Fantasy

Fantasy Football Week 16 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

Eric MackFantasy Football Lead WriterDecember 21, 2013

Fantasy Football Week 16 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

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    The Bears hinted they might sit some starters Sunday night; meh, ignore that noise. Start Jay Cutler.
    The Bears hinted they might sit some starters Sunday night; meh, ignore that noise. Start Jay Cutler.Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

    Here's a bit of important advice for your fantasy Super Bowls in Week 16: Make a well-informed decision on your final fantasy football lineup of 2013 and don't look back.

    Heck, don't even bother to check what your reserves are doing once your lineup deadline passes. They won't do you any good at that point. It will just shave years—OK, maybe just minutes or hours—off your life.

    But your lineup deadline hasn't passed yet, so our advice to you is...PANIC and STRESS!

    No, don't do that. The holidays have done enough of that for you.

    Use fantasy football as your escape from reality and Bleacher Report's weekly starts and sits as your final-exam answer key. We break down each position in this six-part slideshow, giving you the starts, sits and all the rankings. Enjoy and good luck.

     

    Team defense stats vs. specific positions courtesy of Fantasy Football Today.

Quarterbacks: Start Kirk Cousins over Matt Ryan? Yes, a Lot Has Changed in '13

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    Start 'Em

    Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins

    You figured he would be a fantasy factor this season, but you couldn't have figured it would be in fantasy crunch time with Robert Griffin III healthy.

    Cousins is coming off 381 yards and three touchdowns, and now he faces easily the best matchup of 2013. The Dallas Cowboys are dead last against the pass and against fantasy quarterbacks. This should be another 300-yard, three-touchdown performance—which is enough to start Cousins in all leagues.

     

    Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

    He has been a bum for fantasy owners for most of the season, but he stands to pay you back Monday night. Kaepernick hasn't hit even 280 yards since Week 1, but he will here against an Atlanta Falcons defense that is in the bottom 10 against the pass and against fantasy quarterbacks.

    If you have a marginal option to consider against Kaepernick, go with the man due for some Monday night magic. A big Kaepernick performance is going to win some fantasy football championships.

     

    Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

    You should expect a bonanza of fantasy points with the Bears and Philadelphia Eagles locking up this weekend. Both offenses are aggressive, particularly through the air. As for the Bears potentially resting players if the Green Bay Packers win and Detroit Lions lose (in effect making Chicago's Week 16 result meaningless in the NFC North race), don't worry about that. There is little to no chance the lame-duck New York Giants will upset the Lions in Detroit.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

    You likely have long given up on him as your reliable fantasy starter, but you shouldn't be sucked into using him for Monday night magic here. The San Francisco 49ers defense is just too unfavorable of a matchup. The 49ers are No. 3 against fantasy quarterbacks and No. 4 against the pass. Ryan looks headed for 200 yards and just one touchdown here.

     

    Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

    Not only is Palmer dealing with his own ankle injury, but he also has Larry Fitzgerald dealing with a concussion and Michael Floyd dealing with an ankle. Oh, and he also happens to be facing the No. 1 team in fantasy against quarterbacks and passing yards allowed per game. This is the easiest sit of the week.

     

    Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers

    Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) was officially ruled out Friday by head coach Mike McCarthy, but that doesn’t mean you should go with Flynn for your fantasy lineups. You might like how productive he was in the second half last week, but you should remember how awful he was in the first half. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a top-10 team against the pass and fantasy quarterbacks, so this is a potentially ugly game for Flynn apologists.

     

