2020 Week 15: Three Things from Sunday Games + Top 5’s Waivers/Buy-Sell/Sleepers/DST/IDPs
Well, here we are. Week 16…title week for your league for most reading this.
There are three people about to read all this…
#1) Some of you reading this have made it to that title game. To those of you who are in the finals this week…
First off, congrats. It is an achievement. You put a ton of hours into this – from the preseason prep to in-season ever changing landscape to keep up with. It might have been your original guys carrying the day…it may be that you have a team made up of almost no one you started the season with. However it is that you got here – it wasn’t luck.
Secondly, I realize this week is going to be personally hectic for most – trying to position your team to win that title but also doing the holidays right in the middle of it.
I’m committed to helping you bring home that title in any way possible this week. I’ll explain more as we go through this intro.
#2) For those who fell short in the playoffs this week (or last week). Fantasy comes to such an abrupt end. It’s weird…and anger-inducing. You put all this time and effort taking in so much information, working so many angles for deals, laboring over sit-starts…it consumes a week, and then suddenly it is over in a flash. Davante Adams or whomever let you down.
Nothing anyone can say makes it feel any better, but all I can say is – how great is Fantasy Football? I mean, we should all stand up and applaud it. Where else can you find something that you can participate in so intensely…watch so intently each game down to the play rooting for someone to miss a kick or drop a pass or make a catch – it’s nonstop engagement and chess matches every week…everyday alerts on injuries or COVID. It gives and it gives and it gives…better than any movie or TV show.
Watching football…betting/trying to predict the outcome on something that has so many variables and plot twists and turns – and yet, at the end of the day, is pretty harmless. It has all the elements of chess, poker, stock trading, business management, long term planning, short term audibles…with none of the risk for harm…and you can manage all of it on your phone while you’re sitting on the toilet or in a staff meeting at work.
Making it this far and falling short – it sucks. But what would be worse – no fantasy football at all. And for the first time/year, we all feared that might happen. Kudos to the NFL…they pulled this off, COVID and all. Kudos to God…thank you for COVID not hitting in August/September. We got to play the FF season and it was a season like none other. Perhaps, the most memorable season any of us will ever participate in.
Fantasy Football, take a bow. I’d never get caught dead watching a Browns-Giants game like it was life-and-death down to the very last snap hoping Evan Engram would not get one more catch. Where else can I get this kind of cheap thrill?
We can do an autopsy on the 2020 season, for fantasy in a few weeks. We can make 2021 “I’ll never ____ again” statements after the NFL playoffs. There’s time for all that – but this week is about helping those that made it, win titles.
#3) The Diontae people…
I cannot believe how many people are down to…”I’m down ___ with Diontae (or Claypool) to go vs. my opponent is done/locked.
I’ve heard it all, from people down a fraction of a point to down 20-25+…and Diontae can be a hero this week.
…or a nightmare.
The average person who I’ve been in contact with or with clients…if they’re in the Diontae-mode, they’re down an average of 5.8 points. Most of the range would be 0-10 points down (mostly PPR and half-PPR).
There’s a lot of reason for optimism, but there’s more reason for fear…and you can guess which way the FF-mind is working.
If you just need a few points…should you go Diontae? Claypool? Snell (if Conner out)? Grab James Washington? What if Diontae drops that first pass…and/or a 2nd in a row and gets benched and gets zero?
It’s sadly a conversation to be had.
I’ll just reiterate my message from Sunday Morning Video Q&A – this week is different on the ‘drops’ front.
Two weeks ago = Tomlin pissed after a bad loss, shot his mouth off to be tough and proclaimed he would find players who could catch if anyone couldn’t.
This week = Everything is about getting Diontae ‘right’ and confident and focused. And what great week of practice he had, etc.
Two weeks ago: Diontae didn’t say much about the drops, arrogantly so. Ben didn’t specify anyone when discussing ‘drops’.
This week = Diontae opened up about his issues and needing to defeat the mental aspect of it. Ben also spoke directly about Diontae in supporting him.
