It's championship time in fantasy football leagues everywhere, making every lineup decision that much more critical.
Whether you're wondering which quarterback to start this weekend or curious as to which top available players are staring down the most favorable matchups, you've come to the right place.
Below I'll highlight some notable fantasy performers and provide you with last-minute advice on how to handle each one heading into a pivotal Week 16.
|Player||Week 15 Pts||Avg Pts||Week 16 Opp (Rank vs. Pos.)||Fantasy Play|
|Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins||21.2||21.2||Cowboys (32nd)||Start|
|Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions||8.3||18.5||Giants (18th)||Sit|
|Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons||8.3||15.2||49ers (3rd)||Sit|
|Zac Stacy, RB, Rams||20.3||11.6||Buccaneers (7th)||Start|
|Rashad Jennings, RB, Raiders||22.3||10.0||Chargers (10th)||Start|
|Steven Hauschka, K, Seahawks||11.0||9.7||Cardinals (6th)||Start|
|Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots||19.9||9.3||Ravens (18th)||Start|
|Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Cardinals||19.8||8.8||Seahawks (4th)||Sit|
|Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals||10.8||8.3||Vikings (31st)||Start|
|Josh Scobee, K, Jaguars||10.0||6.5||Titans (29th)||Start|
|Coby Fleener, TE, Colts||0.0||6.1||Chiefs (1st)||Sit|
|Zach Miller, TE, Seahawks||0.8||5.0||Cardinals (32nd)||Start|
|Andre Caldwell, WR, Broncos||17.9||2.4||Texans (4th)||Sit|
Statistics via NFL.com
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is available in most fantasy leagues across the country. And while Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers offer tremendous potential in Week 16, keep in mind that Cousins will be an easy add and is set to face off against the NFL's worst secondary at home this weekend when Washington hosts the division-rival Dallas Cowboys.
No team is giving up more yards per game through the air than Dallas, and only the Vikings (32) have surrendered more passing touchdowns than the Cowboys (30) through 15 weeks.
On top of that, no team in the NFL is allowing more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than Dallas, who has let up nearly 4,400 combined passing yards to opposing passers in 2013.
Those numbers bode extremely well for Cousins owners, who saw their underrated quarterback throw for 381 yards and three touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 15.
Kirk Cousins plays very well, nearly pulls it out at Atlanta. Good! Maybe some team will offer a 2nd rounder for him.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) December 15, 2013
And as head coach Mike Shanahan added earlier this week, Cousins is looking more and more comfortable with the first team, per Redskins.com's Jordan Zappulla: "...he’s enjoying the repetition that he’s gotten and he gets to work with the first unit again. So that’s a big plus for him. You can see he’s more comfortable this week than he was last week."
Fantasy Play: Start
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall will be another tough call in Week 16. While he's rushed for three total touchdowns over the past two weeks, his matchup this weekend is a frightening one for fantasy owners looking to bring home a league title this winter.
Which Cardinals RB will turn in the best performance in Week 16?
Mendenhall and the Cards will be on the road in Seattle where they'll take on the NFL's fourth-best fantasy defense when it comes to shutting down opposing running backs. Only the Cardinals, Panthers and Jets have fared better against opposing backs in 2013. Not to mention Mendenhall will be sharing carries with Andre Ellington.
Seattle's defense has allowed 1,186 combined rushing yards to opposing running backs through 14 games but has been stellar at keeping them out of the end zone, surrendering just four rushing touchdowns and five total touchdowns to running backs coming into Week 16. Only the Panthers and Bengals have been better in that regard.
If the Seahawks' stout front doesn't scare you into starting another running back this weekend, keep in mind that Mendenhall hasn't rushed for more than 76 yards in a game this season.
Fantasy Play: Sit
Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
If you're looking to add an explosive wide receiver to your championship lineup this weekend, look no further than Cincinnati Bengals playmaker Marvin Jones, who is available in roughly three-fourths of all ESPN fantasy leagues this December.
Plus, Jones will be going up against one of the worst secondaries in football in Week 16 when the Bengals host the Minnesota Vikings. No defense has given up more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than the Vikings over the past four weeks.
What's more, Jones has had a big year and is sure to see plenty of balls come his way on Sunday, having caught nine touchdown passes in 2013. He's caught at least one touchdown in each of the Bengals' past two games and is projected to catch another this weekend with Minnesota having surrendered six touchdowns to opposing wide receivers since Week 12.
Fantasy Play: Start
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