Down
enlarge
Rising Stars: Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers
6:26 | NFL
Rising Stars: Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers
Wednesday December 17th, 2014

We’ve reached the culmination of yet another fantasy football season, as Week 16 marks championship week in nearly every league. Congratulations if you’ve reached this point of the season.

MORE: Week 16 waiver wire | Fact or Fiction: Who's the playoff MVP?

NFL
Audibles Podcast: Preview of Week 16

Earlier this week, we laid out the playoff MVP cases for Le’Veon Bell, Matt Ryan and Odell Beckham. While they’ve had big games in each of the last two weeks, players such as Dez Bryant, Jeremy Hill and Drew Brees were largely responsible for getting their owners through the semifinals.

Who could be the heroes of championship week? Find out with our fantasy football stat projections for Week 16.

Fantasy team out of the playoffs? Then play FanNation's weekly game

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

QB: Charlie Whitehurst – 215 pass yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
RB: Bishop Sankey – 52 rush yards, 2 receptions, 12 rec yards
WR: Kendall Wright – 5 receptions, 47 rec yards
WR: Nate Washington – 3 receptions, 41 rec yards
TE: Delanie Walker – 6 receptions, 79 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Ryan Succop – 1 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Titans – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 16 points allowed

QB: Blake Bortles – 244 pass yards, 1 INT
RB: Toby Gerhart – 72 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 14 rec yards
RB: Storm Johnson – 28 rush yards
WR: Marqise Lee – 5 receptions, 80 rec yards
WR: Cecil Shorts – 4 receptions, 38 rec yards
WR: Allen Hurns – 4 receptions, 51 rec yards
TE: Clay Harbor – 3 receptions, 39 rec yards
K: Josh Scobee – 1 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Jaguars – 4 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, 10 points allowed

Could Toby Gerhart kick off championship week with a bang? Don’t laugh. Well, don’t laugh too hard. This is a great matchup for him, and the volume should be there for him to provide RB2 production.

Playoff picture through Week 15: If the season ended today...

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

QB: Mark Sanchez – 274 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
RB: LeSean McCoy – 80 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 8 rec yards
RB: Darren Sproles – 17 rush yards, 4 receptions, 37 rec yards
WR: Jeremy Maclin – 6 receptions, 90 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Riley Cooper – 3 receptions, 40 rec yards
WR: Jordan Matthews – 5 receptions, 62 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Zach Ertz – 3 receptions, 28 rec yards
K: Cody Parkey – 3 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Eagles – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 24 points allowed

QB: Robert Griffin III – 277 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
RB: Alfred Morris – 93 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 20 rec yards
WR: DeSean Jackson – 6 receptions, 104 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Pierre Garcon – 4 receptions, 44 rec yards
WR: Andre Roberts – 3 receptions, 38 rec yards
TE: Jordan Reed – 5 receptions, 62 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Kai Forbath – 3 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Redskins – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 27 points allowed

This is a great matchup for both quarterbacks, but something about it makes me more confident in Griffin than Sanchez. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Washington spring an upset and end Philadelphia’s playoff hopes.

KAPLAN: The unbelievable story behind Eagles draft bust Jimmy Watkins

San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers

QB: Philip Rivers – 232 pass yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
RB: Ryan Mathews – 57 rush yards, 2 receptions, 10 rec yards
RB: Branden Oliver – 24 rush yards, 2 receptions, 17 rec yards
WR: Malcom Floyd – 6 receptions, 80 rec yards
WR: Eddie Royal – 3 receptions, 23 rec yards
TE: Antonio Gates – 6 receptions, 74 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Nick Novak – 1 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Chargers – 3 sacks, 2 INT, 17 points allowed

QB: Colin Kaepernick – 241 pass yards, 2 INT, 38 rush yards, 1 TD
RB: Frank Gore – 67 rush yards, 1 TD
RB: Carlos Hyde – 23 rush yards
WR: Anquan Boldin – 7 receptions, 88 rec yards
WR: Michael Crabtree – 4 receptions, 55 rec yards
WR: Steve Johnson – 3 receptions, 40 rec yards
TE: Vernon Davis – 3 receptions, 24 rec yards
K: Phil Dawson – 2 PAT, 1 FG
DST: 49ers – 4 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, 13 points allowed

As bad as the 49ers have been offensively, they’ve had a nice year on the defensive side of the ball. Philip Rivers has struggled mightily against strong defenses and will be without Keenan Allen.

