Thanks to the two Saturday games, we are back down to a five game late slate for week 16. The choices this week reflect the smaller player pool. While we do have good quarterback options, good elite WR, a nice moderately price running back – C. J. Anderson – but finding a good cheap running back or wide receiver is tough, and the tight ends selections are not all that enticing. Fielding a good team this week will be a challenge. Here are the players I like for this week’s late slate of games:
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis, $8,900 – Really, there are two options if you want to go with an elite quarterback in the last games. You either go with Peyton Manning against Cincinnati, or Luck against Dallas. Luck has been playing better lately, Manning will be playing outside in what is likely to be cold weather, and Luck has the more favorable matchup. Those three factors make Luck well worth the extra $500 he costs compared to Manning this week.
Russell Wilson, Seattle, $7,100 – I have to admit I was a bit shocked when I saw that Wilson has averaged 25.9 fantasy-points per game on the road this season. That is 7.1 more fantasy-points per game than he has scored at home. He is on the road this week, facing a team he put up 19.74 fantasy-points at home in week 12. Seattle has been relying on Marshawn Lynch lately, but he will have a tough time finding running room against Arizona, so expect a lot of Wilson this week.
DeMarco Murray, Dallas, $9,300 – Another week another appearance for Murray in the Elite RB section. I try to mix things up, but Murray continues to produce, and once again has a favorable matchup. Murray is actually a little cheaper than he was last week, yet is facing the 24th ranked defense against running backs. Murray is once again well worth his hefty price tag in week 16. Be sure to make sure that Murray is active since he had hand surgery Monday, but if he plays, he is worth adding to your teams.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle, $7,000 – I am hoping that Murray plays this week because there are not many other good options in the elite RB price-range. Arizona is tough against running backs, but Lynch did manage 11.2 fantasy-points against Arizona in week 12. I am not expecting a huge game here, but I think that Lynch can do some damage against a tired Cardinals defense in the 4th quarter this week.
C. J. Anderson, Denver, $6,900 –I am guessing from Anderson’s 31 touches in week 15 that his ankle was not a major issue. Anderson did not have a very good game against San Diego, which is fine with us, since it helps depress his price this week. Despite doing well against the Cleveland backs in week 15, Cincinnati ranks 28th against opposing running backs this season. I really like Anderson at $6,900 against the Bengals.
Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati, $4,500 – This one is a little complicated so bear with me. Yes, Denver has been tough against running backs. Yes, Jeremy HillHill has been the featured back lately for Cincinnati. But, Bernard is still the guy they trust more in passing situations, and I expect the Bengals to be throwing a lot this week. Bernard is a risk, but I think there is a lot of upside in that risk for his price tag.
Daniel Herron, Indianapolis, $4,300 – Sure, Dallas did a good job against the Eagles running game in week 15. But, it is pretty easy to concentrate on stopping the run when you have Mark Sanchez as the opposing quarterback. Dallas is not going to be able to load up against the run with Andrew Luck opposing them this week. That should mean plenty of running room for Herron.
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants, $9,000 – In three of his last four games, Beckham has topped 33 fantasy-points; over his last four games he has averaged 34 fantasy-points per game. Beckham’s worst game since week seven was 15.3 fantasy points. Upside, safety, hot, no matter what you are looking for from your wide receiver, chances are Beckham checks the box.
A. J. Green, Cincinnati, $8,200 – As I mentioned in the Bernard section, I expect Cincinnati to have to throw a lot this week. I also doubt that Denver can cover Green effectively; I do not think they match up with him physically.
Stedman Bailey, St. Louis, $4,900 – Bailey has been a solid wide receiver recently. He has averaged a little over 15 fantasy-points per game in his last four games, and has been targeted just over six times per game. Bailey’s matchup is not great, but given he costs only $4,900, and what he has done recently, he is a nice economy wide receiver this week.
James Jones, Oakland, $4,000 – There are not very many good cheap wide options this week. Jones does not have a good matchup, but he has a better one than many other usable players who cost less than the median player price. He also did just manage to put up 19.7 fantasy-points against a solid Kansas City defense, and is at home where he has averaged 13.6 fantasy-points per game.
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis, $4,600 – Speaking of hard to trust, I present to you Coby Fleener. Fleener only managed 5.2 fantasy-points against Houston last week and Dwayne Allen is back now. But, Fleener is a good play despite those factors. The reason? Dallas is the second worst team against tight ends. Need proof? Philadelphia’s tight ends – which we like to call not call that good – had seven receptions against Dallas last Sunday Night. Fleener is a risk, but that matchup makes the risk one worth taking.
Jason Witten, Dallas, $4,000 – The Dallas/Indianapolis game should make for some nice fantasy games for the tight ends involved in said game. Dallas has been the second worst team against tight ends this season, Indianapolis has been the fourth worst team against tight ends. While Witten probably has less upside than Fleener in this matchup, he is cheaper and probably a safer option.
St. Louis, $3,600 – St. Louis’ five fantasy-points against the Cardinals last week were pretty shocking. The Rams D came into that game averaging 21 fantasy-points in the previous four games. Facing Eli Manning at home should help the Rams D get back on track.
Lesser Priced D/ST
New York Giants, $3,100 – Alternatively, you could go with the Giants defense against the St. Louis offense. You know, the offense that managed only six points against Arizona, the one with the 26th ranked passing offense and 21st ranked rushing “attack”. For their part, the Giants D/ST has averaged 17 fantasy-points over their last three games.
Good luck with your teams this week. You can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.