    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 FolesPhivs. Chi2-4
    7Kirk CousinsWasvs. Dal12+5
    8Russell WilsonSeavs. Ari11+3
    9Cam NewtonCarvs. NO5-4
    10Tom BradyNEat Bal 14+4
    11Colin Kaepernick SFvs. Atl 8-3
    12Andrew LuckIndat KC17+5
    13Jay CutlerChiat Phi7-6
    14Alex SmithKCvs. Ind15+1
    15Andy DaltonCinvs. Min9-6
    16Ben RoethlisbergerPitat GB13-3
    17Joe Flacco Balvs. NE21+4
    18Ryan Tannehill Miaat Buf 180
    19Ryan FitzpatrickTenat Jac 16-3
    20Matt RyanAtlat SF23+3
    21Eli ManningNYGat Det 27+6
    22Matt SchaubHouvs. Den24+2
    23Kellen ClemensStLvs. TB33+10
    24Mike Glennon TBat StL 28+4
    25Matt CasselMinat Cin 250
    26Carson PalmerAriat Sea29+3
    27Matt FlynnGBvs. Pit22-5
    28Jason CampbellCleat NYJ 19-9
    29Chad Henne Jacvs. Ten31+2
    30Matt McGloin Oakat SD26-4
    31Geno SmithNYJvs. Cle 32+1
    32Thaddeus LewisBufvs. Mia30-2
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Running Backs: Alfred Morris Poised for Crunch-Time Payback Amid Down Year

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    Alfred Morris hasn't been great for fantasy owners this year, but neither has the Dallas Cowboys defense.
    Alfred Morris hasn't been great for fantasy owners this year, but neither has the Dallas Cowboys defense.Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

    Start 'Em

    Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

    If you have made it this far trusting this sophomore, congrats. He has been disappointing, but he should be at his best against that suspect Dallas Cowboys defense. The Cowboys are fifth worst against the run and last in fantasy against running backs. Morris should approach 100 combined yards and a touchdown.

     

    Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers

    Despite boasting a top-10 run defense, the Oakland Raiders have been the sixth-worst team in fantasy against running backs. Most of that recent damage was done by Jamaal Charles' 51-point Week 15, but Mathews has been hot too.

    He has rushed for back-to-back 100-yard games, and he has a touchdown in five of his past eight games, including three in his past four. Mathews and Danny Woodhead are both starts here.

     

    Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

    The Bengals gave BenJarvus Green-Ellis just four carries a week ago, so consider that a signal they are ready to give Bernard more of the lion's share of the duty.

    It would be clutch for his fantasy owners in their Super Bowl, especially against a Minnesota Vikings defense that has given up the eighth-most points in fantasy. BGE might vulture a short touchdown, but Bernard will break one or two big runs outside the 10-yard line.

     

    Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers

    If not for ankle and knee issues that had him limited in practice this week, this one wouldn't even bear mentioning. You should feel confident starting Gore, though, against an Atlanta Falcons defense that has given up the fourth-most rushing yards and the seventh-most points to backs.

    The 49ers match up so well for some Monday night magic, you might consider Kendall Hunter a flex play. Both 49ers backs give you a chance for some late points in your Super Bowl.

     

    Jordan Todman, Jacksonville Jaguars

    This is a conditional start, assuming Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) won't be able to play Sunday against the Titans. MJD was a full participant in practice Friday, according to the NFL injury report, but he is still listed as questionable.

    We should assume MJD will at least be limited if he plays. If you have a need for a fill-in running back, Todman is coming off a 153-yard game and facing a Titans team that is second worst against the position in fantasy.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Andre Brown, New York Giants

    He was a bum last week against the Seattle Seahawks, and you shouldn't feel any more confident in him against that Detroit Lions front four. The Lions have the fourth-best run defense in football, and the Giants have an awful offensive line. They don't match up well at all here. Expect another long day for Brown and the Giants offense.

     

    Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals

    Mendenhall has been quietly effective for fantasy owners because of his eight touchdowns, including five in the past five games. You cannot trust him or the passing-down back, Ellington, against the Seahawks defense in Seattle, though. Seattle is in the top 10 against the run and has been third best against fantasy backs.

     

    Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints

    We would still consider Darren Sproles in PPR formats, but you have to sit the Saints rushers against the Carolina Panthers defense, especially on the road. The Panthers are second best against the run and fantasy running backs. Thomas and Ingram will total 10 carries for 35 yards without a touchdown, so avoid them in all leagues.

     

    Chris Ogbonnaya, Willis McGahee and Edwin Baker, Cleveland Browns

    Not only is McGahee potentially returning to make a further mess of a messy situation, but the Browns are facing a Jets run defense that has been elite all season. It is No. 3 against the run and No. 4 against fantasy backs. You don't want to touch any Browns back if you're serious about bringing home a fantasy title this week.

