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Ownership levels have been steadily rising for many of the players and defenses that we have included in this column for over a month now. Despite that, we have not pulled players like DeVante Parker whose ownership percentages have nearly doubled since the first installment of this column, just in case they are available on some of your waiver wires. We have, however, added more players with favorable matchups that are more likely to be available in a wider variety of leagues. If you have a question or would like to discuss a strategy you are welcome to contact me either on Twitter @RyanReynNJ or via email at [email protected]
Table of Contents
Quarterbacks with Multiple Appealing Matchups
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Added this week)
Gardner Minshew (Added this week)
Mitch Trubisky (Added this week)
Additional Weekly Streaming Options
Week 14: Sam Darnold vs Dolphins, Jacoby Brissett at Buccaneers
Week 15: Matthew Stafford vs Buccaneers
Week 16: Phillip Rivers vs Raiders
Difference Making Wide Receivers
Teams with Appealing Matchups and Multiple Pass Catching Options
Dolphins (Added this week)
Ian Thomas (Added this week)
Gerald Everett/ Tyler Higbee
Defenses with Multiple Appealing Matchups
Defensive Streaming Options
Week 14: Vikings Defense vs Lions, Falcons Defense vs Panthers, Texans Defense vs Broncos
Week 15: Steelers Defense vs Bills
Week 16: Colts Defense vs Panthers
Volatile Wide Receiver Streaming Options
Week 14: Jets Pass Catchers vs Dolphins, Packers Pass Catchers vs Redskins
Week 15: Broncos Pass Catchers at Chiefs
Week 16: Bears Pass Catchers vs Chiefs
Running Back Handcuffs and Stashes
A brief explanation and tiering of most of the league’s backfields.
Quarterbacks with Multiple Appealing Matchups
Tom Brady (Week 14 vs KC, Week 15 at Cin): Brady had a productive Week 13 for fantasy purposes, as he threw for 326 yards with 3 touchdowns in a losing effort against the Texans. On the downside, the Patriots offense struggled for most of the game (Brady’s completion percentage was 51.1%) and much of that production came late. Despite the struggles of the Patriots offense, their coming matchup with the Chiefs has New England as a 3-point home favorite, with an implied team total of 26, in Week 14’s highest game total (49 points). Given the stratospheric ceiling of the Chiefs offense against any opponent, this game has genuine shootout potential. Week 15’s matchup with the Bengals is also appealing, though it does come with the risk of the Patriots taking control early, which could result in a reduction in the passing game’s volume for New England. That said, if the Patriots once again play down against a high-quality opponent in the Chiefs, mastermind Bill Belichick has used a late season matchup like this one against the Bengals as a tune up of sorts for Brady and his pass catchers (like last year’s 38-3 season finale against the Jets).
Carson Wentz (Week 14 vs NYG, Week 15 at Wash, Week 16 vs Dal): Even though the Eagles were upset in Miami last week, Wentz lit up the Dolphins for 310 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. The Eagles are 8 ½ point home favorites against the Giants in Week 14, where Wentz will have an opportunity to shred a legitimately bad Giants pass defense on Monday Night Football. Week 15’s matchup in Washington offers similar appeal, as Wentz already torched the Redskins for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns on opening day. Week 16’s contest with Dallas could very well decide the winner of the NFC East, and Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is capable of hanging serious points on an Eagles secondary that was just bombarded by Ryan Fitzpatrick, which could force Wentz and the Eagles to keep pace. With that said, the Cowboys defense presents a more challenging opponent than either the Giants or the Redskins, even though Dallas has significantly disappointed on that side of the ball this season.
