Week 15 MNF Fantasy Recap

  • Final score: Packers 24, Rams 12 (Packers covered -7.5, U 39.5)


    Pregame:Coming into the season, a mid-December primetime matchup between the defending Super Bowl champions and a team led by the defending back-to-back MVP would have made total sense for a top billing. Oh how much things can change over the course of a season, as this will be just the third game this week with a projected sub-40 point total. However, that doesn’t mean that there can’t be some intriguing viewing for fantasy purposes for the final game on the schedule for the first round of the fantasy playoffs. Even in a lost season, the Rams have put out a decent product in their defense that still ranks above-average (13th-best) in terms of opponent yards per game. They could be without All-Pro DT Aaron Donald (ankle) for the third straight game, which would be a boon to the Packers skill players. 


    Even though the quarterback controversy going into the Packers’ Week 14 bye was whether Jordan Love would supplant Aaron Rodgers the rest of the way (doesn’t appear likely unless an injury prevents Rodgers from taking the field), the newest star of the show in LA is newcomer Baker Mayfield. The defending NFC Offensive Player of the Week led a TNF comeback for the ages and now has had 11 days to prepare for his next primetime opportunity.


    Postgame: The Packers will live to see another day in their NFC Wild Card chase, while the Rams were officially eliminated from defending their Super Bowl title. Baker Mayfield’s magic from last week didn’t carry over, as the QB threw for a scant 111 yards and was picked off by CB Rasul Douglas, who led the Pack in total tackles with six. The biggest fantasy-related headline was AJ Dillon getting knocked out with a possible concussion midway through the second half and he did not return. The bulldozing back was having a great game (more on that below) before leaving, and now will have to clear the concussion protocol in order to play in the fantasy semifinals against the Dolphins this Sunday.




    Pregame: You’ve heard of the change-of-scenery effect reviving many quarterback careers (ie. Ryan Tannehill, Geno Smith), but multiple changes within the same season? Hey, stranger things have happened than Mayfield’s potential Undertaker back-from-the-dead moment. It’s worth taking a step back and acknowledging first that for much of the game against the Raiders, Mayfield was mediocre at best. How much did the game-winning drive in the two-minute drill boost his overall numbers? Well, his 91.4 QBR at the end of that game was his 2nd-best mark in eight starts this season. The Rams are just trying to play out the rest of this lost season, but those in the most dire of situations in superflex/2QB leagues in their final superflex spot could roll with the momentum and give Mayfield a shot against a Packers defense that ranks just outside of the top-10 in pass defense.


    Postgame: Mayfield completed just 57% of his passes and struggled to get much going with his receivers despite a pass-happy game script with the Rams falling behind by as much as 18 points late in the third quarter. His depleted offensive line gave up five sacks, the eighth straight game in which they’ve surrendered three-plus sacks. Things are unlikely to get better this week against the stingiest pass defense in the league in the Broncos, so Mayfield is off even superflex/2QB radars.



    Pregame: If you somehow have Cam Akers and aren’t fiddling with a consolation bracket lineup this week, congratulations — you’re likely in the smallest of minorities. Akers is just two weeks removed from a surprising top-5 finish (12-42-1 rushing, 1-1-1 receiving, one target) against the putrid Seahawks run defense in Week 13, and now draws a matchup against a similarly bad Packers run-stopping unit (8th-most fantasy points allowed to running backs). The Packers have actually allowed the 3rd-most rushing yards per game on the season but have been especially porous of late, allowing a league-worst 202.0 rushing yards per game to teams over their last three. It may be a little too little too late for Akers, but he’s still a solid RB2 play in this cakewalk matchup.


    Postgame: Akers (12-65-0 rushing, 3-35-0 receiving, three targets, 11.5 total fantasy points) continues to put up decent floor performances, albeit probably in consolation matchups for those who took him on draft day. Regardless, he’s now averaged a solid 12.9 fantasy points over his last three games and turned in his best receiving effort of the season in this one, good enough to actually lead all Rams pass-catchers in receiving for the night. This recent “surge” from Akers has allowed him to elbow rookie Kyren Williams (2-7-0 rushing, 0.7 total fantasy points) basically out of the rotation, with the former out-snapping the latter 34-4. Akers will be hard-pressed to reach double-figures against a much better Broncos defense this week, but at least he has a volume-assisted floor now.


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