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RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT — Week 16

Welcome back for the Week 16 edition of “Red Light, Green Light”, your matchup guide for all of this weekend’s NFL contests (and Monday night). While the information conveyed below piece is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, it can be used to evaluate those decisions as well.

In each NFL Week 16 game profile below, players mentioned in the green light sections have a great matchup, and can be counted on as rock solid options. Players mentioned in the yellow light sections have just an okay matchup and/or usage concerns, meaning they are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire. Players in the red light sections have serious matchup/usage concerns, require lowered expectations lowered for the week, and/or should be avoided if possible. Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow or red light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not be the guy(s) carrying your team to victory.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default PPR scoring system. Point Spreads and Over/Unders are based off the Fantasy Sharks consensus analysis.

Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Saturday 12/21, 1:00pm)

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Texans Buccaneers
Quarterback 5th 8th
Running Back 6th 31st
Wide Receiver 14th 1st
Tight End 11th 4th
Defense/Special Teams 19th 18th
Vegas Line: Texans -3
Vegas Over/Under: 50
green-light
  • Deshaun Watson – Only three teams have failed to pass for 300+ yards and/or multiple touchdowns against Tampa Bay this season.
  • DeAndre Hopkins – Tampa Bay’s undermanned secondary won’t be able to stop Hopkins from going over 100 receiving yards for the third straight week.
  • Will Fuller – Tends to feast in favorable matchups (see Week 5 against Atlanta), and Houston’s inability to run the ball in this contest will likely necessitate a pass-heavy game plan.
yellow-light
  • Jameis Winston – Currently leads the NFL in passing yards by 200+, but it’s hard to imagine the losses of Mike Evans (hamstring, IR) and now Chris Godwin (hamstring) won’t have an impact on Winston putting up big numbers. The aforementioned wideout duo have accounted for 2,490 of Winston’s 4,573 passing yards, and 17 of his 30 passing touchdowns.
  • Breshad Perriman – After doing virtually nothing between Weeks 1 and 12, Perriman has amassed 13-270-4 receiving over the Bucs’ last three games. Essentially serving as the team’s no. 1 receiver due to the Bucs’ rash of injuries at the position, Perriman will be counted on as a primary chain mover.
  • O.J. Howard – Averaging 60 receiving yards per game over Tampa Bay’s last three, Howard’s usage is trending upward. Houston allows the 9th-most receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends.
  • Ronald Jones – Tampa head coach Bruce Arians reportedly mentioned earlier this week he plans to get the team’s backfield involved the pass game, a sensible statement considering no team has allowed more receptions or receiving yards to opposing running backs than Houston.
red-light
  • Carlos Hyde – Put his third 100+ yard rushing performance of the season last Sunday, giving Hyde his first campaign of over 1,000. Tampa Bay allows a lowly 56.4 rushing yards per game to opposing backfields.

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (Saturday 12/21, 4:30pm)

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Bills Patriots
Quarterback 31st 32nd
Running Back 21st 30th
Wide Receiver 29th 32nd
Tight End 29th 22nd
Defense/Special Teams 10th 26th
Vegas Line: Patriots -6.5
Vegas Over/Under: 38
green-light
  • Patriots D/ST – At home, favored by nearly a touchdown, and the Bills’ implied point total of 15.5 is the lowest of any team this week.
yellow-light
  • James White – Will likely see usage as a receiver of the short middle areas of the field with the Bills’ likely shutting down the perimeter with their talented DBs.
  • Devin Singletary – Opposing backfields have been able to hurt New England lately, as they’ve allowed 140 total yards to running backs over their last four games played. Over that same span, Singletary has excelled as a multi-dimensional threat, averaging 105.5 total yards per game over that same span, though has scored just once.
  • Bills D/ST – The Patriots have scored more than 22 points just once over their last six games, an instance mostly aided by Cincinnati’s own ineptitude. The Bills’ pass rush should be able to generate a few sacks against New England’s patchwork offensive line.
red-light
  • Tom Brady – The Bills allow the 3rd-fewest passing yards per game, and already held Brady to just 150 and a pick back in Week 4.
  • Julian Edelman (knee/shoulder) – Seemingly banged up for weeks, Edelman’s injuries hadn’t really looked like they were affecting his on-field play until he posted a season-worst 2-9-0 last Sunday against the Bengals. Edelman’s next worst fantasy performance of 2019? Week 4 against the Bills, when Edelman went 4-30-0.
  • John Brown – Averaging just 47.5 receiving yards per game over the Bills’ last four, Brown has the misfortune of being in CB Stephon Gilmore‘s crosshairs this Saturday.
  • Josh Allen – The Patriots have allowed just 12 total touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this season (which comes out to less than one per game), and have picked off a whopping 25 passes.

Los Angles Rams at San Francisco 49ers (Saturday 12/21, 8:15pm)

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Rams 49ers
Quarterback 21st 27th
Running Back 16th 32nd
Wide Receiver 18th 27th
Tight End 24th 30th
Defense/Special Teams 24th 27th
Vegas Line: 49ers -6.5
Vegas Over/Under: 45
green-light
  • George Kittle – George Kittle was sensational last Sunday (13-134-0 receiving on 17 targets), dragging the 49ers offense up and down the field on a day when seemingly none of their playmakers decided to show up. One of the few truly matchup-immune players on the fantasy landscape, Kittle should have no trouble torching a Rams defense that he already dropped a 8-103-0 receiving line on back in Week 6.
yellow-light
  • Raheem Mostert – Posted a modest 59 total yards and a score last Sunday against the Falcons, though Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman combined for just 10 touches as compared to Mostert’s 15 alone. The Rams have allowed the 10th-most rushing yards per game to opposing backfields.
  • 49ers D/ST – Coming off a disappointing loss in what could’ve been considered a trap game against the lowly Falcons last Sunday, expect the 49ers to head into this divisional matchup with the Rams fired up and angry. The Rams’ desperation as they fight for a playoff spot is what keeps the 49ers D/ST from being a green light option.
red-light
  • Todd Gurley – The 49ers have allowed just four running back scores all season, so Gurley being somewhat touchdown-dependent himself makes him risky for this matchup. Gurley missed the Rams’ Week 6 matchup against San Francisco due to a quad injury.
  • Jared Goff – Potentially dealing with a thumb issue after injuring last Sunday against Dallas, Goff now faces 49ers defense that has allowed the fewest passing yards per game this season, and boasts a nasty pass rush. Goff threw for a season-low 78 scoreless yards when he faced the 49ers back in Week 6.
  • Rams Wide Receivers – This group has a brutal matchup this weekend, as the 49ers have allowed the second-fewest receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts. Cooper Kupp was held to 4-17-0 receiving when he last faced the 49ers back in Week 6, while Robert Woods has held to 0-0-0 in that same contest (though did score a rushing touchdown).  Brandin Cooks as become a ghost with his 4-46-0 receiving line last Sunday being his best fantasy performance in nearly two months.
  • Emmanuel Sanders – Over their last five games, L.A. has allowed just one wide receiver to go over 60 receiving yards.
  • Deebo Samuel – In a contest where the 49ers don’t figure to be throwing frequently, Samuel likely takes the largest hit. Samuel has been targeted more than twice just once over the 49ers’ last four games, but had managed to bail fantasy managers out with scores in two of them.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.