Rich Hribar

The Worksheet

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The NFL Week 16 Worksheet

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Week 16 is here and hopefully many of you will be unwrapping a fantasy championship this weekend. If by some poor fortune you’ve already been eliminated from your postseason, then you can still dabble into daily fantasy games to keep your fantasy fix satiated.  We’re done with Thursday games for the remainder of the season, but we still have two Saturday games this week, so make sure all of your lineup needs for those games are set early on.


As for the token disclaimer, the goal of this article is to provide a top-down, statistical snapshot for each game each week, running down weekly point spreads, team totals, play calling splits, and statistical bullet points on the players and teams involved. Although we’re focusing strictly on PPR league scoring here as a baseline, there’s more than enough to spread around across formats and daily leagues. The reason we’re operating under a PPR umbrella is it allows us to cover a larger portion of the players involved in action weekly.


Lastly, as the author, it’s imperative that I note that this is NOT a start/sit column, rather an expectations column. The labels for each subset of players for each game are simply a vehicle for those expectations and have a different context for each player that you can find at the end of the column. I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points here in conjunction with the Start/Sit column posted weekly by Nick Mensio, Pat Daugherty’s rankings in the Goal Line Stand, Evan Silva’s Matchup’s column, Ray Summerlin's Waiver Wired and most importantly, your own information and thought process. Remember, you control your own team. With that out of the way, let’s hit all the Week 16 games with a PPR light…


Colts @ Ravens

13.5   Spread -13.5  
14.0   Implied Total 27.5  
16.1 31 Points/Gm 24.6 8
26.3 31 Points All./Gm 18.3 4
62.3 21 Plays/Gm 64.9 10
64.4 23 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.1 26
44.8% 10 Rush% 44.2% 12
55.2% 23 Pass% 55.8% 21
47.5% 32 Opp. Rush % 41.8% 14
52.6% 1 Opp. Pass % 58.2% 19


  • Baltimore ranks second in the league in points per play allowed (.281) while the Colts rank 31st (.408).
  • The Ravens have scored a touchdown on 32.4 percent (11-of-34) of their drives over the past three weeks (fourth in the league).
  • Joe Flacco has averaged 7.3 yards per attempt over that span (15th) after posting 5.3 Y/A prior (39th).
  • Indianapolis is last in the league in yards per attempt allowed to opposing passers (8.3 Y/A).
  • The Colts rank 31st in rate of completions allowed to gain 10 or more yards (57.3 percent) and 32nd in rate of completions allowed to gain 20 or more yards (23.1 percent).
  • The Colts have faced 41.0 rushing attempts per game over the past three weeks as teams have rushed 60 percent of their offensive plays against them over that span. Both totals are the highest in the league.
  • The Colts average 1.5 offensive touchdowns per game, tied with San Francisco for the fewest in the league.


Trust: Joe Flacco (there is a slight concern here that volume won’t be high and he’ll have to make the most of his opportunities, but he has 16 or more points in three straight while the Colts have allowed the most QB1 weeks to non-QB1s on the season), Alex Collins (he had a down week after a hot stretch, but still tallied 17 touches and the game script here should be strongly in his favor against a team that has been facing a ton of volume on the ground recently)


Bust: Jacoby Brissett (he’s been the QB21 or lower in four straight while the highest a passer has finished in Baltimore this season has been QB21), T.Y. Hilton (using him is strictly chasing a big play and while Baltimore has allowed a handful of splash plays since losing Jimmy Smith for the season, Hilton has one reception longer than 16 yards over his past five games), Frank Gore (a huge road dog against a run defense that has gotten better as the season has progressed, Baltimore is allowing just 62.5 rushing yards per game over their past seven games to opposing backfields)


Reasonable Return: Mike Wallace (he’s been a top-30 wideout in four of his past six games with 66.7 yards per game over that span while Jeremy Maclin is looking to be doubtful against one of the most giving secondaries in the league), Ben Watson (there’s not a high ceiling here as he has four or fewer catches in five straight games, but is on the streaming radar as he has been a TE1 in two of his past three while the Colts have allowed double-digit points to a tight end in three of their past four games), Jack Doyle (Doyle’s 71 receptions are just six behind being the second most in a season for a Colts tight end while Baltimore is 20th in receptions per game allowed to opposing tight ends and has allowed over 70 yards receiving to the position in three of their past five games)


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Vikings @ Packers


MinnesotaRank@Green BayRank
-10   Spread 10  
25.0   Implied Total 15.0  
24.5 10 Points/Gm 22.1 17
17.3 2 Points All./Gm 23.8 21
66.2 7 Plays/Gm 62.2 22
59.9 4 Opp. Plays/Gm 64.2 20
46.6% 5 Rush% 38.5% 24
53.4% 28 Pass% 61.5% 9
38.8% 5 Opp. Rush % 45.4% 29
61.2% 28 Opp. Pass % 54.6% 4


