by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Just hours before the start of Week 16 I know many people have questions running through their heads. Who should I start? Who should I sit? Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:
Sammy Watkins – Wide Receiver – Buffalo Bills
Over the past two weeks Watkins has totaled 10 targets (which he’s turned into 5 catches, 64 yards and 1 TD). The Bills have clearly eased him back into the mix, so it’s fair to be concerned with how many opportunities he’ll see. That said the Dolphins have struggled against wide receivers (seventh most points per week over the past four weeks), and the last time Watkins faced them (November 8, 2015) he exploded for 8 catches, 168 yards and 1 TD. That makes him an intriguing WR3 play, and potentially usable as a WR2 depending on your alternatives.
Kelvin Benjamin – Wide Receiver – Carolina Panthers
He’s fully expected to play this week, but does it matter? Just look at what he’s done over the first three games of December:
- at Seattle – 2 receptions for 18 yards
- vs. San Diego – 1 reception for 11 yards
- at Washington – 2 receptions for 20 yards
That’s 5 receptions for 49 yards, despite being targeted 17 times. He hasn’t topped 100 yards since Week 2 (the only time he’s accomplished the feat this season) and has scored 1 TD since October 2. He’s supposed to be one of the elite receivers in the game, but given his production he’s impossible to trust with your fantasy title hanging in the balance.
Kenneth Farrow – Running Back – San Diego Chargers
Farrow was a hot add last week, but he failed to impress and has been lackluster over the past two weeks when given the opportunity (31 carries for 94 yards, failing to break a run longer than 11 yards). Yes the matchup against Cleveland is appealing, but would it be surprising to see Ronnie Hillman emerge as the leader of the committee (7 carries for 34 yards last week)? That risk is going to keep Farrow off fantasy radars, unless you truly are desperate for a FLEX option.
A.J. Green – Wide Receiver – Cincinnati Bengals
He’s going to play for the first time since November 20, the question is going to be how much he’ll actually be on the field. You would think that the Bengals wouldn’t put their franchise player at risk, especially with little to play for, though you still have to think he’ll be at least a little bit limited. That could mean slotting him more as a WR2, but if he’s on the field he’s going to be worth utilizing.
Donte Moncrief – Wide Receiver – Indianapolis Colts
After a one-game layoff Moncrief is set to return for the Colts. Of course he’s clearly behind T.Y. Hilton and if he doesn’t find the end zone he’s going to be a complete non-factor (he hasn’t had more than 64 yards in a game this season). Is that a gamble you want to take at this point in the season? There’s potential, but he’s better left for the desperate.
C.J. Fiedorowicz – Tight End – Houston Texans
He’s set to return after missing time with a concussion and he also has a favorable matchup against the Bengals. That said, you have to wonder how the change in quarterback is going to impact his opportunities. We don’t know the rapport that Fiedorowicz has with Tom Savage, who clearly worked well with tight end Ryan Griffin last week (Griffin had 8 receptions for 85 yards on 8 targets). That hangs a huge cloud over Fiedorowicz and keeps him as more of a TE2 in most formats.
Taylor Gabriel – Wide Receiver – Atlanta Falcons
With Julio Jones primed to return, Gabriel’s upside for this week is murky. While he does have a favorable matchup against the Panthers (who have allowed the sixth most points per week to opposing wide receivers this season), he’s been an extremely TD dependent option regardless of if Jones is dressed or not. Gabriel hasn’t had more than 6 targets in a game, nor has he exceeded 82 yards. That’s not even boom-or-bust territory, it’s TD-or-bust (6 TD, including scores in four of his past five games). With your fantasy title hanging in the balance, is that really a gamble you want to take?
Jordan Reed – Tight End – Washington Redskins
The injury is clearly impacting him and there appears to be a real chance that he misses this week’s game. Even if he plays, can we expect an impact? Fantasy owners should be moving on.
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN
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