Buy Low Opportunities Heading into Week 16 (Fantasy Football)
Besides the gifts for your loved ones, the only “buying” left to do this year are the decisions you have to make in your fantasy football lineup in terms of who you want to carry you to the fantasy promised land. If you’ve survived the quarterfinals and are sitting one game away from the championship, then you likely have difficult choices on your bench. There are probably multiple players that fall into a similar tier, so matchup and usage are crucial. Not every player deserves back-to-back starts, and some players deserve to be benched. The choices you make this week will make or break your season.
Buy Jerick McKinnon as an RB2
This may seem obvious given his recent production, but there are still concerns about the usage split between McKinnon and his fellow backfield mate Isiah Pacheco. McKinnon is a passing game specialist first and foremost, but he also appears to be someone the Chiefs trust in multiple roles. He’s been the RB3 over the past three weeks and he’s seen increased playing time for five straight games. McKinnon is a key cog in an elite offense that faces off with the Seahawks during the fantasy semifinals. That’s a game that projects to be one of the highest totals of the week, so the oddsmakers are predicting a back-and-forth affair. McKinnon will be involved plenty and should be started with confidence as an RB2.
Trust Geno Smith in Your Semifinal Matchup
For similar reasons as McKinnon, we should also trust Geno Smith in the biggest week of your fantasy season. He’s been one of the most impressive comeback stories in recent memory, but he’s also been a consistent fantasy producer. He’s had 19 or more fantasy points in six of the last seven games and the Chiefs rank in the bottom five against opposing fantasy quarterbacks over the past month. Geno is going to try and keep up with the consensus MVP on the other sideline, and his fantasy managers will be rewarded for it. I expect Geno to produce rock-solid QB1 numbers with a ceiling that is only matched by the elite tier of quarterbacks. Those of you who lost Jalen Hurts or roster two quarterbacks may need to turn to Geno if he’s available.
Buy Devonta Smith as a High-End WR3
Despite the loss of Jalen Hurts, I’m still firing up Devonta Smith in most of my fantasy playoff matchups this week. The Cowboys are a formidable foe defensively, but they’ve given up the third most fantasy points to opposing receivers in the past four weeks. Part of that may be due to the opponents playing catch-up, but that’s exactly what we expect Minshew to be doing this week. He’s shown the ability to compete multiple times before, and at worst he will continue to sling it for four quarters no matter what happens. The Cowboys are going to shut down the Philly rushing attack early on, which means we will see a heavy dosage of Smith and A.J Brown. Smith has quietly been a WR1 over the last three weeks, and I expect him to see a healthy target total on Sunday. He’s still a strong flex/WR3 option for fantasy playoff teams.
Buy Chigoziem Okonkwo as a TE streamer
That name wasn’t a typo, it’s just a really fun name that belongs to the Titans’ new TE1. Okonkwo has been the TE3 over the past three weeks, and his target total has been consistent and strong for a streaming candidate. He’s seen five or more targets in four straight games and he’s clearly the best playmaking option the Titans have at the position. This week he faces off with a Texans defensive unit that ranks in the bottom five against the position this year. We will see a LOT of Derrick Henry of course, but Okonkwo has quietly been the next-best option for the Titans’ offense recently. The position as a whole is ugly, but Okonkwo should provide a high enough floor to not sink your team. Yes, I’m talking to you Pat Freiermuth.
Keep Rachaad White in Your Lineup
The Bucs’ backfield has been confusing, but this week I’m planting my flag on Rachaad White as a great option in the flex spot or as one of your running backs if you have a committee. He only played on 39% of the snaps last week, but it was a bizarre game that had Tom Brady throwing for his life by the third quarter despite jumping out to a huge lead. Both White and Fournette will be involved here against the Cardinals, but the matchup is excellent for the whole backfield. Arizona ranks 4th against the position and the current spread indicates that the Bucs should be in command throughout the contest. Lombardi Lenny is going to get some rest in the second half, and I expect White to find the end zone and see a healthy amount of carries. Last week was the only time since October that he didn’t have at least 15 touches. That should be more than enough to provide adequate RB2 production for your fantasy playoff team.