Fantasy Football: Start James White, Kyle Rudolph, Brandin Cooks - Metro US

Fantasy Football: Start James White, Kyle Rudolph, Brandin Cooks

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If you’re still alive in fantasy football, congratulations are in order. Every year in the NFL is chaotic, but the wild swings in value and devastating injuries made this season especially odd. The active and strategic owner was the winning one.

With the holidays upon us and lineups setting themselves for Championship Week, it’s a good time to hand some hardware. The 2015 Fantasy Football Awards:

MVP: Doug Baldwin – The 189-pound Baldwin somehow scored 10 touchdowns in the four games between Weeks 12 and 15. If you had him, you made your Super Bowl. It doesn’t get much more valuable than that.

Biggest Bust: DeMarco Murray – He didn’t get hurt like other first-round busts (Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, Marshawn Lynch). DeMarco was simply the third-best back on his own team and became literally unusable in fantasy down the stretch.

Sleeper of the Year: Allen Robinson – Casual players stuck their nose up at taking a Jaguars wideout in the latter part of the mid-rounds. Sharp players pounced on a special talent with huge opportunity. Robinson is fantasy’s No. 5 WR.

Most Overhyped: Joseph Randle – Everyone was excited to get the starting running back behind one of the game’s best offensive lines. We failed to ask if the volatile Randle was good enough physically or strong enough mentally to handle it.

Waiver Add of the Year: DeAngelo Williams – A parade of running backs came off the wire to play pivotal roles. DeAngelo was a surprisingly spry workhorse in one of the game’s best offenses.

Most Painful Injury: Thomas Rawls – Savvy owners stashed Rawls as he beat out Christine Michael/Robert Turbin. They waited out Marshawn Lynch’s injury. And then just when the big payoff was coming, the talented Rawls broke his ankle.

Mr. Over the Hill: Calvin Johnson – Megatron was exposed as being over the hill at age 30, recording one 100-yard game all year and dipping under 14 yards per catch for the first time in his career. He’ll be a big name, overvalued game in drafts next year.


1. Festus Ezeli, C, Warriors – The Warriors will continue to save fragile Andrew Bogut for the playoffs. That means Ezeli should hover around 20-25 minutes often.

2. Patrick Beverley, PG, Rockets – Finally sustaining health. Calling card is defense, but he can help us with 3s and steals.

3. Bobby Portis, PF, Bulls – This is a deep-league flier. If Portis can sustain 15-20 minutes nightly in the rotation, he’ll be valuable.

NFL Matchups

Fire up these borderline players in Week 16:

1. James White at NYJ: The Patriots have no chance of running on a Jets run defense that is top-5 in yards allowed, YPC allowed and TDs allowed. It means a lot of work for passing back White.

2. Kyle Rudolph vs. NYG – The Giants’ league-worst pass defense is especially bad against tight ends. The linebacking corps is painfully slow.

3. Brandin Cooks vs. JAX – Expect an extremely high number of pass attempts for Drew Brees in this likely shootout. Jacksonville’s run defense is quietly stout.


T.J. Yeldon’s MCL sprain opened the door for Denard Robinson to see truly massive usage in Week 15. He played on 62-of-62 snaps despite fumbling twice. Shoelace also ran 36 pass routes and stayed in to pass block just nine times, resulting in 10 targets on top of his 14 carries. With Yeldon looking doubtful for Week 16 in a dream matchup with the Saints, Robinson is a good bet to help people win championships.

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