Peyton Manning won't have Wes Welker; meh, who cares? Start this soon-to-be record-breaker in all leagues.
No Thursday night game to force fantasy football finagling? Fabulous.
It is almost as if the NFL planned it that way on purpose for us fantasy football freaks.
It is Week 16 and championship time for lineups, so you cannot miss Bleacher Report's weekly Friday Top Plays slideshow. We break down each position's top news item/injury concern, best matchup, toughest matchup, likes, dislikes and comprehensive rankings.
If you're just stumbling upon this now, you're welcome—and where have you been all season?
Enjoy, and good luck bringing home the hardware and the cold, hard holiday cash.
We won't know anything until later Friday, but at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel right now for Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) owners. As much as that light is seen, though, it is still a mere flicker (of hope).
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the players know who Mike McCarthy will announce as the starter Friday, but Silverstein expects it will be backup Matt Flynn. Rodgers looked very good in practice Thursday, but he still hasn't been cleared yet, Silverstein tweeted.
You play Rodgers against the Pittsburgh Steelers in your fantasy Super Bowl if he's active. If he's out, you ignore Flynn.
Trust in Captain Kirk
The Washington Redskins look like they have something in Kirk Cousins, coming off his 381-yard, three-touchdown day last Sunday. Now, he gets the absolute worst defense in football. The Dallas Cowboys are last against fantasy quarterbacks and against the pass. Also, the Redskins coaching staff is motivated to have Cousins post gaudy numbers to justify its shaky decision to sit face-of-the-franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III. Cousins is a start in all leagues.
Carson Daily Update: He Returned to Practice
You can like the progress Carson Palmer has made as a fantasy contributor in the second half, but you cannot start him at Seattle versus the Seahawks and the 12th Man. They have the best secondary in football, and they are No. 1 against the pass and fantasy quarterbacks. Palmer is a bad play even in two-quarterback formats in such an important week. Hopefully you prepared for this.
Like Him More
You can hate on Tony Romo for his untimely interceptions, but you have to respect his fantasy totals. In a must-win week against a quarterback likely to post good numbers opposite him, we anticipate Romo coming through in a shootout.
It is the reason we are so bold to list this public enemy among the quarterbacks we like more than the fantasy analyst consensus this week:
- Tony Romo
- Aaron Rodgers (crosses fingers)
- Kirk Cousins
- Andrew Luck
- Joe Flacco
Like Him Less
Cam Newton should play much better against the New Orleans Saints at home than he did on the road just a couple of weeks ago. We still rate him as a starter in standard leagues, but you might not be starting him if you have Philip Rivers or Kirk Cousins also on your roster.
Because he is facing the fourth-best team in fantasy against quarterbacks, Newton is among those we like less than the masses below:
|1||Tony Romo||Dal||at Was||10||+9|
|2||Peyton Manning||Den||at Hou||1||-1|
|3||Matthew Stafford||Det||vs. NYG||6||+3|
|4||Drew Brees||NO||at Car||3||-1|
|5||Philip Rivers||SD||vs. Oak||4||-1|
|6||Nick Foles||Phi||vs. Chi||2||-4|
|7||Aaron Rodgers||GB||vs. Pit||15||+8|
|8||Kirk Cousins||Was||vs. Dal||12||+4|
|9||Russell Wilson||Sea||vs. Ari||11||+2|
|10||Cam Newton||Car||vs. NO||5||-5|
|11||Tom Brady||NE||at Bal||14||+3|
|12||Colin Kaepernick||SF||vs. Atl||7||-5|
|13||Andrew Luck||Ind||at KC||18||+5|
|14||Jay Cutler||Chi||at Phi||8||-6|
|15||Alex Smith||KC||vs. Ind||16||+1|
|16||Andy Dalton||Cin||vs. Min||9||-7|
|17||Ben Roethlisberger||Pit||at GB||13||-4|
|18||Joe Flacco||Bal||vs. NE||21||+3|
|19||Ryan Tannehill||Mia||at Buf||19||0|
|20||Ryan Fitzpatrick||Ten||at Jac||17||-3|
|21||Matt Ryan||Atl||at SF||22||+1|
|22||Eli Manning||NYG||at Det||26||+4|
|23||Matt Schaub||Hou||vs. Den||23||0|
|24||Kellen Clemens||StL||vs. TB||35||+11|
|25||Mike Glennon||TB||at StL||30||+5|
|26||Matt Cassel||Min||at Cin||25||-1|
|27||Carson Palmer||Ari||at Sea||27||0|
|28||Jason Campbell||Cle||at NYJ||20||-8|
|29||Chad Henne||Jac||vs. Ten||33||+4|
|30||Matt McGloin||Oak||at SD||28||-2|
|31||Geno Smith||NYJ||vs. Cle||32||+1|
|32||Thaddeus Lewis||Buf||vs. Mia||31||-1|
|33||Matt Flynn||GB||vs. Pit||24||-9|
After sitting out in Week 14, Reggie Bush went over 100 combined yards with a touchdown against a solid Ravens run defense (No. 7 in the NFL). Now, Bush (calf) is off the official NFL injury report and expected to start Sunday against the Giants. You should feel confident running Bush out there in all leagues.
