AFTER 15 gruelling, challenging weeks of fantasy football the final matchup of the season is upon us. Some coaches have defied the odds to reach the big dance, with others falling victim to a tumultuous Week 15 in the fantasy football world. For those coaches who are vying for ultimate bragging, the finish line is within sight and to ensure a victory here are some BOLD stream, start and sit options for the upcoming weekend.
All numbers/stats provided are based on ESPN fantasy leagues
IF you like what you read be sure to check out more SportsbyFry articles by hitting this link. Make sure you keep up to date with the latest Fantasy and NFL articles and follow my fan pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to never miss a minute of the action!
If you’re desperate here are a handful of players (around 50% ownership) who can help you out of a bind this weekend.
Robby Anderson – New York Jets, WR, 52.6% ownership
18 targets in his past two games were the type of numbers we expected Robby Anderson to be associated with all season. A frustrating campaign for the Jets No.1 wideout has seen him peak at the right time of year though, boasting back-to-back weeks with a touchdown and 75+ receiving yards for the first time in his career. Squaring off against a fellow non-playoff team going through the motions in Green Bay, the streaky Anderson could become a fantasy folk hero with another great fortnight. Do it.
Kalen Ballage – Miami Dolphins, RB, 32.0% ownership
EVERY week or two we are treated to a little known running back who is given an opportunity to shine, whether it be through injury, a struggling teammate or just pure luck. Closing out this season, Kalen Ballage is one such player who fits the bill, poised to dominate the Dolphins snap count at RB with the eternal Frank Gore succumbing to a foot complaint. With the Jags defense on the horizon I have scepticism over his potential ceiling, but after putting up 123 rushing yards last week, desperate times might call for desperate measures.
Ryan Succop – Tennessee Titans, K, 44.2% ownership
KICKERS are a near impossible position to judge. Even with doubt around who should be in your starting slot, not many coaches are jumping at the chance to snag Ryan Succop, especially given the Titans offensive shortcomings this year. However, sitting at 8-6 has Tenessee eyeing the playoffs with a wildcard berth still a possibility. The flatlining Washington defense is the perfect team to help boost Tenessee’s playoff percentages and Succop should benefit from the Titans advancing the ball before coming up short of the end zone multiple times on Saturday.
Image from kansascity.com
Josh Reynolds – Los Angeles Rams, WR, 45.5% ownership
WHILE they haven’t looked the same since Cooper Kupp’s injury, the L.A. Rams still boast one of the best passing attacks in football. A variety of options make it tough to peg down the No. 1 wideout week to week, however, Josh Reynolds has cemented himself as the odds-on preference to benefit from a fantasy perspective. A sunny showdown against the miserable Cardinals is exactly what his owners needed to help Reynolds drop a double-digit outing.
Indianapolis Colts – D/ST, 29.4% ownership
JUST like kickers, streaming a defensive/special teams unit becomes a popular tactic at this time of year. If you’re in that boat then look no further than a Colts squad who is eyeing off a postseason berth of their own. Fresh off a shutout of the Cowboys I don’t think an Odell-less Giants offense will cause them too many fits this weekend.
Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns, QB, 57.9% ownership
I’VE been using Baker Mayfield as my QB in a lot of daily fantasy setups, with varied success throughout the year. The stars are aligning in Week 16 for Mayfield to go off against a struggling Bengals team who could be in for a long afternoon in Cleveland. Personally, I think the Browns D/ST will profit the most from this juicy matchup, but Baker should be in for quite the day out himself.
Jamal Williams – Green Bay Packers, RB, 76.0% ownership
WITH Aaron Jones heading to the IR list, the door opens up for Jamal Williams to be huge in Green Bay’s final fortnight of the season. Squaring off against a Jets defense that isn’t exactly a run-stopping force, Williams has RB2 upside with the Packers eager to wash their hands and put a disappointing year behind them. I expect 20+ carries for Williams with a 100+ rushing game definitely up for grabs.
