Fantasy Football Week 16: Top Plays at Every Position

Eric MackFantasy Football Lead WriterDecember 20, 2013

Fantasy Football Week 16: Top Plays at Every Position

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    Peyton Manning won't have Wes Welker; meh, who cares? Start this soon-to-be record-breaker in all leagues.
    Peyton Manning won't have Wes Welker; meh, who cares? Start this soon-to-be record-breaker in all leagues.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    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.

Quarterbacks: Kirk Cousins Will Make the Redskins and Fantasy Owners Look Smart

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    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:

    1. Tony Romo
    2. Aaron Rodgers (crosses fingers)
    3. Kirk Cousins
    4. Andrew Luck
    5. 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. Nick Foles
    2. Cam Newton
    3. Colin Kaepernick
    4. Jay Cutler
    5. Andy Dalton
    Week 16 Quarterbacks Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankQuarterbacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Tony RomoDalat Was10+9
    2Peyton ManningDenat Hou 1-1
    3Matthew StaffordDetvs. NYG 6+3
    4Drew BreesNOat Car3-1
    5Philip RiversSDvs. Oak4-1
    6Nick Foles Phivs. Chi2-4
    7Aaron RodgersGBvs. Pit15+8
    8Kirk CousinsWasvs. Dal12+4
    9Russell WilsonSeavs. Ari11+2
    10Cam NewtonCarvs. NO5-5
    11Tom BradyNEat Bal 14+3
    12Colin Kaepernick SFvs. Atl 7-5
    13Andrew LuckIndat KC18+5
    14Jay CutlerChiat Phi8-6
    15Alex SmithKCvs. Ind16+1
    16Andy DaltonCinvs. Min9-7
    17Ben RoethlisbergerPitat GB13-4
    18Joe Flacco Balvs. NE21+3
    19Ryan Tannehill Miaat Buf 190
    20Ryan FitzpatrickTenat Jac 17-3
    21Matt RyanAtlat SF22+1
    22Eli ManningNYGat Det 26+4
    23Matt SchaubHouvs. Den230
    24Kellen ClemensStLvs. TB35+11
    25Mike Glennon TBat StL 30+5
    26Matt CasselMinat Cin 25-1
    27Carson PalmerAriat Sea270
    28Jason CampbellCleat NYJ 20-8
    29Chad Henne Jacvs. Ten33+4
    30Matt McGloin Oakat SD28-2
    31Geno SmithNYJvs. Cle 32+1
    32Thaddeus LewisBufvs. Mia31-1
    33Matt FlynnGBvs. Pit24-9
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Running Backs: Reggie Bush Is off Injury Report, so He Should Be in All Lineups

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    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:

    1. Frank Gore
    2. Danny Woodhead
    3. Darren Sproles
    4. Joique Bell
    5. 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:

