Fantasy Football Bold Predictions: Who will be the title game heroes of Week 16?
Every week this season, our Yahoo Fantasy Football crew has released their wildest predictions for the action ahead. With the Fantasy Championships close to the start in most leagues, our analysts look into their crystal balls to see which players will shock the world. It's time to get brave for week 16!
Hollywood Higgins ready to flaunt
Matt Harmon: As Baker Mayfield left, so did Rashard Higgins. The Browns starter is fourth in the EPA per game for the past three weeks as he's been hot for the system that clicks all at once and his own game calms down. His best outside receiver at Rashard Higgins has hit a total of 239 yards and scored two goals for Mayfield in that three-game run. These two share great chemistry, and he has been attacked 24 times during that time. We know that if Mayfield has the time and isn't messed up by pressure, he can spray the ball all over the field.
Because of this, the news that Quinnen Williams will be put on IR ahead of this matchup with the Jets is huge. Williams turned out to be a disturbing nuisance. Without him, Mayfield should have all the time in the world to get the ball into play against that sad secondary player and find Higgins, who has been leading the team in yards since week 7 (when Odell Beckham went down) and has 14 air yards per target. .
Brown's receiver Rashard Higgins and quarterback Baker Mayfield were a trusted fantasy connection. (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar)
Another Brown to trust in Week 16
Andy Behrens: If you didn't indulge in Travis Kelce or Darren Waller on Design Day, there's a good chance you'll struggle to find acceptable options throughout the fantasy season. Well the Jets Defense is here to help. New York allowed a ridiculous 13 points for opposing bottlenecks this year, and it's mostly a villain gallery of players: Mo Alie-Cox, Jordan Reed (twice!), Adam Shaheen (twice!), Will Dissly, etc.
This week Austin Hooper and the Cleveland Browns get a shot at the Jets. Hooper has found the end zone in two of his last three games and has had a 5 catch, 6 target game against the Giants. He has a way to a top 5 place in championship week. If you have a need, include it in your schedule.
Situation right for Hardman to deliver
Dalton Del Don: Mecole Hardman is more of an Aviator (or DFS tournament game) but he saw nine targets last week and finished third in the air yards (152) and on Sunday he gets a defense in Atlanta which is the most Fantasy Points allows recipients this season. Kansas City has the highest implied total this week, and Tyreek Hill has missed practice dealing with a hamstring injury (and Clyde Edwards-Helaire is out). Hence, Hardman is a sleeper candidate who ends up as one of the biggest fantasy playoff heroes this year week.
Overlooked defenses should be streaming
Scott Pianowski: I'm on the defensive because the Rams were a spectacular failure against the Jets last week. This game is going to live in shame (mostly on the Jets side; bye, Trevor Lawrence). Still, I have to mention that Washington Football Team's defense lags behind in the squad (around 38 percent) and works well against Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers. If you survived despite the Rams debacle, this will be the week you switch to WFT. (If you prefer a sleeper from a field position, I like the weird but enjoyable bond between Jalen Hurts and Greg Ward. Let's call for another Ward touchdown in Week 16.)
Despair tight end game consider
Liz Loza: Sir Behrens makes an excellent point on Austin Hooper returning to his preseason investment in week 16. But if you weren't so lucky to keep the former Falcon, then maybe go vintage with Tyler Eifert. Eifert was third in the team goals last Sunday. He converted three balls out of four and had his highest mileage (51) of 2020 in Week 15, with Gardner Minshew again taking center stage. This Sunday he will take on a bear defense that has put the second highest fantasy points on the position (77.5 yards per week and a total of 4 TDs in the last four weeks).
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