     

    Matt Asiata and Toby Gerhart, Minnesota Vikings

    We don't care how limited you think Adrian Peterson (foot) will be Sunday against the Bengals. That is the fifth-best run defense and sixth-best team against fantasy backs.

    You should not consider either the Week 15 star, Asiata, or the returning Gerhart (hamstring) in fantasy lineups. You should fully expect Peterson to play, even if limited. "As far as the foot go[es], I’ll be ready to roll," Peterson told USA Today's Tom Pelissero on Friday.

     

    Week 16 Running Backs Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1 LeSean McCoyPhivs. Chi10
    2Jamaal CharlesKCvs. Ind20
    3Matt ForteChiat Phi4+1
    4 Knowshon MorenoDenat Hou 8+4
    5Frank GoreSFvs. Atl 12+7
    6DeMarco MurrayDalat Was3-3
    7Reggie BushDetvs. NYG 13+6
    8Marshawn LynchSeavs. Ari11+3
    9Adrian PetersonMinat Cin 6-3
    10 Le'Veon BellPitat GB7-3
    11Eddie LacyGBvs. Pit5-6
    12Chris JohnsonTenat Jac 15+3
    13Ryan MathewsSDvs. Oak14+1
    14 Zac StacyStLvs. TB9-5
    15Alfred MorrisWasvs. Dal10-5
    16Shane Vereen NEat Bal 21+5
    17 Giovani BernardCinvs. Min18+1
    18 Rashad JenningsOakat SD16-2
    19Ray RiceBalvs. NE22+3
    20C.J. SpillerBufvs. Mia24+4
    21Danny Woodhead SDvs. Oak29+8
    22Bobby Rainey TBat StL 17-5
    23Jordan Todman Jacvs. Ten19-4
    24Steven JacksonAtlat SF25+1
    25Fred JacksonBufvs. Mia23-2
    26DeAngelo WilliamsCarvs. NO260
    27Lamar MillerMiaat Buf 31+4
    28Darren Sproles NOat Car39+11
    29 Joique BellDetvs. NYG 35+6
    30Dennis JohnsonHouvs. Den28-2
    31 BenJarvus Green-EllisCinvs. Min32+1
    32Chris IvoryNYJvs. Cle 27-5
    33Andre BrownNYGat Det 20-13
    34Kendall HunterSFvs. Atl 48+14
    35Montee BallDenat Hou 30-5
    36Donald BrownIndat KC38+2
    37Trent RichardsonIndat KC40+3
    38Andre EllingtonAriat Sea34-4
    39Mike Tolbert Carvs. NO43+4
    40Rashard MendenhallAriat Sea36-4
    41Stevan RidleyNEat Bal 42+1
    42Chris Ogbonnaya Cleat NYJ 44+2
    43Daniel ThomasMiaat Buf 41-2
    44 Knile DavisKCvs. Ind55+11
    45Pierre ThomasNOat Car33-12
    46Willis McGaheeCleat NYJ 57+11
    47Bryce BrownPhivs. Chi56+9
    48Chris PolkPhivs. Chi75+27
    49 LeGarrette Blount NEat Bal 46-3
    50Matt Asiata Minat Cin 59+9
    51Marcel ReeceOakat SD510
    52James StarksGBvs. Pit58+6
    53Bernard PierceBalvs. NE54+1
    54Robert Turbin Seavs. Ari76+22
    55 Shonn GreeneTenat Jac 49-6
    56Roy Helu Wasvs. Dal52-4
    57Benny CunninghamStLvs. TB73+16
    58 Bilal PowellNYJvs. Cle 47-11
    59Mark IngramNOat Car62+3
    60Michael BushChiat Phi600
    61Brian LeonardTBat StL 72+11
    62 Jacquizz RodgersAtlat SF65+3
    63Brandon Bolden NEat Bal 70+7
    64Edwin BakerCleat NYJ 45-19
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Wide Receivers: We Say Go Back to the Likes of Mike Wallace and Danny Amendola

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    Danny Amendola couldn't make this catch in the clutch, but he's a gem in crunch time for fantasy owners.
    Danny Amendola couldn't make this catch in the clutch, but he's a gem in crunch time for fantasy owners.Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

    Start 'Em

    Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins

    Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins are hot. Heck, even the fantasy pariah Wallace looks like a solid play in crunch time in this matchup. The Buffalo Bills are fifth worst against wideouts in fantasy and have the 27th-ranked pass defense. The matchup is so tempting with the stakes so high for the Dolphins. Brian Hartline is a viable third receiver or flex option, too.

