It’s fantasy championship week. I hope that you have made it to your respective fantasy finals, and that you’re in line to win major candy bars with a victory this weekend. With the holidays next week, there won’t be a start and sit article for Week 17. However, as the offseason approaches, there will still be plenty to read on the site, and within the coming weeks, I’ll have a way-too-early top 100 for 2015 posted on the site and numerous other strategy, draft and other articles to hold you over.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
No Julio Jones last week? No problem. For the third straight week, Matt Ryan scored 23 fantasy points or more as he shredded a poor Steelers’ defense on the road. This week, he returns indoors against the Saints, whom he posted a solid line against in Week 1. Jones status remains unclear, but as last week showed, Harry Douglas can step up in a big way for Jones to provide Ryan with another stellar option. Like last week, you like Ryan more if Jones plays, obviously, but you’re starting him either way. This week, with or without Jones, Ryan is a top five quarterback.
Joique Bell, Detroit: He doesn’t have Kim Kardashian anymore, and he isn’t the main running back to own in Detroit anymore, either. Sorry Reggie Bush, this is Bell’s team now. Bell has shouldered the workload for the Lions over the past month, and he hasn’t disappointed. This week, Bell faces a Chicago Bears team that is ready to break out the golf clubs (or snowboards). With Jimmy Clausen — who should actually be OK this week — at the helm, one would think the Lions would go up big, quickly, which would allow Bell to get plenty of touches for the entire game.
DeSean Jackson, Washington: Revenge Game Part 2? Oh sweet narrative. How easy it is to buy into you only to get disappointed (see Johnson, Chris). However, Jackson has done it once this year against his old team, and with Robert Griffin under center, expect Jackson to be the beneficiary of double-digit targets against a poor Eagles’ secondary. He’s been bad lately, but you can trust Jackson to win you a title this week.
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis: I’m sad that the year is coming to an end, and that this is the last start and sit piece of the year. However, I’m very happy I don’t have to deal with tight ends anymore. If your name isn’t Rob Gronkowski, there’s no way to tell what you’re going to do on a given week. This week, I expect Allen to find the end zone again, as he has a favorable matchup against Dallas. It’s hit or miss with the Colts’ tight ends, but when you are playing the guessing game with the position, may as well take the consistent producer in the end zone, right?
Philip Rivers, San Diego: The Niners are a mess, but their defense has actually been OK, not great. What is a mess, however, is the Chargers offense. Ryan Mathews and Keenan Allen are both likely out for Saturday night’s game. That leaves Malcolm Floyd, Antonio Gates and the duo of Branden Oliver and Donald Brown with the responsibilities of carrying the offense. For the third straight week, I’m looking at other options other than Rivers if I have them.
Andre Williams, St. Louis: Aside from the game against Tennessee, Williams has been pretty bad when he has gotten the majority of the work this season. This week, Williams runs into one of if not the best defensive fronts in the league. You can’t trust him in your fantasy championship this week, plain and simple.
Brandon LaFell, New England: Remember the whole narrative that Julian Edelman couldn’t thrive with Rob Gronkowski on the field, which explained his numbers last year? Well, early on, that proved to be true, and the LaFell benefited from that with an increased role and production. But lately, as Edelman and Gronkowski have both produced in the same games consistently, it’s no surprise that it’s been LaFell who has seen his production drop off. At this point, he’s no more than a WR 4 or WR 5.
Jordan Reed, Washington: Again, everyone except Gronk can call into this category. The Eagles have been tough on tight ends this year, and Reed has seemed to be a favorite of Colt McCoy and not Griffin this season. Play the match ups and find a tight end with a better shot to score than Reed this week. That’s what it comes down to.