Who will win, step up and get beat down in Week 16 of the NFL season...
These game predictions do not reflect the opinion of FFToolbox.com, just those of a solo fantasy writer who is trying not to over think things during Super Bow week. Advice to all" breathe easy, relax, do what you've been doing all season, other than now you trust Rex Grossman and the Redskins passing game...As a reminder, email any questions, be it about lineup fantasy decisions, trades, strategy or free agents, to email@example.com or send tweets to @benstandig. Also, download the weekly FFToolbox.com podcast - hosted by yours truly with guests from the Rotoworld, CBS Sports, NY Time, Sports Illustrated and the National Football Post. Times can vary so download us on ITunes and you won't miss out.
***I'm locked and loaded this morning with fantasy thoughts. Since we couldn't work out a second podcast, I'm here for any last minute questions. Post them in the comments field, hit me on Twitter (@benstandig), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seriously, ask away, let's talk it out. Ultimately any lineup decision is your call and your call alone, but I'm here as a source so don't be shy...
Home Team in CAPS
KANSAS CITY 24 (-2.5) Oakland 20: Sure, I'm buying the Chiefs as a momentum play Vegas style, but outside of Dwayne Bowe against the Raiders soft secondary, still not in love with any of the other KC skill players. The defense, however, certainly worthy of a start against the turnover-prone Carson Palmer...Michael Bush is a touch banged up, but he churned out 99 yards on 17 carries in the previous meeting. If the Raiders are smart, they will lean on their top RB instead of putting the ball in Palmer's hands. At least the Raiders QB has most of speedy weapons available, but I'm not gutsy enough to use Palmer (and I'm not scared of easy)/
Denver 27 (-3) BUFFALO 20: Verify Willis McGahee is active and then rush to put him in your lineup against a horrid Bills run defense allowing 23.5 points per game to runners. Tim Tebow should use his legs as well to churn out points when he's not targeting high-end WR3 option Demaryius Thomas...Remember when the Bills offense was potent? Yeah, it's been a while. C.J. Spiller's all-around skill set gives him top-15 RB potential
TENNESSEE 20 Jacksonville 14 (+7) : Chris Johnson's gimpy ankle only makes it harder to gauge the weekly "how much do you trust" factor. Truth is, not feeling good, but I still trust Johnson more than Matt Hasselbeck, which is why Nate Washington and Damian Williams are little more than risky WR3 against a Jags defense allowing the fifth most points to fantasy receivers...I don't need to say you don't start any Jacksonville player besides by MJD, right? Right.
CINCINNATI 17 Arizona 16 (+4.5): Since the Bengals passing game potency has been decreasing, look for more Cedric Benson, who outproduces Beanie Wells...Otherwise Larry Fitzgerald and A.J. Green, maybe the Bengals defense, but that's about it.
NEW ENGLAND 34 (-9) Miami 24: Love Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush. Matt Moore is a sneaky QB1 play for Big Ben and Eli Manning owners, though he's not expected to have trusty tight end Anthony Fasano...As discussed on this week's FFToolbox podcast, Stevan Ridley looks to be emerging as a threat in the Pats backfield. The rookie's explosive upside makes him a gutsy call for owners in deep leagues, but overall the matchup against a Dolphins D allowing the third fewest points to fantasy runners is hardly ideal.
BALTIMORE 26 (-12) Cleveland 13: I wonder what the percentage of Super Bowl winners will have the Ravens defense. Difference maker for sure. Otherwise it's Ray Rice left, Ray Rice right and Ed Dickson scoring a touchdown. Not convinced Torrey Smith's value increases with Anquan Boldin out, but the Maryland rookie is always one play away from scoring from 70 yards out....Can't say I have much interest in Peyton Hillis, but I know I have none when it comes to Greg Little and the Browns receivers.
NY JETS 17 NY Giants 16 (+3): The Giants have the scarier receiving weapons, but in the Xmas Eve contest the Jets are presented with the significantly better matchup. Nicks and Cruz still rank ahead of Holmes and Burress, but the gap is closer than normal. Gut says Plax scores, Cruz gets his while Nicks' numbers take a tumble, but the grind it out nature of this important contest keeps all four under 100 yards.
WASHINGTON 23 Minnesota 17 (+7): I wrote about the beauty that is the Redskins passing game matchup against a Vikings pass defense that allows the most points to fantasy quarterbacks. So while I'd start the QB and top two receivers, Roy Helu's assortment of injuries is making me nervous, primarily because Mike Shanahan is his coach. If I have a comparable option likely to get lots of work (Kahlil Bell?) or with a stellar matchup (either Carolina running back?), I'd let Helu rest...
