make Shepard an interesting WR2 against an Arizona defense that has been exploited by slot receivers throughout the season. This should also benefit Engram, who plays tight end but is often lined up in the slot himself. Engram has been highly targeted as of late and that figures to continue again this week.

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

Running Game Thoughts: With Orleans Darkwa, Wayne Gallman and Shane Vereen practically splitting snaps evenly over the past three weeks, there really isn’t a lot to love in this New York Giants backfield. Vereen and Gallman have both been utilized fairly heavily in the passing game as of late, but much of that has been due to game script which has forced the Giants to pass an unusually high number of times. Vereen isn’t trustworthy even in PPR formats and unfortunately neither is Gallman despite him seeing more touches than Vereen as a runner. Darkwa seemingly remains the team’s “goal line back” – if there is one – but this game figures to be one of the lowest scoring contests of the week, so the opportunities to get into the end zone will likely be fewer and further between than usual. If you have to play one of them, it’d be Gallman in a PPR and Darkwa in a standard league, but avoiding this situation altogether is the best move.

Value Meter:
QB2: Eli Manning (low-end)
WR2: Sterling Shepard
TE1: Evan Engram
Bench: Wayne Gallman, Orleans Darkwa, Shane Vereen, Roger Lewis

Passing Game Thoughts: If a running game led by Kerwynn Williams doesn’t get you excited, how about a passing game led by Drew Stanton? No? Didn’t think so. Yeah, this offense is in rough shape right now, but one player continues to produce viable fantasy numbers despite being in one of the most beaten down offenses in the league, and that is veteran wideout Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has caught three or more passes in every game this season and he’s had double-digit catches in four different contests with three different quarterbacks. One of those games came back in Week 10 with Drew Stanton behind center, against a relatively healthy Seattle secondary, when he went for 10 catches and 113 receiving yards. Sure, Fitzgerald takes a step back with Stanton behind center, but he’s still seeing such a high target volume from short-to-intermediate range that he remains one of the higher floor wide receivers in the league. The “boom” potential isn’t high here but Fitzgerald should still be looked at as a low-end WR1 in PPR formats and a decent enough WR2 even in standard-scoring formats.

The other receivers in this passing game should continue to be on your bench, or preferably unowned entirely, as they just have not shown any sort of consistency that would make it worth considering starting them even in great matchups like this one against the Giants and their 25th-ranked fantasy defense against opposing wide receivers. Another player to keep an eye on is tight end Ricky Seals-Jones who has been very hit through the second half of the season but could be a sneaky play against a Giants defense that has given up a league-leading 13 touchdowns to opposing tight ends and the most total points to the position by a wide margin this season.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

Running Game Thoughts: The Cardinals haven’t been the greatest fantasy offense as a whole this season but they’ve done a great job of making it clear who their “bell cow” will be each week. Unlike many teams that choose to rotate in a plethora of backs which makes things much more confusing and frustrating for fantasy owners, the Cardinals have chosen to primarily stick with one back throughout a game, whether that back is successful or not. Ever since the neck injury to Adrian Peterson, that back has been Kerwynn Williams who has amassed 53 carries in just his past three games. He’s essentially useless in the passing game so that hurts his PPR value but Williams has been relied on heavily to mask the team’s weakness at quarterback and that will be prevalent as ever this week with Stanton behind center. He’s not particularly highly skilled but the Giants are giving up a whopping 168 total yards per game to opposing running backs over their past five contests so there’s fantasy production to be had here. Unfortunately, Williams is dealing with a quad injury that knocked him out the game in Week 15 and has held him out of practice through the early part of this week. If Williams is unable to suit up, look for the Cardinals to turn to Elijhaa Penny, who carried the ball 10 times for 45 yards in relief of Williams this past week against the Redskins. We likely won’t know Williams’ status until close to game time so if you’re looking to make use out of someone in this backfield, be sure to pick up Penny and keep an eye on the situation as we get closer to kickoff. If Penny does get the start, he makes for a very high upside minimum salary play in daily formats.

