Fantasy football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Who among us will be champion?
Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em Week 16 (cont.)
Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em Week 16 (cont.)
Fantasy football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 16 (cont.)
Fantasy football playoffs time is not for the weak-hearted. You could do everything right all season, but bad weather, a fluke injury or an irrational head coach could ruin everything in 60 minutes on the field.
If you're reading this article, in the 16th week of the NFL season, then one of a few things are likely:
• You liked Jamaal Charles before, but after last week, you really like him.
• You bought a Justin Tucker jersey after Monday night's game.
• You paid Matthew Stafford a handsome price to throw some horrible sidearm passes against the Ravens.
Either way, you're in. But you have to get your head in the game. To quote the great Shane Falco, "I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn't be our style ... Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory ... lasts forever."
Now go out there and win this fake football championship for Keanu Reaves' fake football character!
These Week 16 Start 'em, Sit 'em recommendations are based on standard scoring, non-PPR, 12-team leagues that start 1-QB, 2-RB, 2-WR, 1-TE, 1-FLEX, 1-K and 1-DST. I've tried to list most of the possible players at each position, but if you find one missing -- please comment below, and I'll share my recommendation.
• Dolphins: Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Charles Clay, Dolphins DST
Wallace has been very good lately, scoring three touchdowns in his past four games, and the Bills have allowed 27 touchdown catches to wide receivers this season. The Dolphins defense is a little banged up, but the unit held up well against Tom Brady and Co., and the last time it faced Buffalo, it held the Bills to under 300 total yards.
• Bills: Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller, Bills DST
Jackson is neither sexy nor exciting, yet he's the main running back for the Bills right now. Spiller is both sexy and exciting, but he's like a super model with bad skin: Plenty of potential, but the breakouts every now and then drive you crazy. The Dolphins defense is not great against the run, although they haven't allowed a 100-yard runner in a while.
• Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Rishard Matthews, Caleb Sturgis
Over the past four games, Tannehill has thrown for 300 yards three times and for two or more touchdowns three times. He's getting better as the season winds down, but you should still have better alternatives. The Bills defense is a little better than it gets credit for, and Miller is back to sharing time with Daniel Thomas, who scored in Week 15. Sturgis has missed a field goal in three of his past four games.
• Bills: E.J Manuel, Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, Scott Chandler, Dan Carpenter
Manuel takes a seat again due to injury, and Thaddeus Lewis returns under center. Manuel just set the Bills' rookie TD-throwing record -- with 11. Miami's defense happens to be very tough on wide receivers.
• Saints: Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham
Brees has been a huge late-season disappointment, and if you were able to make it to Week 16 in spite of his recent play, you might be all out of four-leaf clovers. In his past five games, he has thrown for more than one touchdown pass in just two games. Unfortunately, he's a must-play in no uncertain terms, unless you are in a six-team league. Colston has been an above-average play in four of his past six games, putting a horrible start to the season behind him. Also, Colston's best game of the season came against Carolina. Will Sean Payton change things up this week?
• Panthers: Cam Newton, DeAngelo Williams, Greg Olsen, Graham Gano, Panthers DST
When Jonathan Stewart (knee) sits out, Williams actually does pretty well. It's tough to gamble on such an unspectacular player, but the Saints have given up 4.6 yards per carry this season -- only three teams have been worse. The Saints are actually pretty tough against tight ends, but Olsen has been one of the most consistent players at his position over the second half of the season.
• Saints: Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Kenny Stills, Lance Moore, Saints DST
Just 19 carries for 35 yards in Thomas' past three games, including a game against the Panthers in which he totaled just 28 yards. Both running backs still have starter value in PPR leagues, however. Smith has just one touchdown catch in his past eight games.
• Panthers: Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert, Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr.
The Saints defense is actually pretty good this season, so some of the Panthers' peripheral players aren't worth a look this week. LaFell has shown flashes, but the fourth-year wide receiver out of LSU just isn't a game-to-game reliable fantasy player in this offense.
• Vikings: Adrian Peterson, Greg Jennings
If Peterson (foot) is able to play, you're going to play him because he has been one of the three best fantasy players of 2013. If he's out, you're going to want to steer clear of starting any of his possible replacements. Jennings pretended Matt Cassel was Aaron Rodgers, catching 11 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown in Week 15. Cassel and Jennings have a great rapport, and in the five games where Cassel had significant playing time, Jennings has 32 catches for 420 yards and four touchdowns.
