WEEK 16 FANTASY FOOTBALL RANKINGS
Updated: 12/24/11 (9:00am)
(Roy Helu inactive)
– Roy Helu is not playing, Evan Royster is a good sleeper bet for a TD if you need a RB today.
(Felix Jones will not play if Giants win)
-Either way it looks like it’s Sammy Morris who will be the featured back for the Cowboys this week. He should get a nice handful of carries, and a good chance to score. Do not play Felix this week.
(Mario Manningham is out)
– Just means more looks for Cruz and Nicks. Both get slight upgrades. Eli gets a downgrade losing a key option.
(Charlie Batch will start Saturday)
– This only means that the Steelers vs. Rams game will be a little bit closer than it should be. Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace are still safe starts because they can take any ball to the house, and you know Batch will be ready to lead his team Saturday.
(Marion Baber Ruled Out)
– Here at MaddenArena we have been pushing Kahlil Bell as soon as Forte went down. Sir Fantasy Drake claimed he was the RB to own as soon as the injury occurred. We are excited for his big week as he should be a lock for 100 total yards.
(Read the original article about Kahlil Bell.)
(Anquan Boldin out for the season)
– The Ravens passing game gets a little more vertical with Lee Evans coming in. It does not make up for the fact that they lose their best possession WR in Boldin. Torrey Smith has some value, but not this week against Joe Haden. Expect more, and more, Ray Rice.
(CJ1.1k ankle is still sore, going to play.)
(Roy Helu limited with ankle, should play.)
(Felix Jones Limited with leg, Game Time decision, should play.)
(James Starks is back.)
(Vincent Jackson, groin, very questionable, check back.)
(Billy Cunidff, probably out)
(Anthony Fasano, concussion, questionable)
(Mark Ingram, out)
(Asante Samuels out, Updgrade Dallas WR’s and Romo.)
Start of the week: Kyle Orton vs. Oakland
*date of video 12/4/11
Kyle Orton is an underrated QB. People hear his name, and they think second stringer at best, but the truth is Kyle Orton has a cannon that can compete with the best of them. He rejuvenated the career of a 33 year old Brandon Lloyd who was nothing before playing with Orton. Kyle gave the Broncos a passing attack last season, and this season something that was capable of the 300 yard game. Orton managed to do it with Denver this season week 1 on Monday Night against Oakland with 304 Yards, and 1 TD. Now Kyle has an upgraded WR corpse of Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston, and James Baldwin.
Can you imagine the fantasy numbers Tim Tebow would put up with those weapons.
Oakland has been putrid against the pass ranking #31 vs. QBs. Only the Vikings are worse. Last week, Matt Stafford tore them apart with 391 yards and 4 TDs. The game was in Oakland which speaks volumes on how bad their defense is. This week Oakland travels to Kansas City, last week in Arrowhead Stadium (where the Chiefs play), the Chiefs are coming off a game where they upset the Green Bay Packers who were winners of 19 straight. They did it behind their new franchise QB, Kyle Orton. With that victory and an Oakland, and Denver loss, the Chiefs are now in playoff position. Even after losing Eric Berry and Jamal Charles (week 1, week 2) for the season, and a coaching change last week. If the Chiefs win this game, and at Denver in week 17, Kyle Orton’s former team from a month ago. The Chiefs will have a shot of being in the playoffs.
This Sunday will feel like a Super Bowl environment for Kyle Orton and his Kansas City Chiefs, as it is the last game of the season in Arrowhead Stadium.
Week 16, to a lot of you that means your fantasy championship. To the NFL it is a week for teams who are figuring out where they are going to be in the standings for the playoff race, while others prepare for next season.
*Feel free to ask me any lineup questions. Use my advice only to help you make your decision, not enforce your decision. I will lean you towards the right direction, but we don’t control what happens on the field.
Start of the Week: Tim Tebow
Bust of the Week: Eli Manning
Sleeper of the Week: Matt Moore
Tier 1- Solid bet for 20+
#1. Drew Brees vs. Atlanta- Monday Night in New Orleans with a red hot Drew Brees. How can he not have a huge game against a team that will force him to put up points in what should be a classic shootout. Falcons #16 vs. QBs.
#2. Tom Brady vs. Miami- Tom Brady threw for over 500 yards earlier against Miami. Can he do it again? Probably not. Can he have an elite performance that single handily wins you a playoff performance. Yes. Dolphins #21 vs. QBs.
#3. Cam Newton vs. Tampa Bay- Tampa Bay has no defense, and they have absolutely no answer for the Cam Newton show. Cam looked great against a tough Texans defense and this will be a layup in comparison. He rushed for 2 TDs earlier against the Bucs this season. TB #26 vs. QBs.
#4. Aaron Rodgers vs. Chicago- The Bears defense has hit that rough patch again. Not because their defense is bad, but because the Bears offense keeps turning it over or going 3 and out. ARodg should bounce back from “his” mediocre 2 TD performance, and he should be in every fantasy lineup. Sunday Night Football. Bears #12 vs. QBs.
#5. Matt Stafford vs. San Diego- Stafford is red hot and is coming off a huge performance. Now that he is back home, and the Chargers are not a good road team. Stafford should abuse the secondary as he looks to get Detroit that much closer to a playoff berth. Chargers #22 vs. QBs.
#6. Matt Ryan @ New Orleans- It will be a shootout, the Saints are going to put up points in a hurry, and Matt Ryan has a hot Julio Jones and Roddy White ready to make big plays all night. Go all in on Matty Ice. Saints #23 vs. QBs.
Tier 2- Good Starting Options.
#7. Philip Rivers @ Detroit- Rivers should have a nice game as the Lions will force the Chargers to put up points all day. If Matthews struggles against the tough Lions run D, than Rivers will make a great start. Lions #17 vs. QBs.
#8. Kyle Orton vs. Oakland- Orton just did the impossible. Leading a non-playoff team to a victory against the untouchable Green Bay Packers. The whole city of Kansas City will be ready for this one against Oakland, and so will Orton’s fantasy owners. Kyle already threw for over 300 yards against the Raiders this season with Denver, and the Raiders pass defense has been getting abused over these past few weeks, Stafford 391 yards, 4 TDs. Feel very confident with Orton. Raiders #31 vs. QBs.
