5 Interesting Tidbits for Week 16 (2019 Fantasy Football)
Welcome to the championship week! If you have managed to remain relevant in Week 16, I think a congratulation is in order, but there is still work to do. Clearly, you have made it this far as a result of these weekly fantasy tidbits, right? So, let’s jump right into the good stuff, because there is no need to milk this intro any further (Side note: do people outside of Wisconsin use this idiom? Please, let me know).
Below, I have five tidbits for Week 16 that can provide a bit of insight and clarity for this week’s slate. They can be useful for projecting value, both good and bad, for season-long or daily fantasy. All ranks and fantasy points take half-PPR scoring into account.
A.J. Brown has performed as a top fantasy option over the past month, but expectations should be lowered this weekend.
The Tennessee Titans rookie WR has been phenomenal in his four games since the team’s bye week. In three of the four games, A.J. Brown totaled at least 100 yards and a touchdown. During this four-game stretch, Brown has been the top-scoring WR in fantasy. Over the course of the entire season, Brown ranks third in yards per route ran (2.61) and leads qualified WRs in yards per target (12.1), fantasy points per target (2.1), missed tackles per reception (0.35) and yards after contact per catch (9.2). Simply, he is performing as one of the best in the game.
However, corner Marshon Lattimore is also one of the best in the game, and he will be shadowing Brown all day long, which means the matchup is not as good as it initially seems. Lattimore is allowing just 3.25 receptions and 45.2 yards on him per game, with a 55.7 percent catch rate. If you take out Lattimore’s two bad games in Weeks 2 and 3, he allows just 24.8 yards on him per game. He has allowed one or fewer receptions in three of his past five games and 20 or fewer yards in five of the last six.
While Brown has been incredible, so has Lattimore. The top overall WR in fantasy over the past four weeks is more like a WR3 with upside in this matchup.
After a season full of disappointing, frustrating performances, O.J. Howard can be trusted in your starting lineup for your championship matchup.
Ah, Howard, one of the most frustrating players this fantasy season. In a sick way, it’s almost right that Howard wins you a fantasy championship. He is certainly in a great opportunity to, with Tampa losing 54.2 percent of their receiving production over the past two weeks, due to the injuries to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Should Godwin be out, and it appears he is, Howard is in position to be one of the top streamers for Week 16. For the record, Bruce Arians said that Godwin’s hamstring injury “doesn’t look good,” and I will trust Arians’ medical opinion until the day I die, even if it’s a result of said opinion.
Howard has also been much better and more consistent lately, catching 13 of his 19 targets for 180 yards over the past three games. He faces the Texans, who have surrendered the second-most fantasy points to TEs over the past five weeks.
Just because there have been injuries to the top two receiving weapons, it doesn’t mean Jameis Winston is going to stop slinging the ball. This will continue to be a pass-first team, and Howard is moving up the pecking order. The loss of two trusted receiving weapons also creates further opportunity in the red zone, where Howard was so magnificent last season. Should the Bucs get near the end zone, do not be surprised to see the big TE get his number called, and hopefully that big TE is Howard, not Cameron Brate.
Since Week 12, the Detroit Lions have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing D/STs, making the Denver Broncos D/ST a solid streaming option for Week 16.
With Matthew Stafford being placed on IR, we know for sure that David Blough will be taking snaps for the Detroit Lions again this week, which has been fruitful for defenses. He has been held under four air yards per attempt in back-to-back games while getting sacked an average of three times and turning the ball over five times in his three starts. Since Week 12, the Lions have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing D/STs, allowing at least nine points in three of the four games.
The Broncos are coming off of two tough games against the Chiefs and Texans, which they performed very well in. They forced four turnovers and totaled six sacks. Obviously, this Lions offense is much worse than the offensive units of Kansas City and Houston, so Denver should be considered among the top streaming defenses this week, which could be the difference in winning you a fantasy championship.
You wouldn’t start this QB if name value was taken away.
Okay, let’s play a game. We’ll see how long it takes for you to guess who this QB is.
Since Week 9, this QB ranks the worst among the 28 qualified players in yards per pass attempt (5.59) and passer rating (73.5). Over these six games played, he has completed only 54.1 percent of his passes for 219 yards per game, while throwing eight touchdowns to three interceptions. Of the six games, half totaled under 200 yards passing while only one surpassed 300. Since Week 9, this player ranks as QB23 and he has a matchup with a defense that ranks as the second-stingiest to the position this season.
Obviously, you’re not starting this player, and that’s the point I am trying to get across. If you haven’t guessed yet, the QB described above is Tom Brady. This is not me saying he has fallen off a cliff or is a system QB, whether I believe it or not. Rather, his offensive line is no good. His receiving group has no depth and his top receiving weapon, Julian Edelman, is beat up. Brady has a matchup with the Bills this week, and he passed for just 150 yards with an interception during his first matchup against Buffalo this season.
Dwayne Haskins continues to get better for both fantasy and reality.
First, Dwayne Haskins was not even getting reps in practice this season, then he was thrown into action and struggled. Now, he is beginning to find his footing and has shown off glimpses of the potential we saw in college. His continued improvement led to his best performance in the NFL to date during Week 15, and I think he has the opportunity to have another solid week. Before I get into this further, this is likely more of a tidbit that is useful for valuing his receiving weapons and/or useful for DFS, because you likely have a better QB option on your team if you are competing for you league’s championship this week.
Anyways, Haskins passed for a career-high 261 yards and two touchdowns without an interception last week against a poor Eagles secondary. This resulted in him scoring 19 fantasy points and being QB10 on the week.
This week, he faces a secondary that is even worse than the one he saw against the Eagles. Haskins plays the Giants, who have surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to QBs this season. While the Washington WRs are not amazing, two of them (Steven Sims and Terry McLaurin) have the top two individual matchup advantages of the week among WRs, according to Pro Football Focus. This should tell you just how bad this Giants secondary is, and after a confidence-building Week 15, Haskins has a great opportunity to have another borderline QB1 week.
Zach Brunner is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Zach, follow him @fantasyflurry.