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The Lowdown – Week 16

Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 16. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

‘Tis the Season

Quick– is this Championship Weekend or Christmas Week? Your answer reveals whether or not you’re serious about winning your league. Committed eggheads trying to win that elusive league trophy are probably in for a dearth of holiday intimacy this weekend, given that they were too busy waiting to hear if Odell Beckham Jr.’s suspension was upheld to go to Amazon.com and order their spouse/girlfriend/favorite hooker something nice for Christmas.

True playas, however, will take this opportunity to hit on all the women who have been forgotten this holiday season by fantasy football geeks… so there’s that.

Of course, I have no idea how my audience breaks down along the serious/not serious fault line; suffice to say, it’s Christmas today and you’re reading this column, so my guess is that winning this week’s game will be the highlight of your nerdy year. So good luck with your contests this week– I hope you got your significant other something nice, because that Star Wars Kylo Ren doll she got you was hard to find.

Scrooge

I just got done watching the Raiders-Chargers game. Charles Woodson is one of the greatest players ever, and his retirement is an opportunity for us to pause and appreciate his play. Woodson is one of those players that you proudly tell your grandchildren “I remember watching him play, and he was the best!”

But all that doesn’t excuse Woodson bringing his kids with him on set after the game. As cute as those kids might be, listening to them chant “Raaaiiiiders! Raaaiiiiders! Raaaiiiiders!…” was very annoying and had no place on TV. If I wanted to hear the drone of childish whining, I’d tune in to MSNBC.

 

Interesting Players for Week 16

If you’re interested, here is the list of the Top 10 at each offensive position (along with a relative value) for this weekend’s games. Use it to gauge how two players compare. For example, if Tom Brady has a Fantasy Football Ranking System (FFRS) of 40 this week and Derek Carr has a 30, then you should think of Brady as being a 33 percent stronger play than Carr this week. Use these FFRS for standard fantasy leagues for waivers or lineup decisions; in daily leagues use the relative nature of the FFRS to gauge dollar values between players.

Good luck! (Points per reception scoring is used for the FFRS rankings below)

Top 10 QB Plays:

  1. Tom Brady, NEP (vs. NYJ) – 22.51
  2. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. ATL) – 21.89
  3. Blake Bortles, JAC (vs. NOS) – 21.86
  4. Russell Wilson, SEA (vs. STL) – 20.37
  5. Aaron Rodgers, GBP (vs. ARI) – 19.33
  6. Tyrod Taylor, BUF (vs. DAL) – 19.19
  7. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs. BAL) – 19.04
  8. Eli Manning, NYG (vs. MIN) – 18.87
  9. Kirk Cousins, WAS (vs. PHI) – 18.76
  10. Jameis Winston, TBB (vs. CHI) – 17.95

Kirk Cousins has been pretty good this season; I mean, has anyone even brought up Robert Griffin III? Everyone out there does realize that Blake Bortles has tossed at least one TD in every game this season, right? And that he’s tossed 31 TDs vs. just 14 INTs? Amazing to me that more people aren’t singing this guy’s praises… Russell Wilson is probably the hottest QB in the league right now.

Top 10 RB Plays:

  1. Devonta Freeman, ATL (vs. CAR) – 22.02
  2. Matt Forte, CHI (vs. TBB) – 17.84
  3. Doug Martin, TBB (vs. CHI) – 17.47
  4. Todd Gurley, STL (vs. SEA) – 16.60
  5. Chris Ivory, NYJ (vs. NEP) – 16.36
  6. Frank Gore, IND (vs. MIA) – 16.22
  7. DeAngelo Williams, PIT (vs. BAL) – 15.27
  8. David Johnson, ARI (vs. GBP) – 14.92
  9. Darren McFadden, DAL (vs. BUF) – 14.69
  10. Charcandrick West, KCC (vs. CLE) – 14.25

David Johnson has been amazing ever since Chris Johnson went on IR, but if the rookie RB keeps up his stellar play these last two weeks of the regular season, I’d be interested in seeing if he gets any ROY consideration. How amazing has DeAngelo Williams been this season? Discarded by the Panthers, Williams successfully picked himself up and kept himself ready– the Steelers lost superstar RB Le’veon Bell and haven’t missed a beat.

Top 10 WR Plays:

  1. Antonio Brown, PIT (vs. BAL) – 28.26
  2. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. CAR) – 25.06
  3. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. TEN) – 24.56
  4. Allen Robinson, JAC (vs. NOS) – 22.96
  5. Brandon Marshall, NYJ (vs. NEP) – 22.73
  6. Jeremy Maclin, KCC (vs. CLE) – 22.49
  7. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (vs. GBP) – 21.61
  8. Martavis Bryant, PIT (vs. BAL) – 20.92
  9. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (vs. CIN) – 20.89
  10. Brandin Cooks, NOS (vs. JAC) – 20.75

Looks like Mighty Max expects the Steelers to be busy through the air against the Ravens, listing both starting receivers in the Top 10 this week… surprisingly, Brandin Cooks makes a rare appearance on the list.

Top 10 TE Plays:

  1. Rob Gronkowski, NEP (vs. NYJ) – 16.38
  2. Greg Olsen, CAR (vs. ATL) – 15.36
  3. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. HOU) – 14.58
  4. Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. PHI) – 14.55
  5. Gary Barnidge, CLE (vs. KCC) – 13.78
  6. Julius Thomas, JAC (vs. NOS) – 13.26
  7. Travis Kelce, KCC (vs. CLE) – 11.33
  8. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TBB (vs. CHI) – 11.31
  9. Richard Rodgers, GBP (vs. ARI) – 10.69
  10. Kyle Rudolph, MIN (vs. NYG) – 10.47

There’s not much to say about this TE group, other than the position as a whole has been unusually productive all season long. I’ll be interested in seeing how this will effect next season’s drafts…

About John Georgopoulos

John T. Georgopoulos is a 23-year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions. You can also listen to his weekly, non-sports NSFW opinions at The Riot.