Since you are about to read the Week 16 QB fantasy football rankings, there is a great chance that you are playing for your league championship this week. If so, congratulations! You are on the verge of winning your fantasy Super Bowl, which will be your reward for the months of research and dedication that you have placed into managing your team. This column will help you determine which QBs to start in your pursuit of a championship. And it includes the latest updates on RG3, Colin Kaepernick, and Tom Brady.
The five signal callers that will be discussed immediately below have the most enticing matchups this week, among those who merit consideration as a starter.
That section will be followed immediately by the top 20 rankings for this week. Both will provide you with additional insight into each QB’s next encounter. Including facts and statistics to guide you toward the best decision regarding whether or not they should be in your starting lineup.
Good luck this week! And for a comprehensive look at the best waiver wire selctions, just click here: http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/week-16-waiver-wire-pickups/
5 BEST MATCHUPS
Cam Newton vs. Raiders
In late November, I strongly suggested to Newton owners that he was about to lead many of them to fantasy championships: http://fantasyknuckleheads.com/cam-newton-could-still-determine-your-leagues-fantasy-championship/ . His exceptional production in the past four games has done nothing to alter that belief. In Week 12, his Herculean Monday Night performance resulted in four TDs, 306 yards through the air, and 52 additional yards on the ground. The following week he torched the Chiefs for three passing TDs and 78 rushing yards. In Week 14, he supplied a one man devastation of the Falcons by generating 403 yards and three more TDs, including a brilliant 72-yard scoring run. And his torrid output continued last Sunday in San Diego, as he accumulated 231 yards and two TDs. His ability to exploit vulnerable defenses should be extremely beneficial once again this week, when he lines up against an Oakland team that sorely lacks the playmaking ability and coaching acumen to contain most opponents. Despite last week’s deceptive shutout against a hopelessly inept Kansas City offense, the Raiders still rank 25th in total defense, and are yielding 371 YPG. They are also tied for 30th in scoring defense, while surrendering 29 points per game. They have proven to be predisposed toward allowing big plays to opposing passers and rushers. That presents Newton with the ultimate opportunity to stockpile fantasy points, and be a dominant force once again.
Tom Brady @ Jaguars
After generating 443 yards against San Francisco on Sunday Night, Brady now has accumulated 4,276 for the season. That places him second among all QBs, and is the fifth time that he has surpassed 4,000 yards during his storied 13-year career. This season he ranks fourth among all QBs with 30 TD passes, has already thrown for 300+ yards in eight games, tossed at least two TD passes nine times, and has manufactured at least one TD pass in every game. He should add significantly to those totals on Sunday, when he lines up against a burnable Jacksonville defense. The Jaguars rank just 24th against the pass, and have allowed 246 YPG. Plus, they rank 29th in scoring defense, and simply do not possess the personnel to contain Brady’s numerous weapons. Nor are they a candidate to harass him during his decision making process, as Jacksonville ranks dead last with an incredibly low 15 sacks for the year. It is safe to expect that Brady’s owners will thoroughly enjoy this matchup, which all but ensures another outstanding performance.
Tony Romo vs. Saints
Romo’s owners were disappointed earlier this season, and understandably so. Heading into Week 9, he had only manufactured nine TD passes, but had been picked off a league leading 13 times. But since that time, he has assembled an impressive 13:3 TD-to-INT ratio. He has generated at least two scoring throws in four of his last six games, and has also tossed three TD passes twice in the past four weeks. Pittsburgh’s top ranked pass defense surrendered 341 yards to Romo last Sunday, along with two more TD passes. This week he will be facing a vulnerable collection of Saints that reside near the bottom of those same rankings. New Orleans is just 31st against the pass, has permitted 287 YPG, and has now yielded 27 TD passes. Their success in neutralizing Josh Freeman last Sunday was facilitated significantly by Freeman himself. His throws were slightly askew, and the entire Buccaneer offense lacked cohesion throughout the game. Romo will not duplicate that level of performance, and should generate his ninth 300-yard game of the season, along with three TDs.
Aaron Rodgers vs. Titans
His performance in Week 15 was the perfect tonic for nervous owners, who had been lamenting his recent production. After Rodgers threw 24 TD passes in the seven games that occurred between Weeks 4-11, he had managed just three in the next three contests. Plus, he had averaged 226 yards during that span. But he generated 291 yards against the Bears in Week 15, which was his highest yardage total since Week 7. He also connected on three scoring throws, which was the most since Week 9. Even though he accomplished those numbers against an injury depleted Chicago defense, the remaining Bears presented a far more daunting challenge than the Titans will muster this week. Tennessee is allowing 241 YPG versus the pass, and has already surrendered 26 TDs. They were also dead last in scoring defense before facing the anemic Jet offense in Week 15, and are now ranked 30th in that category, permitting 28.3 points per game. This despite the fact that the Titans have actually been spared the statistical indignities that can occur when facing the NFL’s elite QBs. Their lineup of opposing signal callers has not been intimidating, and Rodgers will provide the biggest challenge that the Titans' pass defense has encountered since meeting Brady on opening day. As a result, he should amass three TDs once again, and exceed 300 yards.
