Ezekiel Elliott (21) of the Dallas Cowboys has a chance in the next two weeks to set an NFL record for rushing yards by a rookie. Tom Pennington Getty Images
Ezekiel Elliott (21) of the Dallas Cowboys has a chance in the next two weeks to set an NFL record for rushing yards by a rookie. Tom Pennington Getty Images

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Fantasy football: Look for Ezekiel Elliott to be fed liberally as he chases NFL record

By Alan Satterlee

Correspondent

December 22, 2016 02:24 PM

Fantasy football tips for Week 16:

▪  At 1,551 rushing yards, Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas) has a chance to set the all-time NFL record for rushing yards by a rookie. Look for Dallas to feed Elliott liberally (as usual), as he needs to average 129 yards over his last two to match the record of 1,808 set by Eric Dickerson in 1983.

▪  Keep Jay Ajayi (Miami) in the starting lineup despite a game at Buffalo, which actually has been leaky on defense of late. The Bills rank 30th against the run and allow the second-most rushing touchdowns at 1.4 per game.

▪  Cam Newton (Carolina) is coming off his first 300-yard passing game since Week 6, and he’s at home against the Falcons, who allow the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

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▪  Having Tom Savage at quarterback is a nice boost for DeAndre Hopkins (Houston). He targeted Hopkins a season-high 17 times last weekend.

Players to avoid

▪  Carson Palmer (Arizona) has multiple touchdown passes in five straight games and last year passed for 363 yards and three touchdowns at Seattle. Regardless, Palmer should be avoided. He is 0-5 on the road this year and Seattle is motivated to have the NFL’s best scoring defense for a fifth straight season.

▪  Even with A.J. Green likely to return, Andy Dalton (Cincinnati) shouldn’t be considered. Dalton has passed for 180 and 167 yards over the past two weeks, and Houston allows the second-fewest passing yards per game.

▪  Alshon Jeffery (Chicago) successfully made his return last week after a four-game suspension with a season-best game of six receptions, 89 yards and a score – this week won’t be as successful with Josh Norman likely shadowing him.

Week 16 sleepers

▪  Matt Barkley (Chicago) has had his moments – including 362 passing yards last weekend – and Washington is ranked last against the pass over the past three weeks.

▪  One of 2016’s top busts, Todd Gurley (Los Angeles) doesn’t have a 100-yard rushing game. He could finally get one this week at home against San Francisco, which is the NFL’s worst against the run.

▪  DeMarco Murray is an elite option, but his backup, Derrick Henry (Tennessee), could also be started this week in what could be a blowout. Henry has three touchdowns in his past three games and he also scored when the Titans played Jacksonville in Week 8.

▪  Amari Cooper (Oakland) comes off a one-catch game but he should bounce back at home in a potential shootout against the Colts, who rank 27th against the pass.

▪  Dontrelle Inman (San Diego) has turned into a near must-start player and he is a strong play at Cleveland, which allows a league-worst 2.2 passing touchdowns per game. Inman’s full-season pace over his past four games is 76 receptions, 1,228 yards and 12 touchdowns.

▪  Allen Robinson (Jacksonville) is a deep roll of the dice at this point, but Tennessee allows the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

▪  Mike Wallace (Baltimore) has showed up large when facing former teams, and he gets another chance this week, returning to Pittsburgh.

▪  Malcolm Mitchell (New England) is coming off a quiet one-catch game but should remain in lineups. Mitchell has four touchdowns in his past five games, including a two-touchdown game the last time the Patriots faced the Jets.

▪  Charles Clay (Buffalo) has scored in two straight games and he’s a strong sleeper play again facing his former team this week.

▪  If you have a dicey kicker option, Wil Lutz (New Orleans) is a great waiver-wire add. Lutz has multiple field goals in three straight games and is a safe option at home in the dome.

Alan Satterlee is a co-owner and senior writer for DynastyFootballWarehouse.com, a comprehensive fantasy football strategy site.