Baker Mayfield (Week 14 vs Cin, Week 15 at Arz): The Browns offense has been volatile all season, but they are in a strong position in Week 14 as they are 8 ½ point home favorites with an implied team total of 24 ½ against the rival Bengals. The return of Andy Dalton significantly improves the ceiling of Cincinnati’s offense, which increases the likelihood that this contest exceeds its meager game total of 40 ½ points. Arizona just surrendered 424 yards passing to Jared Goff, so there is very clear upside in taking a shot on Mayfield in Week 15 at Arizona.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Week 14 at NYJ, Week 15 at NYG, Week 16 vs Cin): The Dolphins have been unable to effectively run the ball all season, which has made this Miami team that often plays from behind even more reliant on the passing game. Since Fitzpatrick returned to the starting lineup in Week 7 against Buffalo, he has between 33 and 45 pass attempts in every game over that span. That volume, against this phenomenal string of poor pass defenses in Weeks 14 through 16, makes Fitzpatrick a high-ceiling asset through the fantasy playoffs. With that said, efficiency and reliability have been an issue for Miami all season, which makes playing Fitzpatrick a risk vs reward type of decision in each of these matchups.
Daniel Jones (Week 14 at Phi, Week 15 vs Mia, Week 16 at Wash): Jones has thrown 11 interceptions and he’s fumbled 15 times this season, which makes playing him against a highly capable Eagles pass rush, on the road, for Monday Night Football in Week 14 a risky proposition. That said, the Eagles secondary has been lit up by the likes of Case Keenum and Ryan Fitzpatrick this season, which gives Jones a high ceiling to go with that low floor against the Eagles. Jones biggest path to failure in Week 15’s home matchup with the Dolphins is if Saquon Barkley finally has an explosive game on the ground. Otherwise, that is a tremendous matchup for all of the Giants offensive players and injury is the only thing that will keep Jones from being included as a streaming option next week. Week 16’s matchup in Washington also comes with above average appeal, particularly because current Giants head coach Pat Shurmur’s best chance of retaining his job this off-season is if Jones shoes progress and finishes the season strong.
Ryan Tannehill (Week 14 at Oak, Week 15 vs Hou, Week 16 vs NO): Tannehill has been a reliable fantasy asset that brings added value as a runner since taking over the Titans starting quarterback job back in Week 7. Tannehill’s Week 14 opponent Oakland just lost back-to-back games by 31-points, which may have consensus expectations flying a little too high on Tennessee this week as they travel all the way to the west coast. Regardless, a matchup against the Raiders defense is very appealing, and there is a very realistic path for the Titans to exceed their 24 ¾ implied team total against a vulnerable Raiders defense. Week 15’s matchup with Houston is another with great appeal, as the Texans are giving up the 5th most yards per game in the air (262.9) on the season. Week 16’s game with the Saints is more of an average matchup, but if Tannehill continues to perform at a high-level heading into that contest it might benefit you to know who Tannehill has on the schedule in the fantasy championship.
Andy Dalton (Week 14 at Cle, Week 16 at Mia): The Bengals only have an implied team total of 16-points as 8 ½ point road underdogs against the Browns in Week 14. Outside of 2-QB formats one would have to project Dalton to considerably exceed expectations before plugging him into their lineup against Cleveland. In Week 16, however, Dalton draws the best possible matchup against Miami, which will almost certainly put him on the radar as a streaming option when most fantasy championships are decided.
Gardner Minshew (Week 15 at Oak, Week 16 at Atl): Now that Nick Foles has been benched, playing Minshew in Week 14 against the Chargers should be avoided outside of 2-QB formats. Going forward, Minshew faces two back-of-the-pack pass defenses when the Jaguars head to Oakland in Week 15 and then Atlanta in Week 16. Minshew was better than anyone could have expected earlier in the season when he stepped in for a then injured Foles. Minshew also brings value as a runner, exceeding 40 yards rushing in 3 of his 8 starts this season. Whether or not you should ride Minshew in these two late-season matchups will be very situation dependent, but there is legitimate upside in both of them.
