[Editor’s Note: Big shout out to our own Tony Fashoda who qualified and is competing this week to be crowned the Overall Champion amongst 10 finalists in the prestigious, highly competitive, ultra-cool 2014 Scott Fish Bowl Invitational (Twitter: #2014SFB). This competition includes 240 players! Check the playoffs page to see Tony listed (and how he does after Week 16), and here is his draft recap from July. You can quickly see why he’s amongst the top teams drafting Peyton-Le’Veon Bell-Cobb 1-2-3, but also drafting Odell Beckham, Jr. in the 14th round. Good luck Tony! We are definitely pulling for you all the way this week!]
If you were so lucky to make it into your league’s fantasy championship, then congratulations, and good luck this week! For those of you that lost but are still looking for that fantasy football rush, look no further than Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). Most people play at FanDuel and DraftKings.
Week 16 in the NFL will be very competitive as majority of the teams are still playing for something (secure a playoff spot, home field advantage). Some teams out of the playoffs may be motivated to improve their draft position in the NFL Draft, but coaches and current players are typically more interested in their own job security. Lets not get too cute this week. Stick to playoff-bound teams and start the studs!
Elite, Expensive: Aaron Rodgers, GB (Week 16 @ Tampa Bay)
Rodgers had one of his worst professional games in Week 15 against the tough Buffalo Bills defense. He did not throw a touchdown and had two interceptions. Week 16 is a must win for Green Bay to stay in the playoff hunt. This is exactly what Green Bay needs, an easy matchup for a morale-boosting dominating win. I expect Rodgers and Green Bay to roll big time.
Middle of the Road: Matthew Stafford, DET (Week 16 vs Chicago)
We know Detroit is a different team on the road and at home, however, when it comes to division games, they always show up to play. In Week 15, Detroit was kept quiet by the Minnesota defense. In Week 16, Detroit takes a short trip down to Chicago for a division matchup. Chicago is horrendous. Detroit and Stafford will thoroughly enjoy embarrassing their rival. Stafford easily tops 300 yards and two touchdowns.
Cheap, High Upside: Andy Dalton, CIN (Week 16 vs Denver)
Cincinnati is sitting atop the AFC North right now, but Pittsburgh is breathing down their necks as the competition for division champ is winding down. Cincinnati gets the “pleasure” of welcoming Denver on Monday Night Football next week. If Cincinnati wants to keep up with Manning and the Broncos, Dalton will need to play some of his best football. He has a chance to produce some great value at his current price. He is worth the risk.
Elite, Expensive: Eddie Lacy, GB (Week 16 @ Tampa Bay)
Lacy is the sixth best running back in the league, which is an amazing feat after the way he performed the first four weeks of the season. Tampa Bay ranks among the worst 10 run defenses. Lacy should continue to thrive as Green Bay rolls in this game.
Middle of the Road: Mark Ingram, NO (Week 16 vs Atlanta)
Ingram should get plenty of work in this division showdown. Atlanta has the worst run defense in the league, so Ingram should have a great day. In Week 1 against the Falcons, Ingram finished with 60 yards and two touchdowns. I expect a repeat performance this week as this will be a high-scoring game once again.
Cheap, High Upside: Steven Jackson, ATL (Week 16 @ New Orleans)
Over the last seven weeks, Jackson has had either a touchdown or over 100 yards rushing in five of seven weeks. New Orleans running defense is not very good as they rank in the bottom 10. Jackson should get plenty of opportunities in this game as Atlanta will want to keep the ball out of Drew Brees‘ hands.
Elite, Expensive: Calvin Johnson, DET (Week 16 @ Chicago)
Johnson had a tough matchup in Week 15 against a vastly underrated Minnesota defense. I expect him to break out for a big game in Week 16 as Detroit is still in contention for the division title. Stack Stafford and Johnson; they should have monster days against a BAD Chicago defense.
Cheap, High Upside: Cole Beasley, DAL (Week 16 vs Indianapolis)
With the news of DeMarco Murray possibly not playing on Sunday due to surgery on a broken bone in his left hand, Joesph Randle and Lance Dunbar will need to fill in for Murray. They, by no means, are on the same level as Murray. Tony Romo will need to throw more to keep pace with Indianapolis and Andrew Luck. Expect Indianapolis to double-cover Dez Bryant following his three-touchdown performance in Week 15. That means Beasley, who has emerged as the true number two wide receiver for Dallas, should find plenty of open room to roam and earn targets from Romo. Beasley provides great value this week.
Elite, Expensive: Rob Gronkowski, NE (Week 16 @ New York Jets)
I tried to get cute last week and go with another tight end (Jimmy Graham) instead of Gronkowski. My bad. This week, I am going back to the best tight end in the game. He seems to produce no matter what the matchup is. Plug him in and watch him tear up the Pats’ division rival.
Middle of the Road: Coby Fleener, IND (Week 16 @ Dallas)
Dallas has a weakness at defending the tight end position. Dwayne Allen had a good game in Week 15, but Fleener received more of the targets from Andrew Luck. Fleener (and Allen) should have an easy day getting open against Dallas.
Cheap, High Upside: Jason Witten, DAL (Week 16 vs Indianapolis)
See Cole Beasley. Expect Romo to look for Witten A LOT as his safety valve.
Seattle Seahawks (Week 16 @ Atlanta)
Seattle is the best defense over the last 3 weeks. They are playing at a high level. They now go to Arizona, who is on their third-string quarterback. Seattle will shut down Arizona as they push for the top seed in the NFC.
Detroit Lions (Week 16 @ Chicago)
Chicago is an embarrassment. Detroit has a good defense. Detroit is still competing for the division. Detroit always plays Chicago tough. This has blowout written all over it.