#9. Tim Tebow @ Buffalo- No Tebow magic against New England. Fantasy owners would beg to differ with 2 rushing TDs and nearly 100 yards on the ground alone. It gets just as easy again for Tebow against a Bills defense that just gave up 200 yards rushing to Reggie Bush this week. Tebow should thrive in this one as he is carrying Denver on his back for a playoff push. Bills #20 vs. Qbs.
#10. Tony Romo vs. Eagles- Romo has a tough task ahead against a team fighting for the playoffs. Could Romo choke completely in this game? Yes. Can he throw for 3 TDs in a high scoring affair? Yes. He has the talented WRs, let’s see how he does. Eagles #18 vs. QBs.
#11. Michael Vick @ Dallas- Vick is starting to look like Vick and the timing could not be better for the Eagles. You know he will be playing for the game of his life, and even against a tough Ryan defense we should see vintage Michael Vick. Could he completely crumble? Yes the possibility is there, but I would go with Vick if I had him as both teams can put up points. Dallas #17 vs. QBs.
#12. Matt More @ New England- New England is going to put up points against Miami. That should allow Matt Moore to be throwing all game against a weak Patriot secondary. 2 TD’s and 250 yards are easily in reach for Moore in this one. As long as weather holds up. Patriots #30 vs. QBs.
#13. Rex Grossman vs. Minnesota- The Vikings are terrible against the pass, and Rex Grossman is red hot. Gross is a good start this week and he should put up a good game that can get you by. Very little risk, medium reward. Especially at home. Vikings #32 vs. QBs.
#14. Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Denver- The Broncos defense is very bad. As long as Fitzpatrick makes good throws he should move the Bills up and down the field with ease. Take away a Caleb Haine performance (anyone defense can look good against him) and the Broncos have given up 300+ yards and 3 total TDs to Christian Ponder and Tom Brady in back-to-back games. Broncos #27 vs. QBs.
#15. Eli Manning @ New York Jets- Eli looked terrible against Washington at home, and now takes a struggling Jets defense. He could bounce back and put up a huge game just because he has one of the top WR corpse in the league, but he could also continue his dive as he chokes again late in the season and the Giants miss the playoffs. Jets #6 vs. QBs.
#16. Mark Sanchez vs. New York Giants- Sanchez is a great QB at home and the Giants defense isn’t very good. This could be a very good game for Sanchize as he leads the Jets to a late playoff push, would I trust him in a fantasy playoff game? No, but you make feel differently. Giants #29 vs. QBs.
#17. Charlie Batch vs. St. Louis- Batch will have T.O.P and be in the red zone all day. The Rams do not have the playmakers to stop Batch from finding all of his options. He probably won’t be throwing much in the fourth quarter, since there is no way the Steelers make this close, but he should put up a surprisingly good game as he wants to show the NFL he can still play. Rams #8 vs. QBs.
Tier 3- Guy Who are more likely to let you down, the play well.
#18. Carson Palmer @ Kansas City- The Chiefs defense is playing at a high level and will be playing all out to stop the Raiders from winning this game. The Chiefs are a good home defense and the Palmer could struggle heavily in this one, especially with the problems Aaron Rodgers had. Chiefs #19 vs. QBs.
#19. Joe Flacco vs. Cleveland- Good news is he at home, bad news is Anquan Boldin is out for the season. Flacco will have plenty of opportunities for a big game as the Browns sell out on stopping Ray Rice. Will Flacco perform? Maybe as a top 20 option at best, and that’s about all you can expect. Browns #2 vs. QBs.
#20. Andy Dalton vs. Arizona- Dalton was on his way to a great game before AJ Green got injured. With Green playing at less than a 100% against a tough Cardinals defense I would slightly temper my expectations. Dalton could have a good game, but is better left for the bench. Cardinals #16 vs. QBs.
Tier 4- Only if you are desperate.
#21. John Skelton @ Cincinnati- Skelton looks pretty good at QB for Arizona. But that’s the thing, QB for Arizona, not your fantasy team. Bengals #6 vs. QBs.
#22. Josh Freeman @ Carolina- Freeman is terrible, but he could throw all second half. If you want to play him it’s your risk. He could clunk completely. Panthers #13 vs. QBs.
#23. TJ Yates @ Indianapolis- Yates isn’t a good QB and you would have to be happy with 2 TDs. Colts #25 vs. QBs.
#24. Matt Hasslebeck vs. Jacksonville- Matt should not be starting this game. The Titans are a better team with Locker, and I expect a quick hook. Even when they play Locker for one series last week, he takes the team down the field with ease and they score a TD. Tennessee staff should be fired for continuing to roll with Hassel. Jaguars #7 vs. QBs.
#25. Dan Orlovsky vs. Houston- Terrible matchup for a terrible QB. Can he keep the win streak going for the Colts, I think that’s more important. Texans #4 vs. QBs.
#26. Christian Ponder @ Washington- Ponder is a bad QB and Washington just picked off Eli 3 times. I would be very hesitant to use Ponder this week, and if I were a Viking fan I think the best chance of winning now is with Joe Webb. Redskins #12 vs. QBs.
Start of the Week: Reggie Bush
Bust of the Week: LeGarette Blount
Sleeper of the Week: Thomas Jones
Tier 1- Guys who will get the job done.
#1. Ray Rice vs. Cleveland- Ray Ray should bounce back against a browns run D that is giving up rushing TDs or 100 yard games all season. For the second week in a row they held a good runner under 100 yards (Mendenahll and Wells) in back-to-back weeks. Browns #25 vs. RBs.
#2. Arian Foster @ Indianapolis- Arian the great could have a field day against the Colts. He could have a MONSTER week against the weak Colts. If Yates could move the ball with any consistency then Foster could win your game by himself. Colts #30 vs. RBs.