     

    Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins

    You will win some bar bets with this one: Name one of the two receivers who has had five receptions or more every game this season. Garcon wouldn't be the first name you would think of, but he would win you a round.

    Against the last-ranked Dallas Cowboys pass defense and with Kirk Cousins slinging the ball downfield, Garcon is not only a viable play, but he's also a must-start in all leagues. (By the way, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown is the other.)

     

    Danny Amendola, New England Patriots

    When Rob Gronkowski (knee) went down again, we immediately pointed to Amendola to pick up the slack.

    It doesn't seem like an easy connection because the two play different positions, and Julian Edelman has been the more productive slot man for Tom Brady, but Amendola's best games have come with Gronk out of the lineup. Consider Edelman and Amendola two solid starts, even against the Ravens defense.

     

    Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers

    Like we said with Frank Gore, there is an opportunity for some Monday night magic to put you over the top late in your fantasy Super Bowl. Crabtree is the wide receiver who can do that.

    He has gotten more receptions in each of his past three weeks since returning, and we expect him to enjoy his best week yet against an Atlanta Falcons team that is in the bottom 10 against the pass and against fantasy wideouts. We are starting Anquan Boldin and Crabtree here.

     

    Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans

    He is coming off the best game of his career last week (12 catches for 150 yards), which moved him over 1,000 yards. He has an outside chance at 100 catches for the season, too. He has 85 with two games to play. That is fairly amazing with the quarterbacks he has had to work with. Wright should be even better than he was against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10 (seven catches for 78 yards).

     

    Sit 'Em

    Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Andre Roberts, Arizona Cardinals

    Fitzgerald looks like he is going to play after suffering a concussion a week ago, but you cannot trust him or any of his teammates as they head up to Seattle to face that Seahawks buzzsaw of a secondary. Seattle is No. 1 against the pass and fantasy wide receivers for myriad reasons. There is no way you should be trusting this group in such an important week.

     

    Ace Sanders and Mike Brown, Jacksonville Jaguars

    The tendency is to look to the backups when a guy like Cecil Shorts (sports hernia) goes down for the season. You shouldn't here. The Jags are going to find it tough to get the ball downfield against the Tennessee Titans, who are a top-10 team against the pass and No. 2 in fantasy against wide receivers. Sanders and Brown are best avoided, even in PPR formats.

     

    Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate and Jermaine Kearse, Seattle Seahawks

    We fully expect the Seahawks to blow out the Cardinals, but it won't necessarily be because of anyone from this trio. Not only does each usurp value from the others, but the Cardinals are also sixth best against fantasy wideouts.

     

    Hakeem Nicks, Rueben Randle and Louis Murphy, New York Giants

    Yes, Victor Cruz (knee) is out of the way by being out for the season, but Cruz wasn't stealing much production from the Giants receivers of late anyway. Eli Manning and Co. have been playing like a lame-duck team for most of the season, and the passing game is largely the reason.

    Ignore all of your Giants, even if you expect the Detroit Lions to roll up points and credit some garbage-time opportunities. The Giants' whole season has been garbage time, and they haven't gotten anything done.

     

    T.Y. Hilton, Da'Rick Rogers and LaVon Brazill, Indianapolis Colts

    There has been production coming from these guys at times this season, but most of it has been unpredictable for fantasy owners. You could roll the dice on one of these, hoping for a shootout against the Chiefs in Kansas City, but the odds are you will come up craps. Go with a safer play.