Value Meter:
WR2: Larry Fitzgerald (low-end, PPR)
Flex: Kerwynn Williams, Elijhaa Penny (if Williams is out)
TE1: Ricky Seals-Jones (low-end)
Bench: Drew Stanton, John Brown, Jaron Brown, J.J. Nelson

Prediction: Cardinals 20, Giants 17 ^ Top

Bills at Patriots - (Katz)

Passing Game Thoughts: Tyrod Taylor kept the Bills right in the thick of the playoff hunt with his best performance of the season last week. Taylor threw for 224 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown in a win over Miami. The last time Taylor faced the Patriots, he didn’t make it through the game. Now fully healthy, he should find himself in a favorable fantasy situation for championship week. Taylor could have success this week, but he won’t find it by throwing to any of his wide receivers. Kelvin Benjamin caught both of his targets for 20 yards, but the main takeaway is he saw just two targets. Even with Jordan Matthews done for the season, Zay Jones still didn’t see the field. Charles Clay was Taylor’s main man with nine targets, catching five for 68 yards. He will be a viable streaming option this week. Otherwise, there’s not much to the Bills passing attack.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

Running Game Thoughts: LeSean McCoy was ineffective on the ground last week, rushing for just 50 yards on 20 carries, but he was excellent through the air and scored twice. McCoy got the job done for fantasy owners in Week 15. His receiving touchdown was a thing of beauty on an excellent wheel route. McCoy rushed for 93 yards against the Patriots three weeks ago and will once again be the focal point of the offense. He’s been ceding a few snaps to Travaris Cadet, but with just two weeks left in the season and a playoff berth at stake, I would expect McCoy to handle all the work he can as each of these remaining two games is of immense importance. Fire up Shady as usual.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tyrod Taylor (low end)
RB1: LeSean McCoy (high end)
TE1: Charles Clay (low end)
Bench: Travaris Cadet, all Bills WRs

Passing Game Thoughts: Let’s play a game. Who has more touchdowns over the past three weeks: Tom Brady or T.J. Yates? I’ll give you a hint. Yates has only played two games in that span. The answer is still T.J. Yates. Brady’s finishes over the past three weeks: QB27, QB23, QB18. If you own Brady, you probably started him. If you somehow made it to your championship game, it was in spite of Brady, not because of him. Against these Bills three weeks ago, Brady had as many touchdown passes as I did. He hasn’t thrown for over 300 yards since Week 11 and four of his six 300+ yard games came in the first five weeks of the season. He’s also thrown at least one interception in four consecutive games. Chris Hogan did not play last week and cannot be trusted even if he is active. Rob Gronkowski’s return made a huge impact last week as he was responsible for 168 of Brady’s 298 yards, leading the team with 13 targets. Brady’s lone touchdown went to Brandin Cooks, who got back on track with 60 yards and a score on four receptions. No one else in the passing game did anything of note. Gronk remains the best TE in the league and Cooks is still a strong start, but I would seriously consider an alternative to Brady if you have one. I am not suggesting to go out and pick up Joe Flacco or Jacoby Brissett, but merely cautioning that Brady is not an auto-start.

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

Running Game Thoughts: Another week. Another Rex Burkhead touchdown. Unfortunately, it was his last of 2017 as Burkhead suffered a knee injury that will knock him out until at least the NFL playoffs. It’s unfortunate for a guy that had become incredibly reliable for fantasy owners and the Patriots late in the season. I do not think this means anything for Mike Gillislee other than the fact that he’ll probably be active this week. Dion Lewis should see the goal line carries and James White will see an uptick in snaps. Lewis becomes a must start player, while White at least is an option, which is more than we can say about him for the past month or so. Lewis had his second best rushing performance of the season against the Bills three weeks ago, posting 92 yards on 15 carries. I would expect 10-15 carries again for Lewis as well as increased involvement in the passing game and goal line carries. Since Brady doesn’t throw touchdowns anymore, you want Lewis in your lineup.

Value Meter:
QB1: Tom Brady (low end – giving him the benefit of the doubt)
RB2: Dion Lewis (high end)
WR2: Brandin Cooks (mid-range)
TE1: Rob Gronkowski (the #1 option)
Flex: James White (PPR only)
Bench: Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Rex Burkhead (knee), Mike Gillislee

Prediction: Patriots 27, Bills 19 ^ Top

Broncos at Redskins - (Katz)

Passing Game Thoughts: Vance Joseph is playing coy with his starting QB as if his team is somehow relevant. If healthy, I expect Paxton Lynch to get the nod and a final two-game audition to prove he truly has no business on an NFL roster. Obviously no one is starting a Broncos QB in fantasy, but Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are both relevant. If Lynch starts, Thomas and Sanders will both be tough plays this week. With Osweiler last week, Thomas and Sanders both had solid WR3 lines with 12 catches between them and 68 and 69 yards respectively. Before last week, Sanders had caught eight passes over his previous four games combined. He has just one 100-yard receiving game with his next highest being 76 yards. Thomas has been startable more often than not, but will have to deal with Josh Norman this week. He’s not an auto-bench, but I would look for alternatives if possible. If Osweiler starts, I have more confidence in Thomas as they have a legitimate rapport unlike Thomas and any other QB. Also note that Sanders is dealing with an ankle injury and is no lock to play.