Mitch Trubisky (Week 14 vs Dal, Week 15 at GB, Week 16 vs KC): Trubisky has been the very definition of unreliable this season, but he is now coming off his two highest passing totals of the year heading into a stretch of games that provide considerable upside. In Week 14, Trubisky is more of a 2-QB format play than a streaming option given the middling 43-point game total against Dallas. Week 15’s matchup at Green Bay also comes with some upside in 2-QB formats, even though Trubisky has never had more than a middling fantasy performance against the rival Packers. Week 16’s matchup with the Chiefs comes with some sneaky shootout potential, as the Bears defense has been negatively impacted by injuries and Patrick Mahomes can push a game total beyond it’s limit against any opponent. Most concerning about Trubisky as a fantasy asset is that he has not exceeded 20 yards rushing in a single game this year, which is shocking considering that speed is one of Trubisky’s more valuable traits.
Derek Carr (Week 14 vs Ten, Week 15 vs Jax): The Raiders are coming off a two-game road stretch where they lost both contests by 31-points apiece. That makes Carr virtually unplayable outside of 2-QB formats in these two fair home matchups against the Titans and Jaguars.
Kyle Allen (Week 14 at Atl, Week 15 vs Sea, Week 16 at Ind): Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was fired heading into Week 14, while offensive coordinator Norv Turner was replaced as play caller by his son Scott Turner as the Panthers try to figure out what they have in-house going forward. Those changes make an already volatile Allen a very risky play outside of 2-QB formats. With that said, Week 14’s matchup in Atlanta currently has the 3rd highest game total (47) of the slate. Week 15’s matchup with Seattle and Week 16’s trip to Indianapolis are both average matchups for Allen, but potentially usable in 2-QB formats.
Additional Weekly Streaming Options
Sam Darnold vs Dolphins: The extensive run through the soft part of the Jets schedule closes in Week 14 as they host Miami as 5-point home favorites. Even though Darnold’s 10.46 Draft Kings points against the Bengals last week burned many streamers, Week 14’s matchup with Miami is another potential smash spot for Darnold and all Jets offensive players with a significant role. With that said, Darnold is currently listed as questionable on the injury report with knee and rib concerns. So, check in on his injury status heading into Sunday if you have plans to play Darnold against Miami.
Jacoby Brissett at Buccaneers: Despite operating with a skeleton crew at the skill positions, Brissett exceeded 300 yards passing during last week’s come from behind effort against the Titans. In Week 14 Brissett draws an exceptional matchup against a Buccaneers defense that has been much better against the run than the pass over the course of this season. If T.Y. Hilton should return to action, Brissett’s value will be enhanced in this attractive matchup.
Matthew Stafford vs Buccaneers: Stafford has still not been shut down for the season even though quarterback Jeff Driskel has been moved to injured reserve. If Stafford is able to return for this potential matchup against the Buccaneers, this is an absolute smash spot for the Lions passing offense.
Phillip Rivers vs Raiders: Rivers arm strength is starting to limit his ability to be an effective NFL quarterback, but he’s still a gunslinger in a very appealing matchup during the week most fantasy championships are decided. The Raiders have also been blown out in back-to-back road games by 31-points against the Jets and then the Chiefs, paving the way to some clear upside for Rivers.
Difference Making Wide Receivers
DeVante Parker (Week 14 at NYJ, Week 15 at NYG, Week 16 vs Cin): Parker is now owned in the overwhelming majority of fantasy leagues. If he is still somehow available in your league, he needs to be picked up and he can be considered a plug-and-play option through the rest of the fantasy playoffs as long as Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to be the Dolphins starting quarterback.
Will Fuller (Week 15 at Titans, Week 16 at Buccaneers): Fuller is coming off a 1 catch for 8 yards performance against New England in Week 14. If that outing put him back on your waiver wire he should be owned in all formats. While he’s playable in Week 15’s matchup against Tennessee, Fuller’s upside is genuinely enormous against the Bucs in the week most fantasy championships are decided.
Hollywood Brown (Week 15 vs NYJ, Week 16 at Cle): Hollywood’s Week 15 matchup against the Jets on Thursday Night Football has massive upside. Even if you want to start someone more reliable than Hollywood in that spot, you probably don’t want to face him in that matchup against the Jets. Baker Mayfield has been at his best to this point in his career against Baltimore, which gives that Week 16 matchup in Cleveland some sneaky shootout potential.
