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Truths and Lies - Week 16



By Steve Schwarz | 12/23/20

If you are still playing Ö congratulations on making it this far. For most of you, itís the Finals. Donít get fancy. Donít try to show everyone in the league how smart you are by benching DK Metcalf because heís facing the Rams. Play the guys who got you to this point.

Truths

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Josh Allen

1) The Josh Allen of the first month is back.

Apparently the shoulder injury took its toll in the middle of the season and heís healed since then. Allen averaged 35.2 over the first four games, 19.7 over the next four and 31.2 since Week 9. A game against New England in Week 16 will give him a chance to rebound from his worst start of the season. Buffalo must continue to win to avoid an early matchup with No.1 seed and defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City.

2) The Lamar Jackson of 2019 is back.

Jackson still ranks just 10th in FPts/G among quarterbacks (25.5) for the season, but since missing Week 12 due to Covid-19, heís the No.2 ranked quarterback and heís rushed for a touchdown in each game. A matchup with the New York Giants wonít stop him as he tries to get his Ravens back into the playoffs.

3) Ben Roethlisberger canít be started anymore.

His well-known name still has him rostered in 97% of all leagues and started in 48%, but his statistics donít warrant those numbers. Heís only surpassed 25 fantasy points twice this season and hasnít cracked 18 fantasy points in three of the last four games despite having thrown the second-most passes over the last five games. Itís not a coincidence that his running backs (James Conner, Benny Snell or Anthony McFarland Jr.) had not produced a double-digit performance since Week 8 until Monday nightís debacle in Cincinnati.

4) David Montgomery can take you to the ďpromised land.Ē

Montgomery has averaged more points than Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry or Jonathan Taylor since Week 11 Ė 26.5 FPts/G. Heís been efficient, producing that number on just 21 touches over that span. A date with the generous Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16 (29 FPts/G to opposing RBs for the season and 31.5 over the past five games) should make ďMontyĒ a star during ďchampionship week.Ē

5) ďConfirmed Ö watching is not as much fun as playing,Ē said a Joe Burrow tweet Monday night.

For a competitor like Burrow I have no doubt itís true. Assuming he returns to full health, I have the Bengals quarterback as a low-end QB1 for 2021 (No.10). Heíll have two solid receivers in Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins and a running back threat behind him in Joe Mixon. Cincinnati needs to draft him a pass-receiving tight end Ö and some OL help to keep him upright.

Lies

“The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth.” – William O. Douglas

1) Rookie Tee Higgins can help you in your finals battle since he’s playing against the generous Houston Texans.

False. Not without fellow rookie Joe Burrow he canít. When the two rookies were together from Week 2 through Week 11 he averaged 7.9 targets and 14.7 FPts/G. Heís produced just 10.5 FPts/G with Brandon Allen and Ryan Finley under center. Higgins has massive dynasty value, but for Week 16 in the championship round, Iíd look elsewhere for help.

2) T.Y. Hilton is back and you can trust him in Week 16 with the championship on the line.

Sorry, no. Itís true, the Colts and Philip Rivers have rediscovered their No.1 receiver, who has averaged 20 FPts/G over his last four starts, but a date with Pittsburgh and Joe Haden doesnít bode well for Hilton. Since Week 11, the Steelers have been No.2 against opposing WRs (25.3) even better than their season-long average of 34.5 FPts/G.

3) Remember when Travis Fulgham was a WR1?

Not so much anymore. He exploded onto the scene in Week 4 with a long touchdown catch against the 49ers. Everyone claimed him on waivers the next week and he averaged 20.7 fantasy points over the next four games. However, since then heís averaged 2.4 fantasy points. He had five points and two targets with Jalen Hurts throwing for more than 300 yards last Sunday, so the change in quarterbacks from Carson Wentz hasnít improved his outlook.

4) Chase Claypool hasnít hit the rookie wall.

Unfortunately false. Remember just after he scored four times against the Eagles (42.6 fantasy points) and you couldnít trade for him no matter what you offered? He hasnít cracked eight fantasy points the past three games and his catch percentage is under 50% since Week 10 (22-of-45 targets). He was 31-of-47 or 66% over the first eight games. Some of that is due to a sporadic Roethlisberger, but mostly heís not getting open because defenses know who he is and heís no longer seeing the dime cornerback.

5) Josh Jacobs was an AFC Pro Bowl running back this season.

Close, but no. The correct answer to go along with Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb was rookie James Robinson. Robinson had more rushing yards (1070-907), more receiving yards (344-238) and an equal number of touchdowns (10). He averaged 17.9 fantasy points to Jacobsí 16.0. Robinson should not be penalized for being on a horrible team.