Week 16: PPR Watch
PPR is here to stay and I love to make your team better. Agree or disagree with the picks? Let me hear it. Question about someone I didn't mention? Ask me in the comments section and follow me on Twitter. @MarkKadubec -- Playoff Semi-Finals, did you make it? All the teams left are killers. Don't over think it, and enjoy the last couple weeks while you can!
Confident - Owners probably have no idea what to do with Finley. Few players have been more frustrating this season. His size, physicality, and position on one of the best offenses in NFL history, makes him nearly a must start. His continued lack of production, drops, and general inconsistency make him unreliable. Depending on your scoring, 3 catches for 83 yards in week 15 was either 'decent' or 'poor', but either way it is probably less than you were expecting with Jennings out until the playoffs. So here is what I got out of that game, and why I have him as a confident. Jordy Nelson (2 catches for 29 yards) did not thrive in the #1 role against a solid secondary. Chicago is another strong secondary. They give up some yards, but rarely a TD (only 6 on the year). On the other hand, teams struggling against their corners have found success throwing to the TE, and the Bears have allowed the 5th most fantasy points per game because of it. Finley scored 3 TDs when they played in week 3, and while I won't predict that again, I do think he'll do better than 3 catches if he sees another 10 targets again this week.
Confident - Ok, I'm not overreacting to the win against Green Bay, but Bowe is a guy you have probably wanted to put in your lineup and after the showing Orton had in week 15, I think it is very safe to dust him off again. Now keep in mind, it is not like the guy went off or anything. Bowe had just 4 catches on 5 targets for 49 yards, and the targets do bother me a little. Nevertheless, this is another game where the Chiefs play at home (against a division rival) and the Raiders are about as pleasant a match-up as they come. Not only have they allowed 18 touchdowns and the 4th most fantasy points per game, but their defense is playing worse and worse as the year goes on -- allowing the second most yards and touchdowns over the past 5 weeks (and coming off a devastating loss to Calvin Johnson -- No, I didn't say the Lions). If you watched the game, you understand. Bowe had 6 for 76 when they played in week 7, and is a nice WR2 this week in PPR and everywhere.
Confident - Stewart is up against Tampa, and the only thing worse than their run defense over the past five weeks is their run defense for the whole year. They are terrible, awful, abysmal, whatever you want to call it. I think I ran through all the numbers already last week when they were matched up against Felix Jones, and if you can pick on them again this week, DO IT. Not only did Jones run well (4.9 a carry), but Deion Sanders tweeted that we've seen their defense quit. Not what you want to hear if you're Raheem Morris, but music to the ears of J Stew owners. DeAngelo has regained some attention of late with some very nice long runs, but on the season it is still 153 touches on the year for Williams, and 170 touches for Stewart. Williams is a nice start this week as well, but for PPR owners, Stewart is the man to have. Newton vultures a lot of TDs, but Stewart went for 80 yards, 2 catches and a score against them last time;I think he can repeat that this week.
Confident - Floyd isn't what anyone would call a PPR receiver. He makes his money going deep, and probably is riskier than other borderline flex plays this week like Kevin Walter and Davone Bess, guys who have been talked up in PPR circles due to their match-ups. That said, with a rejuvenated Phil Rivers throwing him the ball, he has a hell of a lot more upside as well. My reasoning is this: Detroit's secondary hasn't been stopping anyone lately, allowing the 5th most fantasy points to WRs over the past 5 weeks. Floyd looked healthy against Baltimore, where he got as many targets as Vincent Jackson, and caught 5 balls for 96 yards and a touchdown. The Chargers are hot, Gates is healthy as well, and Floyd should see a lot of man coverage and winnable match-ups in a game between two offenses that should be able to score on each other with regularity. I won't oversell it, but I like him this week;this should be a good game to invest in. If you prefer the Lions, I'd put Titus Young in the same category.
Confident - Last week's sleeper is this week's confident. Mainly for two reasons: 1) Even in the final week, you may need a RB (or need to keep an opponent from obtaining one off waivers). 2) To highlight the fact that Bell may well be the main runner right now for the Bears. Let's look at the evidence. Bell had 20 touches to Barber's 11, including his second straight week with 5 receptions. Add to it the fact he was more effective -- averaging 4.3 yards per carry to Barber's 3.0 -- and I see no reason to believe that Barber will regain a greater share of the load in week 16. The match-up against Green Bay isn't perfect (the Packers are decent against the run), but they have given up more receptions and receiving yards to running backs than any team in the NFL. Bell is the clear choice for the Bears when it comes to screens and check-downs. You know if you desperately need a runner this week, and if you do, I think he's a pretty good option. Another 5 catches and 100 total yards seems likely.