Fantasy Focus – Week 16 Matchups
A tough week for my Week 15 Fantasy Focus picks. Only one correct result, but was selfishly very happy with a Lions win in New York, as they keep their playoff dreams alive. We are closely approaching fantasy championship weeks and a lot is at stake. Injuries and busts are going to cause many headaches this week as we approach the end of the fantasy season.
Jaguars (6-8) @ Jets (7-7)
This matchup will consist of two teams whose form and seasons are currently moving in different directions. The Jags are coming off back to back victories and week 15’s against the Cowboys was incredibly impressive. Trevor Lawrence is starting to really materialise his first pick overall value for the team from Jacksonville and another win will put huge pressure on the current 7-7 Tennessee Titans. As for the Jets, three losses in a row now, has them scrambling to stay in the hunt. With the Bills securing the AFC East nothing less than a win will keep their hopes alive.
Trevor Lawrence is the real deal
Trevor Lawrence threw 318 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception in their incredible win against the Cowboys in week 15. Lawrence is improving week on week as an NFL starter and there are suggestions he is a top 12 fantasy QB going forward. Zay Jones had a huge game with six catches 109 yards and three touchdowns. The Jags offence will need to keep playing at this high tempo. And Lawrence will need another 300+ yard game with 3+ touchdowns to keep their AFC South chances alive.
The Jets need their defence to play the perfect game
The Jets defence, one could argue, have had a much improved season from 2021. They have kept the team in games and won games for this franchise. The Jags are an in form team, with a talented young QB who loves to air it out. The Jets secondary will need to play the perfect game and force at least two possibly three turnovers in order to have a chance in this game. With Wilson most likely under centre no Jets fans will go into this matchup confidently. Zach Wilson will need to be more accurate and keep feeding Garrett Wilson.
- Jags keep the good times coming in 6+ point victory @ Jets
- Lawrence 300+ passing yards, Engram 1 TD reception, Etienne big game
- Garrett Wilson 100+ receiving yards, Zach Wilson at least 1+ interceptions
Raiders (6-8) @ Steelers (6-8)
The Raiders are in high spirits after their miracle defensive touchdown in the final moment of their game against the Patriots last week. The Raiders have won four in their last five, and are aware that nothing less than winning out will give them at least half a chance of a wildcard playoff place. The Steelers are still stuttering and hoping to have Kenny Pickett back fit. Tomlin is very proud of his long record of never finishing a season with a win percentage less than 0.500. And in order to keep this record in place they will need to win all three of their remaining games. Both teams are playing for pride, and both squads are playing for their future roster spots, so this could end up being a cagey game.
Raiders in for another nail-biter
The Raiders have been involved in multiple one score games this season. Both on the winning and losing side. This is not too dissimilar to the Vikings in 2021 and there is a good chance the Raiders make a big step up next year. Davante Adams was kept in check by the Patriots defence last week. But with the target volume he is receiving one should expect a big bounce back game for Davante. Jacobs is having a career season and not looking like slowing down at all.
Tomlin in search of that 0.500 record
15 straight seasons for Tomlin with win percentages above 0.500! This is an incredible record to hold and one right now under huge pressure. The Steelers did well to beat the feisty Panthers in week 15 and keep alive the chances of the record staying intact. The Steelers will hope Pickett is back and healthy, however Trubisky had a clean game, although uninspiring. The Steelers defence is keeping up their end of the bargain, but the offence still seems to be looking for an identity. Najee Harris has been better the second half of the season, Diontae Johnson will be desperate for more targets as will Pickens and Freiermuth.
- Raiders win by <5 points, with big Davante game and end Tomlin’s record
- Davante Adams 100+ receiving yards, Jacobs 100+ rushing yards
- Diontae Johnson 100+ receiving yards, Freiermuth TD reception
Buccaneers (6-8) @ Cardinals (4-10)
If you have made it this far in the article, I am sure you will be questioning why you are reading about this horrific matchup. But the ramifications this game has on the NFC South is huge. The Bucs at 6-8 are only one win ahead of the remaining three NFC South teams, but they do have favourable head to head records. The Cardinals are having a terrible season too, and without Kyler Murray, no offence to Colt McCoy, but this team seems incredibly lost. The Bucs will need to take advantage of this game and make sure they win.
Is Brady due a fairytale ending?
The Brady story is a remarkable one, and we are approaching the final chapters. This season has been an absolute anomaly in his career. The Bucs have been bad and so has he. Incredibly he finds himself still at the top of his division with three weekends of football to be played. Brady knows that a ticket to the playoffs and importantly a home playoff game makes this regular season something of the past. Brady will believe deep down this could be his last shit at the Superbowl and so every next game is crucial. Brady showed glimpses of improvement in the first half against the Bengals and he will need to find his best football this weekend to help his side secure the division.
Kingsbury’s role is on the line here
The Cardinals are one of the big disappointments of 2022. They are now without Kyler Murray and this exposes Kingsbury. Kingsbury will need to scheme and coach McCoy and his side to victory for these remaining three weeks. Kingsbury’s job is on the line here, even though he recently received a huge extension. James Conner and Hopkins are crucial for the Cardinals if there is any light at the end of the tunnel here.
- Buccaneers win 5+ points
- Brady 3 TD passes, Evans 100+ yards, Godwin 2 TD receptions
- Conner sub 75 rushing yards, Hopkins 75+ receiving yards