WEEK 16 PREPARATION
Congratulations to those of you who dominated the playoffs up to this point, or squeaked through by the narrowest of margins. You looked at bad luck in the face and said, "is that all you got?" Last week, several key players did not come through for us, including but not limited to Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Jared Goff, etc. and that's just quarterbacks. Several consistent notable running backs and receivers also struggled - there were quite a few. Keenan Allen, DK Metcalf, Robby Anderson, Tyler Lockett, Adam Thielen, Cooper Kupp, Cam Akers, Kenyan Drake, T.J. Hockenson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Amari Cooper, Davante Adams, Austin Ekeler, among others had surprisingly poor results. There will be a lot of teams in the title game who stumbled in. To use a hockey/soccer analogy, a goal is still a goal even if it slowly rolls past the goalie. It takes skill to advance this far, but there's also a great deal of luck involved. Congratulations if you made it this far. A lot of strong teams will be watching from home without a team competing in Week 16.
For those of you who did make it...Week 16 is here. You survived. You're in the Finals. (Hopefully, the smallest of percentages of you have a Week 17 Championship). Maybe you have a lot of money on the line? Or maybe just bragging rights among your family, friends or co-workers. Either way, the goal is in sight. Here are a few thoughts on how you can take down your opponent and lift the trophy.
HISTORICALLY, HOME RUNNING BACKS ARE MORE PRODUCTIVE
Unless there's an injury to a big-name player, go with those who got you here. Home running backs are the ticket, especially later in the year. Perhaps the biggest key performer at home this week is Alvin Kamara (vs Minnesota) or Austin Ekeler (vs. Denver). Also to be mentioned are the backs who will face, Houston, Detroit, Dallas, Jacksonville, Denver, and recently, Indianapolis. All have given up the most fantasy points to running backs since Week 10.
Positive matchups for runningbacks include:
- Tampa Bay at Detroit (Leonard Fournette and/or Ronald Jones II)
- Cincinnati at Houston (Giovani Bernard)
- Chicago at Jacksonville (David Montgomery)
- Philadelphia at Dallas (Miles Sanders)
- Los Angeles Chargers vs Denver (Austin Ekeler) monitor quad.
- Pittsburgh vs Indianapolis (James Conner/Benny Snell). The Steelers have struggled running the ball lately, so I'm less enthusiastic about this matchup, but the numbers suggest a positive outcome.
As for other stud running backs, Derrick Henry plays at Green Bay. The Packers have improved their run defense, reaching the Top 9 in fantasy points allowed since Week 10. Dalvin Cook is matchup-proof but he will have a tough battle at New Orleans who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs since Week 10. Getting back to running backs at home who could produce for us this week include Aaron Jones vs Tennessee, D'Andre Swift vs Tampa Bay, Josh Jacobs vs Miami, and Le'Veon Bell vs Atlanta.
RIDE THESE PLAYERS FOR THE WIN
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