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

Running Game Thoughts: C.J. Anderson rushed for 158 yards last week on 30 carries while Devontae Booker had 11 carries of his own. The Broncos ran the ball 42 times against just 26 pass attempts. It’s clear what their game plan is going to be. The positive game script may not be as clear cut this week so they certainly won’t be able to run as much. Nevertheless, Anderson is a decent volume play against a collapsing Redskins run defense. I would not get overexcited, however, chasing last week’s output.

Value Meter:
WR3: Demaryius Thomas
Flex: C.J. Anderson
Bench: Broncos QB, Emmanuel Sanders, Devontae Booker, Jamaal Charles

Passing Game Thoughts: It hasn’t been the greatest season for Kirk Cousins. He’s on pace for over 700 fewer passing yards than he had in 2016. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong for Cousins, but it’s not ridiculous to blame the wide receivers. Cousins had a rapport with Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson that was taken away from him. Terrelle Pryor was a nothing. Josh Doctson has taken over as the main outside receiver, but he hasn’t been treated like one. Doctson has yet to catch more than four passes in a game and his highest yardage total over the past four weeks is 34. He is nothing more than a touchdown or bust option. Jamison Crowder has been more reliable, but he hasn’t really had many strong weeks. He has just two touchdowns on the season and only three games with seven or more receptions. All Redskins WRs will struggle this week against the Broncos’ elite cornerback duo of Aqib Talib and Chris Harris. Vernon Davis plays TE for this team, but he hasn’t been relevant in weeks and is not a viable option.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

Running Game Thoughts: Samaje Perine has played better than the box score since taking over for useless Rob Kelly. Unfortunately, the Redskins offense has not performed well and there have been too many injuries to the offensive line. Denver is not a favorable matchup as well. The deck is stacked against Perine even though he comes with one of the higher touch floors in the league. It’s hard to envision Perine touching the ball fewer than 15 times. Regardless, he’s more of a floor play than a ceiling play this week. Perine also left Thursday’s practice with a groin injury, putting his status for Sunday’s game in doubt. If Perine can’t go, then Kapri Bibbs would be the primary beneficiary and be even less inspiring than Perine.

Value Meter:
WR3: Jamison Crowder
Bench: Kirk Cousins, Josh Doctson, Samaje Perine, Vernon Davis, Kapri Bibbs

Prediction: Broncos 19, Redskins 17 ^ Top

Seahawks at Cowboys - (Katz)

Passing Game Thoughts: Seattle completely no-showed last week in their biggest game of the season, getting obliterated at home by the superior Rams. Russell Wilson threw for a season low 142 yards and threw just a single touchdown for the first time since Week 5 against…you guessed it…the Rams. Wilson looked out of sorts last week and while we can blame the offensive line, the reality is Wilson is victimized by a truly horrendous coaching staff and awful play calling. Without the visual from behind Wilson, it’s impossible to know what he sees, but from the looks of it, his receivers are constantly running deep routes despite the fact that the offensive line can’t give Wilson time. It just doesn’t make sense and there is no reason to expect it to get any better against Dallas, a team that possesses a formidable pass rush. Wilson is constantly scrambling around like a madman trying to make plays.

He should play better this week as it is difficult to play any worse if you survived his Week 15 dud. But do not expect the same from his number one receiver, Paul Richardson. Richardson has led the team in averaging 6.6 targets over the past five weeks, but has only posted two useful fantasy days in that span. Doug Baldwin is nothing more than a touchdown or bust option with just 5.2 targets per game over the same span. He’s seen more than six targets in a game just six games this season and has just 13 receptions over his past five games combined. Jimmy Graham is a shell of a shell of his former self. I wouldn’t be surprised if his 40 time was over a full second slower than it was when he was in New Orleans. He looks like he’s running through molasses. Graham caught just one pass for negative one yards last week, which follows up his 0-0 Week 14 effort. If Graham doesn’t catch a short touchdown, he’s useless. The Seahawks passing game does not possess a single player that can reliably produce without touchdowns. Wilson is the only player on this offense I would trust.

