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Week 15 Surprises? We Must Overreact Immediately!


In Week 15, the quarterback position fell according to plan for the most part. Lamar Jackson threw for five touchdown passes against a soft Jets pass defense finishing as the No. 1 quarterback on the week, while Jameis Winston was able to play with a broken thumb to finish as the No. 2 quarterback on the week, throwing for 458 yards and four touchdowns. Ryan Tannehill continued to produce against a Texans Defense that's been giving up the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks while Patrick Mahomes and Carson Wentz rounded out the top five.

At wide receiver, Breshad Perriman was only targeted six times against the Lions but he scored three touchdowns, finishing as the No. 1 receiver on the week while starting in place of the injured Mike Evans. Anthony Miller continued his late-season dominance ending up with nine catches, 118 yards and a touchdown against the Packers, and Tyler Lockett finally got back on track against a struggling Panthers Defense, catching eight balls for 120 yards and a touchdown to finish No. 5 on the week.

The only curve balls thrown at us at the running back position in Week 15 were Kenyan Drake and Mike Boone. Drake scored four touchdowns on his way to finishing as the No. 1 running back on the week, and Boone finished in the top-15 after filling in for an injured Dalvin Cook. Over the last few weeks the Bengals have started using six offensive linemen at times, and as a result, Joe Mixon has become relevant again. If you remained patient with Mixon throughout the season you should be rewarded in Week 16 when it matters most because he will face a Dolphins Defense that's been giving up big points to running backs all year. At tight end, George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Tyler Higbee, Darren Waller, and Zach Ertz finished one through five which shouldn't surprise anybody. If anything, the biggest surprise at the tight end position on the week may be that Ian Thomas underwhelmed against a vulnerable Seahawks Defense. Last week is now in the rearview mirror, and now we need to look ahead and evaluate how to move forward to Week 16.

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Breshad Perriman (WR, TB)

Week 15 Stats: 6 targets, 5 catches, 113 yards, 3 TD

Breshad Perriman started in place of the injured Mike Evans and turned just six targets into 113 yards and three touchdowns. It appears that Perriman may be a little boom-or-bust, similar to Evans has been this year, but with Chris Godwin likely out for Week 16 with a hamstring injury, Perriman may be the best receiver the Buccaneers have left standing on their roster.

Bottom Line: The Buccaneers play against the Houston Texans in Week 16 who surrender the 14th-most fantasy points to wide receivers on the season. With Evans and now Godwin out of the lineup, Perriman will likely be Jameis Winston's No. 1 receiving target in a game that will likely shoot out.

 

Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS)

Week 15 Stats: 5 targets, 5 catches, 130 yards, 1 TD

On Terry McLaurin's 75-yard touchdown, he caught a 15-yard pass from Dwayne Haskins off of play-action, the Eagles defensive back dove and missed him, taking out another defensive back in the process, which allowed McLaurin to run for 60 yards after the catch for a touchdown.

Bottom Line: The Redskins face a Giants Defense in Week 16 that's given up the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers on the season, so it's likely that McLaurin comes through again on championship weekend.

 

Steven Sims Jr. (WR, WAS)

Week 15 Stats: 11 targets, 5 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD

Sims played 69.8% of the snaps in Week 15 and over 70% of the snaps in Week 14. Sims is very athletic and has demonstrated tremendous playmaking ability when he is given the opportunity.

Bottom Line: The Redskins are in evaluation mode trying to see who has potential for their future and with Dwayne Haskins playing somewhat better, Redskins receivers are somewhat viable as long as they have a decent matchup. Sims may be able to pop a big play against the Giants struggling secondary in Week 16, but he is even more boom-or-bust than Terry McLaurin and should be treated as such.

 

Greg Ward (WR, PHI)

Week 15 Stats: 9 targets, 7 catches, 61 yards, 1 TD

The Eagles were decimated at wide receiver heading into Week 15 and Greg Ward led all receivers in targets with nine. In Week 15 Carson Wentz distributed the ball as follows: Zach Ertz (10), Greg Ward (9), Boston Scott (7), Dallas Goedert (6), Miles Sanders (6) and JJ Arcega-Whiteside (2).

Bottom Line: Over the last two games, Ward has played at least 75% of the snaps against both the Giants and Redskins. It's clear the Eagles will rely on heavily on their tight ends and running backs in the passing game throughout the remainder of the season, but Ward is clearly their main threat on the outside, making him an option for you in Week 16 against the Cowboys if you need a receiver.

 

Kenyan Drake (RB, ARI)

Week 15 Stats: 22 carries, 137 yards, 4 TD, 1 target, 1 catch, 9 yards

Last week I referenced David Johnson's Week 14 involvement in the Cardinals backfield and basically said that Drake was still the lead ball carrier in Arizona but Johnson's snap count was a little concerning. Well, that turned out to be absolutely wrong, we shouldn't have been concerned about David Johnson at all, as Drake played on 75.4% of the snaps and absolutely dominated touches in the Cardinals backfield.

Bottom Line: In Week 16 the Cardinals will face a Seahawks defense that gives up the 14th-fewest fantasy points to running backs but has given up production to running backs in the passing game. Don't get too crazy with Drake this weekend and play him over players like Leonard Fournette or Todd Gurley, but at the same time, don't be scared to use him.

 

Wes Hills (RB, DET)

Week 15 Stats: 10 carries, 21 yards, 2 TD, 2 targets, 2 catches, 1 yard

Wes Hills played on just 36% of the snaps in Week 15 compared to Ty Johnson who played on 45% of the snaps. Although Hills didn't play as much as Johnson, he touched the ball twice as much.

Bottom Line: Even though Hills led the Lions backfield in touches, he still only gained 22 yards from scrimmage off of his 12 touches. The Lions play the Broncos in Week 16 who are decent on defense, so Hills' outlook isn't very promising, especially since there's a chance that Kerryon Johnson makes his return to the lineup from injury.

 

Ricky Seals-Jones (TE, CLE)

Week 15 Stats: 4 targets, 3 catches, 29 yards, 2 TD

Every tight end that plays against the Cardinals Defense puts up a significant statistical performance. David Njoku's inactive status was a huge surprise on Sunday and the situation needs to be monitored heading into Week 16.

Bottom Line: Even if Seals-Jones starts again in Week 16, the Browns face a Ravens Defense that gives up the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, which makes Seals-Jones a less than ideal play.

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