Our NFL Nation reporters answer fantasy football questions every Tuesday during the NFL season. Here’s what they had to say following Week 15.
Atlanta had three times as many rush attempts as completions. In the Desmond Ridder era down the stretch, can we count on either, neither or both Falcon running backs (Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allgeier)?
You can probably count on both, but for different reasons. Tyler Allgeier is going to get his work, as he has averaged 4.91 yards per carry or more in each of the past four games and since the start of November has just one game under 50 rushing yards. Patterson is a bit trickier. Caleb Huntley’s ankle injury will open up more snaps for Patterson — and his usage should vary more between back and receiver as the season concludes. What that looks like could be more game to game, so Allgeier is the more trustworthy back, but Patterson the more explosive potential option. — Michael Rothstein
Dawson Knox led the Bills in catches (six) and yards (98) in the win over Miami. Could he be the answer for fantasy managers who are streaming the TE position?
Knox should be considered, but his performance against the Dolphins was also a bit of an anomaly when it comes to his role as a receiver. It was only the third time this season Knox has been targeted seven or more times, but two of those have come in the past two games. The Bears have allowed the second-fewest completions to tight ends this season (48); however, the Bills have certainly shown a recent small trend of getting Knox more involved as a receiver and would like to have a variety of players more involved in the offense. He could be an option if a tight end is needed, but he hasn’t been involved enough consistently as receiver to be considered without a bit of caution. — Alaina Getzenberg
Are you confident David Montgomery can hold strong value over the final three weeks (he was able to do so this week with two scores but was out-carried by Justin Fields)?
Montgomery posted 91 scrimmage yards and his first receiving touchdown of 2022 against Philadelphia. He has been the Bears’ primary running back out with Khalil Herbert, notching at least 12 carries and three receptions in each game since Week 11. Herbert will return to practice this week after missing the past four games because of a hip injury, so Chicago should revert to splitting touches more evenly between its top two backs. And with fields 206 yards away from the single-season quarterback rushing record, Montgomery’s fantasy value and his carries will probably dip a bit during the final three games of the season. — Courtney Cronin
D’Andre Swift averaged 6.5 yards per carry and saw nine targets … too little too late for many, but can we pencil him in for 15-20 opportunities (carries + targets) per game the rest of the way?
Yes — but as long as he remains somewhat healthy. Hear me out on this one, though. I know it’s late in the season, but Swift is feeling as good as he has felt in a long time, which is why he’s being given more opportunities. Teams are starting to game plan against his backfield mate Jamaal Williams, and Swift is starting to heat up a little. So, no it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to get 15-20 opportunities, but I wouldn’t pencil it in either. In Detroit it has become somewhat of a running back by committee situation with Williams, Swift and Justin Jackson all getting reps — depending on who has the hot hand, but Swift is by far the most dynamic option, and he has good hands, which separates him from the pack when he’s feeling good physically. — Eric Woodyard
Jerick McKinnon has been a per-touch machine of late. Do you think his role will expand moving forward, and should fantasy managers trust this recent run?
Fantasy owners can trust him, particularly if the Chiefs continue to play close games, because the Chiefs trust him. He is the best pass-protector and best receiver among their running backs, so the Chiefs look at him as a valuable player in clutch situations. Isiah Pacheco will still get plenty of work but given Pacheco’s fumbling and pass protection problems, McKinnon will continue as a significant part of their rotation. — Adam Teicher
Should fantasy managers make anything of the 16 targets KJ Osborn saw Saturday?
I would still expect Osborn to get No. 3 receiver reps moving forward. His two biggest target days of the season, 16 against the Colts and 11 against the Buffalo Bills, came when the Vikings went into extreme scramble mode to come back from multiscore deficits. Also, quarterback Kirk Cousins said this summer that he first noticed Osborn’s skills last season whenever the Vikings would go into two minute drills. Coincidence or not, those moments seem to be the most fertile ground for Osborn. This team will continue to focus on Justin Jefferson for obvious reasons, with the remainder of the targets spread to Adam Thielen, TJ Hockenson, Osborn and Dalvin Cook, roughly in that order. — Kevin Seifert
Miles Sanders didn’t get a look (carry or target) in the first 23 minutes after being the second-most-productive fantasy running back in the three weeks prior. Is this a blip on the radar or something to take seriously during the fantasy postseason?
It really depends on the opponent. The coaches identified matchups in the secondary they believed they could take advantage of against Chicago, and stuck with that plan despite some early struggles through the air. The blessing of having such a dynamic offense is the Eagles can choose how they want to attack based on the matchup. The curse is that it can result in a slow day for Sanders when they choose to go in the opposite direction. — Tim McManus
Should fantasy managers be more encouraged by the two big plays from George Kittle or worried that even with Deebo Samuel active, he earned less than 20% of the targets in a low-volume pass attack?
I’d go with the former, at least until Samuel is able to return from his sprained left knee and ankle. It’s clear by now that Christian McCaffrey is going to be the focal point of the offense, but with Samuel out and quarterback Brock Purdy playing well, there has be at least one other skill position player who can step into bigger production. It makes sense that Kittle would be that player, and it’s also worth noting he has a history of stringing big games together, which means there’d be more on the way after Thursday in Seattle. — Nick Wagner
With Tyler Lockett’s injury opening up 7-8 targets per game, should fantasy managers who are struggling at the TE position give Noah Fant a look?
He’s worth considering. Fant and No. 3 receiver Marquise Goodwin figure to be the biggest beneficiaries of Lockett’s absence. The Seahawks’ run game is still struggling, so those targets that would go to Lockett are going to have to go somewhere else. However, the Seahawks have three legitimate pass-catching options at tight end, so Fant might be sharing those extra targets with Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson. There’s a chance Lockett misses only one game, but if he’s also out for the Week 17 Jets game, that could be a nice opportunity for Fant, as the Jets have allowed the seventh-most receptions to tight ends this season. — Brady Henderson