CAROLINA 34 (-9) Tampa Bay 14: Cam Newton, number one fantasy player of the week. Book it. Love both DeAngelo andf J-Stew, but the distribution of touches, especially around the goal line makes them risky regardless.Woithy of flex or low-end RB2, use either if you need upside or if you're dealing with uncertainty (Felix Jones, Packers backfield)...Bucs are packing it in which is why even though LeGarrette Blount's matchup is as tasty as his Carolina counterparts, I'm barely intrigued with him as anything more than a flex.
PITTSBURGH 20 (-12) St. Louis 6: With Charlie Batch under center, logic says the Steelers turn to Rashard Mendenhall early and often. As for Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, owners will be counting on the speedy wide outs to turn five-yard slants and out into 40+ yard sprints and scores. That's why Wallace's value dips from his usual top-5 rank into the low WR2 range while Brown on paper is a WR3. Not impossible they produce, but their odds of doing so have dropped for sure...Start any Ram - basically Steven Jackson - at your own risk. Steelers D, not to be messed with this week.
DETROIT 28 (-1) San Diego 26: Get your popcorn ready for this one as Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers should have an old fashioned shootout. Use Malcom Floyd, Nate Burleson or Titus Young as needed...My biggest fear in Super Bowl week? Having my player knocked out early, which is why guys like Kevin Smith who are dinged and come with a lengthy injury history have me running for the hills.
SEATTLE 14 (-1) San Francisco 13: The touchdown-streaking Marshawn Lynch against a Niners D that hasn't allowed a rushing TD this season easily stands as the most intriguing matchup of the week. Hard to think Mr. Skittles gets into Beast Mode, but I wouldn't sit him unless my other options were truly superior...As much as I love and defend what the Niners are doing this season, not feeling their offense much in this NFC West matchup. Frank Gore has RB2 value and Vernon Davis likely is your top TE option, but upside not tremendous.
Philadelphia 27 (+1) DALLAS 24: Michael Vick, back on track. Yes Jerry Jones, be scared. Feeling better about the Eagles receivers - at least this week - than I have in some time...Felix Jones is just so damn risky, because of his injury situation and the late start as the result could become irrelevant based on early outcomes. Only way I even ponder using Jones is if I have another 4pm/Sunday/Monday running back I could use should Felix wind up inactive. And no, Sammy Morris doesn't really count.
GREEN BAY 24 Chicago 16 (+11) : We discussed the how much or how little we trust the Packers this week at the top of the latest FFToolbox podcast. Give it a listen, it won't take long. I'll simply say I understand 10000000% percent if you start Rodgers, Nelson, Finley etc per usual, but there is more risk than in doing so than at any point this season. If the Niners lose on Saturday, the Packers will have clinched home field advantage before they play on Sunday. Two offensive lineman have already been ruled out. Just promise you have Matt Flynn rostered just in case...Songs will be written about Kahlil Bell if he goes from who's that to he's the man in a matter of two weeks. The Packers are thin along the defensive line and Bell's strong receiving skills ensure PPR owners can use him as a RB2 with Marion Barber out. All I can say is think about how you will feel if a player you never heard of 10 minutes ago bombs in the Super Bowl. if you can sleep with that as a possibility, then go ahead and boldly start him...
NEW ORLEANS 31 Atlanta 28 (+7): Brees, proles, Colston, Graham, Kasay, Ryan, Turner, White, Jones and Bryant owners: Enjoy
From Thursday...Houston 20 INDIANAPOLIS 14 (+7): Outside of their two running backs - Tate as a flex - and defense, not terribly excited about the Texans fantasy weapons. T. J. Yates is doing what he can, but hard to trust the rookie even against the Colts...Even though Donald Brown's matchup is hardly ideal - Texans defense allowing second fewest points to fantasy runners - I wouldn't laugh at anyone using him as a flex play or low-end RB2. Has touchdowns in three of last four games. As for the receivers, I guess Garcon and Wayne have some WR3 value, but I don't see this game turning into a rout where the Colts are throwing on nearly every play.
Last week: Straight (5-8), Spread (4-11); Overall: Straight (129-71), Spread (95-102-4)...
Survivor pick... If you still have Carolina, go ahead and use. Since I've used them, guess I have to go with Tennessee... Wk. 1 - Houston...Wk. 2 - Detroit...Wk. 3 - Carolina...Wk. 4 - Tampa Bay...Wk. 5 -NY Giants...Wk. 6 - Pittsburgh...Wk. 7 - New Orleans...Wk. 8 = Baltimore...Wk. 10 - Philadelphia...Wk. 11 - Green Bay...Wk. 12 - Atlanta...Wk. 13 - New England...Wk 14 - NY Jets...Wk. Arizona