• Bengals: Andy Dalton, Giovani Bernard, A.J. Green, Bengals DST
The Red Rifle has a chance to post some solid fantasy points against a Vikings defense that has allowed 33 touchdown passes this season, including three to Nick Foles in Week 15. Bernard was stuffed, for the most part, in Week 15, but he did score a touchdown and the Bengals weren't afraid to use him near the goal line.
• Vikings: Matt Cassel, Toby Gerhart, Matt Asiata, Cordarelle Patterson, Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright, John Carlson, Blair Walsh, Vikings DST
Asiata possibly saved many teams in Week 15, or at least those that were bold enough to roll the dice on him. If A.P. and Gerhart are out this week, however, it's tough to tempt fate again with the second-year player. His three touchdowns were great, but his 51 yards on 30 carries were not.
• Bengals: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Tyler Eifert, Jermaine Gresham, Mike Nugent
Eifert and Gresham take targets from each other, but the Vikings defense is the second-worst again tight ends this season. If you need to take a gamble on a free agent, one of these guys might be a worthy option in Week 16 -- but which one? Go with Gresham if you have to.
• Broncos: Peyton Manning, Knowshon Moreno, Montee Ball, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas, Matt Prater, Broncos DST
Manning picked a bad time to have a mediocre game (by his standards), but that Thursday night loss to the Chargers means that he will play most, if not all, of the next two games. The Texans defense is not strong, so get all of your Broncos back in your lineup now that they've had a nice 10-day rest in real life this late in the season.
• Texans: Dennis Johnson, Andre Johnson
Johnson will get the tailback carries as Houston now loses its second starting running back for the season. Ben Tate's rib injury got him placed on injured reserve. The Texans are officially playing for the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and this game could get ugly quick. The Broncos are favored by 10 points, but they should roll past that mark by halftime. Johnson caught just four passes for 16 yards against Indianapolis, but he should be the main focus in this game against Denver.
• Broncos: Wes Welker, Andre Caldwell, Jacob Tamme
Even though Caldwell had a great game last week against San Diego and will get the start again with Welker out (concussion), there are just too many weapons on the Broncos to rely on him having a repeat performance.
• Texans: Matt Schaub, DeAndre Hopkins, Garrett Graham, Randy Bullock, Texans DST
Schaub takes over at center again for the injured Case Keenum. Hopkins could end up having an Alshon Jeffery-like second season, but for this year, he's doomed.
• Titans: Chris Johnson, Kendall Wright, Delanie Walker
Chris Johnson is playing well, and now he has a chance to put one of his worst games of the season behind him. He rushed for just 30 yards against the Jaguars in Week 10. Wright is back to being one of the most reliable PPR players in the game, and fantasy owners that play in weekly leagues should use him in Head-to-Head and 50/50 formats each week. Walker had a good game against the Cardinals, as expected, and now he's going up against a Jaguars defense that allowed him to catch four balls for 62 yards and a touchdown a few weeks ago. His six touchdowns this season are double his previous career high when he was with the 49ers.
• Jaguars: Jordan Todman
Jones-Drew sat out Week 15, which allowed Jordan Todman to run wild on Buffalo. MJD's hamstring was the issue last week, and while it's improving, the Jaguars might consider using both running backs this week. Whoever starts, however, is worth using in fantasy, considering the Titans defense gave up 145 rushing yards last week.
• Titans: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Shonn Greene, Nate Washington, Justin Hunter, Rob Bironas, Titans DST
You're going to be hearing (from all of the people not in the playoffs) that you should start Fitzpatrick in your Fantasy Super Bowl. He's coming off a 400-yard game, with four touchdown passes against Tennessee. But understand that he's not going to throw the ball 58 times against the Jaguars. Granted, he threw for over 264 yards and two touchdowns against the Jaguars in Week 10, but the Jaguars defense has six interceptions in its past four games, and 15 sacks in it past five games.
• Jaguars: Chad Henne, Maurice Jones-Drew, Cecil Shorts, Mike Brown, Ace Sanders, Marcedes Lewis, Josh Scobee, Jaguars DST
If MJD can't go, give Todman a shot, as he could be auditioning for the Jaguars starting tailback job for 2014. The Jaguars DST had its best fantasy game against the Titans in Week 10, but you can't rely on it from week to week.
