Week 16: Start 'Em
Welcome to the semi-finals and the finals. For many leagues, week 16 is the finals. If you were good enough and lucky enough to make it all the way here, congrats. It is never easy getting this far. All the weekly pick-ups, trade line-up decisions that need to be made are never easy, but if you're still alive now you must have done something right. If you made it this far, just keep doing what you're doing. If you happen to have lost a player last weekend (or in the last few weeks) and need to figure out someone to slot into that spot, take a look below and you may find someone you have that could help you win this week. Good luck to all.
Please don't mistake me mentioning Rex Grossman in this article as any indication that I think he is a good QB, because we all know he isn't. (Well, maybe everyone but Mike Shanahan knows that). With that being said, he has an above match-up this week as he faces the Minnesota Vikings, who have been getting torched all season long -- giving up 260 yards passing per game. While you shouldn't expect Rex to put up the numbers Drew Brees put up last week (over 400 yards and 5 TD passes), you can expect Rex to pass for at least 275 yards and 2-3 TDs. Oh and if your league counts interceptions, not to worry, the Vikings haven't had one all season.
Since becoming the starter (due to Chad Henne's season ending injury), Matt Moore has played much better than expected. He has gone 5-5 in those games (including a loss to the Eagles where Moore missed half the game due to injury) and he kept them in many of the games they lost. Moore will never be mistaken for Rogers, Brees or Brady, but he has put up some good games and has a fantastic match-up this week as the Dolphins face the Patriots (who have the worst pass defense in the NFL this season). In week 1, Chad Henne was able to throw for 416 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Patriots, so don't be surprised if Moore put up similar numbers this week. The Dolphins will most likely be playing from behind, forcing them to go pass heavy. If you need a QB for this week, Moore has the best match-up of any in the league.
Willis McGahee started last game and played well, rushing the ball 7 times for 70 yards, but was in and out of the line up and no one is sure if it was due to injury or something else. McGahee has been battling injuries all season, so it is possible something just didn't feel right and he couldn't play. If McGahee continues to be injured and misses the upcoming game, Lance Ball would make for a good start. In relief of McGahee last weekend, Ball rushed 11 times for 64 yards and a touchdown, as well as 2 catches for 41 yards. This week the Broncos face the Bills, who will be a much easier opponent for the Broncos and therefore Denver will spend most of its time on offense, running the ball. The Bills got torched for over 200 yards rushing by Reggie Bush last week and are giving up 139 per game this season. If McGahee sits, make sure to start Ball.
Khalil Bell is definitely not a household name, but he should be someone to consider starting in week 16 as a flex in standard scoring and as a RB2 in PPR leagues. Bell seems to have taken over for starting running back Marion Barber, as Bell played in 43 snaps compared to 17 for Barber. While the Bears were getting blown out, Bell put up a solid day -- leading the Bears in pretty much all offensive categories, rushing for 65 yards and catching 5 passes for 43 yards and his first NFL touchdown. The Bears don't have Forte, Cutler or Knox and Barber hasn't done much, so you can expect the Bears to rely heavily on Bell in the running and passing game in this above average match-up vs. the Packers. So if you need help at RB2 or flex, Bell is worth a shot.
There were high hopes for Tampa Bay in 2011 and a lot of that had to with the promise LeGarrette Blount showed last year in his rookie season. After a good start to the season, the Bucs have been in a tailspin and have fallen out of the playoffs picture. Blount has been one of the issues this season; being inconsistent, playing well every 2nd game and not putting up the numbers on a week to week basis. This week he gets Carolina, a team giving up 130 yards rushing per game. Blount's value is much higher in standard leagues as he doesn't catch many passes. He is a solid RB2 and flex start in standard leagues and good flex in PPR leagues.