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On Wednesday morning, my First Look article previewing the main slate included the following table:
The most interesting aspect of Week 16 is that beauty will be in the eye of the beholder when it comes to game environments we want to target. If you view the slate through the lens of pure implied team total, the top three teams on the slate to target are the Dolphins (26.3), Lions (25.3), and Cowboys (24.8). You are likely to go heavy on the Dallas-Miami game due to the 51.0 game total. On the other hand, if you are viewing the matchups through the lens of whether they are plus or minus overall, then each of those teams rank low on the list. In fact, Miami and Dallas are the two worst teams on the slate in terms of Week 16 total versus their season-to-date averages.
So the big question comes down to which situation you want to target more:
-Strong, trustworthy offenses in negative game environments (Cowboys, Dolphins, Lions, Colts).
-Bad-to-mediocre offenses in strong spots (Jets, Falcons, Bears).
The pricing for some key pieces in the bad offenses looks tempting, but do we want to be relying on competency from quarterbacks like Trevor Siemian and Taylor Heinicke? We are faced with an uncomfortable decision, whichever direction we go.
As noted in previous weeks, I built my own simulator that uses Footballguys Consensus projections, combined with my own team-level variance and player share variance research. For each position, I will show the results of my simulations compared to our Percent Rostered Projections from Devin Knotts. It is important to look at the best tournament plays both in terms of the player’s odds of landing in the best lineup, how those odds compare to the player’s projected ownership. We want a player to pop in at least one (and ideally both) of those two categories.
Justin Fields, Bears ($8,300)
- The only thing that has kept Justin Fields from having a dominant fantasy season is the lack of rushing touchdowns. He has just two this season (in 9.5 games). Last season, he ran for eight touchdowns in just 15 games. Given Fields’ explosiveness and red zone rushing usage, he probably should be averaging closer to 0.5 rushing touchdowns per game. If you believe the rushing touchdown luck breaks in Fields’ favor, he could easily end up the top-scoring quarterback on this slate.
- Over the past five weeks, the Arizona Cardinals have been giving up 1.28 fantasy points above expectation to opposing quarterbacks. The Cardinals have also been atrocious against opposing running backs, which, given his rushing role, means this matchup is probably even more favorable for Fields than the overall numbers indicate.
- Fields stands out on this slate for his proven upside. He has scored 24.7 or more FanDuel points in 33% of his full games this season. He has a 30 point game this season, and a pair of 40-point games last season.
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