Alshon Jeffery (Week 14 vs NYG, Week 15 at Wash, Week 16 vs Dal): Jefferey returned against Miami in Week 13, as he posted a 9-137-1 line on a monster 16 targets against the Dolphins. While we should not expect that to be the new norm, Jeffery’s massive usage and 62 offensive snaps indicates that he has no current restrictions and can be a plug-and-play option for most fantasy teams through the fantasy championship.
Deebo Samuel (Week 14 at NO, Week 15 vs Atl, Week 16 vs LAR): Since tight end George Kittle’s return, Deebo only has 6 targets over the past two games. His double-digit PPR scores over that two-game span have been built off long touchdowns. So, while Deebo should be rostered in most formats, his role has seen a significant reduction with Kittle’s return so far.
Mike Williams (Week 14 at Jax, Week 15 vs Min, Week 16 vs Oak): Williams, also known as REDACTED in some circles, has 778 yards receiving on the season without a touchdown. His extremely inefficient production makes him a volatile, bordering on unplayable, fantasy asset for many users that are not in superflex leagues. However, his looming matchups against the Vikings and the Raiders in particular provide a reasonable path to positive touchdown regression for the third-year receiver that had 10 touchdowns during his 2018 campaign.
Teams with Appealing Matchups and Multiple Pass Catching Options
Giants (Week 14 at Phi, Week 15 vs Mia, Week 16 at Wash): At this point viewing Sterling Shepard and then Darius Slayton as the most valuable Giants pass catchers to own going forward is reasonable considering Evan Engram’s inability to get back on the field. Still, Engram should be held onto in most formats considering the appealing matchups coming for the Giants. Once Golden Tate returns, he has enhanced value in PPR formats and could also greatly benefit from these outstanding matchups. It should be said that if all four of these Giants pass catchers are active in any given week, predicting where the target volume will go is going to be difficult. With that said, all of them have legitimate fantasy value and should be rostered in most leagues.
Patriots (Week 14 vs KC, Week 15 at Cin): Julian Edelman is not going to be available on your waiver wire, so we have to consider the value of other Patriots pass catchers. Preseason star Jakobi Meyers now has back-to-back games where he has been a considerable part of the offense while playing the majority of the team’s offensive snaps, while playing significant reps both on the perimeter and in the slot. Phillip Dorsett returned to a significant, yet inefficient role in Week 13 as he saw nearly all of his snaps on the perimeter. Mohamed Sanu did not see a full workload against the Texans in Week 13, indicating that he’s still an injury concern. It would be reasonable to consider rookie first-rounder N’Keal Harry fifth in the Patriots wide receiver pecking order currently.
Jaguars (Week 15 at Oak, Week 16 at Atl): D.J. Chark is not going to be available in the vast majority of leagues, but both Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley have significant roles in the Jaguars passing attack. Westbrook is worthy of a roster spot in most leagues, where Conley still warrants consideration in 12-team leagues with deeper benches. While Jaguars pass catchers outside of Chark should likely be avoided against the Chargers in Week 14, both Westbrook and Conley will be DFS worthy considerations in Week’s 15 and 16.
Dolphins (Week 14 at NYJ, Week 15 at NYG, Week 16 vs Cin): Wide receiver DeVante Parker and tight end Mike Gesicki are both discussed specifically in this column. However, both Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns warrant consideration in deeper leagues given the Dolphins tremendous schedule through the fantasy playoffs. Wilson, in particular, has previously shown the ability to put together a big box score as a Dolphin.
Bengals (Week 14 at Cle, Week 16 at Mia): Andy Dalton’s return increases the value of all potential Bengals pass catchers, who all happen to have multiple favorable matchups looming on the schedule. We still don’t know if A.J. Green will return this season. If he did, it would limit the value of Auden Tate, Alex Erickson, and/ or John Ross now that Ross has been declared active for Week 14. With that said, should Green remain sidelined or Tyler Boyd go down with an injury over the next few weeks, those complimentary parts in the Bengals passing game would see another rise in value during these appealing matchups, with Ross in particular having the most upside. Boyd is not available in the majority of leagues, but Dalton’s return to a starting role significantly increases Boyd’s value going forward.
