by Nick Ercolano
December 17, 2018
Week 15 is in the novels, so we're looking at snatching the gold mines off of the waiver wire for your Week 16, fantasy football championship week. Let's get it. This list will only be composed of players owned in 55% or less of Yahoo leagues.
1. Jamaal Williams - Green Bay Packers
- Yahoo Ownership: 17%
Given that many of my fantasy playoffs were riding on Aaron Jones, he naturally suffered a sprained MCL about 8 seconds into the Packers Week 15 game at Chicago. Enter Jamaal Williams. This szn has officially come full circle. We started with me touting the abundance of talent that is Jamaal the literal rolling ball Williams, so we will end with that.
With Jones out for the remainder other szn (likely), Williams should enjoy the entirety of the GB backfield as he did on Sunday, running 12 times for 55 yards and a score, catching 4-of-5 targets for another 42 yards. This was the best his fat ass has looked all year, and now it's his time. After Jones left, Williams saw 100% of the backfield carries, targets and receptions. It's only him.
The Jets have been okay against running backs, mediocre from a fantasy perspective, they've let up their fair share of big games, and interestingly enough to guys with similar game styles as J-Willy tha gawd:
Based on the volume, Williams will be a high-end RB2, with top-10 upside.
- Week 16: @NYJ
2. Mike Davis - Seattle Seahawks
I ain't excited whatsoever, because Carson is an absolute gawd, but as long as the Hawks are set on giving their RBs 431 touches/game, whoever is in the RB2 role has a place, as we saw on Sunday. He only saw 5 carries, because Carson was bussin on the ground, be he caught all 8 targets for 63 yards. Davis has looked like the top pass-catching option in this backfield, having big receiving games 3 or 4 times this year. This is dependent on Rashaad Penny's healthy, who was a somewhat surprise inactive this Sunday. If Penny misses time, there's a chance Davis is even more involved in Week 16 given they play the Chiefs and might need to pass more than their typical volume. Keep an eye on the Penny reports.
- Week 16: KC
3. John Kelly - Los Angeles Rams
- Yahoo Ownership: 4%
Strictly based on Gurley's health. He left with a knee issue, but returned and finished the game. Gurley will most likely suit up, but if he doesn't since they are playing the Cardinals, the backfield will likely be split between 7th round rookie John Kelly and Justin Davis. I prefer Kelly, he was a big favorite of Graham Barfield, who, if you're unfamiliar with his work, is probably my favorite resource for researching rookie running backs for fantasy. He does the "Yards Created" column and it's so good. Kelly ranked very highly. He also popped in preseason when given the chance. Similar to Hunt & Dalvin Cook, his raw numbers are not impressive but he's got that unique blend of vision, balance, strength and shiftiness to get the job done.
- Week 16: @ARZ
4. Kalen Ballage - Miami Dolphins
- Yahoo Ownership: 1%
RIP Frank Gore. The double OG triple OG. Somehow, with Gore out, it's possible Kenyan Drake becomes an even more unreliable fantasy option then with Gore! Incredulous.
But here are the big facts. Gore was carted off the field to the locker room on Sunday with what is being called a sprained foot. What does that even mean tbh. When I think of sprain, I think of like a slinky, or like those bikes with shocks,
and I imagine that kind of twisting, so idk how thaty would happen in the foot. But I'm obviously wrong, I'm only a doctor so what do you expect. Anywho, he's not expected to play again in 2018.
When he left, nothing changed.
The 4th round rookie, who some of you may have forgotten about, NOT I THOUGH. You don't forget these things, because every single rookie must be hyped up every single year so that fantasy assholysts can run a victory lap if someone does anything good. Everyone who touted Rashaad Penny should be fired. I never even liked Royce Freeman, and still took him in like the 4th round because of y'all. I'm sorry, I didn't mean this. I'm just salty about losing yesterday.
Ballage saw 13 opportunities compared to just 4 for Drake. Drake out-snaped him 28-26. Ballage went nuts, breaking off a 75-yard TD run, turning 12 carries into 123 yards and a score. He didn't do anything in the receiving game. But Ballage surprised me, he really did. Looked better than I expected against a tough MIN run defense. For the most part, he was blown up in the hole by this defense, they didn't give him much to work with. But that 75-yard, homerun ability is something that comes with Ballage.
