Here we are, ladies and gentlemen. The final week of the 2016 regular season. You have survived the most injury-riddled fantasy season I can remember in my 19 years of doing this. Now, you either have the playoffs locked up, or are fighting for your playoff lives in one last game.
Every move counts this week. Who, oh who, should you start?
As always, we got you covered.
QB-Matthew Stafford-The Lions are coming off a mini-bye and another come from behind victory. They are hot, and the Saints DEF won’t be what cools them off. Stafford should easily get you 250 and 3 TDs against this SAINTS D.
RB-The usual suspects are at the top: Elliott, Bell, and Johnson but further down the list Devante Booker against the Jaguars is interesting to me. If you have Booker on your team he may be a play above a banged up Miller or what’s going on with Blount.
WR-Brandon Marshall looks like a really enticing play. So does Mike Evans but he has been on tear of late.
DEF-It’s rare that I drop a Defense suggestion but the Patriots playing the Rams with a rookie QB is almost too good to be true. Get them in your lineup.
QB-Derek Carr has been an MVP candidate for sure this year, and last week’s heroic comeback made that crystal clear. I worry about the hangover effect against a really strong Buffalo Defense. Carr is probably going to put up decent numbers but there could be a lot of short runs for TDs from the goal line that take away his TD pass total and points.
RB-Lamar Miller-The Houston RB is banged up, teams can key on him with the lack of production from their QB, and they are playing against a Packers Defense coming off quite possibly their best game this past week. If you have some other choices at RB, Miller may be better suited in your playoffs, not to get you there.
WR-Tyrell Williams-The Chargers WR is in a very similar situation as Lamar Miller. Banged up-Check; Playing against an improving, coming off a hot week, Defense – Check. If Williams has helped you get this far this season you may want to let him help you in the playoffs, not to get in the show.
TE-Greg Olsen-on the road against a really strong defense in Seattle. Carolina’s offensive line is not going to be able to hold back the Legion of Boom and it’s going to be a long night for Cam and the rest of the Carolina Offense.
QB- Matthew Stafford and the first place Detroit Lions will be heading to New Orleans. I know Stafford has not been a great fantasy option as of late, but two really bad pass defenses against two really good QBs could lead to a huge amount of offensive fantasy points.
RB-Carlos Hyde will be facing a banged up Chicago defense on the road this week. Hyde will see lots of touches in both the running and passing game.
WR-Michael Thomas will be facing the Detroit Lions at home. This could be a very high-scoring game and Thomas has become one of Drew’s go-to guys.
TE-Travis Kelce is in line to have another big game on the road against Atlanta and it’s not so good secondary.
QB-Cam Newton has a tough matchup on the road against Seattle’s defense. The last time he faced them in Seattle he put up big numbers. I think Seattle will be looking for a little revenge this time, could be a tough game for the Panthers offense.
RB-Jay Ajayi will be facing one of the toughest run defenses in the league in Baltimore on Sunday. I expect Baltimore to try and stop the run and make Tannehill beat them.
WR-Allen Robinson and the Jags are going to have a really hard time getting anything going against the Broncos tough defense.
QB: The Saints and Detroit game is likely to be a shootout. As Saucy T said to me last night, Matthew Stafford has gone from fantasy quarterback to legitimate NFL quarterback. He hasn’t been a must-start for much of this season, but against a Saints defense that has allowed a 17-to-7 TD-to-INT ratio, this is the week to start him.
RB: Doug Martin has a juicy matchup against a Chargers defense that hasn’t allowed a ton of yards, but has allowed 12 touchdowns on the ground, which means they allow a touchdown a week. They’ve also allowed three receiving touchdowns to RBs, a department that Martin is strong in as well. Jordan Howard also has a great matchup against the worst fantasy rushing defense (49ers) in the game.
WR: It’s a sad state of affairs when you need to be told to start DeAndre Hopkins, but this is the week. The Packers struggle against the pass, so one of two things will happen. Brock Osweiler will get his head out of his rear and play like an NFL quarterback. That is highly unlikely, so by half time, we could see Tom Savage, and if that happens, he will hone in on his best target.
TE: Zach Ertz has averaged eight targets over the last four weeks and this week he faces a Bengals defense that is porous against the tight end. Carson Wentz hasn’t been great, but he’s been good enough to trust Ertz this week with an inconsistent wide receiving corps at the rookies disposal.
DEF: The Patriots play the Rams. The Rams are bad. Jeff Fisher should be fired soon. The Pats may accelerate the process.
QB: I hate to say this, but if you have a better option at backup, like a Philip Rivers or Eli Manning, it is probably a good idea to sit Dak Prescott this week. I think Prescott will play his usual smart football, but that may not equate to a ton of fantasy points in a very important fantasy week. The Vikings defense is amongst the best against the QB. I expect 15 to 17 points from Dak. If you are deep enough to live with that, roll with him, but there are likely better option.
RB: Jay Ajayi has — predictably — cooled down since his big outburst and that should continue this week against a stingy Ravens defense that has allowed the least yards to RBs as well as a mere three TDs on the season.
WR: Allen Robinson faces the Denver Broncos best pass defense in fantasy with the only quarterback challenging Brock Osweiler for biggest flop of 2016 throwing him the ball. I’ll pass.
TE: Jordan Reed/ Vernon Davis. Reed said himself he has no idea if he will play this week, and that’s scary. That says to me that one hit and he’ll be on the sideline. If that’s the case, the Cardinals are the stingiest fantasy defense against tight ends, and as good as Davis has been, he will struggle against them.
DEF: The Texans are a good defense. The problem is they are always on the field. Aaron Rodgers and his gang will eat them alive about halfway through the third quarter when they are completely gassed due to Osweiler’s ineptitude. They aren’t a good play this week.