Ride Them (Against the) Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are not only susceptible to the pass, they are also dead-last in fantasy against running backs, too, per FF Today. They are fifth-worst against the run and have given up a league-worst 100 receptions and eight receiving touchdowns to running backs. Alfred Morris has been a disappointment in Year 2, but he is a solid start in this favorable matchup in crunch time.
Tough Week Ahead for Your Lynch-pin
You cannot sit Marshawn Lynch against anyone, but if you have great backups in favorable matchups you might consider it. The Arizona Cardinals are No. 1 against the run and against fantasy running backs. The Seattle Seahawks will want to prove they can run the ball on anyone, though, so we expect Lynch will still get 60 yards and a touchdown here. It just won't be a championship-caliber bonanza for him.
Like Him More
Jamaal Charles shredded the Oakland Raiders defense last week, so you have to like Danny Woodhead's involvement in the game plan this week. Woodhead is facing the sixth-worst team in fantasy against running backs and is among the backs we like more than the masses below:
- Frank Gore
- Danny Woodhead
- Darren Sproles
- Joique Bell
- Knile Davis
Like Him Less
The New York Giants and Andre Brown couldn't get the running game going against the Seahawks last week, and it doesn't figure to get any better in Detroit. The Lions are No. 4 against the run and in the top 10 against fantasy running backs.
It is the reason we list Brown among the backs we like less than the consensus this week:
- Eddie Lacy
- Zac Stacy
- Andre Brown
- Pierre Thomas
- Bilal Powell
|Rank||Running Backs||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||LeSean McCoy||Phi||vs. Chi||1||0|
|2||Jamaal Charles||KC||vs. Ind||2||0|
|3||Matt Forte||Chi||at Phi||4||+1|
|4||Knowshon Moreno||Den||at Hou||7||+3|
|5||Frank Gore||SF||vs. Atl||13||+8|
|6||DeMarco Murray||Dal||at Was||3||-3|
|7||Reggie Bush||Det||vs. NYG||12||+5|
|8||Marshawn Lynch||Sea||vs. Ari||11||+3|
|9||Adrian Peterson||Min||at Cin||9||0|
|10||Le'Veon Bell||Pit||at GB||8||-2|
|11||Eddie Lacy||GB||vs. Pit||5||-6|
|12||Chris Johnson||Ten||at Jac||15||+3|
|13||Ryan Mathews||SD||vs. Oak||14||+1|
|14||Zac Stacy||StL||vs. TB||6||-8|
|15||Alfred Morris||Was||vs. Dal||10||-5|
|16||Shane Vereen||NE||at Bal||21||+5|
|17||Giovani Bernard||Cin||vs. Min||18||+1|
|18||Rashad Jennings||Oak||at SD||16||-2|
|19||Ray Rice||Bal||vs. NE||20||+1|
|20||C.J. Spiller||Buf||vs. Mia||24||+4|
|21||Danny Woodhead||SD||vs. Oak||29||+8|
|22||Bobby Rainey||TB||at StL||17||-5|
|23||Jordan Todman||Jac||vs. Ten||22||-1|
|24||Steven Jackson||Atl||at SF||25||+1|
|25||Fred Jackson||Buf||vs. Mia||23||-2|
|26||DeAngelo Williams||Car||vs. NO||26||0|
|27||Lamar Miller||Mia||at Buf||31||+4|
|28||Darren Sproles||NO||at Car||39||+11|
|29||Joique Bell||Det||vs. NYG||35||+6|
|30||Dennis Johnson||Hou||vs. Den||28||-2|
