Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Jackson went 14-for-23 for 131 yards with a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, while adding 18 carries for 95 yards to deliver a solid fantasy day. A lack of passing (both volume and production) is a concern, but Jackson’s running is enough to keep his fantasy floor high even as he heads into a tougher matchup in Week 16.
The Los Angeles Chargers entered Week 15 allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterback (15.1 per game; ESPN scoring) and they held Patrick Mahomes in check last Thursday night (243 yards and two touchdowns). Over their last nine games, they’ve allowed less than 250 passing yards eight time and either zero or one passing touchdown six times. The Chargers also have not allowed a rushing score to an opposing quarterback yet, but Mahomes (the first time), Russell Wilson and Marcus Mariota have topped 20 rushing yards in a game against them this season.
Jackson is still under-owned, and he is in line for a season-high in pass attempts against the Chargers. A projection of multiple touchdowns accounted for and 200-250 total yards makes Jackson a viable streamer and a low-end QB1 for Week 16.
ESPN Ownership: 54.1%
Yahoo! Ownership: 46%
Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers
Williams had 12 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown along with four catches for 42 yards against the Chicago Bears in Week 15, as he operated as the lead back after Aaron Jones (knee). Jones compared his injury to sprained MCL he suffered last year, so he’s all but surely done for the season.
Williams hung onto a larger role than he should’ve had for far longer than he should’ve had it, as Jones proved to be the better player. But Williams will now have the backfield work to himself, albeit in Week 16 against a New York Jets’ defense that has moved into the top half of the league against running backs (ESPN PPR scoring). Week 17 will be easier though, against the Detroit Lions and their bottom-10-12 defense against running backs.
Assuming Jones will miss the last two games of the season, Williams is a solid add as a RB2 in 12-and 14-team leagues. With four receptions in two of his last three games, don’t dismiss him as a high-end RB2 in PPR leagues.
ESPN Ownership: 11.8%
Yahoo! Ownership: 17%
John Kelly, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Kelly got his first two carries of the season against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15, and with Todd Gurley (knee) clearly hampered after being injured in that game and Malcolm Brown (collarbone) done for the season the rookie out of Tennessee has a path to being the lead back for the Rams in a favorable Week 16 matchup.
The Arizona Cardinals went into Week 15 allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs (ESPN PPR scoring), then the Atlanta Falcons running backs combined for 186 rushing yards last Sunday (145 from Tevin Coleman). Back in Week 2, Gurley only had 73 total yards but did have three rushing touchdowns against the Cardinals.
If you’re a Gurley owner who hasn’t added Kelly as his new handcuff since Brown was injured, now is the time to protect yourself against even the remote possibility of a missed game in Week 16. If the Gurley owner in your league is eliminated from the playoffs, Kelly is a worthy speculative add this week.
ESPN Ownership: 3%
Yahoo! Ownership: 4%
Tennessee Titans, D/ST
The Titans shut the New York Giants out in Week 15, with three sacks of Eli Manning and two takeaways. They’ve allowed just 23 points over their last three games, with nine sacks and four takeaways. Going back a little further they’ve allowed 16 or less points four times in their last six games, with multiple sacks five times in that span, and another nice matchup is coming in Week 16.
The Washington Redskins are down to Josh Johnson as their fourth starting quarterback this year, due to injuries (Alex Smith, Colt McCoy) and ineptitude (Mark Sanchez). A litany of offensive line injuries has led to a Washington quarterback being sacked at least three times in seven straight games, and they’ve scored 20 or fewer in seven of their last nine contests.
The ownership rate for Tennesee’s defense, at least in ESPN and Yahoo! league, actually dropped around 10 percent heading into Week 15. It’s time to seize the opportunity in Week 16, in about as good a matchup as a defense can have.
ESPN Ownership: 57.1%
Yahoo! Ownership: 50%
Ian Thomas, TE, Carolina Panthers
Thomas still has a Monday night game to play as of this writing, and it’s a tough-looking matchup against the New Orleans Saints. But with 16 targets and 14 receptions over his last two games, that’s more than enough to make Thomas a starting tight end for fantasy owners.
Thomas and the Panthers get the Saints again in Week 17, but in between those two matchups is the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16. The Falcons are a mid-pack defense against tight ends (ESPN PPR scoring), as they’ve allowed four or fewer catches to the position in five of their last six games.
The way the tight end position has been, how Thomas did Monday night is not that important to where he should be as a waiver wire add. Simple opportunity is enough heading into Week 16.
ESPN Ownership: 50.7%
Yahoo! Ownership: 42%
Indianapolis Colts, D/ST
Indianapolis brought the Dallas Cowboys back down to Earth in Week 15, with a shutout as they sacked Dak Prescott three times while holding Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper in check. Over their last three games, the Colts have 11 sacks with six or fewer points allowed twice in that span. In Week 16, they should have little trouble keeping that trend going.
The New York Giants were shut out by the Tennessee Titans in Week 15, and Eli Manning has been sacked multiple times in eight of the last nine games. If Odell Beckham (quad) sits out again it gets even easier for the Colts’ defense on Sunday. They are a top streamer for Week 16 regardless of Beckham’s status.
