IT IS PLAYOFF TIME DEGENERATES! CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK! We are onto Week 16 and that means Saturday football. Happy Holidays everyone!!!
Washington Redskins at Tennesse Titans – 37 Total
Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers – 44 Total
So how about Philip Rivers? What is the outlook for the QB9 on the season against the Baltimore defense that has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the QB position over the past four weeks? Well, the Ravens defense is slightly worse on the road allowing 1.6 passing touchdowns per game versus just 1.0 passing touchdown per game at home. Rivers has also been slightly better at home this year averaging 26 fantasy points per game in LA. The Ravens on average have allowed 34.5 passing attempts over the last four weeks. Chargers at home average 36.8 pass attempts per game. This season when Rivers has attempted at least 35 passing attempts at home he has averaged 28.35 fantasy points. Of the seven road games, the Ravens have played they have allowed at least 18 fantasy points to four quarterbacks. The three QBs they held under 18 fantasy points on the road this season: Marcus Mariota (7), Ben Roethlisberger (15), Matt Ryan (7). He’s a QB1 even against the Ravens.
On the other side, Lamar Jackson is a very safe option. Jackson has scored at least 16 fantasy points on five straight games, scoring over 20 fantasy points just once this season. It is worth noting that his first five opponents (CIN, OAK, ATL, TB, KC) all rank in the top six in terms of fantasy points allowed to the QB position. The Chargers defense is far superior. Los Angeles gives up the 7th fewest fantasy points to the QB position. Since Week 4, only one QB has scored 20 or more fantasy points versus the Chargers. The Chargers have the 7th ranked pressure rate (12.8%) and Jackson has struggled under pressure. In his five starts under pressure, Jackson has a 62.7 passer rating. He is a top-15 option in Week 16.
The last game here is well…🤮🤮🤮 you know. Marcus Mariota vs Josh Johnson. The Titans allow the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the QB position over the last four weeks while the Redskins allow the 10th most during that same time frame. However, the Titans have struggled to generate pressure this season. They rank last in the NFL in pressure rate (7.6%) and Johnson has done well when he has had time. Over the past two weeks, Johnson, when kept clean, has the seventh-highest QBR (117.7). But with the lack of weapons surrounding Johnson, he does not have much upside. Mariota is in a similar situation because it has become the Derrick Henry show. Mariota has COMBINED for less than 11 fantasy points over the last two weeks. Mariota has such a low-floor that he is so hard to have any confidence in. In all the games where Mariota has scored 20 or more fantasy points, he has thrown for two or more touchdowns. The Redskins allow an average of just 1.1 passing touchdowns per game on the road.
Speaking of Derrick Henry…he’s an RB1 this week. No team has allowed more rushing yards than the Redskins (575) over the last four weeks. No player has more rushing yards than Henry over the last two weeks. Henry has the third-most rushing attempts of any RB over the past three weeks. Dion Lewis is an interesting play in DFS. The game script looks for the Titans at home to be a run-heavy script as an 11-point favorite. However, we saw the Redskins play the Jaguars tight a week ago, so there’s always a rare chance that with things like turnovers that the Titans could be playing in a tighter game. The Redskins rank 5th in the NFL in takeaways per game and 4th fewest in giveaways. The Titans are averaging just 0.8 takeaways per game at home. On the season the Redskins have allowed the ninth most receptions and ninth-most targets to RBs in the passing game. The most telling stat here is the Redskins lead the NFL in red zone targets to RBs (22). Dion Lewis is the perfect contrarian play in GPPs this week. You could even play them both in DFS Saturday cash lineups.
The Redskins running backs are much less appealing. The most likely outcome is the the Redskins are trailing and will have to throw making Chris Thompson the best option out of the backfield. He’s run 31 routes over the past two weeks, and with all the injuries could be appealing in deeper PPR formats. Peterson is almost unplayable outside DFS contrarian play as the the Titans give up the fewest fantasy points to the RB position. Peterson has only been effective this season when playing with a lead so unless you think Washington gets up big here….Peterson is a sit across all formats.