Titans (Week 14 at Oak, Week 15 vs Hou): Ryan Tannehill has played very well since taking over this offense, which makes Titans pass catchers worthy of consideration going forward. Corey Davis and A.J. Brown both have high upside with week killing floors in these contests. Adam Humphries would also be worth consideration in deeper leagues, though his week-to-week usage has been shockingly low considering the hefty contract he was given this offseason.
Jacob Hollister (Week 14 at LAR, Week 15 at Car, Week 16 vs Arz): Hollister’s value is almost entirely built on being Russell Wilson’s current tight end. Hollister is potentially usable in Weeks 14 and 15 while having major upside in Week 16 against a Cardinals defense that continues to be destroyed by enemy tight ends. Since most fantasy championships are decided in Week 16, Hollister remains a tight end option that should be rostered in most leagues.
Jack Doyle (Week 14 at TB, Week 15 at NO, Week 16 vs Car): With Eric Ebron on injured reserve and T.Y. Hilton sidelined with injury, Doyle posted a 6-73-1 line on 11 targets against the Titans in Week 13. Going forward, Doyle is the clear top tight end for the Colts with Ebron out. His Week 14 matchup with the Buccaneers is the best of this group, but his expanded role gives makes him a usable option in all of these contests.
Dallas Goedert (Week 14 vs NYG, Week 15 at Wash, Week 16 vs Dal): Goedert’s value as a fantasy asset is fairly unique. Zach Ertz is the top tight end and primary pass catcher in the Eagles offense, yet Goedert has been a viable fantasy starter himself for nearly 2 months. The Eagles have excellent matchups coming through the fantasy playoffs, which, combined with Goedert’s role, means that he should be rostered in more leagues than he currently is. That is especially true now that Ertz nearly missed Week 13’s contest with Miami. Should Ertz miss time, Goedert would become a top-5 tight end for fantasy purposes.
Mike Gesicki (Week 14 at NYJ, Week 15 at NYG, Week 16 vs Cin): As mentioned in the waiver column, Gesicki has received 6 or 7 targets in every game since Preston Williams went down for the year with a knee injury. While all Dolphins offensive assets are volatile, the upside for Gesicki is huge given this string of appealing matchups through the fantasy playoffs. It could easily be argued that Gesicki is the most valuable tight end out of those available in the majority of season-long leagues.
Ian Thomas (Week 14 at Atl, Week 15 vs Sea, Week 16 at Ind): Greg Olsen’s current injury status puts Thomas in play as a streaming option this week and perhaps even beyond. Thomas showed that he can be productive in Olsen’s absence down the stretch last season, though that was with Cam Newton under center rather than Kyle Allen.
Noah Fant (Week 14 at Hou, Week 15 at KC, Week 16 vs Det): With Drew Lock under center in Week 13 against the Chargers, Fant’s usage took a major downturn as he was only targeted 3 times. It’s possible that usage reduction was due to Denver’s matchup with a talented Chargers pass defense, but it’s also possible that the shift to Lock will have a negative impact on Fant’s fantasy viability going forward. Still, Fant has tremendous matchups coming against the Texans and Chiefs, where the Broncos will almost certainly be playing from behind.
Gerald Everett/ Tyler Higbee (Week 14 vs Sea, Week 15 at Dal, Week 16 at SF): Everett’s status remains in doubt after Higbee reaped the benefits of facing Arizona as the Rams primary tight end, as he lit them up for 26.7 Draft Kings points. Going forward, Everett is the better athlete, but his injury status has been in doubt for weeks, likely making Higbee the more valuable short-term asset between the two.
Jimmy Graham (Week 14 vs Wash, Week 15 vs Chi, Week 16 at Min): The appeal for Graham is based on Aaron Rodgers willingness to give him contested catch opportunities in the endzone. While the matchups against the Giants and Redskins certainly have appeal, Graham is capable of hauling in a score or two in any given week, just as he’s capable of a basement level floor.