Eli Manning @ Ravens
It’s been a very uneven journey for Manning and his owners this season. Anyone who drafted him benefitted greatly when he produced 10 TDs in the Giants’ first five games, and then was forced to persevere when he only managed two more over the course of his next five contests. When a revitalized Manning returned from his bye week to generate eight scoring passes in his next three games, there was reason for hope that the patchy performances had ended. But last Sunday’s statistical disaster in Atlanta delivered another week of anguish to those who started him against the Falcons. Still, if you somehow survived your playoff game despite starting Eli during that debacle, you should experience a far more enjoyable performance when he faces Baltimore. It is well chronicled that the Ravens have not been the miserly unit that had been customary in recent seasons, as injuries have systematically removed key components from their roster throughout the year. They rank just 22nd against the pass, and are yielding 242 YPG. They have also permitted 714 yards and four TDs to opposing WRs in the past four games alone. Manning should throw multiple scoring passes for the third time in five games, and could reach 300 yards for the first time since Week 7.
TOP 20 RANKINGS
1. Cam Newton (vs. Raiders)
He has now amassed 12 TDs and 1,309 total yards in the past four games, and will now face a Raider defense that has allowed 90 points and 871 yards in two previous journeys to the east coast this season.
2. Tom Brady (@ Jaguars)
He just finished throwing for the second highest single game yardage total of his career against a very good San Francisco defense. He will now prepare to dissect Jacksonville’s far more susceptible unit.
3. Peyton Manning (vs. Browns)
He continues to accrue impressive numbers, having surpassed 4,000 yards for the 12th time in his career, and generating 30+ TD passes for the seventh time. Cleveland’s 25th ranked pass defense just allowed 329 yards and two scores to Kirk Cousins, and won’t impede Manning from adding significantly to his season totals.
4. Aaron Rodgers (vs. Titans)
The combination of his sizable talent and his healthy weapons, will be more than Tennessee is equipped to handle.
5. Drew Brees (@ Cowboys)
Brees has now generated at least three TD passes in nine different contests, after assembling four against Tampa Bay.
6. Tony Romo (vs. Saints)
In his last seven contests, Romo has thrown 12 TDs and just three INTs. He should add multiple TDs and continue avoiding costly turnovers once again this week.
7. Matt Ryan (@ Lions)
Ryan has now thrown three TD passes in six different contests after accomplishing that against the Giants. He has also manufactured at least 270 yards in six of his last seven games, and the Lions have too many shortcomings to derail him this week.
8. Robert Griffin III (@ Eagles)
RG3 threw four TD passes against the beatable Eagle secondary in Week 11. If he is able to line up under center, and perform with a degree of mobility, then he should exploit them for multiple scores once again.
He should rebound sizably from last week’s completely forgettable performance, and resemble the guy who amassed eight TDs and just two INTs during Weeks 12-14.
10. Andrew Luck (@ Chiefs)
Eight of the 10 TD passes that he has assembled away from home this season have taken place in his last three road contests. He should accumulate several more against a Kansas City pass defense that has permitted 25 TDs.
11.Colin Kaepernick (@ Seahawks)
If you started Kaepernick last week, you ignored the naysayers who speculated that Bill Belichick’s schemes would defuse him. And you should be commended, as his four TDs against New England might have prolonged your season. Keep starting him, despite his matchup with another formidable opponent.
12. Russell Wilson (vs. 49ers)
San Francisco’s second ranked defense will present a major obstacle. But it is difficult to overlook how effective Wilson has been in comparison to many high profile counterparts. In his last six games, he has thrown 11 TDs, just one INT, and has also averaged 46 YPG on the ground.
13. Matthew Stafford (vs. Falcons)
He now leads the NFL with 629 attempts and is fourth among all QBs with 4,202 passing yards. Yet, he remains a risky option because he is not delivering the ball with consistent accuracy. Plus, a depleted receiving unit, and the team’s overall deficiencies have been too much to overcome. If you must start him, temper your expectations.
14. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Bengals)
Roethlisberger is 14-4 in his career versus Cincinnati, plus he generated 278 yards and a TD against them in October. He should approach those numbers, but not exceed them against a Bengals pass defense that only allows 219 YPG.
15. Matt Schaub (vs. Vikings)
Minnesota ranks just 23rd versus the pass. But Schaub’s production is largely dependent upon the effectiveness of Houston’s rushing attack. If the Texans have difficulty establishing the run, you cannot depend on Schaub to generate massive passing numbers, as he has proven incapable of carrying the team. Since the Vikings rank a respectable 13th against the run, find a better alternative.
16. Josh Freeman (vs. Rams)
Freeman failed miserably in Week 15, just when owners needed him most. Not only did he throw a season high four INTs, but he failed to produce a TD for just the second time all season. Do not expect a sizable rebound this week, as the Ram’s ninth ranked pass defense won’t make it easy for him.
17. Sam Bradford @ Buccaneers
He established a new career high by generating 377 yards in Week 15, while tossing three scoring passes for the first time since Week 2. Bradford should be throwing extensively again this week as St. Louis will have difficulty running the ball against Tampa Bay’s top ranked rush defense, but should find success by attacking the league’s worst pass defense.
18. Andy Dalton (@ Steelers)
Dalton has thrown just three TDs in the past three games, and averaged a paltry 181 YPG. And in three career starts against the Steelers, he has averaged an anemic 137 YPG and has thrown just four TDs. If you have other options, use them.
19. Nick Foles (vs. Redskins)
When Foles faced Washington in Week 11, he threw for 204 yards with no TDs and two INTs. While that is very unimpressive, he merits a ranking because he has garnered more experience, and the Redskins’ 30th ranked pass defense permits 285 YPG.
20. Joe Flacco (vs. Giants)
Here’s hoping that you will not be in need of a QB who resides this far down the list. Flacco is included because he should provide reasonable numbers against the Giants, despite the shortcomings in Baltimore’s offense.