Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders for Week 16.
LeSean McCoy, in his triumphant return to the starting lineup, total yards versus Washington 84.5
Scott –I'm glad this dilemma doesn't litter my rosters this week. The Eagles, Andy Reid, a back off a major injury, what could possibly go wrong? I'm shading UNDER because I tend not to trust anyone off a multiple-week layoff. I'd prefer to avoid McCoy in Week 16 unless backed into a corner.
Brandon – OVER He picked up most of this number through the air in the last meeting (67). McCoy is a YFS machine, and if he’s on the field, I’m almost always going to take the over on this number.
Dalton – UNDER. While I expect McCoy to lead the team in carries, Bryce Brown should still be in the mix, and with the way McCoy's season has gone, he'd hardly be a lock to beat this number even if he wasn't coming back from a serious concussion and sharing touches.
Sam Bradford, off his finest fantasy effort of the season, passing yards at Tampa 289.5
Brandon – UNDER I know the matchup is favorable, but Bradford averages a lowly 6.8 YPA and has gone under this number in 11 of 14 games. You can’t just assume 290 yards for a guy averaging just 223 per game because the matchup is good.
Dalton – OVER. It's a mark he's reached just three times this season, but Tampa Bay has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year (and 8.1 YPA). Conversely, the Bucs have given up the fewest YPC in the league (3.5), which should dictate St. Louis leaning toward the pass.
Andy – OVER. The match-ups don't get any better, and Amendola is back in the mix. Wouldn't be at all surprised by another 300-plus yard effort.
Sunday night showcase. Pick a passer: Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson
Dalton – WILSON. I don't particularly love either in what should be a defensive battle, but while Seattle may be down two cornerbacks, home field here is huge. I'm a big Kaepernick fan and hope I'm wrong, but there's just no denying how well Wilson has played at home this season.
Andy – WILSON. His home stats are silly (12 TDs, one INT). The absence of negative plays gives him the edge here. Both QBs offer a rushing safety net.
Brad – WILSON. Along with RGIII, both have revolutionized league with read option, but Wilson runs it almost flawlessly. San Fran has surrenders just four multi-TD pasers and 5.9 yards per attempt over its past five games, but I'm riding the Russ Bus. With the 12th man behind him and sporting a 118.4 QB rating in six home games, he will be light years better in the rematch.
Chris Johnson, still smoking from his fifth 100-yard game of the season, total yards at Green Bay 94.5
Andy – Sure, I'll take the OVER. As we've seen with this dude several times over the years, it only takes one play.
Brad – UNDER. Though home runs count, remove Johnson's 94-yard sprint Monday night and he averaged a wretched 1.4 yards per carry. Add in a healthy Clay Mathews – RBs have averaged just 4.0 yards per carry with Mr. Fathead in the lineup – and the strong likelihood of an insurmountable Titans deficit, and Johnson finishes in the 80-90 total yard range.
Scott –Basically we're betting on whether or not Johnson will bust off a long run in garbage time, that's what it will probably come down to. I'm going UNDER. The Packers are healing up at the right time.
Trent Richardson, who’s averaged just 2.9 yards per carry over the past four weeks, total standard fantasy points 12.5
Scott –I'm going UNDER, though I really hate to do it. We know Richardson is the dedicated goal-line option and he certainly passes the eye test. But his YPC has been under water for several weeks now, and he's surprisingly underused in the passing game.
Brandon – UNDER T-Rich has been saving his bacon with TDs of late, but Denver hasn’t allowed a rushing TD to an RB at home this season. The Broncos are a very good defense, and Peyton Manning should put the Cleveland offense in a pass-heavy catchup mode fairly early one. I think the situation is a dire set up for the Browns rookie RB.
Dalton – UNDER. I'm a believer in Richardson's future, but he relies entirely too much on scoring right now, and the Broncos are as stingy as it gets to opposing backs. Plus, with Cleveland as 13.5-point dogs, it's going to be tough to count on him getting a ton of carries with the team likely playing from mostly behind.
What will Stevan Ridley have more of: FUMBLES or TOUCHDOWNS at Jacksonville?
