Week 16 Start’em, Sit’em
Michael Vick @ Cowboys -
Before recommending Michael Vick as a worthy starter, I wanted to see him look like the player we’ve known in the past, after he returned from his rib injury. Vick finally showed up against the Jets, and this week he has a matchup worthy of starting against, as the Eagles should put up over 30 points against the Cowboys.
Matt Ryan @ Saints -
The Falcons and Saints are set to matchup on what will be the final Monday Night game of the year, and what a battle it should be, as two high-scoring offenses will clash. Ryan has struggled in the vertical game all year, but it appears that Roddy White, and Julio Jones are doing a better job of racking up the yards after the catch, as they’ve done a good job of finding the end zone, in recent weeks.
It’s likely that the Saints will pull out to a lead at some point, as the Falcons are forced to throw the football in the second half, and that could lead to Ryan throwing for over 350 yards and three touchdown passes. Get him in the lineup if you’re torn between Ryan and maybe another option like Ben Roethlisberger or Eli Manning.
Michael Bush @ Chiefs -
No matter the score, the Raiders seem to find a way to keep Michael Bush involved. This week should be a tough matchup, but if the Raiders want to come away with a victory, they need to keep the football on the ground, and that means a possible 25 carries for the veteran feature back.
Lance Ball @ Bills -
If Willis McGahee is inactive this week, or limited at best, it could be a big week for Lance Ball as he would be next in line for touches in the Broncos backfield. Buffalo hasn’t done a good job against the run this year, and fresh off giving up a 200-yard performance to Reggie Bush, it could be Ball that helps you win a Super Bowl this week.
Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney vs. Vikings -
The Redskins top receivers have been hot in recent weeks with tight end Fred Davis gone for the year because of a suspension. Look to both as solid plays this week, as Washington will face a weak Vikings secondary that can be exploited by even the worst passing offenses. The way the Redskins passing games has been going, but receivers should be good for a touchdown and over 60 yards receiving.
Dwayne Bowe vs. Raiders -
The Raiders secondary has been weak of late and with Kyle Orton throwing for 299 yards in his first start, Dwayne Bowe has some life again. Bowe only totaled 49 yards last week but part of the reason for that was because of an early game benching because he didn’t follow protocol on a family emergency, during the week. This week should be a different story so look to Bowe as a respectable WR-3 play in what could be a high-scoring game for Kansas City.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Rams -
If you happened to watch the Monday Night game ( I was there; it was crazy when the lights were out) it was easy to see that Ben Roethlisberger didn’t look like the same player, as the ankle injury, sapped his mobility, and caused him to make errant passes.
Look for the Steelers to take pressure off Roethlisberger this week as they play the Rams at home, and that means Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman will be active on the ground. Roethlisberger will still take his shots down the field, so Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown are worthy plays, but Roethlisberger may not top 200 yards in this game.
Eli Manning @ Jets –
For all the great games Eli Manning has put up down the stretch, he failed to get it done against the Redskins, but it wasn’t all his fault as dropped passes killed a few touchdown opportunities. This week the Giants will face a Jets defense that was gashed a week ago, but it was mainly on the ground.
Look for the Giants to test the Jets run defense as it appears Ahmad Bradshaw is finally ready to take on a regular workload after foot problems have derailed the second half of his season.
Willis McGahee @ Bills –
The Broncos veteran running back has had one heck of a season, but it appears the wheels have finally come off, at least for the last week in fantasy football, as Willis McGahee had to leave last weeks game with a hamstring injury. As recommended above, it would be a good idea to go with Lance Ball this week, if you’re looking for a replacement for McGahee, as the Broncos are sure to pound the football against Buffalo.
LeGarrette Blount @ Panthers –
A couple of weeks ago it seemed like LeGarrette Blount was a no brainier top ten start in standard leagues as he was coming of two solid performances and was playing against the Panthers. Well, with Josh Freeman out, the Panthers shut Blount down and built a big lead.
The Buccaneers have now lost seven games in a row and because Blount fails to stay in the game on passing situations, fantasy owners likely have trust issues with starting him. Heck, a few weeks back I recommended Blount as a RB-2 against the Jaguars because I felt there was no way Jacksonville would run away with the game, and they beat Tampa 42 to 14.
This is a bad situation that has gone horribly wrong, and it seems a change in coaching is in the works as soon as the season is over. Only use Blount if your are desperate for help.
Brandon Lloyd @ Rams –
With Sam Bradford possibly done for the season, and A.J. Feeley’s status up in the air, you’re better off leaving Brandon Lloyd on your bench this week. As mentioned above, Ben Roethlisberger clearly isn’t playing at his normal level with the ankle injury, and the Steelers are likely to keep the football on the ground.
With James Harrison expected back, it should be a long day for the Rams in Pittsburgh as they look to atone for their loss to the 49ers on the road.
Mike Williams (TB) @ Panthers –
It seemed like Mike Williams might put together a respectable finish to the season after solid performances against the Packers, Titans and Panthers, but in recent weeks the second-year receiver has struggled. Williams hit rock bottom against the Cowboys as he was held without a catch and targeted just one time.
Quarterback Josh Freeman not only looks like he’s playing with a shoulder injury, but he’s clearly regressed in his third season. It’s best to stay away from Williams to finish the year.
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