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

Running Game Thoughts: I don’t know why Seattle bothers running the ball. Mike Davis and J.D. McKissic had almost identical games last week, each taking six carries for 20 and 19 yards respectively. Wilson led the team in rushing with 39 yards on five attempts. Davis is the back to start if you have to, but with the offensive line’s inability to block and the rotation between Davis and McKissic, it’s hard to imagine any potential championship teams with either of these two in the starting lineup.

Value Meter:
QB1: Russell Wilson (high end)
Flex: Paul Richardson, Doug Baldwin (touchdown or bust option)
TE2: Jimmy Graham (touchdown or bust option)
Bench: Tyler Lockett, Mike Davis, J.D. McKissic

Passing Game Thoughts: Dak Prescott did not have his best game last week, but he was useful enough to not kill you if you started him. Now he gets a Seahawks defense that just gave up 34 points in a half to the Rams. More importantly, he gets Ezekiel Elliott back. Prescott was an elite QB1 over the first eight weeks of the season and has a favorable matchup this week with his offense at full strength. Dez Bryant caught just two of four targets for 59 yards and was probably more responsible than not for Prescott’s first interception. He remains a touchdown dependent WR3. Jason Witten had a solid 4-47 outing on five targets while no one else did anything of relevance. I lean more towards trusting Prescott than not this week, but there’s not much else on this passing attack.

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

Running Game Thoughts: Zeke is back! If you somehow made it to your fantasy championship without Elliott, congratulations. Now, you have a fully rested elite RB against one of the worst defenses in the league. Todd Gurley rushed for 152 yards and three touchdowns last week. It’s all systems go for Elliott, who is undoubtedly champing at the bit to get back on the field. Elliott has apparently been training hard and looks to be in the best shape of his NFL career. Alfred Morris and Rod Smith were quite serviceable in Zeke’s absence, but they will both return to bit players and can be benched/dropped across the board.

Value Meter:
QB1: Dak Prescott (low end)
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott (high end)
WR3: Dez Bryant
TE2: Jason Witten
Bench: Alfred Morris, Rod Smith, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley

Prediction: Cowboys 30, Seahawks 20 ^ Top

Chargers at Jets - (Katz)

Passing Game Thoughts: The Chargers have historically not performed well traveling cross country to play in the cold. Philip Rivers faceplanted in a big time spot last week with the division on the line, throwing for just one touchdown against three interceptions. Prior to last week’s meltdown, Rivers hadn’t thrown a pick in five straight games. In fact, if you remove his games against the Chiefs (his Week 3 performance was his only 2017 game without a touchdown pass), Rivers would have 23 touchdowns against just four interceptions on the season. Yes, he’s thrown six interceptions against the Chiefs and just four against everyone else. Despite the cold, this is a must win game for the Chargers and the Jets are not an imposing foe. Keenan Allen was carted off last week with a back injury in a sight that was scarier than it actually is. Allen should be ready to go this week and locked in as an elite WR1. Hunter Henry was coming on strong as a solid TE1 play, but just like Allen in 2015, Henry suffered a lacerated kidney on a hit last week. His season is over, which brings the ghost of the ghost of Antonio Gates back into our lives. Gates is a legitimate red zone threat, but not much else as at this point in his career, he can barely move. Tyrell Williams caught the ire of Rivers last week on a couple missed connections and interceptions, but it’s not Williams’ fault that Rivers threw the ball into double coverage. Regardless, Williams is not a fantasy option.

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

Running Game Thoughts: Melvin Gordon dominated running back touches last week and looked the best he’s looked all season. Gordon led the team in both rushing and receiving, totaling 169 yards on 25 touches. Gordon will once again be in line for 20+ touches against the Jets in a game that figures to feature a ton of positive game script for the Chargers. Austin Ekeler broke his hand last week and while he may try and play through it, this is Gordon’s backfield.

Value Meter:
QB1: Philip Rivers (low end)
RB1: Melvin Gordon (low end)
WR1: Keenan Allen (mid-range)
Bench: Hunter Henry (kidney), Antonio Gates (old), Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin

Passing Game Thoughts: The cold weather at home would benefit the Jets if their team wasn’t quarterbacked by Bryce Petty. After weeks of being a WR2, Robby Anderson’s target share was unaffected by Petty’s takeover. However, his efficiency took a huge hit. Anderson saw 12 targets, but only caught five of them for just 40 yards. Elijah McGuire as the team’s leading receiver with 48 yards. The Chargers have a better pass defense than the Saints and although Tyreek Hill roasted Casey Heyward for a long touchdown, don’t expect any of that from the Jets. With Petty at the helm, Anderson is relegated to a boom or bust option and any thoughts of starting Jermaine Kearse of Austin Seferian-Jenkins can be put to bed.

