It’s the most wonderful time of the year, even more so if you are in your fantasy football semi-finals this week! I am pleased to say I made it through to the semi-finals in all the leagues I was playing in last week, bar one! Dak, Bijan, Pitts, and a couple of others are in my bad books from that league, but hey, that’s a story for another day!
I want to take a quick moment and wish every one of you a very Merry Christmas and I truly hope you have a wonderful time with friends and family over the holidays! Now, let’s hit a quick recap on last week’s picks before we dig into the festive slate!
Week 15 Hits
Amari Cooper, WR CLE
Cooper had a nice week for you in the playoffs. He finished with 4 receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown to finish up as WR14 on the week. Cooper feels like a rock-solid flex option every week, and I don’t see that changing in Week 16 against the Houston Texans.
Ty Chandler, RB MIN
Chandler came through in a BIG way in week 15. He ended up RB4 on the week thanks to solid volume and finding the endzone. Chandler had 23 rush attempts for 132 yards and a touchdown. He also contributed with 3 receptions for 25 yards, which is some tasty icing on a delicious first-round victory cake! It’s trending toward Chandler staying in the driver’s seat for the Vikings, so he could be a league winner!
Week 15 Misses
Jordan Addison, WR MIN
This is the most painful miss of the entire season for me for multiple reasons. First and foremost, it was the first round of the playoffs, and I hate to think I cost any of you a big win cause you benched him. Secondly, not only did he massively hit, but he was also the WR1 on the week! Lastly, I am a massive Jordan Addison and a Minnesota Vikings fan, so it feels doubly disappointing that I didn’t have faith in him last week. I just did not see Nick Mullens being able to show up and put up those kinds of numbers, in all honesty. It IS late December, and his name IS Nick…I should have seen it coming! I am so sorry to anyone who benched Addison on my recommendation. I can only apologize!
Tyjae Spears, RB TEN
Spears was an absolute faceplant in Week 15. He only had a single reception on a single target for 7 total yards. The 9 rush attempts for 30 yards didn’t do much to pad the stats, either. Sadly, the rookie couldn’t get anything going against the Texans. It was a fairly low-scoring game, and it was not a case of him just being completely game-scripted out. It’s just the frustrating reality of these fringe-flex running backs. It can be difficult to know when to trust them in your lineup.
Tyler Lockett, WR SEA
Lockett was a very frustrating miss last week. He led the Seahawks in targets at 9, and he played against arguably the juiciest secondary for fantasy wide receivers in the league, who were also missing their top corner, in a game the Seahawks ultimately won…and he only put up 3 receptions for 21 yards and no touchdown! I don’t know what to tell you on this one other than fantasy football can be a cruel mistress sometimes. If I had to do it all over again, I would still recommend starting Lockett last week.
Antonio Gibson, RB WAS
Yet another slice of humble pie was served up last week, the frustrating case of Antonio Gibson. As I had alluded to, Brian Robinson Jr. was not 100% and missed last week’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. As the presumptive starter, Gibson only received four rush attempts the entire game! He managed 5 receptions on 5 targets but still only finished with 8.5 fantasy points, so a stinker he remains for fantasy purposes. Honestly, I don’t see how you can trust Gibby in your lineups this week, regardless of who is missing time.
Zay Flowers, WR BAL
Last but by no means least, we need to chat about Mr. Zay Flowers. The Ravens completely trounced the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars 23-7, but Zay only had 1 reception for 7 yards. He did pick up a little injury, but I don’t think we can blame his performance on that, considering he still played 84% of the snaps. It is something to monitor this week if you plan on flexing him in Week 16, but unfortunately, sometimes good players just have bad games.
After a couple of solid weeks, Week 16 was a disaster for the flex article! I can only apologize to any of you who may have listened to my advice and sat a Jordan Addison or started a Zay Flowers. Honestly, it wasn’t just my predictions. There were crazy and frustrating fantasy performances all over last week. On the season, 41 hits and 35 misses is where things stand. A 54% hit rate is how things stack up heading into the semi-final weekend. Hopefully, we can avoid any more injuries or unexpected duds and have a smash ending to the season!
