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Week 16 Fantasy Football Matchups

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's note: Dave Richard breaks down every game from a Fantasy perspective each week with the help of CBSSports.com NFL Insider Pat Kirwan, who will provide his unique take to assist owners in their lineup management.

Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions -- Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, Ford Field
Atlanta Falcons
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Ryan Lions haven't allowed a pass TD in each of last two (Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Lindley) but secondary isn't good enough to slow down Ryan on fast Ford Field turf.
RB Michael Turner Detroit has allowed at least one TD in 4 of last 6 (the Packers couldn't do it twice). Turner has TD in five straight.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers Desperation option. Lions are actually allowing just 84.3 total yards per game to RBs over their last three. Rodgers has under 80 yards in seven straight with one TD.
WR Julio Jones Even with last week's game at Arizona, the Lions are allowing 173.7 yards per game to WRs over their last three with three TDs! Julio should shine.
WR Roddy White Two of his last three have been absolute duds but matchup vs. Lions too good to pass up. Played 50 of 61 snaps with Matt Ryan last week so the knee seems OK.
TE Tony Gonzalez After allowing a TD to TE in three straight, Lions have shut down last two tight ends they've faced. Gonzalez too hot to sit, though.
DST Falcons Should be able to pick off Matthew Stafford a few times, maybe sack him a few times, too. But Lions have rebounded from each of their three sub-20 point games this season.
Detroit Lions
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matthew Stafford Falcons have allowed 2+ pass TDs in just three games all year & secondary is close to healthy. Stafford has thrown 2+ TDs in half of his last eight but 3 of his last 5 indoors. Lack of capable receivers seem to be hurting him.
RB Mikel Leshoure Has a chance at production as Falcons have allowed 91.3 rush yards per game to RBs over their last three with two total TDs. Has at least 14 carries in each of last three with a TD in 4 of last 5.
RB Joique Bell Bell actually had more snaps than Leshoure last week but production was small. Makes him hard to trust to land a lot of work despite a good matchup.
WR Calvin Johnson Needs 182 yards to break Jerry Rice's single-season record. Expect him to get force-fed targets. Falcons have allowed just 6 TDs to WRs all year (none in last five) but have allowed 100-yard WRs in 2 of last 3.
TE Tony Scheffler Might be worth the gamble if needy. Had second-best seven targets last week and should stay in Stafford's sightline.
DST Lions   Seven of the last eight DSTs posted 8 Fantasy points or fewer vs. Falcons. After folding vs. Cards last week there's no way you should trust the Lions.

Let's talk Michael Turner, who's surprised a lot of people, myself included, with the stats he's racked up. The Lions are giving up 137 yards a game on the ground over the last six games. Turner will get his 12 to 15 carries and should crack the 50-yard mark, which for him is good. The Lions gave up two rushing touchdowns in their first eight games but 10 rush touchdowns in their last six games and losing defensive tackle Nick Fairley won't help their cause. I expect Turner to get at least one touchdown on Saturday. -- Pat Kirwan

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Sun Life Stadium
Buffalo Bills
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick   Five of last six QBs vs. MIA have scored under 20 Fantasy points (six total pass TDs allowed). Doesn't bode well for Fitzpatrick.
RB C.J. Spiller Spiller had 120+ yards vs. MIA back in Week 11. Since then Miami hasn't allowed a 100-total-yard RBs but has allowed three rush TDs in last three games.
WR Steve Johnson Has 6+ catches in 5 of last 6 with a TD in 2 of last 3. Miami has allowed one TD to a WR in last five but four WRs have 90+ yards in Dolphins' last three.
TE Scott Chandler Fins held Chandler to 30 yards in Week 11. Dolphins have allowed just two TDs to TEs all year. Not the week to lean on Chandler.
DST Bills DSTs vs. MIA have posted 10+ Fantasy points in five of last six weeks. Bills have 9+ Fantasy points in four of last five (destroyed last week). Not a bad sleeper.
Miami Dolphins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Tannehill   Each of last five QBs vs. BUF have thrown one TD with under 250 yards. But 2 of last 3 QBs have run in a score. Tannehill has a little run in him but trusting him is a big problem.
RB Reggie Bush Every RB to face Bills & get at least 14 carries has scored and posted at least 12 Fantasy points. Bush has seen increase in playing time and should be effective vs. Bills.
WR Brian Hartline Topped 1,000 yards on the season last week but hasn't had a TD in 10 games or over 90 yards in six straight. Tough to trust.
TE Anthony Fasano Has a TD in two straight, suggesting he's more involved in Miami offense than before. Bills allowed first TD to a TE in five games last week.
DST Dolphins Four of the last five DSTs vs. BUF have posted 15+ Fantasy points. Dolphins have done well in favorable matchups but had their first 10+ Fantasy point game in five tries last week.

