This is a weird week. The main slate is devoid of Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant, Matt Stafford, Golden Tate, and Chiefs D/ST. Not to mention, the rough spot that David Johnson is in. This is going to be a week where you are going to have to dig deeper. You are going to have to play some guys who are going to make you feel a bit uncomfortable. This is a week that I live for. I love digging deep and uncovering the hidden gems. This is also a week that I would avoid playing cash. I would stick to strictly GPPs. For me, I will certainly have some exposure to David Johnson, but I will have less exposure to him than I typically would. I would prefer to play RBs in the 6k range and then jam in the top WRs like Mike Evans, Mike Thomas, or Julian Edelman. At QB, I will have exposure to Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, and even Blake Bortles. Then at TE, I will play Olsen, Walker, or Cameron Brate. Now, I’m not breaking any new ground here, but to win a GPP you have to hit on the value plays. Bilal Powell, Alshon Jeffery, and Ty Montgomery are all examples of this last week. Enough of the small talk, let’s win that money and Merry Christmas.
Blake Bortles ($5000) vs @Titans
I feel dirty even mentioning him, however, the king of garbage time deserves some serious consideration in GPPs as a stack with Allen Robinson. I know Bortles has been awful, but as a fantasy asset, he’s been serviceable on most weeks. He will square-off against a defense that gives up the third most DK points to QBs and recorded one of his best games of the season (albeit in garbage time) with 32.7 DK points. He makes for a strong pivot off of Matt Barkley at their respective price points.
Kenneth Farrow ($5000) @Browns
Kenneth Farrow entered Week 15 as a player that most in the industry felt relatively confident about. He had a juicy matchup in front of him, however, he crumbled and only produced 6.3 DK points on 17 touches. This week he gets an even better matchup against a Browns defense that has rivaled the 49ers for the worst run defense in the league. The Browns allow 155 yards per game on the ground. With his rough outing last week, this feels like a prime spot for recency bias to infect fantasy gamers mindset. Look for Farrow to bounce back and take advantage of a defense that has allowed a top 5 RB in six of the last seven weeks.
Thomas Rawls ($5100) vs. Cardinals
Thomas Rawls has averaged 19 touches the last two weeks and will face off against a Cardinals defense that has allowed 10 rushing touchdowns over their past seven games. Rawls is a straight GPP option, but at home, against a defense that has allowed multiple rushing touchdowns in 36% of their games. Despite a stinker of a week in Week 15, this feels like a prime spot for him to bounce back. He’s averaged 4.6 YPC in games not played against the Rams. The Seahawks are eight-point favorites at home, making Rawls an excellent GPP play at low ownership.
Dion Lewis ($4100) vs. Jets
Last week against the Broncos, Dion Lewis surprisingly received 20 touches and 114 total scrimmage yards. Lewis has finished as a top-36 RB in four of the five games he’s played since returning from injury. I don’t really know what to expect with his usage. I would think with the Patriots standing as a 16.5 point favorite, we should see the Patriots limit the wear-and-tear on LeGarrette Blount, which should lead to another expanded workload. The Jets run defense had been solid early in the season, however, the last four weeks they have allowed 136.3 on the ground. With all things considered, Lewis deserves RB2/Flex consideration.
Jerick McKinnon, Duke Johnson, Charles Sims, and TJ Yeldon.
Robby Anderson ($4800) vs @Patriots
He’s taken over as the team’s WR1 and has a strong rapport with Bryce Petty. Over the last four weeks, he comes in tied for WR19 with 274 yards and two touchdowns on 30 targets. With Brandon Marshall dealing with injuries and Quincy Enunwa proving to be a bit of a fraud, Robby Anderson is a weekly GPP target at a reduced price. He’s received the sixth most targets among all WRs and is the Jets only big-play threat among the WRs. The Patriots have struggled to restrict the big play as they have given up the sixth most plays over 20 yards (49), which makes Robby Anderson and his aDOT of 19.9 and YPR of 17.1 very intriguing and figures to be a strong flex option.
Allen Robinson ($4600) vs Titans
I know. It’s gross. He’s been gross. Blake Bortles is gross. But the Titans secondary is also gross. I don’t have any crazy stats to throw at you besides the Titans allow the most DK points to WRs at a clip of 44.3 per week. Most will be on Marqise Lee, but I will be heavy on A-Rob. This feels like a sneaky bounce back week for him, and despite the poor play, he has a WR1 ceiling.
J.J. Nelson ($4400) vs Seahawks
With Michael Floyd now in New England and John Brown limited with sick-cell, JJ Nelson received 11 targets and played on 78% of snaps last week against the Saints. He finished with a stat line of 5-38-1 and it could have been a bigger day after dropping a 56-yard touchdown. The Cardinals will be headed north and will take on a usually stingy pass defense. However, they tend to struggle with wide receivers similar to Nelson. He finished with a stat line of 3-84 during their week 7 matchup and now with Earl Thomas out, the door remains open for him to outperform expectation. His usage and big play ability make him a strong WR3/Flex play.
Corey Coleman ($3900) vs Chargers
Another player who doesn’t do wonders for confidence, but we know he has the ability to break off a 60+ yard TD which would instantly pay off his value. Terrelle Pryor figures to be shadowed by Casey Hayward, which opens the door for Coleman. He will be lining up against Trevor Williams who has been terrible this season. He’s given up .43 fantasy points per route run, which is one of the worst rates of any corner. I don’t forsee a large target share, but with a Charger team that appeared to be defeated last week and is playing for nothing, look for the Browns to give the Chargers all they can handle. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Browns to get their first W of the season, and if they do Corey Coleman will be one of the reasons why.
Deonte Thompson ($3500) vs Redskins
He is second on the team in targets the last two weeks with 14 and will likely face off against the Redskins worst corner in Greg Toler. Thompson dropped a strong stat line last week with 8 receptions for 110 yards on 10 targets. That was with Alshon Jeffery and Cameron Meredith receiving 22 combined targets. With the juicy matchup and strong opportunity share, he figures to one of the top value plays at WR.
Honorable Mentions: Adam Humphries, Will Fuller, Chris Hogan, Tavon Austin, and Tedd Ginn.
Cameron Brate ($3900) vs @Saints
He continues to be Jameis Winston’s No2 target and is coming off another strong performance last week with a stat line of 5-73-1 and has now scored 47 DK points over his last three weeks. He’s also heavily targeted inside the red zone and is tied with Mike Evans with 15 total targets on the season. He’s converted 9 from inside the 20 for 54 yards and seven touchdowns and has seen seven targets from inside the 10 for 14 yards and four touchdowns. When you factor in his heavy usage and decent match-up (20th against TEs), he figures to be the chalk at TE this week but should return at least 3x value.
CJ Fiedorowicz ($3700) vs Bengals
Missed last week with a concussion, but is expected to return with Tom Savage now under center. The Bengals have been dreadful this season limiting TEs and have given up the third-most catches (88) and the most receiving yards (1,021) to the position. With riding the Antonio Gates narrative or Cameron Brate, Fiedorowicz figures to be sneaky GPP play with low-ownership.