    1. Eddie Lacy
    2. Zac Stacy
    3. Andre Brown
    4. Pierre Thomas
    5. Bilal Powell
    Week 16 Running Backs Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1LeSean McCoyPhivs. Chi10
    2Jamaal CharlesKCvs. Ind20
    3Matt ForteChiat Phi4+1
    4Knowshon MorenoDenat Hou7+3
    5Frank GoreSFvs. Atl13+8
    6DeMarco MurrayDalat Was3-3
    7Reggie BushDetvs. NYG12+5
    8Marshawn LynchSeavs. Ari11+3
    9Adrian PetersonMinat Cin90
    10Le'Veon BellPitat GB8-2
    11Eddie LacyGBvs. Pit5-6
    12Chris JohnsonTenat Jac15+3
    13Ryan MathewsSDvs. Oak14+1
    14Zac StacyStLvs. TB6-8
    15Alfred MorrisWasvs. Dal10-5
    16Shane VereenNEat Bal21+5
    17Giovani BernardCinvs. Min18+1
    18Rashad JenningsOakat SD16-2
    19Ray RiceBalvs. NE20+1
    20C.J. SpillerBufvs. Mia24+4
    21Danny WoodheadSDvs. Oak29+8
    22Bobby RaineyTBat StL17-5
    23Jordan TodmanJacvs. Ten22-1
    24Steven JacksonAtlat SF25+1
    25Fred JacksonBufvs. Mia23-2
    26DeAngelo WilliamsCarvs. NO260
    27Lamar MillerMiaat Buf31+4
    28Darren SprolesNOat Car39+11
    29Joique BellDetvs. NYG35+6
    30Dennis JohnsonHouvs. Den28-2
    31BenJarvus Green-EllisCinvs. Min32+1
    32Chris IvoryNYJvs. Cle27-5
    33Andre BrownNYGat Det19-14
    34Montee BallDenat Hou30-4
    35Donald BrownIndat KC38+3
    36Trent RichardsonIndat KC40+4
    37Andre EllingtonAriat Sea34-3
    38Mike TolbertCarvs. NO43+5
    39Rashard MendenhallAriat Sea37-2
    40Stevan RidleyNEat Bal42+2
    41Chris OgbonnayaCleat NYJ44+3
    42Daniel ThomasMiaat Buf41-1
    43Knile DavisKCvs. Ind55+12
    44Pierre ThomasNOat Car33-11
    45Willis McGaheeCleat NYJ58+13
    46Bryce BrownPhivs. Chi57+11
    47Chris PolkPhivs. Chi74+27
    48LeGarrette BlountNEat Bal47-1
    49Matt AsiataMinat Cin54+5
    50Marcel ReeceOakat SD52+2
    51James StarksGBvs. Pit59+8
    52Bernard PierceBalvs. NE56+4
    53Kendall HunterSFvs. Atl51-2
    54Robert TurbinSeavs. Ari77+23
    55Shonn GreeneTenat Jac50-5
    56Roy HeluWasvs. Dal53-3
    57Benny CunninghamStLvs. TB75+18
    58Bilal PowellNYJvs. Cle46-12
    59Mark IngramNOat Car63+4
    60Michael BushChiat Phi600
    61Brian LeonardTBat StL73+12
    62Jacquizz RodgersAtlat SF66+4
    63Brandon BoldenNEat Bal71+8
    64Peyton HillisNYGat Det70+6
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Wide Receivers: Few Decisions Are Easy Here, and Pierre Garcon Is One of Them

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    Name a receiver who has had at least five catches in every game; Pierre Garcon helps serve you an answer.
    Name a receiver who has had at least five catches in every game; Pierre Garcon helps serve you an answer.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    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:

    1. DeSean Jackson
    2. Marques Colston
    3. Danny Amendola
    4. Anquan Boldin
    5. 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:

