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THE DIVE: Week 16 “Long December”

Like the Counting Crows hit single from 1996, “It’s Been a Long December” for a few NFL teams. In fact, New England just suffered their first back-to-back loss in December since 2002. Carolina has struggled mightily in November and December; after a 6-2 start, Carolina now sits at 6-8 and a longshot for the playoffs. After a “bullish” start, the Los Angeles Rams have now lost two games in a row and are behind New Orleans for home-field advantage during the playoffs. However, Los Angeles’ other team has caught fire! The Los Angeles Chargers just earned their fourth win in a row with a dramatic road victory over Kansas City after converting a gutsy go-ahead two point conversion!

Is your fantasy team having a long December? Are you competing in the next round of playoffs this weekend? Please take a dive with me as review several players and a defense to help your team advance to the championship round. Although no rain and snow appears in the Week 16 forecast, the temperatures will be in the 40’s in Philadelphia, Tennessee, New York, Cleveland, Dallas, New England, Carolina and Seattle. Lastly, please be advised there are no games this Thursday, but two are scheduled for Saturday, so set your lineup accordingly!

QB Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

To begin the season, Buffalo was the unfortunate butt of many jokes. However, their tenacious defense and the versatile skill set of rookie quarterback Josh Allen have given the team an optimistic forecast for 2019 and beyond. Allen recently broke Michael Vick’s record for most rushing yards in the first eight starts by a quarterback. The rookie quarterback is averaging more than 87 rushing yards and 200 passing yards over his last four games, and has accounted for seven touchdowns. Allen has a solid matchup in Week 16 when Buffalo visits New England, who has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks (including five scores over the last two games). Consider Allen a QB2 with great upside this weekend!

Week 16 forecast: 200 passing yards, 35 rushing yards, 2 TD

RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

With the midseason trade of veteran running back Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville, opportunity knocked for rookie Nick Chubb and he has delivered! Chubb has eclipsed 100 total yards four times this season, and has scored seven touchdowns over his last six games. Chubb has an attractive home matchup against state rival Cincinnati, who has given up the second-most fantasy points to running backs (including an average of nearly 5 yards per carry!) He totaled 128 yards and two touchdowns during the Week 12 matchup against Cincinnati. Chubb is teetering in the RB1 tier and should post another gem for fantasy owners.

Week 16 forecast: 100 total yards, TD

WR Robby Anderson, New York Jets

The New York Jets’ young wide receiver was a valuable waiver-wire add down the stretch last season and seems to be in the midst of another hot streak this season. Anderson continues to build rapport with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold with 25 targets over his last three games (including two scores). With a home matchup against Green Bay (who has surrendered the fourth-most points to wide receivers) Anderson is a sneaky WR3 or Flex start this weekend.

Week 16 forecast: 80 receiving yards, TD

TE Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys

It may sound like a broken record, but tight end is shallow this season with the waiver wire extremely thin! Dallas tight end Blake Jarwin is a potential add if you are desperate, as he has averaged seven targets and more than 50 receiving yards over the last two games. Jarwin and Dallas will welcome Tampa Bay, who has given up the 10th-most fantasy points to tight ends. If you need a tight end this week, give Jarwin a look.

Week 16 forecast: 50 receiving yards, TD

D/ST Denver Broncos

The Denver defense is far from the intimidating league leader of seasons past, but has picked up steam recently. Over the last four games, Denver has held opponents to 17 or less points and accumulated 14 sacks and forced 10 turnovers. With a road matchup against division rival Oakland, who has given up the fifth-most fantasy points to team defenses, Denver is in line for a great start for Week 16.

 Week 16 forecast: 12 points

About Marc Griffis

Marc Griffis has competed in fantasy football, baseball, and basketball leagues since 2005. Marc has written "The Dive" for Fantasy Sharks since 2010. Additionally, his expertise is featured in David Gonos' E-books "101 Fantasy Baseball Tips" and "101 Fantasy Football Tips". Lastly, Marc competed in the Fantasy Sports Trade Association SiriusXM Fantasy Baseball experts' league from 2012-2014.