The first week of the playoffs is in the books. If you have survived
and advanced, it only gets tougher from here.
Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot
be trusted in large ones either.
- Albert Einstein
Where have all the good times gone? DeAndre
Hopkins hasn't seen double-digit targets since Week 11.
1) Seattle’s Russell Wilson has been
the top fantasy quarterback over the past three games, averaging
36.9 FPts over that span.
He’s still not using his legs, but his arm has become an elite
weapon even without tight end Jimmy Graham in the lineup. One of
the reasons is that, as we told you last week, Doug Baldwin has
evolved into a WR1. Rookie Tyler Lockett also has solid fantasy
value averaging 12 FPts/G which ranks 16th over the last three games.
With the Seahawks running game a huge question mark due to injuries,
the team will likely put more emphasis on Wilson and the passing
game in Week 15 against a vulnerable Browns’ pass defense
2) The league appears to be catching
up to DeAndre Hopkins and the Houston passing game.
After posting 15 or more fantasy points in five of his first six
games this season, the Texans’ star wideout has managed to
produce 15 points just twice in the last seven games. More worrisome,
he hasn’t seen double-digit targets since Week 11, after seeing
11 or more targets in his first ten contests. Hopkins is very good,
but if he isn’t seeing the ball, he’s going to continue
to struggle to post elite numbers. He’ll face a below-average
Indianapolis Colts pass defense in Week 15, a team he burned for
11 catches and 169 yards in Week 5, so there is still hope that
he can help you this weekend.
3) Pittsburgh place-kicker Chris Boswell
owns the highest fantasy points per game average in the league.
True. Boswell is averaging 10.0 ppg, a half-point ahead of Stephen
Gostkowski and Graham
Gano. It’s even more impressive when you consider the Steelers
like to go for the two-point conversion more than any other team
in the NFL. The 24-year-old is owned in less than 60 percent of
all leagues … in case you are struggling at the position.
4) The Chargers injuries at wide receiver
have finally caught up with Philip Rivers.
Injuries to wideouts Keenan
Johnson and Dontrelle
Inman have taken their toll on the San Diego passing game. After
throwing 23 touchdown passes in 11 games, Rivers & Co. have been
shut out of the end zone in their last two contests and three of
the last four. Check out their wideout depth chart; Malcom
Herndon (who?) and journeyman Vincent
Brown. It’s hard to stretch a defense when your best pass catchers
are tight ends … and they aren’t named “Gronk.” Normally Rivers
would feed off their next two opponents (Miami and Oakland), but
it’s a risky play with this group of receivers.
5) There is no place like home for Washington
quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Cousins and the Redskins are 5-2 at home and 1-5 on the road. For
fantasy owners, Cousins has averaged 22.9 FPts/G at home and 17.4
on the road. He faces Buffalo this weekend and perhaps can defy
the odds in Week 16 when he goes on the road to Philadelphia where
the Eagles pass defense ranks among the league’s worst.
Without lies humanity would perish of despair and boredom.
- Anatole France
1) Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman leads all active running
backs posting 16.7 FPts/G.
Although the statistic is true, it’s really a testament to
how good he was in the first half of the season. Over the past three
games Freeman is the 27th-best running back (8.3 FPts/G), just behind
Latavius Murray and Frank Gore. Through Week 6 he was averaging
23.3 FPts/G. DeAngelo Williams has posted the best numbers since
2) Ted Ginn Jr. has become an elite
fantasy option in Carolina.
Although he has averaged 22.3 FPts/G over the past three games,
he’s done it with drastically fewer targets and catches than those
ranked around him. Ginn Jr. has just 13 targets and seven catches
over the past three weekends, relying on his explosive nature to
get points. That’s a huge gamble, to assume he can continue at this
production level based on limited opportunities. The other guys
in the top-six over the last three games (Baldwin, Odell
Beckham Jr., Brandon
Watkins, and A.J.
Green) averaged 29 targets and 19.4 receptions.
3) Every fantasy owner would like Tom
Brady (27.9 FPts/G this season) in the fantasy finals.
Not so fast. While he is the No. 1 fantasy quarterback this season,
his numbers in Week 16 and Week 17 over the past three seasons show
a weakness you should know about. He’ll likely get you past
the next round as he’s averaged an elite 27.3 FPts/G since
2012 in Week 15, but he has averaged just 14.6 FPts/G in Week 16
(for most people the fantasy championship game) and an even more
depressing 12.2 FPts/G in Week 17.
4) Johnny Manziel is averaging 19.6
FPts/G and becoming a viable option over the final few games.
Manziel has certainly played better since returning to the starting
lineup and has started two of the Browns three wins, but the schedule
and circumstances won’t help his chances of continuing at
this current production level. The Browns travel to Seattle and
surging Kansas City over the next two weeks and both pass defenses
rank in the top half of the league. Manziel will also be without
Brian Hartline (broken collarbone). Now is not the time to take
a flier on “Johnny Football.”
5) “You dance with the one that brung you,” was a favorite expression
of three-time National title winner Darrell Royal of the University