• Colts: Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Adam Vinatieri
Luck has been better lately, with six touchdowns in his past two games, and this matchup against the Chiefs isn't a horrible one. While the Chiefs defense has played really well in spurts, it has allowed 300-yard passers in four of its past five games, with one or fewer sacks in all four of those games. What saves the day are the defensive touchdowns and the special teams scores.
• Chiefs: Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Ryan Succop, Chiefs DST
Charles' 51 fantasy points put him among the top 10 fantasy single-game scorers of all time last week, and the Chiefs rode his swivel hips into the 2013 NFL playoffs, one year after earning the top pick in the NFL Draft. Lucky for fantasy owners, the Chiefs are tied with the Broncos in the AFC West, which means no one's resting over the next couple weeks. While Bowe was a huge disappointment in a day when Alex Smith was such a great surprise, the Colts are one of the worst defenses against fantasy wide receivers this season.
• Colts: Donald Brown, Trent Richardson, Da'Rick Rogers, Lavon Brazill, Coby Fleener, Colts DST
Brown was shaken up in the first quarter against Houston, so his status is up in the air for now, which could mean the Colts will rely heavily on Richardson. Check Brown's status as this game approaches, since both of them playing is not good for either of them. The Chiefs defense is very tough on tight ends, although it did allow Mychal Rivera to score for the Raiders in Week 15. Fleener has gone for more than 60 yards just twice in his past nine games, and Luck threw his way just once last week.
• Chiefs: Alex Smith, Knile Davis, Donnie Avery, Dexter McCluster, Anthony Fasano
Smith put together a game no one saw coming, with five touchdown passes in Week 15. But we can't expect that from week to week. Davis actually led the team in rushing attempts, with nine over Charles' eight, and he punched one in from 17 yards out in the fourth quarter. He'll be one of the top handcuffs for 2014.
• Browns: Josh Gordon, Browns DST
Gordon was involved in a minor car accident last Saturday, then he had a shaky start to Sunday's game against the Bears. He came through with a touchdown catch late, which likely saved many of his fantasy owners.
• Jets: Chris Ivory
The Browns defense has allowed over 100 rushing yards in three of its past five games, and Ivory has over 200 rushing yards and a touchdown over the past three games. He's a very low-end RB2 or a flex play this week.
• Browns: Jason Campbell, Edwin Baker, Willis McGahee, Chris Ogbonnaya, Fozzy Whittaker, Greg Little, Billy Cundiff
There's no reason to consider anyone in the Browns' running game this week, as they stunk it up against the Bears, who have the worst rushing defense in the NFL. McGahee (concussion, knee) was held out of the game, and Baker made his debut as the team's starter. He played well enough for the Browns to consider giving him more carries going forward, but not enough for fantasy owners to start him comfortably.
• Jets: Geno Smith, Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, Kellen Winslow, Nick Folk, Jets DST
Even if Browns CB Joe Haden (hip) is sidelined for this game, there's no reason to load up on the Jets passing game. The Jets defense isn't what it used to be, and it has forced just three turnovers in its past five games. Folk is worth a look in weekly fantasy play, as he has five field goals over the past couple weeks, including two 50-yarders, and the Browns defense is one of the worst against kickers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St. Louis Rams
• Buccaneers: Bobby Rainey, Vincent Jackson
Rainey had just 12 touches last week, which makes you think he's losing out to some competition. No, no, it's just that the Bucs didn't get that many opportunities to use him. The only other ball carrier was Brian Leonard with one carry. Jackson has just 13 catches over his past four games, and he hasn't gone over 100 yards in any of those games. Luckily, he's Mike Glennon's favorite option in the red zone.
• Rams: Zac Stacy
Stacy's the only must-start player on the Rams right now. He set a franchise rookie record with 106 rushing yards at halftime in Week 15. While there are a lot of "flavors of the week" at the running back position right now, don't think about moving away from Stacy just because he's playing an improved Buccaneers run defense.
