NFL GAME WEEK 16 PREVIEW

One week after losing Carson Wentz, we lost a huge part of NFL fantasy when Antonio Brown tore a calf muscle. In fact, AB is likely in everybody’s Dreamteam side. Or was. He’s got at least 2 weeks on the sideline, and with only 2 weeks left in the season the man who got so many into the Fantasy Final, has left those same guys super short in their quest for ultimate glory. It’s a big blow to us, and I guess to Pittsburgh too. But who cares about them?

Meanwhile, Jimmy Garoppolo is now 5-0 in his first 5 career starts. The last QB who was able to win his first 5 starts was Ben Roethlisberger. That’s some pretty good company to be in. He really needs to buy his kicker, Robbie Gould, a big old Christmas present. Gould have kicked the game winner for the 49ers in the last 2 weeks.

What we learnt

Here’s a few things we learnt in week fifteen. Nobody knows what a catch is. Nobody! Todd Gurley is a stud. His 4 TD game against Seattle just proved it. The Jaguars are heading to the playoffs. The last time that happened, Obama hadn’t become President and Michael Jackson was still alive. Philly became the first team in 26 years to block a punt, field goal and PAT in the same game. Aaron Rodgers returned, lost, and is now out again for the year. Dallas, Seattle and Detroit remain on the outskirts of the NFC wildcard race and a loss from any of them will mean elimination. Dallas and Seattle play each other this week.

Injuries/Suspensions

Each week, I’ll give a brief list of the Fantasy relevant players that appear in the injury reports. You won’t see every player here, just the ones I think may have some Fantasy implications.

Player Pos Team Injury NFL/Fantasy Status
Adrian Peterson RB Arizona Cardinals Neck Placed on IR
Carson Palmer QB Arizona Cardinals Arm Placed on IR
David Johnson RB Arizona Cardinals Wrist Placed on IR
Julio Jones WR Atlanta Falcons Ankle Questionable for Week 16 at New Orleans
Mohamed Sanu WR Atlanta Falcons Knee Questionable for Week 16 at New Orleans
Tevin Coleman RB Atlanta Falcons Concussion Questionable for Week 16 at New Orleans
Jeremy Maclin WR Baltimore Ravens Knee Doubtful for Week 16 vs. Indianapolis
Kelvin Benjamin WR Buffalo Bills Knee – Meniscus Questionable for Week 16 at New England
Charles Clay TE Buffalo Bills Knee Questionable for Week 16 at New England
LeSean McCoy RB Buffalo Bills Knee Questionable for Week 16 at New England
Devin Funchess WR Carolina Panthers Shoulder Questionable for Week 16 vs. Tampa Bay
Cam Newton QB Carolina Panthers Shoulder Questionable for Week 16 vs. Tampa Bay
Adam Shaheen TE Chicago Bears Chest Questionable for Week 16 vs. Cleveland
Joe Mixon RB Cincinnati Bengals Concussion Questionable for Week 16 vs. Detroit
Jeremy Hill RB Cincinnati Bengals Ankle Placed on IR
Tyler Eifert TE Cincinnati Bengals Back Placed on IR
Isaiah Crowell RB Cleveland Browns Shoulder Questionable for Week 16 at Chicago
Duke Johnson RB Cleveland Browns Shoulder Questionable for Week 16 at Chicago
Sean Lee LB Dallas Cowboys Hamstring Questionable for Week 16 vs. Seattle
Emmanuel Sanders WR Denver Broncos Ankle Questionable for Week 16 at Washington
Clay Matthews LB Green Bay Packers Hamstring Questionable for Week 16 vs. Minnesota
Davante Adams WR Green Bay Packers Concussion Questionable for Week 16 vs. Minnesota
Aaron Rodgers QB Green Bay Packers Shoulder Placed on IR
Ty Montgomery RB Green Bay Packers Wrist Placed on IR
Deshaun Watson QB Houston Texans Knee – ACL Placed on IR
J.J. Watt DL Houston Texans Lower Leg Placed on IR
Andrew Luck QB Indianapolis Colts Shoulder – Labrum Placed on IR
Allen Hurns WR Jacksonville Jaguars Ankle Questionable for Week 16 at San Francisco
Marqise Lee WR Jacksonville Jaguars Ankle Questionable for Week 16 at San Francisco
Allen Robinson WR Jacksonville Jaguars Knee – ACL Placed on IR
Travis Kelce TE Kansas City Chiefs Illness Questionable for Week 16 vs. Miami
Hunter Henry TE Los Angeles Chargers Abdomen Placed on IR
Greg Zuerlein K Los Angeles Rams Back Placed on IR
DeVante Parker WR Miami Dolphins Ankle Questionable for Week 16 at Kansas City
Kyle Rudolph TE Minnesota Vikings Ankle Questionable for Week 16 at Green Bay
Dalvin Cook RB Minnesota Vikings Knee – ACL Placed on IR
James White RB New England Patriots Ankle Questionable for Week 16 vs. Buffalo
Rex Burkhead RB New England Patriots Knee Doubtful for Week 16 vs. Buffalo
Chris Hogan WR New England Patriots Shoulder Questionable for Week 16 vs. Buffalo
Julian Edelman WR New England Patriots Knee – ACL Placed on IR
Janoris Jenkins DB New York Giants Ankle Placed on IR
Brandon Marshall WR New York Giants Ankle Placed on IR
Odell Beckham WR New York Giants Ankle Placed on IR
Robby Anderson WR New York Jets Hamstring Questionable for Week 16 vs. L.A. Chargers
Matt Forte RB New York Jets Knee Questionable for Week 16 vs. L.A. Chargers
Amari Cooper WR Oakland Raiders Ankle Questionable for Week 16 at Philadelphia
Carson Wentz QB Philadelphia Eagles Knee – ACL Placed on IR
Antonio Brown WR Pittsburgh Steelers Lower Leg Out for Week 16 at Houston
Bobby Wagner LB Seattle Seahawks Hamstring Questionable for Week 16 at Dallas
Kam Chancellor DB Seattle Seahawks Neck Placed on IR
Richard Sherman DB Seattle Seahawks Achilles Placed on IR
Marquise Goodwin WR San Francisco 49ers Back Questionable for Week 16 vs. Jacksonville
Pierre Garcon WR San Francisco 49ers Neck Placed on IR
Cameron Brate TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hip Questionable for Week 16 at Carolina
DeSean Jackson WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ankle Questionable for Week 16 at Carolina
O.J. Howard TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ankle Placed on IR
Jamison Crowder WR Washington Redskins Hamstring Questionable for Week 16 vs. Denver
Jordan Reed TE Washington Redskins Hamstring Placed on IR
Terrelle Pryor WR Washington Redskins Ankle Placed on IR
Rob Kelley RB Washington Redskins Ankle Placed on IR