#3. LeSean McCoy @ Dallas- This guy will single handily win you fantasy football games. He has a tough matchup this week, but he already ran for over 130 Yards and 2 TD earlier against Dallas. Play McCoy and don’t look back. He already has 20 TDs. Dallas #8 vs. RBs.
#4. Reggie Bush @ New England- Reggie ran for over 200 yards against the Bills. The Patriots run D is much worse than the Bills. Ok maybe not that much worse, but the Broncos had 252 yards on the ground alone against NE last week. Patriots #18 vs. RBs.
#5. Maurice Jones-Drew @ Tennessee- The Titans just gave up 160 yards rushing to Donald Brown. MJD is Mr.100 total yards, and if he can find the end zone. Then he will Mr. Thank you for saving my fantasy week. Titans #24 vs. RBs.
#6. Rashard Mendenhall vs. St. Louis- Mendy will be looking to bounce back against a Rams defense that is on the road in Pittsburgh. The Rams have no shot of making this one close and Mendenhall should find his way back in the end zone. Rams #29 vs. RBs.
Tier 2- Guys that have a small chance of being shut down.
#7. Adrian Peterson @ Washington- AP should be healthier this week and get more rushing attempts. He was a great decoy this past week, but the Vikings got murdered in the process. The only chance of the Vikes winning this game is with this Purple Jesus’s legs. Redskins #13 vs. RBs.
#8. Shonn Greene @ NYG- The Jets are a great team at home, and that usually means Shonn Greene is heavily involved. As long as Sanchez has a good game and moves the ball well, which he should. Greene is a good start. Giants #20 vs. RBs.
*****#9. Roy Helu vs. Minnesota- Helu is always a good bet for 100 total yards. The Redskins should move the ball well all game vs. a weak Minnesota defense through the air, which should set up some nice scoring opportunities for Helu. OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT Vikings #22 vs. RBs.
**#10. Chris Johnson vs. Jacksonville- Jacksonville’s run D is not as bad as we think, and CJ is as inconsistent as we think he is as well. If Locker starts this game, I would not hesitate to use Chris Johnson. If they go with Hasselbeck who can’t move the ball, then I could see a potential clunker from CJ. Sat out practice Tuesday. (check back for injury update.) Jaguars #9 vs. RBs.
#11. Kevin Smith vs. San Diego- Kevin Smith, had a disappointing game but still has huge potential in a Lions offense that is red hot. Stafford is throwing the ball at a very high level, and the scoring opportunities should start to present itself to Smith. Chargers #19 vs. RBs.
#12. Ryan Matthews @ Detroit- Matthews looks to be a top notch RB whose only fantasy downside is Mike Tolbert stealing goal line TDs. If you have Matthews start him with confidence as the Chargers let him get two goal line runs against the Ravens of all teams. Lions #7 vs. RBs.
#13. Michael Bush @ Kansas City- Bush is having a fantastic season, but faces a very tough challenge against Kansas City’s D, in KC. You have to let the dice roll when it comes to this guy because he gets a lot of touches and is heavily featured in the red zone, but this a matchup that could be a dud. This is the closest thing to the Super bowl for the Chiefs this season. Chiefs #27 vs. RBs.
**#14. Felix Jones vs. Eagles- Felix the cat is facing a vulnerable run defense in the Eagles. He is a pretty safe bet for 100 total yards. He could get the TD, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t get in. Early reports are a sore hamstring, could lose goal line touches because of it. (Hamstring could be a problem.) Eagles #24 vs. RBs.
Tier 3- Guys with a lot of upside, but also could let you down.
#15. CJ Spiller vs. Denver- CJ had a good game against a tough Miami defense. Keep in mind that the Dolphins were out their element in a snow game, but consistency has been a problem for Spiller all year, and it would be hard to trust him with 100% confidence, even against a soft Denver defense. Broncos #19 vs. RBs.
#16. Michael Turner @ Saints- Turner the Burner could cash in on goal line TDs. Also a solid bet for 60 yards, as long as the Falcons stay competitive Turner should give you a nice game. Saints #21 vs. RBs.
#17. Frank Gore @ Seattle- Gore is putting together some great games down the stretch. However the 49ers have all but clinched the #2 seed, and although they will try to get that #1, making sure Frank Gore is healthy for the playoffs is a top priority for SF. Seattle #15 vs. RBs.
#18. Thomas Jones vs. Oakland- Thomas the Train is back, and so are the Chiefs. Jones could surprise everyone with a blast from a past and makes an excellent start against a Raider defense that is playing awful right now. KC is home as well, this could be the move that saves your season. Raiders #26 vs. RBs.
#19. Kahlil Bell @ GB- Kahlil is a PPR machine for a RB. The Bears are going to get blown out against the Packers in GB on Sunday Night. Which only means the Kahlil Bell show all game. Start this guy with confidence as GB is nothing to receiving RBs. Packers #17 vs. RBs.
#20. Willis McGahee @ Buffalo- Willis was on his way to a great game before being benched for Ball so they can move the ball. Willis will be ready for a huge game against Buffalo, his former team. The Bills are also coming off a game where Reggie Bush ran for 200 yards. Bills #28 vs. RBs.
#21. Marshawn Lynch vs. San Francisco- Lynch has been in beast mode for a while now, and he will look to be the first player all season to rush for a TD against the 49ers. San Francisco wants to hold that record in-tact. If Lynch succeeds in this game, he will be a first round pick next season in all drafts.
#22. Beanie Wells @ Cincinnati- Beanie Baby Wells has a tough matchup against Cinci. He will get his carries and should get solid production, but the Bengals are a tough and they are even tougher when the game is in Cincinnati. Always a good bet to get the ball inside the 5. Bengals #13 vs. RBs.
#23. Cedric Benson vs. Arizona- Ced Ben should have a had a bigger game against the Rams. If Scott did not steal a TD than that would have been the case. I still like Benson, but I would play a better option if I had one. He has proved he can run over any defense. Cardinals #16 vs. RBs.