• Buccaneers: Mike Glennon, Brian Leonard, Tiquan Underwood, Tim Wright, Rian Lindell, Buccaneers DST
One might be tempted to start Wright in place of a disappointing tight end like Antonio Gates or Coby Fleener. Wright led the Bucs in receiving in Week 15, but he'll be facing a Rams defense that holds tight ends down pretty well. The Buccaneers DST is an intriguing option in weekly leagues, as the Rams are still inconsistent offensively.
• Rams: Kellen Clemens, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook, Greg Zuerlein, Rams DST
Clemens was certainly efficient against the Saints in Week 15, but he has thrown for more than 200 yards just once in his past four games. An ankle injury kept Austin out of the Saints game, but even if he's able to play, you can't risk using him this week outside of larger leagues. And the rest of the Rams receivers are all different versions of below average right now.
• Cowboys: Tony Romo, Demarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey
In spite of all the Cowboys' troubles in the front office, on the sidelines and in the fourth quarter, this core group above consists of five very good fantasy starters over the next two weeks, against Washington and Philadelphia. Separate the two in your head, and start them without prejudice. Bryant might head to the tunnels early, but not before notching 11 catches for 153 yards and a touchdown for his fantasy owners.
• Redskins: Kirk Cousins, Alfred Morris, Pierre Garcon
There will be many of you that will have to choose between Romo and Cousins for your fantasy football championship game. Both are start-worthy, and both are going opposite directions. Cousins played well in Week 15, and the Redskins are a different offense with him under center -- not necessarily better, but definitely different. Garcon got more yardage (over 18 yards per catch) and Morris got more room to run. But here's the thing -- it was against Atlanta. Luckily, the Cowboys are even worse defensively than the Falcons.
• Cowboys: Terrance Williams, Miles Austin, Cole Beasley, Cowboys DST
As good as the five Cowboys we mentioned in the start section are, is as bad as these options are. The Cowboys defense can't cover anyone in the passing game, but they make up for that by not tackling anyone out of the backfield.
• Redskins: Roy Helu, Aldrick Robinson, Logan Paulsen, Jordan Reed, Kai Forbath, Redskins DST
Robinson has 166 receiving yards in his past two games and he definitely has a connection with Cousins. Consider him a nice pickup in weekly fantasy leagues, but there just isn't enough here to warrant a look in traditional fantasy leagues. He had a career-high 99 receiving yards in Week 15. Reed continues to battle through a concussion suffered last month. Paulsen was seeing more chances in his place, but Fred Davis scored Sunday.
• Giants: Andre Brown
The Seahawks shut down Andre Brown in Week 15, and fantasy owners are wondering about using him at Detroit. It's indoors, on a fast track, and the Lions gave up 90 rushing yards to the Ravens last week, after giving up 299 rushing yards to the Eagles in Week 14.
• Lions: Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, Calvin Johnson
There's a pretty good chance you're sitting in the championship game because you played against the guy that owned/started Stafford -- or you had Jamaal Charles. Stafford has nine interceptions compared to just seven touchdown passes in his past four games. With that said -- he's a must-start player once again. If you survived his Week 15 stinker, you will be rewarded with a 20-point game in Week 16. Bell still has value against the Giants, even with Reggie Bush (calf) healthy-ish. Only a handful of teams have allowed more receiving yards to running backs this season.
• Giants: Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Myers, Josh Brown, Giants DST
"The Giants' passing game was sketchy even before Cruz left Week 15 with a concussion and knee problems, and now it looks like he'll miss Week 16. He might be done for 2013. It wasn't too long ago that you'd think about starting three different Giants wide receivers, but now you cringe when you look at your bench and see any of the G-men.
• Lions: Kris Durham, Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew, Joseph Fauria, David Akers, Lions DST
Fauria caught his seventh touchdown pass of the season, and the undrafted rookie free agent should be starting in all "Dancing with the Stars" leagues. Traditional fantasy owners have plenty of better options elsewhere.
• Cardinals: None.
It's tough to suggest any of these guys against the buzzsaw that is the Seahawks defense. Granted, Andre Ellington totaled 158 yards last week, but Rashard Mendenhall got the touches near the goal line. The Cardinals defense has played well at times, as well, but Russell Wilson has thrown just two interceptions in his past five games, and four picks in his past nine games. This team just isn't making mistakes, and the Seahawks offense put up 34 points on the Cardinals in Week 7.
