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Giants Week 16 fantasy football outlook: Smith smashes New York

After back-to-back so-so fantasy performances, Smith will emerge in the playoffs

Philadelphia Eagles v Seattle Seahawks
DeVonta Smith
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

If you started any New York Giants players on offense last week, you probably lost unless you had someone else with a commensurately monstrous game. If you’re in the Toilet Bowl of your league, though, perhaps playing a Giants receiver wasn’t a bad idea.

This week, Giants fans will wrestle with what the numbers say vs. the team’s utter futility against Philadelphia in 2022 and over the last decade. Tread in these waters carefully indeed.

Here’s your fantasy advice for Week 16.

Start ‘em

  • Jalen Hurts: Before the Eagles’ three-game losing streak, Hurts was a no-brainer start each week. The thing is that even in this team skid, he’s scored at least 22.9 fantasy points in two of the three games. Surprisingly, not only do the Giants rank 16th in fantasy points allowed to running backs, but they also allow the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game to opposing passers. Still, I think Hurts against the Giants is a pretty safe bet, especially after Derek Carr put up 20.3 points against them last week.
  • A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith: The Giants rank 28th in PPR points per game allowed to receivers. Brown is an automatic weekly start, but Smith has had his ups and downs. There’s nothing like a matchup with the Giants to break a mini-slump, though.

On the fence

  • Tommy DeVito: DeVito came down from his high with a thud last week. Still, the hype around him masked that he was a pretty okay-ish quarterback in fantasy. He has two starter-worthy fantasy performances in five starts, and he managed just 10.68 points against New Orleans. Philadelphia’s defense is far kinder to passers than New Orleans’ (27th vs. 9th ranking), which could be good news for the rookie. Still, with first-round Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Jalen Carter staring right back at him, DeVito’s prospects this week are murky. Perhaps he’s worth a flyer in two-quarterback leagues, but it’s hard to trust him.
  • D’Andre Swift: Swift has failed to top 10 PPR points in his last four games and five of his last six. The main reason is that he can’t seem to put together a decent yards-per-carry average, a score, and some receiving yards together in one game. The Giants rank 24th in PPR points per game allowed to running backs, but Swift’s inefficiency makes him tough to trust. Maybe use him as a FLEX, but I wouldn’t put him at more than a low-end RB2 otherwise.
  • Saquon Barkley: Dare I say to sit the Giants’ only real offensive threat? Apparently not, but it was tempting. The Eagles allow the second-fewest PPR points per game to running backs. The Giants’ offensive line can’t run-block. The suspect New Orleans run defense stymied Barkley last week. On the other hand, Barkley has had solid performances every other game over his last six, so perhaps he’ll continue that trend.
  • Darius Slayton: Slayton saw a season-high eight targets against the Saints and managed just his third 10+ point performance of the season. It’s not as if Slayton is exactly trustworthy, but the Eagles have struggled against receivers all season, ranking dead last in PPR points per game allowed to the position. None of the Giants’ receivers have carried enough of a workload to be fantasy-relevant in any given week. Still, Slayton gets open in the intermediate and deep areas of the field fairly often.
  • Darren Waller: The Eagles rank 19th in PPR points per game allowed to tight ends. Waller put up a disappointing 8.0 points against New Orleans last week, and that team ranks 27th against tight ends. Still, he had the second-most targets on the team last week and is likely to be featured again. Even if he doesn’t put up big numbers, Waller can usually put up a decent performance with reasonable volume.
  • Dallas Goedart: In his two games back, Goedart has posted 7.0 and 7.1 fantasy points on identical lines of four receptions for 30 yards. Still, he drew nine targets in the Eagles’ loss last week, and if that carries over, he’ll likely have more than a 4-30-0 stat line to show for it.

Sit ‘em

  • Wan’Dale Robinson: I rode the Wan’Dale train after his performance against the Packers, and it didn’t pan out. Once again, his usage was the main reason for it; he caught all four of his targets for 25 yards but never really saw any opportunities downfield. The Green Bay game appears to be an anomaly. As long as Robinson’s average depth of target hovers below five yards, he cannot be trusted in fantasy lineups.
  • Jalin Hyatt: Hyatt broke out one game before Robinson but also went back into the cellar afterward. His dropsies have come out over the last two games, too, as he’s bobbled and lost two of his six targets over that time. Perhaps Hyatt can pull in a long ball, but with his track record this season, it’s not a particularly wise gamble.

Around the NFL

  • Bench Lamar Jackson this week. The 49ers allow the second-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, and Jackson has logged the occasional stinker this season. If you don’t have a good backup, Baker Mayfield may be able to get the job done for you if he’s available (58% rostered in Sleeper leagues), as he faces a Jaguars team ranked 28th in points per game allowed to quarterbacks. Derek Carr against the Rams’ 24th-ranked defense could also be a good option. If you need a deeper option, Joe Flacco could come through against the Texans’ poor defense vs. quarterbacks.
  • Kyren Williams is one of the top fantasy running backs this week. He’s had three 20+ point PPR performances since coming off IR four weeks ago, including a 38.40-point explosion against Arizona. Though he faces the ninth-ranked Saints defense, he shredded the Browns’ stout defense two weeks ago and followed it up with another solid outing against the 49ers’ unit. He’s a high-end RB1.
  • Rachaad White has been one of the most consistent PPR backs this season. He’s scored at least 19.6 points in his last three games and has not gone under 13 points since Week 6. Due to his involvement in the passing game, he can put together a solid performance even if he’s stymied on the ground. He has an average matchup against the Jaguars this week and is a solid RB1.
  • Can we trust Ty Chandler’s explosion from last week? He posted 24.70 PPR points, rushing for 132 yards and a score on 23 carries and adding three catches for 25 yards. He played a massive 81% of the snaps, too. Alexander Mattison’s status is up in the air this week, and if Chandler starts, he could be an RB2. Still, the Lions allow the sixth-fewest PPR points per game to running backs, significantly better than Cincinnati’s 13th-ranked unit from a week ago.
  • Perhaps this is a week to give D’Andre Hopkins a nod. The veteran has been an exceptionally volatile fantasy option in the Titans’ muddy pass offense. Still, the Seahawks rank 29th in PPR points per game allowed to receivers, and Hopkins has seen 33 targets over the Titans’ previous three games. Still, he managed just 4.1 points last week against the Texans’ last-ranked unit. Hopkins likely has FLEX value even if he’s a risky WR2.
  • Courtland Sutton did not have a touchdown against the Lions last week but still managed 12.10 PPR points. Sutton has become a strong FLEX option because of his end zone work (10 receiving touchdowns, all in separate games) but also posted at least 60 receiving yards in his last five games. His ceiling isn’t the highest, but his stable floor means you can comfortably start him.
  • David Njoku is coming off back-to-back monstrous games. He is perhaps the most underrated TE1 in PPR leagues this season. He now gets a juicy matchup with the Texans’ 29th-ranked defense. Tight end performance is very volatile around the NFL, and there are only a handful of tight ends who have both his high ceiling and stable floor.
  • Defenses playing against the Jets, Giants, and Panthers continue to be weekly must-starts, even if the team is the Washington Commanders. The Bills’ defense against the Easton Stick-led Chargers is also a good play.