Fantasy Football Week 16 Start Em’/Sit Em’

by Dustin Dietz | Posted on Friday, December 21st, 2012

Image: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

By: Dustin Dietz

Week 16 of the NFL season usually means certain teams are positioning themselves for an extended run through the playoffs. However, to avid fantasy football players, Week 16 means championship week for the majority of fantasy leagues. Some leagues choose to have their championship in Week 17 when most teams choose to rest players. If one is the commissioner of a league who chooses to play games in Week 17, I condemn you to a lifetime of fantasy football misery because settling fantasy championships in a week which is comparable to preseason football the majority of the time is foolish.

I have advanced to the championship round in my fantasy league for the first time in seven years, and I am absolutely ecstatic considering I feel my team is beyond mediocre. If one is fortunate enough to still be playing this week, I offer my congratulations and assume you have not been taking my fantasy advice to heart. To all the owners who started Brandon Weeden last week, I apologize for recommending him. I will try to make up for the ignorant suggestion this week. Good luck this week to all and Happy Holidays.

Start Em’

QB – Sam Bradford vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bradford’s 18 touchdown and 11 interception season is not exactly eye opening, but his matchup against the league’s worst pass defense is too difficult to pass up this week. The Buccaneers allow the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and have given up the most touchdown passes in the NFL. Even if one is set at the quarterback position with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or Drew Brees, claim Bradford to prevent your QB starved opponent from using him against you this week.

RB – Reggie Bush vs. Buffalo Bills

I recommended starting Bush last week against a putrid Jaguars run defense, and the former vacated Heisman Trophy winner responded with just his second 100 yard rushing game of the season. Bush struggled in a game earlier this year against Buffalo, but the Dolphins were playing on a short week in the dreaded Thursday night road game. With Bush’s RBBC partner Daniel Thomas out for the season, Bush will see an increase in carries against the 3rd worst run defense in the NFL and 4th most generous team opposing fantasy running backs.

WR – Cecil Shorts vs. New England Patriots

No fantasy football pundit could have foreseen the type of production the second year wide receiver from the Division III football factory Mount Union has yielded in 2012. Shorts has scored over 10 fantasy points in 9 of his 13 games played and has scored a touchdown in 4 of his last 5. The indomitable Shorts faces a New England secondary this week which is the 4th worst in the NFL against the pass.

TE – Benjamin Watson vs. Denver Broncos

The NFL’s 4th ranked defense just cannot cover tight ends very well as the Broncos have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends by a considerable margin. Last week, the normally sloth footed Dennis Pitta outran the Denver defense for a 61 yard touchdown late in the game which brought jubilance to bold owners who were wise enough to start him. Watson has only caught 3 touchdown passes on the season, but expect him to score one this week. If Rob Gronkowski owners are again without the Gronkster’s services this week, scoop up Watson.

K – Lawrence Tynes vs. Baltimore Ravens

One of the more reliable kickers in fantasy football this season produced a dud last Sunday as he scored a -1 in most fantasy leagues. If Tynes owners are still in the tournament after last week’s poor effort, do not think twice about starting him this week against the team which allows the most fantasy points to opposing kickers.

Defense/Special Teams – Indianapolis Colts

I realize playing the league’s 21st ranked defense in such a critical situation is risky, but the Chiefs allow the second most points to opposing D/ST’s, and have committed the second most turnovers in the NFL. At 9-5, the Colts must win to secure a playoff spot, and with a Week 17 game looming against the Houston Texans, the Colts would like to take care of business this week against a team who was just shut out by Oakland. Yes, by Oakland.

Sit Em’

QB – Colin Kaepernick vs. Seattle Seahawks

The trendiest touchdown celebration sweeping this great land of ours might be ‘Kaepernicking’ after the exciting 2nd year player from Nevada threw for 4 touchdowns last week in an improbable victory over what many experts believed was the best team in football. The Niners travel to Seattle this week where the Seahawks have yet to lose a game at home, and allow only 11.5 points per game. The Seahawks defense surrenders the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Kaepernick, like so many other quarterbacks before him, will have trouble with the raucous CenturyLink 12th man element.

RB – Beanie Wells vs. Chicago Bears

Wells surprised many of us last week when he ran for 3 touchdowns against a horrendous Lions team that has quit on head coach Jim Schwartz. The Bears are the third stingiest defense against running backs in fantasy football, and with the Bears in desperate need of a win against a pathetic Cardinals offense, expect the Bears to pound the Cards into submission.

WR – Danario Alexander vs. New York Jets

Alexander left his owners exasperated last week after not catching one single pass against an average Panthers secondary. If Alexander owners are fortunate enough to still be playing this week after he laid an egg Sunday, I highly recommend seeking other options. Despite having an awful offense, the Jets secondary led by Antonio Cromartie is ranked 2nd in the NFL in pass defense and gives up the second fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

TE – Martellus Bennett vs. Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore is the polar opposite of Denver based on the fact they cover tight ends exceptionally. The Ravens have allowed the fewest touchdowns by opposing tight ends, and yield the second fewest fantasy points to them. The enigmatic former Cowboy Bennett has proven this year he can produce when given an opportunity to be the primary option at tight end, but do not expect many fantasy points from him Sunday.

K – David Akers vs. Seattle Seahawks

Akers 2012 season has been a tumultuous roller coaster ride for both his fantasy owners and head coach Jim Harbaugh. His 63 yard field goal on opening day in Green Bay tied a NFL record, but he has missed 10 field goals since, including two potential overtime game winners against the Rams. Seattle allows the fewest fantasy points to opposing kickers, and the Niners should have difficulty scoring points this week. Akers is safe to drop.

Defense/Special Teams – Dallas Cowboys

Yes, I am excited about the potential playoff run the Cowboys are currently on, and I feel they will win this game, but with a myriad of injuries to the defense, I feel Drew Brees will carve up the Dallas secondary. The Cowboys surrender the 21st most points in the NFL, and the Saints have scored the 4th most points overall. Brees has thrown 18 interceptions this year, but the Cowboys are in the bottom five of the NFL in picks. Dallas is the better team, and should win, but stay far away from their defense this week.

Follow Dustin Dietz on Twitter @DustinDietz18

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