  • The Packers have allowed opponents to score on 40.3 percent of their possessions (31st in the league) and have allowed a touchdown on 23.5 percent of the opponent's drives, the highest rate in the league.
  • Case Keenum has scored 16 or more points in seven consecutive games, the longest streak among active players.
  • Green Bay has allowed four consecutive QB1 scoring weeks and 13 touchdown passes over that span, the most in the league.
  • The Packers have allowed a touchdown pass on 17.5 percent of their drives, 30th in the league.
  • Adam Thielen has caught 21-of-28 targets for 298 yards and two touchdowns over his past two games versus Green Bay.
  • 72.6 percent (37-of-51) of the offensive scores by the Packers have been touchdowns, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Vikings have allowed opponents to score a touchdown on 14.6 percent of their drives, second-lowest rate in the league behind the Jaguars (11.7 percent).
  • In Aaron Rodgers' first game back, 71.6 percent of the Packers' plays were passing plays after having 54.9 percent rate in the seven previous games with Brett Hundley as the starter.
  • Packers running backs totaled just 14 touches in that Week 15 game, their lowest total in a game this season.


Trust: Case Keenum (he’s had one of the best floors at the position over the past seven weeks while drawing a Green Bay defense that is bleeding points and touchdowns to the position over the past month), Adam Thielen (now that he’s not playing in the slot as much as early in the season, he’s had a lower floor, but this is a spot for spike week against a Green Bay defense that has allowed seven touchdowns to wideouts over their past four games)  


Bust: Brett Hundley (his usable moments have come against limping defenses while the Vikings are anything but, ranking fourth in passing points allowed per game), Jordy Nelson (he’s averaging 22.6 yards per game over his past eight with a high of 35 and with Davante Adams likely to be out, will draw a matchup with Xavier Rhodes), Jamaal Williams (his volume should rebound with Hundley starting again, but he’s going to need a touchdown to be viable as the Vikings are second in yards from scrimmage allowed to backfields), Geronimo Allison (he would've been a deeper option had Rodgers been active, but there are better waiver options in better matchups to go after),  Kyle Rudolph (he's looking limited again and ran just 11 pass routes last week while hobbled so he may not get a lot of volume, but if you have to play him, he’s scored in four straight games while the Packers have allowed four touchdowns to opposing tight ends over their past four games)


Reasonable Return: Stefon Diggs (he’s averaged just 47 yards on 6.4 targets per game over his past seven games, but the Packers have allowed a pair of wide receiver teammates to score double-digit points in seven games this year), Latavius Murray (game script should be in his favor and he’s had 12 or more points in six of his past eight games, but still needs to find the end zone to find his footing as he’s been the RB23, RB43 and RB59 in the games in which he’s failed to score over that span), Jerick McKinnon (his 42 receptions since Dalvin Cook was lost for the season trail only Le’Veon Bell and Alvin Kamara over that span and the Packers are allowing the most receiving points per game to running backs), Randall Cobb (he’s on the table as a low-ceiling WR3/flex option as he has 15 receptions over the past two weeks and has been a WR3 or better in four of his past seven games while Adams should be inactive to keep targets high)


Editor's note: DFS experts share their favorite Week 16 RBs. Find out who here!


Rams @ Titans


LA RamsRank@TennesseeRank
-6.5   Spread 6.5  
27.5   Implied Total 21.0  
31.3 1 Points/Gm 21.1 19
19.4 5 Points All./Gm 22.8 18
62.2 23 Plays/Gm 60.4 29
63.6 15 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.6 27
46.2% 6 Rush% 44.7% 11
53.9% 27 Pass% 55.3% 22
40.5% 9 Opp. Rush % 37.9% 3
59.5% 24 Opp. Pass % 62.1% 30


  • The Rams average 3.1 offensive touchdowns on the road this season, most in the league.
  • The Titans are 31st in red zone plays allowed (134) and plays allowed inside of the 10-yard line (64).
  • The Rams lead the league in red zone opportunities per game (4.4) and are third in red zone touchdowns per game (2.4).
  • Todd Gurley leads the league in fantasy points scored inside of the red zone (113.1) and 10-yard line (78.1) on the season.
  • 15.9 percent of Jared Goff's pass attempts have come from inside of the red zone, the highest rate for all full-season starters.
  • Goff is the first Rams quarterback to throw multiple touchdowns in four straight games since Marc Bulger in 2006.
  • Robert Woods returned to play 73 percent of the team snaps in Week 15 and lead the Rams with 33.3 percent of the team targets.
  • Tennessee has allowed seven touchdowns to running backs on the season, the fewest in the league.
  • Delanie Walker has been targeted on 24.4 percent of his routes, the highest rate for all tight ends.


