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Note – these are quick notes on every game Sunday, based on my watching of them all at the same time. I could have missed a lot of nuances that I’ll discover on the re-watch this week, but to get out of the gates on the fantasy week – here’s what I (think I) saw, in no particular order…
— Ty Montgomery had a huge day running the ball. He ran tough and had some help from a great O-Line performance. I don’t think this is the beginning of Montgomery reeling off a bunch of 100+ yard games or becoming a franchise RB…but it’s working for now.
— You will see lower projections on Davante Adams from us next week. Adams dropped two TDs in this game, and he battled ‘drops’ last year and it nearly ended his career…he was benched and lost confidence for a spell last season. ‘Had the yips‘ I guess you would call it. I would fear a relapse of ‘yips’ because the issue is going to dog him all week. Green Bay will want to get him right next week, but if he has ‘drops’ again with the Week 16 opportunity – look out.
— Many teams are quitting on their season – not the Bears. They were down two scores on and off in this game, and they climbed right back every time. The Bears are not an easy matchup for your weapons against their defense (might be top 5 v. the pass after this week) in Week 16 vs. Washington, nor are they as easy a mark to use the Redskins DST against I would have thought 1–2–3 weeks ago.
— Back-to-back games for the Giants DST holding an opponent to seven or fewer points. Five of their last six games holding opponents to 20 or fewer. This defense has ‘found itself’ and faces turnover-prone Carson Wentz in Week 16.
— 9 tackles for Tavon Wilson. He now has 6.9 tackles per game the past seven games.
— Another game, another Dwayne Washington running into the line to no avail. I don’t know If it’s him or the blocking, but it’s a waste of time for fantasy right now.
— I’m the biggest fan of Tom Savage you’ll find – been so since scouting him for the 2014 NFL Draft. I like him a lot, but this is not a radical offense that will propel him to fantasy stardom. I don’t know if Savage will be a top 12 QB next week or not. We don’t even know if he’ll start next week. It would be a solid matchup with Cincy at home. Savage is better than Osweiler, but not sure he’s good enough to play/use as a QB1 for fantasy yet.
— As predicted, Allen Robinson fantasy-died on his difficult schedule (and Bortles sucking) to finish FF 2016. In his last four games, Robinson is averaging 2.0 catches (6.3 targets) for 21.8 yards and 0.0 TDs per game. Easier matchup vs. TEN this week.
— Week 16 the sorry Jags offense faces the Titans…you can use the Titans DST with some confidence if needed. We’ll have to see if the new Jaguars coach (when named) changes that confidence…
— Terrelle Pryor is useless with RG3 to end 2016. Pryor has 2.5 catches (5.5 targets) for 11.0 yards and 0.0 TDs per game in the last two games since RG3 returned. Griffin has to be the worst QB in the NFL.
— Sammy Watkins is a joke. What a waste of energy weeks ago for those that stashed him ahead of his return. He has 3.7 catches (5.5 targets) for 45.5 yards and 0.3 TDs per game in his 4 games since returning from IR. In a fantastic matchup, and with Joe Haden having to leave the game with injury…Watkins had 1 catch on 4 targets for 10 yards in this game.
— Charles Clay had his best game of 2016 (7-72-1), but ‘blame’ that on Cleveland, arguably the worst defense in the league against the TE. The San Diego TEs draw the Browns in Week 16.
— Another week, another 40+ throws for Carson Wentz with absolutely no production. No one is throwing more and producing less than Wentz. The Ravens were missing their top CB and Jordan Matthews only had 27 yards receiving (6 catches).
— After catching eight passes and generally putting the offense on his back at various times last week, Kenneth Dixon had 9 carries and 1 target in this game. We downgrade Dixon back to shaky RB3 status in PPR.
— I keep doubting Ryan Mathews – worried that the coaches will zig when I zag on him…changing the touch counts without warning, as they’ve done a few times this season. Mathews has 15 or more carries in his past four games and has scored 5 TDs in his last six games. You have to assume 15+ carries again next week vs. the Giants.
— Tyreek Hill starts the game with a 68-yard TD run, and never has a catch or carry the final 56 minutes of the game. Words cannot express my emotion. I mean, I’m used to it by now, but I still cannot believe it every time it happens – teams not making it a priority to use their best weapon…especially when they are losing/lose a game.
— 3 TDs in his last three games for Derrick Henry as he becomes a TD vulture off DeMarco Murray…who has just 1 rushing TD in his last four games.
— It was difficult passing conditions due to the cold, but Jeremy Maclin looked very good and in sync with Alex Smith for the first time all season. Doesn’t matter – facing Denver in Week 16. Unusable for fantasy.
— Adrian Peterson looked fine to me. ‘Rust’ will be blamed, but there are three issues: (1) AP wasn’t great before his injury this season. (2) The Vikings’ O-Line is worse now than it was before AP got hurt. (3) Defenses do not fear the Vikings’ passing game, so lines can be stacked to play the run…and Zimmer will run right into it a la Jeff Fisher. Next week against Green Bay…why should anyone think it will be different? A similar version of the Todd Gurley disease in LA.
— Sam Bradford has gone into ‘safe pass mode‘. He’s dumping a ton of passes to Jerick McKinnon suddenly. In their last three games, McKinnon is averaging 8.7 carries per game…and 7.0 targets per game, catching 6.7 passes per game. I want to trust it, but I don’t how we can with Peterson back. AP changes everything, and I assume Peterson will get 20+ carries next week.
— Harrison Smith out, and second-year safety Anthony Harris out of Virginia stepped in and made 15 tackles this week, 11.0 tackles per game filling in for Smith the past two weeks.