Miami has so many concerns about its cornerback play that the Dolphins claimed Dimitri Patterson off waivers from the Browns this week. Stevie Johnson caught eight for 115 yards and a touchdown against much better Seahawks corners last week and he's been targeted 40 times in the last four weeks. I think he'll play well. -- Pat Kirwan

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Heinz Field
Cincinnati Bengals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andy Dalton Dalton's track record vs. PIT is terrible (no games over 14 Fantasy points in three tries) but Steelers' pass defense is a mess right now. Dalton has 2+ TDs in 4 of last 5 but yardage is tough to come by. He's risky.
RB BenJarvus Green- Ellis Has 9+ Fantasy points in 6 of last 7 and has over 100 total yards in five straight. Steelers have allowed 9+ Fantasy points to RBs in 5 of last 6 games. You can't quite write off Green-Ellis.
WR A.J. Green Has scored in every game vs. PIT but has under 40 yards in two of them and just one catch in two of them. With the Steelers' secondary messy, Green's still a no-brainer.
TE Jermaine Gresham Can't trust him. One TD, no games over 37 yards in five meetings vs. Steelers. Jason Witten scored but was otherwise limited last week.
DST Bengals Even with Big Ben back DSTs vs. PIT are posting 10+ Fantasy points (seven straight). Roethlisberger has been sacked six times and picked off twice in two games.
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ben Roethlisberger Roethlisberger has one 2 TD game in his last eight vs. Cincy. Only two of the last 12 QBs to face Bengals have thrown multiple TDs. Those stats suggest trouble but Roethlisberger's slinging it well. Tough call.
RB Jonathan Dwyer Bengals have allowed two rush TDs to RBs in their last seven. Dwyer has 11 touches or less in three of his last four, making him tough to trust.
WR Mike Wallace Cincy allowing 152.3 yards per game to WRs over its last three with two passing scores. Wallace has 8+ Fantasy points in four of last five vs. CIN.
WR Antonio Brown Has never scored on the Bengals in four tries but does have 14 catches for 249 yards in his three most recent games against them.
TE Heath Miller Only five TEs have scored on Cincy this year. Miller's one of them but none have had even 75 yards in the team's last six.
DST Steelers The last three DSTs vs. Cincy have posted 11+ Fantasy points and Dalton has been sacked 11 times in his last two games. Steelers' front seven might make all the difference.

Andy Dalton is 0-3 against the Steelers and needs to change for him to clinch a win. Dalton has completed just 48 percent of his passes and has only one pass over 25 yards in those three losses. The Steelers are struggling in the secondary without Ike Taylor and Tony Romo's 341-yard passing game last week is the blueprint for Dalton to follow this week. Right now there isn't a cornerback on the Steelers that can cover A.J. Green and the Bengals will count on that to help their passing game succeed. -- Pat Kirwan

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Arrowhead Stadium
Indianapolis Colts
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andrew Luck Nervous about how much Luck will have to throw in this one. KC has allowed 2+ passing scores in 10 games this season but none in its last two vs. mediocre passers. Only one QB has topped 300 yards vs. KC and three total have 250+ yards all season. Luck averaging 289.4 yards per game in five outdoor matchups with four TDs.
RB Vick Ballard Chiefs allowing 125.0 rush yards per game to RBs over its last three with two touchdowns. Ballard has 18+ carries in last two with at least 100 total yards in each. Get him active.
WR Reggie Wayne Wayne still has yet to score away from Lucas Oil Field (had a TD called back last week) and Chiefs have held WRs to 2 TDs in last three. Only three WRs have posted 100+ yards on Chiefs all year.
WR T.Y. Hilton Hilton's a burner but is averaging 11.8 yards per catch outdoors (166 yards on 14 catches in four games) versus 18.3 yards per catch indoors (550 yards on 30 catches in nine games).
WR Donnie Avery Chiefs have allowed 141.0 yards per game to WRs over their last three. Avery has under 50 yards in four of his last five games.
DST Colts Save for the Panthers, every single defense that's played the Chiefs has posted at least 11 Fantasy points. Colts are a solid sleeper.
Kansas City Chiefs
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Brady Quinn   Only two of last eight QBs vs. IND have posted 2+ TDs. Many of them were weak, like Quinn. Don't start him. Duh.
RB Jamaal Charles We're right back to whether or not we can trust Charles' workload after limited work last week. Colts allowing 124.4 total yards per game to RBs with four TDs over their last five. Three of the last four RBs have 100+ total yards.
WR Dexter McCluster Colts have allowed a 100-yard receiver each of last four games (181.8 yards per game to WRs over last four) with two TDs. Doubt anyone on Chiefs can keep this streak going but McCluster probably their best weapon through the air.
WR Tony Moeaki   Colts have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in four of last five games. That doesn't mean Moeaki will score, so don't get excited.
DST Chiefs   Four of the last five DSTs to play the Colts have posted 12+ Fantasy points thanks in big part to touchdowns and sacks (5 TDs, 16 sacks, nine interceptions).

