For many of you, the championship has been decided and we hope you came out on top in your respective leagues. We saw the Cardinals’ defense come out on top in some formats, which is a rarity, while Blake Bortles and Drew Brees delivered on their shootout potential. Tim Hightower and his 30 touches racked up over 30 points in PPR formats, and Jordan Reed just can’t be covered.
Our quarterback recommendation of Alex Smith cracked the Top 10 in some formats, while Cameron Artis-Payne just did not get enough touches to get it done at running back. Indy’s issues at QB translated into to subpar days for T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, but Kyle Rudolph finished among the Top 5 tight ends thanks to the touchdown he scored.
Sadly, the season has ended for some…but it lives on for one more week for others. That means we are searching deep into your rosters, rankings and waiver wires one last time. Let’s continue the season of giving…it’s your Sneak Plays for Week 17!
Bryan Hoyer vs. Jaguars – Hoyer returns to action this week with an opportunity to send the Texans to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. He tallied 27 Fantasy points in the Week 6 matchup against the Jags, who allow the fourth-most point to opposing quarterbacks. Star wideout DeAndre Hopkins annihilated the Jags in that previous matchup to the tune of 10 catches, 148 yards and two scores, and he should be in line for another big outing, bringing Hoyer’s point total along with him. The Texans have run the most plays in the NFL this season, including the 10th-most pass attempts in the league. It’s that type of volume and opportunity that we look for in Fantasy each week, and Hoyer has come back into the fold at the right time, slightly under the radar for many.
Honorable mentions in QB category: Sam Bradford vs. Giants, A.J. McCarron vs. Ravens
Denard Robinson vs. Texans – There are some intriguing, albeit risky options at the running back position this week, but Robinson will see the most opportunities of the bunch. While he only gained 61 yards on 20 carries over the last two weeks, he was still effective in PPR formats, catching 13 balls for 96 yards. This recommendation is limited to those formats again, but with T.J. Yeldon’s season declared over, “Shoelace” will find himself in a game tempo that is likely to push the number of plays and touches up significantly.
Honorable mentions in RB category: C.J. Anderson vs. Chargers, Darren Sproles vs. Giants, Chris Thompson vs. Cowboys
Cole Beasley vs. Washington – Beasley has one shining moment to point to in the 2015 campaign – a nine-catch, 112-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Eagles in Week 9. With Kellen Moore suiting up at QB and Dez Bryant exiting stage right for the season, Beasley will lineup in a meaningless game against their divisional rival. With his ability to serve as a safety valve for the inexperienced Moore, and the increase in snaps he will likely be seeing, Beasley is an interesting option, especially in PPR formats. Washington ranked 31st in defensive efficiency against the WR2, and gave up the seventh-most Fantasy points to opposing wide receivers overall. It’s a risky play but it qualifies as sneaky, so we will take our chances in the right lineups and games this Sunday.
Honorable mentions in WR category: Markus Wheaton vs. Browns, Travis Benjamin vs. Steelers, Brandon LaFell vs. Dolphins
Jacob Tamme vs. Saints – I would say that Tamme probably qualified more for this article than any other player in the league (along with Darren Sproles). He’s never ranked particularly high but found himself in a lot of good matchups over the course of the season. Luckily, we didn’t lean on him too heavily, as his results were mostly unimpressive aside from Week 8 against the Bucs (10-103-1). However, this week he faces the Saints, who are the worst team in the league against opposing tight ends in several metrics, probably by a couple of orders of magnitude. Opposing tight ends have caught 89 passes on 118 targets for 1174 yards and 10 touchdowns – a staggering level of defensive inefficiency. The Falcons’ season went south (no pun intended) after they started the season at 6-1, but they still have the opportunity to finish with a winning record in head coach Dan Quinn’s first season. Julio Jones is within spitting distance of the single-season catch record, but Tamme could see some more looks in the red zone in a game with the highest expected point total on the slate.
Note: Owen Daniels is a better option as far as we’re concerned, but the 4pm start could take all of the meaning out of that game and see a plethora of benched starters.
Honorable mentions in TE category: Ryan Griffin vs. Titans, Owen Daniels vs. San Diego