|31||BenJarvus Green-Ellis||Cin||vs. Min||32||+1|
|32||Chris Ivory||NYJ||vs. Cle||27||-5|
|33||Andre Brown||NYG||at Det||19||-14|
|34||Montee Ball||Den||at Hou||30||-4|
|35||Donald Brown||Ind||at KC||38||+3|
|36||Trent Richardson||Ind||at KC||40||+4|
|37||Andre Ellington||Ari||at Sea||34||-3|
|38||Mike Tolbert||Car||vs. NO||43||+5|
|39||Rashard Mendenhall||Ari||at Sea||37||-2|
|40||Stevan Ridley||NE||at Bal||42||+2|
|41||Chris Ogbonnaya||Cle||at NYJ||44||+3|
|42||Daniel Thomas||Mia||at Buf||41||-1|
|43||Knile Davis||KC||vs. Ind||55||+12|
|44||Pierre Thomas||NO||at Car||33||-11|
|45||Willis McGahee||Cle||at NYJ||58||+13|
|46||Bryce Brown||Phi||vs. Chi||57||+11|
|47||Chris Polk||Phi||vs. Chi||74||+27|
|48||LeGarrette Blount||NE||at Bal||47||-1|
|49||Matt Asiata||Min||at Cin||54||+5|
|50||Marcel Reece||Oak||at SD||52||+2|
|51||James Starks||GB||vs. Pit||59||+8|
|52||Bernard Pierce||Bal||vs. NE||56||+4|
|53||Kendall Hunter||SF||vs. Atl||51||-2|
|54||Robert Turbin||Sea||vs. Ari||77||+23|
|55||Shonn Greene||Ten||at Jac||50||-5|
|56||Roy Helu||Was||vs. Dal||53||-3|
|57||Benny Cunningham||StL||vs. TB||75||+18|
|58||Bilal Powell||NYJ||vs. Cle||46||-12|
|59||Mark Ingram||NO||at Car||63||+4|
|60||Michael Bush||Chi||at Phi||60||0|
|61||Brian Leonard||TB||at StL||73||+12|
|62||Jacquizz Rodgers||Atl||at SF||66||+4|
|63||Brandon Bolden||NE||at Bal||71||+8|
|64||Peyton Hillis||NYG||at Det||70||+6|
Name a receiver who has had at least five catches in every game; Pierre Garcon helps serve you an answer.
This is not lining up for an easy week to fill out your lineups at the wide receiver position.
Some shaky matchups are making the second and third receiver choices tough. Also, Wes Welker (concussion) and Victor Cruz (knee) are out due to injury. In the case of Larry Fitzgerald (concussion), the matchup—at the Seattle Seahawks—and injury make him too difficult to trust in leagues.
At least sitting these guys are easy decisions made for us. We try to make sense of the rest.
High 5 (-plusers)
There are only two receivers in the NFL that have racked up five catches or more in every week of the season to date. Name them. You might not have guessed Antonio Brown and Pierre Garcon. Consistency is paramount this time of year in fantasy. You absolutely must play these two, especially with Garcon getting the jolt from Kirk Cousins and facing that last-ranked Dallas Cowboys pass defense.
Raising Arizona? No Way
Fitzgerald is a bad play this week, whether he is active or not, and you absolutely cannot trust the Arizona Cardinals' Michael Floyd or Andre Roberts as fill-ins. The Seattle Seahawks are No. 1 against the pass and fantasy wide receivers. They are also particularly tough at home. Avoid every one of your Cardinals fantasy options this week.
Like Him More
We said last week Danny Amendola was going to be the leading beneficiary of Rob Gronkowski's absence. It proved prophetic. You have to love Amendola in all matchups down the stretch now.
