Five More Week 15 Storylines
A.J. Brown stays hot with 8/114/1. The question for Brown had been volume. Sunday he had more of it than he had ever seen, catching a career-high eight passes on 13 targets, five more looks than his previous season best. Brown freed the Titans from their own three-yard line with a 60-yard catch on the second play from scrimmage and never looked back. The sensational rookie has now reached at least 114 yards in three of his past four games, scoring three times in the process. Sunday's 60-yarder and last week’s 91-yard touchdown have helped goose his numbers, but that is something big-play threats/YAC monsters do: Pump up the box score with game-breaking plays. There are still reasons for caution heading into Week 16. The Saints are a foreboding matchup, and the Titans like to ration Ryan Tannehill’s attempts. As was the case on Sunday, however, it’s going to be difficult to limit Tanne’s volume vs. the mighty Saints. Brown is a WR2 with WR1 upside.
Miles Sanders has career day in Washington. Upstaged by Boston Scott in Week 14, Sanders made sure to keep the Eagles’ backfield to himself against the Redskins, clearing 100 yards on the ground for the first time while setting an Eagles rookie record for running back yards from scrimmage (172). Sanders scored via both land and air and contributed a 56-yard run. It was an effort both the Eagles and fantasy owners had been waiting for. Whether Sanders gets to repeat it for Week 16’s all-important divisional showdown with the Cowboys will depend on whether Jordan Howard (shoulder) is finally ready to return. Even if Howard plays, Sanders will be firmly ahead of him in the championship week rankings.
Bengals bring themselves closer to Joe Burrow. Maybe Andy Dalton needed to prove something to himself. Instead, he proved why the Bengals will be moving on in the offseason. Dalton kept challenging Stephon Gilmore and losing, ultimately finishing with four interceptions in a contest where the Patriots’ offense would have allowed the Bengals to make a game of it had Dalton not kept giving it away. It is unreal that Dalton has lasted as long as he has under center in Cincinnati. But all good streaks must end, and 2019 has been about Dalton playing his way out and LSU’s Burrow playing his way in. Even though he’s old for a prospect (23 in January), Burrow has likely locked himself in as the next quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tom Brady falters again, but Pats win easily. Brady faced a team waltzing to the No. 1 pick and came away with only 128 yards on 29 attempts. Brady was sailing passes left and right, including a potential Mohamed Sanu touchdown. Although the overthrow was Brady’s inaccuracy weapon of choice, he also turfed a likely Sony Michel score. The greatest player in league history has now posted a 4.7 YPA or lower in back-to-back starts, and is averaging a Flacco-ian 6.47 yards per attempt on the year. Hardly ideal for a player who actually entered Week 15 leading the league in attempts. With help not on the way, Brady is going to have a hard time cracking the top 20 for championship week against the Bills’ feisty defense.
Odell Beckham remains stuck in neutral. Playing amidst escalating rumor and innuendo, Beckham was held below 100 yards for the eighth straight game, and 12th in 14. He is averaging 65 yards after that number was 88 with Eli Manning last year. He has two touchdowns, his lowest total for any season, including 2017 where he played four games. A looming sports-hernia operation is a big reason why, but so is Baker Mayfield’s stalled development and the Browns’ general incompetence on offense. If Beckham doesn’t force his way out via trade, he is going to need a major upgrade in the coaching department. Still only 27, Beckham isn’t a bad buy low candidate in dynasty. As 2014-16 established, he has as much upside as any player in football.
1. Is there some reason Cowboys Stadium was designed with a sun death laser in it?
3. Is Corey Davis becoming the healthy version of Kevin White?
Early Waiver Look (Players owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues)
QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. CIN), Daniel Jones (@WAS), Mitchell Trubisky (vs. KC), Drew Lock (vs. DET), Jacoby Brissett (vs. CAR), Andy Dalton (@MIA)
RB: Patrick Laird, Kerryon Johnson, Mike Boone, Alexander Mattison, Boston Scott
WR: Anthony Miller, Breshad Perriman, Danny Amendola, Chris Conley, Zach Pascal, James Washington, Greg Ward, N’Keal Harry
TE: O.J. Howard, Mike Gesicki, Noah Fant, Ian Thomas, Jonnu Smith, Cameron Brate
DEF: Broncos (vs. DET), Colts (vs. CAR), Falcons (vs. JAX), Bengals (@MIA), Dolphins (vs. CIN), Jets (vs. PIT), Giants (@WAS)
Stats of the Week
Aaron Rodgers had arguably the best two-game stretch of his career in Weeks 7 and 8. Since, he is averaging 190 yards in six starts.
2/29. JJ Arcega-Whiteside’s line as a full-time player for the receiver-desperate Eagles over the past two weeks. A dynasty reassessment is in order.
The Bengals’ opening drive touchdown was their first in 21 games. Free. Joe. Burrow.
Zero. David Njoku’s number of snaps, as he was a healthy scratch. Even with his career trending the wrong way for multiple years now, the 23-year-old remains worth checking in on in dynasty leagues.
Tweet of the Week, from Arif Hasan: It's wild that Mike Tomlin has gotten this far with Itchy and Scratchy at quarterback.
The, While Absolutely Hilarious, This Was Probably A Wee Bit Overly Punitive Award: The refs’ initial failure to acknowledge Dak Prescott’s desire to “defer.”
The Least Inspiring 11-3 Team Award: The Patriots and Packers taking turns holding each other’s beer.
The Are You Aware People Can Actually See This Award: Daniel Snyder.
The Only 130 Games Left Award: Jon Gruden.