The Devil's Advocate Week #16

The Devil's Advocate Week #16

Bio line: Chris Fox (@ArmchairAlpha) hosts Yards After the Catch and “The Trenches!” Fantasy Football Reality Competition show on YouTube (handle @TheArmchairAthletics). Chris’ knowledge base stems from over 30 years of Fantasy Sports experience.

So you’re moving on, well done! One more round to go but this week is crucial as it likely is the difference between maybe money and a nice share of the pot at worst. Hopefully, your team is pretty set up for these last two weeks, but if it were, you probably wouldn’t be here. PLEASE STOP LISTENING TO EVERYONE JUST REPEAT THE OTHER GUY'S PICKS!

Welcome again to The Devil’s Advocate (and thank you)! Do you ever notice how most sites take every available option and then try to convince you why they are a good play? Well not here, we won’t have it! Here we break down all those contrarian picks (the ones you’ll see the most this week) and tell you if they are worth playing. Hopefully save you some time, and precious FAAB dollars, but mostly we want you to get that money!!! It’s the Semi-finals and that means big dollars are on the line, so let’s get after it.

Oh, and if you’re wondering how we did last week (Yeah, we keep ourselves accountable because most other’s don’t) we went 11-3-1(White didn’t play of course) putting us at 33-5-1 over the last 3 weeks (you can check us: The Devil’s Advocate – Truth Serum Football). 

*BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front

QBs: (Hopefully you’re good here, but we got you if you’ve been streaming your way to victory. 

Oh, and Minshew is a solid “YES” if Hurts doesn’t go. If we have to explain why you’re very lucky to be in the Semi-finals lol)

Jared Goff vs Car He is still here, but with as a “play” for the next 2)

BLUF: We gave him the “sit” last week, and at 14.1 Fantasy points, we hope you listened. He is good to go this week however against a Carolina pass D that is 20th in P/yds/gm. 

What You’ll Hear: On the season he is QB 12 overall, 8th in both TDs and pa/yds, and boasts a 23/7 TD/Int ratio, and 12/3 over his last 8! 

What They Don’t Say: Carolina has only allowed 18 pa/TDs (T-6th)

Conclusion: With all his weapons firing on every cylinder, Goff has been picking Defenses apart through flawless progression work. While St. Brown is the clear WR1, WR2 has been a delightful rotisserie of choices between Raymond, and Chark showing further how dialed in Goff is right now. With their own playoffs on the line and Chi on deck for your Championship game, Goff is money.

NYJ vs Jac  Yeah, we HATE doing this, but either guy is worth the play

BLUF: Last week: Wilson goes 317-2Tds-1Int (QB9) and White is…well The Mike White right now

What You’ll Hear: Watch this week to see who gets the start, but with their playoff hopes riding on winning out, and the Jags up this week, the Jets are looking good to be throwing like crazy.

What They Don’t Say: Nope, that’s about the gist of it. 

Conclusion: We are pretty much just going to reiterate what we emphasized last week here. 

Jax has allowed the 3rd most pass/TDs (24), 5th highest yds/att, and 250+ yds w/ multiple TDs over each of the last three games. And with Lawrence playing “lights out” ball right now, expect the Jets QB to air it out all game long.

Brock Purdy vs Sea (Thurs): You won’t get huge points, but he’ll give positive numbers in a pinch

Commanders, only 7 pics, and 7th most TDs Only Cousins over 201 since week 5

BLUF: We were almost spot on about Purdy last week as he turned in a 217-2-0 stat line that looked better than his 16 Fantasy total. He will get the win, but again a sub-20 total against a Wash defense that has allowed only 1 QB to go over 201 yds since week 5.

What You’ll Hear: How awesome Purdy is. 7/1 TD/Int ratio during his 3-game stint, is still undefeated and is the first rookie to take down Brady.

What They Don’t Say: He again had to throw under 30 times (26 pa/att to 34 ru/att), is averaging just 204 pa/yds a game, and has 1 pass over 40 yds over his three wins.

Conclusion: A nice placeholder and likely “draft bait” this offseason, Shanahan is working his magic in keeping this kid a winner. San Fran is a great team with an enormous amount of talent on offense to help the kid out and a Defense that is simply one of the best in the league, making Purdy’s job simple; Don’t give it away.

We said it last week, Kyle knows what he is doing and how to manage his QBs. The numbers show Wash having only 7 pics and the 7th most TDs allowed. Couple that with the above all-but-one passer has been sub 201 since week 5, and you have another point total that ends with “-teen”

Quick Take: Trevor Lawrence vs NYJ

BLUF: The Jets have an outlandish defense that, even after the loss, still has only allowed 4 100-receivers all season (8 over 35), still has let only Burrow walk out with a 100+ rating, still have allowed the 2nd fewest passing TDs, and still have allowed multiple TD games to only Burrow and Jackson! Do you think Lawrence is going to get more than 20 fantasy points against them?!   

