NFL

NFL Fantasy Picks: Trust Josh Allen to lead Buffalo bounce back

By Sports Desk December 15, 2021

Unless your league is one in which the fantasy championship hinges on the always impossible to predict Week 18, it's time for the playoffs.

And the playoffs are the time when your stars need to shine.

The bye weeks are done and, if you've managed to avoid an injury crisis, there shouldn't be much need for scouring the waiver wire for fill-ins.

For fantasy glory, the players you drafted high need to deliver. With that in mind, Stats Perform has identified an optimum lineup for Week 15 featuring four offensive players and a defense who are in a position to propel fantasy teams to the next round of the postseason.

 

Quarterback: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers

Allen was hugely impressive in defeat as the Bills' comeback effort against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell short. It was his first 300-yard passing game since Week 10 and also saw him throw for two touchdowns, while he added 109 yards and a further score on the ground.

With multiple passing touchdowns in four of his last five games, Allen has still served as a prolific quarterback even as the Bills' hopes of contending to be the AFC's Super Bowl representative have taken several dents.

Against a fast-fading Panthers team whose stout defense is being put in increasingly difficult spots by a rudderless offense, Allen, even with concerns over a foot injury, should get plenty of opportunities to continue his impressive scoring run and get the Bills back on track.

Running Back: James Conner, Arizona Cardinals @ Detroit Lions

Only Jonathan Taylor has scored more touchdowns from scrimmage than Conner, who has found the endzone 16 times in an unexpected career year.

A featured part of the running game and the passing attack, Conner will relish the chance to play an integral role in returning the Cardinals to winning ways against a Lions defense ranked 29th in the NFL by yards per play allowed.

Wide Receiver: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers @ Baltimore Ravens

Adams has 100 receiving yards in each of his last three games, bringing in a pair of touchdown receptions in two of those performances.

The man many consider to be the best receiver in football is only polishing that reputation in 2021 and now gets to go up against a severely banged-up Ravens team extremely susceptible to the big play.

Baltimore's defense has surrendered 56 passing plays of 20 yards or more, the most in the NFL. In a marquee matchup that could instead prove a mismatch if Lamar Jackson misses out, expect Aaron Rodgers and Adams to ensure they add to that tally.

Tight End: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Kittle is in monstrous form. His 13-catch day in the Niners' win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14 saw him finish with 151 yards and a touchdown. He became the first tight end in NFL history to record successive games with at least 150 yards and a touchdown, having racked up 181 yards and two touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks a week earlier.

As a clear focal point of the 49ers' passing game, the signs point to another huge impact for Kittle versus a Falcons defense giving up the ninth-most yards per pass play in the NFL.

Defense: Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants

The Dallas defense did the heavy lifting in the Cowboys' win over the Washington Football Team, wreaking havoc to cement their grip on first place in the NFC East.

Dallas registered five sacks, forced and recovered three fumbles, including one returned for a touchdown, and intercepted Taylor Heinicke in a dominant showing.

Such a turnover-laden display may prove an anomaly, yet, with the Giants having committed six giveaways in their last four games, the odds are in the favour of another productive day for a defense that excels at making game-changing plays.

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