For most folks that inhabit the nerdy fantasy football universe—yes, fantasy football is inherently nerdy—Week 16 is championship week.
It's a wondrous time when the two best or luckiest (depending on the circumstances and your perspective) teams in your league battle it out for fantasy supremacy. It's a time when one player can be the difference between bragging rights and the undistinguished title of "best loser" for the second-place team.
Sure, a Russell Wilson might emerge and make or break your season, but more than likely, the championship is won by the team whose stars show up and lead them to glory.
So with that in mind, I've identified a few stars who should post huge numbers this week and single-handedly win a few league championships. These players have consistently dominated this year and have the added bonus of being blessed with a tasty matchup this week.
In other words, they'll make us fantasy nerds very, very happy or very, very sad. Long live fantasy nerds!
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III is day by day with a sprained right LCL, according to Mark Maske of The Washington Post, but he should dominate this Sunday if he plays.
Griffin III leads all of fantasy football in points scored (at least in standard-scoring leagues). He plays the Philadelphia Eagles, a team that has given up at least 15 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks 10 times this season.
Oh yeah, and the Redskins are fighting for a playoff spot. Normally, I might be wary given the trap-game potential for Washington against a 4-10 team. But since Griffin didn't play last week, I think he comes out extra motivated, and the team will come out firing.
Griffin will continue to be the king of fantasy in 2012.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Listen, I don't care if Peterson's opponent was a wall that was 50 yards wide, 25 yards tall and 99 yards thick—he would still find a way to rush for 125 yards and a touchdown. He's that on point right now.
So no, I'm not terribly worried about him even against a tough Houston Texans defense. Peterson has 27 or more fantasy points in three straight games. He hasn't scored less than eight points all season long. He's had success against other tough rush defenses.
The man is not to be doubted. The Texans aren't going to convince me I should start.
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
After starting out as a rather inconsistent player for fantasy owners, Newton has really heated up. He's scored 18 or more fantasy points in five straight weeks and in six of his last seven games. He's eclipsed 20 points four times in that span, and reached 37 points twice.
In other words, he's on fire.
Oh, and he's playing the Oakland Raiders, who shut down Brady Quinn in the last seven weeks—and that's it. Before Sunday, the Raiders allowed opposing quarterbacks to score 14 or more points in six straight weeks.
Newton will carve up the weak Raiders defense. Fantasy owners, rejoice!
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Bryant has scored at least one touchdown in six straight weeks and has eight total touchdowns in that span. I think it is safe to say he's matured and all of that good stuff.
The New Orleans Saints did just shut out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but in general this season have been absolutely torched by top passing teams. And like it or not, the Cowboys passing attack is really clicking right now.
Look for Bryant to post huge numbers in what should promise to be a really fun shootout to watch.
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Are you going to bet against him right now?
Brady has scored less than 17 fantasy points just twice this season. He's thrown for over 300 yards eight times. He's throw for two or more touchdowns nine times. He's arguably the league's MVP.
And he's playing the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. I'm not even going to bother going through the Jaguars stats. That Brady faces the Jaguars this week is all you should need to hear to know he's going to post 20 or more fantasy points this week.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are gunning for a league title this week.