NFL Fantasy Picks: Back Brady for a bounce-back week after Saints shutout

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  • Tom Brady
    Tom Brady
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Nick Chubb
    Nick Chubb
    American football player

Only three weeks remain in a fascinating 2021 NFL season that continues to prove extremely tough to call.

That unpredictability has extended to the fantasy season and has been exacerbated by a string of coronavirus outbreaks that have impacted several teams and forced changes to the Week 15 schedule.

So, with most fantasy leagues either at the semi-final or final stage, which players can be relied on in Week 16?

Stats Perform has identified four offensive players and a defense who are deserving of trust at this pivotal stage of the campaign.

Quarterback: Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers

Brady was visibly angry as he and the Buccaneers were shut out by the New Orleans Saints in primetime last week, but the odds of the Panthers doing the same appear extremely slim.

In two games against Carolina last season, Brady completed nearly 69 per cent of his passes for 558 yards, four touchdowns and an interception, averaging 7.54 yards per pass attempt.

With the Panthers limping towards the finish line, Brady looks a certainty for a bounce-back effort here, even with wide receiver Chris Godwin ruled out for the season amid a spate of injuries to the Bucs' offense.

Running Back: Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns @ Green Bay Packers

The Packers are in the driver's seat for the number one seed in the NFC but, though they are one of the NFL's most well-rounded teams, a weakness in run defense has become apparent of late.

Indeed, the last two games have seen Green Bay give up 280 yards on the ground and for the season the Packers are allowing a yards per carry average of 4.53, the eighth-highest in the NFL.

Cleveland may be approaching the last-chance saloon in terms of playoff hopes, yet the Browns possess a ground game capable of exploiting the Packers' deficiencies against the run. The Browns' average of 4.9 yards per rush is the third-highest in the NFL while star running back Nick Chubb leads all players at his position with 17.4 per cent of his carries going for 10 yards or more.

Nick Chubb
Nick Chubb

Wide Receiver: Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers @ Houston Texans

A recipient of double-digit targets in six of his last seven games, the heavy workload Allen has received is a recipe for a huge day in Week 16.

The Texans are surrendering the seventh-most yards per pass play in the NFL, while the Chargers - for all their controversial fourth-down issues last week against the Kansas City Chiefs -- are 10th in yards per play through the air with Justin Herbert leading an explosive offense.

Simply put, Allen is a no-brainer start in fantasy.

Tight End: Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals

Regardless of whether it is Lamar Jackson or Tyler Huntley at quarterback, Andrews is likely to be the top target for the Ravens' passing attack in a critical AFC North showdown.

Over the last two games, he has 21 receptions for 251 yards and three touchdowns, a bright spot in successive defeats for Baltimore.

Only five teams have produced more plays of 10 yards or more than the Ravens (193) and Andrews is the lead contender to be on the end of the majority they draw up against a stingy Bengals defense.

Defense: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants

The Eagles' Christmas present comes in the form of getting to face either Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm as they look to take another step towards securing a Wild Card berth.

Philadelphia's defense has given up fewer than 300 total yards in each of their last three games. Glennon has seven interceptions in his four games this year while Fromm would be making his first career start. Whichever Giants backup the Eagles go up against, their defense is set up for another strong week.

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