Things in Kansas City suggest not counting on Jamal Charles for a big day. The Colts are playing for a playoff spot and the Chiefs are done. Charles needs the offensive line and the threat of a passing game from the quarterback in order to truly succeed. He may not get either one in a game like this. It is the last Chiefs home game of the year and at home Charles has one touchdown run and has averaged fewer than 100 yards rushing per game. Things aren't getting better, they're getting worse. -- Pat Kirwan

Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Reliant Stadium
Minnesota Vikings
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Christian Ponder   While Texans are sputtering vs. the pass (263.7 pass yards per game allowed over last three with seven touchdowns) Ponder hasn't delivered big numbers in several weeks.
RB Adrian Peterson Peterson should run All Day: Texans have allowed four RBs to 10+ Fantasy points over ther last four games and yielded over 100 rush yards to Vick Ballard last week.
TE Kyle Rudolph   Traditional tight ends have scored three TDs on Houston over its last eight games. Rudolph should be expected to block plenty at Houston.
DST Vikings   None of the Texans' last five opponents have put up 9+ Fantasy points. Don't trust this DST.
Houston Texans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Schaub Schaub has 2+ TDs in 4 of last 6 at home. Vikings have allowed multiple passing scores in 5 of last 7 with 329.0 pass yards per game over last three.
RB Arian Foster Vikings have allowed 10+ Fantasy points to each of last four RBs. You're starting Arian!
WR Andre Johnson Minnesota has allowed a touchdown to a WR in 7 of last 8 games (and multiple TDs to WRs in 3 of last 7). Andre should dominate.
TE Owen Daniels Vikings have allowed a score to a TE in three of their last five including one to Lance Kendricks last week. Some silver lining for Daniels.
DST Texans Four of the last five DSTs vs. MIN have posted single-digit Fantasy points but Texans too strong of an option to sit.

In the last five games the Texans have called 42 pass plays per contest, which is significantly earlier in the year when they averaged 31 pass plays. The Texans know they will need a better passing game to get to the Super Bowl and it's smart that they have expanded it. Even though the Vikings have won their last two games, they gave up 701 passing yards and five touchdowns. We haven't seen much from Matt Schaub lately, but he should be able to throw for 300 yards and two touchdowns. -- Pat Kirwan

New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, EverBank Field
New England Patriots
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tom Brady Jags pass defense have held four straight mediocre QBs to four pass TDs (five total). But Brady isn't mediocre.
RB Stevan Ridley Playing time concerns after fumbling last week but he should still be involved. Plus the matchup is superb: Jags allowing 156.3 rush yards per game over last three to RBs with three TDs.
WR Brandon Lloyd Love how he's been renewed in the Patriots' offense: Has 25 targets for 17 catches, 279 yards and a TD in his last two games.
WR Wes Welker Has nine targets in each of last two, low for him considering he has 10+ in nine of 12 previous games. Also has 80 yards or less in 7 of last 8. Jags have held opposing WRs to a low 86.3 yards per game over last three with one TD.
TE Aaron Hernandez Jaguars have started to struggle vs. traditional tight ends allowing two scores in their last three. Hernandez is anything but traditional.
DST Patriots DSTs have put up 11+ Fantasy points in 9 of last 10 vs. Jaguars. Feel good about going with the Patriots.
Jacksonville Jaguars
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Chad Henne Pats pass D fell apart after Kaepernick threw four TDs last week. Henne had monster game vs. NE with Miami in 2011 (three total TDs, 400+ pass yards, 59 rush yards) but hasn't played well in three straight this year.
RB Montell Owens Pats have allowed a rushing touchdown to RB in four of last six but haven't allowed a 100-yard runner since Week 3. You'd have to be desperate to go with Owens, who has 14 or fewer carries in two starts.
WR Cecil Shorts Shorts has 100 yards and/or a touchdown in 7 of last 8. Pats allowed three TDs to WRs last week along with a 100-yard receiver. Keep Shorts active.
WR Justin Blackmon Blackmon has 5+ catches in four of his last five and should be in line for a decent stat line. Pats have given up 136.3 yards per game to receivers over their last three.
DST Jaguars   The Niners were the first DST to top 10 Fantasy points vs. the Patriots this year. The Jaguars won't be the second.

Circumstances had more to do with Stevan Ridley only getting nine carries vs. the Niners last week than his lost fumble. Tom Brady had to play catch-up and was in the no-huddle for 42 snaps and called 68 pass plays. I doubt very much if Jacksonville will force Brady into more than 30 pass plays. That means 20-to-30 more run plays in a game like this one for the Patriots and for Ridley to get involved with. In the three games prior to last week Ridley averaged close to 20 runs per game and he will be right back at that average here. He's far more impactful in the Patriots' wins and this game shapes up to be a victory for playoff-bound New England. -- Pat Kirwan