Tier 3- High risk/High Reward guys
#24. DeAnglo Williams vs. Tampa Bay- D.Will is great when the Panthers are winning. This should be a week the Panthers will be winning. Problem is, he has to fight Jonathan Stewart and Cam Newton for rushing TDs. He could get his, but he will probably need a long run to get it. Still a good starter with a lot of upside, and averages over 10 points a game in fantasy when the Panthers score 25 or more. TB #32 vs. RBs.
#25. Darren Sproles vs. Atlanta- With no Mark Ingram, Sproles is a great option especially in PPR leagues. He will get his touches, which should be good enough to guarantee at least 80 total yards. The TD’s are always icing on the cake. Falcons #3 vs. RBs.
#26. Ahmad Bradshaw @ NYJ- Ahmad had a nice game coming off his first half suspension. The Jets run defense looked terrible on the road, but they should bounce back to hold Bradshaw to respectable numbers. Ahmad is the key for the Giants winning on Sunday. He is best left for the bench, but you could play him if he’s desperate. Jets #13 vs. RBs.
#27. LeGarrette Blount @ Carolina- You might as well roll it up and put it on the bench. He is only good when the Bucs defense can hold opponents. Bad news, the Panthers are a top 5 offense and there is no way Blount see’s playing time in the second half. Lumpkin is a much safer start. I said it. Panthers #32 vs. RBs.
#28. Peyton Hillis @ Baltimore- Watcha talking about…Hillis. Great game against a tough Arizona run D, and now faces a slumping Baltimore run D. Problem is, the game is in Baltimore so that slump is over. He will get touches, he probably won’t get a lot of yards. Ravens #6 vs. RBs.
#29. Steven Jackson @ Steelers- This could be the worst thing Steven Jackson could hope for. Playing in Pittsburgh is tough enough, but to do it with a 3rd string QB..The Steelers will give him no respect, stacking upon stacking players in the box to shut him down. I would bench Steven Jackson this week. Steelers #2 vs. RBs.
#30. Ben Tate @ Indianapolis- Ben would be a top 10 option if Arian Foster wasn’t on the team. But he is on the team and he is someone who can handle a full load by himself. That leaves too much risk, but if you’re struggling at RB. I would go with Ben. Colts #30 vs. RBs.
#31. Jonathan Stewart vs. Tampa Bay- J.Stew, The Daily Show, earn your nickname. This week he has a chance against the very weak Tampa D that should get ran over by this high powered Panthers running game. Hopefully he finds the end zone again. TB #32 vs. RBs.
#32. Pierre Thomas vs. Atlanta- Pierre is great because the Saints are great. You know they will move the ball all game and if the Saints wanted too, they could let Pierre be a top 5 fantasy option if they got rid of Sproles and Ingram. He will get his looks, he needs the TD though. Falcons #4 vs. RBs.
#33. Mike Tolbert @ Detroit- Tolbert is starting to lose goal line TDs after Matthews got a two in one game. The Chargers should turn back to Tolbert and will be fantasy relevant if you really need an option. Detroit is struggling. Lions #7 vs. RBs.
Tier 4- For Deeper leagues.
#34. Danny Woodhead vs. Miami- Danny is good for PPR leagues as Brady will throw to him if the defense gives it to him. He also is good for a sneaky TD when teams least expect it. Like he did against Denver. Dolphins #4 vs. RBs.
#35. Donald Brown vs. Houston- Donald the Duck will have a tough time against a tough Houston team. He has been running well, and you could do a lot worst. But I would be afraid to play him as Indy’s best chance of winning is through the air. Texans #2 vs. RBs.
#36. Lance Ball @ Buffalo- Ball was called in early and he played late. If the game in Buffalo becomes a shootout, then Ball could have a…Ball. Bills #28 vs. RBs.
#37. Benjarvus Green- Ellis vs. Miami- The Lawfirm is a TD or nothing type of player. With that being said, he could easily find the end zone on a day where Tom Brady will tear up the Dolphins and should be in the red zone all day. Dolphins #4 vs. RBs.
#38. Brandon Jacobs vs. NYJ- Jacobs turned into TD or nothing type of player after rushing for over 100 yards. He is too risky to start against a tough Jets run D that will be ready to fight for a playoff game at home. Jets #13 vs. RBs.
#39. Jackie Battle vs. Oakland- Battle is semi- the goal line back for KC. The Chiefs still like to see Thomas Jones get the TD, but Battle will clean up whatever Thomas Jones does not. Raiders #26 vs. RBs.
#40. Sammy Morris vs. Eagles- Sammy, is running hard and looks to be a great player to have long term. This week he could still potentially see 10 touches as Felix Jones definitely can’t take a beating. Eagles #24 vs. RBs.
#41. Ryan Grant vs. Chicago- Not a huge surprise to see Ryan Grant come back to life. This week in Green Bay things will be different. The Packers should own T.O.P against a Bears team that really struggles to move the ball. He will have to compete for his carries now that he proved he isn’t vintage RG. Bears #10 vs. RBs.
#42. Daniel Thomas @ New England- Finally he’s starting to look good, or at least potential. He is nothing until Reggie Bush goes down, or if he gets the rare goal line carry. Patriots #18 vs. RBs.
Start of the Week: Julio Jones
Bust of the Week: Victor Cruz
Sleeper of the Week: Steve Breaston
Tier 1- Start’em.
#1. Calvin Johnson vs. San Diego- The Lions finally found a way to get Megatron involved again. San Diego has nobody that can touch Johnson. If they try, they will be penalized every play. I expect teams to go back to double bracket coverage after seeing Calvin dominate and lead the Lions to a 1 point win.
#2. Brandon Marshall @ New England- Marsh is going to get a lot of looks in this game. Miami is going to need to put up points every possession, and that’s an easy task when playing the #32 ranked overall defense. Start Marshall in all leagues.
#3. Roddy White @ New Orleans- Roddy show stoppy White. He is back, he is playing a top 3 WR and I am starting as the #3 in what should be a shootout. He could be the safest WR play this week; playing in a dome, will never see double bracket coverage; high scoring game against the Saints will happen.
#4. Steve Smith vs. Tampa Bay- The Bucs are low on corners after Talib is now possibly out for the season. With his absence an already terrible TB defense gets worse. They are awful against the run, and now will have to suffer with Steve Smith deep. Good week to get this guy in your lineup.
