Kickoff: Sunday, January 9th, at 4:25 PM EST
Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
Betting Odds: SF +4, 44 total via Oddsshark
San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo (Start if active, QB2), Trey Lance (Start if Garoppolo is inactive, QB2)
We saw what Trey Lance could do with Jimmy Garoppolo out last week, and it looked good; he could have had a bigger day too if it wasn’t for a Brandon Aiyuk penalty. Lance completed 16 of 23 attempts for 249 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also turned eight carries into 31 yards. At the time of writing, it appears Garoppolo will be back under center despite his thumb injury; he was limited at practice on Wednesday. In a must-win scenario for the 9ers, Jimmy G has streamable potential, and if he were to miss this game, Lance does as well; especially for his rushing upside.
Eli Mitchell (Start, RB2)
Here we are, ending yet another chaotic season of navigating through the 49ers RB room; and somehow, a WR has been the highest producer out of the backfield. To focus on the actual running backs, Eli Mitchell would be the only option worth starting this week. He turned 21 carries into 119 yards, adding two receptions for 11 yards and a touchdown against the Texans. The Rams are no easy task to take on, but at least Mitchell will see the volume over Jeff Wilson Jr..
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Deebo Samuel (Start, WR1), Brandon Aiyuk (Start, FLEX), George Kittle (Start, TE1)
What more can we say about Deebo Samuel and his breakout fantasy season? He’s had such a knack for finding the end zone, and did it again against the Texans, catching three of six targets for 63 yards. He also turned seven carries out of the backfield into 19 yards. Back in Week 10, Jalen Ramsey didn’t line up against Samuel, which was a bit head-scratching, as he caught all five of his targets for 97 yards and a touchdown. One would think this week that’ll change, but Samuel is still a strong play in a must-win for San Fran. Aiyuk has come on as of late, and has FLEX potential, but consider him more boom-or-bust as he has been all season.
If you’ve made it to a Week 18 championship with George Kittle as your tight end, that must be a nice feeling. The past two games have been absolutely brutal for Kittle owners, as he totaled three receptions on five targets for 50 yards and no touchdowns. His usage has been more as a blocker, and it’s frustrating for such a dominant option at the thinnest position in fantasy. You’ll start him again in this final week, and hope for the best. Back in Week 10, he did catch five of seven targets for 50 yards and a score against the Rams.
Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford (Start, QB1)
You’ll take the bad with Matthew Stafford this week, knowing the good is solid enough for fantasy purposes. He has five interceptions in the last two games, but has tossed three touchdowns in that span with a total of 506 yards through the air. The Rams will be playing to win, and if Stafford can figure a way to be safer with the ball, he projects to finish as a QB1 in the pivotal regular-season finale.
Sony Michel (Start, RB2), Cam Akers (Sit)
With Sony Michel overtaking lead duties, he’s scored in back-to-back games, posting 74 yards on 19 carries against Baltimore last week. However, we can’t ignore the fact that we may see the return/season debut of Cam Akers this week. We’ve all seen crazy things go down in fantasy matchups, and it would not shock me to see him, while eased in, produce. On Wednesday, HC Sean McVay said Akers was “full speed, flying around”, and practicing in full. That said, you can’t actually rely on him to take up a roster spot this week, and so continue to deploy Michel who should dominate the carry share.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Cooper Kupp (Start, WR1), Odell Beckham Jr. (Start, WR2), Van Jefferson (Start, FLEX), Tyler Higbee (Start, TE2)
Nothing to see here folks; Cooper Kupp is this years fantasy football MVP and shall be treated as such. He’s posted double-digit points in every single game this season in full-PPR formats. With some personal incentives to chase – not to mention the Rams clinch the NFC West with a win – look for Kupp to continue to be fed, and eat well.
Cooper Kupp record update:
-Needs 12 receptions
-Needs 136 receiving yards
Rams need to beat the Niners next week to clinch the division. Expect Kupp to get FED
— Anthony Amico (@amicsta) January 3, 2022
Both Odell Beckham Jr. and Van Jefferson are viable options this week, as the 49ers have given up the ninth most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. OBJ has scored in four of the last five games, clearly finding new life in LA. Take that, Cleveland. It’s always worth bracing for a deep threat score from Jefferson, making him an intriguing option against a beatable 9ers secondary. Tight end Tyler Higbee has had a disappointing fantasy season to say the least, and remains a touchdown-dependent TE2 this week despite his 6 for 69 yard game against the Ravens in Week 17.
-Matthew Cava (@cavaM_ Twitter & Reddit)