New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Cowboys Stadium
New Orleans Saints
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Drew Brees Cowboys have allowed eight pass TDs over their last four with three 250+ yard passers in that span. Big Ben has 275+ yards and 2+ TDs in each of two games back since shoulder injury.
RB Darren Sproles Sproles has 40+ total yards & a receiving TD in each of his last two. Dallas has yet to allow a receiving score to a RB but has allowed 144.7 total yards per game to RBs over last three.
RB Mark Ingram Decimated the Bucs run defense last week, though many of his numbers came when the game was out of hand. Cowboys have allowed a rush TD in 3 of last 4 overall.
WR Marques Colston Something's up. Has 4 catches and 6 targets or less in 6 of last 7 games with three TDs and no games with 80+ yards in that span. Non-No. 1 WRs haven't scored on Dallas in last three games.
WR Lance Moore No. 2 receivers have scored on Dallas in each of last four games. Moore is very boom-or-bust but has potential as Cowboys have allowed 174.0 yards per game to WRs with 5 TDs over their last five games.
TE Jimmy Graham The Cowboys have gone weak vs. tight ends, allowing 7+ Fantasy points to four of the last five they've faced. Graham's production is off but he's still a monster.
DST Saints Only two of the last 7 DSTs to play the Cowboys have posted 11 Fantasy points. The other five have been in the single digits. That's probably where the Saints are headed.
Dallas Cowboys
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tony Romo Don't look now but three of the last four QBs to face the Saints have thrown one or no TDs. Saints haven't allowed a 300-yard passer in four straight either. Still think Romo can put up some good numbers but it could be tough.
RB DeMarco Murray Saints did great vs. TB last week but have still allowed 132.0 total yards per game to RBs over last three with three rush TDs. Murray has between 75 and 112 total yards with a TD in each of his last three.
WR Dez Bryant Guy's got 8 TDs in his last six so there's no way you're sitting him but it's worth noticing that the Saints contained Vincent Jackson and both Falcons receivers over the last three weeks.
WR Miles Austin Last two weeks: 20 targets (10 per game), 11 catches, 125 yards no TDs. One red-zone target too. Though Saints are allowing 158.7 yards per game to WRs over last three, think flex with Austin.
TE Jason Witten Saints have allowed a slew of receptions to tight ends over their last three (20 catches on 28 targets for 155 yards and two TDs). Witten remains a quality option.
DST Cowboys Can't count on the Cowboys to come up with anything more than a couple of sacks and an interception or two vs. New Orleans. Keep them out of lineups.

The Saints gave up 52 points to the Giants and came back a week later and shut out the Buccaneers. The New Orleans defense has six interceptions over its last two games so Tony Romo has to be careful. Romo is averaging 45 pass plays per game over his last six and will continue that trend. I expect Romo to throw for 300 yards and two touchdowns against this defense. Now, if the Saints start playing the pass on first and second downs, DeMarco Murray will have a big rushing game. Keep in mind the Cowboys are a passing team -- 64 percent pass, in fact, for the season. -- Pat Kirwan

Oakland Raiders at Carolina Panthers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Bank of America Stadium
Oakland Raiders
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Carson Palmer Panthers have allowed one 250-yard passer in last five but three QBs have tossed 2+ TDs in that span. When he has to throw, Palmer puts up numbers and he should have to throw here.
RB Darren McFadden Expect McFadden to get a lot of work vs. run defense that allowed 5.1 yards per carry to the injury-riddled Chargers last week (and 5.3 yards per carry over last five).
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey Had second catchless game in last four in Week 15 and faces Panthers defense that's allowed one 70+ yard WR in last four. Too big of a risk to take.
WR Rod Streater Has 6+ Fantasy points in each of his last three with 17 targets in those games. Panthers allowing 127.3 yards per game and three TDs to WRs over their last three, but … he's too big of a risk to take.
WR Denarius Moore Played a ton last week (62 of 77 snaps) but has under 50 yards in five straight with one TD in that span. Though his yardage has gone up incrementally over last five, he's too big of a risk to take.
TE Brandon Myers Panthers starting to struggle vs. tight ends: TD to TE in 3 of last 5, 6+ Fantasy points to TE in 4 of last 5. But with six targets, three catches and 22 yards over last two games, the risk is too great.
DST Raiders   Panthers have held six of the last seven DSTs they've faced to 6 Fantasy points or less. Forget about this defense.
Carolina Panthers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Cam Newton Raiders pass defense has allowed just one or zero TDs to opposing QBs over last three games (including Peyton) but Newton's playing too well to pass up.
RB DeAngelo Williams Would be a tremendous option if Jonathan Stewart wasn't in the mix. Williams has three games with 9+ Fantasy points in nine games when Jonathan Stewart is active.
RB Jonathan Stewart Hard to imagine J-Stew putting up big numbers simply because he'll split reps with DeAngelo. Stewart has over 10 carries in just three games this season.
WR Steve Smith A must. Has 10+ Fantasy points in each of last three amd Raiders have allowed 167.7 yards per game to WRs over last three with a score.
WR Brandon LaFell Major risk: Played just 23 snaps last week and didn't have a target at all. You can probably find a safer option.
TE Greg Olsen Tight ends have produced at least eight Fantasy points in five of last six vs. Raiders. Olsen has seemingly found his role in the offense (just in time for the end of the year).
DST Panthers Over the last three games DSTs vs. OAK have totaled two sacks, two INTs and two fumble recoveries. The Raiders have 320+ yards in each of last three but have scored under 20 points in all three.

As long as Darren McFadden is healthy, the Raiders will get enough on the ground to set up Carson Palmer's passing game. The problem with this game is the Raiders' history coming to the Eastern Time Zone. Just this season they are 0-4 back East and scored just 63 points and gave up 147. The defense hasn't shown up on these long road trips but maybe it will after shutting out Kansas City last week. -- Pat Kirwan

