The penultimate edition of the Target Trends article is here. If you’re still alive in the final four of your fantasy playoffs, congratulations. Don’t start coasting yet. The games get more competitive as you go, and as we all know, anything can happen. To steal a phrase from poker, all you need is a chip and a chair, and the title can be yours. I still have a few chips in play as well, so I’m eager to get on with it. Feel free to ride shotgun with me as we prepare for this weekend’s matchups.    

Week 15 saw some of the elite receivers earn their fantasy paychecks. Led by Justin Jefferson, the top of the target list was a who’s who of top-tier pass catchers. A.J. Brown, Ja’Marr Chase, Tyreek Hill, DeAndre Hopkins, Travis Kelce and Michael Pittman Jr. all came home with top 10 targets for the week. If you’re rostering any of these players, they will be “set and forget” starters for your playoff squads. Sprinkled amongst these names are some others that we’ll take a closer look at below to determine if they merit a starting or bench role for the coming week.      

Fantasy playoffs are a stressful time, but it should be an extremely fun time as well. Winning a Championship is not easy. Those of us who have reached the peak can attest to that. Don’t sweat it, though. All of us here at Razzball will strive to help you as much as we can. Bottom line: you’ve worked so hard to get here. Enjoy the ride as long as it lasts. 

In the comments below, let me know how your matchups look and include any start/sit questions you may have. Also, tune in for the Razzball Start/Sit show, which will be broadcast on Saturday this week.    

Most of all, Merry Christmas to you and your families. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, I hope you all get the fantasy gift you want most of all!

Week 15 Target Monsters/Week 16 Outlook: 

K.J. Osborn, Vikings:  Like his WR mate, K.J. Osborn was a significant contributor to the largest comeback in NFL history. Osborn hauled in 10 of his 16 targets for a career-high 157 yards and a score. This included a big 63-yard catch setting up the start of the Viking comeback. This outing was seemingly out of nowhere, as he’s only had one game this season with more than eight targets. The Giants are struggling against both slot and wideouts, ranking 25th in total PPG allowed to receivers. Clearly, the Vikings’ pecking order starts with Jefferson and includes Thielen, Hockenson and Cook, so it’s hard to put much faith in a repeat performance. I’d recommend looking elsewhere.  

Evan Engram, Jaguars:  Evan Engram followed up the game of his life (15 targets, 11 rec, 162 yards and two scores) with 10 targets, eight rec, 62 yds and 0 TDs. I wasn’t buying into the Week 14 breakout, but the 14.2 fantasy points put up on the Cowboys did slightly surpass my expectations. Two double-digit target games in a row are the start of a trend, so he has my attention. The Jets are league average against TEs, allowing a dozen fantasy points per game. What’s more, telling for me has been the play by Trevor Lawrence. He now has back-to-back 300+ yard games in a row, including seven total TDs over the past 2. Unfortunately, he is nursing a toe injury and officially carrying a Questionable designation going into Thursday night. I fully expect him to play, but if he doesn’t downgrade Engram substantially.                                             

Russell Gage, Buccaneers:  Russell Gage got an expanded role in the Bucs’ offense when Julio Jones was inactive and made the most of it. Gage received 12 targets, converting 8 for 59 yards and 2 TDs against a stingy Bengals D.  Jones appears to be trending up, so Week 15 may turn out to be a mirage. There’s no doubt Gage has earned himself a bigger share of the Brady pie, and the Bucs’ offense could use all the help it can get. However, unless Jones is on the sidelines again, don’t chase last week’s points here. Look elsewhere for your flex help.    

Drake London, Falcons:  Nobody questioned London’s abilities prior to the game in the Big Easy last week. What they did question was who was going to throw Drake the ball. It turns out those questions were answered early and often. Falcon’s rookie QB Desmond Ridder looked London’s way 11 times, converting 7 for 70 yards. This was a welcome sight to Falcons fans and London fantasy owners alike since the Saints’ defense has been one of the better units versus WRs in the league. London draws a more favorable matchup against a Ravens defense, giving up over 32 PPG through the air. I’d like this matchup more if the game was being played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but no such luck. The weather forecast in Baltimore is calling for clear skies but cold (22 degrees). I think this mutes the Falcons’ passing game just a bit, giving the slight edge in game script to Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson. Most fantasy managers have probably locked into London anyway. But if you have other options with better matchups, don’t be afraid to target one of those instead.       

