Fantasy Football Week 16 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
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
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.
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.
|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||Kirk Cousins||Was||vs. Dal||12||+5|
|8||Russell Wilson||Sea||vs. Ari||11||+3|
|9||Cam Newton||Car||vs. NO||5||-4|
|10||Tom Brady||NE||at Bal||14||+4|
|11||Colin Kaepernick||SF||vs. Atl||8||-3|
|12||Andrew Luck||Ind||at KC||17||+5|
|13||Jay Cutler||Chi||at Phi||7||-6|
|14||Alex Smith||KC||vs. Ind||15||+1|
|15||Andy Dalton||Cin||vs. Min||9||-6|
|16||Ben Roethlisberger||Pit||at GB||13||-3|
|17||Joe Flacco||Bal||vs. NE||21||+4|
|18||Ryan Tannehill||Mia||at Buf||18||0|
|19||Ryan Fitzpatrick||Ten||at Jac||16||-3|
|20||Matt Ryan||Atl||at SF||23||+3|
|21||Eli Manning||NYG||at Det||27||+6|
|22||Matt Schaub||Hou||vs. Den||24||+2|
|23||Kellen Clemens||StL||vs. TB||33||+10|
|24||Mike Glennon||TB||at StL||28||+4|
|25||Matt Cassel||Min||at Cin||25||0|
|26||Carson Palmer||Ari||at Sea||29||+3|
|27||Matt Flynn||GB||vs. Pit||22||-5|
|28||Jason Campbell||Cle||at NYJ||19||-9|
|29||Chad Henne||Jac||vs. Ten||31||+2|
|30||Matt McGloin||Oak||at SD||26||-4|
|31||Geno Smith||NYJ||vs. Cle||32||+1|
|32||Thaddeus Lewis||Buf||vs. Mia||30||-2|
Running Backs: Alfred Morris Poised for Crunch-Time Payback Amid Down Year
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.
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.
|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||8||+4|
|5||Frank Gore||SF||vs. Atl||12||+7|
|6||DeMarco Murray||Dal||at Was||3||-3|
|7||Reggie Bush||Det||vs. NYG||13||+6|
|8||Marshawn Lynch||Sea||vs. Ari||11||+3|
|9||Adrian Peterson||Min||at Cin||6||-3|
|10||Le'Veon Bell||Pit||at GB||7||-3|
|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||9||-5|
|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||22||+3|
|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||19||-4|
|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||20||-13|
|34||Kendall Hunter||SF||vs. Atl||48||+14|
|35||Montee Ball||Den||at Hou||30||-5|
|36||Donald Brown||Ind||at KC||38||+2|
|37||Trent Richardson||Ind||at KC||40||+3|
|38||Andre Ellington||Ari||at Sea||34||-4|
|39||Mike Tolbert||Car||vs. NO||43||+4|
|40||Rashard Mendenhall||Ari||at Sea||36||-4|
|41||Stevan Ridley||NE||at Bal||42||+1|
|42||Chris Ogbonnaya||Cle||at NYJ||44||+2|
|43||Daniel Thomas||Mia||at Buf||41||-2|
|44||Knile Davis||KC||vs. Ind||55||+11|
|45||Pierre Thomas||NO||at Car||33||-12|
|46||Willis McGahee||Cle||at NYJ||57||+11|
|47||Bryce Brown||Phi||vs. Chi||56||+9|
|48||Chris Polk||Phi||vs. Chi||75||+27|
|49||LeGarrette Blount||NE||at Bal||46||-3|
|50||Matt Asiata||Min||at Cin||59||+9|
|51||Marcel Reece||Oak||at SD||51||0|
|52||James Starks||GB||vs. Pit||58||+6|
|53||Bernard Pierce||Bal||vs. NE||54||+1|
|54||Robert Turbin||Sea||vs. Ari||76||+22|
|55||Shonn Greene||Ten||at Jac||49||-6|
|56||Roy Helu||Was||vs. Dal||52||-4|
|57||Benny Cunningham||StL||vs. TB||73||+16|
|58||Bilal Powell||NYJ||vs. Cle||47||-11|
|59||Mark Ingram||NO||at Car||62||+3|
|60||Michael Bush||Chi||at Phi||60||0|
|61||Brian Leonard||TB||at StL||72||+11|
|62||Jacquizz Rodgers||Atl||at SF||65||+3|
|63||Brandon Bolden||NE||at Bal||70||+7|
|64||Edwin Baker||Cle||at NYJ||45||-19|
Wide Receivers: We Say Go Back to the Likes of Mike Wallace and Danny Amendola
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).
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.
