2021 Fantasy Football: Week 16 Stock Watch
After a wild Week 15, Sam takes stock of the fantasy football landscape heading into the final weeks of the season.
Week 15, what are you trying to do to us? We saw so many brutal hits with players being carted and carried off, with season ending injuries for some (Chris Godwin). There are several games that feel like a blip on the radar, like the Bucs being held scoreless against the Saints, and the Raiders beating the empty Browns roster. Better things ahead for both the Bucs and Browns for sure. While other matchups have us scratching our heads for rest of season output. Will the Lions continue this momentum to close out their season? Are the Cardinals on a steady downward slide? So much to cover while also trying to help you prep for the playoffs in Week 16.
Fantasy Football Stock Watch Week 16
Jared Goff - Detroit Lions (Stock Up)
Goff and the Lions are not ready to give up on their season, more importantly they’re playing for their coach. The Lions looked more in sync this weekend as a whole. One big part of that has been Goff finding ways to stay competitive and keep pace against their opponents. His chemistry with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds has been huge since TJ Hockenson was placed on IR. Looking ahead to Week 16, I love his matchup against the incredibly inconsistent Falcons defense.
NOTE: Goff was placed on the COVID reserve list, his vaccination status and if he’ll be able to come off that list in time for Sunday is unclear, but fingers crossed he does, because this match up is too good.
Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys (Stock Down)
Sorry Dak, but I have to keep you here. It’s been three weeks in a row of consistently low output for Dak. He’s had under 240 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and either an interception or fumble in each outing of this three-game stretch. He faces the Washington Football Team again, one of the teams from that stretch, in Week 16 and I’m not looking forward to it. Washington was also able to have two interceptions on Dak in that outing. This precedent won't do for a fantasy playoff week.
Tyler Huntley - Baltimore Ravens (Hold)
Proving Baltimore has a lot more up their sleeves, Tyler Huntley had a spectacular Sunday, keeping the game close against the Packers for all four quarters. Huntley not only had 215 passing yards and two passing touchdowns, he also had 73 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Should Lamar Jackson need to sit out Week 16, Huntley will keep the Ravens in the hunt in a tough divisional matchup against the Bengals. With his rushing upside, I have a lot of confidence in starting him.
James Robinson - Jacksonville Jaguars (Stock Up)
The beast has been unleashed! The first matchup without Urban Meyer didn’t deliver a win for the Jaguars, however Robinson had much better usage. Robinson had 18 rushing attempts, 75 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown; plus three catches on six targets. He will look to build on that against the Jets, who just allowed Duke Johnson to rush for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. Love this matchup for him and the potential boom for fantasy managers.
Josh Jacobs - Las Vegas Raiders (Stock Down)
Doubling down on my take from last week. I said Joe Mixon would be ineffective against the Broncos and he was very limited. I think the same will hold true for Josh Jacobs. Throughout this season Jacobs has struggled in the running game. He’s only had over 50 rushing yards in five matchups so far. The only thing that has saved him has been his limited but decent floor in the passing game. Denver’s defense is on a roll though, I think Jacobs will be limited in this one.
Jeff Wilson Jr - San Francisco 49ers (Hold)
Elijah Mitchell is still dealing with lingering swelling in his knee and likely to miss another game on a short week, as the Niners take on the Titans for Thursday Night Football. In Week 15, Wilson filled in in his absence quite well. He had 21 rushing attempts for 110 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. With so many players questionable and dealing with additional injuries after Week 15, you need a bright spot with a steady floor. The Niners have plenty of weapons for the Titans defense to cover. While they try to slow down George Kittle and Deebo Samuel, Wilson is going to see a lot of opportunities.
Amon-Ra St. Brown - Detroit Lions (Stock Up)
Following up to what I said regarding Jared Goff, I love the potential Amon-Ra St. Brown has in Week 16. St. Brown has had at least 11 targets in the last three weeks and at least 8 catches on those targets in that span. The Falcons allowed 235 passing yards against the Niners, and an average of 252 yards in the last six weeks. There’s plenty to capitalize on in this matchup. So if your Week 16 lineup has a lot of players already listed as out or questionable, think about flexing with St. Brown.
Chase Claypool - Pittsburgh Steelers (Stock Down)
See, I can be fair. I love my Steelers, but I can admit when players are on their way down. Claypool was the last look for targets in this one, only seeing two targets, getting seven yards only after having a lateral pass come his way. James Washington had an uptick in targets, Pat Freiermuth is becoming the red zone favorite and Claypool hasn’t had a receiving touchdown since Week 5! Ouch. Kansas City is going to be a tough matchup for the Steelers, I’m favoring players like James Washington and Najee Harris in this one and think Claypool will continue to be a decoy. I’m benching Claypool this week.
Brandin Cooks - Houston Texans (Hold)
Houston may have been up and down all season, but Cooks is hitting another stretch of greatness just in time for your playoffs. Both of the last two weeks he’s had at least 100 yards! The Chargers defense is allowed an average of 300 passing yards the last three weeks and an average of two passing touchdowns as well. Love this opportunity for his as the #1 target on that offense. Could he see additional coverage? Sure, but Cooks’ speed and volumne gives him the edge.
Hunter Henry - New England Patriots (Stock Up)
Our one-touchdown-a-week tight end had a drought in weeks 11 and 12, but he made up for lost time with two this past weekend. I know the last time the Patriots faced the Bills the weather dictated the game for both sides, however weather reports look favorable for Sunday (still too cold for me personally, but hey, the sun should be out). Henry has been a red zone favorite all season, look for him to get another one this weekend.
Dawson Knox - Buffalo Bills (Stock Down)
On the opposite side of this one, I’m nervous about Knox. Rain or shine, New England’s defense has been incredibly stingy to the tight end position. The Patriots have only allowed one touchdown to tight ends in the last six weeks, and that lone touchdown was back in Week 10. Temper expectations if you’re in a situation where you have no other options.
Zach Ertz - Arizona Cardinals (Hold)
The takeaway I have from Arizona’s loss here was that Kyler Murray kept looking for Ertz. Zach Ertz had a season high 11 targets and his second highest yards for the season with 74 yards. They have a tough matchup against the Colts, but if they fall behind, you can count on Murray to air it out to play catch up. If they cover his deep threats in Christian Kirk & A.J. Green, Ertz could benefit over the middle.