Ryan Griffin (Week 14 vs Mia, Week 15 at Bal, Week 16 vs Pit): Griffin has been productive for fantasy purposes in 4 of the last 6 weeks, while still having significant opportunity against the Bengals last week. While Week 14’s matchup with Miami brings the Jets long run against vulnerable defenses to a halt, Griffin’s relatively consistent target volume over the past two months should still have him on the fantasy radar in those difficult matchups.
David Njoku (Week 14 vs Cin, Week 15 at Arz, Week 16 vs Bal): Njoku has not yet returned to game action heading into Week 14’s matchup with the Bengals. If Njoku is able to return, both Week 14’s contest with the Bengals and especially Week 15’s matchup with the Cardinals are high upside opportunities for the athletic tight end. The matchup with the Cardinals in Week 15, in particular, comes with a massive ceiling for a tight end as Arizona has been unable to handle the position all season. With that said, keep in mind that Njoku has heavy competition for targets with wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, as well as running back Kareem Hunt.
Vance McDonald (Week 14 at Arz, Week 15 vs Buf, Week 16 at NYJ): With McDonald, we now have all of Arizona’s matchups listed in this section through the fantasy playoffs. In at least some leagues, you could start McDonald in Week 14, David Njoku in Week 15, and Jacob Hollister in Week 16 if you wanted to try and target Arizona every week. With that aside, the Steelers passing offense is the very definition of underwhelming and volatile. So, while all of these listed matchups have upside apart from Week 15’s contest with the Bills, McDonald’s usage is likely to continue to be unreliable.
Eagles Defense (Week 14 vs NYG (Monday Night), Week 15 at Wash): The Eagles defense disappointed in their outing against Miami, as they gave up 37 points despite logging 3 sacks and an interception. In each of Philadelphia’s next two matchups, they face turnover-prone rookie quarterbacks that are playing behind mediocre, at best, offensive lines. While last week was proof that the Eagles secondary can be torched by just about anyone, the upside for their Eagles defense remains in these two strong matchups.
Packers Defense (Week 14 vs Wash, Week 15 vs Chi): The Packers dominated the Giants in Week 13 on both sides of the ball, as the defense posted 10 Draft Kings points. In Weeks 14 and 15, it would be reasonable to say that the Packers defense faces two offenses with less talent than the Giants, while having the benefit of playing them in Green Bay.
Chargers Defense (Week 14 at Jax, Week 15 vs Min, Week 16 vs Oak): With the return of safety Derwin James, the Chargers have a highly talented secondary with an elite edge duo in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. In Week 14, the Chargers take on a Jaguars offense that finally settled on letting rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew take them through the rest of the of the way. With that in mind, this is still a matchup where an elite pass rush and an elite secondary will be squaring off against a rookie quarterback. In Week 15, the Chargers pass rush will have an edge against the Vikings offensive line that could lead to some sack and turnover opportunities against Kirk Cousins. In Week 16, the Chargers will face a Raiders team that was just beat by 31-points in two consecutive road games. While the Chargers disappointing season makes them unreliable as a whole, this remains a massively talented defensive unit that is getting their best players back for the first time this season.
Chiefs Defense (Week 14 at NE, Week 15 vs Den, Week 16 at Chi): The Chiefs defense has posted double-digit fantasy points in each of their last two games. The Chiefs defense should probably not be used against New England in Week 14 in most circumstances, though there is a path to upside if they are able to generate a meaningful push against Tom Brady. Week 15’s home game against Denver is a potential smash spot for the Chiefs defense, as they will be facing rookie quarterback Drew Lock while more than likely playing most of the contest with a lead. Week 16’s matchup in Chicago also comes with notable upside as Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is capable of a multi-turnover performance in any given week.
Cowboys Defense (Week 14 at Chi (Thursday) Week 15 vs LAR): To be clear, while both of these matchups have a path to upside due to the volatility of the offenses in question, the Cowboys defense has disappointed this season. With that said, they have posted double-digit Draft Kings points on four separate occasions this year.
