Trashman’s Fantasy Fallout Going Into Week 16
The playoffs are well underway, and of course chaos is reigning. Let’s make the moves that make us better going into the Semifinals…
Chiefs – 34 @ Chargers – 28
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire only had 11 touches on the day, making it back to back games that his touches have decreased. There’s little upside to CEH’s game right now, but he’s not going to goose-egg you either, which isn’t nothing considering how the playoffs have gone so far.
- Justin Jackson(14/99) had only 2 fewer touches than Austin Ekeler on Thursday, as Ekeler isn’t back to 100% from an ankle injury. Jackson ran well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he approaches double-digit touches this week against the Texans in what should be a blowout.
- Jalen Guyton has scored in 3 straight games for the Chargers, but he had just 2 targets on Thursday and Josh Palmer had only one. Neither player is an option in the fantasy semifinals.
Patriots – 17 @ Colts – 27
- Rhamondre Stevenson(11/40) underwhelmed in his Saturday evening start, ceding 7 touches to Brandon Bolden, who had 44 yards. Damien Harris practiced last week and looked like he was close to playing, so he could be back in the mix against the Bills this week in what may be a repeat of Week 13. The Patriots only threw 3 passes that game.
- Hunter Henry(6/77/2) had his way with the Colts defense, but he was basically the only Patriot player who did. Henry is the only Pat pass-catcher I’m willing to take a chance on in Week 16, after what happened in the Pats’ first meeting with the Bills.
- My 2021 MVP vote goes to Jonathan Taylor. The rest of the Colts offense did jack, outside of an 8-yard TD reception by Nyheim Hines, his lone action of the night. It’s great for the Colts to know they have that solace in Taylor, but it’s disconcerting for fantasy owners of any other Colts players. Michael Pittman had one catch for 7 yards before he was ejected from the game. Fortunately for Pittman owners, the Colts will have to use him against an Arizona team that is going to be angry after an embarrassing loss to the Lions in Week 15.
Texans – 30 @ Jaguars – 16
- Rex Burkhead had 17 touches on the day and only 47 yards. David Johnson had 7 touches behind him and only 27 yards, while Royce Freeman logged 3 carries for 8 yards. The Texans O-line is still a farce, and none of these RBs can be used in the playoffs, even against the run-funnel Chargers in Week 16.
- As I expected, Laquon Treadwell(6/57) ran as the no.1 WR for Jacksonville, receiving a team leading 9 targets. His upside is limited, as is everyone else’s in this offense, but Treadwell makes for a deep league PPR flex against the Jets this week.
Jets – 24 @ Dolphins – 31
- Michael Carter out-snapped(31-21) and out touched(9-8) Tevin Coleman, yet Coleman outgained Carter 50 yards to 20 yards. This kind of performance should keep Coleman in the mix for considerable touches, even with Carter back in action. The Jets play Jacksonville this week, but there aren’t enough touches for either player to do enough to warrant serious fantasy consideration.
- Braxton Berrios(3/36/1) remained fantasy relevant this week despite only touching the ball 3 times, scoring on a botched pass turned run. He was targeted only once in the passing game after leading the team in targets the previous week, and he’s too inconsistent to use this week, even in a decent matchup with the Jags.
- Is Duke Johnson(24/127/1) the new lead back in Miami? I’m not sure, but it can be concluded that Myles Gaskin no longer holds that title. Gaskin touched the ball 10 times for 54 yards, which isn’t bad, but Johnson has worked his way into a major role in the Miami backfield. Unfortunately for both Gaskin and Johnson, the Dolphins play New Orleans and their stifling run defense this week.
Titans – 13 @ Steelers – 19
- Julio Jones re-injured his hamstring on Sunday, hopefully keeping him out of the next 2 games so you don’t even have to consider playing him. He’s hands off for the rest of the playoffs even if he can play. He’s just too unreliable at this point in his career.
- D’Onta Foreman(24/127) needs to be owned and started if he’s still available in your league. He’s the lead back for a Titans offense that is still predicated on the run.
- Dontrell Hilliard(13/59) was 2nd on the team in targets(4) behind Nick Westbrook(7) and actually makes for a deep league flex this week against San Fran, especially if Julio can’t go.
- The Steelers offense was garbage in this one, despite coming away with the win. You should be able to use all your starting Steelers skill players this week against the Chiefs though, as they’ll need all hands on deck to stay in the game.
Cardinals – 12 @ Lions – 30
- Chase Edmonds didn’t record a catch in Week 15, in a game where the Cardinals fell behind early. Game Script surely dictated this outcome, but Edmonds did out rush James Conner on the day 53 yards to 39 yards.
- Christian Kirk(9/94/1) led the Cardinals with 12 targets in an attempt to come from behind against the Lions. It looks like it could be either him or AJ Green who trades off that role each week, with no Nuk Hopkins around, and both players warrant starting in the playoffs.
- Antoine Wesley(3/19) was used in 3-wide sets for the Cardinals, receiving 8 targets on the day. He warrants deep league consideration if he’s going to be the 3rd WR for Arizona throughout the playoffs.
