Week #16 Sweet Streams
Last week’s quarterback streams were another episode of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” Jalen Hurts continued his dominance, providing fantasy owners with the QB1 performance on the week. They took on a tough Arizona defense, but Hurts threw for 338 yards, added another 63 on the ground and accounted for all four of the Eagles’ touchdowns. Teddy Bridgewater was the bad this week, finishing as the QB20. He gave owners about 17 points so not a complete disaster, but probably didn’t outscore many of your opponents. Derek Carr unfortunately got hurt almost immediately in his game Thursday night. Unfortunately, injuries are part of this game we play, so hopefully the rest of your team was able to rise to the occasion.
Week 16 Quarterback Streamers
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles – I highlighted Jalen Hurts last week and as mentioned, he smashed in Week 15, finishing as the #1 QB on the week. If he is still somehow available on your wire, go get him. Play him this week against Dallas. Prosper. Not much more analysis needed for this one. Hurts has been on fire since taking over in Philly and takes on a Dallas defense ranking near the bottom of the league across the board.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns – The Browns stay on the East Coast this week to take on the New York Jets, fresh off their first win of the season. For the first time in a long time Cleveland finds themselves playing meaningful football in December. Last week Mayfield went up against a tough Giants defense, and still finished as the QB12 on the week. Baker should have an even better day against the Jets defense that ranks near the bottom of the league in yards and scoring. The Jets defense has been somewhat competent in the running game, ranking 14th in the NFL which should create a few extra attempts for Mayfield. Cleveland is a heavy 9.5-point favorite with an implied team total of 28 points which should mean plenty of scoring for the Browns’ offense. The Jets allow the 3rd most fantasy points to the QB position.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints – After returning last week in a 3-point loss to the Chiefs, Drew Brees and the Saints host the Minnesota Vikings looking to stay in the hunt for the #1 seed in the NFC playoff picture. The Saints are heavy 7-point favorites in a game with a 51.5 point Over/Under, the 4th highest on the week. Minnesota has been one of the worst defenses in the league this year in yards per game and yards per attempt. The Saints are implied for almost 30 points in the contest and it’s hard to imagine a good amount of those don’t come from Brees. Even with an abysmal 44% completion percentage, Brees finished as the QB13 last week. He’s a great bet to finish inside the top 10 this week.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins – After a slow first few games Tua has shown flashes of upside for fantasy owners. This past week was a horrendous match-up against the infamous Belichick defense, notorious for creating hell on earth for rookie quarterbacks. Tua still provided owners with a solid outing gathering almost 20 fantasy points against a New England defense that allows the 3rd fewest fantasy points to the QB position. This week Miami is a 3-point road favorite against Las Vegas who rank near the bottom of the league across almost every defensive statistic. Tua averaged over 300 yards passing in the two games before New England, and he’s always a threat to chip in some points with his legs.
Running Back Rampage
Devin Singletary came through from last week’s RB streamers as Buffalo absolutely manhandled Denver. Singletary carried the ball 8 times for 68 yards and a TD and added 3 more catches for 16 yards, finishing as the RB18 on the week. Raheem Mostert suited up and capped the upside we expected for Jeff Wilson, but he still provided a solid day with 16 carries for 60 yards and a TD, finishing as the RB27 last week. He couldn’t catch any of the 4 targets thrown his way, so some opportunity left on the field. Gus Edwards was solid yet unspectacular as usual, providing owners 9.8 PPR points, good enough for RB32 on the week. Touchdowns have been split between Edwards and Dobbins this year, and unfortunately Gus didn’t get any TD luck this week.
Week 16 Running Back Streamers
Salvon Ahmed, Miami Dolphins – Ahmed has been a solid option for owners when he has suited up and played this season. He eclipsed double digit points in PPR Weeks 10 and 11 before missing the next few games. He came back and delivered a 20+ point game this week against New England, one of the league’s toughest defenses. As I discussed with Tua, the Raiders defense is near the bottom of the league across the board defensively, especially in the run game. They’ve allowed 125 yards per game this season and 171 per game over their last three, 3rd worst in the league. Miami is the favorite in this one and sports one of the league’s best defenses, so game script shouldn’t be a worry here. Ahmed also gets a small bump from his usage in the passing game.
Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams – The last few weeks seemed to be a changing of the guard to rookie running back Cam Akers in the Rams’ backfield. However, a high ankle sprain will keep Akers sidelined this coming week, and Henderson figures to get a good amount of action. You figure the backfield will be split between Henderson and Malcom Brown, but Henderson is the more explosive athlete and provides a bit more upside at the position. Seattle has been one of the better run defenses on the season but have fallen to middle of the pack over their last three games. They also have given up a nice amount of fantasy points to the RB position, 10th most this year. I expect the Rams to bounce back after an embarrassing loss to the Jets knowing how important this game is for the NFC West division race. The game has a decent Over/Under at 47.5 points and with Seattle favored by only 1.5 it should be a close one.
