FANTASY PLAYS: Playing key matchups to win a fantasy title
Welcome to Week 16 — time to win a fantasy championship.
You already have a good idea about your starting lineup, but some pretty big names suffered serious injuries in Week 15. If you have shares of Antonio Brown, Rex Burkhead or Davante Adams, you still have serious lineup decisions to make.
—Blake Bortles, Jacksonville at San Francisco
Bortles could incredibly be the starting quarterback for several fantasy football champions. He’s averaged 23 fantasy points per game (FPPG) over the past four weeks, and has thrown multiple TDs and no interceptions in his last three games. The 49ers have given up the third most FPPG to QBs.
—Matthew Stafford, Detroit at Cincinnati
The Bengals have been dealing with several injuries to their defense, including CB Dre Kirkpatrick, who’s missed the past two weeks due to a concussion. They’ve given up an average of 19.25 FPPG to QBs over the past four weeks. Stafford has averaged 329 passing yards in his last five road games.
— Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota at Green Bay
McKinnon has caught five or more passes in six games since Week 5. The Packers have given up the most receptions to RBs over the past month. McKinnon scored 24.9 fantasy points in point-per-reception (PPR) scoring formats in his first matchup against the Packers this season.
— Dion Lewis, New England vs. Buffalo
The Bills have given up the most FPPG to RBs. Lewis has averaged just over 14 FPPG in PPR leagues over the past six weeks, and with Rex Burkhead out because of a knee sprain, he should see a slight uptick in his workload this week.
— Alex Collins, Baltimore vs. Indianapolis
The Colts have given up an average of 193 rushing yards to RBs over the past two weeks. Despite a disappointing Week 15, Collins had scored double digit fantasy points in PPR formats in his previous four games. Among RBs with at least 130 carries, he’s fourth with a 4.9 yards per carry average on the season.
— Keelan Cole, Jacksonville at San Francisco
If you’re in desperate need of a WR, Cole could be a sleeper. He’s averaged six targets over his past six games and scored TDs in his last three. The 49ers have given up 385 yards and three TDs to WRs the past two weeks.
— Mike Wallace, Baltimore vs. Indianapolis
Wallace has scored double digit fantasy points in five of his last six games in PPR scoring formats, averaging eight targets, four catches and 67 receiving yards during that span. With fellow receiver Jeremy Maclin unlikely to play, he’ll continue to have a large role in the Ravens passing game. The Colts have given up the third most receiving yards to WRs this season.
— Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. New York Giants
The Giants have given up the second most TDs to WRs over the past month (six), and over 11 catches per game to the position in their last five contests. Fitzgerald leads the Cardinals in targets.
— Antonio Gates, LA Chargers at NY Jets
Chargers TE Hunter Henry, who’s averaged six targets over his past five games, has been placed on the IR due to a kidney laceration. Expect Gates to be the recipient of the bulk of those targets.
—Jesse James, Pittsburgh at Houston
With Antonio Brown sidelined, QB Ben Roethlisberger may use James in scoring situations a bit more this week. The Texans are tied for allowing the third most TDs to TEs (eight).
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay at Carolina
With O.J. Howard on injured reserve, Brate should be heavily targeted in a favorable matchup against the Panthers, who’ve given up seven TDs to TEs.
— Kirk Cousins, Washington vs. Denver
Cousins has an average of 13.3 FPPG over the past four weeks. During the same time span, the Broncos have yielded just under 11 FPPG to QBs.
— Dak Prescott, Dallas vs. Seattle
Prescott has averaged under 12 FPPG over the past six weeks. He should get a boost with Zeke Elliott blocking for him and of course, running the ball, but it may not be enough to make him a QB1 in Week 16. Todd Gurley exposed the Seahawks run defense in Week 15, and much of the Cowboys offense may flow through Zeke’s ability to move the ball this week.
— Carlos Hyde, San Francisco vs. Jacksonville
Hyde hasn’t rushed for 100 yards in a game since Week 2, and has 3.9 YPC on the season. The Jaguars haven’t allowed a RB to score a TD in their last six games.
— Mike Davis, Seattle at Dallas
The Cowboys haven’t allowed a rushing TD to a RB in four straight weeks and with Sean Lee active over the past two games it’s been even harder to run against the Cowboys. Davis has shown good explosiveness as a runner, however he’s yet to score a TD this season.
— Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco vs. Jacksonville
Goodwin has been outstanding over the past several weeks, averaging five catches and 91 receiving yards over his last six games. But he faces a very tough Jaguars defense that has given up the second fewest FPPG to WRs.
— Robby Anderson, NY Jets vs. LA Chargers
The Chargers have an excellent pass defense anchored by CB Casey Heyward that has yielded just one TD to a WR over the past four games. Anderson has scored just over 7 FPPG over the past two weeks.
— Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Seattle
The Seahawks haven’t given up a TD to a TE, and have yielded the second fewest receptions to the position over the past four games.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com