2014 Fantasy Football: Week 16 Gold Mine
The Championship is finally here. For about three months we have been talking about the ups and the downs but for some the ups have finally come to fruition.
As we have done so many times, check out these players who are owned in less than 40% of ESPN leagues. It’s okay if you don’t play in ESPN leagues as we are showing YAHOO and NFL percentages as well.
Alex Smith (KC): We have talked about Smith (23.6 | 41 | 73.9) a few times this year, and he has been surprisingly reliable. Personally, I have used him all year long as my QB1 in a two QB league, and he has gotten me to the championship round. Smith faces the 27th ranked passing defense this Sunday when the Chiefs travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers who have given up at least 24 points three weeks in a row. Smith has been pretty efficient with the ball this season turning it over only four times since his Week 1 debacle of three interceptions against Tennessee. And he has had at least two throwing touchdowns in three of his last four games with at least 290 yards passing in back-to-back games. The Chiefs are and pushing hard being only one game behind both the Steelers and the Ravens for a wild card spot. If Smith performs the way he has over the last two games, this could be the week that gets them closer to that goal.
Pierre Thomas (NO): Thomas (29.1 | 44 | 67.2) was talked about a lot this off season as up until about the start of the season Mark Ingram still hadn’t broken out and was too flaky to bet on regularly. Thomas is a PPR connoisseur and clearly is the go to backfield option in the passing game as more than 93% of his snaps this past Monday were on passing downs. Thomas is ranked outside of the top 40 in standard leagues but in the top 25 of PPR leagues. If you’re in a pinch, he could certainly be of assistance this week. Since returning back to the field in week 12, Thomas has reeled in at least four receptions in three of the four games totaling double-digit yardage in each and should continue to do so this week against a favorable matchup. It is clear that Ingram will be the workhorse, but in the passing game it is also clear that Thomas is man with the plan. Facing the 32nd ranked defense against opposing halfbacks bodes well for Thomas and company as the Saints sitting at 6 – 8 are still striving for a playoff spot.
Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle (DAL): With DeMarco Murray suffering a hand injury this past Sunday night and needing surgery the next day, it’s a no brainer that you will need to stash these two backs on your roster if Murray isn’t capable of going. The Colts are giving up the 12th most fantasy points to opposing running backs this year, and although Murray has practiced for two consecutive days with his cast, he is very much a game time decision. Despite reports that Dunbar may be the go-to-guy if Murray goes down, Randle’s seven yards per carry this year is very intriguing. Randle is currently owned in 22% of leagues while Dunbar is owned in less than 6% of leagues. Make sure you are keeping an eye on this tandem, and Murray for that matter, right up until game time as you may need to make a switch you aren’t comfortable with in your final matchup of the season.
Harry Douglas (ATL): Douglas has been very quiet this year, however, the one thing we know about Douglas (17.7 | 38 | 5.2) is that when someone on the Falcons goes down it’s Douglas that steps it up. He did last year when Julio Jones and Roddy White went down, and it happened this past week when Julio was a scratch right before the start of the games. With Julio not practicing this week and likely not playing again, Douglas should be a pretty valuable spot start for your finals. Douglas is also ailing on his own with a foot that is keeping him limited in practice. However, unlike Julio, Douglas has progressed throughout the week which makes me think he will be good to go on Sunday in a match up against New Orleans. The Saints have given up the eighth most points to opposing wide receivers this year including at least two touchdowns in two of their last three games and over 350 yards to wide receivers in their Week 1 match up against this same Falcons squad. If healthy, Douglas should be an important piece to getting the Falcons to the next level.
I want you all to know it has been an absolute pleasure to write for all the great readers of the Fix and can’t thank you enough for being so loyal. Until next season, good luck, be merry, and bring the money to the bank!
As always you can follow me on Twitter @JustinMandaro. Ask me fantasy football questions, questions about life, or just shower me with gifts and praise. 😀