These are all good things. The Steelers are committed, now, to rallying around Diontae and getting him confident again. They have to have him ready for the playoffs. Facing the Bengals is a great time to work this out. I would bet my life that Ben is throwing a bubble screen to Diontae on the first play of this game…and that Diontae gets 10+ targets in the 1st-half (unless he drops the first 2-3).
Even if Diontae drops passes right away, I think he’ll be pulled and then slid back in quicker to get more targets, to get the confidence back. They are going to cure his pre-teen smoking desire the old-fashioned way – by making him smoke a whole pack of cigarettes ion a sitting until he gets sick of it and never wants one again. I do not think they are going to bench him after 1-2 drops and he never plays again.
But…there is a risk he drops everything and they can’t put him back out there, and the Steelers start losing and panic sets in (see Jets v. Rams). Even though I think they would put Diontae back in (if he was having issues)…even in the 4th-quarter with backups and Mason Rudolph in a blowout win.
You do what you think is best, but I’m pro-Diontae tonight. I think we’re going to be fine for a half a game, and then he comes out in the blowout leaving on a successful note/not allowing for drops to return later in the blowout.
Diontae talking to the press: https://youtu.be/F53t3cSFYE8
Before we get to the Three Things/Five Players, first a note on this week’s schedule and subsequent FFM plans…
Christmas Week Schedule:
Everything gets weird for football scheduling this week…
-It’s title week for most leagues.
-Christmas Eve and Christmas day change practice schedules and injury reporting.
-We have no THU night game, but do have a FRI (Christmas) night game, and three SAT games ahead of the Sunday slate.
-Most people have some vacation time off work, if not the whole week…with Christmas shopping, travels, incoming family – all right in the middle of the title game week.
-I’m travelling to family gatherings during the week, so my access on things gets jumbled up a bit.
Here’s the plan for FFM this week to help everyone with title week:
1) Video Q&As this week…
We will have the Tuesday night Video Q&A…this week will be a later start time (8:30pmET). Scheduled for an hour+ as needed.
Sunday morning Q&A is up in the air. I may not be in a good place to broadcast. I’m working on a plan but not sure if that show will happen at its normal time. I have contingencies. Details in a moment.
2) Video Q&A Christmas?
We got the Friday game, and then three Saturday games…and I won’t be able to broadcast Saturday pregame – so, I might do a Friday Video Q&A show (which will probably be more my notes shared than heavily attended) before the Friday game (which is 4:30pmET kickoff). Not sure my wife won’t kill me though, but we’ll see what we can do midweek – it’s title week!!
3) Game Reports this week…
Going to be a very busy week for all the obvious reasons. I’m going to re-watch all the games as fast as I can. I’m going to talk to as many contacts as I can. I’m going to look under every rock for FF opportunity. I’m going to put more time into research and projections than typing out long-winded/detailed game reports.
I will probably write two a day instead of my normal three a day, and some I am planning on doing a super-brief report out on because I can see there is not much to say on them. So like JAX-BAL and DET-TEN type games, I might do a bunch of one-liners from my notes. I will cut down on the wording and cut right to the heart of things on some game reports to save time this week.
4) Email me?
Like we’ve done every title week for years – one of the best ways I can really help is to deal with your situation one-on-one via email. There are so many little nuances to title week, and what your opponent has factors in…it’s best to go back and forth on email for those of you who made it to title week.
Please…no sit-start for Week 16 questions/emails before I shoot the starter’s pistol on it/post the instructions for how to go about it (on Thursday). Us talking about sit-start early in the week with all the injury reports, COVID scares – it’s useless to dig in on it M-T-W because so many things changing all week. We got THU-FRI-SAT to go through it.
Let’s get through waivers first, then turn our attention to sit-starts after that. I’ll post a notice for you to follow if you’d like to email me.
-- THREE THINGS ON EACH SUNDAY GAME (thoughts subject to change as I rewatch games all week) --
*Week 15 THU + (2) SAT full game reports out today, and early Tuesday…so they’re not in the three things here.
