For almost all leagues this is championship week. Your decisions have worked all season long but now it all comes down to this. This is the difference between the title, and a disappointing second place. The following are guys I think will have great weeks, or fall flat. If you have any last minute lineup decisions you can email email@example.com or find me on Twitter @fightingchance.
Start: Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants. It has been a very solid, yet un-fantasy friendly second season for Bridgewater Or would it be fantasy un-friendly season? You get my point! He is, however, coming off a four touchdown game in Week 15 and gets the juicy matchup to end all juicy matchups in the New York Giants. Christmas comes a bit later for Bridgewater owners and the Vikings as Teddy should be able to throw all over the swiss cheese Giants’ secondary. Look for another three touchdown performance for the sophomore signal caller.
Sit: Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys. Taylor and Sammy Watkins are on a different level together lately as they are putting up solid numbers together. This week won’t be the case though. Despite their God awful record, the Cowboys pass defense has been awesome. They practically shut down the red hot attack of the Jets last Saturday, and I expect more of the same this week. Taylor could run for one, and maybe throw one too, but I’m not looking for a huge statistical game for him.
Start: Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers. It isn’t a sure thing yet, but Abdullah seems to have finally gotten out of the dog house and has certainly been used more for the Lions coming down the stretch. Even after he fumbled on Monday Night, the Lions didn’t completely go away from him. This certainly is a risky play with your fantasy championship potentially on the line, but with the number of running back injuries I think it is a decent bet. The Niners defense has been used and abused with rushing touchdowns this season, and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Abdullah have one either on the ground or through the air.
Start: Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers. I have been very disappointed not only by Murray’s play, but also the Raiders usage of him. It seems that they have abandoned him down the stretch of a lot of games. However, he did approach 80 yards last week, and gets a Chargers defense that has given up 14 rushing touchdowns on the year and almost 120 yards per game on the ground.
Sit: Buck Allen, Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. The Raven offense is just really struggling down the stretch, and how can you blame them with all of the injuries they have suffered. Allen is the starter and one of the two viable players on the offense with Kamar Aiken, but I don’t see Baltimore being able to move the ball much on the Steelers. Pitt kept the Broncos run game in check last Sunday, and have allowed only five rushing touchdowns all season. You must have a better option than Allen.
Sit: Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals. Arizona’s defense is the tits, and just keeps getting more stingy every week. For the season they are giving up just 86 yards per game on the ground, and with the Packers having a committee at running back, there’s no way that you can trust either guy right now. Lacy got more carries last week, but still only had 11 and gained just 23 yards with them. With your season on the line I would rather trust a guy you have picked up along the way over a guy you likely used your first or second round pick on.
Start: DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles. Now that he is healthy, Jackson has been lighting up opposing secondaries on a fairly regular basis. Kirk Cousins and the Redskins have been a much better team at home, but if you don’t think that Jackson won’t be motivated in his crazy brain going against his former team in Philadelphia, you need to refresh yourself on Jackson’s crazy brain. He will go all out to make an impact this week and should be in your starting lineup.
Start: Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions. It has been a very roller coaster-like season for Boldin, but he just came off a very solid game against a tough Bengals defense, and this week he gets a cake walk matchup against an absolutely awful Lions defense. Blaine Gabbert has been connecting a lot with his tight ends, but when he goes to receivers, he finds Boldin a decent amount. I could easily see him matching his eight catch, 74 yard with a touchdown effort from last week.
Sit: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills. It has just been a complete shitstorm of a year for the Cowboys. They say that they are not shutting Bryant down, but the offense just looks lost. Last week Bryant did have a touchdown catch, but it was his first one since Week 11. The Bills defense is far from scary, but the Cowboys are starting rookie Kellen Moore who definitely looked excited for the opportunity to play, but his skill set is limited.
Sit: Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks. After a torrid middle of the season, Austin is slowing down as the season draws to a close. He had a great game against the Bucs, but he has become very hit or miss with mostly misses. Week 16 brings a matchup with Seattle, and with a stout run defense likely to bottle up Todd Gurley to an extent, the only other player they need to worry about is Austin, which they should do with no problem.
Start: Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New Orleans Saints. Thomas has been one of Blake Bortles favorite targets over the last five weeks, and was targeted nine time against the Falcons. He has had double digit fantasy points for the last five weeks (OK, he scored 9.5 one week), and has been a target in the red zone. He draws the Saints defense and I don’t think I need to say anymore there. Start Thomas with extreme confidence come Sunday.
Sit: Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos. This one might be cheating a bit because Eifert is still in concussion protocol and still could be ruled out for Week 16. However, even if he has been the guy you have been riding (that means you ladies!), and even if he is going to play in Week 16, I would avoid him. The Broncos have been the best pass defense in the league all season, and coupling that with Eifert’s injury I would look in another direction.