Yeah, we think he could too. Maybe only low 20s, but the kid is hotter than Willie Beeman and  Dy-lon right now.


Running Backs Ok…we missed HUGE on McKinnon last week…we own it. We pretty much nailed the rest though and we plan to keep it going)

Zach Moss vs  LAC 

BLUF: 24/81 and 8 points…

What You'll Hear: He is the lead runner with Taylor officially lost for the season.

What They Don't Say: He is not the lead pass-catching back. That role is going to Deon Jackson. 

Conclusion: The good news is that the Chargers are 28th in ru/yds allowed and 31st in yds/carry.

The bad news is that it’s going to be a two-headed backfield on a team that just gave up the biggest lead in NFL history. 

I wouldn’t expect an overabundance of motivation from this team and even if they do have any pride left to play for, the Chargers are likely to make this a game where Indy will be passing first to try and keep up. If you’re still in the running, maybe look for another runner.

Jerrick McKinnon vs Hou: Receptions made this guy’s day, but he could be worth a flier vs Hou

BLUF: 7/9 on receptions for 112, 2 TDs, and 34 PPR Fantasy pts. Houston gives up the 4th most rushing TDs in the league…but wait, McKinnon’s numbers are all reception based?

What You'll Hear: WOW, what a game! 2 double-digit weeks in a row! You must grab this guy, a playoff winner for sure!

What They Don’t Say: McKinnon doubled his TD total on the year and had half as many carries as Pacheco (13), who had 3 times as many rushing yards (70). His 14 pts last week was his highest all year before this week and Houston has allowed the fewest receiving TDs in the NFL (11).

Conclusion: McKinnon had a great day, took advantage of the opportunity, and finished as RB1… congratulations man, sincerely! Now they face a Texans team that is best in the league against the pass and 4th worst against the run. Since Reid wants him involved, he might see another “double-digit” day (remember 10 and 11 are double-digit numbers too) but we say, let someone else waste their waiver pick on McKinnon this week.

Tyler Algeier vs Bal  So you’re on a 3-game losing streak, a rookie QB and still only 1 game out of 1st…)

BLUF: Kid broke off a 43-yard run to finish with 139 a TD and 23 Fantasy points, playing in a split backfield, against mid-level New Orleans run-D 

What You'll Hear: #8 in yards-after-contact. Big, fast, back of the future who is going to get his shot to earn it.

What They Don’t Say: He received only three more attempts than Patterson (17, by far his highest att total all year) and 2 fewer reception opportunities. 

Conclusion: The Falcons are a game out of 1st (Yes, the NFC South is that bad) and that means they still have something to play for. If you’re cool with one side of a TD-dependent split backfield (best of luck this week) then he may just be your guy. 

In other words…if you gotta I suppose.

Quick Takes

Hubbard vs Det- we gave him a chance last week, this week it’s a “no”

  1. Herbert vs Buf- If Moestert gets the “No” as the lead back, Herbert gets it as a splitter

“Stop it!” of the week:

Houston’s backfield: Have you not been watching Houston all season?! No Pearce is a “No-Go”…Stop it!!

Wide Receivers: There are no secrets here this week. Getting them on your roster will be the hard part.

Marquis Goodwin vs KC: You simply play all your WRs versus the Chiefs. With Lockett out due to a broken finger, Goodwin should take over as WR2. As he will likely be progression #3 after Metcalf and Fant (#4 if the back goes past the line) don’t expect Lockett-size numbers. Think of him as the spitting image of a TD-dependent Michael Gallup.

KJ Osborn vs NYG: We started to do the whole write-up here and then decided to give you the benefit of the doubt since you made it this far in your league.

He had the 2nd best performance of the day, thanks to a great match-up and the need to pull off a historic comeback. His 10 receptions doubled his highest total all year and his 157 was more than his last 10 games combined. You can’t be this desperate and be in the semis, can you?!

DJ Chark vs NYJ: Likely already rostered, our “box of chocolates” player, we said no last week, and after a 1-18-0 stat line, we hope you listened. This week, we’ll give him a cautious thumbs up.

Zay Jones vs NYJ: We got roasted by Lawrence and this kid was just as bad as the Cowboys last week. We won’t pick against him this week, but we will lower our expectations to a high-teens day.

Did we miss someone? Do you have a better take? Hit us up on Twitter @ArmchairAlpha. Also. bring all your questions/comments to Yards After the Catch, LIVE every Tuesday night at 830pm est ( and we will answer them all! See you next week!

Post your questions or comments right here, @ArmchairAlpha on Twitter, or on The Armchair Athletics Facebook page too! Don’t miss TSF’s own Jordan Thomas on “The Trenches!”, YouTube handle @TheArmchairAthletics 

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