It’s championship week baby! If you’ve been fortunate enough to make it thus far, you’re probably going to want to play it safe this week and go with a known commodity, the players that have gotten you to where you currently stand. But, is Aaron Rodgers a sure bet coming off of an injury and playing a tenacious defense? Or can you feel safe playing Mark Sanchez, who has been anything but impressive of late? Maybe you need to check out your options and see who really gives you the best chance to win; it might not be who you think.
On the other hand, if you are in a consolation game or no game at all, don't give up. How about rolling the dice with a potentially brilliant pickup or bold play to show the other owners the real genius you truly were? Sure, the season didn't go as you hoped, but the last impression is the most important!
Either way, here’s who I’d suggest in Week 16:
|Matt Cassell vs. TEN
|Before being sidelined by an emergency appendectomy, Matt Cassell was on fire, throwing multiple touchdowns week in and week out. He had built a strong connection with third-year wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and was aided by a studded backfield.
Now that Cassell is back healthy again, I expect him to get right back on track. In his return, the former Patriot will face a Tennessee defense that is giving up the seventh most passing yards in the NFL. Also, the Titans have nothing to play for while the Chiefs are still contending for an AFC West title. A motivated offense will bulldoze Tennessee, and Cassell stands to gain. You will to if you start him.
|Josh Freeman vs. SEA
|Last week, Freeman broke the 250-yard ceiling for the second straight week after only breaking it twice in the first 13 weeks. He also scored a touchdown, something he has done in 14 out of 15 games. He’s likely to do it again as a Seahawks defense that is giving up the fourth most passing yards comes to town. Seattle, a team also giving up the fourth most passing touchdowns, will not be psyched about traveling all the way across the diagonal of the country and may play tired Sunday. Freeman is a safe bet to produce in such a situation.
|David Garrard vs. WAS
|In a tough loss to Indy, Garrard put up nearly 300 yards and two scores. He now has five touchdowns in two games. The Jags will get a much softer defense to face this week as the Redskins come to town. Washington is giving up the second most passing yards and just gave up 33 points to Dallas. The ‘Skins may be less than lively after a close loss to a tough rival and they could play flat against Jacksonville. Either way, Garrard is a fairly safe bet to put up points.
|Tim Tebow vs. HOU
|Are you a risk taker? Then give Timmy T a look. He had a solid game through the air and on the ground last week, leading to an impressive fantasy output. This week, he’ll face the famous Texans defense, a unit giving up the most touchdowns and yards to opposing QBs. And, Tebow is divine, so why not go with him?
|Jon Kitna @ ARI
|If you aren’t looking to take a big risk in the year’s final week, that is understandable as well. If that’s the case, consider playing Jon Kitna, the wily veteran. Last week, Kitna added another multi-touchdown game to his résumé. This week, he’ll face a bottom-ten pass defense in Arizona. The Cowboys will not quit under Jerry Jones, so expect Kitna to perform, even after the Cowboys have long been eliminated from playoff contention.
And here is who to sit in Week 16:
|Eli Manning @ GB
|Eli had an incredible week 15, tossing four scores and gaining 289 yards in the process. However, in the previous two weeks, he didn’t top 200 yards and only had one touchdown combined in those two weeks.
This week, he’ll likely revert to those types of performances as the Giants travel to Lambeau Field. Primarily, he’ll have to face a Packers defense that surrenders the third fewest yards and fifth fewest passing scores. However, he’ll also face frigid temperatures and snow flurries. Both teams will be incredibly motivated as the winner will have a leg up for the final wild card spot. Most likely, this will create a close-fought, physical football game that won’t mean a lot of points for Eli Manning, so sit him.
|Mark Sanchez @ CHI
|In statement win against the Steelers, Sanchez only mustered 170 yards and went scoreless for the second straight week. Again, he proved incapable of producing against a veteran defense. He’ll face a similar challenge this week in Chicago. The Bears defense has ramped it up of late and is giving up the second fewest passing scores to opposing QBs. Sanchez, a California boy, won’t be able to move the ball against the premiere defense in awful weather.
|Drew Stanton @ MIA
|Drew Stanton had a solid game last week, yes, but don’t start him, even in the deepest of leagues. Besides being hurt and, well, being Drew Stanton, the fourth-year quarterback will have to travel to Miami this week. While that might sound balmy, he’ll have to face a pass defense that gives up the sixth fewest yards and seventh fewest touchdowns. Please leave Stanton on the market, and don’t even consider starting him.
|Ben Roethlisberger vs. CAR
|Yardage wise, Big Ben continued performing last week, amassing 264 yards. However, he only had one touchdown and he hasn’t scored more than that in each of the last four weeks. Roethlisberger is not performing like the star fantasy QB that many have made him out to be, and he won’t improve his image this Thursday against the Panthers. Despite the team’s general failure, the pass defense is in the top 10 in both yards and touchdowns against.