Cole Beasley Fantasy Outlook: Start or sit in Week 16

With Cole Beasley posting career-high fantasy football numbers so far this season, can he provide fantasy value in Week 16? Let’s take a look at Beasley’s season so far, the situation in Buffalo, and Beasley’s Week 16 matchup.

Cole Beasley has built on a solid first season in Buffalo

In the 2019 season, Cole Beasley made the jump from Dallas to Buffalo, and fantasy managers reaped immediate rewards. After averaging 11.8 points per game in PPR formats in 2016, Beasley was under 10 points per game in the following two seasons.

In his first year in Buffalo, he averaged what was a career-high in PPR fantasy points at 12.3 per game. However, 2020 has been even better for Beasley, who has amassed 202.8 fantasy points at 14.5 per game.

Beasley has been a surprise WR2 in 2020

After being drafted as the 69th receiver off the board in PPR formats, little was expected of Cole Beasley this season. The arrival of Stefon Diggs raised concerns that Beasley would be marginalized in the Bills offense. However, Beasley has scored double-digit fantasy points in nine of his 14 games so far this season.

His 202.8 fantasy points currently see him rank as the 18th receiver in PPR formats. On a per-game basis, he still ranks an impressive 24th. In standard formats, he has found it a little tougher. He currently ranks 25th in total fantasy points and 28th in points per game. However, as the 82nd receiver drafted on average in standard formats, he is still outperforming expectations wildly.

When it comes to Pro Football Network’s Consistency Score, Beasley ranks 22nd in reliability.

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Cole Beasley has benefitted from opportunities opening up in Buffalo this season

With 102 targets, Cole Beasley is the second-most targeted receiver in Buffalo. Only Diggs, with 147 targets, has seen more. However, Beasley needed an injury to John Brown to open up more opportunities in the Bills’ offense.

Beasley’s season is a tale of two halves

John Brown has played eight games this season, missing Week 7, and then being absent from Week 11 onwards. In games with Brown active, Beasley averaged 6.9 targets per game. In the six games Brown has missed, here are Beasley’s target numbers: 12, 4, 11, 10, 10. Just once did Beasley see double-digit targets with Brown in the lineup, compared to four times when he has been absent.

For the most part, Beasley has made the most of his opportunities. He had 11 receptions for 112 yards in Week 8, nine receptions for 130 yards in Week 13, and eight receptions for 112 yards in Week 15. That has translated to Beasley having a Fantasy Points Differential of 16%, the highest of his career. While that only ranks 40th at the position, Beasley has still been efficient at turning targets into fantasy points in 2020.

Should you start or sit Cole Beasley in Week 16?

With three PPR performances of 19 fantasy points or above in the last five weeks, can Cole Beasley provide again in Week 16?

The Patriots are a middle of the road matchup

The Patriots are the 10th-toughest defense when it comes to allowing fantasy points to opposing receivers. They allow an average of 34.32 fantasy points per game in PPR formats.

However, when we look at Pro Football Network’s Defensive Points Allowed Consistency Score (D-PAC), they rank 15th, suggesting there has been relatively consistent scoring against them. In standard formats, they are a tougher matchup. They rank as the 13th-toughest matchup in terms of fantasy points and the 13th-toughest in D-PAC.

The Patriots sans 2019 Defensive Player of the Year

The big advantage for the Bills this week is the absence of Stephon Gilmore. While Gilmore likely would not have covered Cole Beasley, it does affect his Week 16 fantasy potential.

With Gilmore absent, the Patriots will need to account for Diggs in another way. They likely do not have a single corner they will leave in coverage with Diggs. Therefore, they may look to double team Diggs, opening up opportunities for Beasley.

Look for Beasley to see plenty of targets in this game. The Bills will have no hesitation in piling on against a Patriots team that has dominated this division for many years. Cole Beasley remains a WR2 in PPR fantasy formats and a WR3 in standard formats for Week 16.

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Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @PFN365 to stay up to date with all things around the NFL and the 2020 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also seeing our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.

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