Looking at the Saturday night game, if you have Melvin Gordon you are playing him. He is off the injury report and has been all but match-up proof this season. He gets work in the passing game and Austin Ekeler has already been ruled out. The Ravens have allowed the fifth-most targets and sixth-most receptions to the RB position over the past two weeks. He’s a low-end RB1 this week and a great play in daily because many will be turned off from because of the injury/matchup. The Ravens over the last four weeks have allowed four running backs to 14 plus fantasy points per game. All those running backs saw at least 11 carries.
On the Ravens side, I still do not want to buy into Gus Edwards. I realize he is dominating the majority of carries, but he has zero involvement in the passing game. I prefer Kenneth Dixon as a starting option as a low-end RB2. Over the past two weeks the Chargers have allowed the fourth-most receptions, eighth-most targets, and third-most receiving yards to the RB position. The Chargers have allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards to the RB over the past four weeks making Gus Edwards a fade for me.
Jamison Crowder might be the only Redskins receiver you could even throw a bone at in this game. That’s because Crowder in the slot will see coverage from backup cornerback LeShaun Sims who will be filling in for the injured Logan Ryan. Josh Doctson is questionable and the only other healthy wide receivers are Michael Floyd, Jehu Chesson, and Darvin Kidsy. I don’t love (LOL) the Skins’ wide receivers, but the Titans allow their highest percentage of fantasy points (47%) to the WR position. Tennessee gives up the 7th most fantasy points to the WR position. Crowder has 11 targets over the last two weeks so if you start anyone, it’s Crowder as a low-end WR3.
On the Titans’ side, the low-passing volume has been absolutely killing Corey Davis who has been inconsistent all year. However, the Redskins are not great versus wide receivers, allowing the tenth-most fantasy points to the position. They have allowed the second-most receiving touchdowns (7) to the WR position over the last four weeks. On the season the Redskins have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to the WR position. Tajae Sharpe is out for the Titans, which would likely result in Taywan Taylor/Corey Davis moving into the slot more. Taylor has 9 catches for 163 yards (81.5 per game) in his past 2 at home. 42% of Davis’ receptions and three of his four touchdowns have come from the slot this season. If you are trying to fade Henry looking at Davis/Taylor could benefit. Davis has played 31% of the snaps from the slot this season with Sharpe playing in every single game.
For the Ravens…you can’t start anybody. Willie Snead, Michael Crabtree, and/or John Brown. Los Angeles gives up the 8th fewest fantasy points to the WR position. The Baltimore offense does not throw enough or with any efficiency to justify playing any of these guys. I’d say Snead is the safest of the bunch as a cash play in DFS, and John Brown offers the most upside in a GPP lineup. For the Chargers the matchup is equally bad. Baltimore gives up the 4th fewest fantasy points to the WR position. The best option is still Keenan Allen to start. He is a game-time decision, but if he plays he needs to be in your lineup. He has the best matchup, by far against Tavon Young in the slot. He has allowed three touchdowns and a 124.9 QBR when targeted in the slot this season. If Allen misses, many will crowd to Mike Williams after his big-game, but I would rather chase the targets with Tyrell than touchdowns with Mike. Tyrell Williams has 12 targets last week and Rivers missed him deep on a few passes.
It’s Jeremy Sprinkle Szn. Vernon Davis is out in this game and I honestly love Sprinkle in this spot. Well, as much love as you can love a tight end😏 . Sprinkle caught a touchdown last week and the Titans allowed eight receptions for 75 yards on 12 targets to tight end Evan Engram a week ago. Considering Maurice Harris is also on injured reserve, targets will have to go somewhere outside Crowder and Thompson. On the Titans’ side Anthony Firsker was a thing for a hot minute, but because of their running success, we have seen more of Luke Stocker. Unless the Titans start to throw more, you need to fade this spot.
Antonio Gates is a solid streaming option this week. Baltimore allows the highest percentage of fantasy points (18%) to the TE position. Gates went 4-4 for 54 yards a week ago and ran a season-high 26 routes in Week 15. For Baltimore, Mark Andrews could be an underrated option as the top pass-catching tight end option on the Ravens. Nick Boyle is questionable with a concussion, so if he misses I like Andrews to see an increased snap percentage. He leads the TE role in routes run and was second on the team in targets (4) last week.