-- The Pats are out of the playoffs now…they might go to Jared Stidham for the rest of the season. What Belichick thinks about Stidham comes down to his decision to play or not play him this upcoming week. There is no reason to play Cam, there is every reason to play Stidham. If Belichick holds out Stidham for fear of Buffalo or trying to beat Buffalo for whatever reason – you can ditch any serious future Stidham hopes, I think.
If Stidham starts – a boost for Jakobi Meyers (7-111-0/10) and some hope for N’Keal Harry (1-12-0/2). However, facing Buffalo…little hope for either Week 16 fantasy.
-- Salvon Ahmed (23-122-1, 1-5-0/3) coming back from weeks off and rushing for 100+ in a big spot after not playing for several weeks with a hamstring injury – the Dolphins have a really good run game scheme and blocking group. Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed should not be producing like this under normal circumstances. The Miami lead RB works more times than not as an RB1-2 every week.
-- Tua Tagovailoa (20-26 for 145 yards, 0 TD/1 INT, 3-9-2) played another high school offensive passing game…but he did rush for two TDs. I continue to have no interest in Miami receivers with Tua (except Gesicki). But I will not target Tua with an opposing DST too hard for now – he never throws passes for more than 3 yards, so the pick-six potential is low.
-- This wasn’t even a game worth mentioning. It was over before it began. But…
J.K. Dobbins (14-64-1, 1-17-0/1) looks so good running the ball, but he’s never going to get enough touches to fully explode for fantasy consistently as long as Lamar Jackson (17-22 for 243 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT, 10-35-1) is at QB taking rushing TDs anytime he wants.
-- Dez Bryant (1-11-1/3) scored his first TD of the season/in multiple years, but he’s not integrated into this passing game at all. There is no such thing as ‘integration in this passing game’ for any receiver for Baltimore. Dez is low on the pecking order within the flimsy passing game.
-- Another nothing game from D.J. Chark (4-53-0/5). Chark’s future value is tied to who the coach is in 2021, and who the QB is. If it’s Doug Marrone, we’re just going to move on to other talented WRs in fantasy. The fact that Trevor Lawrence might be headed there now…that could change everything.
-- It only took 15 weeks for the Texans to figure out…David Johnson (8-27-0, 11-106-0/11) is a monster in the passing game. DJ had 11 catches in this game…he had 11 catches total his prior 7 games played (since Week 3).
These NFL coaches work 20 hours a day/8 days a week and sleep in their office all year ‘round and get into work at 3am…so, what is it they are doing with all that work time? It can’t be studying football, or this DJ thing wouldn’t have just dawned on them. They’re all so full of crap…that’s why. NFL coaches tell tall tales to make themselves myths – and TV covers them like they are gods, and fans worship them. It’s all so sickening.
Now that it has dawned on them…DJ will be back for a ton of targets next week vs. CIN.
-- Jonathan Taylor (16-83-1, 4-12-0/5) is starting to turn a corner…going from good-to-very good in recent weeks. It’s not just the touches…he’s starting to run with more confidence and more decisiveness. A rookie switch is flipping. He’s ascending to top RB of the class type work now.
-- Such a golden opportunity for Philip Rivers (22-28 for 228 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT)…and he really didn’t cash in. He’s just not that guy you can assume big things with anymore. He took T.Y. Hilton (4-71-0/6) down with him.
It wasn’t a bad game for Rivers…just a mediocre game against a decimated secondary – it should’ve been a bloodbath of passing in this game. But for the second time in a few weeks…Houston had Indy on the ropes and fumbled it away at the goal line late.
-- Corey Davis (4-110-1/6)…how can you bet against him? Some team is going to pay a ton of money for him in free agency and regret it. He had a quick 75-yard TD in this game…then 3 catches for 35 yards for the rest of the explosion on offense. He’s cashing in on one big play every other game or two. My hats off…but I don’t see anything he does that makes me go ‘wow’ – except you love the FF numbers every other week.