Defensive Streaming Options
Vikings Defense vs Lions: If Matthew Stafford returns for this matchup, it becomes far less appealing. If David Blough is under center, this becomes a potential smash spot for a strong Vikings pass rush against a third string quarterback.
Falcons Defense vs Panthers: This is more of a play against Kyle Allen than it is a bet on the recently surging Falcons defense. In Week 11, the Falcons Defense had 26 Draft Kings points in Carolina against Allen. While Atlanta may not quite reach those lofty heights, it is reasonable to bet against Allen on the road here once again, especially considering the turnover in the Panthers coaching staff this week.
Texans Defense vs Broncos: The loss of J.J. Watt has turned Houston into a truly mediocre defense. That said, playing Houston here represents an opportunity to play a 9 ½ point home favorite against rookie quarterback Drew Lock in his first career road start. Lock has legitimate arm talent, but his play in college was, at times, inconsistent.
Steelers Defense vs Bills: The Steelers defense is not available in the majority of leagues anymore. If they are in yours, Josh Allen has improved this season, but he still has his share of volatile moments that the Steelers zone heavy scheme and still underrated pass rush can potentially turn into fantasy points. With that said, the appeal in this matchup is lower now than it was a month ago.
Colts Defense vs Panthers: Week 16 looks to be thin on available defensive streaming options at this point, which makes betting against Kyle Allen on the road a reasonable option, especially if the Colts are still in the playoff race by this stage.
Volatile Wide Receiver Streaming Options
Jets Pass Catchers vs Dolphins: Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder are both in potential smash spots against Miami, while Demaryius Thomas still, mysteriously, sees enough weekly targets to warrant consideration in deep superflex leagues.
Packers Pass Catchers vs Redskins: After Davante Adams, the Packers wide receiver group suffers from unreliable, low usage. For example, Allen Lazard turned 3 targets into 22.3 Draft Kings points against the lowly Giants secondary in Week 13, which is a very unlikely combination. Both Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison have both seen a consistently lower target share than Lazard for the past two months. While all of these Packers wide receivers have a potential path to success in an excellent matchup against Washington, one would have to bank on a usage spike to even consider playing any of them.
Broncos Pass Catchers at Chiefs: If Courtland Sutton is somehow available in your league, you should go out of your way to change that. Aside from Sutton, Tim Patrick and DaeSean Hamilton currently serve as extremely thin, Hail Mary type of options that could only be reasonably considered in the deepest of leagues.
Bears Pass Catchers vs Chiefs (Sunday Night): All Bears pass catchers outside of Allen Robinson should be considered volatile. That said, Anthony Miller is currently on a strong, productive run that has spanned multiple weeks. Miller’s target share has benefited from the absence of Taylor Gabriel, who could be worth superflex consideration if he is able to return for this matchup. Should Tarik Cohen stumble onto your waiver wire, he could be a massive-ceiling play in this Week 16 contest.
Running Back Stashes
Jaylen Samuels/ Benny Snell: James Conner’s injury status remains in doubt, which has resulted in Samuels having a significant role, particularly as a pass catcher, throughout the season. In Week 12 and 13, however, Snell has taken over the vast majority of the workload on the ground as Samuels has been recently relegated to more of a reserve role as a pass catcher.
Tony Pollard: Pollard has shown that he could be a difference making asset in this offense throughout the season. If Ezekiel Elliot went down with an injury, Pollard would at least border on being a RB1 for fantasy purposes.
Alexander Mattison: Mattison has been excellent in reserve duty behind Dalvin Cook. Were Cook to go down, Mattison would be another difference making running back that would at least border on being a RB1. Since Cook is currently battling a shoulder injury that led to the Vikings holding him out for the rest of Week 13’s installment of Monday Night Football in Seattle, it would be smart to grab Mattison if you can reasonably do so.