FARRAR: Missed call against 49ers illustrates need for revamped replay

Minnesota Vikings at Miami Dolphins

QB: Teddy Bridgewater – 250 pass yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
RB: Matt Asiata – 42 rush yards, 3 receptions, 21 rec yards
RB: Ben Tate – 20 rush yards
WR: Charles Johnson – 6 receptions, 77 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Greg Jennings – 4 receptions, 51 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Cordarrelle Patterson – 3 receptions, 31 rec yards, 12 rush yards
TE: Kyle Rudolph – 5 receptions, 61 rec yards
K: Blair Walsh – 2 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Vikings – 3 sacks, 1 INT, 21 points allowed

QB: Ryan Tannehill – 268 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 21 rush yards
RB: Lamar Miller – 74 rush yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 37 rec yards
WR: Mike Wallace – 5 receptions, 79 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Jarvis Landry – 6 receptions, 68 rec yards
WR: Brian Hartline – 3 receptions, 34 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Charles Clay – 4 receptions, 47 rec yards
K: Caleb Sturgis – 3 PAT
DST: Dolphins – 3 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, 20 points allowed

The Ryan Tannehill breakout train has really hit the skids in the last month or so. That same Cordarrelle Patterson train went off the rails two months before that, but Charles Johnson looks like he could have something special with Teddy Bridgewater now and in the future.

KING: Are the Dolphins gearing up to chase Jim Harbaugh?

[pagebreak]

Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans

QB: Joe Flacco – 258 pass yards, 2 TD
RB: Justin Forsett – 78 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 20 rec yards
WR: Torrey Smith – 5 receptions, 74 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Steve Smith – 6 receptions, 80 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Owen Daniels – 4 receptions, 49 rec yards
K: Justin Tucker – 3 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Ravens – 5 sacks, 2 INT, 2 FR, 10 points allowed

QB: Thad Lewis – 188 pass yards, 2 INT
RB: Arian Foster – 68 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 13 rec yards
RB: Alfred Blue – 23 rush yards
WR: DeAndre Hopkins – 4 receptions, 61 rec yards
WR: Andre Johnson – 5 receptions, 50 rec yards
TE: Garrett Graham – 3 receptions, 38 rec yards
K: Randy Bullock – 1 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Texans – 3 sacks, 1 FR, 30 points allowed

After putting up a monster performance in the fantasy semifinals, the Ravens’ defense will face either Thad Lewis or Case Keenum. Who would have thought that unit could hold the key to the fantasy kingdom?

KLEMKO: Why the AFC North is the NFL's best division

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

QB: Matthew Stafford – 292 pass yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
RB: Joique Bell – 87 rush yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 33 rec yards
RB: Reggie Bush – 25 rush yards, 3 receptions, 26 rec yards
WR: Calvin Johnson – 7 receptions, 121 rec yards, 2 TD
WR: Golden Tate – 5 receptions, 78 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Eric Ebron – 3 receptions, 31 rec yards
K: Matt Prater – 4 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Lions – 5 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, 17 points allowed

QB: Jay Cutler – 265 pass yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
RB: Matt Forte – 55 rush yards, 4 receptions, 40 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Alshon Jeffery – 5 receptions, 84 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Marquess Wilson – 4 receptions, 53 rec yards
TE: Martellus Bennett – 6 receptions, 70 rec yards
K: Robbie Gould – 2 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Bears – 1 sack, 1 INT, 31 points allowed

The season can’t end soon enough for the Bears, though there’s still some fantasy value in Forte, Jeffery and Bennett. Stafford, Bell and Johnson all had big games the first time these teams met on Thanksgiving.