His frequency of targets is the main reason he rates among the receivers we like more than the consensus below:
- DeSean Jackson
- Marques Colston
- Danny Amendola
- Anquan Boldin
- Rod Streater
Like Him Less
The Indianapolis Colts' T.Y. Hilton had a rebound week against the Texans, but we figure a matchup at Kansas City won't be as kind to him. Hilton's inconsistency makes him a tough play in a crucial week.
He is among the wide receivers we like less than the masses this week:
- T.Y. Hilton
- Greg Jennings
- Brian Hartline
- Emmanuel Sanders
- Harry Douglas
|Rank||Wide Receivers||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||Dez Bryant||Dal||at Was||5||+4|
|2||Calvin Johnson||Det||vs. NYG||1||-1|
|3||A.J. Green||Cin||vs. Min||3||0|
|4||Josh Gordon||Cle||at NYJ||2||-2|
|5||Brandon Marshall||Chi||at Phi||4||-1|
|6||DeSean Jackson||Phi||vs. Chi||12||+6|
|7||Demaryius Thomas||Den||at Hou||7||0|
|8||Antonio Brown||Pit||at GB||8||0|
|9||Alshon Jeffery||Chi||at Phi||6||-3|
|10||Pierre Garcon||Was||vs. Dal||9||-1|
|11||Vincent Jackson||TB||at StL||15||+4|
|12||Keenan Allen||SD||vs. Oak||11||-1|
|13||Andre Johnson||Hou||vs. Den||10||-3|
|14||Marques Colston||NO||at Car||19||+5|
|15||Julian Edelman||NE||at Bal||16||+1|
|16||Eric Decker||Den||at Hou||13||-3|
|17||Torrey Smith||Bal||vs. NE||17||0|
|18||Jordy Nelson||GB||vs. Pit||14||-4|
|19||Danny Amendola||NE||at Bal||26||+7|
|20||Mike Wallace||Mia||at Buf||18||-2|
|21||Anquan Boldin||SF||vs. Atl||27||+6|
|22||Kendall Wright||Ten||at Jac||22||0|
|23||Michael Crabtree||SF||vs. Atl||20||-3|
|24||Roddy White||Atl||at SF||21||-3|
|25||James Jones||GB||vs. Pit||30||+5|
|26||Rod Streater||Oak||at SD||35||+9|
|27||Larry Fitzgerald||Ari||at Sea||23||-4|
|28||Hakeem Nicks||NYG||at Det||33||+5|
|29||Dwayne Bowe||KC||vs. Ind||31||+2|
|30||Steve Smith||Car||vs. NO||34||+4|
|31||Riley Cooper||Phi||vs. Chi||29||-2|
|32||DeAndre Hopkins||Hou||vs. Den||45||+13|
|33||T.Y. Hilton||Ind||at KC||24||-9|
|34||Greg Jennings||Min||at Cin||28||-6|
|35||Rueben Randle||NYG||at Det||43||+8|
|36||Brian Hartline||Mia||at Buf||25||-11|
|37||Mohamed Sanu||Cin||vs. Min||72||+35|
|38||Ace Sanders||Jac||vs. Ten||52||+14|
|39||Doug Baldwin||Sea||vs. Ari||41||+2|
|40||Golden Tate||Sea||vs. Ari||37||-3|
|41||Andre Holmes||Oak||at SD||53||+12|
|42||Cordarrelle Patterson||Min||at Cin||40||-2|
|43||Emmanuel Sanders||Pit||at GB||32||-11|
|44||Harry Douglas||Atl||at SF||36||-8|
|45||Marlon Brown||Bal||vs. NE||59||+14|
|46||Brandon LaFell||Car||vs. NO||55||+9|
|47||Tavon Austin||StL||vs. TB||67||+20|
|48||Michael Floyd||Ari||at Sea||39||-9|
|49||Lavon Brazill||Ind||at KC||85||+36|
|50||Robert Woods||Buf||vs. Mia||48||-2|
|51||Justin Hunter||Ten||at Jac||61||+10|
|52||Miles Austin||Dal||at Was||70||+18|
|53||Mike Brown||Jac||vs. Ten||66||+13|
|54||Santonio Holmes||NYJ||vs. Cle||68||+14|