    1. T.Y. Hilton
    2. Greg Jennings
    3. Brian Hartline
    4. Emmanuel Sanders
    5. Harry Douglas
    Week 16 Wide Receivers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankWide ReceiversTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Dez BryantDalat Was5+4
    2Calvin JohnsonDetvs. NYG 1-1
    3A.J. GreenCinvs. Min30
    4Josh GordonCleat NYJ 2-2
    5Brandon MarshallChiat Phi4-1
    6 DeSean JacksonPhivs. Chi12+6
    7Demaryius ThomasDenat Hou 70
    8Antonio BrownPitat GB80
    9 Alshon JefferyChiat Phi6-3
    10Pierre GarconWasvs. Dal9-1
    11Vincent JacksonTBat StL 15+4
    12Keenan AllenSDvs. Oak11-1
    13Andre JohnsonHouvs. Den10-3
    14Marques ColstonNOat Car19+5
    15Julian Edelman NEat Bal 16+1
    16Eric DeckerDenat Hou 13-3
    17Torrey SmithBalvs. NE170
    18Jordy NelsonGBvs. Pit14-4
    19Danny Amendola NEat Bal 26+7
    20Mike WallaceMiaat Buf 18-2
    21Anquan BoldinSFvs. Atl 27+6
    22Kendall WrightTenat Jac 220
    23Michael CrabtreeSFvs. Atl 20-3
    24Roddy WhiteAtlat SF21-3
    25James JonesGBvs. Pit30+5
    26Rod Streater Oakat SD35+9
    27Larry FitzgeraldAriat Sea23-4
    28Hakeem NicksNYGat Det 33+5
    29Dwayne BoweKCvs. Ind31+2
    30Steve SmithCarvs. NO34+4
    31Riley CooperPhivs. Chi29-2
    32 DeAndre HopkinsHouvs. Den45+13
    33T.Y. HiltonIndat KC24-9
    34Greg JenningsMinat Cin 28-6
    35 Rueben RandleNYGat Det 43+8
    36Brian HartlineMiaat Buf 25-11
    37Mohamed Sanu Cinvs. Min72+35
    38Ace SandersJacvs. Ten52+14
    39Doug BaldwinSeavs. Ari41+2
    40Golden TateSeavs. Ari37-3
    41Andre HolmesOakat SD53+12
    42 Cordarrelle PattersonMinat Cin 40-2
    43Emmanuel SandersPitat GB32-11
    44Harry DouglasAtlat SF36-8
    45Marlon BrownBalvs. NE59+14
    46Brandon LaFell Carvs. NO55+9
    47Tavon AustinStLvs. TB67+20
    48Michael FloydAriat Sea39-9
    49 Lavon Brazill Indat KC85+36
    50Robert WoodsBufvs. Mia48-2
    51Justin HunterTenat Jac 61+10
    52Miles AustinDalat Was70+18
    53Mike BrownJacvs. Ten66+13
    54Santonio HolmesNYJvs. Cle 68+14
    55Jarrett Boykin GBvs. Pit38-17
    56Marvin JonesCinvs. Min42-14
    57Donnie AveryKCvs. Ind79+22
    58Nate BurlesonDetvs. NYG 54-4
    59Terrance WilliamsDalat Was71+12
    60Jerricho CotcheryPitat GB600
    61Chris GivensStLvs. TB96+35
    62Ted GinnCarvs. NO76+14
    63 Da'Rick RogersIndat KC49-14
    64 Tiquan UnderwoodTBat StL 80+16
    65Jerome SimpsonMinat Cin 84+19
    66Jeremy Kerley NYJvs. Cle 63-3
    67Lance MooreNOat Car75+8
    68Santana MossWasvs. Dal58-10
    69Kenny StillsNOat Car92+23
    70Andre RobertsAriat Sea87+17
    71Greg LittleCleat NYJ 74+3
    72Nate WashingtonTenat Jac 64-8
    73Kris DurhamDetvs. NYG 83+10
    74Vincent BrownSDvs. Oak90+16
    75 Darrius Heyward-BeyIndat KC105+30
    76Jason Avant Phivs. Chi101+25
    77 Rishard MatthewsMiaat Buf 65-12
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Tight Ends: It Is Hard to Find a Healthy Option Here This Time of Year

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    Zach Miller has three touchdown receptions at home, and he is facing the worst team against tight ends.
    Zach Miller has three touchdown receptions at home, and he is facing the worst team against tight ends.Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

    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:

    1. Antonio Gates
    2. Heath Miller
    3. Zach Miller
    4. Tyler Eifert
    5. 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:

    1. Jordan Cameron
    2. Charles Clay
    3. Tim Wright
    4. Garrett Graham
    5. Zach Ertz
    Week 16 Tight Ends Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankTight EndsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Jimmy GrahamNOat Car10
    2Julius ThomasDenat Hou3+1
    3Jason WittenDalat Was4+1
    4Vernon DavisSFvs. Atl2-2
    5Delanie WalkerTenat Jac50
    6Greg OlsenCarvs. NO60
    7Antonio GatesSDvs. Oak10+3
    8Dennis PittaBalvs. NE9+1
    9Tony GonzalezAtlat SF7-2
    10Heath MillerPitat GB14+4
    11Martellus BennettChiat Phi12+1
    12Zach MillerSeavs. Ari15+3
    13Tyler EifertCinvs. Min21+8
    14Jordan CameronCleat NYJ8-6
    15Coby FleenerIndat KC16+1
    16Michael HoomanawanuiNEat Bal31+15
    17Charles ClayMiaat Buf11-6
    18Jermaine GreshamCinvs. Min27+9
    19Jared CookStLvs. TB23+4
    20Tim WrightTBat StL17-3
    21Garrett GrahamHouvs. Den13-8
    22Zach ErtzPhivs. Chi18-4
    23Logan PaulsenWasvs. Dal24+1
    24Rob HouslerAriat Sea37+13
    25Brandon MyersNYGat Det29+4
    26Brent CelekPhivs. Chi38+12
    27Ladarius GreenSDvs. Oak30+3
    28Brandon PettigrewDetvs. NYG32+4
    29Scott ChandlerBufvs. Mia25-4
    30Marcedes LewisJacvs. Ten19-11
    31Jeff CumberlandNYJvs. Cle41+10
    32Virgil GreenDenat Hou52+20
    33Jacob TammeDenat Hou28-5
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Defense/Special Teams: Detroit Lions Should Abuse Weak Giants Offensive Front