ROSENBERG: Long a laughingstock, the Lions are now for real

Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers

QB: Johnny Manziel – 204 pass yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 26 rush yards
RB: Isaiah Crowell – 70 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 13 rec yards
RB: Terrance West – 43 rush yards
WR: Josh Gordon – 5 receptions, 64 rec yards
WR: Andrew Hawkins – 5 receptions, 58 rec yards
TE: Jordan Cameron – 4 receptions, 49 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Garrett Hartley – 2 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Browns – 1 INT, 24 points allowed

QB: Derek Anderson – 268 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
RB: Jonathan Stewart – 70 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 16 rec yards
WR: Kelvin Benjamin – 6 receptions, 102 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Jerricho Cotchery – 3 receptions, 33 rec yards
TE: Greg Olsen – 7 receptions, 92 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Graham Gano – 3 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Panthers – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 17 points allowed

The Manziel Era got off to a rough start, but the rookie gets a much easier draw in his second career start. Meanwhile, Anderson is a sneaky play in two-quarterback leagues, assuming he once again plays in place of Cam Newton.

DEITSCH: How Fox prepared to broadcast Manziel's first start

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

QB: Matt Ryan – 315 pass yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
RB: Steven Jackson – 76 rush yards, 2 receptions, 12 rec yards
WR: Julio Jones – 7 receptions, 125 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Roddy White – 6 receptions, 80 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Harry Douglas – 4 receptions, 43 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Levine Toilolo – 2 receptions, 17 rec yards
K: Matt Bryant – 3 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Falcons – 1 sack, 31 points allowed

QB: Drew Brees – 324 pass yards, 2 TD
RB: Mark Ingram – 108 rush yards, 2 TD, 2 receptions, 14 rec yards
RB: Pierre Thomas – 18 rush yards, 4 receptions, 46 rec yards
WR: Kenny Stills – 6 receptions, 107 rec yards
WR: Marques Colston – 5 receptions, 64 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Jimmy Graham – 6 receptions, 77 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Shayne Graham – 4 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Saints – 3 sacks, 1 INT, 30 points allowed

The first times these teams met, they combined for 71 points and nearly 1,100 yards. Expect more of the same in the Superdome.

[pagebreak]

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

QB: Aaron Rodgers – 317 pass yards, 3 TD, 18 rush yards
RB: Eddie Lacy – 92 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 22 rec yards
RB: James Starks – 30 rush yards
WR: Jordy Nelson – 6 receptions, 122 rec yards, 2 TD
WR: Randall Cobb – 7 receptions, 114 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Davante Adams – 3 receptions, 35 rec yards
TE: Andrew Quarless – 2 receptions, 18 rec yards
K: Mason Crosby – 4 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Packers – 3 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, 17 points allowed

QB: Josh McCown – 244 pass yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
RB: Doug Martin – 60 rush yards, 2 receptions, 11 rec yards
WR: Mike Evans – 6 receptions, 83 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Vincent Jackson – 6 receptions, 76 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Louis Murphy – 3 receptions, 40 rec yards
TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins – 2 receptions, 14 rec yards
K: Patrick Murray – 2 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Buccaneers – 34 points allowed

If you managed to survive Rodgers’ flop last week, he should make up for the heartburn he gave you last week with a huge game against the hapless Buccaneers.

BURKE: How Bacarri Rambo shut down Aaron Rodgers

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

QB: Alex Smith – 247 pass yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
RB: Jamaal Charles – 84 rush yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 31 rec yards
RB: Knile Davis – 38 rush yards
WR: Dwayne Bowe – 5 receptions, 63 rec yards
WR: Jason Avant – 5 receptions, 58 rec yards
TE: Travis Kelce – 6 receptions, 74 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Cairo Santos – 2 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Chiefs – 2 sacks, 28 points allowed

QB: Ben Roethlisberger – 288 pass yards, 2 TD
RB: Le’Veon Bell – 131 rush yards, 2 TD, 4 receptions, 53 rec yards
WR: Antonio Brown – 7 receptions, 113 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Martavis Bryant – 4 receptions, 45 rec yards
WR: Markus Wheaton – 2 receptions, 21 rec yards
TE: Heath Miller – 4 receptions, 43 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Shaun Suisham – 4 PAT
DST: Steelers – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 17 points allowed

The Chiefs have allowed more than five yards per carry this year. Expect Bell to be anointed the unofficial playoff MVP come Monday. Keep an eye on Charles’ practice participation this week. He could be in for a decreased workload, even if he does play.

