Fantasy Football Week 16: Big questions on Todd Gurley, Kalen Ballage and more in Championship week
Can you trust Todd Gurley this week? Our experts answer that and more of the biggest questions facing Fantasy players in Week 16.
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The last few weeks have been pretty wild for Fantasy purposes. Every week we've been left scrambling to find replacements for an elite running back, and the absences of the likes of James Conner and Melvin Gordon in recent weeks have undoubtedly changed the fortunes of thousands of Fantasy players.
And we might not be done with landscape-altering injuries. Todd Gurley's knee issue wasn't enough to keep him off the field for long Sunday, but it looks like something we'll have to monitor throughout the week — the Rams just added C.J. Anderson as apparent insurance in case they need another body this week. Are Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, and Heath Cummings worried about Gurley? I asked them that and other key questions for Week 16 as we all try to bring home our championship trophies.
Speaking of which, let's start with the most important question ...
1. How many championships are you playing in?
- Jamey Eisenberg: Six.
- Dave Richard: Four. I was 0.84 points from Cam Newton away from playing in five, NOT THAT I AM COMPLAINING OR ANYTHING.
- Heath Cummings: Five. Out of 19 leagues.
2. Are you worried Todd Gurley may sit out this week?
- Jamey Eisenberg: I'm not worried as of Tuesday. That said, I'll still put in a waiver claim for John Kelly just in case.
- Dave Richard: No. The Rams need to win and Gurley is a big part of their formula for success.
- Heath Cummings: The Rams haven't said anything yet that really concerns me. But yeah, it's in the back of my head. He's so important to their offense and so unnecessary to beating the Arizona Cardinals (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, available on fuboTV). If I was a Gurley owner I'd want to have a backup plan just in case.
3. Who is your top waiver-wire add for this week?
- Jamey Eisenberg: Robby Anderson is the best player to pick up. But at this point, you might be filling holes at running back due to injury (give me Elijah McGuire or Jamaal Williams) or could be finding the best DST to maximize your points (look at the Dolphins and Browns).
- Dave Richard: It depends on the league. If I need a receiver or a flex, it's Anderson. If I need a running back, it's Williams by a nose over McGuire. If I need a DST it's the Browns. If my starting lineup is fine and I want to play keep-away from the guy I'm playing for the 'ship, I'll find the position he needs the most and stash a guy like one of the ones I named or Robert Foster, Kalen Ballage or the Dolphins DST.
- Heath Cummings: Anderson as long as I'm not desperate at running back. Anderson has at least seven targets in three straight games and looks to finally have a connection with Sam Darnold. He was a top-20 WR last year with 7.1 targets per game and I view him as a top-20 guy this week.
4. Why don't the Dolphins trust Kenyan Drake? How much work do you expect from Kalen Ballage?
- Jamey Eisenberg: That's a great question. Drake looked so impressive last season after Jay Ajayi was traded, but it now appears that he's fallen behind Ballage. If I'm the Dolphins, I want to see if Ballage can be the featured back in 2019, so I would give him a longer look than Drake over the final two games. It's obvious Drake isn't their guy as the lead running back.
- Dave Richard: I suspect they're worried about his pass protection — he is rarely even asked to do it. I also think the Dolphins believe in giving two backs nearly even snaps, something they've done for much of this season. Ballage should lead them in carries and touches but I'm not convinced he'll be great. The Jaguars defense is as inconsistent as the Dolphins' run game, making the whole kit and kaboodle an avoidable situation.
- Heath Cummings: Because Adam Gase. Who knows? I expect Ballage to see most of the Frank Gore role I just don't how valuable that is because of questions about Jacksonville. Their defense has been amazing at home and lackluster on the road. Ballage is a low-floor, high-upside back this week.
5. If Spencer Ware plays, how are you handling KC's backfield?
- Jamey Eisenberg: I'd still give a slight nod to Damien Williams over Ware if both are active. Williams will likely stay involved in the passing game. But both will be flex options. Obviously, we'd rather have Ware sit because we want to see Williams get featured again.
- Dave Richard: My hunch is that Ware won't see anywhere close to 15 touches. Maybe 10. Maybe five. He's just a guy — Williams packs more punch as a runner and is good as a pass catcher. Why walk away from that versatility and tip off your offense to your opponent?
- Heath Cummings: I'll still prefer Williams in PPR but I'll view both as high-end flexes. Seattle hasn't been very good on a per carry basis this year. The problem is the Chiefs don't run very much so there may not be enough carries to support two backs.
6. Which player besides Derrick Henry has helped his 2019 value most over the last few weeks?
- Jamey Eisenberg: It might be DaeSean Hamilton with his play over the past two weeks. The Broncos could open 2019 with Courtland Sutton, Hamilton and Tim Patrick as their top three guys, and Hamilton is showing he can make plays in the slot after Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) got hurt. He has 14 catches for 93 yards and a touchdown on 21 targets the past two weeks, and he should continue to improve with more experience. He'll be someone I target in all PPR leagues with a mid- to late-round pick next season.
- Dave Richard: Josh Allen. Already planning on drafting him late in every league I'm in.
- Heath Cummings: Robby Anderson, Amari Cooper, and Dalvin Cook all have. But even with last week's stinker I think Cooper has helped his the most. As long as he finishes strong it's going to be hard to rank him outside of the top-12 in 2019.
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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