As a reminder, I am using the FantasyPros Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR) as my guidelines each week. I will pick wide receivers and running backs outside their top 24 to discuss. I will give a couple I like and maybe one or two I don’t and brief reasons. Hopefully, these studs give you more than 10 PPR points and will all end up in next week’s “hits” section!
James Conner, RB ARI (RB27) ⬆️
Conner was able to put up a very respectable 86 yards and a touchdown last week against the very stout 49ers run defense. This week, the Cardinals take on the Chicago Bears. It may surprise you to know that the Bears have been even better than the 49ers over the last six weeks or so against fantasy running backs. Not massively better, but still, surprising when you hear it. All that being said, I think you can risk Conner in Week 16, given his involvement at the goal line and in the passing game.
Jordan Addison, WR MIN (WR26) ⬆️
I am not just throwing Addison in here to atone for my sins of last week, I promise! I just think if it’s me in the fantasy semi-finals and I have a guy who was just the WR1 overall last week, I am certainly finding it difficult to bench him the following week. The icing on the cake is that the Detroit Lions have been the most generous defense to fantasy wide receivers in the entire NFL over the last six weeks. They have also allowed the second most touchdowns to wide receivers over that span, we know how much Addison loves a touchdown. I would not be benching him in Week 16, personally.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR IND (WR34) ⬆️
Thankfully for all of us Pittman managers, he has cleared concussion protocol! After taking a massive hit in Week 15, MPJ is cleared for action heading into a clash with the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are not the juiciest matchup in all of fantasy football (in fact, they are one of the more difficult), but Pittman has the second most targets at the receiver position this season. I cannot, in good faith, suggest even thinking about benching him this weekend.
Terry McLaurin, WR WAS (WR31) ⬇️
TMC exploded last week against the Los Angeles Rams and finished as the overall WR3 of the week! Pretty, pretty, pretty good, as Larry David would say. I know it sounds crazy not to recommend him after a performance like that, but I feel the odds are against him this week. The matchup against the Rams was all over the place, and backup QB Jacoby Brissett even came in for part of the 4th quarter. McLaurin’s touchdown came while Brissett was in, and according to Riverboat Ron, Sam Howell will be the starter in Week 16.
Over the last few weeks, TMC has not been the picture of consistency for your fantasy squads, and now he has to take on the New York Jets. The Jets got smoked last week against the Dolphins, but don’t let that fool you; they have been the scariest defense to go against for fantasy wide receivers all year. I know it’s a tough call, but for me, the Commanders are all over the place, and they don’t have the continuity to make me feel they can put it to the Jets this week.
Tyler Lockett, WR SEA (WR29) ⬆️
I am doubling down on my Tyler Lockett recommendation from last week; call it “take Lock-ett,” if you will. I think last week was the right process, wrong results, so I am pushing my chips back in. It seems as if Geno Smith is trending in the right direction to return to the starting lineup, which is good news for Lockett. The matchup against the Titans is another solid, dare I say ‘juicy’ matchup this week. Tennessee has been borderline bottom 10 in several key statistical categories against fantasy wide receivers over the last six weeks. That is about as good as you can hope for in the fantasy playoffs. If you survived last week and are in the semi-finals, you want upside, and Lockett can certainly give you that.
Devin Singletary, RB HOU (RB28) ⬆️
Singletary has seemingly locked down the RB1 role in Houston for this season. He dominated the backfield last Sunday and put up impressive numbers with backup Case Keenum in support of the missing rookie phenom CJ Stroud. This week’s opponent, the Cleveland Browns, will strike fear in the hearts of most fantasy managers, and understandably so. There is no doubt it will be a tough matchup, but maybe not quite as tough as we assume.
Over the last six weeks, the Browns have honestly been more middle-of-the-pack against fantasy running backs than they have top 10. Unfortunately, Keenum will again be starting for the Texans, which is a downer; there are no two ways about it. Depending on your options, you may still want to roll Singletary out there based on the volume he is currently receiving.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend full of delightful start-sit decisions and glorious victory over arch-rivals! May your Christmas’ be merry and bright and all your fantasy matchups a win!
If you want to chat fantasy football, you can always find me on X / Twitter @FFEvanlution. You can also check out my year-round dynasty fantasy football podcast (@DynastyDebates) on all major podcast listening platforms!