Chris Moore, Texans:  Chris Moore earned a nod in my Week 15 Target Trends column after his 10 rec/124-yard performance against the Cowboys. He followed it up with an 8-target, 4-reception game for a total of only 42 yards. This was a disappointing game for those who made him a WR #3 or Flex play against the soft Chiefs secondary. Now, Moore draws a mid-week Questionable tag with a foot injury leading up to a choice matchup against a porous Titans defense. The Titans are giving up a league-worst 43.3 PPG to receivers. Should Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins remain out, Moore has a chance to pay back those owners that are sticking with him. Keep a sharp eye on this situation leading up to the early afternoon kickoff.                 

That’s the end of my featured players. Like last week’s article, I’ll move on to my version of the two-minute drill and fire off some additional matchups that are trending for me in week 16.  

Christian Kirk, Jaguars:  Zay Jones may be getting the attention of fantasy experts right now but don’t discount the contributions of Christian Kirk. Kirk logged another impressive game with 10 targets and 15+ fantasy points. The Jets are one of the stingiest defenses against WRs overall, but slot receivers like Kirk have found some success (see Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond last week). It’s OK to be cautious but don’t be afraid of this matchup.   

Mike Evans, Buccaneers:  Mike Evans finally showed up for his fantasy owners, albeit just a 13.3-point day. Mike has been getting relatively consistent targets but hasn’t been able to convert them to meaningful fantasy numbers. The Cardinals have been a top-10 defense against wideouts like Evans, so it may be best to temper expectations here.        

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions:  Amon-Ra St. Brown continues to show he’s matchup-proof with a 10-target and 15+ fantasy scoring day versus the Jets. We’ve grown accustomed to the 25-30 PPG that St. Brown normally gives, so this may seem like a disappointing result on the surface. However, the Lions proved they are for real. As long as they continue to surge, St. Brown is going to be the dream WR for fantasy owners. Carolina ranks 23rd in receiver PPG, so I’m setting my clock for a 20+ game in this critical fantasy playoff week.              

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chiefs:  JuJu was in a pretty good spot last week going into Houston, and he came through with an 18.8 fantasy point day on 10 targets. That makes two strong games in a row for the Chiefs receiver. The Seahawks generally are able to keep receivers in check. They have been struggling ever since the Raiders pinned a 40-spot on them in Week 12. A trip to Kansas City is usually not a recipe for righting the ship, making JuJu a decent Flex play this week.          

T.J. Hockenson, Vikings:  T.J. Hockenson remains a strong TE play with nine more targets against the Colts. Kirk Cousins continues to look for his big TE, generally targeting T.J. 8-9 times per game. Look for more of the same against the Giants.   

Noah Brown, Cowboys:  Noah Brown has put together an impressive 2-game stretch where he’s amassed 15 targets and 35+ fantasy points. This is a welcomed sight for a Cowboys team needing all their weapons against the strong Eagles’ defense. However, Brown has been slowed by a foot injury this week and remains limited in practices. Although the game script may favor a pass-heavy Cowboy attack, putting your eggs in this basket may not be the best strategy, all things considered.         

Jerick McKinnon, Chiefs:  What can you say about Jerick McKinnon? Just two short weeks ago, McKinnon was widely available on the waiver wire. Now, he’s a must-start in PPR formats. After road games in Denver and Houston, McKinnon comes home with a combined 17 targets and a pair of 30+ point fantasy outings. The Seahawks rank among the league’s worst versus RBs, so you do the math…   

Agree/Disagree? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, feel free to send any trade questions or roster decisions. I’m always happy to provide some fantasy advice to our loyal followers. Good luck with all your teams…unless you’re competing against me!