The Rundown: Week 16 Stats to Know & Football Saturday

Dec 18, 2019
The Rundown: Week 16 Stats to Know & Football Saturday

Week 15 ended the season for many, but for those who made it through have reached the pinnacle, fighting for a fantasy championship. At this point, the waiver wire is offering fewer options and the goal is to focus on setting the best lineup based on matchups. While now is not the time to abandon studs, there is a need to scrutinize those last starting spots that could be the difference between first and second place. For much of this data, I will be using 4for4's Snaps, Touches, and Targets Apps as well as analyzing each team's pace and play-calling tendencies.

This is the last week of the season for the Rundown so I appreciate everyone who has been reading this series throughout this year. While this series will be on hiatus for the offseason, expect plenty of content from myself and the rest of the 4for4 crew.

Ten Stats to Know for Week 16

  • Leading teams to titles: Jameis Winston and Drew Brees have been top three scoring quarterbacks in each of the past two weeks, averaging over 30 fantasy points per contest.
  • 30 is the new 25: Travis Kelce is 23 PPR points away from becoming just the third tight end to score 250-plus points after turning 30 years old.
  • 24 is just young: Nick Chubb is 92 rushing yards away from becoming the 21st running back since the NFL merger to reach 1500 yards before the age of 25.
  • Remember the 90’s: Three different receivers have exceeded 90 catches in three or more straight seasons. Michael Thomas (4), DeAndre Hopkins (3), Keenan Allen (3). The NFL record is six.
  • High watermark: Jameis Winston is the first NFL player to throw for over 450 yards with four or more touchdowns in consecutive games.
  • Climbing the board: Lamar Jackson has seven games with 30-plus fantasy points this season. He ranks 16th on the career list for quarterbacks based on this year.
  • Catching history: Alvin Kamara (235) is four receptions away from passing LaDainian Tomlinson (238) for the second-most receptions by a running back in their first three years. Christian McCaffrey is first (281).
  • Catching nothing: Carlos Hyde could become the sixth running back this decade to rush for over 1000 yards with 10 or fewer receptions. He currently has nine catches.
  • Catching enough: James White became the 15th running back to catch over 400 yards in five or more straight seasons. The record is 10 by Larry Centers.
  • Kyler touching the sky(ler): Kyler Murray is the seventh rookie quarterback to reach 250 fantasy points. All seven have rushed for at least 200 yards and four touchdowns.

Texans @ Buccaneers

Spread: Buccaneers +3 | Total: 51.5

A firefight to open up the fantasy championship week is perfect. The Texans have only scored under 20 points once since Week 4 and remain a top 10 offense. They are clinging to the divisional lead as well so there is no reason they'll bench starters or dial things back here. The Buccaneers are not in playoff contention but could finish above .500 so it is likely they pull out all the stops here as well. That’s good since the offense has scored over 28 points in six of the last seven games and Jameis Winston has propelled many fantasy teams to the finals.

Houston Texans

Unlike the grinding affair against the Titans, this is a contest that could shy away from Carlos Hyde and towards the aerial attack and Duke Johnson. The Buccaneers see the most pass attempts against and Deshaun Watson will get the green light here to keep up with Winston.

Team Trends That Matter

  • Week 15 saw Ryan Tannehill become the eighth quarterback to exceed 20 fantasy points against the Texans in 2019.
  • Allow a touchdown on a league-worst 68.2% of red-zone trips by opponents.
  • Score a touchdown on 29.1% of all offensive possessions, third-best in the NFL.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Deshaun Watson (5) - 15 or more fantasy points in nine of the last 10 games
  • RB Carlos Hyde (2) - Just three receptions since Week 7
  • RB Duke Johnson (2) - Played a season-low 21 snaps in Week 15
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins (5) - Eight straight games with 15-plus PPR points
  • WR Will Fuller (3) - 59 snaps played in Week 15 was his most played in over two months
  • WR Kenny Stills (1) - Over 15 PPR points in two of the last three games
  • TE Darren Fells (2) - Hasn’t reached 25 receiving yards since Week 8

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Even if both Chris Godwin and Scott Miller are out for this game, don’t expect Winston to suddenly stop throwing the ball. It’s next man up with Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson stepping into more prominent roles. Also, the tight ends and running backs could see a few more targets. There might be a running game too, but I haven’t seen it.

Team Trends That Matter

  • 13.9% of their offensive possessions end in an interception, tops in the league.
  • Have allowed just one quarterback to exceed 11 fantasy points in the last four weeks.
  • See the second-most pass attempts against (84) in the red zone of all teams.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Jameis Winston (4) - The QB2 over the past four weeks
  • RB Ronald Jones (2) - Six straight games below 60 rushing yards
  • WR Breshad Perriman (3) - The WR3 over the past three weeks
  • WR Justin Watson (1) - 10 targets in the past two weeks. Just two over the first 13 weeks.
  • TE O.J. Howard (4) - The TE12 since Week 10
  • TE Cameron Brate (2) - Week 15 was just his third game this year with five or more pass targets

Bills @ Patriots

Spread: Patriots -6 | Total: 38.5

If this is anything like the first matchup, there will be little for fantasy players to take from this game. The Bills have run for more than 80 yards in every game this season, including 135 in their first game against the Patriots. It was the four turnovers that hurt them the first time. The Patriots had their worst offensive game against the Bills in Week 4 with just 224 yards of offense and 16 total points. It will be tough for the second game to be less fruitful but don’t expect it to come close to the first Saturday game.

