For many of us, this week is about watching your fantasy league finals unfold from the sidelines. But for those lucky enough to earn their spot in the championship game, here are some picks to help you bring home the gold.
Who To Take:
Deshaun Watson - Houston Texans
Despite missing out on the Pro Bowl, Watson has had a great season leading the 10-4 Texans. Through 14 games, the Clemson standout has over 3,500 Passing Yards and 24 Touchdowns for an elite 103.2 Passer Rating. Going up against an injured Eagles pass defense that ranks 31st with 281 YPG allowed, Watson should have no problem connecting with his receivers this week, namely 4x Pro Bowler DeAndre Hopkins.
Phillip Lindsay - Denver Broncos
Not only has Lindsay been an inspiring story of an undrafted player turned Pro Bowler, but his stats jump off the page as well. In his rookie season, the Colorado product has turned in 991 Rushing Yards and 9 Touchdowns with still 2 weeks to go. As he aims for the 1,000-yard mark, expect Lindsay to go to town on this atrocious Raiders run defense that ranks last in the league with 146.1 YPG and 4.8 YPA.
Tyler Lockett - Seattle Seahawks
Lockett has had an excellent season under the radar, hauling in 800 receiving yards thus far to go along with 9 Touchdowns. This week, his Seahawks go against a brutal Chiefs pass defense that has allowed 304.6 YPG and 27 passing touchdowns this season. As Seattle looks to lock up a playoff spot, expect big things from Lockett this week.
Who To Avoid:
Tom Brady - New England Patriots
It’s always difficult to bet against the GOAT, but a strong performance from Brady doesn’t look to be in the cards this week. For one, their Buffalo opponents have an elite passing defense that allows the fewest YPG allowed through the air (187). This is especially troubling after a week in which the Pats offense was not able to figure it out against a middle-of-the-pack Steelers defense. Plus, with Josh Gordon’s recent stepping away from football, Brady will be without a major offensive weapon going forward. All together, there are too many bad signs to feel comfortable starting Brady this week.
James Conner - Pittsburgh Steelers
In LeVeon Bell’s absence, James Conner has done an exceptional job stepping up to the plate and being a major impact for Pittsburgh’s top-5 offense. However, the Steelers are going to face a defensive force this week in New Orleans. Though they are known primarily for their explosive offense, the Saints have had the league’s best run defense in terms of YPG (79.1). No matter how strong the Steeler offense is, Conner will be stuffed this week in The Big Easy.
Keenan Allen - Los Angeles (ugh) Chargers
Yes Keenan Allen was deservedly named to this year’s Pro Bowl roster. But this week will be unforgiving for him when the Chargers host Baltimore. The Ravens defense is truly superb, allowing the 3rd-fewest passing YPG (221) and the 4th-fewest passing TDs (18). Plus, the Chargers have already locked up a playoff spot. With Allen’s injury history, it’s likely he’ll be relegated to limited use this week. Don’t count on Allen to bring you home the chip this week.
HOT TAKE OF THE WEEK:
I haven’t stopped before, and I won’t stop now! Since his disastrous game against the Dolphins, Darnold has shown massive signs of improvement. Most recently, Sam the Man tossed 2 Touchdowns and 253 Yards for a clean 100.0 Passer Rating. This week, Darnold and the Jets host an underwhelming Packers team with a half-decent defense. Being owned in less than 6% of ESPN and Yahoo! fantasy leagues, Darnold may again silence the haters and prove a worthy QB pickup if you can’t grab Watson.
Purveyor of truth. Breaker of chains. Foolish fan of the Mets, Jets, and Knicks.