Antonio Gibson And The Week 16 Guessing Game
We've reached that part of the NFL season where we're playing a guessing game about how many teams will use their best players after injuries or in meaningless games. It's the least fun game to play.
Fantasy players should watch out for any clues about how Washington will use Antonio Gibson on his possible return from a toe injury and how the Niners could use George Kittle in his first game in two months. The talk of pitch counts and situational playing time should definitely flow into our decision-making in week 16.
This fantasy championship weekend is not for the risk averse.
Bucs @ Lions
Bucs CB Carlton Davis (groin) is dubious. RB Ronald Jones (COVID) will miss this one. Leonard Fournette, who overtook LeSean McCoy 45-12 and handled 87.5 percent of the team's rush attempts in Week 15, is an affiliated RB1 against a miserable Detroit Run defense.
Lions T Tyrell Crosby (ankle) and WR Kenny Golladay (hip) drop out, paving the way for Marvin Jones as the Lions' top wideout for another week. He could hit double-digit targets if the script goes sideways for Detroit - a pretty good bet.
Lions LB Jamie Collins (neck), T. Taylor Decker (groin), S. Jayron Kearse (hip), K. Matt Prater (back), C. Frank Ragnow (neck), CB Darryl Roberts (hip), QB Matthew Stafford (Rib, right thumb) and T Halapoulivaati Vaitai (concussion) are questionable. Stafford is expected to pass.
49ers @ Cardinals
49ers RB Raheem Mostert (ankle), QB Nick Mullens (right elbow), WR Deebo Samuel (thigh), CB Richard Sherman (calf) and S Jimmie Ward (concussion) are all out. C.J. Beathard will kick off this week and should only be used as a streaming option in deep Superflex leagues. Jeff Wilson turns into a decent low-end RB2 who should see the most opportunity for early transfers and goal lines. However, Samuel's absence guarantees that Brandon Aiyuk will dominate the goals, though George Kittle's return from the injured reserve could affect Aiyuk's goal streak.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Kittle will "whatever that means" - whatever that means - likely cap the massive uptrend we know and love. KIttle should still be considered a top 10 tight-end option without a full range of snaps.
49ers DE Dion Jordan (knee) is doubtful and C Hroniss Grasu (knee), DT Javon Kinlaw (knee), S Tarvarius Moore (knee) and CB Emmanuel Moseley (hamstring) are considered questionable.
Cardinals LB Dennis Gardeck (knee) is out. TE Dan Arnold (back), TE Darrell Daniels (thigh), RB Chase Edmonds (ankle, knee), LB Kylie Fitts (thigh), WR Larry Fitzgerald (groin), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (thigh, calf),
Cardinals G Justin Pugh (calf), LB Haason Reddick (shoulder), S Jalen Thompson (ankle) and TE Maxx Williams (ankle) are considered questionable. Edmonds, who played without training last week, did limited training on Thursday and should be good for week 16. The Kenyan Drake would be an RB1 if Edmonds were surprisingly inactive.
Dolphins @ Raiders
Dolphins G Solomon Kindley (knee, foot) and DE Shaq Lawson (shoulder) are out. G Ereck Flowers (ankle), TE Mike Gesicki (shoulder), WR Jakeem Grant (thigh) and WR DeVante Parker (thigh) are questionable. Lynn Bowden would be a volume-based WR3 option should Parker or Grant drop out. Parker would be a sneaky WR2 game against a Vegas high school that has been terrible lately.
Raiders DE Clelin Ferrell (shoulder) is out and DT Maurice Hurst (calf) is considered questionable.
Sunday early games
Falcons @ Chiefs
Falcons G James Carpenter (groin), CB Darqueze Dennard (quadriceps), WR Julio Jones (thigh) and C Alex Mack (concussion) are out. Russell Gage will continue to be a usable WR3 in PPR formats with Julio inactive. CB Ricardo Allen (concussion), DT Marlon Davidson (knee) and WR Brandon Powell (foot) dropped out.
The bosses RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) and LB Damien Wilson (knee) are out. DE Frank Clark (illness), WR Tyreek Hill (thighs) are considered questionable, although Hill should be able to resolve the thigh problem. CEH will miss the remainder of the regular season, leaving Le'Veon Bell as the KC lead and the most likely chiefs back to see opportunities on the goal line. Darrel Williams will take part in Bell's passing game.
