Start Em Sit Em Week 16: An Early Look at Top Title Week Matchup Plays
We've reached the end of the line in fantasy football.
It's Week 16, and that means that in the vast majority of fantasy leagues, it's championship week, as the last two teams standing duke it out to see who will be crowned league champs.
For most of these teams, setting this week's lineup is fairly simple. You dance with who brought you and roll out the players that got you into the playoffs to begin with.
However, whether it's due to injuries or trying to milk every last point out of an "underdog" lineup, many fantasy owners will be searching for some solid matchup plays one last time this week.
Look no farther, because here they are.
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys (vs. NO)
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It's been the typical roller-coaster season for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, but after throwing for 341 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the 10th-year pro ranks ninth at his position in fantasy points this year.
Granted, given his history of struggling in December, it's a bit risky to count on Romo in a title game, but there's also no denying that Romo has a very favorable matchup this week with a New Orleans Saints team allowing the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Other quarterbacks with favorable matchups: Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (at TB), Matt Schaub, Houston Texans (vs. MIN), Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (vs. OAK)
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers (vs. OAK)
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No, I haven't been drinking, and yes, I mean that DeAngelo Williams.
Granted, the Carolina Panthers running back has been average at best for much of the season, but over the past two weeks, the seventh-year veteran has heated up, averaging over 125 total yards and a touchdown per game.
If this week's matchup is any indication, then that hot streak should continue in championship week, as the Panthers face an Oakland Raiders squad that has been a top-five fantasy matchup for ball-carriers this season.
Other running backs with favorable matchups: DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys (vs. NO), Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders (at CAR), David Wilson, Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots (at BAL)
Anquan Boldin, WR, Baltimore Ravens (vs. NYG)
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If you're a fantasy owner of Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin that started him last week and lived to tell the tale, then count yourself as lucky, as the veteran's first game without a catch in several seasons likely spelled doom for many fantasy teams.
That doughnut may make fantasy owners leery of starting Boldin this week, but with Torrey Smith's status in doubt and the Ravens heading into a top 10 fantasy matchup with the New York Giants, those fantasy owners need to have short memories.
Other wide receivers with favorable matchups: Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams (at TB), Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (vs. NO), Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins (vs. BUF)
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers (vs. OAK)
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It's been accompanied by very little fanfare, but Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has very quietly put together a career year in his sixth NFL season, as Olsen has already set a career mark in yardage and will soon hit a new benchmark in receptions as well.
That production has been enough to rank Olsen seventh among fantasy tight ends this season, and Olsen's solid production should continue this week against the Oakland Raiders, who have given up the third-most fantasy points to tight ends in 2012.
Other tight ends with favorable matchups: Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (vs. TEN), Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. CIN), Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (at HOU)
Chicago Bears Defense/Special Teams
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OK, so the Arizona Cardinals threw us a fantasy curveball last week.
The Detroit Lions defense looked like a fantastic play heading into a matchup with the hapless Cardinals, only to see the Arizona defense score a pair of touchdowns in a 38-10 rout of the apparently equally hapless Lions.
With that said, order should be restored to the universe this week, as the Chicago Bears, who are fantasy's highest scoring defense this year, play host to a Cardinals team that's surrendering the most fantasy points to the position this season.
If that doesn't work out, then I don't know what to tell you.
Other defenses with favorable matchups: Washington Redskins (at PHI), Indianapolis Colts (at KC), San Diego Chargers (at NYJ)