-- Jonnu Smith (5-52-0/5) got back involved with the offense this week…still, just 5 harmless catches in a 46-point game. Tennessee has scored 132 points their last three games…and Jonnu has 7 catches for 72 and no TDs total in that span.
-- Seriously, Marvin Jones (10-112-1/12)? 6 TDs in his last 8 games.
6.7 catches per game his last 6 games. Where were you when I had you on 75% of my FF teams to start the 2020 season? He’s smoking hot right now. If I lost an FF game this week because Marvin beat me…after I took him to start my 2020…that’s bad karma, man. Bad karma.
-- Tony Pollard (12-69-2, 6-63-0/9) got the surprising start when Ezekiel Elliott was an inactive…and Pollard responded. He looked better in this game then Zeke has looked all year…maybe better than Zeke in the past two years. It should be an RB controversy into 2021, but it won’t be. Dallas will never go away from Elliott while Jerry is alive.
-- The 49ers-DST had CB Jason Verrett as a late scratch…and things fell apart from there on defense. It looks like the 49ers defense has given up on the season – they folded in every big spot here in this game. The 49ers are done for the playoffs, this DST is done having any potential for FF use.
-- Why Kyle Shanahan has insisted on Nick Mullens (21-36 for 219 yards, 2 TDs/2 INTs) all this time…I have no idea. C.J. Beathard (5-7 for 100 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) enters into games and looks way better. I assume CJB will be the Week 16 starter, but Shanny is in love with Mullens…so, who knows? Either way…good matchup for the ARI-DST, but better for their DST if it is Mullens.
-- You have to give a thumbs up to the Washington-DST here…they were stingy again facing a good offense/QB. You have to say that they have arrived now. Like fully. Not flashing…not promising…but to be feared for you fantasy offensive players facing them. A top 5 type unit going into 2021.
-- I didn’t believe J.D. McKissic (13-51-0, 9-56-1/10) would get enough catchable targets from Dwayne Haskins to really be a hot play this week – but they had their best connection game of the season, by far. With Antonio Gibson down…this type of week is possible again next week. IF Gibson is out again (and he probably will be).
-- Logan Thomas (13-101-0/15) is going to a whole new level…a poor man’s Darren Waller developing. Highly athletic and great size…finally getting his chance.
Why is it people who never played the position of tight end in their lives can convert to it and be top guys in the industry at it? Waller…Tonyan…now Thomas…Antonio Gates. How hard is playing TE in the NFL? Shouldn’t every team have at least one athlete/ex-basketball player/big WR in development?
That would require strategic planning, business sense, human logic…not often found in the NFL.
-- Two weeks in a row that TE Tyler Conklin (3-57-1/4) has outplayed Irv Smith (3-37-0/4). Not that anyone is playing any of them in FF much (but deeper leagues) – but it means Smith can’t be a deep sleeper TE for Week 16…and we have to wonder what 2021 might bring without Kyle Rudolph. Will it be a split with Conklin-Smith?
-- Two weeks in a row with a Darnell Mooney (4-49-1/5) TD catch. He’s creeping his way into the WR3/Flex discussion as we near the end of FF 2020. Bright future ahead too.
-- Mitch Trubisky (15-21 for 202 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 8-34-0) is looking kinda reborn of late…amazing what a little confidence can do for you. He’s always had the tools. Not a huge FF game here because they ran Minnesota out of the playoffs (42 carries for 199 yards for CHI in this game), but Trubisky really played good/winning football here…you can see a different bounce in his step and confidence in his throws, even on simple ones. Hell, he even ran the ball on purpose here some.
-- Leonard Fournette (14-49-2, 3-16-0/5) looked mostly terrible in this game but the Bucs have to lead the league in getting to the 1-yard line…and they did get close twice, and Fournette got the short TDs to make his fantasy week. Luck not skill. I assume Ronald Jones will be back Week 16 to show what skill looks like.
