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Spoiler Alert - Who Are Potential Week 16 Surprises?

Week 16 is always a strange week in the NFL. At this stage, there are usually only a handful of games which are extremely meaningful and with most players fantasy football season done, it is hard to get excited for those matches with little on the line. That is where DFS comes in, as it provides fantasy owners a chance to drown their seasonal sorrows with a gourmet of one-week fantasy football if they so wish. It also gives a lot of games which are not that exciting a reason for you to care what happens.

In 2018, NFL teams are refusing to lay down. The Raiders are playing harder now than they ever did in the first half of the season. The 49ers celebrated winning last week like they had just won the Super Bowl and the Buffalo Bills just keep winning. Tanking should no longer be a dirty word in sports but in the NFL it seems that way more than ever this season. While it may be strange, it is at least making the end of this season fascinating.

If you are still in contention in a season-long league, the list below is a "break in case of emergency" type deal. If you are in your fantasy championship, you are not suddenly turning your fate over to the hands of hit-or-miss fantasy options. However, if you have been ravaged by injuries or are facing terrible matchups these are some options you may want to consider, especially if you feel you need to hit a home run this week.

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Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots

Allen should no longer be a surprising fantasy player when it comes to fantasy relevance. Over the last four weeks, he has scored over 20 fantasy points three times and fell just fractionally below it last week against the Lions. Over those four weeks, he had averaged 24.3 fantasy points per game, has rushed for a touchdown in three of them and has averaged 87.75 rushing yards. This week, he faces a Patriots defense who have had troubles with quarterbacks that can use their legs. They gave up 31 points to the Jaguars, 40 to the Chiefs, 31 to the Bears and 34 to the Titans. Against teams with less mobile or slightly hobbled quarterbacks, they have had more success. Allen could exploit this slow Patriots defense in a big way this week. If he does then he could lead you to a fantasy championship.

Case Keenum, Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders

Want to know how little I care about this game from a non-fantasy perspective? I accidentally wrote the Oakland Athletics instead of the Raiders when I originally picked my names. I think it is safe to say this game is not going to make anyone excited for Monday Night Football this week. However, why not make things a little bit interesting if you need a streaming quarterback this week? The Raiders are surrendering 23.5% more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over the last five weeks and are allowing them to score an average of 20.76 fantasy points per game on the season as a whole. Obviously, you are not turning your whole season over to Case Keenum if you have a sensible option but if you need a streamer in two-quarterback leagues then he makes for an interesting gamble this week.


Running Backs

John Kelly, Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals

No, this is not some massive overreaction to the Rams recent results. I don't think they are a bad team but I am using the spoiler term in a different way this week. Anyone leaning on Todd Gurley this week could find themselves in a tough situation. It does seem likely that Gurley will start but this game could get ugly quickly. If it does then we could see an ailing Gurley rested for large parts of the game. That would potentially leave Kelly as the lead running back against a Cardinals team allowing an average of 128.9 rushing yards, 1.2 rushing touchdowns and 27.79 fantasy points to opposing running backs. If the Rams are running out the game he could have a big day at the expense of Gurley owners.


Wide Receiver

Robert Foster, Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots

If you are asking me to bet my mortgage on a quarterback to wide receiver connection, then Allen to Foster would not be it. However, if you are looking for a ton of upside and some added excitement in your football watching then they might be exactly what you are looking for. In the last four weeks, Foster has double-digit fantasy points three times. In that period Foster has two touchdowns and three games with over 90 receiving yards. This week, against a Patriots defense which has been allowing 12% more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than the average, could be a good one for Foster.

Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons

For the avoidance of any doubt, yes I am calling the Panthers a bad team. Samuel is over 50% owned on Yahoo! so he is not really under the radar but he could be available. Prior to Monday Night Football Samuel had four double-digit weeks in a row. In that time he had seven of more targets three times, two touchdowns and over 80 receiving yards twice. This week, he faces a Falcons defense who are giving up the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. This is a kitchen sink game for the Panthers and I think they score a ton of points in a game which could be high-scoring as a whole.

Robby Anderson, New York Jets vs. Green Bay Packers

The connection between Anderson and rookie quarterback Sam Darnold appears to have grabbed a hold in a big way the last two weeks. Anderson has been targeted 18 times with 11 receptions, 172 yards and two touchdowns in those games. This week he goes up against the team ranked third worst in terms of fantasy points surrendered to opposing wide receivers. Over the last five weeks, the Packers are allowing on average 14% more fantasy points to wide receivers than the rest of the league. They have done O.K. against number one receivers but they are still allowing 15.1 fantasy points to them this season. Anderson could win you a fantasy championship this week.


Tight End

Matt LaCosse, Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders

In his last two matchups against teams which rank in the top-10 for the most points surrendered to opposing tight ends LaCosse has averaged five targets and 3,5 receptions. In the game against the Steelers, he also had a touchdown and that is kind of what you are hoping on here. The Raiders are surrendering an average of 4.9 reception, 70.6 receiving yards and 0.6 touchdowns to opposing tight ends. At a position which has been as unreliable as any, playing the matchup here could be an interesting gamble in Week 16.


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