|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||14||+3|
|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||15||-3|
|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||21||-1|
|23||Michael Crabtree||SF||vs. Atl||20||-3|
|24||Roddy White||Atl||at SF||22||-2|
|25||James Jones||GB||vs. Pit||31||+6|
|26||Rod Streater||Oak||at SD||33||+7|
|27||Larry Fitzgerald||Ari||at Sea||23||-4|
|28||Dwayne Bowe||KC||vs. Ind||30||+2|
|29||Steve Smith||Car||vs. NO||34||+5|
|30||Riley Cooper||Phi||vs. Chi||29||-1|
|31||DeAndre Hopkins||Hou||vs. Den||45||+14|
|32||Greg Jennings||Min||at Cin||28||-4|
|33||Brian Hartline||Mia||at Buf||25||-8|
|34||Hakeem Nicks||NYG||at Det||35||+1|
|35||Rueben Randle||NYG||at Det||42||+7|
|36||Mohamed Sanu||Cin||vs. Min||71||+35|
|37||Ace Sanders||Jac||vs. Ten||50||+13|
|38||Doug Baldwin||Sea||vs. Ari||41||+3|
|39||Golden Tate||Sea||vs. Ari||37||-2|
|40||Andre Holmes||Oak||at SD||51||+11|
|41||Cordarrelle Patterson||Min||at Cin||38||-3|
|42||Emmanuel Sanders||Pit||at GB||32||-10|
|43||Da'Rick Rogers||Ind||at KC||49||+6|
|44||Lavon Brazill||Ind||at KC||77||+33|
|45||T.Y. Hilton||Ind||at KC||24||-21|
|46||Harry Douglas||Atl||at SF||36||-10|
|47||Marlon Brown||Bal||vs. NE||59||+12|
|48||Brandon LaFell||Car||vs. NO||56||+8|
|49||Tavon Austin||StL||vs. TB||70||+21|
|50||Michael Floyd||Ari||at Sea||39||-11|
|51||Robert Woods||Buf||vs. Mia||48||-3|
|52||Justin Hunter||Ten||at Jac||61||+9|
|53||Miles Austin||Dal||at Was||66||+13|
|54||Mike Brown||Jac||vs. Ten||65||+11|
|55||Santonio Holmes||NYJ||vs. Cle||73||+18|
|56||Jarrett Boykin||GB||vs. Pit||40||-16|
|57||Marvin Jones||Cin||vs. Min||43||-14|
|58||Donnie Avery||KC||vs. Ind||76||+18|
|59||Nate Burleson||Det||vs. NYG||53||-6|
|60||Terrance Williams||Dal||at Was||67||+7|
|61||Jerricho Cotchery||Pit||at GB||60||-1|
|62||Chris Givens||StL||vs. TB||95||+33|
|63||Ted Ginn||Car||vs. NO||78||+15|
|64||Tiquan Underwood||TB||at StL||80||+16|
|65||Jerome Simpson||Min||at Cin||86||+21|
|66||Jeremy Kerley||NYJ||vs. Cle||62||-4|
|67||Lance Moore||NO||at Car||74||+7|
|68||Santana Moss||Was||vs. Dal||58||-10|
|69||Kenny Stills||NO||at Car||91||+22|
|70||Andre Roberts||Ari||at Sea||85||+15|
|71||Greg Little||Cle||at NYJ||69||-2|
|72||Nate Washington||Ten||at Jac||64||-8|
|73||Kris Durham||Det||vs. NYG||83||+10|
|74||Vincent Brown||SD||vs. Oak||88||+14|
|75||Darrius Heyward-Bey||Ind||at KC||98||+23|
|76||Jason Avant||Phi||vs. Chi||102||+26|
|77||Rishard Matthews||Mia||at Buf||63||-14|
Tight Ends: Trust Delanie Walker and Even Zach Miller over Coby Fleener Now
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.
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).
|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||9||+2|
|8||Dennis Pitta||Bal||vs. NE||8||0|
|9||Tony Gonzalez||Atl||at SF||7||-2|
|10||Heath Miller||Pit||at GB||13||+3|
|11||Martellus Bennett||Chi||at Phi||11||0|
|12||Zach Miller||Sea||vs. Ari||15||+3|
|13||Tyler Eifert||Cin||vs. Min||22||+9|
|14||Coby Fleener||Ind||at KC||16||+2|
|15||Michael Hoomanawanui||NE||at Bal||31||+16|
|16||Charles Clay||Mia||at Buf||10||-6|
|17||Jermaine Gresham||Cin||vs. Min||28||+11|
|18||Jared Cook||StL||vs. TB||25||+7|
|19||Tim Wright||TB||at StL||18||-1|
|20||Garrett Graham||Hou||vs. Den||14||-6|
|21||Zach Ertz||Phi||vs. Chi||19||-2|
|22||Logan Paulsen||Was||vs. Dal||23||+1|
|23||Rob Housler||Ari||at Sea||41||+18|
|24||Brandon Myers||NYG||at Det||30||+6|
|25||Brent Celek||Phi||vs. Chi||37||+12|
|26||Ladarius Green||SD||vs. Oak||34||+8|
|27||Scott Chandler||Buf||vs. Mia||24||-3|
|28||Marcedes Lewis||Jac||vs. Ten||20||-8|
|29||Jeff Cumberland||NYJ||vs. Cle||40||+11|
|30||Virgil Green||Den||at Hou||51||+21|
|31||Jacob Tamme||Den||at Hou||29||-2|
Defense/Special Teams: Detroit Lions Line Up as the Streaming Play of the Week
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.
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.
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.
|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||22||+2|
Kickers: Go with Phil Dawson for Some 'Monday Night Football' Magic
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.
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.
|1||Stephen Gostkowski||NE||at Bal||1||0|
|2||Matt Prater||Den||at Hou||2||0|
|3||Justin Tucker||Bal||vs. NE||4||+1|
|4||Phil Dawson||SF||vs. Atl||3||-1|
|5||Steven Hauschka||Sea||vs. Ari||6||+1|
|6||Mason Crosby||GB||vs. Pit||8||+2|
|7||Dan Bailey||Dal||at Was||7||0|
|8||Nick Novak||SD||vs. Oak||5||-3|
|9||Ryan Succop||KC||vs. Ind||9||0|
|10||Alex Henery||Phi||vs. Chi||13||+3|
|11||David Akers||Det||vs. NYG||15||+4|
|12||Mike Nugent||Cin||vs. Min||20||+8|
|13||Shaun Suisham||Pit||at GB||14||+1|
|14||Robbie Gould||Chi||at Phi||10||-4|
|15||Adam Vinatieri||Ind||at KC||16||+1|
|16||Blair Walsh||Min||at Cin||19||+3|
|17||Rob Bironas||Ten||at Jac||29||+12|
|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.
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