     

    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
    6DeSean JacksonPhivs. Chi12+6
    7Demaryius ThomasDenat Hou 70
    8Antonio BrownPitat GB80
    9 Alshon JefferyChiat Phi6-3
    10Pierre GarconWasvs. Dal9-1
    11Vincent JacksonTBat StL 14+3
    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. Pit15-3
    19Danny Amendola NEat Bal 26+7
    20Mike WallaceMiaat Buf 18-2
    21Anquan BoldinSFvs. Atl 27+6
    22Kendall WrightTenat Jac 21-1
    23Michael Crabtree SFvs. Atl 20-3
    24Roddy WhiteAtlat SF22-2
    25James JonesGBvs. Pit31+6
    26Rod Streater Oakat SD33+7
    27Larry FitzgeraldAriat Sea23-4
    28Dwayne BoweKCvs. Ind30+2
    29Steve SmithCarvs. NO34+5
    30Riley CooperPhivs. Chi29-1
    31 DeAndre HopkinsHouvs. Den45+14
    32Greg JenningsMinat Cin 28-4
    33Brian HartlineMiaat Buf 25-8
    34Hakeem NicksNYGat Det 35+1
    35 Rueben RandleNYGat Det 42+7
    36Mohamed Sanu Cinvs. Min71+35
    37Ace SandersJacvs. Ten50+13
    38Doug BaldwinSeavs. Ari41+3
    39Golden TateSeavs. Ari37-2
    40Andre HolmesOakat SD51+11
    41 Cordarrelle PattersonMinat Cin 38-3
    42Emmanuel SandersPitat GB32-10
    43 Da'Rick RogersIndat KC49+6
    44 Lavon Brazill Indat KC77+33
    45T.Y. HiltonIndat KC24-21
    46Harry DouglasAtlat SF36-10
    47Marlon BrownBalvs. NE59+12
    48Brandon LaFell Carvs. NO56+8
    49Tavon AustinStLvs. TB70+21
    50Michael FloydAriat Sea39-11
    51Robert WoodsBufvs. Mia48-3
    52Justin HunterTenat Jac 61+9
    53Miles AustinDalat Was66+13
    54Mike BrownJacvs. Ten65+11
    55Santonio HolmesNYJvs. Cle 73+18
    56Jarrett Boykin GBvs. Pit40-16
    57Marvin JonesCinvs. Min43-14
    58Donnie AveryKCvs. Ind76+18
    59Nate BurlesonDetvs. NYG 53-6
    60Terrance WilliamsDalat Was67+7
    61Jerricho CotcheryPitat GB60-1
    62Chris GivensStLvs. TB95+33
    63Ted GinnCarvs. NO78+15
    64 Tiquan UnderwoodTBat StL 80+16
    65Jerome SimpsonMinat Cin 86+21
    66Jeremy Kerley NYJvs. Cle 62-4
    67Lance MooreNOat Car74+7
    68Santana MossWasvs. Dal58-10
    69Kenny StillsNOat Car91+22
    70Andre RobertsAriat Sea85+15
    71Greg LittleCleat NYJ 69-2
    72Nate WashingtonTenat Jac 64-8
    73Kris DurhamDetvs. NYG 83+10
    74Vincent BrownSDvs. Oak88+14
    75 Darrius Heyward-BeyIndat KC98+23
    76Jason Avant Phivs. Chi102+26
    77 Rishard MatthewsMiaat Buf 63-14
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Tight Ends: Trust Delanie Walker and Even Zach Miller over Coby Fleener Now

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    The Colts' Coby Fleener bobbled his chance to be considered trustworthy in fantasy crunch time last week.
    The Colts' Coby Fleener bobbled his chance to be considered trustworthy in fantasy crunch time last week.Michael Hickey/Getty Images

    Start 'Em

    Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans

    Walker returned from injury last week in time to reel in eight passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. It should be more of the same for him against the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. The Jags have allowed the third-most points to fantasy tight ends this season. You should feel confident starting Walker in all leagues.

     

    Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks

    Miller is the sleeper play of the week. Owned in just 24 percent of CBS Sports leagues, he draws the most favorable matchup for fantasy tight ends. The Arizona Cardinals have allowed league highs of 85 receptions, 1,056 yards and 14 touchdowns to the position. Miller might be coming off a mere one catch for eight yards last week, but he finds the end zone at least once in this matchup.