He brings a 96th % WASS to the table. All that being said. Next week against JAX isn't necessarily a matchup to attack. The team stinks, but their defense against RBs isn't a plus matchup. We also have no idea what we're going to get from this backfield any given week. Drake could suddenly get 15 touches in Week 16. Or Brandon Bolden can bust off 2 touchdowns, right? So, he's a flier for sure, but worth having on the radar, and someone to know for 2019.
- Week 16: JAX
1. Josh Reynolds - Los Angeles Rams
- Yahoo Ownership: 53%
Cooper Kupp's last game played was in Week 10. From Week 11 - through this Sunday, Reynolds has nearly an 18% target share, coming off of a 12-target game on Sunday. He hasn't been great in terms of production. But this offense is no longer blowing teams out, and Gurley is banged up. The game script and/or passing game volume looks to be in his favor.
In a game at Arizona, there's a good chance we see Patrick Peterson take away either Robert Woods or Brandin Cooks, leaving Reynolds as one of Goff's better options once again. He's a WR3/flex in Week 16.
2. Dante Pettis - San Francisco 49ers
- Yahoo Ownership: 52%
Pettis has been an animal since taking over as a full-time player in Week 12.
He hadn't played more than 56 snaps in a game this year prior to Week 12, and has now played in more than 56 snaps in all four of these games. And he's done it against tough opponent's - @TB, @SEA, DNV, SEA. Unfortunately, the sledding isn't getting any easier, as CHI is next up. But while their CBs are good, you don't have to completely fade them.
- Week 16: CHI
3. Mike Williams - Los Angeles Chargers
- Yahoo Ownership: 51%
Williams exploded on TNF against the Chiefs with 3 tugs, one on a 19-yard run, two on 7 catches for 76 yards including the walk-off 2-point conversion. Keenan Allen missing a lot of time will explain some of this, but Williams looked good, even dominant. Allen is dealing with a hip injury, but it's not supposed to be that serious. The reports we've heard this week sound like he may legitimately suit up in Week 16. However, they might push him given how much is on the line and they need a W, he could be less than 100% if he goes, in a tough matchup versus BAL. If he's out, obviously it's a boost for Williams.
If Allen is in, idk it's a bit hard for me to get excited about Mike Williams. TNF was the first time he's gone over 75 yards since Week 2, and he's scored fewer than 7 (0.5 PPR FPs) in 4 of their last 6 games. Sure, it would make sense for them to play him more, but I'm not sure we actually see that if Allen is there. He should be playing more, but listen don't kill the messenger, I'm literally just giving you the facts.
Williams has played on over 70% of the snaps twice this year. In Week 12, when he caught 4 passes for 25 yards and 2 touchdowns, and on Thursday when he exploded. In between those two games tho, he played 54 and 51% of the snaps. And it's not like they aren't playing Baltimore. This doesn't all the sudden turn into a lock start for Williams.
Okay, me going off on fading Williams, literally all but ensures he's winning you a championship next week. Peace.
- Week 16: BAL
4. Robby Anderson - New York Jets
- Yahoo Ownership: 26%
Anderson now has 7 or more targets and three straight games and has become Darnold's clear #1 in this offense, catching 7-of-11 targets for 96 yards and a tuddy, a week after a 4-76-1 line. Over these three games, his aDOT has been a remarkable (nearly) 19 yards, which is 4th highest in the NFL over that span (WRs w/ 8+ targets).
For someone getting this many targets, coming that far down the field, you're going to rack up fantasy production. And he's done this at TEN, at BUF and against HOU, none of which are easy passing matchups. They'll be at home against a beaten up, deflated Packers team whose defense plays far inferior on the road then it does at home. I like Anderson a lot in Week 16 as a fill-in.
- Week 16: GB
5. DaeSean Hamilton - Denver Broncos
- Yahoo Ownership: 22%
This is all that really needs to be said about the WR situation here. Sutton stinks. Patrick looks good. Hamilton is producing well, thanks to the volume. He's seen 21 targets over the Broncos last two games, a 23.3% target share from Case Keenum. He's flipped it into 14 catches for 93 yards, but the middle of the Oakland defense has been a free for all recently. They gave up 4-38-1 to Boyd before he got hurt on Sunday, 8-130-2 to JuJu the week before, and the week before against KC they literally don't have a slot WR, but Kelce absolutely obliterated them.
- Week 16: @OAK
6. Robert Foster - Buffalo Bills
- Yahoo Ownership: 13%
- Week 16: @NE
by Nick Ercolano
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