Fantasy Football: Darren McFadden Leads 'Start-or-Sit' Battles for Week 16
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The following countdown details six "start-or-sit" scenarios for championship Week 16, factoring in competitions at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end.
For the most part, the rushing and receiving conundrums were broken down with standard-scoring leagues in mind.
But, as routinely stated on The Fantasy Blog, it's hard to make rational decisions about wideouts and tight ends without factoring in receiving targets.
Enjoy the show...and good luck in the final round of the playoffs!
Start: QB Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
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2012 Stats: 3,254 Yards Passing, 19 TD (1 Rush)
Reasons To Start Sam Bradford Over Joe Flacco
1. Last week against the Vikings, Bradford established seasonal highs with completions (35), pass attempts (55) and yards passing (377).
2. Of his last six outings, Bradford has thrown for either 280 yards or multiple touchdowns four times.
3. Bradford's four main playmakers—Steven Jackson, Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson, Chris Givens—should be good to go on Sunday.
4. The Buccaneers currently rate as the NFL's worst pass defense, surrendering 310 yards per game.
Sit: QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
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2012 Stats: 3,474 Yards Passing, 22 TD (2 Rush)
Reasons To Bench Joe Flacco (For Sam Bradford)
1. Of his last eight games, Flacco has thrown for less than 200 yards five times.
2. In that span, Flacco thrice posted a completion rate of 50 percent or less.
3. Against NFC East foes this season (three outings), Flacco has modest averages of 216 yards passing and 1.7 touchdowns.
Start: RB Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
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2012 Stats: 858 Total Yards (617 Rushing), 3 TD
Reasons To Start Darren McFadden Over LeSean McCoy
1. McFadden has racked up 213 total yards and one touchdown in his last two outings.
2. Of their last seven games, the Panthers surrendered 150-plus combined rushing yards four times.
3. McFadden has logged six games of 18 or more touches this season, with per-outing averages of 116 total yards and 0.33 TDs when granted a sizable workload.
Sit: RB LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
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2012 Stats: 985 Total Yards (750 Rushing), 5 TD
Reasons To Bench LeSean McCoy (For Darren McFadden)
1. If McCoy hadn't sustained a concussion a few weeks ago, he'd likely rank as a top-10 rusher this weekend. But in his first game back, expectations should be tempered.
2. Of his previous six outings, McCoy had cleared 100 yards rushing only once.
3. McCoy makes for an intriguing RB2 or flex-start consideration on Fantasy Bowl weekend...but not at the expense of benching McFadden.
Start: WR Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans
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2012 Stats: 41 Catches, 527 Yards, 3 TD
Reasons To Start Kenny Britt Over Greg Jennings
1. Of his last four games, Britt notched 100 yards receiving or one touchdown three times.
2. Through 12 games, Britt has crossed the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 95 yards and/or one TD five times.
3. Britt is just two weeks removed from his best effort of the season—eight catches and 143 yards against the Colts.
Sit: WR Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers
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2012 Stats: 21 Catches, 201 Yards, 1 TD
Reasons To Bench Greg Jennings (For Kenny Britt)
1. Since returning from injury three weeks ago, Jennings has accounted for only nine catches and 123 yards (with zero scores).
2. If Jordy Nelson (hamstring) is able to play against the Titans, Jennings would have to compete with Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jermichael Finley for receiving targets.
3. On a national radio show Monday, Jennings admitted to being less than 100 percent healthy...but expected to reach that point during the NFC playoffs.
Start: TE Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
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2012 Stats: 48 Catches, 434 Yards, 8 TD
Reasons To Start Kyle Rudolph Over Rob Housler
1. From Weeks 10-13, Rudolph had a superb three-game flurry of 18 catches, 26 targets, 170 yards and three touchdowns.
2. Through 14 games, Rudolph has crossed the tight end-elite threshold of five catches, 80 yards and/or one TD eight times.
3. For Weeks 11-14, the Texans surrendered 1,400 yards passing and 11 touchdowns to four different quarterbacks (Chad Henne, Matthew Stafford, Jake Locker, Tom Brady).
Sit: TE Rob Housler, Arizona Cardinals
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2012 Stats: 45 Catches, 417 Yards
Reasons To Bench Rob Housler (For Kyle Rudolph)
1. Among tight ends, Housler ranks as one of the targets leaders since Week 9...and yet, he hasn't scored a touchdown all season.
2. The Bears (Housler's Week 16 opponent) currently rate as the No. 6 pass defense, allowing 210 yards per game.
3. Cardinals rookie QB Ryan Lindley has the following deplorable stats: zero touchdowns, six interceptions and a 51 percent completion rate.
Start: WR Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
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2012 Stats: 45 Catches, 759 Yards, 5 TD
Reasons To Start Josh Gordon Over Jeremy Kerley
1. Gordon has attracted 41 receiving targets in his last five outings.
2. For Weeks 13-14, Gordon collected 14 catches, 19 targets, 202 yards and one touchdown.
3. The above stats are nice to consult, but for this weekend, Gordon is a leap-of-faith pick for fantasy success.
Sit: WR Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets
2012 Stats: 53 Catches, 739 Yards, 2 TD
Reasons To Bench Jeremy Kerley (For Josh Gordon)
1. Kerley has accounted for a pedestrian eight catches and 75 yards over his last three games.
2. The Jets wideout hasn't found the end zone since Week 3.
3. Of his previous 11 games, Kerley has registered double-digit fantasy points only once (standard-scoring leagues).
4. The Chargers have yielded per-game averages of 241 yards passing, but let's be honest here:
Jets QB Greg McElroy doesn't have a good chance of crossing the above threshold on Sunday.
Start: QB Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
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2012 Stats: 3,555 Yards Passing, 22 TD
Reasons To Start Matt Schaub Over Carson Palmer
1. In his last four home games, Schaub has averaged 328 yards passing and 2.5 touchdowns.
2. Andre Johnson (47 catches, 763 yards, two TDs since Week 11) is one of the hottest receivers on the planet right now.
3. The Vikings currently rate as the NFL's No. 23 pass defense, allowing 244 yards per game.
Sit: QB Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders
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2012 Stats: 3,987 Yards Passing, 23 TD (1 Rush)
Reasons To Bench Carson Palmer (For Matt Schaub)
1. Palmer has completed fewer than 20 passes in three of his last four games.
2. For Weeks 13-15, Oakland receivers Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey combined for only 20 catches, 242 yards and one score.
3. The Panthers (Palmer's Week 16 opponent) currently stand as the NFL's No. 9 pass defense, allowing 217 yards per game.