If you’re stressing out about your guy being on here as “Questionable”, don’t. Every man and his dog will wear the Questionable tag at some stage this year. If a player misses a training or has a niggle or anything really, they get deemed as “Questionable”. Here’s what the designations mean:

Questionable – 50/50 chance of playing. The most common of all designations. Even more so than healthy on some weeks

Doubtful – 75 percent chance will not play. Be a bit more concerned. Keep a close eye on reports

OUT – Speaks for itself. Definitely will not play this week.

IR – Injured Reserve. Player has basically been shut down for the year due to injury.

PUP – Physically Unable to Perform. We’ve all been here after a big night on the drink, right guys? This one is for long-term injuries sustained in pre-season or early on that aren’t necessarily season-ending (as is my understanding). They’ve got until about week 6 to be upgraded or placed on IR.

Suspended – Also speaks for itself, except this one has a definitive timeline (in most cases).

Start or Sit

You know the drill by now.

STARTS

Case Keenum, QB, Minnesota – Keenum has emerged from obscurity to be the leader of one of the NFC’s top teams. They’re still gunning for the top seed in the playoffs, and if they get there, the Vikes could be the first team to ever host a Superbowl. I hope they fail. But putting that aside, Keenum faces the team that Newton just had a 4 TD game on. This Packers defence has been giving up almost 24 points a game this year, including 21 to the 0-14 Browns. Keenum and co should shred them.