Buffalo Bills

Running the football will always be the key to their offense. Expect no different here with Josh Allen and Devin Singletary, who missed the first contest, to get their share of rushing volume. The passing game will have moments but the ceiling for this offense is limited by what will be a lack of touchdowns.

Team Trends That Matter

  • Allow just 1.26 points per opposing offensive drive, the second-lowest rate in the NFL.
  • Only one rushing touchdown has been allowed to an opposing running back since Week 8.
  • Have attempted the third-fewest passes (51) in the red zone this season.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Josh Allen (2) - Just two games below five rushing attempts this season
  • RB Devin Singletary (3) - Over 20 total touches in three of the last four games
  • WR John Brown (2) - Only one game above 50 receiving yards in the last four games. He hadn’t failed to reach that mark prior to this streak
  • WR Cole Beasley (1) - Week 15 was his first game without multiple receptions
  • TE Dawson Knox (0) - Five straight games below 40 receiving yards

New England Patriots

The Patriots offense has sputtered over the last month or so with just one game over 300 offensive yards in its past five. It shouldn’t end here as the dynamism from the offense is essentially gone. Julian Edelman will be a solid starter and James White could have a nice game but everyone else is a fringe option at best.

Team Trends That Matter

  • The seventh worst red zone touchdown conversion rate in the NFL at 49.1%.
  • First defense since 2012 to force four turnovers in at least five different games.
  • Lead the NFL with 88 pass attempts in the red zone.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Tom Brady (1) - Just one game over 15 fantasy points since Week 8
  • RB James White (3) - Five games with fewer than 30 snaps played this year
  • RB Sony Michel (2) - Week 15 was his first game over 100 total yards in the last eight games
  • WR Julian Edelman (4) - Season lows in catches (two) and yards (nine) playing through injury in Week 15
  • WR Mohamed Sanu (0) - Four straight games under 15 receiving yards

Rams @ 49ers

Spread: 49ers -6.5 | Total: 46

Their first matchup was a one-sided affair that saw the 49ers completely shut down the Rams offense. It will come down to Todd Gurley and his ability to get going here and keep any hopes of a playoff spot alive. They can’t fall behind like they did last week to the Cowboys. As for the 49ers, a flat effort against the Falcons after a shootout win versus the Saints was somewhat expected. They better get back up for this one to keep their division title aspirations in view.

Los Angeles Rams

As mentioned, this needs to start with Todd Gurley working against a somewhat suspect 49ers run defense. The Rams will need to throw, but hopefully, it will be in low-pressure situations in a closer game rather than to try and catch back up. There are some options here but everyone’s ceiling is limited by the 49ers pass defense.

Team Trends That Matter

  • The fastest offensive pace (20.79 seconds) when trailing by seven or more points.
  • Have allowed five different rushers to reach 75 rushing yards in the last four weeks.
  • Fourth worst defensive red zone touchdown rate allowed at 63.6%.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Jared Goff (1) - The QB9 over the past three weeks
  • RB Todd Gurley (3) - The RB8 since the team’s Week 9 bye
  • WR Cooper Kupp (3) - Hasn’t reached 70 receiving yards since Week 8
  • WR Robert Woods (3) - Five straight games with nine or more pass targets
  • WR Brandin Cooks (0) - Eight targets in Week 15 was his highest figure in eight games
  • TE Tyler Higbee (4) - The TE1 over the past three weeks since Gerald Everett’s injury

San Francisco 49ers

The second-ranked run offense against a bottom five-run defense seems like a recipe for success offensively. The only hitch for fantasy players will be the rotation of running backs limiting each other’s overall output. Start George Kittle and avoid the wide receivers unless your fantasy team is desperate.

Team Trends That Matter

  • 19 or more fantasy points allowed to four of the past five quarterbacks the 49ers have faced.
  • The 49ers punt on just 28.5% of their offensive possessions, the third-lowest rate in the NFL.
  • Opposing offenses have run just 130 plays in the red zone against the 49ers, second-fewest in the league.

Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know

  • QB Jimmy Garoppolo (2) - Just three games over 35 passing attempts this season
  • RB Raheem Mostert (3) - The RB6 over the past four weeks
  • RB Tevin Coleman (0) - Hasn’t rushed for over 40 yards since Week 8
  • WR Deebo Samuel (2) - Week 15 was just his second game this year without multiple catches
  • WR Emmanuel Sanders (2) - Just one game over 10 PPR points in his last six games
  • TE George Kittle (5) - The TE2 in the four weeks since his return from injury

Fantasy Rating Key

  • (5) - Elite option. Must start.
  • (4) - Strong option. Likely start.
  • (3) - Good option. Low-end starter to high-end backup.
  • (2) - Weak option. Possible flex or desperation play.
  • (1) - Bad option. Bench in nearly all cases.
  • (0) - Not an option. Injured, bench, or waivers.