Now that all but the Monday night game has been played, it is time for a weekly look at the top performers from the games on Sunday, Saturday, and on Thursday. Because some of you reading this may be out of the playoffs now, I will write about my thoughts on the top performers as to where they stand going into 2017. With only one or two more weeks left, I feel as though that could be the most beneficial for all of the readers. Now onto the top performers from week 15.
QB - Drew Brees 389 Passing Yards, 4 TD’s, 1 Fumble Lost, 29 Fantasy Points
Well how about that for a turnaround. While most of his owners are probably frustrated that he decided to put it together this week, for those that were actually able to make it through last week you were rewarded. He is top 3 the next two weeks, and going into next year I would have him in the top 3 conversation behind Aaron Rodgers, but right with Tom Brady and even a bounceback Cam Newton.
QB - Matt Moore 236 Passing Yards, 4 TD’s, 1 INT, 23 Fantasy Points
Well this is going to be short. Because there is no value for Matt Moore in 2017, I will just talk about his next two weeks. The Bills defense has been up and down all year, making it difficult to recommend anyone against them. After that he gets the Patriots who will provide a tough matchup. I would avoid picking up Moore and look elsewhere if you need to stream a QB in either of the next two weeks.
RB - Devonta Freeman 20 Carries for 139 Yards and 3 TD’s, 2 Receptions for 16 Yards, 1 Fumble Lost, 30 Fantasy Points
This timeshare with Tevin Coleman is going to be tough to gauge going into next year. While there probably is enough work to go around, I can’t help but worry that Coleman may take over as the more dynamic back. The only reason Freeman had a great game is because of that terrible 49ers run defense. He is a borderline top 20 back going into next year unless something gets cleared up in training camp.
RB - LeSean McCoy 19 Carries for 153 Yards and 2 TD’s, 3 Receptions for 26 Yards, 28 Fantasy Points
With Rex Ryan all but gone, it will be interesting to see who comes in as the head coach. It almost doesn’t matter though as McCoy is proving that barring health he is a top 10 back. The question during drafts becomes whether you believe you can get 14 or more games from him or not. I tend to believe that this can happen as his workload hasn’t been too heavy this year, but his lingering injuries leave you wondering. I will still rank him in the top 10, but it may push him further down draft boards is it pertains to his overall ranking.
RB/WR - Ty Montgomery 16 Carries for 162 Yards and 2 TD’s, 28 Fantasy Points
Is Montgomery going to be a RB or a WR next year? Will the Packers resign Eddie Lacy? Will the Packers draft a RB? These are all the questions that we currently have, and that isn’t even getting into what his position designation will be going into next season. Currently he holds the rare RB/WR combo, but that may change going into next season. I don’t see how the Packers go into next season with Montgomery as the lead back. The most likely role for him is as the 3rd down and change of pace back, while also serving as a receiver in 4 and 5 wide sets. This will make him an interesting player come draft day and would find himself in a similar spot as players like Theo Riddick and Danny Woodhead.
WR - Brandin Cooks 8 Targets, 7 Receptions for 186 Yards and 2 TD’s, 30 Fantasy Points
Well it is about time. This is only his third game with over 100 receiving yards, and his first game since week 10 with over 7 fantasy points. With that lies the problem. Cooks while being a talented receiver is too tough to trust each and every week as a top 10 guy. His teammate Michael Thomas on the other hand is a guy I can trust each and every week. For 2017 I will have Thomas ranked above Cooks for this reason.
WR - Tyler Lockett - 9 Targets, 7 Receptions for 130 Yards and 1 TD, 19 Fantasy Points
Well it took almost the entire season, but over the last three weeks we are finally getting to see the talent we were enamored with in the preseason. What is new has been his ascension to playing not only in 3 wide sets, but as the second receiver opposite of Doug Baldwin. As long as this stays for the rest of the season, Lockett will once again be a popular sleeper pick going into next season. When you consider that this is an off year for Russell Wilson, Lockett may find himself ranked as a WR3 for next season.
TE - Dion Sims 4 Targets, 4 Receptions for 31 Yards and 2 TD’s, 15 Fantasy Points
You can safely ignore Sims. All he did here was get a few redzone scores. While for this season that makes him a guy you might want to stream the next two weeks, for next season you don’t want to touch him.
TE - Charles Clay 7 Targets, 7 Receptions for 72 Yards and 1 TD, 13 Fantasy Points
As with McCoy, I want to see who becomes the coach and what offense is implemented. Charles Clay has the receiving talent to become a top 10 TE, but his role in the current offense isn’t enough to get him there. For the rest of this season I would look at Clay as being a better guy than Sims though the next two weeks as a streaming target.
TE - Cameron Brate 8 Targets, 5 Receptions for 73 Yards and 1 TD, 13 Fantasy Points
This has been a real nice season for Brate. Since the Bucs cut Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brate has averaged just under 8 Fantasy Points a game. If you extrapolate his stats from week 3 on he would have 110 fantasy points, ranking him behind only Travis Kelce as the second highest scoring TE. There will be numerous articles next year about how Brate is going to regress, but I don’t actually think that is the case. He won’t finish as high at the position, but that doesn’t necessarily mean regression. What it means is that players like Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, Tyler Eifert will play close to a full season seeing there total fantasy points rise. As long as the Bucs don’t sign or draft a TE next year, I would have Brate ranked behind the following: Gronk, Reed, Eifert, Kelce, Olsen, Graham, and Walker for sure. If Gates retires Hunter Henry joins that list. Other than that, he is a strong candidate for the top 10 with stats that will be similar to what he is doing this season.