‘No matter how you did in Week 16, that all gets erased as of today. We start to prepare for Week 17, and I have you covered from top to bottom. Let’s get right to all the information and get you ready to build those lineups. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
The Vegas Lines
Highest Scoring Games
Below are the three highest scoring projected games and individual teams based on Vegas Lines.
1) New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Over/Under: 52 points Line: Atlanta Falcons -4
As we head into the final week of the season, we have a couple of high scoring games that will be heavily targeted, with this Falcons Saints matchup being one of them. Coming off defeat against what was the perfect Carolina Panthers, Matt Ryan gets the mother of all matchups taking on the New Orleans Saints.
In that game against the Panthers, Ryan completed 23/30 passes for 306 yards with a touchdown. That’s against a good Panthers defense. In week 17, he gets the worst of the worst. The paring of Ryan and Julio Jones is going to be a big one, with Jones completely burning Josh Norman last week grabbing 9/11 targets for 178 yards and a touchdown. Let’s not also forget how much Ryan loves going to his number one running back in Devonta Freeman, who on top of rushing for 73 yards with a touchdown, caught 3/5 targets for 17 yards. Freeman is usually heavily targeted on a normal basis, averaging 6.6 on the season. This is a goldmine for the Falcons and we’re in line to reap the benefits.
On the other end, the Saints certainly aren’t anything to sneeze at either. After hyping up all week how pain Drew Brees was in due to his Grade 2 tear of the plantar fascia, he ended up completing 25/36 passes for a whopping 412 yards with three touchdowns. Granted, his matchup this week isn’t as enticing, but his connection to Brandin Cooks over the past two weeks has been huge. During that time, Brees has hooks up with Cooks on 15/20 targets for 247 yards with two touchdowns. The Saints certainly can make something happen and I would imagine be playing from behind in this one. Plenty of opportunities to air the ball out in this one.
2) Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Over/Under: 52 points Line: New York Giants -3
Another game that is going to be FULL of player targets in this one. We have two of the top three teams that have the worst defense against opposing quarterbacks and an Eagles defense that is the worst against wide receivers. Oh, did I mention we have a returning Odell Beckham Jr?
Even with how inconsistent Sam Bradford has been this season, you have to like his chances in this one at just $5,300 this week. Bradford has certainly had his moment and over his last two weeks, has thrown for over 350 yards with three touchdowns. Even more mind boggling is the fact that he’s thrown 97 times during that span, connecting on 65 of those. I certainly wouldn’t say Bradford is a good cash play this week, but he absolutely is one in GPPs this week. His connection with Jordan Matthews these past two weeks have been huge, as Matthews has caught 14/19 targets for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Expect more of the same.
With the Giants, how are you going to even think of fading OBJ this week? Sure, the contrarian devil is whispering in your ear to fade him and hope it falls in your favor. I’ll let you in on something, I don’t see that happening, at all. OBJ is going to have a (bigger) chip on his shoulder in this matchup and literally has a dream matchup here. Some may look at his box score in week six and see that Beckham caught 7/8 targets for 61 yards with a touchdown. Granted, it’s not mind blowing, but when you take into account that Eli Manning only threw for 189 yards that game, it’s a bit more understandable. This game has shootout written all over it and one that will be heavily looked upon this week.
3) Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Over/Under: 48 Points Line: Green Bay Packers -3
I was a bit surprised to see this game have the third highest projected total this week. These two teams hooked up with each other in week 11, where the Packers won 30-11. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t overly impressive in that one, completing 24/36 passes for 212 yards with two touchdowns. Eddie Lacy rushed for 100 yards in that one. With Rodgers turning out mediocre performance on what feels like a weekly basis, it’s hard to rely on the once consistent quarterback. Rodgers hasn’t throw for over 300 yards since week 10 and his thrown for under 250 in five of his last six matchups.
On the other hand, Teddy Bridgewater saw one of his best games of the season in that game against Green Bay. Bridgewater completed 25/37 passes for 296 yards with a touchdown. Of course, as it’s been all season, it’s hard to lean on Bridgewater to pull out a good performance, as he’s wildly inconsistent, averaging 14.4 DraftKings points per game. The matchup is decent, but it’s just not one I’m jumping at the chance to roster.
Worst DvP Matchups – QB
1) Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers – The Broncos will end the 2015 regular season as the toughest defense against opposing quarterbacks. Entering the final week, the Broncos have allowed 17 passing touchdowns while intercepting 13. The 3316 passing yards allowed was the lowest in the league on a 60% completion rate.
2) Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals – Tough final matchup for the Cardinals, as they face the tough Seattle defense. On the season, the Seahawks have allowed the least amount of passing touchdowns in the league with 13 while intercepting 11. The 3406 passing yards allowed was the second lowest amount in the league on a 61% completion rate.
3) Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens – The Bengals has been solid on defense this season, defending against opposing quarterbacks was no exception. The Bengals allowed 17 passing touchdowns on the season while intercepting 19, which is tied for the third most in the league. They have allowed a ton of passing yards with 3972, the 10th most in the league, on a 65% completion rate.
Best DvP Matchups – QB
1) New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons – The amount of passing touchdowns the Saints have allowed are absurd. They’ve allowed 43 on the season, which has officially broken the record held by the 1963 Broncos who allowed 40. The Saints surprisingly are only third in passing yards allowed with 4421 on a 68% completion rate.
2) Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants – This game should feature a ton of yards and a ton of fantasy goodness, with how bad both of these teams are at defending against the pass. The Eagles have allowed the second most passing touchdowns in the league with 34 to go along with 4178 yards and a 62% completion rate.
3) New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles– As I just mentioned, neither of these teams have an answer for anything through the air, so this certainly has shootout potential. The Giants have allowed 29 passing touchdowns this season while grabbing 14 interceptions. The Giants have allowed the most passing yards in the league with 4600 on a 65% completion rate.
Worst DvP Matchups – RB
1) Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals – Seattle remains as the toughest team to go up against if you’re a running back, or in this week’s case, David Johnson. Seattle has allowed five rushing touchdowns this season while holding opposing running backs to an average of 3.5 YPC. Interestingly enough, Johnson is certainly utilized in the passing game, where the Seahawks are allowing a 70% completion rate. However, they’re the only team in the league that hasn’t allowed a receiving touchdown to a running back.
2) New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills – The Jets have been fantastic against the run all season, so it’s only fitting their in the top three to end the season. They’ve allowed only one rushing touchdown on the season, which of course of the least amount in the league. The Jets are holding opposing running backs to an average of 3.6 YPC. They are vulnerable in the receiving game, as running backs have caught 71% of the 107 passes targeted to them.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns – I don’t think the Steelers will have much to worry about on the ground in this game, unless you consider Johnny Manziel their best running back at this point. The Steelers have allowed only four rushing touchdowns this season while holding running backs to an average of 3.8 YPC.
Best DvP Matchups – RB
1) Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots – Shockingly enough, the Saints are no longer the worst against the run, as the Dolphins have moved into that position. On the season, Miami has allowed 12 rushing touchdowns on the season as well as eight through the air to opposing running backs. The Dolphins are also allowing an average of 4.1 YPC on 1775 yards, the second most in the league.
2) San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams – It seems like it’s been quite awhile since Todd Gurley has had a favorable matchup, this week he gets one of the most favorable matchups this season. The 49ers have allowed 17 rushing touchdowns which leads the league by two. Like the Dolphins, the 49ers are allowing an average of 4.1 YPC on 1693 yards, which is the fourth most allowed in the league.
3) New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons – It wouldn’t be a Best DvP matchup section without hearing about how bad the Saints are against a particular position. Against running backs, the Saints have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns this season. Add on the fact that running backs are ripping off an average of 5.1 YPC on 1749 yards, which is the third most in the league, and it’s quite obvious the Saints will be in trouble in this one against the Falcons.
Worst DvP Matchups – WR
1) Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers – As if the Chargers weren’t depleted at this position enough, they have the tall task of going against the best defense in the league against the wide receiver position. The Broncos have allowed only six passing touchdowns to this position, which leads everyone except the Seahawks for the least amount. The Broncos do lead in the least amount of yards to wide receivers allowed with 1773 with a 59% completion rate.
2) Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints – So not only do the Saints have isseus with defending against almost anything, they have a tough matchup ahead with thier wide receivers. The Falcons have allowed on seven passing touchdowns to opposing wide receivers with a 57% completion rate.
3) Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals – And finally, the Seahawks continue to make life difficult for opposing wide receivers, as they’ve allowed only five passing touchdowns, which is the least amount in the league. The 58% completion rate on 274 targets is one of the best in the league.
Best DvP Matchups – WR
1) Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants – It was just a matter of time before the Eagles shot up the ranks and became the worst team at defending against wide receivers. They’ve allowed 23 passing touchdowns to opposing wide receivers which surprisingly enough, is good enough for only third in the league. Even with a decent 59% completion rate, they’ve given up a ton of yards at 2737, which is the ranked fourth.
2) Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns – Could be an interesting spot for Johnny Manziel here, as the Steelers are putrid at defending against wide receivers. On the season, the Steelers have allowed 19 passing touchdowns with a 65% completion rate on 341 targets. The Steelers lead the league in receiving yards allowed at 2948.
3) Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals – Interestingly enough, the Steelers weren’t able to capitalize on such a good matchup for them last week against a Ravens defense that really struggles against wide receivers. On the year, the Ravens have allowed 25 passing touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, which is second in the league behind the Saints. The Ravens are allowing a 61% completion rate on 327 targets.
Worst DvP Matchups – TE
1) Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders – As I always say, this section is a bit fickle because of how weak the tight end position is overall. However, the Chiefs have remained the number one team against tight ends for quite some time, so I’ll believe the hype with this one. On the season, the Chiefs have allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends with a 52% completion rate on 115 targets.
2) Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals – The Ravens are another team that continue to give opposing tight ends trouble. They’ve allowed only two touchdowns this season, which is tied with the Jets as the second least amount in the league. The Ravens do allow a 64% completion rate on 100 targets.
3) Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins– Big spot for the Cowboys this week, as they go against one of the hottest tight ends in the game right now in Jordan Reed. The Cowboys have allowed four touchdowns to this position while allowing a 62% completion rate on 91 targets.
Best DvP Matchups – TE
1) New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons – I mean, who didn’t see this one coming? The Saints continue to be destroyed by the tight end position, as they’ve allowed 10 touchdowns this season on an absurd 75% completion rate on 118 targets. The 1174 passing yards is the most allowed in the league.
2) New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles – Another team that shouldn’t surprise you being in this section is the Giants. They’ve allowed nine touchdowns to this position with a 70% completion rate on 127 targets. The 1108 receiving yards is the second most in the league. The Saints and Giants are the only two teams that have allowed over 1000 yards to opposing tight ends.
3) Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs – I honestly can’t tell you the last time I heard the “automatically play whatever tight end is facing the Raiders” narrative. It’s been much better lately, but the early numbers in the season destroyed them. The Raiders have allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing tight ends on a 61% completion rate on 128 targets.
Last Week’s Leaders
Last 3 Weeks Leaders
Lineup Quick Hits
QB To Build Lineups Around…
Eli Manning ($5,600) – I have to admit, I’m a bit disappointed that I have to stick Manning in this spot. Earlier in the week, I had Jay Cutler in here as a YOLO pick and paired him with Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery was put on the IR earlier this week so that shot down that pick. I think Cutler could still be a sneaky pick this week, although I won’t be pairing him with anyone. So now, I move to a more obvious answer with Eli Manning. I think the consensus is out there that Manning is one of the viable options this week, as it’s hard to hate on this spot with him AND his price tag. At just $600 above the minimum for quarterback pricing, Manning not only as the ability to throw for some serious yards, but he isn’t going to hurt your salary cap too much either. On the season, the Eagles have allowed 23 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, which is the third most in the league. Wide receivers have also been targeted 357 times against the Eagles, which is the most in the league. With a returning Odell Beckham Jr returning it only makes sense to…..
WR To Pair Him With…
Odell Beckham Jr. ($9,000) – To think that Beckham won’t be as productive because this game isn’t for anything feels insane to me. Beckham will have something to prove here. I love the guy, but he’s a very stat orientated player and I have no doubt he’s going to want to show off what he’s capable of coming off his suspension. As I mentioned with Eli, the Eagles defense against wide receivers is one of the worst in the league, and who better to feast on that then Beckham Jr. He’s going to cost you a pretty penny, but with the low cost of Manning, it will help offset the high price tag of Beckham. Beckham has had 100+ receiving yards in eight of 15 games this season with 13 touchdowns. Manning is going to be looking at his favorite target early and often and should be a great connection to end the 2015 regular season.
The Top RB Will Be…
Todd Gurley ($7,400) NOTE: Gurley DOES have a chance of sitting this week due to injury. Until that happens, I’ll keep him here. Close one here. Between Gurley and Devonta Freeman, it was close. The reason I went with Gurley is because, well, he’s basically the Rams offense. After some lackluster performances in weeks 12 and 13, Gurley has rebounded nicely, even with a couple of tough matchups. Going up against one of the toughest against the run, Gurley was able to rush for 85 yards with a touchdown against Seattle last week. This week, Gurley gets a 49ers defense that has allowed the most rushing touchdowns this season and averaging 4.1 YPC to opposing running backs. The downfall to Gurley is that he doesn’t get hardly any targets, which Freeman does. But, I think Gurley will be lower owned than Freeman and he saves you a couple of hundred bucks.