Week 16 NFL Confidence Plays | Fantasy Football 2021

You survived.

Week 15 was single-handedly the worst week of fantasy football performances that I can remember. And yet, someone had to win all those low-scoring matchups.

That, someone, was you.

You were the strongest of the week. You advanced to the semifinals. And it is you who will go to the championship.

You just need a gentle push in the right direction. A push that only I can give you.

And when you advance, we can be happy.

See, the You vibes of this intro played out well until that last line. Just a wee bit creepy.

But I digress.

Let’s get you to those championships!

During the chaos that was last week, I managed to have my best overall start/sit week. I went 10-5-1 on my Plays for the week and 11-5 on my Fades. For those doing the math, that’s a 67.2% hit rate! I don’t know what type of encore lies ahead, but until the games are played, let’s just assume I’ll have some repeat success, and you’ll be on your way to the finals.

A quick reminder of what Play and Fade mean: Play simply means players that I love based on matchups and my expectation that they’ll finish with more points than projected. Fade indicates players that I think will underperform their projections/consensus weekly rankings. It doesn’t mean I’m outright benching them, but I’m likely not rushing to put them in any DFS lineups either. Onto Week 16.

Week 16 Fantasy Football Confidence Plays

Play

QB Dak Prescott (DAL) vs. WAS

With the NFL playoffs right around the corner, the Dallas offense needs to get into shape. Dal Prescott has finished as the QB18 or worse for three straight weeks. We know the Washington defense has allowed the most fantasy points to QBs on the year. More to the point, we just saw Jalen Hurts throw for 296 yards and score almost 30 fantasy points. If there’s a time for Prescott to get going, it’s this week, and I firmly believe he does in this division showdown on Sunday night.

Other QBs with good matchups: Joe Burrow (CIN) vs. BAL and Trevor Lawrence (JAX) at NYJ

RB James Robinson (JAX) at NYJ

I’m going to keep this section short and sweet. The Jets run D is the Urban Dictionary definition of “cheeks” and just let Duke Johnson, who was on the Miami Dolphins practice squad until last weekend, run all over them to finish as THE RB1 in Week 15. James Robinson will BALL. OUT.

RB David Montgomery (CHI) at SEA

Montgomery gets a shoddy Seahawks defense on a short week. With Justin Fields banged up to a point where Andy Dalton may end up starting, I don’t know how Matt Nagy’s game plan will be anything other than “feed Monty.” Since Week 10, they’ve allowed at least one top 20 performance to an RB each week. And they played Houston one of those weeks. So Monty is a gimme RB2 with upside this week.

Other RBs with good matchups: Javonte Williams (DEN) at LV, Craig Reynolds (DET) at ATL, and Justin Jackson (LAC) at HOU

WR Tee Higgins (CIN) vs. BAL

Lost in the hoopla that is Ja’Marr Chase’s rookie year is the 2nd season for Tee Higgins. Since Cincinnati’s first game against Baltimore when Chase topped 200 receiving yards, Chase has been WR30. Many like to forget about that game against the Ravens because Higgins himself had 15 targets. 15 targets! Since that game, Higgins has been WR14. He’s the one that’s gotten you to the fantasy playoffs, not Chase. Baltimore will likely focus on stopping Chase from repeating his all-time performance, leaving Higgins with plenty of opportunities.

WR Russell Gage (ATL) vs. DET

Since Week 11, Russell Gage is 5th in the NFL in targets. He’s also the WR6 over that time. Chastise Kyle Pitts all you want for “underwhelming” at his draft stock, but he’s done a great job of drawing coverage away from Gage. The Lions don’t allow a ton through the air, mainly because they allow a ton on the ground. But the Falcons sport the 6th worst rush attack in the league. So expect them to throw and throw a ton, which makes Gage a WR2 at worst this week.

Other WRs with good matchups: A.J. Green (ARI) vs. IND, Darnell Mooney (CHI) at SEA, and Van Jefferson (LAR) at MIN

TE Zach Ertz (ARI) vs IND

As much fun as it is to start TEs against the Eagles, it’s equally as fun starting TEs against the Colts. Did we not see what Hunter Henry did against them last week? And even heading into that matchup, the Colts allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to TEs. They’re now up to 2nd most. Hear that Philly, Indy is coming for ya! Since being acquired by Arizona, Ertz has been TE6. He’s also 6th in receiving yards with three TDs. Those types of numbers against a crappy defense bring a smile to my face as I fire up Ertz this week.

