Is it coincidence the fantasy football season culminates in lock step with the holiday season? The timing isn’t ideal for football’s part-time degenerates. Whether traveling to visit (or escape) friends & family, suffocating under the thick flock of Big Christmas, or volunteering for those in need, there isn’t quite as much time for fantasy in these final weeks.
The time crunch hit me last week, and I wasn’t able to offer any player notes on the Game Flowbotics spreadsheet. Unfortunately, it’s more of the same this week. I’ll attempt to sneak a few in before the main slate, but with full days of work and travel on tap for this weekend’s Smith family festivities, you don’t need to preemptively unwrap your kid’s new Magic 8-Ball to know the outlook’s not good.
Humbug to player blurbs anyway. The numbers are what matter. Give yourself the gift of stats with these Week 16 DVOA match-ups:
As usual, my Week 16 rankings are a couple mouse-scrolls away. For the space between, I’m giving out a few random holiday awards…
The Cast Away Award
First of all, yes, Cast Away is a Christmas movie. Just watch the first 20 minutes. Dinner with extended family, the giving of gifts, looking forward to New Year’s Eve — it’s all there. Chuck Noland is soaking in the yuletide spirit until work pulls him away, and — *spoiler alert* — he’s marooned on a deserted island where he befriends a volleyball.
This award goes to DeAndre Hopkins, whose plane went down primarily because Brock Osweiler was the pilot. Hopkins’ time in isolation had some high points. He cracked the Kansas City coconut in Week 2 for 17.8 points and created fire three weeks later, beating the odds against Minnesota’s tough defense. Overall, though, Hopkins has largely struggled for fantasy survival in 2016.
Enter Tom Savage, the rickety raft built to sail Hopkins to safety. With a seemingly competent quarterback now under center for Houston, can Hopkins make it home to our starting lineups and rediscover himself before the credits roll? I’m optimistic, and I have Hopkins ranked inside my top-20 wide receivers.
The Festivus Award
This award goes to daily fantasy. As the elite teams are still battling for titles in yearly leagues, DFS offers a Festivus for the rest of us. If you’re interested in 2QB daily fantasy, check out TwoQBs’ cornucopia of analysis for Fantasy Aces. Just remember, dear readers, Festivus isn’t over until you beat someone in a head-to-head.
The Xmas Award
What’s an animated moron to do when he wakes up 1000 years in the future to discover Old Saint Nick has been replaced by a murderous robot Santa who lives on the moon? Brandon Marshall’s plans wouldn’t change all that much…
This award goes to Robby Anderson, for finding a home in the horrifying future and making the most of it. He’s led all Jets receivers in fantasy scoring for three straight weeks, despite Bryce “Zoidberg” Petty throwing most of the team’s passes.
Anderson takes on New England this week. The Patriots rank 21st in DVOA against #1 receivers, and if you don’t think Anderson is the Jets’ top target, you haven’t been paying attention. Players of that distinction have averaged 8.7 targets for 75.4 yards per game against New England, with both numbers landing above league averages. I’m counting on continued volume for Anderson, good enough for a top-30 finish among wide receivers.
Enough awards. Let’s unwrap the Week 16 Rankings. Whether you dive in for your yearly championships or DFS, good luck this week and happy holidays.