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    The New York Giants' overmatched offensive line is in for a long afternoon against Nick Fairley and Co.
    The New York Giants' overmatched offensive line is in for a long afternoon against Nick Fairley and Co.Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

    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.

     

    Detroit Rocks

    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.

     

    Carolina Dreamin'

    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:

    1. Cincinnati Bengals
    2. Denver Broncos
    3. Carolina Panthers
    4. Arizona Cardinals
    5. 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:

    1. Kansas City Chiefs
    2. Cleveland Browns
    3. Miami Dolphins
    4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Week 16 Defenses and Special Teams Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankDefenses and Special TeamsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Cincinnati BengalsCinvs. Min8+7
    2Seattle SeahawksSeavs. Ari1-1
    3San Francisco 49ersSFvs. Atl2-1
    4Detroit LionsDetvs. NYG5+1
    5Kansas City ChiefsKCvs. Ind3-2
    6Denver BroncosDenat Hou10+4
    7Carolina PanthersCarvs. NO9+2
    8St. Louis RamsStLvs. TB7-1
    9Cleveland BrownsCleat NYJ4-5
    10Miami DolphinsMiaat Buf6-4
    11Arizona CardinalsAriat Sea16+5
    12Tennessee TitansTenat Jac11-1
    13San Diego ChargersSDvs. Oak130
    14New England PatriotsNEat Bal140
    15Baltimore RavensBalvs. NE19+4
    16New York JetsNYJvs. Cle18+2
    17New Orleans SaintsNOat Car170
    18Tampa Bay BuccaneersTBat StL15-3
    19Philadelphia EaglesPhivs. Chi25+6
    20Green Bay PackersGBvs. Pit21+1
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Kickers: Justin Tucker Stole the Show Last Week, but He's Still Not No. 1 Here

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    Matt Prater set an NFL record with a 64-yard field goal, but he was overshadowed Monday night by Justin Tucker.
    Matt Prater set an NFL record with a 64-yard field goal, but he was overshadowed Monday night by Justin Tucker.Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    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.

     

    Awesome Dawson

    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.

     

    Unwelcome Matt

    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:

    1. Alex Henery
    2. David Akers
    3. Mike Nugent
    4. Rob Bironas
    5. 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:

    1. Nick Novak
    2. Robbie Gould
    Week 16 Kickers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankKickersTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Stephen GostkowskiNEat Bal10
    2Matt PraterDenat Hou20
    3Justin TuckerBalvs. NE5+2
    4Phil DawsonSFvs. Atl3-1
    5Steven HauschkaSeavs. Ari6+1
    6Mason CrosbyGBvs. Pit7+1
    7Dan BaileyDalat Was9+2
    8Nick NovakSDvs. Oak4-4
    9Ryan SuccopKCvs. Ind8-1
    10Alex HeneryPhivs. Chi14+4
    11David AkersDetvs. NYG15+4
    12Mike NugentCinvs. Min20+8
    13Shaun SuishamPitat GB130
    14Robbie GouldChiat Phi11-3
    15Adam VinatieriIndat KC16+1
    16Blair WalshMinat Cin19+3
    17Rob BironasTenat Jac30+13
    18Greg ZuerleinStLvs. TB22+4
    19Shayne Graham  26+7
    20Sebastian JanikowskiOakat SD23+3
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

     

     

     

    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.