Fantasy Football Mailbag: Tuesday 12/20/16
Fantasy football research never stops, and roles change drastically from one week to the next. That's where our fantasy football mailbag comes into play.
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Now, let's answer some questions.
@numberFire Standard league championship, need 2 WR. Malcom Mitchell, Steve Smith Sr., Willie Snead, Sammy Watkins, Ted Ginn, Tyler Lockett
â€” Dick Florence (@Florence20171) December 20, 2016
If you've got Malcolm Mitchell available, there is no way that dude is riding your bench this week.
Mitchell didn't do much in Week 15 with just one target against the Denver Broncos, but that's largely what you expect against a team that good against receivers. He still managed to play 89.3% of the snaps, easily the tops on the team among wide receivers, and his matchup eases considerably in Week 16. The opposing New York Jets are numberFire's 31st-ranked pass defense, meaning we want any receiver who will be on the field with regularity against them, and that's what Mitchell is right now.
Additionally, not many receivers will have the touchdown upside Mitchell carries this week. He has 35.71% of the team's red-zone targets the past five games, and the New England Patriots have the highest implied team total of the week. This all combines to make Mitchell a truly elite option we can plug in with decent confidence.
As for the second slot, Sammy Watkins' Week 15 performance was a major disappointment. With just four targets and one reception, it's going to be hard to get too excited about playing him this week. However, Watkins still played 62.7% of the snaps, and the Buffalo Bills will likely have to throw the ball more than their 25 attempts last week. With the upside he brings, he has the ability to win you a week single-handedly, and we should probably go back to him in Week 16 as long as the weather complies.
Email submission from Courtney Griffin:
RB's - Montgomery, McCoy, Ware, Henry, Riddick and Farrow. tough choice here. McCoy - Not even a question. Montgomery - do you think it was a one off or there's a few yards and/or a TD in him this week? Don't expect 28 again, but don't want to get under 8 or 9.
Ty Montgomery is similar to Mitchell in a lot of ways. We know that he has had big games recently, but can we fully trust him when so much is on the line? Once again -- as with Mitchell -- the answer here is a resounding "yes."
Montgomery didn't just bring the production in Week 15 with his 162 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns; he had the usage to back it all up. Montgomery had 16 of 20 running-back carries while playing 83.6% of the snaps, the highest of any Green Bay Packers running back this year. He has seven red-zone rushes the past two games to add some sustainable upside, so this dude is a bona fide fantasy stud right now.
The matchup against the Minnesota Vikings obviously isn't drool-worthy with the Vikings ranking fifth against the rush, according to numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics. But with the Packers favored by 6.5 points and Montgomery's role looking juicy, there is no chance we should be ignoring him in championship week.
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