San Diego Chargers at New York Jets -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium
San Diego Chargers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Philip Rivers   Jets haven't faced many quality QBs lately but they haven't allowed a passing TD in three straight. Rivers had good stats the last time he went on the road but the Jets won't make it easy on him.
RB Jackie Battle Running backs are rushing for 89.3 yards per game vs. Jets over last three games with two TDs. Battle can't be trusted as anything more than an emergency flex.
RB Ronnie Brown Has been given opportunities this season and hasn't done anything with them. Tough to count on him.
WR Danario Alexander Jets have allowed 4 TDs to WRs in their last five and have done a nice job vs. No. 1 receivers. That stands to mean a tough week for Alexander.
TE Antonio Gates New York hasn't allowed a score to a tight end in six straight nor has it allowed 60+ yards to a tight end in seven straight. Tough to trust Gates.
DST Chargers Seven of the last eight DSTs vs. NYJ have scored 11+ Fantasy points. Chargers have quietly posted 14+ Fantasy points in two of their last three. Sanchez's benching might limit Jets' turnovers.
New York Jets
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Greg McElroy   Will likely be tasked to take care of the football and not make mistakes. Though the Chargers have allowed QBs to get 20+ Fantasy points in 5 of last 6, McElroy just can't be trusted.
RB Shonn Greene Chargers have allowed 133.7 total yards to RBs over last three with three total TDs (two rushing). Every single RB w/ 15+ carries vs. SD has at least 9 Fantasy points & 7 of 8 have 11+ Fantasy points. Go Greene.
RB Bilal Powell Should be OK as a flex though there's some concern Joe McKnight could cut into his work. Last week's 43 total-yard effort really disappointed.
WR Braylon Edwards   San Diego has allowed 140.0 yards to receivers over its last three with four TDs. If there's a Jet to start out of desperation, this is it.
DST Jets Five of the last six DSTs to play the Chargers have posted 14+ Fantasy points. Mark Sanchez doesn't play defense, does he?

This is a game between two teams that had big expectations and are finishing up very disappointing seasons. The Chargers are coming across the country in a meaningless game and the stadium should he half filled. San Diego just put Ryan Mathews and Malcolm Floyd on IR, which doesn't help the Chargers' chances. It's getting near the time some players are just trying to avoid getting hurt late in the season, so the intensity might not be high. I would expect a low scoring game without any outstanding performances from the Chargers' offensive players. -- Pat Kirwan

St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Raymond James Stadium
St. Louis Rams
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Sam Bradford Bucs have allowed 10 total TDs to QBs over last three games with 930 pass yards. Bradford is obviously risky (four games this season with 20+ Fantasy points) but if desperate he's worth a look.
RB Steven Jackson Tampa Bay run defense got hammered late in blowout loss last week but the team hasn't allowed 100 total yards to a RB since Week 8. Thing is, Jackson has 100+ total yards in three of his last four. He still has value.
WR Danny Amendola Of the 26 WRs to get 7+ targets vs. TB, 15 have posted 10+ Fantasy points. Amendola has 7+ targets in seven of nine games. Love the matchup.
WR Brandon Gibson Deep sleeper. Has 6+ catches in each of last two for 176 total yards & a TD. Bucs have allowed 198.3 yards to WRs over their last three with five TDs.
DST Rams Can't trust them. The Rams had a pretty good matchup vs. Minnesota last week and blew it. Bucs offense should improve after Week 15 shutout.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Josh Freeman Rams' pass defense has allowed three passing scores over its last seven. Freeman has one game with 20 Fantasy points in his last four and is coming off of a horrible game at New Orleans. Hard to trust.
RB Doug Martin Rams have allowed 133.8 total yards per game to RBs over their last five with six rushing scores. Expect Martin to get right back on track.
WR Vincent Jackson St. Louis has given up just three 100-yard games to receivers all year (six over 80+ yards). As a group receivers have just 125.7 yards per game vs. STL over its last three with no scores.
WR Mike Williams Might be a tough week to trust Williams: Rams pass defense has allowed two TDs to WRs over last six games. Rams have allowed multiple receivers to score on them in the same game once in 2012.
TE Dallas Clark   Had eight catches last week, proof he's part of the passing attack. But Rams have allowed one TD to TEs over their last six; only four TEs have topped 50 yards all year.
DST Buccaneers Hard to trust the Bucs even though each of the last two DSTs to play the Rams (Bills, Vikings) posted 9+ Fantasy points.

Josh Freeman's bad play started before last week's trouble at New Orleans. Freeman has one touchdown in every 38 passes over the past four games. Last week he did not connect on a pass over 25 yards and had connected on eight of those in the three games prior. Freeman needs to take what the defenses are giving him. He needs to understand the Rams have a pass rush (41 sacks) and don't give up a lot of deep balls with Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan on the corners. The Rams have only given up one touchdown pass in the last four games -- more than 141 passes. The Bucs lost all the momentum they had built up in a four-game winning streak and now are in the midst of a four-game losing streak. -- Pat Kirwan

Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Lambeau Field
Tennessee Titans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jake Locker   Eight of last nine QBs vs. GB have posted 1 passing TD or less. Locker has totaled one touchdown in each of last three. Can't trust him.
RB Chris Johnson Packers have allowed seven RBs to notch 10+ Fantasy in their last seven games. Johnson should have some opportunities to break a long one.
WR Kenny Britt Green Bay has allowed five TDs and 122.2 yards per game to receivers over its last five. Britt should rebound after barely getting work last week.
WR Nate Washington Wih Kendall Wright out, Washington should see a nice bump in targets. Not a bad sleeper.
DST Titans   Ten of the last 11 DSTs to play the Packers have scored 10 Fantasy points or less. After beating up the Jets on Monday, Titans probably won't do so well.
Green Bay Packers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Aaron Rodgers Titans have allowed 19+ Fantasy points to 10 of 14 QBs. If Rodgers is as precise as he was last week he'll carve up Tennessee.
RB DuJuan Harris Titans defense allowing 131.3 total yards per game over their last three with two TDs. Harris has a little upside to his game and could be useful as a desperation flex.
WR Randall Cobb Has 100+ yards and/or a touchdown in 8 of last 10 games, should remain Rodgers' top receiver.
WR James Jones Good (and surprising) to see Jones targeted for touchdowns last week. Then again, he's played over 90 pct. of the team's snaps in three straight. Titans have given up four TDs to WRs in their last five.
WR Greg Jennings   His playing time has gone up since coming back from surgery. Just needs his targets and stats to follow suit. Not sure he can be trusted.
TE Jermichael Finley Tight ends have scored in 2 of last 3 vs. Titans. Finley had 50+ yards In four of his last five but wth just one score.
DST Packers Since Jake Locker returned opposing DSTs have posted 9+ Fantasy points in four of the last five. Packers should post good numbers at home.

Chris Johnson is going to have to have another breakout run to be effective, but not even that should not be enough to beat the Packers. The key to defending Johnson is to make him stop-and-start in the backfield because he isn't sure where the hole is to run through. Packers coach Dom Capers will coach up the Packers defense to avoid penetration on run downs, causing cracks and cut-back lanes. It will be important that the front three defensive linemen two-gap and make it tough for Johnson to decide where the run should go. Because Jake Locker and the passing game isn't a big threat the Packers will over-play the run and make things difficult for Johnson. -- Pat Kirwan

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Lincoln Financial Field
Washington Redskins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Robert Griffin III Each of the last eight QBs to play Philly have totaled 2+ TDs against them. RG3 threw four touchdowns against the Eagles. Though the defense looked better last week, RG3 shouldn't be benched.
RB Alfred Morris The last three starting RBs to play the Eagles have each had over 100 total yards and a touchdown. Morris has 120+ yards and/or 1+ TD in each of his last four.
WR Pierre Garcon A must. Philly has allowed at least one 10+ Fantasy point WR in each of last nine games and 6 TDs to WRs in last three games. Garcon has a TD in 3 of last 4 games including two from RG3.
DST Redskins Eagles have allowed 9+ Fantasy points to each of last 10 DSTs. Washington's defense isn't exactly tough but they could come up with nine points.
Philadelphia Eagles
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Nick Foles The good: Redskins pass defense has allowed 21+ Fantasy points to 9 of 14 QBs. The bad: Foles has one game all season with 21+ Fantasy points. Can't trust him.
RB LeSean McCoy Skins have allowed 125.3 total yards per game to RBs over last three with three rush TDs. McCoy has 90+ total yards in each of last five vs. WAS.
RB Bryce Brown   After two weeks of disappointing production and fumbling issues, don't expect to see much of Brown while LeSean McCoy comes back.
WR Jeremy Maclin WRs have scored at least one TD in 11 of 14 games vs. WAS this season. They've also had 151.3 yards per game vs. Redskins over their last three. Maclin fine as a flex.
DST Eagles   Only three DSTs have topped 10 Fantasy points vs. WAS all year. With RG3 back the Eagles can't be trusted.

The young players on the Eagles, including Nick Foles and Riley Cooper, are playing with great enthusiasm and realize this is their chance to make their mark. Cooper especially has been instrumental in helping Foles out and should remain effective. Veterans like LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek also will show enthusiasm, but it might be because it's the Eagles' last home game of the year and probably Andy Reid's last game as the Eagles head coach. Sending him out with an upset win over the Redskins could mean something to them. But one obvious key is that the O-line must protect Foles, which is always an issue, but he has a big arm and will make plays against the Redskins defense. -- Pat Kirwan

Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Cleveland Browns
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Brandon Weeden Broncos have allowed 2 TDs to each of last three QBs and 5 of last 6 passers they've faced. That's nice but Weeden has five such games all season and none in his last four.
RB Trent Richardson Denver hasn't allowed a rush TD in six straight and have held RBs to 99.1 total yards per game over last six. That's impressive. Could be a tough week for Richardson.
WR Josh Gordon Wideouts against the Broncos have averaged 174.7 yards per game in the last three weeks with two TDs. However, several non-No. 1 WRs have done well. Can't trust Gordon.
WR Greg Little Desperation sleeper. If Champ Bailey will cover Gordon, Little could see some opportunities head his way.
TE Benjamin Watson Pretty good sleeper as the Broncos have been awful vs. tight ends for much of the year.
DST Browns   Seven of the last eight DSTs vs. DEN have been held to single-digit Fantasy points. Can't trust this DST.
Denver Broncos
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Peyton Manning Manning has tried to throw TDs in his last two but has just missed on a number of plays. Browns have allowed 2 TDs to two of the last eight QBs but it would be a shock to see them whip Peyton.
RB Knowshon Moreno Knowshon has 20+ carries, 80+ total yards in each of last four and a TD in each of his last two. He's hurting Manning's stats! Run game has torched Browns over last two weeks, so start him.
WR Demaryius Thomas After Dez Bryant in Week 11, no No. 1 WR has scored or even posted over 70 yards on the Browns thanks to Joe Haden. Question is, will he be on Thomas all game long? Thomas has at least 8+ Fantasy points in five of his last six and nine of his last 11.
WR Eric Decker Tons of potential here, especially if he's not covered by Joe Haden. His last two weeks: 20 targets, 16 catches, 221 yards and a TD. Big receivers (Leonard Hankerson, Rod Streater) have scored on Browns lately.
DST Broncos Each of the last three DSTs to face the Browns have posted 10 Fantasy points or less. Would be stunned of the Broncos didn't put up some numbers at home.