If Week 17 is relevant in your league, the Colts’ defense gets a solid matchup against the Tennessee Titans. In Week 11, they held the Titans to 10 points with five sacks and two interceptions as Marcus Mariota was injured in the game and Blaine Gabbert filled in.
ESPN Ownership: 17.7%
Yahoo! Ownership: 25%
Cleveland Browns, D/ST
The Browns held the Denver Broncos to 16 points in Week 15, with two sacks and two interceptions of Case Keenum. They’ve now allowed 20 or fewer points in four of their last five games, with multiple takeaways in 11 of 14 games this season and the second-most takeaways in the league (30). In Week 16, a very good matchup is on the slate.
The Cincinnati Bengals are already without A.J. Green (foot) and Andy Dalton (thumb), and now No.2 wide receiver Tyler Boyd is likely done for the season with a sprained MCL in his right knee. So it’s Joe Mixon and little else, and good luck naming any wide receivers Jeff Driskel will now be throwing to.
Dalton was injured in the previous matchup, and now Cleveland will get a full game of Driskel with depleted talent around him. Don’t forget about the Browns’ defense as a high-upside streamer to help you clinch a fantasy league title.
ESPN Ownership: 10.2%
Yahoo! Ownership: 12%
Robert Foster, WR, Buffalo Bills
Foster had four receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown (on five targets) against the Detroit Lions in Week 15, as he has now gone over 100 yards in back-to-back games with more than 90 yards in three of four games since Josh Allen returned to action. Going back one more game, Foster has three 100-yard games in his last five and at least 13.5 PPR fantasy points four times in that span.
The New England Patriots entered Week 15 in the top half of the league against wide receivers (ESPN PPR scoring). But they’ve allowed a touchdown to the position in six straight games, with the seventh-most targets allowed entering Week 15.
Foster will be something of a boom-or-bust option until proven otherwise, but his recent run minimizes some of the downside. With the likelihood of Allen passing more than usual against the Patriots, Foster should benefit from the volume and he’s worth a look as a WR3 in 12 and 14-team leagues.
ESPN Ownership: 3.3%
Yahoo! Ownership: 13%
Curtis Samuel, WR, Carolina Panthers
Samuel has a matchup against the New Orleans Saints to go as of this writing, but after he takes on the league’s worst team against opposing wide receivers Monday night he gets them again in Week 17. Over his last two games heading into Monday night, he has 19 total targets with at least 80 yards in both games. Prior to that, he scored a touchdown in three of four games.
Between those two favorable matchups against the Saints, the Atlanta Falcons are on the slate for the Panthers in Week 16. The Falcons have been better lately, but they still sat in the bottom half of the league against wide receivers entering Week 15 (ESPN PPR scoring) and will probably still be there once all results for the week are tabulated.
Samuel has gotten increased opportunity lately, and that’s not likely to go away over the rest of the season. His ownership rates have risen lately, but the second-year man out of Ohio State is being overlooked. His value is trending slightly better in PPR formats, but there’s low-end WR2/high-end WR3 appeal here in all 12 and 14-team leagues.
ESPN Ownership: 51.1%
Yahoo! Ownership: 51%
Blake Jarwin, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Jarwin had four receptions (on seven targets) for 45 yards against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15, and over the last two games he has 11 catches for 101 yards on 14 targets. In this tight end environment, that’s starter-like production heading into a decent Week 16 matchup.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went into Week 15 in the bottom half of the league against tight ends, before allowing six catches for 57 yards to the Baltimore Ravens tight ends last Sunday. It’s not an incredibly great matchup for Jarwin, but the Buccaneers did allow a touchdown to a tight end in five of six games earlier this year and they’re also bottom half of the league in targets allowed to the position.
The Cowboys should bounce back in Week 16 at home against a bad Tampa Bay defense. If you’re hunting for a streaming tight end, even in a critical week, Jarwin has to be on the radar.
ESPN Ownership: 0.6%
Yahoo! Ownership: 1%
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Just when Prescott pulls you back in with a big late performance in Week 14, he delivered a dud against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15 as the Cowboys got shut out(206 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception). But he as a good rebound opportunity in Week 16.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered Week 15 in the bottom half of the league against quarterbacks (20.9 fantasy points per game; ESPN scoring), and that average will drop (however slightly) after Lamar Jackson posted 16.7 fantasy points last Sunday.
In seven home games this season, Prescott has a 109.6 passer rating with dramatic bumps across the board compared to what he has done on the road. That has also translated to fantasy points, with over 18 fantasy points (ESPN scoring) four times and more than 20 fantasy points three times at home, compared to less than 15 fantasy points in five of seven away games.
Week 16 is as good as it can get for Prescott, with a very favorable matchup at home. He’s a solid streaming option, and if you can mitigate the downside by using him as a QB2 in a two-quarterback league his appeal is a little greater.
ESPN Ownership: 61.4%
Yahoo! Ownership: 68%