-- Todd Gurley (1 carry for -1 yards, 2-15-0/2) is officially done (in my mind) for 2020. I’ve said for three weeks – why are they subjecting him to this when he’s clearly not right? He may get held out for the ROS. Doesn’t matter, no one is using him Week 16 anyway.
-- This Tampa Bay defense is in trouble… The Falcons have been terrible on offense for weeks, and then they just went and mowed through Tampa’s D pretty much every drive. TB-DST at DET next week, if Matt Stafford plays…what happened here vs. ATL is a preview of what will happen at the dome vs. DET.
-- I can’t wait to hear all the analysts who said Jalen Hurts (24-44 for 338 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT, 17-63-1) couldn’t throw trying to explain their way out of this one. How is it Hurts is already exploding…and Tua is still running a high school passing game?
Hurts is already a QB1 in 4pts per pass TD leagues for 2021. It happened that fast. All he needed was a chance.
10 years ago, Hurts would be drafted in the NFL (as a QB, they’d make him a WR/RB/special teamer). Now, he’ll be the franchise QB for the next 10 years.
-- Hurts still looks like he prefers Dallas Goedert (4-39-0/8) over all his other options. But Hurts isn't a slave to one receiver…he is fine spreading it around at this stage. I was thinking Jalen Reagor (5-49-0/8) might be that guy, but there is no spark between Hurts-Reagor yet.
-- Dan Arnold (3-54-0/5) keeps creeping into the TE1 discussion with his performance the last few weeks. Had his hands on 1-2 more catches, 20-30+ more yards but good plays by the defender knocked them away. Arnold is becoming Kyler’s #2 look outside of Hopkins.
NYJ-LAR (I cannot believe I got bounced from Survivor Pools due to this game…are you kidding me?)
-- The Jets went heavy with Frank Gore (23-59-1, 1-6-0/1) because that’s what they do…even after Ty Johnson (3-16-0, 6-39-1/6) showed he was the better weapon right away in this game. The Jets deserved to win/lose the #1 pick in the draft for this malfeasance of coaching this year.
-- The Rams went heavy with Cam Akers (15-63-0, 1-1-0/3) which was part of the reason why they lost…like the Jets, the Rams are going heavy with a lesser-talented back while more talented ones sit on the sidelines and watch. The Rams deserved every bit of this loss.
-- Hiding between the cracks of this game/while I watched several games at one time -- I caught all of Denzel Mims (3-18-0/4) catches…and he looks good. He’s really making progress. But a lot of excitement lost when Trevor Lawrence just left the building for 2021 (potentially).
-- Drew Brees (15-34 for 234 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT) could barely complete a pass in the 1st-half…and yet somehow he ended up with a decent stat line for the game – that’s not a good sign for the Chiefs defense. KC-DST struggled with Tua and wounded Brees the past two weeks. Derek Carr ripped through them twice. I have shaky faith in them for Week 16 hosting Atlanta...if it’s cold it will help.
-- Brees back was supposed to help Jared Cook (2-29-0/5) but he and Brees were on other planets in this game. Cook’s time as a TE1 appears over.
-- Clyde Edwards-Helaire (14-79-0, 1-4-0/3) left this game with a foot injury. He might miss Week 16. Le’Veon Bell (15-62-1, 1-14-0/1) not Darrell Williams would be the RB to have…but pretty much KC RBs have been FF-weak all season.
-- Baker Mayfield (27-32 for 297 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) is starting to ‘feel it’ now…look at those numbers in a big spot against a game defense. That’s Baker getting his swagger back…and the coaching staff starting to realize that it’s Baker who leads the way along with the great running game. Not just ‘oh, their running game is so dominant!’ It’s Baker that is going to lead the way.
-- The Giants couldn’t get anything going on offense. I suspect the same this upcoming week vs. Baltimore in colder weather – so, you better have options to use for Wayne Gallman (9-29-0) and Evan Engram (4-46-0/7). No favoring legacy players sticking around for Week 16 because they helped get you here. If there are better options on waivers, on your bench for Week 16 – it’s time to move off ‘names’ and into some guys you may have never used before.