|55||Jarrett Boykin||GB||vs. Pit||38||-17|
|56||Marvin Jones||Cin||vs. Min||42||-14|
|57||Donnie Avery||KC||vs. Ind||79||+22|
|58||Nate Burleson||Det||vs. NYG||54||-4|
|59||Terrance Williams||Dal||at Was||71||+12|
|60||Jerricho Cotchery||Pit||at GB||60||0|
|61||Chris Givens||StL||vs. TB||96||+35|
|62||Ted Ginn||Car||vs. NO||76||+14|
|63||Da'Rick Rogers||Ind||at KC||49||-14|
|64||Tiquan Underwood||TB||at StL||80||+16|
|65||Jerome Simpson||Min||at Cin||84||+19|
|66||Jeremy Kerley||NYJ||vs. Cle||63||-3|
|67||Lance Moore||NO||at Car||75||+8|
|68||Santana Moss||Was||vs. Dal||58||-10|
|69||Kenny Stills||NO||at Car||92||+23|
|70||Andre Roberts||Ari||at Sea||87||+17|
|71||Greg Little||Cle||at NYJ||74||+3|
|72||Nate Washington||Ten||at Jac||64||-8|
|73||Kris Durham||Det||vs. NYG||83||+10|
|74||Vincent Brown||SD||vs. Oak||90||+16|
|75||Darrius Heyward-Bey||Ind||at KC||105||+30|
|76||Jason Avant||Phi||vs. Chi||101||+25|
|77||Rishard Matthews||Mia||at Buf||65||-12|
Zach Miller has three touchdown receptions at home, and he is facing the worst team against tight ends.
This started out as a great year for tight end breakthroughs. It is winding up to be yet another frustrating year of injuries at the position.
Tony Gonzalez is quietly fading into retirement after spoiling us for almost two decades. They just don't make tight ends like they used to, right, owners of Rob Gronkowski (knee), Kyle Rudolph (foot), Jermichael Finley (neck), Owen Daniels (leg), Dwayne Allen (hip), Jordan Reed (concussion) and perhaps Jordan Cameron (concussion)?
All of those players have been considered fantasy starters in the past, if not for portions of this season. Now, most of them are spending the rest of the year on season-ending injured reserve.
Mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be tight ends.
It's Miller Time!
The Arizona Cardinals have played well defensively in almost all aspects. Defending the tight end is not one of them. They have allowed league highs in receptions (85), yards (1,056) and touchdowns (14) to the position. Next up is upstart Seattle Seahawks tight end Zach Miller. He is a huge sleeper as a fantasy Super Bowl play.
Don't Sit Gonzalez
Tony Gonzalez isn't 100 percent in practice, but you have to give the 37-year-old future Hall of Famer credit for at least being active. He is also facing one of the toughest teams in fantasy against tight ends, the San Francisco 49ers. We are going to go out on a limb here, though, and suggest a final prime-time game can get him into the end zone. Cross your fingers here for some Monday night magic.
Like Him More
The New England Patriots have to line up someone at tight end, and right now that is Michael Hoomanawanui. Bless you! A holiday whobawhatie? The veteran tight end was on the receiving end of a touchdown pass last week, and Tom Brady's Patriots like using the position in the red zone.