#5. Wes Welker vs. Miami- Wes is a PPR machine and loves playing his former team. He had a 99 yard TD catch against Miami in week 1, and you know Tom Brady wants to get his star WR involved now that he’s an afterthought with Gronkowski and Hernandez making so much noise.
Tier 2- Guys who are very solid and should produce at a high level
#6. Antonio Brown vs. St. Louis- Brown is the man for Pittsburgh, and he was getting looks all night and should have a good game where the Rams have to send extra attention to stopping Mendenhall. Antonio is great after the catch and he could have a monster game.
#7. AJ Green vs. Arizona- Green is playing with a separated shoulder against one of the most physically gifted young corners in the NFL in Patterson. Green gets so many targets that he makes a safe play, but there is a chance he re-aggravates the injury.
#8. Mike Wallace vs. St. Louis- Mike Wallace can easily take a deep pass to the house this week. The Rams have so much worry about as is, that one play action streak play should present itself with the opportunity. Mike is hungry for a big game after kind of falling under the radar with Brown starting to do so well.
#9. Larry Fitzgerald @ Cincinnati- Fitz is an amazing WR, and that’s the reason he is ranked this high. He has a tough matchup, but is always a threat for a TD. As long as Skelton is the QB, you have to be comfortable with Fitzgerald.
#10. Julio Jones @ New Orleans- Julio could have a monster Monday Night as it should be a high scoring shootout in New Orleans. If defenses start to key on stopping Roddy White after his huge 2 TD game, then that leaves Julio Jones in single coverage. Easily could outperform White and be the start of the week.
#11. Percy Harvin @ Washington- Percy had a dud against New Orleans. I’m going to blame it on the fact that AP was back and Christian Ponder is not a good QB when they have their backs to the wall. This week Washington’s defense is coming off a huge road performance in New York, and if Ponder is starting again, keep your expectations tempered.
#12. Vincent Jackson @ Detroit- The Lions Chargers game should be high scoring, and Vincent Jackson is due for a breakout game. He could get the looks as the Lions run D is solid at home. If you have Jackson this week, would not be a bad idea to let the dice roll.
#13. Dwayne Bowe vs. Oakland- Bowe has been one of the coldest WRs in the NFL since the Cassel injury. Orton is in, Oakland just gave up 2 TD’s to Megatron, and I expect Bowe to bounce back in a huge way. He is the dark horse sleeper of the week, and if you own him. Play him. He is a top 10 talent.
#14. Jordy Nelson vs. Chicago- Jordy’s new role as the #1 WR was not a good thing against Brandon Flowers. Against Jennings, Nelson should have more success. For every dud Nelson has, he usually bounces back with a big game, and I expect Rodgers to have a big game. Start Jordy hoping he gets in the action.
#15. Marques Colston vs. Atlanta- Colston has a chance to have a monster game in this high scoring shootout. There is always that small chance he underperforms, but he has been consistent enough to trust every game this season.
Tier 3- Great options, but aren’t locks.
#16. Dez Bryant vs. Eagles- Dez was shutdown against the Eagles earlier this season with 3 catches. This time around the Cowboys are playing hot football, and Asante Samuels may not play 100% which should allow a big matchup problems as long as Nandi doesn’t shadow Dez. I don’t think that will happen.
#17. Santonio Holmes vs. NYG- Holmes should bounce back with a nice performance against a terrible Giants secondary. Sanchez plays better at home, and he likes throwing the ball to Holmes as a lot of plays are designed for him in that offense.
#18. Santana Moss vs. Minnesota- The Vikings are terrible against the pass, and Moss is the Redskins best WR. Grossman does like throwing to Gaffney a lot, but I expect Santana to be the leading man for the skins.
#19. Miles Austin vs. Eagles- Miles is still an elite talent, but he got shut down just like Dez Bryant last time these two teams faced off. With the Samuels playing hurt, Miles could surprisingly have a big game, as long as Nandi doesn’t shadow Austin. After 1 TD, that may happen.
#20. Hakeem Nicks @ New York Jets- Nicks dropped at least 2 TD’s against Washington on Sunday. On a bomb, and on a comeback route. He’s a beast WR and as long as Eli Manning can get it back together, he is a great start. But the problem is, Eli usually chokes this time of the season.
#21. Victor Cruz @ New York Jets- Cruzzzzzzzzz is starting to fall asleep on us. He’s fallen a few notches since Mario Manningham has come back, but he is still a world class athlete and it would be hard not to start a talent in his caliber. However Eli is a problem, and if Manning doesn’t bounce back. You could be looking at another dud for Cruz.
#22. Laurent Robinson vs. Eagles- Laurent had over 100 yards against the Eagles last time these two teams played. This time around, he could have another big game as it looks like Samuels will be playing hobbled in the Philly secondary. Laurent should be a good play, and might be the safest of the Dallas WRs. I think Miles, and Dez have more potential.
#23. Stevie Johnson vs. Denver- Denver is terrible against the pass, but not bad against #1 WRs. Champ Bailey will be shadowing Stevie all day, but the Broncos as a unit could struggle mightily in this one, and Stevie gets targets all day everyday. He has a groin injury, as of now I’m going to rank him if it was not a problem.
#24. Jeremy Maclin @ Dallas- Maclin is going to bounce back one of these weeks. He is a very talented WR and with the Eagles looking to be full strength again, JMac should be back. Tough matchup, but the potential is there.
#25. Plaxico Burress vs. NYG- Plax is a solid bet to reach the end zone this game. The Giants corners are way undersize for Plax, and Sanchez is a better QB at home. If he does not get the TD the yardage should be better than normal.
#26. Demariyus Thomas @ Buffalo- D-Thom is a beast, and he has proved 3 weeks in a row. He now faces an easy Buffalo secondary, and it would not be a bad idea to let the dice roll on Tebow’s new favorite WR. Erick Decker, it was fun while it lasted.