-- Austin Hooper (5-41-1/6) had himself a decent FF game. Hooper was heating up before that emergency appendectomy. He appears to be getting back to warm with Baker. And with so many legacy TEs failing (Gronk, Engram, Cook) – it’s time to really consider guys like Hooper, Knox, Arnold, Irv Smith/Conklin, etc., this week.
Hooper vs. the Jets is sweet…Hooper vs. the Jets in the cold, rain, wind…not as sweet.
===== FIVE PLAYERS… =====
--KEEP IN MIND THIS WEEK…do you have a plan for ‘What if ____ (top player of yours) got COVID reserved this week?’ This is not the time to carry nine RBs just in case but have no viable QB to put forth if crisis hits. Do you have the proper handcuffs…can you grab your opponent’s handcuffs to keep them away in case they get hit with the issue? Make sure you have explored every angle of your and your opponent’s roster for this week, and checked the weather forecasts -- before you plan your waiver strategy.--
FIVE WAIVER PLAYERS TO TRUST…
*Looking at players owned less than 50% on average in leagues across the whole FF-landscape. Your league, obviously, may be different/deeper.
**Adding a school grade to show my interest level (A-F)…and I don’t mean that a D-F grade is ‘bad’/just showing how pressing/important to me.
***FAAB % mentioned at any time below is based on a 17-20 man roster league. And it’s hard to predict the right bid % because every league, situation, lineup needs are so different. So, doing the best I can to ‘project’ (i.e. ‘guess’) what they will be based on early chatter.
1) QB Jalen Hurts (Grade A) *Again, note…not a grade on talent…just how important/urgent/great the waiver move is in context.
He’s been on here for three straight weeks, because his ownership is still well below 50% in redrafts nationally. That’s going to change this week.
If you’re in the title game, you probably have a great QB to run with. I get it. But what happens if that QB gets COVID this week? Be prepared, and obviously Hurts has proven he’s a potential FF star…as we’ve been whining about all season.
I think most FFMers bought into this 3-2-1 week ago, so I’m not sure if there is an audience for this. If so, celebrate how smart you were getting in early on this.
2) RB Le’Veon Bell, KC (C) *IF Edwards-Helaire is out.
It will be Bell’s backfield if CEH is out this week (and next). He’d see 10-15 carries and 3-4 targets and be a plausible option for the week. ONLY if CEH is out.
3) RB Devine Ozigbo, JAX (C) *IF James Robinson is out.
Not sure, as of this writing, if Robinson will be out…but if he is, my bet is that Ozigbo would be in line for the main starting role. Not Dare Ogunbowale. It could be Dare…it could be a split…but I think it’s going to be Ozigbo. If you need a live body who gets touches…it could be him.
4) WR Russell Gage, ATL (D)
He and Rashard Higgins have my attention the most…of the WRs lowly owned nationally. However, I might not want either of them – Gage/ATL could be play in very cold/outdoors weather at KC…and that’s not good for upside/passing games – especially ones who are used to a dome environment.
The reason Higgins, or Baker are not here – the early weather forecast for CLE-NYJ is cold, windy, rainy.
5) PK Brandon McManus, DEN (F+)
Many dropped him because he was out with COVID. The big legged kicker is indoors kicking at LA this week. He’s tied with Jason Sanders with the most 50+ yard FGs made this season.
FIVE WAIVER PLAYERS TO DISTRUST…
1) WR Tim Patrick, DEN
I’m a fan, but he’s going to draw Casey Hayward in coverage Week 16…and that’s been kind of a no-fly zone.
2) QB Tua Tagovailoa, MIA
Two rushing TDs cover over his terrible passing day…and he’s not a runner. He lumbered into the end zone for two short TD runs. Not normal. Las Vegas is a good matchup, but Tua is not a good QB at this time.