Jamaal Williams: Williams already has a useful role in the Packers offense and his ownership levels are higher than what we’d typically include in the waiver wire column. With that said, Williams is currently a flex consideration in 12-team leagues that would become a viable RB2 (maybe more) if Aaron Jones were to miss time.
Darwin Thompson/ Darrel Williams: Williams non-contact leg injury has been labeled as a hamstring issue, which looks like it will force him to miss at least one game. Thompson stepped in for Williams during the Chiefs blowout win against the Raiders. The Chiefs backfield has been a mess for fantasy purposes, as no one has been able to truly emerge as a reliable week-to-week asset. But, with Williams sidelined, LeSean McCoy being both underwhelming and having his workload actively managed and given Damien Williams injury uncertainty there are worse ideas than rostering Thompson.
Rashaad Penny: Penny had an explosive Week 12 in Philadelphia while roughly splitting running back workload after Chris Carson’s most recent fumble in that contest. While Carson still lead the Seahawks backfield in Week 13 versus the Vikings, Penny had 19 total touches while putting up 21.9 Draft Kings points. Even though it appears that Penny remains behind Carson in the pecking order, Penny should be owned in most leagues at this point
Potential Difference Makers
Brian Hill: Devonta Freeman returned in Week 13, regulating Hill to a reserve role once again.
Malcolm Brown/ Darrell Henderson: If Todd Gurley were to go down, it looks like Brown would once again be ahead of Henderson for meaningful workload in competitive games.
Rex Burkhead: The Patriots Swiss Army Knife could step into either Sony Michel or James White’s role effectively if either running back went down with injury.
Dion Lewis: Lewis has had disappointingly low usage this season, but if Derrick Henry were to go down, we are late enough in the year where Dion Lewis would be a max FAAB bid type of player.
Jordan Wilkins/ Nyheim Hines/ Jonathan Williams: Marlon Mack’s current hand injury has resulted in Williams taking over primary ball carrier duties in Week 12’s matchup with Houston. In Week 13 versus the Titans, both Hines and Wilkins out snapped Williams while Wilkins had the most carries of the group.
Wayne Gallman: Saquon Barkley has not looked right since returning from a high ankle sprain. Gallman would step in as a primary ball carrier and a solid pass catching asset if Barkley were to miss any more time this season.
Ryquell Armstead: Leonard Fournette has seen massive usage this season, as Armstead has served as his primary backup.
Reggie Bonnafon/ Mike Davis: If Christian McCaffrey were to miss time or see a reduction in usage, Bonnafon and Davis would not likely duplicate McCaffrey’s production, particularly in the passing game.
Gus Edwards: Edwards would be the next in line if Mark Ingram were to go down, and Edwards has been productive in his reserve role throughout this season.
Raheem Mostert: The 49ers backfield has deployed some variant of a committee in just about every game this season. Mostert has been third in the pecking order behind Tevin Coleman and the currently injured Matt Breida for most of the season. However, Mostert ran for 146 yards and a score on 19 carries against the Ravens in Week 13. While that does not mean that Mostert is the new head of the 49ers backfield committee, it also could mean exactly that.
Bilal Powell/ Ty Montgomery: While Montgomery appeared to be the stand-alone handcuff for Le’Veon Bell throughout preseason, Powell has consistently surged ahead of Montgomery in recent weeks.
Deandre Washington/ Jalen Richard: Josh Jacobs has been having an exceptional rookie campaign behind a strong Raiders offensive line. If Jacobs were to go down, Washington would see the bulk of the carries and Richard would continue to see passing down work, with the potential for a rise in usage if Jacobs were to miss time.
The Hill to Die On
Justice Hill: He’s talented, but he has an increasingly unlikely path to meaningful playing time in 2019.
Ryan Reynolds has privately analyzed football for investing and betting purposes for nearly two decades. Ryan began forecasting by using sports cards as a method of investing in individual baseball and football players, a practice he still takes part in today. Ryan plays DFS, high-volume best ball, and season-long fantasy while directly betting on props, totals, and point spreads that meet his conditions. Ryan has watched every snap, of every NFL game since 2014.