Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Start’em column, which takes a look at favorable matchups and how they might impact lineup decisions for your fantasy football roster. Let’s take a look at some players that you’ll want in your starting lineup for Week 16. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
If there is one thing football fans took away from Monday night’s do-or-die game it’s that Matthew Stafford is about as consistent as Philip River’s throwing motion. Not so good for Lions fans. However, there is much to rejoice about this week in his matchup against the hapless Giants as they come calling to Ford field. Megatron will look to rebound from his poor performance and series of drops against the Ravens. The Giants secondary will be dwarfed by his athleticism and Stafford’s numbers should skyrocket allowing for owners to breathe again.
Philip ranks in the top 5 of fantasy quarterbacks. He’s turned in some monster games recently to keep his team in the chase. Even though his matchup against the Raiders earlier in the year wasn’t great, he’s been much better lately and the Chargers remain in the hunt for the wild card. The Raiders, who allow the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks likely won’t improve that statistic against Rivers this weekend. Rivers is a very strong play. Can you believe he went undrafted in over 50% of fantasy leagues this season?
VJax has been lights-out this season and is the only consistent fantasy option for the Buccaneers who have been mired by injury and turmoil from the start. While St. Louis is no push-over defensively (just ask Drew Brees last week), there should be room for Jackson to get his targets and break the big one. Against the 49ers last week, which seemed like a horrible matchup, VJax put up strong numbers to accompany a TD. Expect at least similar results this weekend.
In an otherwise meaningless NFL season for Skins fans, Pierre is closing in on the all-time record of receptions in a season for the Redskins. Art Monk territory is where he’s headed and he would eclipse it with a dozen receptions against the Cowboys on Sunday. The last time these teams hooked up at FedEx it was Tony Romo who left the field knowing his season was over; while RGIII and the Skins celebrated their NFC East championship. This Sunday is another opportunity to ruin Dallas’ season. Garcon will get plenty of targets and red zone looks from Kirk Cousins. Garcon for the win Monsieur!
The Cowboys dynamic and shifty running back has come back from injury on a mission recently. He’s been terrorizing opposing defenses and if it wasn’t for last week’s second half play-calling, which deviated from the running game, then Dallas might be a game away from clinching the division. The Redskins defense this season has suffered from being called every word next to pathetic in the thesaurus. In this rivalry game it won’t be a free-for-all of points but Murray could put up similar numbers that Jamaal Charles did against the Skins a couple weeks ago. Coach Garrett may actually learn a lesson from last week and stick to what works.
The more the Bengals play, the more their rookie running back out of North Carolina shines. Last weekend the Bengals turned in an absolute clunker. BenJarvus Green-Ellis saw all of 4 carries and Bernard got three-fold that number and saw the goal-line carries, converting one for a touchdown. Minnesota cedes fantasy points to running backs, especially those who can catch and run like Giovani. He’s a strong play in all formats this week.
Walker brought his A game to Arizona and for fantasy owners who played that matchup card they reaped the rewards. Arizona is the worst against the TE statistically in terms of touchdowns and fantasy points, so his success wasn’t too big a surprise. This week the Jaguars sport a defense that allows the second most points to tight ends. As the primary tight end target for Fitzpatrick it appears it will be another big day for him.
Witten embodies consistency for the Cowboys. The Redskins defense these days are far from consistent. However they are consistently generous to opposing tight ends and allow the 4th most fantasy points to them. Those who saw veteran tight end and elder statesman, Tony Gonzalez put on a clinic last weekend against the Skins can envision that same scenario with Witten this week. Many targets and Romo passes seem to be headed his way.
Saint Louis Rams
The Rams defense knows how to put pressure on the quarterback to create fumbles and INTs as a result. While Tampa’s young quarterback is getting more experience, he’s still a rookie which means mistakes will be made. The Rams defense has been an elite bunch while playing at home, aside from one game against the 49ers early in the season. Coach Fisher has the Rams playing hard down the stretch so if you’ve got the Rams defense on your team then you play them this week.