Other TE with good matchups: Noah Fant (DEN) at LV and Evan Engram (NYG) at PHI

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Fade

QB Kirk Cousins (MIN) vs. LAR

With Dalvin Cook landing on the COVID list, all the weight now falls on Kirk Cousins to keep the Vikings’ slim playoff hopes alive. One thing Cousins is really good at doing is choking when the spotlight is on him. The Rams have a legit defense, allowing the 6th fewest fantasy points to QBs. Cousins is QB16 over his last three games, averaging less than 19 fantasy points per game. Cook’s replacement, Alexander Mattison, has shown he’s more than capable as a lead back. The Vikings will likely continue to lean on their RB and double Justin Jefferson. The stars aren’t aligning for Cousins this week.

Other QBs with bad matchups: Carson Wentz (IND) at ARI and Mac Jones (NE) vs. BUF

RB Joe Mixon (CIN) vs. BAL

During the Bengals’ first meeting with Baltimore, Mixon saw only 12 touches (all rushes), totaling 59 yards a touchdown. And that’s pretty indicative of the Ravens run defense this year — they’ve allowed the 8th fewest fantasy points to RBs. However, they can be beaten through the air, having allowed 63 receptions to RBs on the year. But therein lies the problem — Mixon isn’t catching many passes these days. He didn’t even see a single target against Baltimore in their first meeting, and over his last three games where he’s finished below nine fantasy points each week, he’s seen only four targets and catching three of them. Can he fall in the end zone? That’s what will save his day, as he hasn’t scored in two weeks.

RB James Conner (ARI) vs. IND

Look, if you can’t get going against Detroit, one of the WORST run defenses in the league, I don’t know why I’d line up to start against one of the better run defenses in the league. The Colts are allowing the 3rd fewest fantasy points to RBs, and Conner is banged up and limited in practice this week. I don’t know if the return of Chase Edmonds disrupted Conner’s rhythm or not. Needless to say, it doesn’t feel like a good week is imminent.

Other RBs with bad matchups: Josh Jacobs (LV) vs. DEN, Chuba Hubbard (CAR) vs. TB, and Duke Johnson (MIA) at NO

WR Christian Kirk (ARI) vs IND

Last week, the Colts’ defense showed that they’re good but not great. They play the run well but give up big plays through the air and plenty of yards to WRs. The one area they’re strongest in is covering the slot. Kenny Moore is arguably the best slot corner in the NFL. He’s allowed the 5th lowest passer rating and has four INTs when targeted in the slot. Kirk has run over 78% of his routes from the slot this year. I expect a lot of Moore on Kirk Saturday night, and that will likely cause Kyler Murray to look elsewhere to move the offense.

WR Jerry Jeudy (DEN) at LV

Nothing screams lack of confidence than putting up a goose egg the week before. Jeudy saw four targets in Week 15 and hauled in precisely zero of them. With Drew Lock poised to start this week for the Broncos, Jeudy’s underneath routes likely won’t be favored. Lock has a big arm and wants to throw downfield. And with Safety Johnathan Abram being placed on IR this week, the Raiders are a little thin in their secondary. That should mean big things for TE Noah Fant and WR Courtland Sutton.

Other WRs with bad matchups: Jakobi Meyers (NE) vs. BUF, K.J. Osborn (MIN) vs. LAR, and Nico Collins (HOU) vs. LAC

TE Dawson Knox (BUF) at NE

Knox has been about TD upside all year. Only once this year has he not scored a TD and finished as a top 12 TE. The Pats have allowed three TDs on the year and the fewest fantasy points to TEs. So, in a nutshell, if Knox doesn’t score a TD against the best defense in the league against TEs, he’s not helping you advance to your fantasy championship. The only way I would start him is if I were chasing upside because Knox’s floor is low this week.

Other TEs with bad matchups: Hunter Henry (NE) vs. BUF and Gerald Everett (SEA) vs. CHI

Looking for more Start/Sit help?

Every week, we also throw together a DFS Matchup Report that breaks down the teams with the best and worst matchups at QB, RB, WR, and TE!