3) WR Zach Pascal, IND
Two TDs Week 15! There’s never consistency with the Colts WRs under Philip Rivers. No, thanks to Pascal.
4) WR John Brown, BUF
If he does get active this week…he goes in to face the Patriots CB-duo. It would be a reach to push Brown into the starting lineup after missing so many weeks, right into facing a top CB-duo…where Diggs gets all the key touches anyway.
If Gillmore is out this week, we might re-assess.
5) WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey, NO
Tre’Quan Smith is hurt. Michael Thomas is gone. Humphrey got pressed into action and caught a TD. He’s not very good or athletic. Drew Brees looks very sketchy in his return from injury. No slick play here.
Don’t play fantasy with guys named ‘Lil’ is a rule I try to live by.
FIVE BUY LOW PLAYERS…
*NOT ‘Buy at any price’…it’s Buy LOW. Try to find a deal. If none to be had, walk away. It’s also NOT…go immediately ask the owner ‘What do you want for ____’, don’t telegraph your desires.*
*NO ‘BUY LOW’ THIS WEEK*
Most all trade deadlines are done. We’ll be talking about Dynasty players to trade for/away in the game reports, as needed…and we really start looking at trade scenarios in the Dynasty Offseason with FFM.
FIVE SELL HIGH PLAYERS…
*NOT ‘Sell at any price’…it’s sell HIGH/sell good. Try to find someone in love with your player or values thrown into a multiplayer deal. If no one respects the player/buys right…then walk away.*
*NO ‘SELL HIGH’ THIS WEEK*
Most all trade deadlines are done. We’ll be talking about Dynasty players to trade for/away in the game reports, as needed…and we really start looking at trade scenarios in the Dynasty Offseason with FFM.
FIVE DEEP SLEEPER WAIVER PICKUPS…
*Total flyer/lowly owned or not-owned players
1) TE Dan Arnold, ARI
Two TEs atop this list…because we need to flush some ‘old reliables’ at TE and go with some new breed…
Arnold has scored a TD in three of his last 5 games…and had some near-miss scores in there as well. Arnold is becoming Kyler’s favorite non-Hopkins option to throw to, especially in the red zone. He’s working as a quasi-WR in this offense. With the 49ers out of the playoffs, this defense isn’t so worrisome to face now.
2) TE Dawson Knox, BUF
Knox has a TD in three of his last 4 games. And as I maintain – you want the good/talented TE who works with an elite FF QB. It’s starting to work here. Facing a dead Patriots team Week 16…good odds for another TD.
3) RB Ito Smith, ATL
If Todd Gurley is done, Atlanta might pre-name Ito as the starter for Week 16…and that’s something, at least? They’ll try to run against KC to keep Mahomes off the field?
4) WR Allen Lazard or Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB
The Tennessee Titans are a nightmare against the pass…horrible. The Packers people are going to go off. I’m sure Rodgers-Adams-Tonyan will go bananas, but one of the other WRs might get in on the fun. I choose Lazard because I don’t like MVS…but you go with who you want.
5) NYJ LaMichal Perine, NYJ
IF he is activated off IR…and IF he is pre-announced as the starter for Week 16.
6) WR Darnell Mooney, CHI
Must-win game at warm Jacksonville…Trubisky has been dealing and you can throw all over the Jags. Mooney has TDs in each of his last two games. This could be a bit of a breakout performance…I hope. Opponent-based breakout.
-- FIVE…IT’S OK TO QUIT THEM PLAYERS (for REDRAFT) --
*Looking at guys on a lot of rosters that are just taking up space for Week 16 title games…
1) RB Todd Gurley, ATL
Were you really planning on using him? You weren’t using the past few weeks, you won’t this week. He’s dead. Move on. Get handcuffs or 3rd D’s or whatever to help you/hurt your opponent.
2) WR Mecole Hardman, KC
He sucks. You can’t have any faith in using him in any given week. There are so many other WRs out there.
