Week 16 Fantasy Surprises

eric-ebron-landon-collinsLast week was a boom-or-bust one for my fantasy surprises, but the ones that hit did so in a big way. Blake Bortles was one of the better fantasy quarterbacks in week 15, while Robbie Gould poured in six field goals. Unless you’re playing daily fantasy this week, odds are that this is the week of your fantasy championship game. If you made it, congratulations. At this point, my advice would be don’t overthink things as hindsight is always 20/20, and stick with the stars who have gotten you to this point.

QB: Nick Foles vs Raiders: Players like Foles are why the dilemma of “stick with your stars” can get confusing. Last week, there was a chance you could have played Tom Brady who turned in a below average fantasy week by his standards and lost, while picking up Foles off the waiver wire would’ve likely led you to victory. Oddly enough, this is a year where simply streaming your quarterbacks could have been a better idea than investing heavy draft capital.

This week, Foles should be counted on again as the Eagles are still playing for something, and the Raiders have been very generous against the pass. Depending on how active teams in consolation games are in your league, Foles might be available. If he is, the matchup is worth playing if you face QB uncertainty. Expect around 250 yards and three touchdowns.

RB: Latavius Murray vs Packers: Despite being in a committee with Jerick McKinnon, Murray has seen 15 plus touches in five of his six games since the Vikings bye week. The only game he didn’t was the loss to the Panthers where Case Keenum was in comeback mode. This week Murray gets a Packer defense that has allowed a dozen touchdowns to opposing backs, and there is a chance for 20 plus touches if the Vikings get out to an early lead. Expect around 90 total yards and a touchdown.

WR: Keelan Cole vs 49ers: Cole burst out in a huge way last week, but don’t start thinking he is a one game wonder. The undrafted rookie has big time speed, and on the day I went to Jaguar training camp this summer he was consistently making contested one handed catches over defenders. This week with Marqise Lee out, Cole should see at least six to eight targets in a matchup that appears to be very favorable. With a big game this Sunday, Cole has the chance to enter Fantasy football lore and be described in reverential terms by fantasy players for years. Expect around 80 yards and a touchdown.

TE: Eric Ebron vs Bengals: Don’t look now, but Ebron has been progressing of late. With 27 catches in his last five games, he looks much more comfortable catching the ball and is making the most of his targets. The Bengals linebacker corps has been decimated by injuries, so it wouldn’t be surprising if once again Ebron finds himself heavily involved in the offense. He could make for a nice streaming option at a thin position this week. Expect around 60 yards and a touchdown.

K: Phil Dawson vs Giants: As those who have read these before might know, I tend to target opportunity most when it comes to kickers. Over the past two weeks, you can’t have much more than Dawson whose nine field goals have accounted for all of the Cardinals points in that span. Drew Stanton might have more success moving the ball than Blaine Gabbert, but against a vulnerable Giant defense, Dawson will still get his chances. Expect around three field goals and two extra points.

DEF: Bears vs Browns: The Bears fantasy defense hasn’t been a very reliable option, but they have performed better at home. That is where they’ll be squaring off against the Browns. With DeShone Kizer’s turnover tendencies in the redzone, this matchup could pay off in a big way if you stream your fantasy defenses. Plus, there is always the special teams factor as you’d receive points in the event Tarik Cohen took a punt back for a touchdown. Expect around three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery.

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