Is this what the Ravens will feel like in a couple of weeks?
My season from a prediction standpoint hasn’t been awful. I’ve made some bold choices that have paid off, but, because it’s fantasy football, I’ve also made some that made me seem like I was living in a dream world. It appears I may have peaked in Week 7 or 8, and after some middle-of-the-road projections throughout the season since, I reached rock bottom in Week 15. Absolute rock bottom.
I now, just like the 2012 Baltimore Ravens, can go in two very different directions. Do I let the Week 15 “Really Neat or Take a Seat” disaster ruin my 2012 season? Or do I brush it off, realize it’s one week, and win when it counts: Championship Week.
Really Neat Week 16 Players
Sam Bradford is really neat.
The Buccaneers continue to surrender a high number of points to their opponents’ quarterbacks, and I think it’s a prime week to start Rams’ signal caller Sam Bradford. You should have more confidence in him, too, after seeing his solid 3-touchdown performance against Minnesota last week.
Joe Flacco is really neat.
I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I think Flacco is a decent start at home against New York this week. The Ravens are playing bad football, but the Giants proved last week that they are too. A depleted and struggling Giants’ secondary will allow some openings for Ravens’ wideouts, and Flacco, because he’s at home, should throw for a couple of scores.
Tony Romo is really neat.
Romo leads the NFL over the last 5 weeks in passing yards, and now he gets the New Orleans’ secondary. If you own him in the finals, he could be the reason you win.
DeAngelo Williams is really neat.
Williams has been a very, very solid fantasy play over the last two weeks. In Week 16, Williams faces off against Oakland. The Raiders held Jamaal Charles, but I fully expect Williams to get more opportunity in an offense that can actually move the ball.
Vick Ballard is really neat.
Something that has appeared to have gone unnoticed in Week 16 is Vick Ballard’s 100-plus yard rushing performance against one of the league’s best rush defense. He should have it even easier against the Chiefs this week.
Stevan Ridley is really neat.
Don’t lose hope, Ridley owners – Jacksonville is up next. The Jags rank 30th against fantasy running backs, and have surrendered over 120 yards to backs in five of their last seven weeks. Ridley is an RB1 play this week.
Alex Green is really neat.
If you’re hurting for a running back, Alex Green could be a decent option in Week 16. He’s gotten 13 carries in each of his last two games, and faces a Tennessee defense that has struggled stopping the run this year. The Pack could easily go up early, resulting in some garbage time for Green.
Brandon Gibson is really neat.
It’s difficult to tell who will be the beneficiary of Sam Bradford’s passing (if there is one) outside of Danny Amendola. Is it Givens? Is it Gibson? Given Gibson’s 12 receptions on 17 targets over the last two games, I like him over Givens against Tampa Bay in Week 16.
Andrew Hawkins is really neat.
This is a sneaky play this week against a hurting Steeler secondary. If we look back to the San Diego game, the Steelers couldn’t cover the slot at all when Cortez Allen played alongside Keenan Lewis at corner. Andrew Hawkins is a much better receiver than Michael Spurlock. You do the math.
Pierre Garcon is really neat.
If RGIII plays, Garcon should be in for a good day. Even though they’re playing better, the Eagles have given up a touchdown reception to an opposing receiver in every game since Week 6.
Jermichael Finley is really neat.
This column is already starting to frustrate me. First Flacco, and now Jermichael? Finley has actually been decent over the last 5 weeks, and in Week 16 he’ll be facing a Tennessee defense that ranks 30th against tight ends and just gave up 11 fantasy points to Jeff Cumberland.
Greg Olsen is really neat.
From a tight end perspective, Olsen has been fairly consistent this season. Oakland hasn’t been good against the tight end position this entire season, so I’d expect Olsen to have a solid day.
The Colts defense is really neat.
If the Raiders can shut out the Chiefs, anyone can.
Other really neat players: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, DeMarco Murray, CJ Spiller, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, Victor Cruz, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Julio Jones, Jimmy Graham, Aaron Hernandez
Take a Seat Week 16 Players
Jay Cutler should take a seat.
He’s a deeper matchup play each week regardless, but now he has Arizona – a team with a pretty good track record this season against opposing quarterbacks. Remember, it’s their offense that’s putrid.
Matthew Stafford should take a seat.
His inconsistency should scare you each and every week. The Lions get Atlanta in Detroit this week, and the Atlanta secondary has given up 1 or fewer touchdown passes in all but three weeks this season.
Philip Rivers should take a seat.
Although they’ve played the Titans, Cardinals and Jaguars, the Jets (Rivers’ Week 16 opponent) haven’t given up a touchdown pass in 3 weeks. Their attitude, now eliminated from the playoffs, will be important going into the game against the Chargers. Rivers could be a “go big” play, but I’d expect him to “go home”.
Ryan Tannehill should take a seat.
While the Bills were the opponent of the highest Week 15 quarterback scorer, we must remember that said scorer, Russell Wilson, rushed for 3 first half touchdowns. In reality, through the air (partially because the Seahawks led the entire game), Wilson didn’t do much. But it’s been a common trend for the Bills, who have not allowed more than one touchdown pass in five straight games. The last time Tannehill played Buffalo, he put up a measly 6 fantasy points. You can do better this week.
Beanie Wells should take a seat.
Wells makes his fantasy living off of touchdowns, and the Bears don’t give up rushing touchdowns to teams that can’t run the ball. Beanie is a home run play – not because of his ability, but because of his reliance on getting into the end zone. Do you really think he’ll get three scores in back to back weeks?
Trent Richardson should take a seat.
A bold move, sure, but let’s think of this logically. Richardson has had a very mediocre season from a non-fantasy standpoint. He’s averaging 3.5 yards per carry, and hasn’t reached 100 yards since Week 9. In fact, over the last two weeks, Richardson has a combined 70 yards on 30 carries. His touchdowns have kept him fantasy relevant, but now he’s going to Denver to face the Broncos rush defense that hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown to an opposing running back in all but three games this year. It’s not a good week to be a Richardson owner.
Sidney Rice should take a seat.
He had just 32 yards the last time the Seahawks faced the 49ers, and the 9ers have allowed exactly zero touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over the last 3 weeks.
Denarius Moore should take a seat.
Remember when Moore was a must start? Gone are the insane Week 5 wonders.
Josh Gordon should take a seat.
I’d assume he’s going to get Champ for the majority of the day, and he’s coming off one of his worst weeks of his campaign. I’d bench Gordon or consider him a flex play at best.
Jermaine Gresham should take a seat.
While the Steelers did give up a good day to Witten last week, Gresham has been slow over the last 3 weeks, and the last time he played Pittsburgh he finished with just 3 receptions for 19 yards.
The 49ers defense should take a seat.
Divisional matchup against a hot team? It’s a risky, risky play in my book.
Other take a seat players: Andy Dalton, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Brandon Weeden, Rashad Jennings, Montell Owens, Pierre Thomas, Danario Alexander, Emmanuel Sanders, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacob Tamme, Scott Chandler