Championship Week! If you have made it this far, don’t slow
down now. Bad matchups must be avoided. Injuries have to be overcome.
There are still pickups which could improve your lineup. The adage
“dance with the one that brought you” isn’t always
true. Start the best lineup possible.
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary
that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible,
all things.” - Rene Descartes
1) Tom Brady is throwing the ball as often as always.
True. He’s going to end up throwing the ball more than
600 times for the sixth time in his career. He’s just not
producing as in the past. Blame the poor production on the anemic
running game and the lack of a receiver other than Julian Edelman
to emerge. Brady’s current mark of 6.5 yards-per-attempt
is the second worst of his career. Only 2002 (6.3), when the team
went 9-7, was worse. That team didn’t have the defensive
success that the 2019 team has produced, thus the 11-3 record.
2) It would be best to avoid the Josh Allen vs. Patriots defense
True. Although Allen has put together a solid season (22.6 FPts/G),
he’s averaged just 17.2 fantasy points in two career games
against the Patriots. He’s 33-of-69 (47.8%) for 370 yards,
two touchdowns (one rushing) and five interceptions. If you have
another viable option, you should go in that direction.
3) No receivers is no problem for Carson Wentz.
Fact. DeSean Jackson has been out since Week 9. Alshon Jeffery
just had Lisfranc foot surgery. Nelson Agholor has been out since
Week 13. That left the Eagles with practice squad guys, Greg Ward
and Robert Davis and rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside on the outside
and Zach Ertz at tight end, but Wentz has still averaged 25.7
fantasy points the past two games. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys
have allowed 28.3 FPts/G since Thanksgiving, so you can continue
to start Wentz in Week 16.
4) Ezekiel Elliott “owns” the Philadelphia Eagles.
Unfortunately for Eagles fans like me, this is a fact. In five
starts against the Eagles, he’s averaged 26.1 FPts/G. He
averaging 162 yards from scrimmage per game, including four consecutive
100-yard rushing games. The Eagles may be No. 7 against opposing
running backs, but Elliott is their “Kryptonite.”
5) Perhaps interceptions aren’t as damaging to fantasy
value as we thought.
Jameis Winston ranks second this season with FPts/G (27.0) despite
leading the league in interceptions (24). It doesn’t hurt
that he’s also leading the league in passing yards (4,573),
passing attempts (554) and is second in touchdown passes (30).
His matchup with Houston in Week 16 is another juicy offering.
The Texans are allowing 25.7 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks
this season and 27.5 points over the past five games. Even without
Mike Evans, Scotty Miller and possibly Chris Godwin, Winston figures
to be firing early and often in what should be a shootout with
“Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
1) As the first QB to ever throw for 450+ yards in back-to-back
games, Winston must have the record for most yards in two consecutive
False, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that
he’s probably carried your team into the 2019 fantasy championship
game after combining for 84.6 fantasy points the past two weekends.
Phil Simms threw for 945 yards over two games in 1985 and the
“immortal” Billy Volek passed for 918 yards and eight
touchdowns in 2004 as an injury replacement for Steve McNair.
2) You can still trust Dalvin Cook this weekend.
Unfortunately false. While Cook ranks second among all running
backs this season (21.2 FPts/G), behind only Christian McCaffrey,
Cook’s shoulder injury has cost him playing time in each
of the last two games. It didn’t hurt much in Week 14 as
he scored once and managed 18 carries before getting knocked out
of the game, but last Sunday he took a big hit on his ninth carry
and was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the contest. With
Alexander Mattison (ankle) also likely sidelined, the new handcuff
option would be Mike Boone (13-56-2 in Week 14).
3) I could never use a rookie like Drew Lock, in his fourth
start, with the championship on the line.
Fortune favors the bold. If you ignore the game last weekend
against Kansas City in a blinding snow storm, Lock produced 45.2
fantasy points in his first two starts. That’s a solid 22.6
fantasy points per game and has a very good matchup against the
generous Detroit Lions’ pass defense in Denver. The Lions
are allowing 25.0 FPts/G this season and 28.2 fantasy points over
the last three games.
4) The Bengals are a fantasy desert … except for Joe Mixon.
Except in Week 16, Cincinnati faces the Miami Dolphins. A defense
that has yielded 33 touchdown passes (second to Arizona), a defense
that has allowed 2,418 yards and an NFL high 25 touchdown passes
to wide receivers. Tyler Boyd is a viable option and the best
the Bengals have to offer. He’s seen 35 targets over the
past five games and caught 19 for 261 yards and two scores. He’s
the only Bengals wideout to catch a touchdown pass during that
5) Without Evans and Scotty Miller (just placed on IR Tuesday)
and Chris Godwin (questionable) there are no receiving options
left in Tampa Bay.
Actually, there are a number of possible options this week in
Breshad Perriman and O.J. Howard. Perriman was the receiving star
last week catching five-of-six targets for 113 yards and three
touchdowns and should be a borderline WR1 this week if Godwin
is inactive. Meanwhile, Howard saw a season-high eight targets
last weekend and with a touchdown rate of 8.9-percent of his targets
and 13.2 percent of his receptions, could also have a big fantasy