The Browns are going to be playing catch-up the whole game. Peyton Manning will use his no-huddle offense to jump out to an early lead and make the Browns one-dimensional. No team in the NFL has scored more second-half points than the Broncos (262) and that means Brandon Weeden will throw over his season average of 37 pass plays a game. That means Gordon will be targeted 10 times. His yards per catch have fallen off because defenses keep him in front of them and limit him to slant routes. Time for the "sluggo" route (slant and go) for Gordon. The Broncos' pass rush will be a big reason Gordon may not have big numbers plus cornerback Chris Harris kept Anquan Boldin to zero catches last week. -- Pat Kirwan

Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, University of Phoenix Stadium
Chicago Bears
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jay Cutler Cardinals did nice job last week attacking a QB with one great receiver in Matthew Stafford. For various reasons Arizona has allowed four pass TDs vs. 12 interceptions in its last five. No one should trust Cutler.
RB Matt Forte Each of the last five starting RBs to play Arizona have posted 10-plus Fantasy points. Forte has hit that mark in each of his last three games.
WR Brandon Marshall Cards have allowed just one TD to a WR over their last five, partially because they've stunk vs. the run. No reason to believe Marshall won't load up on stats -- all but two of the nine WRs with 10+ targets vs. ARI have at least eight Fantasy points.
DST Bears All but two DSTs all year vs. ARI has posted 10 or more Fantasy points (the Lions had nine last week). Bears should contain Arizona's offense.
Arizona Cardinals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Lindley   Each of the last three QBs not named Christian Ponder have thrown multiple TDs vs. the Bears. Not that Lindley will.
RB Beanie Wells Bears allowing an uncharacteristic 119.6 rush yards per game over their last seven with five rush TDs. Wells seems OK as a flex.
WR Larry Fitzgerald Continues to disappoint with five straight games under 40 yards even though he's had 42 targets in those games!
DST Cardinals Each of the last two DSTs vs. Chicago (GB, MIN) have posted at least 16 Fantasy points. Cards have at least that many points in two of their last three.

If the Bears can't contain Ryan Lindley and the Cardinals' offense they don't deserve to go to the playoffs. The Bears had too many injuries on defense last week against the Packers, but that should not be the case in Week 16. Lindley has not thrown a touchdown pass as a pro even though he's attempted 141 passes and has Larry Fitzgerald on his side. That's a shame on a number of levels and if the Bears can't keep those skids going, there's a lot more wrong with that defense than who's playing. -- Pat Kirwan

New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, M&T Bank Stadium
New York Giants
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Eli Manning While Eli has one road game with 2 TDs all year, have to imagine he can bounce back after disgusting loss last week. Ravens have allowed 2 TDs to one QB in their last five but Manning's track record speaks for itself.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw Ravens have allowed starting RBs to top 100 yards with a TD in each of last two games (TD in three straight). Bradshaw could be in line to get a good cut of statistics so long as he's active.
WR Victor Cruz Ravens have allowed 186.0 yards per game and three TDs to WRs in last three games. Cruz is the best bet to mash the Ravens.
WR Hakeem Nicks His inconsistency has made the Giants offense sputter. His targets have sputtered lately too (13 total in last two weeks after having 10+ in three previous games).
TE Martellus Bennett Only four tight ends have posted 6+ Fantasy points on Ravens and only one has scored in their last seven. Bennett kind of a risk.
DST Giants Flacco has been sacked three times in 3 of last 4 games with an INT in each of last three. Ravens have under 21 points in 4 of last 5.
Baltimore Ravens
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Joe Flacco Giants defense very Jekyll & Hyde: Three good QBs each had 1 pass TD in Weeks 12-14, Matt Ryan torched them last week for 3 TDs. Will come down to how much pressure Giants can put on Flacco. Seems risky.
RB Ray Rice Giants have allowed 180.0 total yards per week to RBs over their last three with three total TDs allowed. Expect the Ravens to lean on Rice (like they should have done last week).
WR Anquan Boldin Followed up his massive stat lines in Weeks 13 and 14 with a goose egg in Week 15. Giants have allowed 9 TDs to WRs over their last six.
WR Torrey Smith If he's cleared he has a chance to contribute. The Falcons laid out a good game plan to beat the Giants deep (after the Saints did the week before). Smith is an option at flex.
TE Dennis Pitta You'll start him but Giants have allowed 3 TDs to TEs all year and have allowed just two TEs to get 10+ Fantasy points. Pitta's been great lately.
DST Ravens Four of the last six DSTs to play the Giants have posted double-digit Fantasy points including the Saints and Falcons over the last two weeks. Interceptions have played a role. With three straight weeks of 10 Fantasy points or less, Ravens tough to feel good about.

