スポーツ By Jeff Hicks, 4for4
スポーツ Special to Yahoo Sports
Schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, or aFPA, is 4for4’s answer to biased statistics. By removing bias, we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an “apples-to-apples” manner. As the season moves along, the data will change. Regardless, aFPA is arguably the best tool available to gain an edge when using waivers and building lineups.
Another point to make: I could offer players such as Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes pretty much every week, especially when they face awful units according to aFPA. That does everyone a disservice, so I will do my best to avoid players rostered in the majority of fantasy leagues.
Here are the best plays for the penultimate week of this column, Week 16.
スポーツ Daniel Jones at Minnesota Vikings
Not many games east of the Mississippi River will have good conditions for playing. Cold, snow, wind, rain, or a combo of conditions that make being outside suboptimal will play a role in Week 16. Not this one! Jones gets a closed roof in Minnesota against a team that allowed the Indianapolis Colts to put up 33 points in the first half last week. The Vikings are 31st in QB aFPA (and 32nd against WRs) and face an offense low on talent but high on coaching acumen. First-year head coach Brian Daboll has turned rotten fruit into fruit cake, and Jones is one of the beneficiaries this week. The Vikings have allowed opposing QBs to top 300 passing yards and/or throw for multiple passing touchdowns in each game since Week 5. Jones also has a good rushing floor, topping 20 rushing yards in 12 of 14 games.
スポーツ Jerick McKinnon vs. Seattle Seahawks
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. McKinnon’s usage and production have risen each of the past three weeks. His matchup against Seattle could separate him from Isiah Pacheco for the remainder of the fantasy and NFL playoffs. Seattle allows the second-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to running backs, which is aided by giving up an average of six receptions per game to the position. McKinnon has 17 receptions in the past two weeks, in part because of injuries to the WR position. Even with Kadarius Toney back and Mecole Hardman expected to return this week, it is clear Mahomes trusts the veteran RB. McKinnon is putting up Austin Ekeler-like numbers despite being a waiver wire pickup, and the Chiefs’ offense is operating on a different level once again.
スポーツ Detroit Lions receivers at Carolina Panthers
Amon-Ra St. Brown is an every-week lock, but it’s some of the depth receivers who deserve FLEX consideration. Carolina ranks 30th in WR aFPA and, aside from Jaycee Horn, is lacking in the secondary. Even with Horn playing at a Pro Bowl level, he cannot shut/slow down receivers by himself. Carolina is being targeted heavily in the passing game, leading to the defense allowing 14.14/158.29/0.79 per game to the position. The Panthers allowed five Steelers receivers to catch a pass in Week 15 and allowed three Seahawks wideouts to get at least five receptions, 60 yards and a touchdown in Week 14. D.J. Chark, Josh Reynolds and even Jameson Williams deserve to be the last players in your lineup.
スポーツ Cade Otton at Arizona Cardinals
The Buccaneers’ offense is not an ideal situation to target players not named Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but when the Cardinals are on the docket, it is OK to get excited. Otton has played more snaps each week since the team’s Week 11 bye and has supplanted Cameron Brate as the TE1. Otton has been feast or famine since his bye, collecting 0, 5, 10 and 1 targets over the past month. Even as a low-end TE1 option this week, Otton’s upside could end up with him as a top-five finisher at the position. Arizona has allowed 12 double-digit games to tight ends as the 32nd-ranked defense in TE aFPA. The touchdown upside is tantalizing as well. Juwan Johnson and George Kittle each had two-TD games against the Cardinals, and the Saints added a third tight end TD against Arizona when Taysom Hill actually ran a few routes. The Chiefs are the other offense to score multiple TE touchdowns.
スポーツ Tennessee Titans defense vs. Houston Texans
Tennessee has seen a dip in sack percentage and sacks per game from 2021 but has been productive at home. Their 5.98% sack rate rises to 6.48% at home, which is not great but worth noting, and the Titans get a Texans offense allowing the most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to defenses. Between the trio of Davis Mills, Kyle Allen and Jeff Driskel, the QB position in Houston is throwing 1.14 TDs and 1.14 INTs per game. Houston has seen a small improvement in sack percentage and sacks per game from 2021, but if the offense continues to be without Brandin Cooks and/or Nico Collins, the ability for Texans WRs to get open dips with Chris Moore being the only consistent target left.
If you think the Titans are more coal in your stocking this week, target the Los Angeles Rams in a home matchup on Christmas Day against the Denver Broncos, an offense that has gift-wrapped turnovers and sacks to opposing defenses.
Note: Week 17 will be the last time this column runs.
More from 4for4.com: Tight end streaming for Week 16
Jeff has played fantasy sports since 2001. He has covered fantasy and traditional sports at the pro, semi-pro, and amateur levels for the better part of a decade. Born in Illinois and currently living where James Robinson made a name for himself in college, Jeff enjoys running (establish it), followed by doing absolutely nothing.