2012 Fantasy Football Week 16 Start Em: Ray Rice, Darren McFadden, Andrew Luck and More
Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Start’em column, which takes a look at favorable match-ups 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 lineup for Week 16. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Running BacksRay Rice BAL VS. NYG
All I hear is a heap of garbage from fantasy experts that spells Ray Rice’s doom in this new offense, absent of Cam Cameron. Let’s put that nonsense to rest. This week promises to be when Baltimore gets back to the fundamentals of letting Rice pound the ball between the tackles and energize this team to the playoffs. Is Harbaugh going to trust Flacco to throw the ball in from the goal line again and risk another game-changing pick 6? No way, Rice will get his work so all you dubious owners turn your skepticism into optimism. Rice will be straight butter this weekend. If Alfred Morris can carve up the Giants D with his punishing style of running so can Ray Ray.Darren McFadden OAK VS. CAR
Yeah, here’s the endorsement from an owner that traded away McFadden early on this season for Morris. I was lucky to unload before his annual injury, but McFadden is coming on since his return to act a couple weeks ago. He’s definitely getting the carries and with over 30 touches last week he’s got great upside and potential for fantasy glory. The Raiders need to start converting those red zone opportunities into TD runs and I see it this weekend for him to live up to the potential against one of the league’s worst run defenses, even though the Panthers have come on strong lately. Carolina’s run defense isn’t scaring anyone and if the Raiders can at least compete for a full half of football there should be plenty of opportunity for Run DMC to cash in his fantasy point chips.
QuarterbacksAndrew Luck IND VS. KC
Luck is his name and schooling the Chiefs is the game. KC will finish off their last home game of the season this weekend and Luck has plans of taking the Colts back to the playoffs after their one year hiatus. So let’s see what’s not to like about KC, well pretty much everything. Their offense is horrid and their defense ranks in the bottom third of points to opposing QBs. I think Reggie Wayne and crew get open and Luck gashes the Chiefs D to at least 2 TDs and 300 passing yards. It’ll be that type of game for Luck as he continually improves towards the postseason. He’s the Bullet-Proof Tiger pick of the week, put him in and you might just be lucky enough to win your league championship.Peyton Manning DEN VS. CLE
Peyton, the ex-Colt, is undoubtedly one of the best closers in the sport. This week he plans to take advantage of another Browns team that is mired in mediocrity. Denver can smell a possible first round bye if they can continue to win and after watching Peyton dissect the Ravens last weekend there is no doubt this could get ugly early. Trust Manning down the stretch to get stronger and his accuracy to continue and even improve as his eyes are squarely set on playoff positioning and getting that elusive second championship that his brother has now. Peyton has 3 TD potential and he might even get to spend the 4th quarter on the sideline, I see this game getting U-G-L-Y.
Wide ReceiversDanny Amendola STL VS. TB
Danny boy is back! Holy Amendoly stepped up last week and after being plagued by injuries throughout the season, it looks like he’s as steady a championship flex play or WR2 as there is right now. I love this matchup versus one of the league’s worst defenses. After the Buccaneers shellacking at the hands of the Saints last weekend I expect Danny Boy to get at least a dozen targets and find the end zone. I’m so confident in his ability that he’s the “Panty-Dropping” pick of the week. Watch as Bradford to Amendola actually becomes a common theme next year as well. He’s definitely a guy I would want on my team for a championship run. Expect Amendola to eclipse the century mark in receiving yards.Anquan Boldin BAL VS. NYG
Where you at Anquan? After putting up 2 TDs against the Redskins a couple weeks ago, Boldin was completely absent from the Ravens offense. The only guy to factor into fantasy relevance from the Ravens against the Broncos was TE Dennis Pitta. Yes, Denver’s secondary is beast, but c’mon! The Giant’s secondary is very beatable, just ask the Falcons and the smack down they laid on them last weekend. With Torrey Smith questionable and still not cleared after his mild concussion last weekend, it’s definitely important that Boldin, as the Ravens possession receiver, steps up and has himself a big game. The Ravens playoff hopes are riding on it so the sense of urgency is now. I expect a bounce-back from Boldin just in time for the championship matchup.
Tight EndsGreg Olsen CAR VS. OAK
Olsen continues to be a solid performer as the season draws to a close. As Cam Newton has continuously improved this season, so has Olsen’s production. Olsen isn’t an elite performer at the position but definitely a 6 to 10 points guarantee versus a Raiders team that isn’t much to talk about on defense, unless they are playing the Chiefs. I think Olsen gets a red zone look and definitely over 50 yards this week. It could get ugly early for Oakland so Olsen might want to get those catches earlier than waiting for later.Jermichael Finley GB VS. TEN
I’ve bashed Finley on FST so many times it’s almost unbelievable that I would endorse starting him at this point. Well a few things have changed and information has come to light over the past few weeks. Apparently the airwaves have been cleared amongst both Finley and Rodgers and they are both on the same page. Finley’s routes are crisper and he’s actually being targeted much more as a result. Sometimes all it takes is talking it over to hash out issues to result in fantasy production. I think Rodgers is going to be a beast again and if Jets tight end Cumberland can score a touchdown against the Titans then certainly Finley can exploit them too.
DefenseIndianapolis Colts IND VS. KC
Defensive rule of thumb applied for the very last time this season. Say hello to the team opposing the Chiefs offense. Colts have so much to play for in this game and the fact that Chiefs were considering giving Ricky Stanzi a shot at QB toward the beginning of the week shows the disarray of the Chiefs right now. Colts D will be stampeding whoever the Chiefs put behind center. A big, big day for the Colts lies ahead this weekend.