Fantasy Football Boom or Bust: Week 16

Larry Donnell
The Rams have been absolutely stingy against opposing tight ends this year, making Larry Donnell an easy sit

It is a bittersweet week in the fantasy football world. On one hand it’s championship weekend and on the other hand it marks the end of the 2014  season. I managed to reach the championship game in one of my three leagues so I still have a chance to end the year on a positive note. To make things fun I have decided to only talk about players that are featured in my league’s three championship contests. If you have reached the finals and don’t usually take my advice then I would continue to ignore it. However, if you are looking for that edge to push you across the finish line, buckle up and pay close attention as there may be some things that surprise you.

Boom:

Tom Brady: Since New England’s week 4 debacle in Kansas City, Brady has thrown for at least two touchdowns in each game. In week 16 he will face a familiar foe that he picked apart for 261 yards and 3 scores in their first meeting. Since that contest the Jets defense has not improved and has given up the third most touchdowns through the air while being second to last in interceptions. Be ready for Brady and the red-hot Patriots to continue their dominance against their AFC East rivals.

Matt Ryan: The Saints have surrendered multiple passing touchdowns in four of their last five games and have given up the third most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers in 2014. Atlanta’s offense is clicking right now and Matt Ryan is the catalyst. He has thrown for 8 touchdowns and more 300 yards per game over his last three contests. I don’t expect him to repeat his week 1 performance where he tallied 448 yards and 3 scores, but I do think he will put up very good numbers.

Jonathon Stewart: Since taking over sole possession of the Panthers’ backfield 3 weeks ago, Stewart has averaged 5.8 yards per carry. With Cam Newton coming back from an injury the Panthers should continue to give Stewart 20+ carries like they have the last couple of weeks. Stewart has a very appealing matchup with the Browns in week 16, a team that gave up 241 yards and 3 rushing scores last week. To stay in the playoff hunt Carolina needs to continue to lean on J-Stew.

Pierre Thomas: The Saints/Falcons game has the makings of a shootout. Last week against the Bears, Thomas played 30 snaps, 28 of them in passing situations. In week 1 against New Orleans, Thomas accumulated 89 total yards in a high scoring affair. If Thomas can manage to get into the end zone with similar yardage his owners will be very happy.

Roddy White: As you can probably tell, I like this matchup for both teams. White has once again become a consistent fantasy contributor, scoring in four of his last six games. Because of Matt Ryan’s numbers in their first meeting, White also had a good game racking up 72 yards and a touchdown. Roddy should take advantage of a defense that has surrendered 18 touchdowns to opposing receivers thus far.

Steve Smith: The Texans have allowed the third most touchdowns to receivers this year, 19, and at least one in every week since week 1. Every team playing the Texans has managed to get their receivers over 100 yards and 11 of them have eclipsed 150. Smith has thrived in road games of late, totaling 159 yards and 2 touchdowns in his last two. The wily vet will shine in a must win game for Baltimore.

Colby Fleener: Over his last three games, Fleener is averaging 20 yards per catch. The Cowboys have given up 80+ yards to tight ends 6 times in 2014. Dallas has also given up the third most touchdowns to the position (10). This is another game that has the potential to be a shootout and Fleener poses a tough matchup wherever he lines up.

Bust:

Cam Newton: This poor guy in one of my leagues has Newton and Cutler as his two options at quarterback. With Cutler benched, he is forced to start Newton. To make matters worse, Carolina is facing a very good Cleveland pass defense. The Browns have held quarterbacks to under 300 yards passing in all but two games and less than two touchdowns eight times. If the Panthers are smart they will protect their franchise quarterback and limit the number of opportunities the Browns have to hit him.

Russell Wilson: Wilson was held in check in Seattle’s first matchup with the Cardinals, totaling only 284 yards and 1 score. Since then, Wilson has not rushed for more than 50 yards in any game. Since week 7 the Cardinals have only given up eight passing touchdowns while Wilson has only thrown for more than 1 touchdown twice. Seattle should win this game behind their defense.

Jeremy Hill: After Hill’s performance last week expectations are high for him coming into week 16. However, against a great Denver rush defense, those expectations need to be kept in check. The Broncos have only allowed 4 rushing touchdowns this year, only 1 coming since week 5. If those stats don’t scare you maybe this will: Denver has allowed only one team to break 100 yards on the ground while holding teams to under 50 seven times. If the Bengals are forced to pass in this game we should see more of Gio Bernard as he is the better pass-catcher. Hill owners could not have picked a worse opponent in the final week of the fantasy season so hopefully you have a backup plan.

Lamar Miller: I continue to see fantasy owners starting Lamar Miller and I’m not sure why. He has recorded more than 100 yards just one time this season, while carrying the ball more than 15 times just twice. The Vikings haven’t been great against the run in 2014, although they have not allowed a running back to score since week 10. The Dolphins have yet to show a commitment to the run so Minnesota should not have to worry much about Miller on Sunday.

