Football

War Room: Championship Week Starts And Sits

Welcome to the War Room. Here we use intelligence and analysis to help you strategize and choose a unit to defeat your adversary.

WELCOME TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP! You have survived for 15 weeks to make it to this final game. This one is for all the money, all the marbles, all of the bragging rights. This is your final start/sit of the season. Let’s make it a good one!

Quarterback

Start

Russell Wilson vs. Arizona Cardinals

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Russell Wilson: This is a “don’t-over-think” pick. Wilson has not been great in fantasy over the past five weeks as the QB25. However, he is still the fantasy QB4 and you cannot afford to sit him in this matchup

Arizona Cardinals: Allowing the most fantasy points to QBs on the season and the eighth-most over the past five weeks

Arizona Cardinals: Have allowed 18 or more fantasy points in five of the last six games and over 20 points from Weeks 8-13

Arizona Cardinals: Rank 28th in DVOA against the pass

Over/Under: Over/under is 51 points, meaning that Vegas expects the game to be high scoring. There will be plenty of opportunities for Wilson to throw

Drew Lock vs. Detroit Lions

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Drew Lock: 5:3 TD:INT ratio

Drew Lock: More fantasy points over the past three weeks than Kyler MurrayKirk CousinsBaker MayfieldAndy DaltonGardner MinshewJacoby Brissett, etc.

Detroit Lions: Allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs on the season

Detroit Lions: Allowed 18 or more fantasy points in 11 of 15 games this season

Detroit Lions: Rank 29th in DVOA against the pass

Jameis Winston vs. Houston Texans

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Jameis Winston: This may be a “duh” pick, but Winston has potentially lost three WRs with hamstring issues, leaving only Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson as well as his TEs

Jameis Winston: Has thrown for less than 300 yards once since Week 6, including 458 yards in Week 15 without Mike Evans

Jameis Winston: Is the fantasy QB2 over the past five weeks

Houston Texans: Allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to QBs on the season and the most over the past five weeks

Houston Texans: Have allowed 25 or more fantasy points in four of the past five weeks, including Drew Lock and Tom Brady

Houston Texans: Rank 26th in DVOA against the pass

Sit

Baker Mayfield vs. Baltimore Ravens

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Baker Mayfield: Fantasy QB31 on the season in points per game, QB18 in total fantasy points

Baker Mayfield: Has thrown for 300+ yards only three times on the season.

Baker Mayfield: Has thrown for multiple TDs only four times, the same amount games he has thrown for multiple interceptions

Baltimore Ravens: Allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to QBs on the season, the fewest over the past five weeks

Baltimore Ravens: Allowed fewer than 10 fantasy points from Weeks 9-15 to QBs including Deshaun Watson, Tom Brady, and Josh Allen.

Baltimore Ravens: Have only allowed one game above 18 fantasy points to a QB

Baltimore Ravens: Rank fourth in DVOA against the pass

Tom Brady vs. Buffalo Bills

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Tom Brady: Fantasy QB29 over the past five weeks in points per game, QB21 in total points

Tom Brady: Has produced fewer than 13 fantasy points in four of the last five games and under 15 in five of the last six

Buffalo Bills: Allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to QBs on the season

Buffalo Bills: Allowed under five fantasy points to Brady in Week 4

Buffalo Bills: Rank third in DVOA against the pass

Over/Under: Over/under is 38.5. This will be a low-scoring, defensive affair

Derek Carr @ Los Angeles Chargers

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Derek Carr: Fantasy QB28 in points per game, QB17 in total points

Derek Carr: Has produced fewer than 15 fantasy points seven times

Derek Carr: Has not thrown for over 300 yards on the season

Los Angeles Chargers: Allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to QBs on the season

Los Angeles Chargers: Only allowed 13 fantasy points to Carr in Week 10

Los Angeles Chargers: Have only allowed over 18 fantasy points twice on the season

Los Angeles Chargers: Have not allowed more than 218 passing yards since Week 9

Running Back

Start

Devonta Freeman vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

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Devonta Freeman: Ranks 13th in targets despite missing two games

