Sink or Swim: Week 16

Rick Graham dives into the players he thinks will rise to the occasion and which could take a fall for Week 16.



Matt Stafford (Detroit Lions):

He’s always been a pretty safe QB play this year, but this week he finally gets a match up that can allow him to put up a QB1 stat line potentially. The Bengals seem to have given up on the year, and are allowing big games to opposing QB’s left and right as of late.

Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles):

The Raiders pass defense has improved over the past few weeks, but are still vulnerable and Foles was basically Carson Wentz last week in his first start. He obviously won’t do that every week, but he still makes for one of the better QB streamers this week.

Blake Bortles (Jacksonville Jaguars):

Bortles continues to put up QB1 type numbers and it will be awfully hard to sit him this week against an injury ravaged 49ers defense. The only concern would be game flow, as the Jags probably don’t need Bortles to drop back and throw too much in this game but that hasn’t stopped them before.


Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers):

He’s been awesome in his first 5 career NFL starts, but this will be by far the toughest defensive opponent he has faced yet. The Jaguars have shut down the majority of opposing QB’s they have gone up against this year, and it’s not like Garoppolo’s TD upside was high to begin with.

Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins):

Denvers defense looks to be their normal selves again, and Cousins hasn’t exactly been lighting it u the second half of the season. This a matchup to avoid if at all possible for the fantasy championship.




Jay Ajayi (Philadelphia Eagles):

Ajayi is starting to get it going now, going over 80 yards in his last two games and gets a favorable match up that should see the Eagles with plenty of clock killing snaps in the second half. Add in the fact that the Raiders run defense has been gashed the past two-week and that puts Ajayi on the RB2 map this week.

CJ Anderson (Denver Broncos):

Anderson has retaken over the backfield duties, and is now averaging 114 yards over the past 3 weeks. Going against a soft Redskins run defense, Anderson is a solid RB2 play this week.

Joe Mixon (Cincinnati Bengals):

I’m tentatively expecting Mixon to start this game and get close to a full workload, which should be good enough to produce fantasy value as the Lions are at the very bottom in terms of rushing yards allowed.

Deep Dives–Kerwynn Williams, Peyton Barber


Jamaal Williams (Green Bay Packers):

With Brett Hundley back under center, the positive here is that Williams should see more touches this week. The bad news is he will see more stacked boxes while also going against a top 5 run defense.

Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Raiders):

The Eagles are still one of the best run defenses going, and the game script should lean more towards the passing game for the Raiders offense in this one. Despite having a solid second half to the season, Lynch should be treated more like an RB3/Flex option Monday night.




JuJu Smith-Schuster (Pittsburgh Steelers):

He has legitimate WR1 upside this week with Antonio Brown out and the Texans secondary allowing productive games recently to similar type slot receivers. He should be owned and started in all leagues this week with a lot of fantasy championships on the line.

Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns):

Gordon has been used heavily in the passing game since returning, and draws a favorable matchup against a Bears team that loves to be torched by opposing top wideouts. The only concern here is whether or not Deshone Kizer can actually get the ball in Gordon’s hands. As terrible as Kizer is, he should at least give Gordon some run after the catch chances this Sunday.

Robert Woods (Los Angeles Rams):

Woods returned last week to his usual role, and has now gone for double-digit points in PPR formats in the past 7 games he has played in. The Rams will likely look to throw the ball a lot this week, so expect that trend to continue.

Deep Dives– Mike Wallace, Dede Westbrook, Mohamed Sanu


Robby Anderson (New York Jets):

Anderson hasn’t been able to get anything going with Bryce Petty the past 2 weeks, and runs into a tough match up this week against Casey Hayward and the Chargers stingy pass defense that is one of the best at limiting big plays, Anderson’s specialty.

Jamison Crowder (Washington Redskins):

He’s been pretty good as of late despite the slow start to the season, but he is best left on the bench this week as he will be going up against Chris Harris for most of if not the entire game.




Eric Ebron (Detroit Lions):

Ebron come out of nowhere and really turned it on the past two weeks, leading the Lions in targets while reeling in 15 balls. The matchup is another solid one for him, as the Bengals defense has fallen apart lately.

Charles Clay (Buffalo Bills):

Clay has been a bigger part of Buffalo’s offense over the past two weeks, and should be again this week as the Bills try to keep up with the Patriots. The tight end position has had some success against this defense in the past too, making Clay a solid floor TE1 option.

Deep Dives– Jesse James, Ben Watson, Antonio Gates


Jared Cook (Oakland Raiders):

The Eagles have been solid at limiting opposing tight ends this year and Cook has not been a big part of the Raiders passing game as of late, catching just 11 balls in his past 5 games (including one 5 catch effort).

Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys):

With Zeke back, there’s a very good chance Witten goes back to his 1 catch for 8 yard’s ways, with that one catch potentially being a touchdown. It’s still not worth the risk.

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