Welcome back to my trust or bust series, brought back for 2022, here we look at the Week 16 matchups.
Oh my god, did you see that?! Wow! They actually came back, how? What the hell was he thinking? He just cost us the game! If you watched football last week I guarantee you said one of, if not all of, these phrases. The first week of the fantasy playoffs did not disappoint. Well if you lost and you’re out of the playoffs, you’re probably disappointed. But, hey, you had fun, right?
As a Cowboys fan, Week 15 was anything but fun and as a fantasy player, I too felt the pain of getting eliminated from the fantasy playoffs in one league. I also had the pleasure of not only sneaking into the playoffs as the 6th seed and winning my matchup in that same league.
Fantasy is a fickle beast with a weird sense of humor and we’re just as sick for dedicating 6 months, if not more of our time to it. Nevertheless, here we are anxiously waiting for what could classify as the best weekend ever with football three days in a row, three days off of work (hopefully), and that little-known holiday called Christmas where we eat good food, spend time with family and friends and get presents.
QB Geno Smith (SEA)
Week 15 Ranking 11th
Week 15 Finish 15th
The 49ers’ defense gets better and better every week and the Seahawks have gotten worse week to week. Losing 4 out of their last 5, Seattle’s magical run to the playoffs is close to ending.
RB Josh Jacobs (LV)
Week 15 Ranking 4th
Week 15 Finish 20th
In what was quite possibly the craziest ending to a game in the last 10 years, Josh Jacobs and the Raiders kept their slim playoff hopes alive last week. Scoring only 13 fantasy points last week, I hope anyone relying on Jacobs had another player on their roster pick up the slack.
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET)
Week 15 Ranking 6th
Week 15 Finish 23rd
Winning their 4th game in a row and 7 of their last 8 the red-hot Lions are doing everything they can to get the final wild-card spot in the NFC. Amon Ra did his part with 15 fantasy points last week. With a tough matchup vs the Carolina Panthers and Jaycee Horn, this game could ruin someone’s Christmas and playoff hopes.
TE Evan Engram (JAX)
Week 15 Ranking 9th
Week 15 Finish 7th
Don’t look now but the Jaguars are another team that’s getting hot at the right time and looking to steal the last spot in the AFC playoffs. After a big win against the Dallas Cowboys, Evan Engram and the Jaguars humbled the Cowboys’ defense and Engram was the first tight end to have more than forty receiving yards all year.
T’was a good week, not a great week. The numbers shall be ran.
Week 15 Results- 3 for 4 100%
Week 16 Inside/ Outside Picks
QB Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)
Current Ranking 13th
AVG Points per Game 18.8
Week 16 ranking 6th
the brink of missing the playoffs if they lose another game. With the toughest part of their schedule, Miami has yet another difficult matchup ahead versus a Packers defense that’s allowed the least amount of passing yards in 2022.
Who I like More
QB Sam Darnold (CAR)
Week 16 ranking 19th
Never did I ever think I’d ever recommend starting Sam Darnold, yet here we are, that’s fantasy. Would I risk my fantasy playoffs for Darnold? No! However, we all know that sometimes we have to take risks to win a game and with Darnold, the reward is far greater than the risk. It doesn’t hurt that Darnold’s next game is against a Lions’ defense that allows over twenty points per game to quarterbacks.
RB James Conner (ARI)
Current Ranking 21st
AVG Points per Game 14.7
Week 16 ranking 11th
As someone relying on Conner to have a good game for my playoffs’ sake, having Conner as a “bust” this week pains me. To make matters worse both Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy are out for the game. The Cardinals will be starting third-string quarterback Trace McSorely, making the passing game borderline non-existent against the stout Tampa Bay run defense that’s allowed only four touchdowns all year.
Who I like More
RB D'Andre Swift (DET)
Week 16 ranking 25th
From weeks 12 – 15, D’Andre Swift is third in targets behind only Austin Ekeler and Christian McCaffrey. While the production hasn’t been there, the one thing holding Swift back this season has been opportunity. Showing he’s healthy and earning the trust of the coaching staff, Swift is an upside play against the Panthers that is fourth in running back red-zone touches with fifty-nine.
WR Ja'Marr Chase (CIN)
Current Ranking 11th
AVG Points per Game 20.6
Week 16 ranking 5th
Competing with Tee Higgins for targets, only 4 games with 100 receiving yards or more, 4 games with twenty points or more, and missing 5 games; Ja’Marr Chase hasn’t been the dominant force we thought he would be this season. Facing top defensive back Jack Jones in New England who has allowed only one receiver to reach 100 receiving yards and only two touchdowns this season, don’t expect Ja’Marr to have another week-winning performance.
Who I like More
WR D.J. Moore (CAR)
Week 16 Ranking 224d
Trusting D.J. Moore isn’t an easy thing to do. Sometimes you have to trust the matchup and not the player. We all know what Moore is capable of and if we’re being honest, Sam Darnold is the one who is hard to trust. Considering I like Darnold this week, strictly because of the matchup. I’m firing up Moore too because of this matchup.
TE David Njoku (CLE)
Current Ranking 7th
AVG Points per Game 11.0
Week 16 ranking 10th
With 5 TE1 finishes and 6 TE2 or worse finishes, Njoku has been hit or miss this season. One thing going for Njoku is the fact that he’s caught the eye of DeShaun Watson. Having 6 targets or more in back-to-back games, volume isn’t the issue. Facing the Saints’ top-three defense that has only allowed two touchdowns all year is the issue with Njoku.
Who I like More
TE Juwan Johnson (NO)
Week 16 ranking 19th
On the opposite sideline of Njoku, Juwan Johnson has been a nice surprise for fantasy managers this season. From weeks 9-15, Juwan Johnson has been the TE8 averaging almost 13 points per game. The Browns’ defense is another tough unit versus tight ends allowing less than 10 points to the position. However, with New Orleans’ issues at the receiver position, Johnson will continue to benefit from the injuries to the Saints’ skill players.
That’s gonna do it for this week’s piece. I hope you found the info useful and actionable.
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Image Credit: Joseph Maiorana – USA TODAY Sports