Fantasy Football Believe it or Not: Add Kalen Ballage, bench Leonard Fournette?
Heath Cummings helps you sort through a wild Week 15 to prepare for your championship round.
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Mitchell Trubisky is the best Fantasy QB in his division.
This one should be easy, right? Trubisky has been the highest scoring quarterback in the NFC North on a per-game basis and plays on the best team in the division. Of course, we're talking about moving forward, so it isn't quite that easy. But it's close.
Trubisky has taken a step forward in his first year with Matt Nagy as head coach, and I expect that trend to continue. The rest of this division is far more of a question mark. I'd rather have Trubisky on my roster for Week 16, which is really all that matters this time of year.
Verdict: Believe it.
It's not just about their performance this year. It's mostly about their situation.
Aaron Rodgers is still a better quarterback than Trubisky, but his team was just eliminated from the playoffs, the Packers have an interim head coach and a terribly unimaginative offense. It's possible they will fix all of this in the offseason, but until they do I'll take Trubisky.
Kirk Cousins is on a team that just fired its offensive coordinator because he wouldn't run enough and then went uber-run-heavy against the Dolphins. I actually think we may see Cousins' play improve at the end of the year, but his lack of volume will hurt in Fantasy.
And we don't even have to mention Matthew Stafford, right?
Trubisky is the best Fantasy quarterback in this division for your final week(s) of 2018. We'll see what happens this offseason before declaring the best for the future.
Robby Anderson is back as a No. 2 WR.
Early this year it looked like Sam Darnold might be a very bad thing for Anderson's Fantasy value. He didn't have more than three catches until Week 9 and he only topped 50 yards once in the first eight weeks of the year. A big part of that was Darnold's refusal early in the year to look down the field unless he was in total desperation.
Since Darnold returned from his injury, things seems to have changed. Anderson has 25 targets over the past three weeks. He has scored a touchdown (and at least 17 PPR Fantasy points) in his last two games. Anderson has made the connection with Darnold and should be viewed as a No. 2 receiver once again.
Verdict: Believe it.
This is a guy who caught 63 passes for 941 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017. That was on an average of 7.1 targets per game. Seven seems like the magic number for Anderson, and there's no one on this roster who should take targets from him moving forward.
Darnold zeroed in on Quincy Enunwa early in the year, but it seems like he's finally figured out who the team's No. 1 should be. Rookie quarterbacks lean on their No. 1 receiver and I'd expect Anderson's target volume will remain consistent moving forward.
If both of these guys can stay healthy in 2019, Anderson could be the best receiver value on Draft Day.
Leonard Fournette owners need to make other plans.
Well this was frustrating. Fournette had one touch (for 25 yards) in the second half of the team's loss to Washington. He finished the day with 64 yards on 14 total touches, which is about half the touches a lot of us expected. This wasn't a game that got away from Jacksonville; the Jagsjust didn't use their best running back.
There is no injury or disciplinary issue we're currently aware of, which makes it really difficult for anyone who started Fournette and somehow survived. If that's you, you need to find another plan for Week 16.
Verdict: Believe it.
Fournette actually said after the game that his reduced role was a part of the game plan. While that is an explanation, it's not one that will make you feel any better. This is one of the risks of playing players on teams that are out of it this late in the season.
Fournette's Week 16 matchup in Miami isn't a difficult one, and if the Jaguars wanted to they could pound the ball 30 times and probably win this game. But after what we just saw it will be very difficult to trust they will. Fournette is a flex play with enormous upside, but I'd be trying to find an RB2 if he was on my roster.
Kalen Ballage is the best Dolphins running back to own.
When Frank Gore went down in Week 15, Kenyan Drake owners thought they'd finally gotten the break they deserved. Nope. Even with Gore down, Drake received just one carry against the Minnesota Vikings. That's the same number as Brandon Bolden and 11 fewer than Kalen Ballage. With the way Ballage performed, I wouldn't expect that will change.
Verdict: Believe it.
Ballage took the opportunity and ran with it, breaking off a 75-yard touchdown to start the second half. While he didn't find much success other than that, he did have two other runs that went at least 13 yards. Most importantly, he got the opportunity and Drake didn't.
The Dolphins seem determined to leave Drake in his role as a passing-down back. It's unclear whether they'll need to throw much Sunday against Jacksonville. This should be a run-heavy, low-scoring game. I don't really want to start any Dolphins, but if I had to choose one it would be Ballage.
So who should you sit and start? And what shocking running back could win you Week 16? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking RB finishes in the top 15 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.
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