Baltimore Ravens (Week 16 @ Houston)
Houston is down to their third-string quarterback. Whether it is Thad Lewis or Case Keenum starting, Baltimore should have a field day. Also, Baltimore hasn’t allowed a running back to rush for over 100 yards in 24 consecutive games, so if Houston’s plan is to lean on Arian Foster, they might struggle all day.
Last week, NFL Week 14, was typically the first week of fantasy football playoffs for traditional fantasy leagues. Whether you didn’t qualify for the playoffs at all, got knocked out due to no-shows from Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Josh Gordon and Jimmy Graham, or moved on to the next round thanks to performances by the likes of Matt Ryan, Le’Veon Bell, DeMarco Murray and Julio Jones, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is indifferent. It is a fresh start every week. Lets identify some good plays for Week 15.
Elite, Expensive: Tom Brady, NE (Week 15 vs Miami)
Brady is returning home after two big time road games. He takes on a Miami team that pulled off an upset Week 1. Don’t think that Bill Belichick or Brady have forgotten about that game. I expect this game to be a demonstration of dominance by New England over its division foe.
Middle of the Road: Matt Ryan, ATL (Week 15 vs Pittsburgh)
After getting down early in Week 14, Ryan stormed back against the Green Bay Packers to make it a competitive game. He finished with 375 yards, four touchdowns, one interception, and 23 rushing yards. Coming home and, shockingly, looking to stay atop the division (at 5-8), expect Ryan to have another great game.
Cheap, High Upside: Mark Sanchez, PHI (Week 15 vs Dallas)
This is a repeat game of two weeks ago except Philadelphia now welcomes Dallas into their building. Philadelphia is 6-1 at home (with that one loss coming in Week 14 to Seattle). This game has big playoff implications on the line for both teams, so each side will be pulling out all of the stops. Expect a high scoring game, and lots of points for Sanchez.
Elite, Expensive: Le’Veon Bell, PIT (Week 15 @ Atlanta)
With his Week 13 and 14 performances, Bell joins Walter Payton as the only running backs to have over 200 combined yards in back-to-back weeks. Bell has also taken over as the best running back in fantasy football this year. He now gets to run against the worst run defense. He is a must start.
Middle of the Road: Justin Forsett, BAL (Week 15 vs Jacksonville)
Forsett has probably earned the, “best waiver wire acquisition” title of the year in many fantasy football leagues. He ranks among the top 10 running backs in standard scoring leagues. Jacksonville is among the top five worst run defenses in the league. Forsett will continue to feast this week.
Cheap, High Upside: Mark Ingram, NO (Week 15 @ Chicago)
The Chicago Bears just allowed 179 rushing years to DeMarco Murray in Week 14. They have been gashed by the run the last two weeks. Ingram should find open lanes and plenty of running room. He is a must start at his price.
Elite, Expensive: Antonio Brown, PIT (Week 15 @ Atlanta)
Just like Brown’s teammate Le’Veon Bell, Brown leads all wide receivers in fantasy football. Atlanta just allowed Green Bay’s number one receiver, Jordy Nelson, to post 146 yards and two touchdowns. I expect Brown to post similar numbers in Week 15. Pay up for the man.
Middle of the Road: T.Y. Hilton, IND (Week 15 vs Houston)
Hilton has emerged as an elite wide receiver this year. His five career stat lines versus Houston Texans are as follows: 9 catches-223 yards-1 touchdown, 8-78-0, 7-121-3, 4-111-1, and 3-78-1. He is in store for another huge week. Start him.
Cheap, High Upside: Malcom Floyd, SD (Week 15 vs Denver)
Floyd led the Chargers in receiving yards and touchdowns in Week 14. He has developed a good chemistry with quarterback Phillip Rivers over the past few weeks. In Week 15, the Chargers will need all their weapons firing to top Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Floyd could be in for a good game.
Elite, Expensive: Jimmy Graham, NO (Week 15 @ Chicago)
Graham is in a slump. He may be battling a shoulder injury, but that isn’t stopping quarterback Drew Brees from targeting him. In Week 15, Graham will face the most generous defense for tight ends. I expect him to bounce back in a major way as the Saints fight for a playoff spot. If you are going to pay for a tight end, get Graham this week.
Middle of the Road: Jordan Cameron, CLE (Week 15 vs Cincinnati)
Cleveland is a mess right now and let a win escape them in Week 14 over the Indianapolis Colts. For Week 15, Johnny Manziel will be the new starting quarterback for the Browns. With this change, he might provide a much needed spark for the team. Manziel may look Cameron’s way as a safety valve until he is comfortable as rookie quarterbacks tend to favor large, athletic tight ends. Cameron could be a sneaky play this week.
Cheap, High Upside: Dwayne Allen, IND (Week 15 vs Houston)
Prior to going out due to injury, Allen was a hot, productive tight end for the Colts. He returned in Week 14, but didn’t see much production. In Week 15, he should be back to 100% and ready to roll. At his price, he might be a steal in DFS leagues.
St. Louis Rams (Week 15 vs Arizona)
Since quarterback Carson Palmer went down, Arizona hasn’t been able to muster up much offense. St. Louis have back-to-back shut outs over Oakland and Washington. They will look for a third straight and have a good chance of getting it.
Seattle Seahawks (Week 15 vs San Francisco)
The Seattle defense looks to have found their old ways as they have been shutting down opponents. Week 15 brings the pitiful 49ers offense to Seattle. I expect a repeat of what we saw Thanksgiving night, which was Seattle dominance.
As mentioned last week, I’m on the mailing list for FantasyDraft, a new player in the daily fantasy sports space. This week they are officially launching. Copied below is the latest update.
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