If you’ve made it to the championship round of your Fantasy Football league I want to start by wishing you a big congratulations. A lot of decisions went into your season long success and those deserve plenty of credit. Let’s attack the final week with some start/sit decisions and key in on some trending players who are in position to win Fantasy Leagues.
We won’t spend any time focusing on obvious choices this week. Instead, we’ll aim to look at players who are in flex range positions or who have potentially been on your bench in previous weeks.
Rashaad Penny (RB) vs Detroit Lions
Detroit travels west across the country and goes into Lumen Field as a 7.5pt underdog. The Lions are 0-7-1 on the road this season and a matchup with the Seahawks, with very little left to play for, doesn’t spell success. The Lions run defense ranks 27th in the NFL averaging 127.3 YPG allowed. Penny has been hot since cementing himself as the Seahawks lead back. In the past 5 weeks Penny leads all RB’s having >20 rushing attempts with a 6.5 YPC average. The Seahawks have wisely begun to ride the hot hand with Penny increasing his workload to 18 opportunities in week 16 which he turned into 135 yards and 1TD. Look for that number to rise in this plus matchup during week 17.
Ronald Jones (RB) @ New York Jets
Tampa Bay comes in to this week as a 13pt favorite against a struggling Jets defense who ranks 32nd in the NFL in both average points allowed (29.9) and average yards per game (409.1). The Tampa Bay offense needs no introduction to us in the fantasy community but this week we are keying on Ronald Jones who projects as an RB1 on the week. The Jets have allowed an average 141.3 rushing yards per game, with Leonard Fournette out Jones has the opportunity to eclipse 20 FPTS on the week in a positive game script.
Devin Singletary (RB) vs Atlanta Falcons
Though the weather in the Northeast USA has been mild this year, Buffalo becomes a much better rushing environment in the later portion of the season. Singletary has come back to life these past 5 weeks seeing between 10 – 23 opportunities in per week. Buffalo has keyed on his ability in a pass catching role with 14 targets in his past 3GP. Singletary also has a rushing TD in each of his last 2GP, a role that until recently was almost exclusively reserved for Zack Moss. With Buffalo a 14.5 favorite in this matchup, Singletary has a good chance to contribute as a mid range RB2. I really like him for your PPR lineups.
Antonio Brown (WR) @ New York Jets
I fully expect Antonio Brown to be active this week despite tweaking his ankle in practice. With Chris Godwin out, Mike Evans questionable and Tyler Johnson invisible, Brown has the rare opportunity to slide back in as a Fantasy WR1 for the week. We already know the Jets are bad and that Tampa Bay passes more than any other team in the NFL. What I like this week is the MILLION DOLLARS of incentives dangling like a carrot in front of Brown over his final games. He only needs 21 rec, 382 yards and 2TD’s to hit those $333,000 incentives.
Brandin Cooks (WR) @ San Francisco 49ers
Cooks missed week 16 due to COVID-19 protocols but was red hot leading up to that point tallying 15/203/2TD’s across his previous 2GP. Houston is a 12pt underdog on the road and might actually be finding their stride offensively having racked up 41pts in week 16 without Cooks, their star WR, in the lineup. Game script indicates that Houston will be trailing for most of this game and will need to rely on the pass game to keep pushing back. Rookie QB Davis Mills finished week 16 with a 130.6 passer rating. I view Cooks him as a mid-high end WR2 this week.
Trey Lance (QB) vs Houston Texans
I want to specifically recommend Trey Lance this week if you’re team is projected to lose. The more you’re expected to lose by, the more I want to recommend him to you. Lance has a wide range of scoring outcomes but they include some lofty totals similar to what we saw from Tyler Huntley in week 15. Lance is a dual threat rookie who gets to work with some A1 players in Deebo Samuel and George Kittle on offense. The San Francisco offensive strategy promotes the success of ball carriers and inflates QB statistics by way of Deebo Samuel’s YAC ability. Lance doesn’t have to do much in this matchup, a good amount of the work will be done for him by his crafty playmakers and outstandingly well coached offense.
Hunter Henry (TE) vs Jacksonville Jaguars
At home vs the struggling Jaguars the Patriots are favored by 16.5pts. The Patriots have a 28pt implied total and Hunter Henry has found a groove scoring 9TD’s on the year. Henry has played 81% and 86% of the teams offensive snaps over the past 2 weeks. Henry is best suited for a start on the week in a standard format where his lower target counts don’t concern us the way they would in PPR.
Saquon Barkley (RB) @ Chicago Bears
If you’re sporting Saquon Barkley on your fantasy team then its likely that you aren’t in the championship round given his poor performances in the QF and SF rounds. Despite his impressive target count in recent weeks (9, 8) his rushing production has been non-existent. The matchup with the Bears isn’t anything to be worried about from an offensive standpoint but we don’t have any offense being projected this week. It’s an easily faded, 36.5 +/- line for me. As much as we love the offensive talent that Barkley possesses, its best we wait until next year to target him.
Kyle Pitts (TE) @ Buffalo Bills
The Falcons are in tough going into Buffalo this week. The Bills have allowed the fewest passing yards this season with only 173.1 YPG surrendered. Pitts, the young rookie superstar hasn’t seen the same amount of success this season against teams who cover the pass well. We need to only look back to matchups with TB and NE to see examples where Pitts went for 48 and 29 receiving yards respectively.
Jeff Wilson Jr (RB) @ San Francisco 49ers
The matchup on paper is juicy but lookout because Elijah Mitchell has a shot at playing this week and to make matters worse, Trey Lance is in line to start the game for San Fran. Wilson Jr has had the lion share of touches over the past few weeks for San Fran but that could conceivable be cut down by 2/3rds this week with Lance a note worthy rushing threat and Mitchell a better talent ahead of him on the depth chart. After a chance to watch Wilson in prime time he left a lot to be desired in the key situations for San Fran, outside of the opening drive. I’d rather put my trust in most other options this week for fear of disappointment when it matters most.
Thanks for checking out this week’s article and good luck in your championship matchups!
David Carey – @87_Carey