#27. Lance Moore vs. Atlanta- Moore is becoming very reliable for the Saints. I have been comparing him to the Wes Welker of their high powered offense, and he continues to thrive in that role. He could have another big game as he is consistently part of that offense.
#28. Nate Washington vs. Jacksonville- The quicker Jake Locker comes into the game, the quicker Nate Washington becomes a top 15 option at the position. Locker has a man crush on Nate, it was exhibited week after week especially in Atlanta when he had 2 TDs. Even in a game where Locker plays one series, he finds Nate Washington for a TD. Nate Washington owners will have a man crush on Jake Locker.
Tier 4- Mediocre number guys who could surprise with a big game.
#29. Derrius Heyward Bey @ Kansas City- DHB has a tough matchup if Brandon Flowers decides he wants to matchup with him. The Chiefs are a great home team, they beat SD on Monday Night earlier this year, and they just beat GB. I would not trust DHB as this one could get ugly for Raiders fans.
#30. Steve Breaston vs. Oakland- Breaston got a lot of targets thrown his way, including a dropped TD. He is looking like a very reliable option for Orton and he could truly breakout this week if the Raiders decide they need to shut down Dwayne Bowe after watching Detroit’s #1 WR breakout on them.
#31. Desean Jackson @ Dallas- Desean is having a down year in his contract year, he needs to finish strong, and a big performance against Dallas could turn around his disappointing season. This game should mean a lot to him.
#32. Mike Willams @ Carolina- Mike Williams faces a beat up Panther secondary. It’s been hard to trust him this season, but he could be valuable for some good garbage time numbers. Just when you thought he found chemistry with Freeman this year, Freeman gets hurt and they never get back on track.
#33. Jabar Gaffney vs. Minnesota- Jabar is looking great since the Fred Davis suspension. With Santana Moss seeing extra coverage Gaffney has quietly gone under the radar, and with the Vikings losing Asher Allen, Jabar could have another very solid week.
#34. Torrey Smith vs. Cleveland- Torrey is getting more and more looks, with Boldin out for the season. The bad news is, he faces off against Joe Haden who could easily shut him down. Expect the TD streak to end.
#35. Donald Driver vs. Chicago- Driver is the man under the radar in what should be a game where the Bears get overwhelemed again. If they can’t handle Seattle, then they will not be able to handle GB in GB. Driver is a good sleeper bet for the end zone in his 3rd straight.
#36. Nate Burleson vs. San Diego- Nate the great could have a good game if the Chargers decide to bracket cover Megatron. It’s a very high possibility, and if that’s the case then you can do a lot worse than Nate.
#37. Denarius Moore @ Kansas City- D.Moore is a deep threat that only needs a couple targets to have a big game. He use to get 10 when he was healthy, and now that he is. He could have super sleeper value and be the flavor of the week.
#38. James Jones vs. Chicago- The forgotten man last week, he could bounce back at any moment and have a big game. He was on the field a lot, but the Packers were out of sync and Finley disappointed as the #1 target.
Tier 5- Deep Leagues.
#39. Damian Williams vs. Jacksonville- What Jake Locker is to Nate Washington, Matt Hasselbeck is to Damian Williams. Man crush, man crush, man crush. Damian Williams will have a good game as long as Hasselbeck is in there. Once he is pulled, Nate Washington will get all the love.
#40. James Baldwin vs. Oakland- Baldwin could get a lot of matchup problems as he is a very talented WR. Now that he has a QB, don’t be surprised if Baldwin finds the end zone as a great red zone target.
#41. Malcolm Floyd @ Detroit- Floyd is benefiting from defenses trying to stop Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gate. Detroit could be a high scoring game, and Floyd will look to make an impact as this guy was a top 20 WR last year in fantasy.
#42. Andre Roberts @ Cincinnati- Roberts was a safety valve for Skelton all day. If Fitzgerald see’s the same triple press coverage than Roberts could make a decent option in PPR leagues.
#43. Michael Crabtree @ Seattle- If I were the 49ers offensive coordinator, I would use these two weeks to prep my team to learn how to be a 300 passing offense. The niners need to be prepared to put up points in a hurry, because not every game they play is going to be a low scoring home game. Maybe it will. I don’t trust Crabtree to get enough looks.
#44. Erick Decker @ Buffalo- Decker has fallen from a top 15 fantasy WR to a now mere deep league option. If you use him, keep your expectations tempered as D-Thom is the new man for Tebow.
#45. Brandon Lloyd @ Pittsburgh- There is no way the Steelers let Lloyd beat them this week. He will see a safety over the top every play. As good as this guy has become, he can’t do it with a 3rd string QB.
#46. Pierre Garcon vs. Houston- Pierre has had an intresting season. Most of his production has come off of garbage time, but that is still getting the job done. If you roll with Garcon, don’t expect much as the Texans held Cam Newton to under 200 yards passing. What could Dan Orlovsky get?
#47. Reggie Wayne vs. Houston- Nice to see this guy do well as he is hitting the days of his prime with a QB who shouldn’t be a starter in the NFL. Reggie make us proud, but I would not trust this guy on my fantasy team against a top notch defense.
#48. Doug Baldwin vs. San Francisco- If Tavaris Jackson throws for 170 yards or more, then Baldwin could have a decent game. Maybe a quarter of that amount. It is hard to trust any Seattle WR.
#49. Titus Young vs. San Diego- Titus is starting to earn the respect of Matt Stafford. But he is still just a deep threat on an offense that has so many weapons. Young is good, but his targets are not consistent enough to trust.
Start of the Week: Dustin Keller
Bust of the Week: Owen Daniels
Sleeper of the Week: Heath Miller
Tier 1- Start’Em
#1. Jimmy Graham vs. Atlanta – He is a red zone beast, and defenses can’t throw too much attention on him because the Saints have so many other options that can beat them. The #1 option on an offensive juggernaut.
#2. Rob Gronkowski vs. Miami- Maybe Denver showed if you double Gronk, Brady will beat you in other ways. Too hard to tell if the Dolphins are going to do the same thing. If they don’t Gronkowski will be a manimal.
