Week 16 of the NFL season is a perilous time.
NFL teams are vying for playoff berths and fantasy owners everywhere are battling to stay in the postseason. So much is on the line—trophies, bragging rights and small amounts of cash—and starting the wrong person can ruin 16 weeks of hard work and research.
Nobody wants that.
To avoid a disastrous result, I'd take a long look at these recommendations as to who should be avoided in Week 16 of the fantasy season.
Bryce Brown, RB, Eagles
Brown has been a fantasy revelation since taking over for an injured LeSean McCoy in Week 12.
In his first two weeks as a starter, he went for over 20 fantasy points. Although his production the last two games has been disappointing, he was still a must start.
That is no longer the case, as McCoy returns on Sunday for the Eagles' division showdown against the Redskins. Brown will still receive carries, but the majority of his work will shift to the return game.
The Redskins are ranked No. 6 in the NFL against the run. So, while Brown earns backup carries versus that unit, it's hard to envision him breaking out for a huge day.
Avoid starting Brown this week, even in your flex spot.
Beanie Wells, RB, Cardinals
Wells had quite a good game last week, actually spectacular would be more accurate for fantasy owners. The Arizona back scored three touchdowns in the team's win over Detroit en route to a 20-point plus fantasy day.
Don't expect that level of production again on Sunday.
The Cardinals will face one of the NFL's best defenses in the Chicago Bears, and as inept as the Arizona passing game is, you can bet the Bears will key in on the Cardinals running game.
That means the Bears will place eight people in the box the majority of the time. A tough formula for Wells, who already has a difficult time breaking off big runs on his own.
Avoid if possible. Wells is a flex start, at best, this week.
Chris Johnson, RB, Titans
Johnson has quietly, and I mean quietly, rushed for 1,159 yards this season for the Titans.
Last week he broke out for 122 yards, his best performance in over a month. For most backs this would make him a must start the next week, but not for Johnson.
Will Chris Johnson have more than 10 fantasy points in Week 16?
Johnson is more up-and-down than some fishing bobbers, and going up against the Packers, he's not likely to repeat the performance.
The Packers aren't terrific against the run at 14th in the league, though they're not bad either. But it's the Green Bay offense Johnson’s owners should really be scared of.
Aaron Rodgers and Co. score points, and do so quickly. It will happen against a poor Titan's defense, which means Tennessee will have to throw to keep up on the scoreboard.
And throwing means less touches for Johnson.
Johnson might break off a big run, but unless he is your flex, he should sit in Week 16.