Hoomanawanui is among the tight ends we like more than a couple spots better than the consensus below:
- Antonio Gates
- Heath Miller
- Zach Miller
- Tyler Eifert
- Michael Hoomanawanui
Like Him Less
The aforementioned Cameron is dealing with a concussion that has kept him out of practice. There is a real chance he won't suit up for the Cleveland Browns at the New York Jets this week. That is why is he is outside of our tight end starts and one of the options we don't like as much as the masses this week:
- Jordan Cameron
- Charles Clay
- Tim Wright
- Garrett Graham
- Zach Ertz
|Rank||Tight Ends||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||Jimmy Graham||NO||at Car||1||0|
|2||Julius Thomas||Den||at Hou||3||+1|
|3||Jason Witten||Dal||at Was||4||+1|
|4||Vernon Davis||SF||vs. Atl||2||-2|
|5||Delanie Walker||Ten||at Jac||5||0|
|6||Greg Olsen||Car||vs. NO||6||0|
|7||Antonio Gates||SD||vs. Oak||10||+3|
|8||Dennis Pitta||Bal||vs. NE||9||+1|
|9||Tony Gonzalez||Atl||at SF||7||-2|
|10||Heath Miller||Pit||at GB||14||+4|
|11||Martellus Bennett||Chi||at Phi||12||+1|
|12||Zach Miller||Sea||vs. Ari||15||+3|
|13||Tyler Eifert||Cin||vs. Min||21||+8|
|14||Jordan Cameron||Cle||at NYJ||8||-6|
|15||Coby Fleener||Ind||at KC||16||+1|
|16||Michael Hoomanawanui||NE||at Bal||31||+15|
|17||Charles Clay||Mia||at Buf||11||-6|
|18||Jermaine Gresham||Cin||vs. Min||27||+9|
|19||Jared Cook||StL||vs. TB||23||+4|
|20||Tim Wright||TB||at StL||17||-3|
|21||Garrett Graham||Hou||vs. Den||13||-8|
|22||Zach Ertz||Phi||vs. Chi||18||-4|
|23||Logan Paulsen||Was||vs. Dal||24||+1|
|24||Rob Housler||Ari||at Sea||37||+13|
|25||Brandon Myers||NYG||at Det||29||+4|
|26||Brent Celek||Phi||vs. Chi||38||+12|
|27||Ladarius Green||SD||vs. Oak||30||+3|
|28||Brandon Pettigrew||Det||vs. NYG||32||+4|
|29||Scott Chandler||Buf||vs. Mia||25||-4|
|30||Marcedes Lewis||Jac||vs. Ten||19||-11|
|31||Jeff Cumberland||NYJ||vs. Cle||41||+10|
|32||Virgil Green||Den||at Hou||52||+20|
|33||Jacob Tamme||Den||at Hou||28||-5|
The New York Giants' overmatched offensive line is in for a long afternoon against Nick Fairley and Co.
The Cincinnati Bengals defense is banged up, certainly, but you have to like this unit at home, coming off a loss. It also helps that the Minnesota Vikings are coming to town. They are the eighth-most generous team in fantasy against defense/special teams.
We are so bold as to place the Bengals atop the rankings at this position this week.
The Detroit Lions might have had victory snatched from them in the final seconds Monday night, but they are facing a dream matchup with the error-prone Eli Manning coming to town. The New York Giants are last in fantasy against defense/special teams, which makes the Lions the streaming play of the week. There couldn't be any bigger of a mismatch than the Detroit Lions' star-studded defensive front against the Giants' patchwork offensive line.
The New Orleans Saints defense has had its moments this season, but most of those moments came weeks ago for fantasy owners. You cannot trust it as a starting option any more, especially at the Carolina Panthers. They are the second-toughest opponent in fantasy against defense/special teams.
Like Them More
The Denver Broncos have been unable to stop anyone at times, but you should blame it on the offensive pace Peyton Manning has kept. Big scores allow for a lot of garbage time. We love the Broncos as a fantasy play against the woeful Houston Texans, though, who have been the third-worst team against the position this season.
The Broncos are among the units we like more than the masses below:
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Denver Broncos
- Carolina Panthers
- Arizona Cardinals
- Baltimore Ravens
Like Them Less
The Miami Dolphins are getting to tee off on Thaddeus Lewis, so they are a legit starting option this week, but they are not quite the home run other fantasy analysts consider them to be. We rank the Dolphins at No. 10, four spots lower than the consensus this week.
