It’s that time. What we all play for. It’s CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK! If you made it here, then a tip of the cap goes to you sir or madam. If you didn’t, well, here’s to making better lineup choices (and having a little bit of luck) for next season. Let’s get right into it and discuss the best performances from week 16 and how they will impact the ever important week 17. Let’s overthink this!
Jaguars 19, Jets 3
Jaguars top performer(s): In what was expected to be an ugly game due to weather conditions, Trevor Lawrence, Evan Engram, and Travis Etienne all played well in the Jags win. Lawrence did his damage on the ground to the tune of 51 rushing yards with a score, and Etienne also added 83 yards rushing and 29 receiving. Evan Engram is having a career year in Jacksonville and went for 7/113. Do I dare say Evan Engram is a surefire top 5 TE for fantasy? Sure seems that way. Play all three guys, in addition to Christian Kirk, this week against Houston. Jets top performer(s): Terrible performance all around. I was really hoping Zach Wilson would right the ship, but word is his time in New York is over now. Yikes. The good news is that Mike White is back, and they are playing a weak Seattle defense this week. Fire up Garrett Wilson. I think he has a huge game this week and can carry some teams to a fantasy championship.
Bills 35, Bears 13
Bills top performer(s): The Bills ground game was the key to victory in this one, as they racked up over 250 rushing yards. Devin Singletary and James Cook each scored and both averaged close to an absurd 9 YPC. Stefon Diggs continues to disappoint fantasy owners at the worst possible time, but you have no other choice but to continue rolling him out there if you’re still in it, especially this week against the Bengals. Continue rolling out your Bills players. Bears top performer(s): Rough performance from the entire Bears offense in this one. Justin Fields was held to 11 rushing yards and 119 passing yards. David Montgomery was the fantasy star with 62 rushing yards and 22 receiving yards on 4 receptions. Outside of these two, there’s not much fantasy appeal from the Bears, even with a juicy matchup against the Lions this week.
Saints 17, Browns 10
Saints top performer(s): Alvin Kamara scored a TD FINALLY! It’s been awhile, but Kamara finally found the end zone to go along with his 76 rushing yards and 34 receiving yards. Andy Dalton was held under 100 passing yards and it doesn’t get easier this week going to Philly. I would play Kamara and possibly Chris Olave, if he plays. I also think Juwan Johnson is a sneaky good play at TE. Browns top performer(s): Nick Chubb had close to 100 yards but failed to score again. Amari Cooper also had 6 catches for 72 yards, but it’s clear this offense is going to take some time to gel with Deshaun Watson under center. Next up is a stout Washington defense, but I would continue playing Chubb and Cooper due to their volume.
Chiefs 24, Seahawks 10
Chiefs top performer(s): Jerick McKinnon just won’t stop scoring touchdowns. Another receiving TD and a strong effort from Travis Kelce (6/113) fueled the Chiefs win in this one. In an ever important championship week, Mahomes, Kelce, McKinnon and Pacheco are all viable fantasy options. Seahawks top performer(s): The Seahawks continue to slide at the worst possible time. The good news is that Kenneth Walker III had over 100 receiving yards and DK Metcalf had 7/81. Continue to fire up Walker III, Metcalf, and Lockett if he is active.
Vikings 27, Giants 24
Vikings top performer(s): Justin Jefferson continues his absolutely insane season that saw him post another eye-popping stat line of 12/133/1. TJ Hockenson also had a fantastic game with 13/109/2. As I’ve been saying all season long, this is an elite offense with multiple lineup locks for fantasy. Giants top performer(s): Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley had strong efforts in an entertaining game. Outside of these two, it’s hard to trust any other Giants in your lineup in an ever important week.
Bengals 22, Patriots 18
Bengals top performer(s): Joe Burrow just continues to play better and better each week. Another game with close to 400 yards and 3 scores, and Tee Higgins was the main contributor, producing 8/128/1. Another elite offense with multiple lineup locks. Huge matchup against the Bills on Monday night that will settle many fantasy championships (including my own). Patriots top performer(s): The offense played a little better, with Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers each scoring. Rhamondre Stevenson had a terrible game and was probably responsible for a LOT of teams getting bounced from the playoffs in this one. If you were able to survive the disappointment, I’m expecting a big bounce back game from Stevenson this week versus the Dolphins. Do NOT overthink it. Stevenson has been a stud for most of the season.
