Despite a four-win stretch, this Cleveland team still can’t
seem to get out of its own way. Mayfield has been less than average
the last few weeks, as he’s been unable to reach 200 yards,
and has a 1-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. With the fantasy
playoffs in full swing, how could you possibly commute to the
championship on this train wreck of a team? Simple. The Arizona
defense. Unable to even slow most offenses down, the Cardinals
have been an oasis in the desert for opposing quarterbacks. The
Arizona secondary is giving up a league leading 32 touchdowns,
and 4,050 yards in the air, so if Mayfield can’t find his
mojo against this bunch, then all is lost.
Let’s flash back to September. If you would have whispered
in my ear “hey, you’re going to have Ryan Tannehill
in your “starts” during Week 15” I would have
slapped you immediately for speaking such blasphemy. But 14 weeks
later...here we are! Tannehill has proven to be a nuclear upgrade
over former starter Marcus Mariota. He’s averaged over 21
standard points per game since he rose in the depth chart. He’s
contributed 11 touchdowns in the last four games, and has given
this offense a balance it’s lacked. The Texans were just
torched by a guy making his 2nd NFL start, and frankly, have been
a less than average defense most of the season. At home in a game
with huge playoff implications (for his team and yours) Tannehill
has earned the start.
It’s been a season of calamity for Rivers and the Chargers.
A host of single digit, heart-breaking losses have occurred with
Rivers being a direct part of some of them. His 15 interceptions
are his most in a season since the 2016, and he has struggled
against good defenses. So wait, doesn’t that disqualify
Rivers this week against the Vikings? Nope. Minnesota is attackable
through the air, and this is a bit of a trap game as they have
to go to the west coast a week before hosting the Packers in a
huge divisional game. Look for Rivers and the Chargers to play
just well enough to lose, but still help get you to the next round.
Darnold and the Jets offense have been fools gold all season.
Yeah they ripped off three-straight 30+ point games against some
dismal competition, but most of the time they barely look like
a functional unit. The Ravens are going to dominate this game
from start to finish, with Darnold running for his life behind
a dreadful offensive line. New York is going to be pushed around,
and Sam won’t even be able to salvage his fantasy day with
garbage time points. The time to sneak Darnold into your lineup
has come and gone.
Allen has taken the next step in his development this season as
a 2nd year starter. Up to 25 total touchdowns and only 8 interceptions,
Allen’s high floor has kept him in the QB1 conversation
all season. Last week’s game against the Ravens was his
worst fantasy game of the season, and we may be in for a repeat
this week against the Steelers. With the lowest over/under (by
far) this week at 37.5, points are going to be at a premium this
week. His rushing ability always keeps him from totally stinking
up the place, but Allen is a bit of a risk this week.
I waffled with having Ryan as a start or sit this week. On one
hand the San Fran defense was exposed last week against the Saints
and they are super beat up with Richard Sherman and Dee Ford set
to miss the next few weeks. But on the flip, the Falcons still
give up a bounty of sacks and pressures, and the passing game
is going to miss Calvin Ridley. This is only the 2nd game this
season Atlanta will play outside on the road, and I expect the
49ers to run the ball relentlessly to protect their ailing defense.
Ryan is always good for a touchdown or two, but is in a tough-to-trust
spot this week.