Mohamed Sanu: The second half of the season has been awful for Sanu. Over his last six games he hasn’t surpassed five receptions or 50 yards in any game. You would be able to live with those numbers if he was finding the end zone, but he has only two touchdowns in the last nine games. Things will not get easier this week against arguably the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. Sit city.

DeAndre Hopkins: It looks like Case Keenum is starting under center for the Texans which is bad news for anyone who owns DeAndre Hopkins. In eight games last year with Keenum as quarterback, Hopkins had 22 receptions for 419 yards and 1 touchdown. If my math is correct, his averages catching balls from Keenum are 3/52 per game. As well as Hopkins has played at times this season, these numbers give me very little confidence going into week 16.

Larry Donnell: Donnell has become a player of debate on Sunday morning’s installment of The Fantasy Forecaster. Surprisingly, he has only two touchdowns since his three-score performance in week 4 and hasn’t had more than three fantasy points in any of his last four games. His opponent, the Rams, have surrendered just two touchdowns to the position all year and less than 70 yards to tight ends in every game. For once, Larry Donnell should be a unanimous sit in your championship match.

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Payton is the newest fantasy football contributor to The Sports Script. Be on the lookout for more of his work in the coming weeks and follow him on Twitter @PaySand!

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Week 16 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Most of you reading this are in the playoffs and playing for the Title or in some cases the game before the title. First off, Good luck and we here at the Sports Script hope we have been helpful enough to get you playing where you are right now. We look forward to helping many others in the years to come.

This week there are some really good matchups across the board but with the uncertainty of some big name guys (Peterson, Fitzgerald and possibly the return of Aaron Rodgers). So I am here to give you my week 16 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Week 16 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Ben Roethlisberger vs. Green Bay Packers

The Steelers got up big early and really didn’t need Ben to do much this week. Prior to last week’s Big Ben had thrown for multiple touchdowns in 5 straight games. I look for him to his TD total this week against a Packers D that has given up 7 TDs over the last 3 games.

Alfred Morris vs. Dallas Cowboys

Morris is quietly the 5th leading rusher in football this season but has only found the endzone 6 times and once since week 9. He has a great matchup against a Cowboy run D that I think I could get 100 yards on (that’s saying a lot). Morris had 81 yards and a TD in the week 6 matchup against the Boys and this week he is a risky play as you don’t know how he will be used but I think he is certainly worth the look with the matchup he has.

Ben Tate vs. Houston Texans (Same could be said for Dennis Johnson if Tate doesn’t play)

Tate had a pretty good game on Sunday that got ruined by his two fumble. He went for 92 total yards but didn’t find the endzone for the 2nd straight week. He draws a Denver Broncos team that has given up an average of 122 yards and 1.5 touchdowns to opposing RBs over the last 4 games. Both of these guys are worth a look this week if you own them.

Emmanuel Sanders vs. Green Bay Packers

Sanders touchdown streak was halted at 3 games after not finding the endzone against the Bengals. This week we could see a shootout in Green Bay. Both defenses have been suspect against the pass and this could be the week Sanders scores his 6th TD of the year.

Brian Hartline vs. Buffalo Bills

Hartline has been on fire over the last 6 weeks. He has at least 5 catches and 50 yards in every game since week 9 and has scored 2 TDs in the last 3 games. In a PPR format he has been a stud. This week he faces Buffalo and he caught 6 balls for 69 yards in their week 7 matchup. If I it was me I would start Hartline this week but a strong sleeper play this week.

Tyler Eifert vs. Minnesota Vikings

Eifert succeeded in the 2nd half against the Steelers after Gresham went down. He found the endzone for the 1st time since week 7. If Gresham is down and you are missing a tight end due to the injury of Gronkowski, Eifert is the man to play. The Vikings have given up 3 TDs in the previous two games and haven’t been that good against TEs all season (averaging 9 PPG).

San Diego Chargers D vs. Oakland Raiders

The Chargers are coming off a high in beating the Broncos and holding them to a season low 17 points, which actually scares me a little in playing them because they could just let us down but I don’t see that happening this week. Chargers are a really good streaming option for Fantasy owners everywhere

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Week 16 Must Start/Must Sit …….

Championship Week is upon us all, some of you the title game is next week. But for everyone it’s an important week this week. Good luck to you all.

Must Start

Matthew Stafford v.s ATL – Coming off a rough week against the Cardinals, Stafford faces a semi tough matchup. But the Falcons defense before last week gave up 275+ yards in 3 straight games against QB’s. I think they just made sure to revenge last year’s playoff blowout. So look for the him to have a nice bounce back game this weekend.

Darren McFadden v.s Car – Carolina has been good against the run the last two weeks because they have jumped out to big leads. I don’t think they do the same against the Raiders. McFadden had his 1st 100 yard game since week 8 and should have another this week. I am always cautious about teams traveling across the country to face teams. But start McFadden regardless.

