Week 16 Mailbag
Congrats to all of you in the Championship Weekend! Each week we have been collecting your questions and sorting through the data for you to help with your difficult fantasy football conundrums. For all of our followers and devoted readers, I wanted to personally take a moment to give thanks. We here at FFStatistics truly appreciate all of you and enjoy the interactions we have with you through various mediums. All offseason, keep following our twitter handle @FFStatistics_ for big news updates, data-driven offseason analysis & other offseason nonsense. But enough of the touchy-feely stuff, you have a Championship to win! So let’s get to your questions in our Week 16 Mailbag.
As much as I assume the Bears are going to have to throw a lot and get Tarik Cohen involved in the passing game against Kansas City this week, I have to go with D.K. Metcalf in this situation.
Just in terms of on-field opportunity, Metcalf is averaging 82.3-percent of the teams’ offensive snaps over the past four weeks. Cohen in that same time frame has only been out there 55.5-percent of his teams’ snaps. They have both seen a similar amount of targets. But the difference between the two offenses is stark.
|Team||Yards/Gm||NFL Rank - Yds/Gm||Points/Gm||NFL Rank - Pts/Gm|
Both players matchups are positive, so it boils down to which offense I trust more. And Seattle is obviously the better offense. They are Top 5 in yards-per-game and Top 10 in points-per-game. Chicago is outside the Top 20 in both. Cohen might get some extra work since they are apt to be in a hole against KC, but nearly every indicator points Metcalf’s way regardless. Russell Wilson and Company are going to be celebrating in the endzone a lot while hosting the Cardinals this weekend. That includes the biggest most physical receiver on the field that day.
Who Are You Getting Under Center With?
This might be the hardest dilemma of the week. Josh Allen has been the more consistent quarterback and has the second-highest Consistency Score among signal-callers. But is facing off against the Patriots, in New England, who has shut down every QB not named Lamar. Jimmy Garoppolo, on the other hand, has a slightly better matchup, though not by much. But has far deeper valleys in his fantasy landscape.
I want to believe that Allen has a “safe floor” due to his legs, but there is just no way I can recommend playing any passer against New England, who is allowing an average of only 9.21 fantasy points-per-game to the position. I think you have to start Garoppolo in Week 15 over Allen.
For Defenses – I like the Ravens vs Cleveland.
Yes, I know the 49ers are the third-highest scoring fantasy defense for 2019. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Over the past four weeks of the season, they have been the 23rd scoring fantasy defense. While Baltimore, over that same time, is 11th. The Ravens also have a much better matchup against Cleveland. The Browns are 21st in the NFL in terms of points-per-game and 17th in offensive yards-per-game. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams are 13th and 12th respectively and have really picked up as of recently. Over the past three weeks, the Rams are averaging 27.67 points-per-game. The Browns over that same time are averaging 6.34 points-per-game less, 21.3.
This is an easy one for me. If I have to pick two out of four, I am going with Anthony Miller and Justin Watson.
First off, as much as I like Brown as a football player and fantasy asset, he just hasn’t been a consistent player with the Bills this season. That isn’t a huge surprise as that offense isn’t a Top Tier squad in the NFL. Going up against Stephon Gilmore and the rest of the Patriots defense, in Foxborough is not a matchup I want to gamble on.
Something similar can be said against Emmanuel Sanders facing Jaylen Ramsey and the Rams defense. I think Sanders is the best WR out of the four. But he is on a run-first offense, whose passing game goes through the tight end. And the Rams are 18th in points allowed to the receiver position.
Anthony Miller, on the other hand, hasn’t scored less than double-digit fantasy points (0.5 PPR Formats) in the last four weeks, 10.7, 18.5, 11.7 and 22.3. He has been on fire recently. The Bears are hosting Kansas City, who is likely to get up early, putting the Chicago offense in catchup mode.
2019 is weird, and I can’t believe I am advocating for Justin Watson. But that is where we are at. The Buc’s receiver corp is banged up bad. With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin sidelined Watson gets his shot at full time. And with the streak Jameis Winston is on, you need a piece of that passing game in your starting lineup. Winston is on pace for 5,000+ yards and already hit 30 passing touchdowns and is averaging 25.6 fantasy points-per-game himself. Tampa Bay’s entire offense runs through his arm and without his top two weapons, that means he is going to need to rely on Watson. The Texan’s defense makes it even juicier for Watson, as they are allowing the 13th most points to receivers.
Cooking Up a Championship
Even without the “Tight End Premium” format, I think I would roll with Jared Cook as my pick here. But especially considering the format, I don’t know how you pass him over for Boston Scott. Scott has only been in the Top 24 of runningbacks one time, all season. Meanwhile, fellow Eagle Miles Sanders has been the RB8 since Jordan Howard went out due to injury. Pair that with the fact that Dallas is 19th in terms of points allowed to RBs. That isn’t a good matchup where you can plug in the second-stringer and expect value.
Meanwhile Cook, despite missing time due to injuries, is third on the team in targets and receptions and second in receiving yards and touchdowns. Last week he didn’t play his typical allotment of snaps, but it was his first week back on the field. Another week healthy and Cook gets a juicy matchup against Tennesse. The Titans are the 25th ranked pass defense, and currently giving up the 10th most PPR points to the TE position. Cook is likely a big reason you got to the championships in the first place and he will be a big reason why you take home the title this season.
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