Brad – TOUCHDOWNS. Danny Woodhead was fantastic against the Niners, but Belichick needs Ridley's power in the playoffs. Jacksonville, which has allowed the second-most fantasy points to RBs this season, is a terrific opponent to help repair one's confidence. It would be no surprise if he pounded the pylons more than once.
Scott – It's TOUCHDOWNS, no doubt about that. Fumbles are still largely-random events, even with the most mistake-prone of backs. Most Ridley touchdowns come by unmistakable design; he's second in the league in red-zone and goal-line touches. I suspect the Patriots realize it's time to get their most-talented back into the mix again.
Brandon – TOUCHDOWNS Ridley has 10 TDs and four fumbles. This is simple math. And Jacksonville’s run defense is so gawd awful that it wouldn’t be surprising if Ridley scored a couple times. Either way, you’ll want him in your lineup.
Danario ‘Donut’ Alexander receptions versus Antonio Cromartie and the Jets 4.5
Brandon – OVER I think San Diego will look to re-establish Alexander, especially with Malcom Floyd out. Before his zero last week, Alexander had at least five receptions in five straight games, even against tough matchups like Pittsburgh and Denver.
Dalton – UNDER. It's tough to predict how a defense will dictate coverage, but I'll assume Cromartie shadows Alexander on Sunday, especially with so few other options in San Diego's passing attack right now. The Jets' entire secondary is impressive regardless, having allowed the second fewest fantasy points to opposing WRs this season. Quarterbacks have a 60.2 rating when throwing to Cromartie this year.
Andy – UNDER. We've had this discussion already (right here). I cannot trust Philip Rivers right now, certainly not when facing the Jets.
Rob Gronkowski, assuming he’s active, receiving yards at Jacksonville 49.5
Dalton – UNDER. I'd still be mildly surprised if he returns this week and even if he does, I'd expect limited snaps. Of course, he could easily surpass this mark while playing half a game, but I just think being conservative here is the best route. The Pats don't need Gronk to beat the Jags and are obviously more inclined to think long term.
Andy – UNDER. I'm not assuming he'll be active. That's kind of a wacky assumption, considering the team.
Brad – OVER. Gronk has practiced in consecutive days, though with limitations. If he's on the active roster, he should see ample action in a matchup perfect for shaking off the dust.
Arizona Cardinals D/ST, No. 6 in per game at its position since Week 11, total number of sacks/turnovers versus Chicago 4.5
Andy – OVER. C'mon. Don't make me explain this. I'm a Bears fan.
Brad – OVER. The Bears offensive line is in complete disrepair. Cutler/Campbell have been sacked the same number of times as Vick/Foles. Arizona has coaxed 13 picks in since Week 11. Smirks are sure to grace His Smugness' (Cutler's) face.
Scott – I'm going UNDER because I expect Chicago to control the game, through Matt Forte and the defense. Flow of the game is a gigantic part of the fantasy defense point chase. You'll know after a quarter (maybe just 5-10 minutes) if you made the right move. I still have to side with the depth of the Bears here, and if Chicago is leading, Jay Cutler will be kept out of harm's way.
Wideout roulette. Stack your chips on one of the following: Danny Amendola (at TB), Cecil Shorts (vs. NE), Pierre Garcon (at Phi) or Brandon Lloyd (at Jac)
Scott – SHORTS is your Huckleberry. The Jags figure to be trailing most of this game, and while the Patriots secondary has improved, this isn't the 1976 Steelers. Jump start the truck, Fred and Lamont: garbage time is a beautiful thing.
Brandon – SHORTS Hard to go against a guy that is No. 6 among WRs in fantasy PPG since Week 7, especially when his team is likely to have to throw the ball most of the day while chasing Tom Brady and company.
Dalton – GARCON. Great question, as I can see a strong case for all of them. But with RG3 likely back and with what Garcon has done since returning from injury, I'd have a hard time benching him over any of the alternatives, especially against a Philly secondary that has been torched over the second half of the season.
Andy – PIERRE. But there's very little separation for me between Garcon, Shorts & Amendola. Spin the wheel, pick a receiver. If you're bullish on Lloyd, however, you're on your own.
Brad – SHORTS. Over his past four games the surprise sensation has totaled 91.0 yards per contest. In a game where passes should be aplenty for Chad Henne, the Jag won't sag. A final line in range of 6-100-1 is very attainable.
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