Also Start: Blake Bortles vs. 49ers, Nick Foles vs. Raiders

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas – If you’ve still got Zeke on your roster you can’t sit him based on the Seattle match-up. The dude has been busy training during his time away and looks like he’s in sensational shape. Seattle isn’t the same team they were to start the year. Todd Gurley tore them apart last week for 180 total yards and 4 TD’s. Zeke is going to be super hungry after missing these last 6 weeks to a suspension that he feels he didn’t deserve. And with Dallas still a slim chance at a post-season appearance, they’ll get him involved in a big way.

Also Start: Christian McCaffery vs. Buccaneers, Jay Ajayi vs. Raiders

Martavius Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh – I mentioned Antonio Brown at the top of this article. Which means that Bryant and Juju Smith-Schuster need to step up and fill the massive void. Bryant saw 6 targets, catching 4 for 59 yards and a TD vs the Pats after AB went out. I really expect Bell to be the go to guy for the Steelers, but Big Ben loves to get his numbers up, which means plenty of opportunities for the outside guys to get in the endzone. Bryant should see at least 10 targets and that makes him a great play.

Also Start: Sterling Shepard vs. Cardinals, Mike Wallace vs. Colts

Jesse James, TE, Pittsburgh – If you know your American history and folklore, (and let’s face it, why wouldn’t you?) then you know that Jesse James was an infamous outlaw and bank robber. So the irony the this Jesse James was the one getting robbed last week when that catch rule reared its ugly head. And in a rare occurrence, the Patriots were on the positive side of a hugely controversial decision. But saltiness aside, James could be big this week. Like his teammate above, there’s suddenly an extra 12 ish targets per week to go around. And on top of that, Houston have been giving up TD’s to TE’s on the regular.

Also Start: Eric Ebron vs. Bengals, Adam Shaheen vs. Browns

Washington Redskins, DST – The Broncos don’t have a starting QB right at the moment. Trevor Siemian dislocated his shoulder, leaving Osweiler as the man to take over. And we know what he’s like. Plus, they’ve got Paxton Lynch who might get the nod. So far it hasn’t been decided. Washington has a good match-up depending on who starts, and a great match-up if the worse of the 2 options starts, whoever that is.

Also Start: LA Rams vs. Titans, LA Chargers vs. Jets

SITS

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco – Garoppolo is the man. He took a team that was in contention for the #1 draft spot and won 3 straight games. He’s thrown for 1,008 yards, 3 TD’s and 2 picks in his 3 San Fran starts. But that came against Houston, Tennessee and Chicago and as I said earlier, Robbie Gould has a lot to do with those wins. Gould has kicked 34 of the sides 51 points the last 2 games. Now Jimmy G gets to face off against the best pass defence in the league in Jacksonville. I’d look elsewhere if you can.

Also Sit: Derek Carr vs. Eagles, Marcus Mariota vs. Rams

Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay – Williams had his time in the sun, getting almost 20 carries per game from weeks 10-14. And then Rodgers came back last week and Williams sees just 10 carries and 30 yards. I know ARod is out again, but Green Bay officially have nothing left to play for except pride and Minnesota have a lot to play for. Their run defence ranks second in the NFL. They have given up 7 TD’s to running backs all year, and 3 of those were to Jonathan Stewart in the 1 game. Only 2 guys have rushed for over 65 yards vs the Vikes in their last 10 contests.

Also Sit: Samaje Perine vs. Broncos, Frank Gore vs. Ravens

Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington – Crowder has been a disappointment this whole season but lately he has been seeing more targets, receptions and yardage. Denver though has been one of the best defences of the past few seasons, and a huge reason is Chris Harris Jr. Even though they’ve fallen away slightly this year as a unit, Harris has not. And he should be matching up directly on Crowder. Harris has kept Keenan Allen to 76 yards and a TD in his two meetings this season, and KA has been one of the form WR’s of the year. Crowder has not.

Also Sit: Marquise Goodwin vs. Jacksonville, TY Hilton vs. Ravens

Jared Cook, TE, Oakland – Cook got into score last week, but it got waved away due to offensive interference. His past 3 match-ups have been pretty decent but he’s had only 4 catches and 28 yards in those games. Philly has been a lot better at defending TE’s than those units. Evan Engram’s 87 yards last week was the most against the Eagles from the position for a few games. And Cook won’t be replicating that. He’s been largely uninvolved and with Crabtree and Cooper on the outside, plus Marshawn running (his mouth) from the back, Cook should continue to be bypassed.

