I am a co-founder and the editor of drinkfive.com. In order to stave off fantasy football insanity, Dave and I have branched out to cover a variety of interests. When I'm not knee deep in wikipedia pages, I like to hang out at breweries or a disc golf course (especially both in the same day). FSWA Member for 5+ years.
Listen to the Fantasy Football Podcast, 12/13/16: Week 15 - Fantasy Playoffs, Round 2!
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We're right into the thick of the fantasy playoffs now. If you've had a bye week, your rest is over and it's time to play! If you won last week, congratulations, but you need to win two more games before we're all impressed! This week, make sure you keep up to date on the best waiver wire pickups as well as the news and updates from around the league.
This week, both Dave and I agree that Philip Rivers needs to probably ride your bench, unless you have no other options. If you need a fill-in this week at RB, look at Kenneth Farrow who should get the start of Melvin Gordon can't play. Also, keep an eye on AJ Green - if he starts, you probably want him helping you win playoff games. Good luck!
-Two NFC South receivers sat out. Sitting out isn’t usually the end of the world because you have a chance to get someone else in the lineup, but missing Julio Jones (turf toe) and Michael Thomas (foot) definitely had an effect on some team’s fantasy playoff outcome. Both guys are questionable to start in Week 15, so keep your eyes peeled to those injury reports.
-Two top flight RB’s went down very early in their game. Matt Forte exited the game early with a knee injury, paving the way for Bilal Powell to have a monster game that by all rights should have gone to Forte owners, but hey, “them’s the breaks”! Melvin Gordon was carted off the field with a hip injury and is currently anywhere between being just fine and inches from his deathbed. I suspect he’s more week-to-week and will not be a good bet for Week 15’s lineups. Forte plays on Saturday night, so at least you have plenty of time to plan for alternates if he does not play.
-Jeff Fisher was fired as the Rams head coach, just a few games shy of breaking the all-time loss record for head coaches. The Rams were abysmal this season, handing the 49ers their only victory, they left their #1 overall pick on the bench far longer than anyone thought reasonable and they just can’t seem to figure out this thing called “offense”.
-Ryan Tannehill exited Sunday’s game with a suspected ACL tear. While he seems to have escaped a full tear, he will not be playing any more games in the regular season. He’s out of the mix as a QB2 and this is a downgrade for Jarvis Landry and Devante Parker, who now have to catch passes from career-backup Matt Moore. I don’t see much of a change for Jay Ajayi who should have success against the Jets and Bills, provided that Moore is not awful.
-Aaron Rodgers hurt his calf on the third play of the game, apparently. He didn’t seem too affected by his injury, if so, because he ripped the Seahawks apart much like in the playoffs two years ago. Unlike two years ago, his team held the lead. Rodgers should be just fine going forward, but I suppose it always something you need to keep an eye on.
-Matt Stafford made it 8-4th quarter comebacks on Sunday, but at the expense of his middle finger on his throwing hand. This is an injury he’s expected to play through, but just take note that this is similar to Derek Carr’s injury, and he hasn’t been the same since.
-Darren Sproles and fellow backfield mate Wendell Smallwood both exited the game on Sunday due to injury. Smallwood wound up going to the IR for the remainder of the season, but is a hold in dynasty formats. Sproles is in the concussion protocol and needs to get cleared. If he sits on Sunday, then Ryan Mathews is worth a look.
-Teams need to start focusing on their extra points more, particularly not getting them returned for 2. Arizona arguably lost the game on Sunday due to not making a single extra point in two attempts, one of them being returned the other way for 2 points. That’s a 4 point swing in a game where they lost by 3. In overtime. Yep, it’s been that kind of season for the Cardinals.
-Bryce Petty started and won a game! Granted it was against the hapless 49ers, but this is yet another young QB getting starts and wins before #1 overall pick Jared Goff can get his first. Goff has to go to Seattle this Thursday night, so I really think that RG3 has a better chance at a win this week.
-It might have been NBC trying to stir the pot, but the image of Ezekiel Elliott standing next to Tony Romo on the sidelines in the 4th quarter of the Cowboys game really sticks with me. You know those guys were thinking “Why the hell am I not out there?” I have to say, I agree with them. Despite an 11-2 record, the Cowboys have no business thinking they will win games in December and January when they can only complete 1 out of 9 passes to Dez Bryant and are relying on Cole Beasley and Lance Dunbar for late game heroics. I’m all for keeping Dak Prescott in at QB, but you must keep his weapons around him (and keep them finely honed, not rusty). Of course, now it also seems like he can’t beat the Giants.
Welcome to Statistically (in)Significant, the place to find great stats that probably only matter at the water cooler (or bar). Each week I'll dig through the stats of the week gone by and deliver you some choice conversation starters.
298 Yards from Scrimmage
Le'Veon Bell was the beast of all beasts this week, managing 298 yards from scrimmage and 3 TD's, putting up a ridiculous 47.80 points in standard leagues. This is particularly shocking in a week where only six players totaled over 20 fantasy points. Bell easily outscored the top two QB's and was just 5 points shy of beating the top THREE wide receivers. He had more yards from scrimmage that all but two QB's had passing yards. Hell, he had more yards than the entire team he was playing against. I could go on and on about Bell's big day.
27.14 Points per Game
Since I can, I will go on about Bell. He's now averaging over 27 points per game in his last 4 games, almost 5 points higher than second place - David Johnson. Johnson got his 13th game in a row of 100+ yards from scrimmage on Sunday in Miami. He ties Edgerrin James for the most consecutive games to start a season with at least 100 yards from scrimmage. Unfortunately for Johnson, it almost feels like his talents are wasted on a team that has been awful this season. No RB should have to suffer a QB that has -2.5 points late in the third quarter. That's not good for anyone.
1053 Rushing Yards
Le'Veon Bell is now 4th on the season for total rushing yards, despite having played only 10 games compared to everyone else's 12 or 13. He trails only Ezekiel Elliott in average yardage, who is at 107.1 yards per game. Elliott was exactly at his season average last night, but no more, continuing a mostly down fantasy week. He was also absent from the field for large parts of the 4th quarter, in favor of Lance Dunbar who managed a weak 3 receptions on 5 targets for 12 yards. The image of Romo and Elliott standing next to each other on the sideline during the final drive(s) will resonate in the heads of radio callers all week in Dallas, I suspect.
6.7 Receptions Per Game
If you have Le'Veon Bell in a PPR league (yes, yes more about Bell), then you are very smart indeed. Bell leads all RB's in catches per game, and leads all but three WR's at 6.7 catches per game. He has more receptions than all but one of the Detroit Lions (OK, so I'm reaching a bit for a transition), who managed another comeback victory. Matthew Stafford now has tied Manning (Eli, not Peyton) and Jake Delhomme for the most GWD's in one season. With three games left and the Lions completely unable to hold a lead in the fourth quarter, I'd wager that Stafford breaks this record.
38 Rushing Attempts
Rounding out this week's Le'Veon Bell stats is the ridiculous volume that he has in basically every game. his 42 total touches last week tied him for 17th all time in a single game (the record is 48, held by fellow fantasy god LaDainian Tomlinson). Speaking of former Chargers, tip of the hat to Nick Novak, who went 5/5 on FG's and scored 19 points, which would have been good for 7th among all offensive players. What does this have to do with Le'Veon Bell? Nothing, I just couldn't finish this article without a mention of a kicker.