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts – Jonathan Taylor has started to look like the highly drafted rookie we thought he would be but don’t forget about Nyheim Hines. He has been a consistent option for fantasy owners this season in PPR formats and I think he’s set up for a nice game this week against Pittsburgh. The Steelers have been one of the best run defenses in the league this season and give up the fewest amount of fantasy points to the RB position. They’ve been susceptible at times this season, and you can find a few nice games from RBs who get involved in the passing game. This should be a tight game with Indy only favored by 1.5 and although they’ve been on a three-game skid, I think Tomlin can get the Steelers back on track. This should be a good game between two teams fighting for playoff seeding and I think Rivers will need Hines a bit more in the passing game this week.
Wide Open Receivers
Russell Gage was the bright spot from last week’s streamers, finishing as the WR17 on the week capitalizing on opportunity while Julio Jones was out. Gage hauled in 5 passes on 10 targets for 68 yards and a touchdown. Gage has now gone over double-digit fantasy points in three straight weeks. Often reliable Tee Higgins and Tim Patrick disappointed big time this week finishing as WR68 and WR79 on the week. This is only the second time since Week 3 that Patrick has finished with less than 10 points, not including the game against the Saints with their wide receiver playing quarterback. Higgins was a victim of game-flow as he only gathered 6 targets. The Bengals surprisingly controlled the game from start to finish and dominated Pittsburgh on the ground.
Week 16 Wide Receiver Streamers
Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills – Buffalo is a heavy 7-point favorite going into New England against a banged-up defense with no Stephon Gilmore this week. Stefon Diggs got banged up in the game against Denver so it’s possible he misses this week, although reports have been positive on his injury thus far. New England has been a top fantasy defense against WRs, but with the recent injuries they could be vulnerable to a few big plays. Buffalo has been the 2nd best passing offense this season and I expect them to move the ball through the air this week against the Patriots. With an implied team total of almost 27 points, I like Davis’ chances at a score this week.
Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns – Higgins was a popular waiver wire target after Week 7 when Odell Beckham went down with a season ending injury. After exploding for 17 PPR points in the game, he didn’t crack double digits for the next four weeks. However, over the last three weeks Higgins is averaging around 8 targets, 5 catches and 80 yards a game with two touchdowns in those three games. I think Baker has a big week this week and Higgins should help be a part of that. The Jets have given up the 7th most fantasy points to wide receivers this season and 280 passing yards per game, 3rd worst in the league.
Emmanuel Sanders, New Orleans Saints – The Saints host the Vikings as 7-point favorites in a game with a 51 point Over/Under, 4th highest on the week. There should be an abundance of points coming from the New Orleans side and with Michael Thomas recently put on IR, Sanders should be able to step up. The Minnesota passing defense ranks near the bottom of the league this year and Sanders has seen 5+ targets in all but three games this year. In a game that projects as a bit of a shoot-out, Sanders should easily see his usual 5+ targets with the upside for more if the Vikings offense can put points on the board.
(Not So) Typical Tight Ends
Tight end has been hit or miss this season for fantasy owners and last week’s streamers were no exception. Tyler Higbee delivered the best performance of the group with 4 catches for 67 yards and a score against the Jets. Good enough for TE7 on the week. Evan Engram finished all the way down at TE20 in a game where he saw decent volume with 7 targets but was only able to turn it into 4 catches for 46 yards. After back to back games with 7 targets, Cole Kmet crashed and burned as the TE40 on the week giving fantasy owners only 3.2 points this week. The Bears put up plenty of points but most of it came through David Montgomery as Kmet only saw 2 targets.
Week 16 Tight End Streamers
Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team – Logan Thomas is probably owned in most leagues, but he’s a name I need to mention to double check the wire. Regardless of QB, Thomas has been a solid fantasy option this season, especially of late scoring double digit points in four straight games. If he’s available, grab him and start him without hesitation this week. Carolina gives up the 8th most points to the tight end position.
Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings – Early practice reports show Kyle Rudolph hasn’t participated yet and there’s a good chance he misses another game this week. Irv Smith has gotten 4 targets each of the last two games but with a 51.5 point Over/Under there could be a few extra targets in Smith’s direction. The Saints have been an elite run defense this season in the NFL and for fantasy ranking 3rd in rush yards allowed and allowing the second fewest points to the RB position. If the Saints can slow down Dalvin Cook and the Vikings’ run game, this might also give Smith a few extra targets. Marshon Lattimore and the Saints pass defense has been a top unit this year but ranks middle of the pack in fantasy points given up to tight ends.
Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints – Cook has been extremely hot and cold this season and has been awful in games without a touchdown. I’ve mentioned this Saints-Vikings game a few times now and Cook is another player I would feel confident with in my line-up. The Saints high implied team total means Cook should have a decent shot at a touchdown, since he is second on the team in red-zone targets to only Alvin Kamara. He’s gotten 4-5 targets the last three weeks and could see an extra target or two with the projected shoot-out in this game.
Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys – Schultz has been a steady yet unspectacular tight end this season unfortunately seeing his targets decrease each of the last six weeks. However, he has been very efficient with the volume he’s gotten, catching 100% of his targets over the last four games. The Eagles allow the 9th most points to the tight end position and this game has a sneaky high Over/Under at 49 points. Schultz could have the opportunity to get closer to the 5+ targets he was getting a few weeks ago and with his high efficiency could string together a solid fantasy day.
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