- As much as we want to write Craig Reynolds(27/117) off, he’s proven that he belongs on fantasy teams for the playoffs. If neither Jamaal Williams or D’Andre Swift can make it back this week, Reynolds is a strong start versus Atlanta.
- Amon-Ra St. Brown(8/90/1) and Josh Reynolds(6/68/1) both put up excellent lines against the Cardinals on Sunday. The Lions have won 2 of their last 3 games and have a cushy matchup with Atlanta this week. Both WRs are viable plays.
Panthers – 14 @ Bills – 31
- Ameer Abdullah touched the ball 8 times, one fewer than Chuba Hubbard, including 4 catches for 48 yards and a score. The Panthers were trailing most of the game, so the script favored Abdullah, as it probably will against the Bucs this week. He’s a flex.
- Robby Anderson stayed targeted(8) this game, but he managed to do little with them(3/29). He’s likely to get a healthy share this week versus the Bucs, who are difficult to run on, but his floor is abysmally low.
- The Bills seem to have decided on Devin Singletary(23/96/1) as their lead back as evidenced by him touching the ball 23 times to just one for Matt Breida. Breida and Zack Moss can be neglected during the playoffs.
- Gabriel Davis(5/85/2) is who we thought he was. Scoring in his 3rd straight game, I’m all in on Davis whether Emmanuel Sanders returns this week or not.
Cowboys – 21 @ Giants – 6
- I don’t think Dak Prescott has been right ever since he injured his calf earlier this year. In any case, the Cowboys have been able to win 3 straight without him so it’s hard to rely on any Cowboy WR this week, even in a good matchup with Washington. CeeDee Lamb stays viable because he can create his own yards, but Cooper and Gallup are crapshoots.
- Tony Pollard(15/87) looked like himself against the Giants, despite being questionable to play that week. He’ll be a viable play this week if the Cowboys continue to lean heavily on the run as Dak struggles.
- Saquon Barkley(19/74) continues to share the backfield with Devontae Booker(10/82), who looks just as good on the ground. Booker is doing just enough to keep Barkley from being a RB1.
- Jake Fromm is better for the Giants than Mike Glennon and will probably start if Daniel Jones can’t return this week. Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard would be on the fantasy radar this week if Fromm or Jones can find the field.
Falcons – 13 @ 49ers – 31
- Russell Gage has scored or gone over 130 yards in 3 of his last 4 games, and he’s still unowned in 50% of leagues. Make sure that isn’t the case when the Falcons face the Lions this week.
- Kyle Pitts(4/77) finally put up a fantasy game worthy of his pedigree, though he still didn’t find the endzone. He’s actually worth streaming against Detroit this week.
- Jeff Wilson found 119 yards and a TD on 23 touches against the Falcons. It’s not likely that Eli Mitchell will be ready for Week 16, so Wilson makes for a solid start against the Titans this week.
- Brandon Aiyuk(1/36) was relegated to 2 targets on the day, while Jauan Jennings(3/28/1) tied Goerge Kittle for the lead with 6. Neither Aiyuk nor Jennings are anything but deep league fodder even against the Titans this week.
Bengals – 15 @ Broncos – 10
- In a turn that only the fantasy playoffs can bring, Tyler Boyd put up 96 yards for a TD, while Tee Higgins and Ja’Maar Chase had 26 yards combined on the day. Chances are that things switch up for Week 16, so keep your other Bengals WRs in if you’re still lucky enough to be playing.
- Teddy Bridgewater avoided a “serious” injury, but he was still concussed on Sunday, leaving Drew Lock to helm this Broncos in Week 16. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing for the Broncos WRs, as Lock will be more likely to air it out, but the real winners are the Broncos RBs, who are sure to be leaned on heavily against the Raiders.
Packers – 31 @ Ravens – 30
- Aaron Jones out touched AJ Dillon 15 to 8, with both scoring TDs. Dillon only had 35 yards on the day though, so you’re betting on him scoring in Week 16 to make his fantasy day. Jones, now healthy, will be the better play.
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling(5/98/1) popped against the Ravens, after doing little in Week 14. He’ll continue to have WR2 upside against a Covid-19 rattled Cleveland team.
- Latavius Murray(8/51) upended the former backfield situation in Baltimore touching the 8 times to 7 for Devonta Freeman(7/22). Murray isn’t now viable in fantasy, and neither is Freeman.
- Tyler Huntley put on his best Lamar Jackson impersonation Sunday, throwing for 2 TDs and running for 2 more. He’s a hot pickup this week, as he could win some fantasy weeks single-handedly, if Jackson stays out.
Saints – 9 @ Buccaneers – 0
- Marquez Callaway(6/112) looks like Taysom Hill‘s favorite target, as Hill stared him down to the tune of 9 targets, while no other player had more than 3 on the day. If you’re going to take shot on any Saint pass-catcher this week, it needs to be him.
- With only 18 yards on 11 touches, Mark Ingram isn’t going to get much space with Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill battling him for carries. He can’t be used right now.