     

    Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens

    He wasn't good last week, but we will give him a pass against a Detroit Lions team that has allowed a league-best one touchdown reception to tight ends this season. The New England Patriots have allowed six, but they are in the bottom 10 of fantasy in terms of receptions (76) and yards (829) given up to tight ends this season. Pitta should have a busy day off of the play-action game.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts

    After he was shut out a week ago, you likely don't need a reason to sit Fleener in your fantasy Super Bowl. Heck, you're lucky you made it with him being held catchless after averaging 8.4 targets over the previous five games. The Kansas City Chiefs defense has been the second best in fantasy against tight ends, so consider that the clincher on sitting Fleener.

     

    Tim Wright, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    The St. Louis Rams nearly blanked Jimmy Graham a week ago, so consider them plenty capable of taking one of the Bucs' primary weapons away here. Wright is coming off leading the position in scoring in Week 15, but you cannot like him against a Rams team that has been sixth best in fantasy against tight ends.

     

    Brandon Myers, New York Giants

    He has had his moments, but none has been of championship caliber. Eli Manning and Co. have struggled all season, and Myers has been needed in max pass protection. You cannot use Myers against a Lions defense that has given up the fewest touchdowns to tight ends (one).

     

    Week 16 Tight Ends Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankTight EndsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Jimmy GrahamNOat Car10
    2Julius ThomasDenat Hou 3+1
    3Jason WittenDalat Was4+1
    4Vernon DavisSFvs. Atl 2-2
    5 Delanie WalkerTenat Jac 50
    6Greg OlsenCarvs. NO60
    7Antonio GatesSDvs. Oak9+2
    8Dennis PittaBalvs. NE80
    9Tony GonzalezAtlat SF7-2
    10Heath MillerPitat GB13+3
    11 Martellus BennettChiat Phi110
    12Zach MillerSeavs. Ari15+3
    13Tyler Eifert Cinvs. Min22+9
    14 Coby Fleener Indat KC16+2
    15Michael Hoomanawanui NEat Bal 31+16
    16Charles ClayMiaat Buf 10-6
    17Jermaine GreshamCinvs. Min28+11
    18Jared CookStLvs. TB25+7
    19Tim WrightTBat StL 18-1
    20Garrett GrahamHouvs. Den14-6
    21Zach Ertz Phivs. Chi19-2
    22Logan Paulsen Wasvs. Dal23+1
    23Rob Housler Ariat Sea41+18
    24Brandon MyersNYGat Det 30+6
    25Brent Celek Phivs. Chi37+12
    26 Ladarius GreenSDvs. Oak34+8
    27Scott ChandlerBufvs. Mia24-3
    28 Marcedes LewisJacvs. Ten20-8
    29Jeff CumberlandNYJvs. Cle 40+11
    30Virgil GreenDenat Hou 51+21
    31Jacob Tamme Denat Hou 29-2
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Defense/Special Teams: Detroit Lions Line Up as the Streaming Play of the Week

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    The Detroit Lions defense has arguably the best front four in football—and a great matchup in Week 16.
    The Detroit Lions defense has arguably the best front four in football—and a great matchup in Week 16.Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

    Start 'Em

    Detroit Lions

    When in doubt, load up a defense on an error-prone quarterback. Eli Manning is the most error-prone quarterback there is. The New York Giants are last in fantasy against defense/special teams, and the Lions are the streaming play of the week.

     

    Denver Broncos

    As bad as the Giants have been, the Houston Texans were worse when Matt Schaub was under center earlier this season. Well, he is again. The Broncos have been an oft-bending and breaking defense this season, but they are a solid play against the woeful Texans (third worst against defense/special teams).

     

    St. Louis Rams

    The Rams have a nice collection of pass-rushers, and they have played some great defense at home against contenders, including elite quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Andrew Luck. Now, they get the worst passing offense in football, one led by rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. Sounds like a matchup made in fantasy Super Bowl heaven.

     

    Sit 'Em

    New Orleans Saints

    As much as Rob Ryan has turned arguably the worst defense in football around, he hasn't done enough to make the Saints a real threat on the road. The Saints have struggled away from the dome sweet home. Also, the Carolina Panthers have been the second-toughest team in fantasy against defense/special teams.