Devonta Freeman: Has averaged 16.9 fantasy points against teams that are in the bottom half of the league in fantasy points allowed to RBs

Jacksonville Jaguars: Allowing the second-most fantasy points on the season and the most over the past five weeks

Jacksonville Jaguars: Have allowed six 100-yard rushers on the season

Jacksonville Jaguars: Rank 31st in DVOA against the run

Patrick Laird vs. Cincinnati Bengals

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Patrick Laird: Three straight games of 15 or more touches and five targets

Cincinnati Bengals: Allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to RBs on the season

Cincinnati Bengals: Have allowed five RBs to produce double-digit fantasy games in the past two weeks

Cincinnati Bengals: Ranks 27th in DVOA against the run and 30th against RBs in coverage

Mike Boone vs. Green Bay Packers

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Mike Boone: Both Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison are out with injury

Mike Boone: After Cook went down with a shoulder injury in Week 15, Boone went for 13 carries for 56 yards and 2 TDs and 2 receptions for 21 yards

Mike Boone: Ran a 4.49 40-yard dash, produced a 100th percentile burst score, and had back to back seasons of 20+ receptions in college

Green Bay Packers: Allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to RBs on the season

Green Bay Packers: Allowing the seventh-most yards on the ground and 10th-most receptions to RBs

Green Bay Packers: Ranks 25th in DVOA against the run

Sit

Carlos Hyde @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Carlos Hyde: Fantasy RB37 on the season

Carlos Hyde: Has produced single-digit fantasy games eight times on the season

Carlos Hyde: Only has 15 targets on the season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Allowing the third-fewest fantasy points on the season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Have allowed the fewest rushing yards on the season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rank first in DVOA against the run

Le’Veon Bell vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

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Le’Veon Bell: Fantasy RB25 in PPG over past five weeks

Le’Veon Bell: Has only four TDs on the season

Pittsburgh Steelers: Allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to RBs on the season

Pittsburgh Steelers: Have not allowed more than 15 fantasy points to an RB on the season

Pittsburgh Steelers: Rank third in DVOA against the run and against RBs in coverage

Adrian Peterson vs. New York Giants

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Adrian Peterson: Fantasy RB38 on the season

Adrian Peterson: Has only 17 targets on the season

New York Giants: Have allowed the third-fewest rushing yards in the past five weeks

New York Giants: Rank eighth in DVOA against the run and 30th against the pass

Wide Receiver

Start

T.Y. Hilton vs. Carolina Panthers

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T.Y. Hilton: Has five or more targets in every game this season, including his nine in his first game back from injury in Week 15

Carolina Panthers: Allowing the third-most fantasy points to WRs on the season

Carolina Panthers: Have allowed the most receptions and third-most yards to WRs on the season

D.K. Metcalf vs. Arizona Cardinals

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D.K. Metcalf: 70 yards and/or a TD in five of last six games

D.K. Metcalf: Six or more targets in nine games this season

Arizona Cardinals: Allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to WRs and sixth-most over the past five weeks

Arizona Cardinals: Have allowed double-digit fantasy points to 21 WRs on the season

Arizona Cardinals: Ranks 28th in DVOA against the pass, 27th, 12th, and 29th against WRs in coverage

Over/Under: Over/under is 51. This should be a high scoring game. There will be plenty of throwing and plenty of targets to Metcalf

Michael Gallup @ Philadelphia Eagles

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Michael Gallup: Fantasy WR28 on the season

Michael Gallup: Five games of over 15 fantasy points on the season

Philadelphia Eagles: Allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to WRs on the season

Philadelphia Eagles: Have allowed 34.9, 32.4, and 24 fantasy points to outside receivers over the past five three weeks

Philadelphia Eagles: Rank 20th in DVOA against the pass and 11th against the run, 24th, 21st, and 22nd against WRs in coverage

Sit

Tyrell Williams @ Los Angeles Chargers

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Tyrell Williams: Fantasy WR55 in PPG and WR46 in total points

