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Newsletter 301 Week 16 Inactives & Top Plays

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In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter, we get you ready for Week 16 with all the news you need to know and Kevin’s data barrage. It's 12/26. Take it away, Peter Overzet…

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Hope you had a great Christmas, but we don’t have much time for pleasantries today. 

Last night, Davante Adams (10-114-2) and Nick Chubb (17-126-1; 3-58) delivered big games when it mattered the most. In the late game, Chase Edmonds (16-56-1; 8-71) had no problem filling in for James Conner and Jonathan Taylor (27-108) had a quiet night by his standards. 

Now we turn to the Week 16 main slate, which like last week, has a ton of important news we need to sift through. 

If you have any specific start/sit questions, be sure to check out our free Week 16 fantasy rankings by Waz, which were posted in yesterday’s newsletter. And if you need to do some belated gift shopping, check out the Fantasy Life store, where everything is currently 30% off. 

 

⛔ OUT OR EXPECTED NOT TO PLAY

 

* Travis Kelce will not play today vs. the Steelers after not clearing protocols this morning. 

* Despite getting in some limited practices, D’Andre Swift is out today for the Lions.

* Both Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams are out for the Chargers today on the COVID-19 list. Check Kevin’s data barrage below for notes on Justin Jackson’s outlook in Ekeler’s absence. In that same game, Texans WR Brandin Cooks also won’t play after being placed on the COVID list.

* The Ravens will be without Lamar Jackson (ankle) and Tyler Huntley (COVID), meaning journeyman QB Josh Johnson will get the start vs. the Bengals. 

* The Rams have activated Cam Akers for a hopeful playoff run, but he will not play today. 

* Leonard Fournette, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Andy Dalton, Jakeem Grant, Rhamondre Stevenson, Nelson Agholor, Gabriel Davis, Cole Beasley, Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley, Pat Freiermuth, Teddy Bridgewater, David Johnson, Matt Breida

 

🙏🏼PLAYING OR EXPECTED TO PLAY

 

* Starting QBs this week: Nick Foles, Jake Fromm, and Tim Boyle. Fun.

* Tyreek Hill, Adam Thielen, Damien Harris, Kendrick Bourne, DJ Moore, Antonio Gibson, Kadarius Toney

 

📈 KEVIN'S DATA BARRAGE 

Kevin Tompkins, a fantasy football writer and podcaster, shares the most interesting nuggets from his Data Barrage series. Take it away, Kevin…


Russell Gage, ATL - Gage was one of those double-digit round “gross picks” but without Calvin Ridley around he has been earning his volume at a clip of 26.4%. Since Week 9, that’s good for the 7th-highest target share amongst wide receivers and the WR17 in fantasy points per game (FPPG). The train should keep rolling this week against the Lions.

Justin Jackson, LAC - With Austin Ekeler banged up on MNF, Jackson ran the majority of pass routes that Ekeler would typically get in this offense at a 52% clip. He also totaled 86 yards rushing. Now Ekeler is out on the COVID list, meaning Jackson will lead the backfield against a soft Texans front that has given up the 5th-most fantasy points to opposing RBs. I’m expecting at least 20 opportunities and the majority of the passing game work for Jackson.

Hunter Henry, NE - The Hen-House was rocking last Saturday as the Patriots dropped back to pass 47 times. Henry took advantage, scoring twice on a soft Colts defense against TEs. Henry is the TE running most of the pass routes for the Patriots and Jonnu Smith is not a consistent factor. While Henry has had 38% of his fantasy production come via TDs this season, he’s still the consistent top-two option we look for with tight ends.

Antonio Brown, TB - In the first six weeks of the season before his injury, Brown was in lockstep with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin with a 24% air yards share, a 16% target share, and a juicy 28% targets per route run. Now, without either Evans or Godwin playing, and against two struggling teams (Panthers and the Jets) the next two weeks, Brown is ready to win some fantasy titles.

Saquon Barkley, NYG - Barkley returned to the Giants’ lineup in Week 11 and has led all RBs since then with the largest share of his team’s targets at 18%. He has been RB24 in FPPG since his Week 11 return, although Devontae Booker has also worked his way into a sizable share of the offense with 31% of the rushing attempts and 29% of the running back targets. For Barkley’s upside, that’s #notgood. 

Kevin Tompkins has been playing fantasy football for almost two decades. Amazingly in all that time, he has never drafted a bad running back. One would describe his fantasy takes as "reasonable."

 

☂️ WEATHER REPORT

Kevin Roth is a meteorologist for Rotogrinders who specializes in weather impacts for fantasy sports. There are two games this week with weather worries

CHI @ SEA: Just a raw and ugly day in Seattle, we’ll see game time temps in the 20s, a 10-15mph wind, and snow showers. No one element there is all that disruptive (I would be more worried if those winds were higher), but putting it all together makes for some impactful weather to the passing and kicking game of both teams.

For radar updates follow @KevinRothWx on Twitter.

 

-PETE OVERZET

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