Trust: Todd Gurley (although backs haven’t found the end zone against the Titans and Tennessee is second in rushing points allowed to backs, Gurley has overcome a slew of tougher paper matchups over the past several weeks and has over 100-yards from scrimmage in eight of his past nine games)


Bust: Sammy Watkins (with Woods back on the field, there are better options to chase a touchdown from at the position as he averages just 2.1 receptions per game over his past 11 games), Marcus Mariota (last week was his high highest scoring week since Week 3, but he’s been a QB1 just three times on the season and the Rams are seventh in passing points allowed per game), DeMarco Murray/ Derrick Henry (the matchup is in place as the Rams are 27th in rushing points allowed to backfields, but the split here still favors Murray, who has been a top-30 back in just two of his past seven games)


Reasonable Return: Jared Goff (he’s had just 78 pass attempts over the past three weeks and has 225 passing yards or fewer in four of his past five games, which has capped his ceiling, but the yardage could rebound as Tennessee is 26th in yardage allowed per game to passers and he's still throwing multiple touchdowns per game), Robert Woods (he returned to inherit the same role in the passing game and has been a WR2 or better in six of his past nine games with double-digit points in seven of those games), Rishard Matthews (he has five receptions or a touchdown in four of his past five games), Delanie Walker (his target volume is stable regardless of matchup and has scored in three of his past four games and while the Rams are sixth in receptions allowed to the tight end position, they have allowed five touchdowns to the position over their past seven games), ), Cooper Kupp (you need a touchdown for him to be effective as he’s only finished higher that WR38 three times with Woods active, but this could be a good week to chase that as the Titans have struggled to cover the middle of the field)


Bills @ Patriots

BuffaloRank@New EnglandRank
12   Spread -12  
17.5   Implied Total 29.5  
18.9 23 Points/Gm 28.2 4
21.9 16 Points All./Gm 19.6 6
62.8 18 Plays/Gm 65.9 9
66.5 30 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.9 18
49.0% 2 Rush% 40.4% 22
51.0% 31 Pass% 59.7% 11
43.6% 21 Opp. Rush % 38.8% 4
56.4% 12 Opp. Pass % 61.2% 29


  • Tom Brady has thrown an interception in four consecutive games for the first time since 2013.
  • Buffalo is allowing a touchdown pass once every 304.5 passing yards, the lowest rate in the league. League average is allowing a passing touchdown every 169.5 passing yards.
  • Brady has thrown two or fewer touchdowns in 13 of his past 16 December games against divisional opponents, averaging 234 passing yards per game in those weeks with three 300-yard passing games.
  • The Bills have allowed one quarterback to finish higher than QB12 on the season (Jameis Winston) despite having eight games versus quarterbacks that are in the top half of seasonal scoring at the position.
  • 76.6 percent of Rob Gronkowski's receptions have gained 10 or more yards, the highest rate for all tight ends in the league and third-highest rate for all players.
  • Gronkowski has had 34.4 percent of the team targets over his past three games played after 19.2 percent in his nine previous games.
  • Buffalo has allowed 40 runs of 10 or more yards since trading Marcel Dareus prior to Week 9, the most in the league.
  • The Bills are allowing 149.6 rushing yards per game over that span, the most in the league.
  • 14.6 percent of Dion Lewis' rushing attempts have gained 10 or more yards, the third highest rate for all running backs with 50 or more carries on the season.
  • Just 57 percent of the yardage gained by the Bills has come via passing, the lowest rate in the league.


Trust: Rob Gronkowski (although he’s typically tormented the Bills on the road near his hometown and the Bills have allowed just three touchdowns to opposing tight ends, he’s scorching at the moment with 23 plus points in three straight games while his usage just keeps rising)


Bust: Tom Brady (you’re still playing him if somehow you’re still alive with him, but he’s been the QB19 or lower in three straight games, has underperformed in late season division games, while the Bills have allowed the fewest passing scores on the season), Tyrod Taylor (he’s been the QB18 or lower in four of his five starts on the road while he has just one touchdown pass over his past four games versus New England), Kelvin Benjamin (he had 4-104 against the Patriots earlier in the season with the Panthers, but this Patriots secondary has been much better since then as the last lead boundary receiver to finish as a WR2 or better against New England was Demaryius Thomas back in Week 10)


Reasonable Return: LeSean McCoy (like his quarterback, he’s been better in Buffalo, averaging 78.3 yards from scrimmage per game on the road as opposed to 117.1 per game at home, but the Patriots have struggled with backs that are used in both facets of the offense over the past three weeks, allowing over 100-yards from scrimmage to three straight leads backs, including McCoy himself), Brandin Cooks (after a spike in target volume immediately following the injury to Chris Hogan, Cooks’ target share has been just 15.9 percent over the past three weeks and Gronk didn’t even play in one of those games, but he is still a splash away against a team that just allowed 18 receptions for 209 yards to the Miami wide receivers), Dion Lewis (he’s posted double-digit points in five of his past six games while the Bills have been shredded on the ground regularly over the back half of the season), Charles Clay (after having just 10.9 percent of the team targets over his first four games since returning to the lineup, he has 31.8 percent of the targets over the past two weeks and the Patriots rank 23rd in receptions allowed to opposing tight ends), Mike Gillislee (with just Lewis and Gillislee looking like they'll carry the running back duties, Gillislee is back in play for touches and scoring opportunities against the league's worst run defense over the past seven weeks)


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Rich Hribar is a husband, father, sports meteorologist and a slave to statistics. A lifelong sports fan and fantasy gamer. You can find him on Twitter @LordReebs.
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