Giants @ Ravens
Giants WR Golden Tate (calf) is out of training this week after injury. CB Darnay Holmes (knee), QB Daniel Jones (thigh, ankle) and LB Blake Martinez (ankle) are classified as questionable. Jones is expected to start but could stay gimpy just three weeks after a serious hamstring injury. It's a bottom five QB option against Baltimore.
Raven's CB Jimmy Smith (ribs, shoulders) is out. WR Marquise Brown (knee), WR Dez Bryant (thigh), DT Calais Campbell (calf), S. Anthony Levine (stomach), LB Pernell McPhee (knee), CB Marcus Peters (calf), G. Tire Phillips (concussion) , RB Patrick Ricard (knee), C Matt Skura (back) and LB Kristian Welch (foot) are questionable. Brown is expected to pass. He will continue to choose a high-upside WR3 option.
Colts @ Steelers
The Colts WR Marcus Johnson (quadriceps) and T Braden Smith (not due to injury) are canceled. T Anthony Castonzo (knee, ankle) and DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (ankle) are considered questionable.
Steelers LB Ulysees Gilbert (ankle) is out while LB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi (shoulder), S. Marcus Allen (neck), K. Chris Boswell (groin) and RB Anthony McFarland (illness) are in question. RB James Conner (Quadriceps) has trained fully this week and should return to his starting role. Head coach Mike Tomlin's praise of Benny Snell this week could point to a split backcourt from Steelers, which makes neither backyard fantasies relevant in full-size leagues.
Bears @ jaguars
Bears CB Jaylon Johnson (shoulder) and CB Buster Skrine (concussion) drop out, and TE Demetrius Harris (foot) is doubtful. Meanwhile, S Deon Bush (foot), DT Mario Edwards (thigh), DT Akiem Hicks (ankle), LB Khalil Mack (shoulder), DT Bilal Nichols (knee), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee), WR Allen Robinson (thigh ) and CB Duke Shelley (knee, foot) are questionable. With Patterson inactive, David Montgomery could see an even greater workload against a Front 7 in Jacksonville being decimated by enemy attacks.
QB Mike Glennon will get the nod for Jacksonville this week as Gardner Minshew is back on a bench. The jaguars WR Collin Johnson (thigh) and CB Sidney Jones (Achilles) are out. RB James Robinson (ankle), who has been rested all week, is classified as questionable. It would hardly be breathtaking for the Tank Mode Jags to keep their best player for the last two weeks of the season. Dare Ogunbowale and Devine Ozigbo would form a week 16 committee with Robinson in place.
Bengals @ Texans
The Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (concussion), LB Jordan Evans (thigh), C B. J. Finney (belly) and LB Logan Wilson (ankle) are out. There's almost no fantasy value among Bengals wideouts without Joe Burrow at the center, though A.J. Green and Tee Higgins could potentially see a goal kick if Boyd was out.
Texan RB Duke Johnson (neck) is dropping out, positioning David Johnson as a borderline RB1 game based on likely volume. After Duke was knocked out in week 15, David played 80 percent of the Houston snaps and saw 11 targets. CB Phillip Gaines (knee) is considered questionable.
Browns @ Jets
Brown's G Wyatt Teller (ankle) is out and LB Malcolm Smith (thigh) is considered questionable. S Andrew Sendejo (concussion) was fully exercising on Friday and should return to the line-up.
Jets CB Javelin Guidry (knee) is out and WR Jeff Smith (shoulder) is considered questionable.
Broncos @ Chargers
Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay (hip, knee) is out. Melvin Gordon, who was successful when Lindsay missed games this year, is profiling himself as a low-end RB1 against his former peers. DE Bradley Chubb (ankle), RB Royce Freeman (hip), CB Nate Hairston (toe) and DT DeShawn Williams (knee) are classified as questionable.
Chargers DE Joey Bosa (shin, concussion) and DE Uchenna Nwosu (knee) are dropping out, while WR Keenan Allen (thigh) and LB Denzel Perryman (back) are in question. Allen had limited exercise on Friday, which suggests he tends to adjust. Given his use in week 15 (24 snaps, three targets) with the same hamstring problem, he's making a tricky game.
Chargers TE Donald Parham becomes an intriguing streamer after TE Hunter Henry is put on reserve / COVID-19 list. The former XFL player and touchdown machine will serve as the team's top tight end against a Denver defense, allowing for 4.8 tight end receptions per game.