BURKE: Sour Rankings: The weirdest and wildest of Week 15

New England Patriots at New York Jets

QB: Tom Brady – 322 pass yards, 3 TD
RB: LeGarrette Blount – 44 rush yards, 2 receptions, 11 rec yards
RB: Shane Vereen – 16 rush yards, 4 receptions, 32 rec yards
WR: Julian Edelman – 7 receptions, 89 rec yads, 1 TD
WR: Brandon LaFell – 5 receptions, 57 rec yards
TE: Rob Gronkowski – 7 receptions, 111 rec yards, 2 TD
K: Stephen Gostkowski – 3 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Patriots – 4 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, 3 points allowed

QB: Geno Smith – 202 pass yards, 2 INT
RB: Chris Ivory – 47 rush yards, 1 reception, 6 rec yards
RB: Chris Johnson – 37 rush yards, 2 receptions, 10 rec yards
WR: Eric Decker – 5 receptions, 62 rec yards
WR: Percy Harvin – 4 receptions, 57 rec yards
WR: Jeremy Kerley – 2 receptions, 21 rec yards
TE: Jace Amaro – 3 receptions, 30 rec yards
K: Nick Folk – 1 FG
DST: Jets – 1 sack, 30 points allowed

Brady going up against the Jets' secondary is a dream scenario for his owners -- as well as Gronkowski’s, Edelman’s and LaFell’s -- in championship week. The matchup does not bode well, however, for Blount.

BISHOP: Tom Brady, as teammates and coaches know him

New York Giants at St. Louis Rams

QB: Eli Manning – 267 pass yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
RB: Andre Williams – 53 rush yards, 2 receptions, 8 rec yards
WR: Odell Beckham Jr. – 6 receptions, 103 rec yards, 2 TD
WR: Rueben Randle – 4 receptions, 52 rec yards
WR: Preston Parker – 3 receptions, 27 rec yards
TE: Larry Donnell – 5 receptions, 60 rec yards
K: Josh Brown – 2 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Giants – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 23 points allowed

QB: Shaun Hill – 259 pass yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
RB: Tre Mason – 58 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 19 rec yards
RB: Benny Cunningham – 20 rush yards, 2 receptions, 12 rec yards
WR: Kenny Britt – 4 receptions, 50 rec yards
WR: Stedman Bailey – 6 receptions, 82 rec yards
WR: Tavon Austin – 2 receptions, 17 rec yards, 12 rush yards
TE: Jared Cook – 4 receptions, 55 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Greg Zuerlein – 2 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Rams – 4 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, 20 points allowed

Beckham is on the short list of potential playoff MVPs, but he has some work to do to catch Bell. The bet here is that he doesn’t quite make it, but not because of his own performance against the Rams. Manning is a borderline starter.

VRENTAS: Giants owner Mara on the new NFL conduct policy

Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders

QB: Kyle Orton – 238 pass yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
RB: Fred Jackson – 80 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 23 rec yards
WR: Sammy Watkins – 5 receptions, 79 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Robert Woods – 5 receptions, 64 rec yards
TE: Scott Chandler – 4 receptions, 42 rec yards
K: Dan Carpenter – 2 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Bills – 4 sacks, 2 INT, 2 FR, 10 points allowed

QB: Derek Carr – 191 pass yards, 2 INT
RB: Latavius Murray – 45 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 10 rec yards
WR: James Jones – 4 receptions, 50 rec yards
WR: Andre Holmes – 5 receptions, 61 rec yards
TE: Mychal Rivera – 3 receptions, 37 rec yards
K: Sebastian Janikowski – 1 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Raiders – 1 sack, 1 INT, 23 points allowed

Even if you didn’t trust the Bills’ defense against the Packers last week, hopefully you held onto it for this juicy matchup. Jackson is also a rock-solid RB2 against a Raiders unit that has struggled against the run all season.

Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys

QB: Andrew Luck – 274 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 28 rush yards
RB: Boom Herron – 56 rush yards, 2 receptions, 14 rec yards
RB: Trent Richardson – 31 rush yards
WR: T.Y. Hilton – 5 receptions, 79 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Donte Moncrief – 3 receptions, 42 rec yards
WR: Hakeem Nicks – 2 receptions, 21 rec yards
WR: Reggie Wayne – 3 receptions, 38 rec yards
TE: Coby Fleener – 4 receptions, 36 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Dwayne Allen – 4 receptions, 50 rec yards
K: Adam Vinatieri – 2 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Colts – 2 sacks, 1 FR, 27 points allowed

QB: Tony Romo – 284 pass yards, 2 TD
RB: DeMarco Murray – 86 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 16 rec yards
RB: Joseph Randle – 30 rush yards
WR: Dez Bryant – 6 receptions, 112 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Terrance Williams – 4 receptions, 65 rec yards
WR: Cole Beasley – 3 receptions, 37 rec yards
TE: Jason Witten – 4 receptions, 47 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Dan Bailey – 3 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Cowboys – 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 20 points allowed

Two injuries loom large over this game. Murray may have to sit after breaking a bone in his hand. If he’s out, Randle is the preferred handcuff over Lance Dunbar. Meanwhile, the Colts have little to play for and need Hilton, who is nursing a hamstring injury, healthy for the playoffs. Luck’s stock would take a huge hit if he’s out. Hilton owners should back him up with Nicks or Moncrief, if possible.

KING: Mailbag: Murray's success hurting Romo's MVP campaign

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

QB: Russell Wilson – 257 pass yards, 1 TD, 46 rush yards
RB: Marshawn Lynch – 85 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 18 rec yards
WR: Doug Baldwin – 6 receptions, 73 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Jermaine Kearse – 4 receptions, 57 rec yards
WR: Paul Richardson – 3 receptions, 40 rec yards
TE: Tony Moeaki – 2 receptions, 28 rec yards
K: Steven Hauschka – 2 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Seahawks – 5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 FR, 3 points allowed

QB: Ryan Lindley – 172 pass yards, 1 INT
RB: Kerwynn Williams – 67 rush yards, 2 receptions, 11 rec yards
RB: Stepfan Taylor – 15 rush yards
WR: Larry Fitzgerald – 5 receptions, 65 rec yards
WR: Michael Floyd – 3 receptions, 32 rec yards
WR: John Brown – 2 receptions, 27 rec yards
TE: John Carlson – 2 receptions, 20 rec yards
K: Chandler Catanzaro – 2 FG
DST: Cardinals – 2 sacks, 1 FR, 23 points allowed

The result of this game will almost certainly determine the NFC West champion, and the Cardinals clinch with a week to spare if they emerge victorious. However, they’re in a ton of trouble with Lindley going up against a Seattle defense that has really hit its stride.

Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals

QB: Peyton Manning – 278 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
RB: C.J. Anderson – 112 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 12 rec yards
WR: Demaryius Thomas – 7 receptions, 119 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Emmanuel Sanders – 6 receptions, 70 rec yards
WR: Wes Welker – 3 receptions, 27 rec yards
TE: Julius Thomas – 4 receptions, 45 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Connor Barth – 3 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Broncos – 3 sacks, 2 INT, 21 points allowed

QB: Andy Dalton – 256 pass yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
RB: Jeremy Hill – 74 rush yards, 1 TD, 1 reception, 6 rec yards
RB: Giovani Bernard – 55 rush yards, 4 receptions, 36 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: A.J. Green – 6 receptions, 101 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Mohamed Sanu – 4 receptions, 56 rec yards
TE: Jermaine Gresham – 3 receptions, 36 rec yards
K: Mike Nugent – 3 PAT
DST: Bengals – 3 sacks, 1 INT, 24 points allowed

The most troubling statistic for Manning owners heading into the championship may not be his paltry yardage or touchdown totals over the past two weeks. Rather, it could be his 40 total pass attempts. Hill had a huge game and led the Cincinnati rushing attack last week, but Bernard still got 103 total yards on 18 touches.

NIESEN: Broncos' regression from record-breaking 2013 is no surprise

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.