It is Championship week for most of us… we’ve made it, Sharks. This is it … this is what we have been working towards all year. Not to put any pressure on any of you, but this is literally it. Everything in the past does not matter. You shouldn’t be worried, though, as I know all of you are well prepared to grab that championship. That being said, some of you are still streaming (I know you are!) and we have to look at who has great matchups that can get you to the holy grail. Let’s dive in to some quarterbacks and tight ends with exploitable matchups this week.
Blaine Gabbert, Arizona (vs. New York Giants)
Look … he was abysmal against Washington, but the Giants grade out as the easiest matchup for a quarterback. I featured Nick Foles here last week, and he certainly did not disappoint. Raise your hand if you knew Foles would throw four touchdowns in Week 15. Yeah, I don’t see any hands being raised. I’m not saying Gabbert is as good as Foles (never thought I’d type that …) but it’s reasonable to expect good production in this game. I’m thinking 250-plus passing yards and at least two touchdowns for the blonde bombshell.
EDIT: Drew Stanton will start Week 16 for Arizona. He is still a solid streamer against the lowly Giants.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (vs. Detroit)
Go ahead and laugh, but I have faith in Dalton this week (or A.J. McCarron … who knows). I know Dalton looked like a scrub when he faced Minnesota in Week 15, but Minnesota is the eighth-hardest matchup for a quarterback. Now he gets Detroit at home, and Detroit grades out as the third-easiest matchup for a quarterback. This is if you are really in a bind and/or you just can’t stomach playing Drew Stanton in the fantasy championship. I honestly can say though, that Dalton has a good chance of putting up Top 10 numbers this week at the quarterback position.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco (vs. Jacksonville)
Tell me if you’ve heard this before … Jacksonville’s defense is REALLY good. Not just good, but really, really freaking good. Garoppolo (no idea how I always spell his name right) has already thrown for more than 1,000 yards in his short stint with San Francisco, but you are asking for trouble if you play him this week. I really think he is going to be a Top 12 pick at the position come next year’s fantasy draft, but I’d be shocked if he put up a Top 12 performance this week. You’ve been warned …
Jesse James, Pittsburgh (at Houston)
Man, I bet Pittsburgh is pissed! Should it have been a touchdown? Should it not have been? Well, Jesse James‘s touchdown catch was ruled not a catch, which mirrored the Dez Bryant situation a few years back. New England actually grades out as the hardest matchup for a tight end, and Houston grades out as the second-easiest matchup for a tight end. The loss of Antonio Brown (insert expletives here) will only open up the opportunity for James to have more targets. He is a fine streamer in Week 16.
Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati (vs. Detroit)
I pumped the brakes here last week on Kroft, and he could not come out of the tough matchup against Minnesota with good stats. He caught two passes for 1 yard (yes … that’s 1 yard) in Week 15. That being said, he does face Detroit in Week 16, and Detroit is the fourth-easiest matchup for a tight end. I’m not going to lie … this week is ugly for tight end streamers, but we can still get through this. I like Andy Dalton this week, and paired with Kroft, I think you have yourself a nice little stack (sneaky good in daily leagues).
Charles Clay, Buffalo (at New England)
I love Clay as a player. I really do. However, New England grades out as the hardest matchup for a tight end. In week 13, Clay faced New England at home, and was only able to haul in 3-of-3 targets for a paltry 20 yards. Even if he has an uptick in targets from Week 13 (which he should), I do not believe that he can exploit New England. He is simply a desperation play for championship week.
A Look Ahead to Week 17 …
Kirk Cousins has been hit-or-miss this season, but have faith in him in Week 17, as he faces the easiest matchup for a quarterback (New York Giants). DeShone Kizer has put up some decent fantasy stats this year, and that will be the case in Week 17 when he faces Pittsburgh (fifth-easiest matchup for a quarterback). Eli Manning should be serviceable the last week of the season, as he faces Washington in Week 17 (seventh-easiest matchup for a quarterback).
Jack Doyle will be a stud in Week 17, as he faces the Houston, who grades out as the second-easiest matchup for a tight end. Richard Rodgers had himself a day in Week 15 (77 yards and a touchdown), and that will happen again in Week 17, when he takes on the fourth-easiest matchup for a tight end (Detroit). Charles Clay will bounce back in Week 17 when he takes on Miami, as Miami is the 3rd easiest matchup for a tight end.
I expect to hear about all of you winning your championships, as I know that you will have no issue defeating you opponent. Stay calm and have fun. You can utilize the Fantasy Sharks Strength of Schedule tool yourself to find good and bad matchups for any position. As always, hit me up on Twitter (Twitter handle is below) for any questions or concerns you may have. Until next time, Sharks!