Darius Slayton was held to just two catches and 31 yards last week against the Dolphins, but he did find the end zone for the eighth time this season. He leads all rookies in touchdowns and is averaging 8.4 targets over his last five games. Slayton is one of the few bright spots for the Giants this season, looking like a long-term starter who can grow along with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones.
This week, Slayton faces a Washington defense that is tied for third in aFPA to opposing wide receivers this season, making him a little riskier in a tougher matchup than he’s faced in each of the past two weeks. Still, he’s likely to get enough targets to provide upside for fantasy owners needing help at the position, and we have him ranked as a solid WR3 option with big-play upside.
Marquise Brown has been wildly inconsistent this season, even when healthy, but he did catch a touchdown last week, his seventh of the season. Brown ended up with 45 yards on four catches in a blowout win over the Jets last Thursday night, which was a relief after gaining negative-one yard over his previous two games combined. Despite his inconsistency, he has shown long-term potential as a playmaker and as a potential WR1. He leads all Ravens wide receivers in targets, receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, making him the only wide receiver in Baltimore worth rostering in most fantasy leagues.
This week, Brown faces a Cleveland defense that played fairly well earlier in the season but has really struggled lately, especially since Myles Garrett was suspended for at least the remainder of the year. They’re tied for 18th in aFPA to opposing wide receivers, giving Brown some upside in what should be a pretty good matchup. He’s always a boom-bust option in general, but he’s a quality gamble this week as a risky WR3 option in most leagues.
Curtis Samuel found the end zone for the seventh time this season against the Seahawks last week. However, he was held to just 31 yards on five catches. He did add 23 yards on four carries, which is nice, and he’s carried the ball now 11 times over his last four games. Samuel has upside against a vulnerable Colts secondary this week, but with the Panthers making a switch to rookie Will Grier at quarterback and Samuel’s general touchdown-dependence for fantasy production, it’s hard to trust him in most leagues. He should be considered a low-end WR3 at best in large leagues, and fantasy owners should look elsewhere if possible while we see what the Grier-led Panthers look like.
Week 16 at Atlanta Falcons
In the win over the Raiders last week Chris Conley caught four passes for 49 yards and two scores, including the game-winner with just 31 seconds remaining. With D.J. Chark out due to injury, Conley saw eight looks and registered his second career multiple-TD outing. Chark should return for Sunday’s affair, which will limit Conley’s targets. He should only be started if you’re limited on WR options, even facing a porous Atlanta pass defense.
Sterling Shepard didn’t find the end zone last week, but he recorded his first 100-yard receiving day since September, catching nine balls for 111 yards against a struggling Dolphins secondary. Shepard should continue to get fed the ball, as he’s been targeted an average 8.4 times per game when healthy this year, giving him a high floor in large leagues.
Washington is tied for third in aFPA to opposing wide receivers this season, so it’s hard to get too excited about Shepard in what could be a run-based attack. However, the Giants are not good defensively, so it’s possible both teams throw the ball a little more than their respective opponents have throughout the season. Shepard’s consistent targets make him a quality low-end WR3 option, particularly in PPR formats.
Golden Tate was held to just one catch last week, although it was a 51-yard touchdown. While he’s caught four touchdowns in his last four games, Tate’s caught just nine passes during that timeframe with Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton both producing in recent weeks. While Tate will continue to see the field, the Giants’ offense simply isn’t good enough to sustain three wide receivers, and Tate has fallen behind Shepard and Slayton in offensive snaps when all three are active. Tate has some value in deep leagues, but most fantasy owners shouldn’t risk it if better options are available. We have him outside our top-40 this week.
Week 16 at Atlanta Falcons
In the last-minute win at Oakland last week Gardner Minshew threw for just over 200 yards and two scores, both to Chris Conley. The Jaguars struggled to move the ball until the two fourth quarter touchdown drives that led to the victory. In 12 contests this season Minshew has two 300-yard performances and should have his top WR in D.J. Chark back on Sunday. Despite facing the No. 23 Falcons pass defense, he remains a QB2 option.
Gus Edwards had five carries for 35 yards last week in limited action against the Jets. He’s productive when he gets touches – 5.2 yards per carry this season – but with Mark Ingram in front of him on the depth chart, it’s hard to bank on his production in any given week. He’s mostly featured in blowout victories. This week, the Ravens might blow out the Browns – despite losing to them earlier this year – but it’s still too risky to bank on a big garbage-time workload for the second-year back out of Rutgers. He remains primarily a handcuff option for Ingram owners, with limited fantasy value outside of that capacity.
Ian Thomas struggled against the Seahawks last week in what should’ve been a very good matchup. He wound up with just two catches and 23 yards after scoring a touchdown in his previous game. This week, there’s a chance Greg Olsen returns to the lineup, but either way, fantasy owners should steer clear of the Panther tight ends. Rookie quarterback Will Grier is starting, which creates an unknown factor, Olsen’s status makes him difficult to trust and the Colts are ninth in the NFL in aFPA to opposing tight ends this year. Look elsewhere if possible.
Week 16 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Even with Deshaun Watson passing for over 240 yards and two scores last week against the TitansDarren Fells ended up with just a two-yard reception. In the last six contests Fells has totaled only eight grabs. Sure, his seven scores on the season are enticing, but he’s become a TD or bust option. Even against a poor Bucs pass defense he makes for a risky fantasy start.
Week 16 at Atlanta Falcons
Without D.J. Chark in the Jacksonville lineup last week at Oakland the Jacksonville passing attack struggled for most of the day. On four targets Dede Westbrook registered only two receptions for 14 yards, and in the past five outings he’s averaging five grabs but for just 40 yards, with one TD. Chark should be back on Sunday in Atlanta, which will help take attention away from Westbrook. Although the Falcons have problems against the pass Westbrook is just a WR3/flex option.