Also Sit: Antonio Gates vs. Jets, Charles Clay vs. Patriots

New Orleans Saints, DST – The Saints are pretty much a start each week but the Falcons have some serious fire power, as evidenced by the much needed win over Tampa Bay last week. Ryan didn’t have a huge day, and Julio was downright woeful. But when the passing game isn’t on, the running game can still hurt you. Freeman went Gwen Stefani B-A-N-A-N-A-S on them for 126 yards, 68 receiving yards and a TD. I think it’s going to be a back and forth battle and the Saints will struggle.

Also Sit:  San Francisco vs. Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals vs. Giants

Dream Team

So as I mentioned already, AB is done. Gone. Finished. He needs to be replaced and the next tier of WR ranks is a tad thinner than when I was trying to replace Wentz last week.

The obvious choice is DeAndre Hopkins. But everyone should have him already.

The next rung is Julio, AJ, KA etc. These dudes can go HUGE, but are also fairly inconsistent so far this year.

Then you’ve got your others. The guys who have had good seasons but are not at the same level as the ones already mentioned. It’s a good chance that you’ll be bringing in one of these guys. I will be.

So my favourite options are (in no particular order):

Michael Thomas – $10.3M. Next up – Atlanta, Tampa Bay

Tyreek Hill – $11.1M. Next up – Miami, Denver

Adam Thielen – $9.8M. Next up – Green Bay, Chicago

Josh Gordon – $7.5M. Next up – Chicago, Pittsburgh

In a side note, Zeke is back for Dallas. You can bet he’ll be heavily involved in the offense as the Cowboys continue to push for that last wildcard spot. He’s super expensive at $16.9M but might just be what you need to steal a league championship.

Vice-Captain – There’s no Friday game this week but you get 2 games on Sunday to make up for it. Unfortunately, from our perspective, the first game is Colts vs Ravens. I can’t see who you would have in this game. The second game is Vikings vs Packers. It looked a far more promising match-up a week ago but now with ARod back out, there’s not much to work with here again. If you’ve got Thielen I’d run with him.

Bet of the Week

I went a superb 0 for 3 last weekend. So I’m due for a good win.

Just 2 weeks ago, the Saints and Falcons played in Atlanta and the 2 high powered offenses spluttered out with a score of 20-17. The over/under game score for this week’s rematch is at 52.5 points. But despite the 37 point score line in week 14, these sides are routinely putting up 30 point games. I’m on the over here.

I don’t know what Zeke is paying to get on the score board this week, or to top 100 rushing yards, but after what Gurley just did to Seattle (152 yards and 3 TD’s rushing) I’m going to put a bit on those plays.

Moneyball tips of the week 

Gronk DESTROYED the Steelers a week ago. Buffalo are worse, so I can see him having just as good a day here, or at least getting in the endzone. He’s $8,500 and the most expensive TE, but he’s also the very best.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, with AB out it creates a lot of opportunities for the next man up. Juju has been great in his rookie year. He easily has the best TD celebrations, often poking fun at other NFL moments (like the hit on Burfict that got him suspended). He’s $7,100 and should have a big day vs a shotty Houston D.

It’s the second last week of the year, but the best week of the year. Have a fantastic day and week. I hope that all your wishes come true. Merry Christmas to you all.

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7 Comments on "NFL GAME WEEK 16 PREVIEW"

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shark bite
Member

Good luck everyone in your league playoffs

SupercoachGodsBeNice
Member

Great write up mate especially at such a busy time of the year.

Good luck all and merry xmas

Pegg
Member

Thanks mate. Your write ups have been invaluable in my first year playing. Just need Bell to outscore Jeffrey tomorrow to make the SuperBowl in both leagues I’m in.

Merry Christmas all.

shark bite
Member

Hopkins out this week. As is Gurley.

dicko
Member

To go along with Bell, Big Ben and Tyreek, Nelson, and Kupp at this stage.

Fully expect most of KHunt, Kelce, Fournette, Jags starting D to be rested as well, and Melvin Gordon, Mixon and ASJ to miss with injury. Looking at likely 7 donuts if all that happens, so I guess at least I’m not right up the top this year…

King4aday04
Member

Will be plenty of teams struggling to field full numbers this week.

Magpies4Eva007
Member

Kansas Alex Smith replaced as well.

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