• Seahawks: Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin, Steven Hauschka, Seahawks DST
Wilson and Baldwin are really the only borderline starters among this group, so let's make a case for each. Wilson threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns against the Cardinals earlier this season, and they no longer have rookie defensive back Tyrann Mathieu (knee). Baldwin only caught one pass in that game, but he has four touchdown catches in his past six games, and Wilson likes going to him in the red zone.
• Cardinals: Carson Palmer, Rashard Mendenhall, Andre Ellington, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts, Rob Housler, Jay Feely, Cardinals DST
Mendenhall had twice as many carries as Ellington, with two one-yard touchdown runs, but the rookie had more rushing yards and led the team in receiving. Bruce Arians hates you, Andre Ellington owner. Fitzgerald is dealing with a concussion, which means he'll need clearance before playing in Week 16.
• Seahawks: Percy Harvin, Golden Tate, Zach Miller, Luke Willson
It appears that Harvin will be held out until the playoffs now, which makes a lot of sense for the Seahawks, but not for the fantasy owners that held onto him this long.
• Patriots: Shane Vereen, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Stephen Gostkowski
The Ravens are tough on running backs and Vereen is coming off an inexplicable five-touch game against the Dolphins. But Baltimore gave up 101 total yards to Reggie Bush in Week 15, and the Patriots should go back to their most dynamic tailback this week. Edelman is officially Brady's favorite target now, with Rob Gronkowski (knee) out, but Amendola remains a solid starter.
• Ravens: Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta, Justin Tucker
Rice continues to underwhelm, with four consecutive weeks without breaking 70 rushing yards or scoring a touchdown. Smith bounced back from a horrible game against the Vikings, but he still only caught four out of 12 passes thrown his way. He remains a good WR2, with WR1 potential if things go right. Dennis was Pitta-ful in Week 15, but he's still coming back from injury and Joe Flacco does like him near the goal line.
• Patriots: Tom Brady, Stevan Ridley, Legarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, Josh Boyce, Michael Hoomanawanui, Patriots DST
Blount led the Patriots in rushing last week, but he's not expected to be much of a factor from one week to the next. Hoomanawanui caught a touchdown pass against the Dolphins, but the tight end position is full of equally promising players this week.
• Ravens: Joe Flacco, Bernard Pierce, Jacoby Jones, Marlon Brown, Ravens DST
Flacco didn't play a part in a touchdown Monday night at Detroit, as the team kicked its way to a victory. The Super Bowl champion quarterback has six touchdowns in his past five games, and is only worth a start in two-QB leagues as the season winds down. Jones led the Ravens in receiving, but Smith is the more reliable player, and the Patriots are above average against fantasy wide receivers.
• Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown
Opposing quarterbacks have a 95.97 QB rating against the Packers this season, which is the fifth-highest number in the NFL. Big Ben is coming off a quiet, one-touchdown week against the Bengals, but before this game, he had 11 touchdowns in the four previous games. Bell is a top-10 fantasy running back over his past three games, with 191 rushing yards, 132 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He has been a surprisingly adept pass catcher this season, making him an even better prospect for 2014 fantasy drafts.
• Packers: Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Mason Crosby
The Packers' running game is in good shape, as Lacy is proving to be one of the best rookies at the close of the season, much like we all expected during fantasy draft season. While it sounds counter-intuitive, Nelson and Jones are still the better fantasy options over Jarrett Boykin, despite Boykin leading the team in receiving yards (83) in Week 15.
• Steelers: Jonathan Dwyer, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, Heath Miller, Shaun Suisham, Steelers DST
Miller hasn't scored since Week 7, and he has just eight total targets in his past two games. The Packers defense isn't very good at holding down tight ends, but there are a lot of fair-to-middling choices at this position this week.
• Packers: Matt Flynn, Aaron Rodgers, James Starks, Jarrett Boykin, Packers DST
It was Flynn who orchestrated the greatest comeback in Packers history -- not Brett Favre and not Aaron Rodgers. But Rodgers (collarbone) is expected to be back soon, possibly this weekend, and the Steelers aren't the Cowboys. Quarless has had back-to-back games with six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.
