Well, the Steelers are on a losing streak now. Maybe the Saints need Drew Brees… or Jameis Winston? Each week hits a few more players with a COVID-19 vacation but has only truly impacted a few games. At least so far.
The Ravens-Browns game on Monday was outstanding and everything fantasy football loves. Heading into the weekend, we’re getting comfortable with the Chiefs being the best AFC team and that the Packers might be better than the Saints in the NFC. The Jets and Jaguars are racing toward the No. 1 pick but there is just no catching the Jets. They’ve reached a new low when they lost 40-3 to the Seahawks and threw for 132 yards against the worst secondary in the NFL.
And yet, HC Adam Gase still has the reserved parking spot in the front row. His badge still opens the door. By this point, he must be planning on what he’s going to do with the draft pick.
Six things going into Week 15:
RB Leonard Fournette (TB) – The Buccaneers signed Fournette to a one-year deal, so chances are high that he’ll be somewhere else in 2021 since the Bucs haven’t cared to make him a starter. At least not until this week. Ronald Jones is out with a fractured finger and COVID-19, so Fournette is expected to take the primary role with some help from LeSean McCoy and potentially Ke’Shawn Vaughn. This is a one or two game interview for the NFL to look at Fournette before the season is over. And how the Bucs use him will also be telling about their intention to keep him next season.
- QB Aaron Rodgers (GB) – The NFL world raised a collective eyebrow when the Packers used their 2020 first-round pick on Jordan Love. There was speculation that Rodgers was on his way out, one way or another. But Rodgers has been on fire this year. Currently, he’s thrown for 3,685 yards and 39 touchdowns. That’s a pace to end with 4,533 yards and 48 touchdowns. Rodgers passed for more yardage in just one season (2011 – 4,463 yards) and has never thrown for more than 45 touchdowns. The final schedule is against the Panthers, Titans and Bears. And that other high-yardage year for Rodgers was the year they went to the Super Bowl.
- TE Irv Smith (MIN) – The ex-Alabama tight end was the 2.18 pick in 2019, but he’s starting to show up well in the box scores. Kyle Rudolph was out last week and Smith caught four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown at the Buccaneers. Rudolph appears likely to be out this week with a foot injury and looks likely to miss this week so far. Smith would be the primary tight end versus the Bears and their No. 30 defense against tight ends. Rudolph is signed through 2023, but he’s also 30 years old. Interesting to see if Smith can handle the primary load and take the lead in 2021.
QB Taysom Hill (NO) – There are conflicting reports about Drew Brees returning this week, but the last thing the Saints need is to send him back to the sidelines for a few more weeks. Hill is more likely to start. And he needs to do well. He finally threw for two scores versus the Falcons but then struggled versus the Eagles. He ended with 291 yards and two scores but completed 11-of-15 passes for only 65 yards and no scores at halftime, and they lost. HC Sean Payton told Winston he could compete for the starting job in 2021 when he signed with the Saints. Hill will do himself a big favor if he can look like more than a running back that can throw against the Chiefs this week.
WR/RB Lynn Bowden (MIA) – The ex-Kentucky Wildcat was drafted by the Raiders with their 3.16 pick as a wideout, but the athletic Bowden could also serve as a running back. He ran for 1,468 yards as a junior for the Wildcats last year. He also threw 35 passes. He was traded to the Dolphins and little used until last week when both DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant were injured. He ended with a team-high seven catches for 82 yards and ran once for two yards. There’s a chance that Parker and Grant could return but may not be 100% if they do. Bowden is a talented “tweener” type that can do many things well. Would like to see him do more.
Top 5 Fantasy Playoff Performances 2000-2019, Per Position
Always fun to look back to see which players had the best fantasy performances in their position during Weeks 15 and 16 over the last ten years. Did you have any?Interesting that the top guy was always in a road game.
Again – always in a road game. And Todd Gurley in 2017 was a monster.
Antonio Brown pre-meltdown was pretty good.
And mostly at home for tight ends. Kelce was the only time a top tight end racked up Top-5 positional fantasy points during fantasy playoffs. Kelce repeating this year would be no surprise. Easy to forget how good Zach Ertz was.