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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 16 – PLAYS THAT PAY

Des Boodram

@boxscoreprophet

As we head into the penultimate week of the 2016 NFL Season there is a lot on the line – which from a fantasy perspective, means virtually all of your players have something to play for.  This is a good thing and should alleviate the majority of stress for you as you prepare for the fantasy finals in your season long, and as you construct you rosters in the daily game.  A friendly word to the wise for you season long players that have something to play for.  Hopefully you are in the finals.  Maybe you are playing in a third place game and there’s some cash on the line, or perhaps you have to win a consolation bracket to save some face… either way you almost certainly have some decisions to make.  I’ll say this once… if you are favored to win – go with what got you there.  Do NOT bench players that have been contributors to your success all season long.  Matt Moore may save your season, but not over a Derek Carr who has struggled or a Matt Stafford who has a suspicious match up.  Resist to the urge and be able to look yourself in the mirror on Tuesday morning regardless of the outcome.  Consequently, if you are behind in your projections, you likely need to swing for the fences with a guy like Tyler Lockett, Ty Montgomery or Martellus Bennett.  There’s no shame in seeing a mark and taking it down, if you are willing to swallow the single digit production should things not go your way.  That’s my friendly advices for those season long players with something to play for – so let’s get down to business by looking at some positional plays that make dollars and sense.

QUARTERBACKS

Andrew Luck is beast right now and goes up against Oakland.  The Raiders actually play better on the road than at home, so I’m not concerned about Rivers performance last week. Luck just blew apart the Minnesota defense in Minnesota – so I feel good about this one.  Listen, Luck doesn’t check all the boxes, but his production of late has been nothing short of consistent, so roll with him in a meaningful game for both teams.

Tom Brady’s efficiency has taken a hit since Gronk left, but he still demands recognition on the fantasy platform, because he could go off at any time.  He still has ½ a dozen super reliable pass catchers so anything can happen.  The rub in fantasy is a guy named Blount who has a team record 15 rushing TDs this season.  He’s an inside the 10 go-to and the Patriots are fine kicking field goals.

Aaron Rodgers calf is concerning, because it’s nice getting 2-3 points for rushing, and the security of a potential rushing TD is nice as well.  Rodgers, and Cousins have been the two most consistent QBs this season, and I like the Packers at home in a must-win against a Vikings team that’s great against the run.  Luck just hammered this secondary, and I expect Rodgers to do the same as well.

Philip Rivers provides the best value amongst signal callers this week, as it he can throw for 400 yards and 4 TDs in almost any game.  I’m not worried about about the game in the cold across the country, because the Chargers have been decent on the road, and it’s’ the Cleveland Browns.  I like no running game as well, so look for Rivers to get everyone involved in this one.  Farrow is a bit of a threat, but he didn’t show too much running the ball against Oakland.
Of course Drew Brees has to be in the conversation especially after a 380/4 line in Week 15.  He laid a big ol’ single digit egg last time out against the Bucs so this one makes me nervous, as sometimes, certain teams have the number of certain players.  He’s still a must play in traditional leagues, but only a GPP in daily.

RUNNING BACKS

I’m looking at three RBs this week, and I’m not going to deviate much off of this.  Todd Gurley goes up against the worst rushing defense in the NFL in the 49ers.  Devonte Freeman torched them in Week 15 and pretty much every other RB has as well.  Gurley played like Gurley in Week 1 against the 49ers who were a much different team.  It’s been tough sledding, but this is the week to deploy.

LeSean McCoy is hot right now, and I’m down to ride the Shady train.  Bilal Powell put up 20 fantasy points against the Dolphins last week, so McCoy at home should be a beast on the ground and in the passing game as well. No reason to beat a dead horse.

My “it depends” play of the week is Ty Montgomery.  You can’t ignore his production and volume over the last two weeks nor can you ignore his $6300 price tag on FanDuel.  If James Starks is still out – you’ve got to roll with Montgomery this week, but if you can’t fit him in it’s not the end of the world.  He did win someone half a million dollars on DraftKings this week… cha-ching

WIDE RECEIVERS

The chalk should be Jordy Nelson this week has he’s scored double-digit fantasy points in his last 8 games.  This offense is through the roof hot, and Nelson torched the Vikings earlier this season.

Brandin Cooks at just over $7K provides excellent upside in a game where he should get 10 more targets.  He’s done a lot with a lesser volume, and has been running better patterns and creating separation more effectively.  I hate to chase stats and go to the well again, but he’s in a such a good spot against Tampa Bay and the price is right as well.

My super sneaky ninja pick could be another stat chasing casualty in Tyler Lockett.  At $4700 on FD, he’s almost a must start as he’s now the starter in two WR sets.  If he gets 6-7 targets he’s totally worth it.  He’s also seen more targets than Jimmy Graham over the last 4 weeks, so there’s that.  Plus, another slot receiver who can catch the deep ball named Brandin Cooks also had some pretty good success against Arizona’s secondary recently.  Just saying.

WIDE RECEIVERS

The chalk should be Jordy Nelson this week has he’s scored double-digit fantasy points in his last 8 games.  This offense is through the roof hot, and Nelson torched the Vikings earlier this season.

Brandin Cooks at just over $7K provides excellent upside in a game where he should get 10 more targets.  He’s done a lot with a lesser volume, and has been running better patterns and creating separation more effectively.  I hate to chase stats and go to the well again, but he’s in a such a good spot against Tampa Bay and the price is right as well.

My super sneaky ninja pick could be another stat chasing casualty in Tyler Lockett.  At $4700 on FD, he’s  almost a must start as he’s now the starter in two WR sets.  If he gets 6-7 targets he’s totally worth it.  He’s also seen more targets than Jimmy Graham over the last 4 weeks, so there’s that.  Plus another slot receiver who can catch the deep ball named Brandin Cooks also had some pretty good success against Arizona’s secondary recently.  Just saying.

TIGHTENDS

For the sake of your time – the only TE I’m rolling with this week is Cameron Brate in cash.  All other TE plays are GPP plays only.  Brate will get 8-9 targets again including some red-zone love as well.  He’s a bonafide part of the Tampa Bay offense.

Travis Kelce has a touch matchup, but has done well against Denver.  I just don’t trust him in cash.  He’s the only TE I’m spending up on in GPPs, but players like Ertz, Antonio Gates, and Brate still make more sense.  I love Greg Olsen the man and the player, but not the fantasy player.  He get’s no red zone love and hasn’t scored  a TD in forever.  Good Luck Gamers.