#3. Aaron Hernandez vs. Miami- Being a TE on a Tom Brady team is a great thing. Hernandez took advantage of the Broncos sending extra men Gronk’s way. A-Hernz is probably the shiftiest TE after the catch in the NFL and makes a great start this week. Even if they single cover Gronk, as he is the #3 option on an elite passing team.
#4. Antonio Gates @ Detroit- Gates will need to have a big game as the Chargers could struggle to run the ball. If the Lions don’t double Gates he could explode.
#5. JerMichael Finley vs. Bears- Finley is clearly the #1 target for Rodgers with Jennings gone. They ended up losing that game for the first time in 19 straight, I think Finley is too talented and athletic to give up on this idea too early.
#6. Jason Witten vs. Eagles- Witten is slowly turning into the forgotten man for the Cowboys passing attack, at least that’s what is going on through defenses minds as they have to worry about L.Rob, Dez, and Miles. Witten should get his this week.
#7. Tony Gonzales @ Saints- This will be a high scoring game, and Tony will be needed to make a lot of catches over the middle as the Saints have to worry about Julio and Roddy taking over all night.
Tier 2- Safe, but not safe.
#8. Vernon Davis @ Seattle- This guy is hard to predict, when you think he will have a good game, he usually disappoints. Somehow defenses let this guy slip out for a big play or two, and he is so good that he is worth the risk in your fantasy lineup.
#9. Dustin Keller vs. NYG- Sanchez is a great home QB, and that usually means he finds his big reliable TE that has been with him since the beginning. Should be safe for at least 50 yards.
#10. Anthony Fasano @ New England- Not a bad matchup for Fasano who is starting to make a home for himself in the end zone. The Dolphins will be in comeback mode all day, so Fasano will get his looks. Safe start.
#11. Greg Olsen vs. TB- Olsen has been a headache to play or bench all season. This is a good matchup and he is too talented to bench when an opportunity like this presents itself.
#12. Brandon Pettigrew vs. San Diego- Pettigrew is getting a lot of chances for TDs this season, problem is he has been dropping them. Go ahead and start Pettigrew as he should continue to get his looks while teams worry about Calvin Johnson and all the speed threats.
#13. Bret Celek @ Dallas- Celek has turned into a reliable option for Vick in the passing game. It was evident last week when he had over 150 receiving yards. Celek could implode at any moment, especially as Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin get back N-sync with Vicky.
#14. Kellen Winslow @ Carolina- Winslow is the target for Freeman when he needs someone to make a play. But Freeman and the Bucs are so bad that they often find themselves panicking at the end of games to get anything going.
#15. Owen Daniels @ Indianapolis- Owen is a nice play this week against a bad Indy defense. However Yates is terrible and he has to compete with Dreesen for catches. Start him, but don’t be surprised to see a bad one.
#16. Jermiane Gresham vs. Arizona- Gresham should get more targets than he receives. With AJ Green coming back, expect another medium target performance for Gresham to work off of. The potential is there for a big game.
#17. Heath Miller vs. St. Louis- Heath usually thrives in games when the Steelers play low ranked teams. Heath should get his looks in the red zone.
#18. Jared Cook @ Jacksonville- J.Cook is featured as a goal line WR. Always a nice thing to add to the resume, his QB play is shaky with Hasselbeck making him not super reliable.
Tier 3- Deep Leagues
#19. Kevin Boss @ Kansas City- Boss is not a very good option this week. You can only hope for the red zone TD.
#20. Topp Heap @ Bengals- Heap is starting to get involved in the offense, but for now is just a fish in a Larry Fitzgerald pond.
#21. Jeremy Shockey vs. TB- Shockey is starting to be the red zone TE over Olsen. Intresting fantasy pick if you need a TE, if he does not get a TD. Not a very solid game.
#22. Scott Chandler vs. Denver- Chandler is a nice sleeper pick to get a TD. He use to get them on the reg in the beginning of the year.
#23. Ed Dickson vs. Browns- Not a bad TE, just not a team that throws enough to them especially when he is competing with Ray Rice, and Dennis Pitta for short yardage targets.
#24. Dennis Pitta vs. Browns- Great TE, if he was the 3rd TE for the Patriots he would be a good start, but as the 2nd fighting with Dickson. Hit or miss. Could be a sleeper with Boldin out.
Start of the Week: Neil Rackers
Bust of the Week: Jay Feely
Sleeper of the Week: Ryan Succop
Tier 1- Should put up a top 15 performance.
#1. John Kasay vs. Atlanta- Will be a high scoring game, busy night ahead.
#2. Mason Crosby vs. Chicago- Rodgers should have GB in the red zone all day.
#3. Neil Rackers @ Indianapolis- I expect a busy day for Rackers as the Colts know, the Texans will be running the ball inside the red zone.
#4. Shaun Suisham vs. St. Louis- Pittsburgh will own T.O.P. Lots of field goal attempts, just has to make them.
#5. Stephen Gostowski vs. Miami- Might be kicking in bad weather, but he will be kicking a lot.
#6. Jason Hanson vs. San Diego- Detroit is playing at a high level offensively. Should be a busy day.
#7. David Akers @ Seattle- SF tends to fall apart once they get in the red zone, always a good thing to be a kicker on that team.
#8. Dan Bailey vs. Eagles- Will be an intense game that should lead to red zone stops. FG attempts await.
#9. Matt Bryant @ Saints- As long as the Falcons stay within 21 points from New Orleans, Bryant will be kicking a lot of FGs.
#10. Matt Prater @ Buffalo- Could be bad weather, but he should be on the field a lot as the Bills won’t know how to stop Tebow.
#11. Nick Folk vs. Giants- The Giants D is soft and the Jets should be in their territory all game long.
#12. Sebastian Janikowski @ Chiefs- The Raiders will have a tough time against a hungry Chiefs defense. Which means settling for FGs.
#13. Rob Bironas @ Jacksonville- If Locker jumps into QB before the half, then Bironas should have a nice game. Locker moves the ball very well.
#14. Ryan Succop vs. Raiders- Kansas City will be playing it’s heart out. If you are playing Kyle Orton, or Thomas Jones. Then you should start Succop.
