Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill salvaged a first half that nearly ended a lot of playoff runs with three second-half scores last week. He took one in on the ground and threw two more. He went 6/18 in the first half after his 60-yard completion to A.J. Brown. Because of the percentage of the Titans’ touchdowns he controls, a 21-point second half was more than enough to get him across the line even after a collapse in the first half.
He has scored 21 total times in his eight starts this year. That’s good for 72.4% of the Titans’ total offensive scores. In a shootout versus the Saints, fire him up one more time.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins
The Redskins fed Adrian Peterson last week with 16 carries and three catches. He went for 91 yards from scrimmage and scored. This marked Peterson’s third straight game with 75 yards and a score. Even at the age of 34, Peterson is still running for 4.3 yards per carry, a four-year high for the veteran.
Peterson saw 70% of the teams’ carries and 11% of their targets. He’s the guy with Guice out and Week 15 only reaffirmed that. This week Washington gets the Giants as a favorite, perfect game script for them to ride Peterson.
Breshad Perriman, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No quarterback has generated a more valuable duo of fantasy receivers this season than Jameis Winston. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are both top-5 receivers in PPR points per game. Now the Bucs are going to be without the duo to end the year That elevates Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson to starting roles that have been more valuable than any other in the league this year.
Perriman got to work quickly in that role with a 5-113-3 line. He now leads all remaining Bucs with 49 targets on the season. Tampa Bay may also be without Scott Miller which would leave Perriman as their only wideout with more than 12 targets. As a full-time player in a Winston-led offense, Perriman is a must-start.
O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs are without two top-15 players in terms of targets and the No.1 overall player in air yards now. The combo of Perriman and Watson alone can’t fill that void. That’s where O.J. Howard steps in.
Last week he led the team in targets with eight and was third in air yards at 87.
The Bucs are going to be forced into running more 2TE sets which will put him on the field for a majority of the team’s snaps. He’s in for a strong finish to a disappointing season.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans
Tannehill is worth the start but don’t look to stack him with his tight end, Jonnu Smith. Smith ran hotter than the core of the sun last week going five for five on his targets for 60 yards while adding a 57 yard rush.
Smith has two top-10 TE performances this season. He has caught more than four balls twice. The volume hasn’t been there and I’m not banking on a 50-yard run from him again for the rest of his career.
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
How you made it to Week 16 with Brady at QB, I don’t know. Regardless, you shouldn’t push your luck any further. Brady has one performance of 25 fantasy points this season and it came in Week 1. He hasn’t topped 20 in seven weeks.
Brady is 22nd in adjusted yards per attempt (6.4) and 20th in fantasy points per dropback (.39). Brady’s days of prolific fantasy production are over.
Dede Westbrook, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville has packed it in for the year and even a win over a spiraling Raiders team couldn’t mask that. They’re averaging 12.8 points over their past six games and haven’t topped 20 once.
The loss of D.J. Chark had no impact on Westbrook as he stayed in the slot and was targeted four times for a 14% target share. Keelan Cole stepped into a bigger role on the outside while Conley did his best Chark impression with eight targets, four catches, 49 yards, and two scores.
Conley is the only viable Jags wideout right now.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos
Phillip Lindsay has been converted into a one-dimensional grinder on a sputtering offense. Over the second half of the season (six games for the Broncos so far), Lindsay has 12 targets and he’s converted that into eight receptions for 27 yards. Despite getting a heavy workload on the ground, he’s been out-targeted by Royce Freeman.
Lindsay needs to be breaking off chunk plays at an unsustainable clip like he did last year to return value on his limited role. Without the crazy efficient, he’s Adrian Peterson with more competition for touches.