Vikings’ Cook, Rams’ Kupp among best bets to score

Because of COVID-19, chaos is reigning in the fantasy playoffs. The hold is tenuous, but these players are still my best bets to score going into Week 16.

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Running Back

JAMES ROBINSON, Jaguars

The Jaguars don’t have much going for them right now, but Robinson rarely fails to produce, as long as he’s healthy. He had a season high in touches (21) last week against the Texans, and he’s likely to see similar work when he faces the Jets and their bottom-tier run defense in Week 16. No team has allowed more TDs (25) to RBs this season, and because of COVID-19, the Jets could struggle against Jacksonville.

CORDARRELLE PATTERSON, Falcons

Patterson has settled into more of a traditional RB role for the Falcons recently, scoring three TDs in his past four games. He had a down week against San Francisco in Week 15, but he’s in a prime bounce-back spot this week against the defensively deficient Lions. Second in the league in TDs allowed to RBs (22) and second in fantasy points allowed to RBs as well, Detroit could allow at least one score to the reinvigorated Patterson, who’s had a fantasy renaissance this season.

DALVIN COOK, Vikings

Cook failed to score in Week 15, but he’s handled the ball at least 28 times in each of his past two games since missing Week 13 with a shoulder injury. He’ll take his considerable volume and his 22.22% TD dependency into a matchup with the Rams, who’ve devolved into a middling run defense at best, allowing 72 rushing yards per game and 13 TDs to RBs this season. The Vikings’ playoff hopes rest in the balance, so Cook could be in rare form this week.

CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE, Chiefs

Edwards-Helaire’s touches have gone down the past two games, as the Chiefs have been moving the ball primarily through the air, but with the news that Travis Kelce and now Tyreek Hill are on the COVID-19 list, Kansas City may have to lean on its run game. This week they’ll face a Steelers team that has given up the seventh-most points to RBs this season, so the run game, led by Edwards-Helaire, should prove effective.

DAVID MONTGOMERY, Bears

Montgomery is the lone Chicago fantasy asset going into the second week of the fantasy playoffs, as the offense is at a standstill otherwise it seems. Fortunately, they face the reeling Seahawks in Week 16, a team that’s given up the fourth-most fantasy points to RBs this season and more than 180 yards per game. Having at least 72 yards or a score in his past three games, Montgomery could roll in this tasty matchup.

Wide Receiver

COOPER KUPP, Rams

Congratulations, if you have Cooper Kupp on your fantasy team, chances are you’re still alive in these tumultuous fantasy playoffs. The 32.37 % TD dependent Kupp has scored 14 times so far in 2021, to lead the league in receiving TDs, and he gets his best matchup of his season this week against the Vikings. Minnesota has given up the most fantasy points to WRs this season, and Week 16 should be no exception.

KEENAN ALLEN, Chargers

Allen is on a tear as of late, scoring three times in his past two games. His yardage is leaving a bit to be desired, but Allen has been a red zone lightning rod nonetheless. This week, he’ll face a Texans team that is middle of the pack against the pass, allowing 11 TDs to WRs this season. If Austin Ekeler misses the game, Allen will be an even more integral part of the Chargers offense this week.

DEEBO SAMUEL, 49ers

Samuel is the best RB playing the WR position today, and I don’t count Cordarrelle Patterson because he’s a WR playing the RB position. Samuel has run for TDs in his past four games, even though he’s only topped 60 receiving yards once in that time. He’s got a prime matchup this week in the Titans though, as they’ve allowed the third-most points to WRs this season, including 16 receiving TDs. Samuel could find the end zone this week, be it on the ground or through the air.

CHRISTIAN KIRK, Cardinals

Kirk has come alive since DeAndre Hopkins was placed on IR, going over 85 yards and/or scoring in his past two games. He’ll face a Colts secondary this week that has allowed a whopping 17 TDs to WRs, the second-highest mark in the league, so chalk him up for his second straight scoring week.

JA’MARR CHASE, Bengals

Chase slumped in Week 15, catching only one pass for 3 yards, but in Week 16 he’ll go up against a Ravens team that he had 201 yards and a score against in their first meeting this season. It’s a perfect bounce-back spot for a player who caught two TDs in the week previous to that down Week 15 game.

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This column was provided to The Associated Press by RosterWatch, www.rosterwatch.com.

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