Tier 2- Hit or miss.
#15. Graham Gano vs. Vikings- Gano could be busy as the Redskins will move the ball well vs Minny, but they might have to settle for FGs as the Redskins don’t have a true TD running back.
#16. Alex Henery @ Cowboys- The Eagles offense is back and they will look to be in Dallas’s territory as often as they can.
#17. Dave Rayner vs. Denver- The Bills should move the ball fairly well against a weak Denver defense. He is a good sleeper, if you want one.
#18. Nick Novak @ Detroit- San Diego is moving the ball well. They could be stopped in the red zone as the Lions have a vicious run defense.
#19. Steve Haushaka vs. SF- Seattle will not be scoring many TDs in this game. They will settle for FGs and be happy with it.
#20. Mike Nugent vs. Arizona- Dalton and the Bengals will be stuffed short in the red zone this week. Nugent will clean up what Benson and AJ Green can’t.
**#21. Billy Cundiff vs. Browns- I don’t see the Ravens letting this guy be their kicker unless he goes perfect from here on out. He has been the definition of a bad kicker making only 75% of his kicks.
#22. Olindo Mare vs. TB- I have a feeling the Panthers will be scoring TDs more often than kicking FGs in this one.
#23. Jay Feely @ Bengals- The Cardinals could struggle to move the ball this week, which could limit the opportunities for Feely.
#24. Lawrence Tynes @ NYJ- He missed an unexcusbale 44 yard FG attempt last week. Not very reliable but could be busy if the Giants step up.
#25. Ryan Longwell @ Washington- If Peterson gets into beast mode, the Vikings could see themselves in a good position to get a lot of FGs.
#26. Adam Vinterai vs. Texans- The Colts offense isn’t good enough to move the ball against the Texans. They will fall behind early leaving Adam as an XP kicker.
Start of the Week: Pittsburgh
Bust of the Week: Bears
Sleeper of the Week: Chiefs
Tier 1- Should be Solid.
#1. Pittsburgh vs. St. Louis- A 3rd string QB playing against a Steeler team in December that is fighting for playoff position. The 3rd stringer also has the talent of the worst team in the NFC. Pittsburgh will do some damage at home.
#2. Green Bay vs. Chicago- The Bears have no offense and will be turning over the ball constantly. Could be a huge night for all Packers.
#3. Baltimore vs. Cleveland- Seneca Wallace makes the Browns offense intresting. Ray Lewis won’t have any trouble with. They will look to bounce back after getting embarrassed on Sunday Night.
#4. Houston @ Indianapolis- The Colts have some confidence going into this game. As long as Yates doesn’t put the Texans defense in bad positions they should be solid.
#5. San Francisco @ Seattle- Seattle will be playing it’s heart out. It would not be surprising to see the Seahawks come out with the upset leaving the 49ers D/ST with little points. But they are a great unit and they’re facing Tavaris Jackson. Gotta play them.
#6. Washington vs. Minnesota- Christian Ponder is looking like one of the bottom level QBs in the NFL. Washington is coming off a huge road victory shutting down Eli Manning and co. I expect Washington to pull this one out. Beware of AP.
#7. Seattle vs. San Francisco- The Seahawks will be playing a must win game in their home stadium. Their defense usually rises to the challenge, and the 49ers are not an intimidating bunch.
Tier 2- Not Bad Starting Options.
#8. Kansas City vs. Oakland- The Chiefs just slowed down the high power Packers. A game in Arrowhead should allow the Chiefs to rise to the occasion. If you need a sleeper defense, this is your unit.
#9. Jets vs. Giants- The Jets will be fighting for a playoff spot in a must win game against the struggling Eli Manning. Expect the Jets to bring the house.
#10. New England vs. Miami- The Patriots defense in Foxboro during December are a group that usually comes away with the garbage time TD. It could happen if/when the Patriots pull away.
#11. Carolina vs. Tampa Bay- The Buc’s offense has no rhythm. They struggle to move the ball downfield, and usually turn it over or go 3 and out. I expect Carolina to destroy the Bucs but they will have a hard time in garbage pad the stat 4th quarter.
#12. Tennessee vs. Jacksonville- Jacksonville only has one weapon, MJD. If the Titans can shut down Jones-Drew, which they probably can’t after allowing Donald Brown to rush for 160 yards.
Tier 3- Pushing your Luck.
#13. Dallas vs. Philadelphia- The Eagles are a high power offense, and Vick doesn’t take sacks. I would look for another option.
#14. Detroit vs. San Diego- The Chargers offense is really catching fire now. The Lions have some playmakers on the defensive line, but I don’t think they have enough to be a good start at all.
#15. Cincinnati vs. Arizona- John Skelton has made the Cardinals a respectable team. The Bengals will be playing their hearts out in what could mean a playoff berth if they beat a team they should beat. The AFC North is much more physical than the NFC West.
#16. New Orleans vs. Atlanta- The Saints are no lock to slow down Matt Ryan and the Falcons. The only thing they have going for them is that they are the home team on MNF. I would bench them.
#17. Philadelphia @ Dallas- The only chance the Eagles have of putting up a good performance is if Tony Romo chokes. It’s possible, but he is playing good football lately.
#18. Chicago @ Green Bay- There is no way you can use the Bears after seeing how bad their offense is. They cannot move the ball at all. And against a Packer team, the Bears will be on the field often.
#19. Oakland @ Kansas City- The Raiders defense is terrible. They are playing a motivated Chiefs team and if you think that the Chiefs are overrated, then you can use them. But I’m telling you that the Chiefs offense is for real, and it is very risky to go this route.
If you don’t see a D/ST or another player on here that you would consider using, I wouldn’t advise that you use them. I will answer every question that comes my way.
Thanks again, and good luck in Week 16.
-Muntradamus is the senior chief editor of MaddenArena.com. He has been playing fantasy sports in high stakes league since 3rd grade. He played varsity sports in HS and studies fantasy sports hours upon hours a day. For questions, or looking for advice sign up for the forums to talk to Muntradamus and all of the Fantasy experts at MaddenArena.