Each week there are some obvious starts and sits in fantasy football. Other decisions are not quite so simple. Here are some of my picks for Week 16 in the latest edition of Studs, Duds & Sleepers.
QB: Justin Fields (CHI vs. ARI): Through four games back, Fields has had mixed results. Still he has 22 or more fantasy points in four his last seven starts and is at home this week vs. a defense that has already allowed six signal callers to hit that mark in Arizona. The Cardinals have allowed four TD passes in two of their last three games.
RB: James Cook (BUF at LAC): Cook has exploded the past two weeks keeping the playoff hopes of the Bills and fantasy managers alike moving forward. Now he gets to face a hobbled Chargers’ defense in a game where Buffalo is favored by two touchdowns. Everything is pointing up for another top 5 performance at the position in Week 16.
WR: Rashee Rice (KC vs. LV): Over the last four weeks only Deebo Samuel and CeeDee Lamb have scored more fantasy points than the Chiefs’ rookie. He’s had nine red zone targets during this span. He ran a route on 92.7 of Patrick Mahomes dropbacks in Week 15 and was over 80% the week prior. He’s a top 10 wideout for this weekend’s action.
TE: David Njoku (CLE at HOU): Over the last six weeks Njoku leads the Browns in target share at 27 percent and leads all tight ends in 10.2 targets per game. Only Sam LaPort has scored more PPR points at the position in that span. Njoku is in a smash spot for the fantasy semis as he faces a Texans’ team yielding the second most catches and the third most yards to the tight ends this season.
Get ready for this week’s NFL action with Dan Clasgens & James Adams…
QB: Russell Wilson (DEN vs. NE): Wilson has failed to throw for multiple touchdowns in five of his last six outings and this week will have the daunting task of playing vs. the Patriots’ defense. As bad as New England has been, they have been stingy vs. quarterbacks in fantasy. The Pats allow the fifth fewest fantasy points (18.1) to the position.
RB: Zack Charbonnet (SEA at TEN): With Kenneth Walker getting back to full health, Charbonnet is back to being on the wrong side of the committee in Seattle. His four touches in Week 15’s win over Philly were the fewest he’s seen in a game since Week 6. He’ll be hard to trust in any fantasy lineup as the Seahawks head to Tennessee.
WR: Terry McLaurin (WAS at NYJ): Jacoby Brissett came in for two drives of relief last week and connected for 93 yards, a TD, and almost another TD on a deep bomb that took it to the 1-yard line. In his 13 previous games with Sam Howell throwing him the ball his single-high mark was 90 yards and he scored twice. Howell is expected to be back under center and a tough matchup with the Jets’ D is on tap. Don’t chase last week’s points.
TE: Dalton Kincaid (BUF at LAC): Goose eggs are tough to forget and ignore. My projections still have Kincaid as a fringe TE1, but his floor is as low as it gets. He’s failed to reach double-digit PPR points in three straight and has failed to score in 11 of his 13 career games. The matchup with the Chargers is juicy, but with Buffalo expected to be playing from ahead the pass attempts could be limited late in the game.
QB: Baker Mayfield (TB vs. JCK): He’s coming off a season-best 4 TD’s last week and has thrown for multiple scores in six of his last eight games. The Bucs welcome the Jags this weekend and Jacksonville has been shaky at best in recent weeks in its pass defense. Given the nature of things at quarterback, Mayfield is a fringe top 10 fantasy signal caller in the biggest week of the season to date.
RB: Chuba Hubbard (CAR vs. GB): In Hubbard I trust. He has proven to be a steady backend RB2 for much of the second half of season and things should continue this week vs. Green Bay. he has three straight games of 22 or more carries and has now caught multiple passes in seven of his last eight outings.
WR: Jordan Addison (MIN vs. DET): After a promising mid-season stretch, Addison fizzled once Kirk Cousins went down. With Justin Jefferson back in the mix his targets were expecting to drop too. However, Nick Mullens breathed some hope back into his fantasy value as he went off for 6/111/2 stat line last week vs. Cincinnati. The matchup with the Lions this week should be high scoring and Addison’s upside puts him in WR3/flex conversation in most lineups.
TE: Pat Freiermuth (PIT vs. CIN): Limited to just nine games this year due to injury coupled with lackluster production in the passing game has Freiermuth as TE30 on the year, but history suggests he’s worth consideration in Week 16. He scored or reached 75 yards receiving in each of his five career games against the Bengals, including his career-best 120-yard performance with nine catches less than a month ago vs. this very defense.
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