Here we are, folks! The dream we all dream of. This is our Super Bowl! It all comes down to some good old fashioned trash talk and 16 football games to decide whether or not you’ll be lifting that trophy.
How do you like the new digs? The Fantasy Fanalysts are here to help. Bring on the championship week AND look forward to the off season in preparation for 2019! Don’t forget to use the promo code TOP2 if you sign up for DRAFT! I dipped my toes in for the first time a few weeks back and I have been having a lot of fun!
Let’s talk some RB/TE Starts and Sits!
Running Back: Start ’em
CHRIS CARSON (SEATTLE SEAHAWKS)
Chris Carson has been THE MAN in Seattle. In the last five games, he has averaged a total of 98.4 yards and has scored a touchdown in four out of those five games! Granted, the yards average is slightly skewed by last week’s matchup against the 49ers. In every other week, he was a solid RB2. But, that’s exactly what you want from a guy that you either drafted late OR picked up on waivers!
Now, we have arrived at week 16 and the Seahawks are at home against the Kansas City Chiefs. On the season, the Chiefs are the worst defense against fantasy running backs. 173 yards and 1.3 touchdowns per game! Sometimes, recent weeks might tell a different story. Recent weeks only enforces the trend! Even teams that struggle at RB or were beset with injuries looked wonderful against the Chiefs run defense.
Chris Carson for the win!
KALEN BALLAGE (MIAMI DOLPHINS)
I understand. If you take away the 75 yard touchdown run in week 15, Kalen Ballage stat line would be 11 for 48. Mediocre at best.
I also understand that this is the Championship Week! Are you really going to trust your championship to a relative unknown? Probably not. Let’s be honest, though. You didn’t make it to the championship game having a need at Running Back. This pick is for those redrafters who are still paying attention to their leagues and want to win their consolation matchup. It’s also for the dynasty leagues where Ballage was dropped in week 3 when it was clear that he wasn’t going to be a part of the offense. Go pick up Kalen Ballage!
The Dolphins are at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The last time the Jaguars played an away game, they allowed 1 person to run for 238 yards and score 4 touchdowns. The Jaguars DO NOT CARE when they aren’t at home. This is a glory start and it’s going to feel SO good when you win your matchup because of Kalen Ballage.
Running Back: Sit ’em
JAYLEN SAMUELS (PITTSBURGH STEELERS)
If you’re in a Yahoo league and can start Samuels in your Tight End slot, you should ABSOLUTELY start him. He will be far better than 80% of ALL other tight ends.
Otherwise, stay away. The New Orleans Saints defense has been amazing lately. They have allowed 12 points per game TOTAL in the last 5 weeks. TWELVE POINTS PER GAME!!!! That’s not to the Running Back position. That’s to the entire opposing team!
Here are some scary numbers:
- Tevin Coleman in week 12 – 8 rushes for 6 yards
- Peyton Barber in week 13 – 14 rushes for 42 yards
- Christian McCaffrey in week 15 – 15 rushes for 53 yards. Yes, he still had a good game playing quarterback for a snap and PPR leagues were beneficial.
If you are in a bind, Jaylen Samuels might get you 9 or 10 points. He definitely has a solid floor because Pittsburgh likes to use one running back. But this matchup is the scariest of the week, without a doubt.
ADRIAN PETERSON (WASHINGTON REDSKINS)
75% ineffective in the last 4 games. He was saved by the 90+ yard touchdown run in week 13, otherwise he’d be 100% ineffective. He’s tired and likely isn’t risking severe injury in a losing battle.
This week, the Redskins are playing an away game against the Tennessee Titans. The Redskins could really use a new QB! They might be looking towards a better draft position. I see very little chance of a positive outcome for the Redskins and, in particular, Adrian Peterson. Leave him on your bench OR just drop him all together since he won’t clear fantasy waivers until after his game starts.
Sidebar: Alex Smith’s contract had $71 million in guarantees. Derrius Guice’s infection sounds terrifying. Sorry, Washington. You might be at the bottom of the standings for a few more years.
Tight End: Start ’em
JARED COOK (OAKLAND RAIDERS)
The Raiders actually try when they play on their home field. In addition, they have a winnable matchup against the Denver Broncos. Yes, Denver is favored to win. This IS the Oakland Raiders that we’re talking about.
But, Denver was recently decimated by the Tight End position in week 14 when George Kittle caught 7 passes for 210 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. No, I’m not suggesting that Jared Cook will even sniff those stats. But between his usage and the positive matchup, we’re in the realm of 5 for 60 and a touchdown. Even 5 for 60 WITHOUT the touchdown will be a TE1 day in this wacky position. He’s a good player to have in your lineup this week.
BLAKE JARWIN (DALLAS COWBOYS)
Blake Jarwin is all alone. Geoff Swaim has already been declared out after missing the last 4 games with injury.
If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of home games. Dallas is playing at home. Icing on the cake, they’re playing the Buccaneers. I will listen to the argument that the Bucs defense has improved since firing their Defensive Coordinator a few weeks ago. Indeed, in the last four weeks, the best Tight End performance against the Bucs was George Kittle in week 14 (6 for 48). The Cowboys are in a fight for their playoff seeding. After taking that brutal defeat at the hands of the Colts last week, they will be coming home with the desire to prove themselves in front of their home crowd. And while there is a new DC in Tampa, it’s the same players. They were beaten before, they can be beaten again.
Blake Jarwin will have a decent game.
Tight End: Sit ’em
VANCE MCDONALD (PITTSBURGH STEELERS)
Above, I wrote about the scary New Orleans Saints in the section about Jaylen Samuels. Copy and Paste here. I would imagine that either Antonio Brown or Juju Smith-Schuster will have a decent game. Jaylen Samuels will likely land in RB3 territory. I just don’t have a lot of hope for a high point total. I really hope that, like most fantasy championship matchups that I’ve seen, your Tight End position is filled with Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, or George Kittle.
For those sitting in the consolation bracket, you might have McDonald on your squad. You can cross your fingers for a lucky touchdown OR you can look elsewhere for a Tight End.
Good luck to each of you in week 16! GO GET THAT CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY! Get those bragging rights. Win your consolation bracket. I truly hope you wake up on the 25th with a special gift of a Fantasy Football Victory!