     

    Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears

    These two once proud defensive franchises are now in the hands of offensive gurus. Put the two together with postseason hopes on the line, and we should expect a classic shootout. It will be a long night for both defenses.

     

    Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants

    These three defenses might have been drafted in all leagues, but they have to be avoided in all leagues in fantasy crunch time. As if the season hasn't already proven that to you, you shouldn't want any part of facing Peyton Manning, offensive guru Mike McCarthy or Matthew Stafford at Ford Field. Look away. Nothing to see or play here.

     

    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. Atl 2-1
    4Detroit LionsDetvs. NYG 5+1
    5Kansas City ChiefsKCvs. Ind3-2
    6Denver BroncosDenat Hou 10+4
    7Carolina PanthersCarvs. NO9+2
    8St. Louis RamsStLvs. TB7-1
    9Cleveland BrownsCleat NYJ 4-5
    10Miami DolphinsMiaat Buf 6-4
    11Arizona CardinalsAriat Sea16+5
    12Tennessee TitansTenat Jac 11-1
    13San Diego ChargersSDvs. Oak130
    14New England PatriotsNEat Bal 140
    15Baltimore RavensBalvs. NE19+4
    16New York JetsNYJvs. Cle 18+2
    17New Orleans SaintsNOat Car170
    18Tampa Bay BuccaneersTBat StL 15-3
    19Philadelphia EaglesPhivs. Chi25+6
    20Green Bay PackersGBvs. Pit22+2
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Kickers: Go with Phil Dawson for Some 'Monday Night Football' Magic

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    Phil Dawson has a great matchup, and he gives you a chance to stage a Monday night fantasy rally.
    Phil Dawson has a great matchup, and he gives you a chance to stage a Monday night fantasy rally.Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

    Start 'Em

    Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers

    Not only has Dawson been revived along with Colin Kaepernick in the second half of the season, but the 49ers are playing on Monday night against the second-worst team in fantasy against kickers, the Atlanta Falcons.

     

    Alex Henery, Philadelphia Eagles

    You should expect a shootout between the Chicago Bears and Eagles, one that will be kicker friendly, too. The Bears have allowed the seventh-most points to kickers to date.

     

    Mike Nugent, Cincinnati Bengals

    The Minnesota Vikings have been just as generous to kickers as the Bears. Nugent might not be the first name you go to in fantasy, but he is a better option than these sits below.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts

    Vinatieri has historically been more intriguing when the Colts are indoors. You cannot like him against the Chiefs in Kansas City. The Chiefs have allowed the second-fewest points and made field goals this season.

     

    Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons

    He was likely dumped weeks if not months ago once it was apparent the Falcons and Matt Ryan were in for a long year. Don't go back to him against the San Francisco 49ers, who have been the No. 1 team in fantasy against kickers this season.

     

    Shayne Graham, New Orleans Saints

    The Saints dumped Garrett Hartley right before the holidays. Cold. You might have liked his replacement's opportunity for points more if he was not facing the Carolina Panthers on the road. The Panthers are in the top 10 of fantasy against kickers.

     

    Week 16 Kickers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankKickersTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Stephen GostkowskiNEat Bal 10
    2Matt PraterDenat Hou 20
    3Justin TuckerBalvs. NE4+1
    4Phil DawsonSFvs. Atl 3-1
    5Steven Hauschka Seavs. Ari6+1
    6Mason CrosbyGBvs. Pit8+2
    7Dan BaileyDalat Was70
    8Nick Novak SDvs. Oak5-3
    9Ryan Succop KCvs. Ind90
    10Alex Henery Phivs. Chi13+3
    11David AkersDetvs. NYG 15+4
    12Mike NugentCinvs. Min20+8
    13Shaun Suisham Pitat GB14+1
    14Robbie GouldChiat Phi10-4
    15Adam VinatieriIndat KC16+1
    16Blair WalshMinat Cin 19+3
    17Rob Bironas Tenat Jac 29+12
    18Greg Zuerlein StLvs. TB22+4
    19Shayne Graham  25+6
    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.

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