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

Running Game Thoughts: All three of the Jets RBs were active last week and it was Bilal Powell leading the brigade with 13 carries to Matt Forte’s seven and Elijah McGuire’s four. In a game the Jets project to trail wire to wire, it’s hard to envision any of these backs being overly successful. Simply put, you are not starting any of them.

Value Meter:
WR3: Robby Anderson
Bench: All other Jets

Prediction: Chargers 31, Jets 16 ^ Top

Raiders at Eagles - (Katz)

Passing Game Thoughts: Derek Carr has actually thrown a touchdown in every game this season. The problem is that’s pretty much all he really does. Carr only has five multi-touchdown games and outside of a three game stretch from weeks 7-9, Carr hasn’t thrown for over 300 yards and has four games of 171 yards or fewer. You can certainly start Michael Crabtree, though. He somehow managed just 39 yards last week despite being targeted an astounding 17 times, but at least he scored twice. Crabtree will continue to dominate targets, which is enough to make him a strong starting option in fantasy. The inefficiency is frustrating, but it comes with the territory when tethered to a mediocre quarterback. Beyond Crabtree, there’s nothing here. Seth Roberts is the de facto number two, but he doesn’t see the volume nor does he have the talent to produce. Cordarrelle Patterson isn’t used nearly as much as he should be. Jared Cook continues to be the most overrated tight end of the last decade.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

Running Game Thoughts: Marshawn Lynch looks done, but he’s actually been pretty good for fantasy over the second half of the season. He’s touchdown dependent, but that’s okay because he’s been scoring touchdowns. Lynch has crossed the plane five times in his last six games. With the Raiders season just about over, there is a risk that Jack Del Rio may want to see more of DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard, but I don’t expect that to happen just yet. Lynch could very well be game scripted out of this week’s contest, but he’s still the favorite for goal line carries. You could do worse than Lynch this week.

Value Meter:
QB2: Derek Carr
WR2: Michael Crabtree (low end)
Flex: Marshawn Lynch
Bench: Amari Cooper (ankle), Seth Roberts, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jared Cook, DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard

Passing Game Thoughts: Carson Wentz continued his ascendant 2017 season last week with his fifth four touchdown game. Oh no? That wasn’t Wentz? It was actually Nick Foles you say? Wow, I couldn’t tell the difference. The Eagles offense did not miss a beat with Foles taking over. Foles dominated the Giants and should have no trouble throwing all over the hapless Raiders pass defense. Foles peppered Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, and Nelson Agholor with targets evenly. They accounted for 28 of Foles’ 38 pass attempts and all three of them found the end zone. Jeffery has scored in six of his last seven games. Ertz got back on track after missing Week 14 and Agholor has gone from a touchdown or bust option to a legitimate threat, now having caught 22 passes over his past three games. All three should be strong options this week as the Eagles look to lock up the No.1 overall seed. The only cause for concern would be that Doug Pederson is actually a good coach and openly stated he has no qualms about resting players once there’s nothing left to play for. If the Vikings somehow fall to the Packers on Saturday night, the Eagles will have nothing to play for. It is something to consider should it happen. The good news is fantasy owners will know in plenty of time to make a decision.

OAK FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
OAK FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
OAK FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
OAK FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

Running Game Thoughts: There is still nothing to see here for fantasy with this great real life running game. Jay Ajayi led the team with 12 carries for 49 yards last week, but if not for his 40 yards in the air, he would have had a completely useless fantasy week. As it stands, he was able to salvage a flex-worthy performance. Ajayi did play 51% of the snaps last week, but that’s still not high enough to truly trust, especially for a mediocre talent that doesn’t receive goal line carries. However, against the Raiders in a game they should lead throughout, Ajayi is worthy of flex consideration. LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement simply do not see enough work to be options.

Value Meter:
QB1: Nick Foles (mid-range)
WR2: Alshon Jeffery (mid-range)
WR3: Nelson Agholor
TE1: Zach Ertz (high end)
Flex: Jay Ajayi
Bench: Trey Burton, Corey Clement, LeGarrette Blount

Prediction: Eagles 31, Raiders 17 ^ Top