— Ben Roethlisberger TD passes the past five games: 0-3-2-0-1 (1.2 per game)…the three-TD game coming in the Thanksgiving joke of a game versus Luck-less Indy. He’s thrown for 300+ just one time in his past eight games. The Steelers have become a run-first team and Ben ‘as needed’.
— The Steelers’ passing game decline is dragging Antonio Brown’s numbers down as well. Brown has gone for 100+ yards in a game just once in his past seven games, and only twice in his last 11 games. He’s no longer the knockout punch he was to begin the 2016 season.
— All the Eli Rogers talk is going to start again after his TD in this game…don’t buy into it.
— J.J. Nelson got his TD in this game, and flat-out dropped an easy 50+ yarder. He led the Cardinals in targets this week but is more shaky than not against a tougher Seattle defense Week 16. Boom or bust, not stable next week.
— Of course, Brandin Cooks went nuts this week. I needed that like three weeks, two weeks ago, a week ago in some leagues. I had him mostly benched this week, and he burned me yet again. The Cards didn’t put Patrick Peterson on Cooks until after his second TD…and then Cooks went quiet. More on the whole Cooks v. Saints management saga in the game recap.
— A quick thank you to David Johnson for bailing my ass out yet again…he started slow in this game, but then grabbed two TDs in the final 18 minutes. 17 TDs this season with two games to go. 800 yards receiving with two games to try to get 1,000+. I bet Arizona tries to push that if he rolls enough yards versus Seattle Week 16.
— Taylor Gabriel has 7 TDs in his last seven games…with and without Julio playing.
— OK, Jaquiski Tartt! Here we go, finally. 12 tackles last week and 8 this week. I think we can finally trust him fully for IDP Week 16.
— Interesting Week 16 clash – the 49ers, possessors of the worst run defense in the history of football…vs. Todd Gurley, the most disappointing RB of 2016. I bet on Gurley getting his first 100+ yard rushing game of the season.
— The Patriots came out starting/running Dion Lewis and stuck with it. I believe it was just a plan for Denver not a shift to a new ideology.
— Justin Forsett started for his team as well and was pretty dull overall. He’s solid/decent enough a talent, but Denver cannot block for the run or pass game.
— The Patriots DST is hitting its stride. They’ve held four of their last five opponents to 17 or fewer points. The one exception was against the Ravens last MNF…and that’s where all the special teams turnovers handed Baltimore easy scores. This week versus the Jets is a terrific DST play.
— I was hoping the Tyrell Williams target tail-off was more of a blip than ‘a thing’. Williams did get a team high 9 targets in this game, but not great targets. Kinda ignored early, then a cluster of looks. Williams didn’t have his best game either. Whatever Williams-Rivers built a few weeks ago completely fell off the table the past three games. I have no idea why, but Philip Rivers has been an overrated, mediocre, losing QB for years, so nothing surprises me with the Chargers anymore.
— Kenneth Farrow didn’t grab the brass ring in this game, per se. He was OK, but Ronnie Hillman snuck in the game in spots and looked as good/better. The starting San Diego RB for Week 16 is pretty meaningful…because ‘at Cleveland’.
— Amari Cooper…1 catch for 28 yards on 3 targets. How is this possible? Six games in a row under 60 yards receiving. I have no idea what is happening, but it’s illogical. Not much about the Raiders makes sense to me.
— I cannot wait to do the game recap for this for a serious discussion on Jameis Winston. It’s not me making fun of him failing. It’s not me turning any corner. You’ll see. It’s deep. It’s ominous. It’s ‘Big Brother’. He’s still a shaky play vs. the Saints this week, but what QB isn’t shaky for FF these days?
— Mike Evans has gone into hiding the last three weeks 3.7 catches (7.3 targets) 46.3 yards and 0.0 TDs. It took NFL defenses about 2.7 seasons to figure out Winston was just blindly throwing to Evans…and maybe cover Evans more. They are, and now Evans is becoming human…as is Winston. But it is giving rise to Cameron Brate as the alternative.
— Dak Prescott was poetry at QB in this game. Realize football people spent a week trying to get him replaced last week. Sunday Night Football…huge playoff implication game. Which QB rose and which one fell? You think the difference was the O-Line? You’re wrong. I can’t wait to share about this game in more detail.
Top 5 Waiver Considerations…
5) Trevor Siemian — Still has to throw a lot. Faces slightly overrated KC pass defense
4) Robby Anderson – If Bryce Petty is cleared
3) Giants DST – facing Carson Wentz
2) Tyler Lockett – Whomever Patrick Peterson doesn’t cover…
1) Malcolm Mitchell – If anyone gives up on him because of last week (Denver is to blame)
Top 5 Waiver Cons…
5) Deonte Thompson – Just a blip week
4) Charles Clay – Blame it on Cleveland, not a shift in targeting
3) Rishard Matthews – Jalen Ramsey week
2) Robert Turbin – Not the new Matt Asiata
1) Eli Rogers – Don’t get me started again
Top 5 Deep Sleeper pickups…
5) Bears DST – vs. Cousins, but this Bears D is really getting good and playing hard
4) San Diego DST – at Cleveland. It will be cold, but RG3 is the worst.
3) Hunter Henry – at Cleveland…the worst against TEs
2) Cameron Meredith – He’s awesome, you just never know about the targets. Josh Norman may follow Alshon Jeffery.
1) Tom Savage – 2 QB or Super Flex leagues
Top 5 who are OK to give up on
5) Marvin Jones – Been so for awhile
4) Adam Thielen (redraft) – AP is back…o rec. on 1 target Week 15
3) Mohamed Sanu – Lost whatever momentum he’s had
2) Sammy Watkins (redraft) – How do you confidently start him this week?
1) Terrelle Pryor (redraft) – Died with RG3…may not even play with wrist injury.