• Raiders: Rashad Jennings, Rod Streater
Even with Darren McFadden set to return from an ankle injury, Jennings remains the main man for the Raiders. As a matter of fact, since Week 9, he ranks fifth among running backs with over 105 fantasy points -- and he missed a game with a concussion in that time. An argument can be made to sit Streater just as much as to start him. He's a borderline player this week, so if you have better alternatives, go that route.
• Chargers: Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, Nick Novak, Chargers DST
After a mediocre middle of the season, where Rivers threw just one touchdown pass in four of five games, he's back to playing well. In his past four games, he has eight touchdown passes and just one interception. He threw for 411 yards and two touchdowns against the Raiders in Week 4. Mathews has 29 carries in each of the past two games, making Danny Woodhead a secondary option as a flex in many leagues. Novak has multiple field goals in five of his past six games. With 10 days to prepare, we like the Chargers defense against the Raiders, too.
• Raiders: Matt McGloin, Terrelle Pryor, Darren McFadden, Marcel Reece, Denarius Moore, Andre Holmes, Mychal Rivera, Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders DST
Holmes scored last week against the Chiefs, but with Denarius Moore back from a shoulder injury, the targets are expected to decrease. Rivera does have three touchdown catches in his past five games, but his matchup doesn't look great this week.
• Chargers: Danny Woodhead, Vincent Brown, Eddie Royal, Ladarius Green
Woodhead totaled 35 yards in two of his past three games, as Mathews has taken on a larger role. The Chargers defense was amazing in Week 15, holding a superb Broncos offense in check for most of the night.
• Bears: Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, Robbie Gould
Cutler had a shaky start in his return from injury, but head coach Marc Trestman stuck with him and Cutler turned in a great performance. We like him as a top-10 quarterback heading into this matchup with an inconsistent Eagles defense. Philly allowed the Vikings to throw for 370 yards against them, which bodes well for the Bears' twin terrors, Marshall and Jeffery. No team has allowed more touchdown catches to wide receivers than the Eagles' 19. They've given up 10% more receptions than anyone else, too.
• Eagles: Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Alex Henery
The Eagles recently came out and said that they won't be resting any starters, regardless of the outcome of the Cowboys game. There are playoff implications that could affect fantasy play, but it seems as if head coach Chip Kelly is playing fair to his fantasy counterparts. The Bears defense hasn't given up a ton of catches to wide receivers this year, mostly because it's easier for teams to just run on them. But the Bears are giving up 15.34 yards per catch to wide receivers, which is the third-highest amount in the NFL.
• Bears: Michael Bush, Bears DST
The Bears defense has allowed nearly 200 rushing yards per game over the past four games. They have also given up 28 or more points in three of their past four games.
• Eagles: Riley Cooper, Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, Eagles DST
Cooper has 30 targets over his past four games, but he has eclipsed 50 yards in just one of those games, with no touchdowns. You should have better options, but if you don't -- you could do worse than him against this Bears team.
• Falcons: Steven Jackson, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez
The Niners are very tough on running backs, but the Falcons have enough weapons to make Jackson valuable as a low-end RB2 this week. Gonzalez became the fifth player in NFL history to notch over 15,000 receiving yards. He won't get that many against the 49ers. But the position is iffy enough to warrant starting him against a Niners defense that gave up a touchdown to Tampa tight end Tim Wright in Week 15.
• 49ers: Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Phil Dawson, 49ers DST
The Falcons defense gave up 373 yards to a second-year player who has barely played this season (Kirk Cousins), and now Kaepernick gets a taste. Both Boldin and Crabtree are worth starting against a defense that has given up 2,460 receiving yards to wide receivers this year.
• Falcons: Matt Ryan, Jacquizz Rodgers, Harry Douglas, Matt Bryant, Falcons DST
While Ryan has seen an uptick in fantasy value with Roddy White healthy again, he's still not where we wanted him four months ago, with a healthy Julio Jones. He has just one game this season with three touchdown passes, and he has just one 300-yard game in his past seven games.
• 49ers: Kendall Hunter, Mario Manningham
Hunter could be a very wise play in larger weekly fantasy tournaments, considering the 49ers will likely go up early in this game, and try to run the clock out in the second half -- with their second-year player.
David Gonos is a fantasy sports veteran of over 20 years and over 100 fantasy football leagues. You can also follow him @davidgonos on Twitter. If you have some good Week 16 Start 'em, Sit 'em opinions, drop them in the comments below.