Alfred Morris v.s Phi – Whether Griffin plays or not Morris is a must start. But if RGIII sits again this week, his value peaks high again. He had a season high 27 carries last week and he has 100 yards or a TD in 4 straight games. He faces a Eagles team that has given up 100 yards on the ground in 10 straight games. Love the matchup, easy must start this week.

Steven Jackson v.s TB – Facing one of the tough defenses against the run in Tampa Bay. You would think Jackson might be good on the sidelines this week. Well I think that is wrong, he will have another solid week this week. He has 19+ touches in the last 4 games and has 14 catches out of the backfield in the last 3 games.

Pierre Garcon v.s Phi – Ever since coming of the injury this guy has been money. It doesn’t matter if RGIII or Cousins is at QB, he has 32 targets in the last 3 games. He is producing and should again this week against a weak Eagles secondary.

Danny Amendola v.s TB – Can we just call him Wes Welker 2.0? Could you imagine how many receptions this guy would have if he stayed healthy all season? He is a PPR machine, easy must start whenever he is playing.

Antonio Gates v.s NYJ – Gates found the end zone for the 5th time this year late in the game last week. I look for him have a very nice game against the Bad news Bears the Jets.

Must Sit

Andrew Luck v.s KC – If you have him as an only option this week, than I believe you should start him. But if you can get your hands on another option i.e. Wilson, Freeman or Flacco. I would start them ahead of Luck this week. They are ranked 7th against the pass this year in terms of yardage. The potential for a rough week is possible.

Jonathon Dwyer v.s Cin – Terrible matchup for him this week against a Bengals team that hasn’t given up over 50 yards on the ground in 3 games. Look for other options this week that have a better upside than Dwyer.

Chris Johnson v.s GB – Green Bay hasn’t been the best on stopping the run, but I don’t think this game will be close. I think the Packers will get out in front early taking the run out of this game. So if you have better RB’s on the roster to start, I would put them in the lineup.

Bryce Brown v.s Was – He is basically Fantasy Irrelevant now that McCoy has been named starter of the Eagles. Even with possibly splitting carries he is not worth the start this week.

Josh Gordon v.s Den – The young rookie will get to meet Champ Bailey this week. Bailey is one of the best this game has seen. I believe he will make him a non-factor in this game. Making him bench able this week in all formats.

Falcons D v.s Lions – I don’t trust the Falcons D we saw last week, they will struggle against the Lions. I think the Lions will get a lot of yardage and score over 20 points. Making them a not so hot start for this week.

Those are my week 16 start/sits, any Fantasy Football Questions you can ask on here or on twitter. (@rickygangster) I’ll answer any and all questions you send leading up to game time.

 

Week 16 Fantasy Football Sleepers

If you are reading this you are most likely heading to the Fantasy Football Championship. So I wish good luck to you in winning your Fantasy league this weekend.

Josh Freeman v.s STL – Even though the Rams have been decent against Fantasy QB’s over the past few weeks. I really like Freeman to bounce back in a nice way from that awful performance last week. I wouldn’t hesitate starting him this week at all.

Vick Ballard v.s KC – Coming off his 1st career 100 yard rushing game against the Texans. Ballard gets another really good matchup for this week. Facing a team that just came off giving up over 200 yards on the ground to Oakland. On the road against a struggling team, the Colts might try to run a bit more. He should be viewed as a really solid RB2/Flex play this week.

Reggie Bush v.s Buf – I really liked Bush last week against the Jaguars and in return had his 1st 100 yard game since week 2. This week against a Bills team that just gave up 270 yards on the ground. He should be a really nice option this weekend.

Danny Woodhead v.s JAX – Woodhead snuck into the lineup after both Ridley and Vereen fumbled the ball. We all know that Belichick holds grudges against players that fumble. With the Jaguars giving up 150+ yards on the ground. He could be a sneaky Flex play for this weekend.

Cecil Shorts v.s NE – After missing the week 14 matchup due to a concussion. Shorts came back and didn’t miss a beat. 6 catches for 101 yards on 11 targets, obviously Henne’s favorite target. This week comes against a questionable New England Defense. So he should have another good week this week.

T.Y Hilton v.s KC – Hilton has either a TD or 100 yards in 4 out of the last 5 games. He’s targets are there for sure. I think he should be a solid play this week at the WR2/Flex player.

Danny Amendola v.s TB – Amendola plays and he just catches the football. Misses two games due to the foot injury, comes back for 58 yards and a touchdown. This week he gets the Bucs, one of the worst teams against the pass. He should be a must start in PPR options and a strong WR2/Flex in standard leagues.

Jermichael Finley v.s TN – Finley hasn’t been consistent by any means, but he does have 21 targets in the last 4 games. He has a very nice matchup this week against the Titans. Who have a history of being terrible against tight end’s. If you have been filling in for Gronk, he would be a good spot start.

Those are my Week 16 sleepers, I will be posting my start/sits later this week.. Any thoughts or questions feel free to comment below or contact me on Twitter.(@rickygangster)