Panthers 37, Lions 23
Panthers top performer(s): I guess I was just a week early on my Panthers ground game production. D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard had over 100 yards rushing, and DJ Moore scored as well. Up next is the Bucs, in what figures to be a low scoring game. I would still fire up Foreman as a low end RB2 and Moore as a flex. Lions top performer(s): DJ Chark had over 100 yards receiving, Amon-Ra St Brown had 7/76, but it was ….. Shane Zylstra??? as the big performer who had 3 scores. Just as we all predicted.
Ravens 17, Falcons 9
Ravens top performer(s): The Ravens ground attack really shined in this one, rushing for 184 yards, with Gus Edwards contributing 99 of those. It’s hard to trust anyone in this offense this week versus Pittsburgh, in what should be another low scoring game. Falcons top performer(s): Drake London and Tyler Allgeier had strong efforts in this one, and both could have strong games this week as well versus the Cardinals. I like both as boom or bust flex plays. The question is, how risky do you feel?
Texans 19, Titans 14
Texans top performer(s): Don’t start anyone from this offense. Moving on. Titans top performer(s): Derrick Henry had over 120 yards and a score. Outside of Henry, no other options are worth starting.
49ers 37, Commanders 20
49ers top performer(s): George Kittle continues to thrive in these fantasy playoffs. Can he keep it up this week versus the Raiders? I sure like his chances. CMC and Kittle are lineup locks and in store for MASSIVE performances this week. Commanders top performer(s): Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson each scored in the Commanders defeat. Now the team turns to Carson Wentz for the final two games in order to push for the playoffs. I love Brian Robinson Jr this week, as Antonio Gibson is out, and the Browns rush defense has been awful all year long. Fire up Robinson and McLaurin, with Dotson as a mid level flex.
Cowboys 40, Eagles 34
Cowboys top performer(s): This was quite the entertaining game. Huge performances across the board, but it was Ceedee Lamb who really shined with 10/120. The Cowboys wisely utilized Lamb in the slot once Avonte Maddox exited with a foot injury. Eagles top performer(s): Gardner Minshew II played really well in this one, as did AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith. I expect Minshew to play again this week, and view him as a top 12 QB play. Play other Eagles as well including Brown, Smith, Goedert, and I expect a bounce back from Miles Sanders.
Steelers 13, Raiders 10
Steelers top performer(s): Pat Freiermuth had a solid game with 7/66. This offense is up and down and I expect it to be more down this week versus the Ravens. It could be another 13-10 kind of game. I would play Najee Harris and Freiermuth, but that’s about it. Raiders top performer(s): In such a massive week, Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs were a colossal disappointment. Now the Raiders are benching Derek Carr, much to the dismay of Adams’ owners. Fire up Jacobs, but I have serious concerns with Adams now that Jarret Stidham is under center. Start with caution.
Packers 26, Dolphins 20
Packers top performer(s): AJ Dillon scored and Allen Lazard had 5/61. The offense should be better this week in what should be a high scoring affair versus the Vikings. I would play Jones, Dillon, Rodgers and Watson (if he plays). Dolphins top performer(s): Tua with another concussion. Just a shame what has unfolded with him this season. Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill are must starts regardless of who is playing QB, even in a tough matchup versus the Patriots in New England.
Rams 51, Broncos 14
Rams top performer(s): Remember when Cam Akers requested a trade and we all thought he was high-tailing out of LA? Well, he’s been pretty damn good lately, and he rushed for over 100 yards and 3 scores in this one. Continue starting Akers, but no other Rams. Broncos top performer(s): This offense REALLY STINKS. I would start Jerry Jeudy this week as they will most likely be down big and chase points versus the Chiefs. Buccaneers 19, Cardinals 16
Bucs top performer(s): Leonard Fournette had a fantastic game, rushing for over 70 yards and catching 9/90. He mysteriously tweeted that he has been dealing with a Lisfranc injury all year long, then deleted the tweet. Regardless, Fournette and Godwin are must starts this week versus the Panthers. Cardinals top performer(s): The only Cardinals player you should even consider playing at this point is James Conner. Do not start any other Cardinals from here on out. This includes DeAndre Hopkins. Up next at QB for Arizona is David Blough. Yikes.
Chargers 20, Colts 3
Chargers top performer(s): Austin Ekeler scored twice, much to the anger of Justin Herbert fans. However, continue firing up Herbert, Ekeler, and Mike Williams. They could all have decent games versus the Rams this week. Colts top performer(s): Yeah, they stink. That’s all.