After months of some questionable matchups on Thursday Night Football, Week 16 brings on a conference matchup with a lot on the line. Not only will this matchup play a big role in the fantasy playoffs, but it will also play a significant role in the NFC playoff picture.
The Los Angeles Rams host the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night. With both teams entering Week 16 with records of 7-7, this matchup will undoubtedly shake up the NFC Wild Card race.
But if you’re here, you’re probably more concerned with the fantasy outlooks in this matchup. Week 16 should be the semi-finals for most leagues, meaning the stakes are high coming into this week. There’s no better way to set the tone for your matchup than by unleashing a player or two on Thursday night.
This matchup features several “set it and forget it” players like Alvin Kamara, Chris Olave, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, and Kyren Williams. However, there are a few players who are borderline starters that I think are worth considering for Thursday night.
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RASHID SHAHEED WEEK 16 OUTLOOK
With Chris Olave sidelined in Week 15, Rashid Shaheed was a very popular streaming option last week. Unfortunately, Shaheed’s opportunity as the WR1 in New Orleans resulted in just three catches for 36 yards.
Despite his disappointing output last week, I think Shaheed can still provide value from the flex spot in deeper leagues.
Let’s first take a look at Shaheed as a player. Throughout the season, he has functioned as the field stretcher and deep threat for the Saints. Shaheed has world-class speed and can leave any defender in the dust. This has manifested in deep plays throughout the season. There have also been several games where Shaheed has put together a couple of big plays, leading to three WR1 finishes.
Saints receivers also have a plus matchup against the Rams’ secondary. According to Fantasy Points Data Suite, Los Angeles’ zone coverage scheme favors Shaheed. We should expect nearly a 10 percent boost in Shaheed’s fantasy production.
With a matchup that heavily plays in his favor and the ability to have explosive fantasy production, Shaheed can certainly be started in Week 16. However, he must be started in the right situation. If your receivers are banged up or if you need an explosive performance to beat a superior team, consider Rashid Shaheed.
The Wolf is much lower on Shaheed, checking in at his WR53 (-8 vs ECR) on his Week 16 Rankings.
TAYSOM HILL WEEK 16 OUTLOOK
When considering the Saints roster from a fantasy perspective, they have a rather interesting group of players. One of these intriguing players is their Swiss Army knife, Taysom Hill.
Hill is arguably the most unique player in all of fantasy and the NFL. He’s a virtually position-less player who can do anything asked of him. What I find most interesting about Hill is his varying usage. In some games, he is the Saints’ primary red zone weapon but is hardly on the field in others. This inconsistent usage has led to incredibly volatile fantasy production.
The frustrating part is there is no clear trend in Hill’s production. It primarily comes down to his usage near the goal line.
Hill’s positionless nature also makes it very difficult to evaluate his matchup. The Rams are a top-ten matchup for TEs, but Hill doesn’t operate as a true tight end. This once again leads to us banking on Hill getting work near the endzone.
Taysom’s production throughout the season has led to me placing him in the same “bucket” as Rashid Shaheed. Both players are low-floor, high-ceiling players who can make or break any matchup. So it should not be shocking that my opinion on Hill is similar to my opinion of Shaheed. Hill can be started if necessary but it should only be due to injuries or if you are in need of an explosive performance to defeat a better team in your semi-final matchup.
Hill lands in TE1 territory at TE11 overall on The Wolf’s Week 16 Rankings.