Daily Dr. Roto—December 9, 2019
Prescription Notes for Week 14
As much as I like and respect Packers QB Aaron Rodgers as a player, I am just not sure if he is the same Fantasy player that he used to be. Rodgers has three games all season of more than 300 yards passing. Now with the Bears and Vikings up next, I can’t imagine that he busts out for big games to help his Fantasy owners win championships.
Many people asked whether Vikings RB Alexander Mattison was going to be a good play in Week 14. He ended up having 14 carries for 46 yards rushing and 2 receptions for 18 yards. With the Vikings looking solid for the playoffs, I can see them giving Mattison about 20-25% of the workload over the next two weeks. The good news is that the Vikings play the Chargers and Packers—two of the lesser run defenses in the league.
I am speechless over the 49ers comeback victory on the road against the Saints. George Kittle’s late-game heroics was inspiring and Kyle Shanahan’s play calling was inventive and masterful. However, I am most happy for QB Jimmy Garoppolo. He really hadn’t been tested in late fourth quarter comebacks until this game, but he passed this test with flying colors. This will certainly give him all sorts of confidence moving forward.
The Falcons victory over the Panthers was predictable. The Falcons were healthy for the first time in weeks and the Panthers floundered after the abrupt firing of Ron Rivera. For the next two games I am worried about RB Christian McCaffrey’s Fantasy performance. If the Panthers have lost their will to win it might affect the way they play against Seattle and Indianapolis. If that happens, McCaffrey might only have good Fantasy weeks instead of the super ones that his owners are used to.
The difference in the Ravens/Bills game was the pressure that Bills QB Josh Allen was under all game by the Ravens defense. The Ravens swarmed at him and gave him virtually no time to throw. Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey shut down Bills WR John Brown and the Ravens minimized the effectiveness of WR Cole Beasley. This is the blueprint that other teams need to follow if they want to beat the Bills.
Browns QB Baker Mayfield was a huge disappointment once again for his Fantasy owners, throwing for only 192 passing yards with zero TDs and two INTs. However, before you bury him on the bench in Week 15 remember that he is playing the Arizona Cardinals. Mayfield has a plus matchup as does WR Jarvis Landry and TE David Njoku. It may seem hard to believe but Mayfield and the Browns might still impact Fantasy championships.
Was there another Fantasy expert in the industry who called for the Broncos upset win on the road against the Texans? I told you all that it was a trap game and I hope that you all won tons of money if you bet. Broncos QB Drew Lock played spectacularly and really looks like he can be a special player for the Broncos. As for the Texans, I think they come back next week against the Titans with a vengeance as that game could very well decide the AFC South Champion.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston showed all kinds of resiliency as he led the team to a comeback victory over the Colts. What made this especially impressive was that he did it with star WR Mike Evans on the bench with an injured hamstring. There’s a chance that Evans could be shut down with that hamstring injury. If that happens both Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson might end up having some Fantasy relevance.
If you are in desperate need of a running back in Weeks 15-16, you might want to look at Dolphins RB Patrick Laird. Laird acquitted himself nicely against the Jets rushing for 48 yards and catching 4 passes for another 38 yards. The Dolphins get the Giants and Bengals in the next two weeks, which should both be plus matchups for Laird. I would not be shocked to see Laird on numerous winning Fantasy teams.
Finally!!! Chargers WR Mike Williams found the end zone and scored a TD! It’s been crazy to think that Williams has played as well as he has but has only scored one TD. With games coming up against the Vikings and Raiders (two teams with suspect pass defenses), it wouldn’t shock me to see Williams score a couple more TDs before the season’s end.
Ryan Tannehill to A.J. Brown might end up being one of the most underrated Fantasy hookups of the season. If this duo continues to connect, it will allow for RB Derrick Henry to see more running room and it will open the middle of the field for TE Jonnu Smith. The Titans are playing some great football right now, but they get a tough matchup in Week 15 against a motivated Houston Texans team with the division in the balance.
I am not sure if you watched it, but Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury called a time out at the very start of the fourth quarter. What that meant was that the Cardinals came out of the end of the 3rd quarter timeout and were not set properly. This was the biggest waste of a timeout that I have seen all season. To make matters worse, Kyler Murray threw the ball into traffic repeatedly. If the Cardinals want to reach the next level, they will have to cut down on mental mistakes.
I was shocked to see that Patriot fans were booing the team at the end of the first half. I know that the team wasn’t playing well, but booing Tom Brady and Bill Belichick—are you kidding me?? The fans disappointment must have worked as the Patriots played better in the second half and almost came back against the Chiefs. That said, their offense seemed to sputter, and I am not sure that any Patriot player is playable in Fantasy Football outside of Julian Edelman and perhaps James White.
It might be a little too late for the Rams to make a jump back into the playoff picture, but they are playing at their best right now. WR Brandin Cooks’ return has helped open the middle for TE Tyler Higbee and WR Cooper Kupp is back to being available when QB Jared Goff needs to find him on important downs. Next week’s road game in Dallas might just be the lynchpin game to their entire season.