Dante Pettis – San Fransisco 49ers, WR, 43.6% ownership
PETTIS is someone I pounced on in a bunch of leagues after his bye and boy has he delivered. In the last month, Pettis has hauled in the 9th most receiving yards in the league, with his Pro Bowl teammate George Kittle sitting at 4th as well. Translation? Expect Nick Mullens to hurl the ball around a ton against a Chicago that has already sewn up the divisional crown and for Pettis to see more than his fair share of targets.
Sony Michel – New England Patriots, RB, 92.0% ownership
I will never feel safe starting a Patriots running back, as long as Bill Belichick is standing in his sweats on the sidelines. That being said, with Tom Brady not getting any younger, New England will need their running game to help fuel their offense as they gear up for yet another postseason run. Rex Burkhead, James White, Dion Lewis and Kevin Faulk might all get more snaps than Michel, but I have faith the rookie will deliver in a big way on the fantasy championship stage.
Evan Engram – New York Giants, TE, 77.0% ownership
AN up and down year for Evan Engram has seen him teeter on the edge of being a reliable starting tight end. Injuries, a struggling QB and talented pass-catching teammates have all led to Engram hauling in just 409 yards on the season with just two touchdowns. However, Odell Beckham is out of action, most likely for the season and Engram has stepped up in his absence making him a viable play option, even if it is for 8.5 points in a shallow tight end pool.
Atlanta Falcons – D/ST, 37.8% ownership
DON’T let the Falcons matchup with a dismal Panthers team trick you. Yes, Carolina will be without Cam Newton giving Atlanta a chance to halt the Panthers offense and cause the road upset. However, Christian McCaffrey isn’t exactly about to roll over and play dead, especially against a Falcons unit that has struggled to contain teams’ production all season long. They’ll probably do enough to leave Carolina with a W, but there are better D/ST units out there with such high fantasy stakes on the line.
Amari Cooper – Dallas Cowboys, WR, 98.4% ownership
THE ‘Raiders’ Amari Cooper reared his head last weekend with a pedestrian 32 yards on four catches against Indianapolis after blowing up multiple times in the past month. While Tampa Bay’s defense won’t exactly keep the Cowboys offensive personal awake at night, I can’t trust Cooper to deliver and not lay an egg again. His numbers as a whole in Dallas look good over the seven-game stretch, but I’d be benching Cooper on the off chance he breaks our hearts again.
Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints, QB, 98.2% ownership
OK, maybe this is taking things too far and let me preface this by saying I plan to play Drew Brees in my championship matchup this weekend. In that 12-team league, waiver options Josh Allen and Nick Foles don’t exactly scream ‘start me’, leaving me with Brees under center, but I am by no means confident of the one-time MVP front-runner getting me over the line. Just 531 passing yards in the past three weeks, coupled with more interceptions than touchdowns have me and I’m sure other owners scampering for secondary choices and I don’t think the Steelers defense will give him an easy day at the office. It’s a bold, season-defining move, but I’d look to sit Brees, who probably has one eye on being 100% healthy for the postseason. Surely, he’ll come out and go for 350+ yards and four scores now that I’ve said that…
Image from ftw.usatoday.com
Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings, TE, 80.3% ownership
SOMEWHAT of a set and forget tight end, Kyle Rudolph will be starting for a bunch of coaches this weekend. The waiver wire might still be housing safer options though, with Minnesota’s passing attack far from consistent this season, leaving us to doubt just how good Rudolph’s line will be. With the Lions holding all TE’s scoreless in the past month and Rudolph garnering fewer and fewer targets as the season progresses, leaving him out of your lineup on Sunday is the right call.
Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans, RB, 94.5% ownership
THIS is the big one. To play Derrick Henry or not, will single-handedly swing a bunch of matchups this weekend. On one hand, Henry is the hottest fantasy player in the league at the moment, rushing for 408 yards and six scores in the last two weeks. On the other hand, Henry has just 474 rushing yards and five rushing TD’s in the 12 games he played before this insane outburst. It’s too risky to leave your championship hopes in the hands of Henry, make the smart call and stick him on the pine.
Banner from profootballfocus.com