Tyrell Williams: WR71 over the past five weeks

Tyrell Williams: Below eight fantasy points in five of the last seven games

Los Angeles Chargers: Allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to WRs on the season and the fewest fantasy points over the past five weeks

Los Angeles Chargers: Have allowed the fewest yards and tied for the fewest TDs over the past five weeks

Robby Anderson vs Pittsburgh Steelers

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Robby Anderson: Fantasy WR58 on the season

Robby Anderson: Has produced eight single-digit games this season

Pittsburgh Steelers: Have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to WRs over the past five weeks

Pittsburgh Steelers: Have allowed one 100-yard receiving on the season

Pittsburgh Steelers: Rank fifth in DVOA against the pass

Over/Under: Over/under is 39. This will be a low scoring game that will be dominated by the run and defense

John Brown @ New England Patriots

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John Brown: Produce 5.6 fantasy points in two of the last three weeks

John Brown: Only has two games over 20 fantasy points and four over 15 fantasy points

New England Patriots: Allowing the fewest fantasy points to WRs on the season

New England Patriots: Have allowed more than 15 points to a WR once on the season

New England Patriots: Rank first overall in DVOA against the pass, and first against all WRs in coverage

Over/Under: Over/under is 38.5. This will be a low scoring, defensive game. Brown will likely not get many opportunities

Tight End

Start

Jacob Hollister vs. Arizona Cardinals

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Jacob Hollister: Six or more targets in five-of-eight games since becoming starter in Week 7

Arizona Cardinals: Allowing the most fantasy points to tight ends on the season

Arizona Cardinals: Have allowed a TD to a tight end in every game but two this season

Arizona Cardinals: Have allowed TEs to produce nine games of over 15 fantasy points and five games over 20 fantasy points

Arizona Cardinals: Rank last in the league in DVOA in coverage of TEs

O.J. Howard vs. Houston Texans

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O.J. Howard: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scotty Miller are out with hamstring injuries

O.J. Howard: 19 targets over the past three weeks

O.J. Howard: TE11 over the past three weeks

Houston Texans: Allowing the third-most fantasy points to TEs over the past five weeks

Houston Texans: Have allowed over 16 fantasy points to a TE in three of the past five games

Jared Cook @ Tennessee Titans

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Jared Cook: Fantasy TE10 on the season

Jared Cook: Double-digit fantasy points from Week 5-14 (9.4 in Week 15)

Tennessee Titans: Allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to TEs on the season

Tennessee Titans: Have allowed eight double-digit fantasy games to TEs on the season

Tennessee Titans: Rank 22nd in DVOA in the coverage of TEs

Sit

Darren Fells @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Darren Fells: Single-digit fantasy points in six of the last eight games

Darren Fells: Four or fewer targets in each of the last six games

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to TEs over the past five weeks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Have allowed a maximum of 6.3 fantasy points to TEs in the past four weeks

Jason Witten @ Philadelphia Eagles

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Jason Witten: Fantasy TE15 in PPG on the season

Jason Witten: Single-digit fantasy games in four of the past six and five of the past eight games

Philadelphia Eagles: Allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to TEs on the season

Philadelphia Eagles: Have only allowed thee double-digit fantasy games to TEs on the season

Philadelphia Eagles: Rank 11th in DVOA against TEs in coverage

Mike Gesicki vs. Cincinnati Bengals

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Mike Gesicki: Fantasy TE25 on the season

Mike Gesicki: Only three double-digit fantasy games on the season, single-digits over the last two weeks

Cincinnati Bengals: Have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points over the past five weeks

Cincinnati Bengals: Have allowed a maximum of 30 yards to a tight end over the past four games

And that is the end of your briefing. I hope you have found these useful throughout the season and they have gotten you to this point. Thank you for your support and your readership.

Now go, defeat your adversaries. Win the battle. Win the war! Good luck in the championship!

Sources

Football Outsiders DVOA

FFToday – Fantasy Points Allowed

Over/Unders

ESPN – Defensive Yards and Points

Football Guys – Snap Counts

Slot Snaps

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