Eagles @ Cowboys
Eagles LB Duke Riley (biceps), TE Richard Rodgers (ankles), CB Kevon Seymour (knee) and DE Josh Sweat (wrist) are out. DE Derek Barnett (calf), DT Fletcher Cox (neck) and P Cameron Johnston (concussion) are questionable. WR Jalen Reagor (ankle) and DB Darius Slay (concussion) trained on the full Friday and should be fine for week 16. Reagor, who has a target stake of 19 percent in Jalen Hurts' two starts, is a weeklong flex option against the flammable Cowboys Defense.
WR DeSean Jackson returned to practice this week and was cleared for Sunday. His role should be curtailed after spending the past eight weeks in an injured reserve. His return could limit snaps and targets for Greg Ward and Alshon Jeffrey.
The cowboys CB Rashard Robinson (knee), LB Leighton Vander Esch (ankle), DT Antwaun Woods (ankle) and S Xavier Woods (ribs) are out. TE Blake Bell (illness) and RB Ezekiel Elliott (calf) are classified as questionable. Elliott's likely return makes Tony Pollard a flexible game in deep leagues. If Elliott is inactive for a surprise, Pollard would be a plug-and-play RB1 as the team's best return.
Rams @ Seahawks
Rams RB Cam Akers (ankle) is out. Darrell Henderson was supposed to do most of the early down work for LA, and Malcolm Brown was supposed to see snapshots and most of the targets passed off of the Rams' field. Henderson will be a game script dependent low-end RB2 / high-end RB3. Brown is only suitable as a flex in lower PPR leagues.
Seahawks RB DeeJay Dallas (ankle) is out. G Mike Iupati (neck, not injury related) is doubtful while S Damarious Randall (foot) and T Brandon Shell (ankle) are questionable.
Panthers @ Football Team
The panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (thigh), T Russell Okung (calf) and CB Troy Pride (hip) are in doubt. McCaffrey will be seated again after a week without training. Mike Davis remains an RB2 game in a difficult matchup. DE Brian Burns (knee), DE Austin Larkin (shoulder), DT Bravvion Roy (knee) and LB Adarius Taylor (ankle) are classified as questionable.
Washington LB Thomas Davis (not due to injury, knee) is out, while WR Terry McLaurin (ankle) is considered dubious. Cam Sims plays 92 percent of the team's offensive snaps last month and is likely to be deployed as WR1 in Washington when McLaurin is idle. Sims would be nothing more than a low-ceiling WR3 / 4 game against Carolina. Steve Sims would likely see an extra run if McLaurin fails.
Washington RB Antonio Gibson (toe), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (ankle) and QB Alex Smith (calf) are considered questionable. Smith evolves into a game call while Gibson looks like a battle against the Panthers. Washington could lean on the current game with McLaurin and make Gibson an RB2 option. J.D. McKissic would keep his flex status in PPR formats, especially if Smith - the dump-off king - returns.
Sunday night football
Titans @ Packers
Titans LB Derick Roberson (thigh) is out. WR A.J. Brown (ankle) trained on the full Friday and will play against Green Bay.
Packers S Will Redmond (concussion) and TE Jace Sternberger (concussion, illness) are out, and G Simon Stepaniak (knee) and RB Jamaal Williams (quadriceps) are questionable to play. Williams Out would improve Aaron Jones' pass catching chances. AJ Dillon would become the team's RB2 but has no place on the fantasy lists.
Monday night football
Bills @ Patriots
TE Reggie Gilliam (knee, thigh) and T Ty Nsekhe (groin) did not train on Friday. The team released Jake Kumerow this week, a possible signal that John Brown (Knuckle) might be coming from the IR for Monday night's matchup. Brown would be a reasonable WR3 if active.
Patriots C David Andrews (calf), LB Ja'whaun Bentley (shoulder), DE Tashawn Bower (ankle), DT Adam Butler (shoulder), LB Shilique Calhoun (knee), LS Joe Cardona (ankle), DT Byron Cowart (back )), T. Jermaine Eluemunor (ankle), K. Nick Folk (back), DT Lawrence Guy (shoulder), RB Damien Harris (ankle), T. Justin Herron (ankle), CB JC Jackson (knee), LB Anfernee Jennings (shoulder) CB Jonathan Jones (neck), G Shaquille Mason (calf), WR Donte Moncrief (thigh), DE John Simon (thigh), WR Matt Slater (knee) and RB JJ Taylor (quadriceps) are considered questionable.
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