3) TE Will Dissly, SEA
I’ve been a fan. Some picked him up the past few weeks in the hopes he got on a run like last year. Doesn’t appear to be happening. It’s just not happening this year. I’d rather have Knox or Arnold or many others than trying to gamble on a Dissly TD shot.
4) All the Colts’ TEs
Some have held Doyle just in case. Some have Burton from weeks gone by hopes. They’re all TE2’s…and the Knox-Arnold crowd is much better, as is Tyler Conklin if Kyle Rudolph is out.
5) RB Mark Ingram, BAL
One snap Week 14. Inactive Week 15. It’s ‘over’.
-- STREAMING DSTs OFF WAIVER(?) OPTIONS --
*Not a lot of great options out there now…everything has been claimed for the weeks ahead, by either us or others.
1) Football Team-DST
The WSH-DST has shown they are legit now…and they get a solid matchup with a team that may have half+ of its O-Line out injured. Not a great matchup but an OK enough one for a defense that’s heating up.
Week 16 = v. CAR
With the 49ers out of the playoffs, and them running out their turnover prone QB – this could be sensational if facing Nick Mullens. A little less sensational if facing C.J. Beathard…because he’s a wild card, but also turnover prone.
Week 16 = SF
Aaron Rodgers jumped on this defense Week 15, and I was thinking they were all but done for FF in 2020…but then the Panthers went into shutdown mode and completely stymied Rodgers in a valiant comeback effort. This Panthers defense flashes signs of being something really good in the future. It might flash a big sign getting Dwayne Haskins Week 16. Versus Alex Smith it’s not bad, but vs. Haskins I’ll have interest.
Week 16 = at WSH (early projected weather in the 20s, with wind taking it to ‘feels like’ 15-16 degrees)
A very shaky defense, very-very shaky -- BUT if they draw Cincy with Ryan Finley at the helm…you have to consider it, depending upon your options.
Week 16 = v. CIN
-- Sleeper/lesser-name IDP’s whose box scores or live watch caught my attention --
1) SAF Jarrod Wilson, JAX
4.2 tackles per game his first 5 games of the season. 7.6 tackles per game the past five games. The Jags are on defense a lot and Wilson is racking numbers by being a human on the field during it (and because so many regular Jags’ defenders are out).
2) CB Lonnie Johnson, HOU
Since he’s transitioned to a starting role, his last five games: 6.7 tackles per game…not bad for a CB. No PDs in that stretch is odd/not good for IDP numbers.
3) SAF Amari Hooker, TEN
Kenny Vaccaro out again, and Hooker got more time and had another 7-tackle game Week 15, a follow up from his 7-tackle game Week 14. Hooker has been playing more and more and putting up numbers here and there – if Vaccaro is out again, Hooker is going to play heavy again Week 16 and is showing he will produce. Hooker is an upside IDP talent in general.
4) LB Terez Hall, NE
Made this list once before. He came out of nowhere…then got hot…then missed last week (I don’t know why)…then 13 tackles this game.
He’s only played in six games this year…and is averaging 7.7 tackles per game in them. If he’s starting Week 16, he’s a threat for 8+ tackles…we just never know if he’s really starting/playing heavy. It's weird…
5) LB Krys Barnes, GB
Barnes was white hot the first 7 games of the season, but then his playing time dipped as he got hurt and missed a few games. He’s back and looked very good Week 15. He’s one of the top tackles-per-snap played guys in the NFL this season and he’s getting his playing time back. He’s one to consider as a deep sleeper for Week 16 and a Stash into 2021.
6) DE Dennis Gardeck, ARI
Two more sacks this week for ‘Gardeck the Barbarian’ -- now 5.0 sacks in his past three games. He’s such a talent and deserves so much more opportunity. He’s starting to force his way into more playing time and he’s fantastic. He deserves all this. He should’ve been starting three years ago…he’s been on our Stash lists pining away for years. Finally, a sign of IDP life!
Good luck on Monday Night Football as you have a literal heart attack when you see Ben throwing a pass to Diontae. How can you beat fantasy football’s enhancement of watching the product?