Here are the units we like less:
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Cleveland Browns
- Miami Dolphins
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Rank||Defenses and Special Teams||Team||Opponent||ECR||vs. ECR|
|1||Cincinnati Bengals||Cin||vs. Min||8||+7|
|2||Seattle Seahawks||Sea||vs. Ari||1||-1|
|3||San Francisco 49ers||SF||vs. Atl||2||-1|
|4||Detroit Lions||Det||vs. NYG||5||+1|
|5||Kansas City Chiefs||KC||vs. Ind||3||-2|
|6||Denver Broncos||Den||at Hou||10||+4|
|7||Carolina Panthers||Car||vs. NO||9||+2|
|8||St. Louis Rams||StL||vs. TB||7||-1|
|9||Cleveland Browns||Cle||at NYJ||4||-5|
|10||Miami Dolphins||Mia||at Buf||6||-4|
|11||Arizona Cardinals||Ari||at Sea||16||+5|
|12||Tennessee Titans||Ten||at Jac||11||-1|
|13||San Diego Chargers||SD||vs. Oak||13||0|
|14||New England Patriots||NE||at Bal||14||0|
|15||Baltimore Ravens||Bal||vs. NE||19||+4|
|16||New York Jets||NYJ||vs. Cle||18||+2|
|17||New Orleans Saints||NO||at Car||17||0|
|18||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB||at StL||15||-3|
|19||Philadelphia Eagles||Phi||vs. Chi||25||+6|
|20||Green Bay Packers||GB||vs. Pit||21||+1|
Matt Prater set an NFL record with a 64-yard field goal, but he was overshadowed Monday night by Justin Tucker.
Justin Tucker must hate the fact there is a movie called John Tucker Must Die. Bitter fantasy owners tweeted out death wishes after he single-footedly won fantasy matchups Monday night. We outlined the chaos Wednesday in the Week 16 Notebook at Bleacher Report.
Here, all you will see is love for the Baltimore Ravens kicker. Justin Tucker must start, even if we don't reward him with the No. 1 ranking. That honor remains with Stephen Gostkowski.
Phil Dawson was a favorite breakthrough kicker in the preseason, and he is coming off a great week that makes him a must-start as well. If not for Tucker ripping the Detroit Lions on Monday night, the Atlanta Falcons (Dawson's opponents) would still be last in fantasy against kickers. Dawson is a great play for some Monday night magic to cap your Super Bowl.
Matt Bryant is on the other side of the ledger. He was a popular pick in the preseason, but he has gone bust with the struggles of the Atlanta Falcons. Now, he faces a San Francisco 49ers team that has been No. 1 in fantasy against kickers. Don't trust Bryant this week.
Like Him More
The Minnesota Vikings are right behind the Dallas Cowboys among the most victimized teams in fantasy. They are bad against kickers, too, ranking sixth worst. This makes Mike Nugent one of the kickers we like more than a few spots better than the masses below:
- Alex Henery
- David Akers
- Mike Nugent
- Rob Bironas
- Greg Zuerlein
Like Him Less
We haven't had to say this all season in these columns: But we don't have a reason for liking kickers less than the consensus this week. There were two of them, though, even if they are viable starts with their productive offenses facing solid matchups:
- Nick Novak
- Robbie Gould
|1||Stephen Gostkowski||NE||at Bal||1||0|
|2||Matt Prater||Den||at Hou||2||0|
|3||Justin Tucker||Bal||vs. NE||5||+2|
|4||Phil Dawson||SF||vs. Atl||3||-1|
|5||Steven Hauschka||Sea||vs. Ari||6||+1|
|6||Mason Crosby||GB||vs. Pit||7||+1|
|7||Dan Bailey||Dal||at Was||9||+2|
|8||Nick Novak||SD||vs. Oak||4||-4|
|9||Ryan Succop||KC||vs. Ind||8||-1|
|10||Alex Henery||Phi||vs. Chi||14||+4|
|11||David Akers||Det||vs. NYG||15||+4|
|12||Mike Nugent||Cin||vs. Min||20||+8|
|13||Shaun Suisham||Pit||at GB||13||0|
|14||Robbie Gould||Chi||at Phi||11||-3|
|15||Adam Vinatieri||Ind||at KC||16||+1|
|16||Blair Walsh||Min||at Cin||19||+3|
|17||Rob Bironas||Ten||at Jac||30||+13|
|18||Greg Zuerlein||StL||vs. TB||22||+4|
|20||Sebastian Janikowski||Oak||at SD||23||+3|
Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report this season. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game. You can also listen to him on his podcast that he deprecatingly dubbed the Fantasy FatCast.