Wow, Week 15 was a wild ride, and Week 16 is shaping up to be another adventure for players you must start! If you are still reading this column, you are in the playoffs or friends with me. Either way, congratulations to you!
Since there is no recap from last week as this writer took the week off with his family, I am going to give you a little more meat on this bone. How about two dumpster dive starts for each position? It is the holiday season after all and Daddy is all about giving you extra presents.
Let’s see what we can do to win you those Championship Trophies!
Still Sexy Even if He Is a Not-So-Sexy Start
Davis Mills (see embarrassing photoshop pic of me, S/O @CarpentierNFL) in at QB for HOU going forward with Tyrod's injury— Josh Larky ↗️ (@jlarkytweets) December 9, 2021
Cooks has been "fine" with Mills, slightly lower target share, but higher overall pass volume
In 6 games together, Brandin Cooks averages ⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/qek2lc8Ewu
Davis Mills to Brandin Cooks is the hookup we never knew we needed but keeps paying off. That crazy Josh Larky clone is slinging the ball all over the place and proving that his 300-yard performance against the Patriots back in October was no fluke. Now he gets the Chargers team who is sure to get the jump on these awful Texans, leaving Mills to play gunslinger one more time.
Davis might not have the best matchup in Week 16 as the Chargers are 13th against opposing quarterbacks. However, they have given up a passing touchdown in all but two games and got lit up like a Christmas tree against a struggling Pat Mahomes. Get Mills in your lineup this week over the likes of Mac Jones, Big Ben, and [screw it, let’s go big!] Josh Allen.
Roll Out the Hefty Package as a Week 16 Start
The Extra Present
If you are surprised by this pick, you must be new here. A long-time fan of Horse C… I mean Drew Lock; I expect this loose cannon to absolutely torch this Raiders secondary. Sure, he might also throw three picks, but the adrenaline rush is part of what we call the Drew Lock Experience.
Lock filled in admirably after that horrific injury to Teddy Bridgewater (who I am so happy to hear is doing better) and will need to show that swagger for the entire Week 16 matchup. I prefer Lock over the aforementioned Jones, both quarterbacks in the Jets/Jags disgusting matchup, and Baker Mayfield this week.
The Week 16 Matchup Embraces the Start
The Bills matchup with the Patriots is a fascinating one, and for so many reasons, I wanted to get one player from this game in the column and plant my flag. And that player is Devin Singletary. Why?
The Patriots focus will be on stopping Allen—remember we mentioned him earlier. The focus on Allen will have them playing the “bend-don’t-break” defense against the running backs. Singletary is now dominating the snaps and touches in this backfield, and he is the type of running back who can hurt the Pats. They are vulnerable on the edges as those ends crash in to get to the quarterback and occasionally give up contain.
The matchup sets up a nice game for a running back who does most of his damage between the 20s—albeit in a losing effort.
Garbage Time Gifts
The Extra Present
Listen, if you want to hear someone tout Cordarelle Patterson, this isn’t the column for you. We talk about players who make you want to throw up a little, but you know you need to swallow your pride because your whole team has COVID. Mike Davis should see enough touches to get some flex value against a rejuvenated Lions team.
I love the story, but the Lions are still 31st against opposing backs and could be without Jared Goff. So let’s bet on positive game script and some garbage time for Davis. I like Davis over players like Myles Gaskin, Rhamondre Stevenson (assuming Damien Harris plays), and Rashaad Penny.
Start Your Engines, Shift Your Gears, and Expect a Week 16 Drag Race
The Chris Godwin injury broke my heart—and my season in one league. I love Godwin more than most of my extended family, who I have to spend this week with against my will.
Can’t wait to talk politics and how the internet is brainwashing kids while I pretend to be sober.
I don’t even know how to segue to Breshad Perriman, so I am just going to change gears entirely and hope you don’t notice.
So Perriman is the most likely beneficiary of the Godwin injury… and sure, I could have said Antonio Brown, but again, we don’t do that here. So just go on Twitter to see your friends and all the other Participation Ribbon holders talk about how Brown is a Week 16 sleeper and not an obvious Top-10 play.
Anyway, back to the point.
Remember the big 58-yard catch-and-run to end the Buffalo game? It feels like ages ago after five of the past six days with football. That was the last time we saw Perriman. However, after a one-week hiatus, he is expected back to play deep threat against the Panthers in a get-right game for the Bucs. Huge boom potential here!
Staking the Reputation on a Patriot Week 16 Start
The Extra Present
Ohhhhhh yes! I am putting my reputation of outstanding Patriots takes on the line again this week with widely known first-round bust N’Keal Harry. This guy was one busted flea-flicker away from a huge game in Week 15 and now could step into a more prominent role with previous amazing call Kendrick Bourne on the COVID list. Harry has flashed a bit and I think he shines in Week 16 if given the opportunity. It’s a big swing, but one I am taking this week!
The Bills are the top-ranked defense against opposing receivers, Harry is not great, and the Patriots threw three times in their last matchup. So, what could possibly go wrong?
The Holidays are about Showing Love
I don’t even know why you read this part; I am awful at picking tight ends. But I really love this one.
With Justin Fields returning to the lineup, Cole Kmet is getting looks again, including nine (!) last week. And now he gets the Seahawks, who are 26th against opposing tight ends. So not only is this a dumpster dive play, but I am calling for him to finish as TE5 or better even if Travis Kelce and Darren Waller do play.
Big game is coming for Kmet, so get on the Kmet hype train. This is as straightforward a call as you will ever get from me. Don’t get cute.
A Christmas Miracle
The Extra Present
Don’t tell me you are thinking about betting against Rudolph on Christmas? This dude went through bullying to become the star of this season and we are going to put some respect on his name.
Just one game removed from 66 yards receiving, Kyle Rudolph will lead the sleigh into a cakewalk matchup. The Eagles are 30th against opposing tight ends and already on Santa’s naughty list for the incident in 1968. I expect a Christmas miracle here with Rudolph finishing as a Top 10 play!
Anyway kids, time for bed after that lovely story. I hope you wake up to a finals berth underneath the tree. And I hope you have a magical holiday season with your loved ones. Let’s finish strong this year and bring home the Title Belt!
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