Eli Manning has been a solid road quarterback and he still has his offensive coordinator. Joe Flacco has home field in this game but the Ravens fired his offensive coordinator. The Giants do a better job than the Ravens of protecting their quarterback. Both have thrown the exact number of passes (487) but Manning has been sacked 15 times while Flacco has gone to the ground 34 times. In the last three games neither quarterback has been outstanding and only Manning has a win. I would think Eli has a better day but neither guy is going to carry a Fantasy team to a win this week. -- Pat Kirwan

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks -- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, CenturyLink Field
San Francisco 49ers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Colin Kaepernick In Harbaugh's three games vs. SEA, offense has taken cautious, passive approach -- and they're 3-0. Not sure Kaepernick will sling it, though Seattle's cornerback issues could change the game plan. Not sure Kap can go off for huge stats again.
RB Frank Gore Typically gets a lot of carries vs. Seahawks. Has 15+ Fantasy points in each of his last two vs. SEA including in Week 7. Has 19+ carries in three of last four overall.
WR Michael Crabtree Might shy away from Crabtree under normal circumstances but with Seattle down to Trufant & Thurmond at cornerback Crabtree could keep up his hot streak. Dude has 90 yards and/or a TD in 6 of last 7.
DST 49ers Six of the last seven DSTs vs. Seattle have posted 6 Fantasy points or less. The Niners hace held Seattle to 17 or fewer points in each of last three meetings but Seahawks have 21+ points in each of last seven.
Seattle Seahawks
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Russell Wilson Wilson's last bad game was vs. SF in Week 7. Since then he's totaled 2+ TDs in 6 of 7 games and it would have been 7 for 7 if the Cardinals had put up some points. Seems like a safe bet to move the chains, especially after the Patriots unveiled a blueprint last week.
RB Marshawn Lynch The anti-Niners RB: Has 100 rush yards in each of last two vs. SF with a TD vs. SF in Week 16 at home last year. Expect a big workload for Lynch, who had just 21 carries (for 241 yards & 4 TDs!) in his last two games.
WR Sidney Rice Seahawks need Rice to step up, but will he? Niners have held WRs out of the end zone in three straight but have allowed 162.7 yards per game to them in that span.
WR Golden Tate He's been a non-factor in Seahawks' last two blowout wins; this time figures to be different. Tate has averaged fewer yards at home than on the road but has five TDs in Seattle. The Seahawks could take some deep shots with Tate.
TE Zach Miller If you have major guts (or are just desperate), consider Miller. Niners have allowed a TE to score on them in three of last four.
DST Seahawks Six of last seven DSTs Niners have faced have scored 7 Fantasy points or less. Not the greatest week ahead for the Seahawks DST but they could come close to 10.

Colin Kaepernick was outstanding last week and made the decision to bench Alex Smith look like a good one. Russell Wilson is one of the great stories of 2012 and is tough in Seattle. Wilson has thrown one interception at home in six games and averages two touchdown passes per home game. Kaepernick has performed well on the road (four touchdown passes in New England last Sunday) and should have bigger numbers than Wilson, but I would be surprised if either quarterback gets to 275 passing yards with the way these defenses play. The Seahawks' 108 points over the last two weeks doesn't mean much in this game. -- Pat Kirwan

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

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Player News
Report: Broncos' Emmanuel Sanders misses Saturday practice
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:12 pm ET) Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was not able to practice Saturday while dealing with an illness, reports the Denver Post.

Sanders was not listed on the Broncos' injury report Friday. The Broncos will play at Cincinnati Monday.


Report: Cowboys expect DeMarco Murray to play Sunday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(12:56 pm ET) While the final decision won’t be made until Sunday, the Cowboys are expecting running back DeMarco Murray to play Sunday against the Colts, according to ESPN.

Murray has been medically cleared to play, but the official decision won’t be made until Murray tests his injured hand in pre-game work outs.

The Cowboys are 3 1/2–point favorites over the Colts.


Report: Browns place safety Tashaun Gipson on IR
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:55 am ET) The Browns have placed safety Tashaun Gipson on injured reserve, reports ESPN.

Gipson has been bothered by a knee injury and has not played since Nov. 23. To replace Gipson on the roster, the Browns elevated linebacker Scott Solomon from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. 


Packers upgrade Bryan Bulaga to probable
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:44 am ET) Packers offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga was upgraded from questionable to probable for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.

Bulaga sustained a concussion during Week 16's loss to the Bills, but by being upgraded to probable, it appears Bulaga has passed concussion protocol.


Report: Falcons' Julio Jones will determine playing status Sunday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:33 am ET) Whether or not Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones plays Sunday against the Saints will be determined during Jones’ pre-game workout Sunday, reports NBCsports.com.

Sources indicated Jones will work out before the game and his playing status will depend on how his injured hip reacts. Jones is listed as questionable heading into the game.

The Falcons are 6-point underdogs to the Saints.


49ers promote NT Mike Purcell Friday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) The 49ers signed nose tackle Mike Purcell off the practice squad Friday, the team announced. He has been on the team's practice squad since the beginning of the 2013 season.


Broncos QB Manning fine Friday in practice
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) Broncos quarterback Peyton manning had a "really good day at practice" Friday, per wideout Emmanuel Sanders. He was limited with a thigh injury that had him receiving extra treatment during the Thursday session.

Manning and his team plays at Cincinnati on Monday night.


Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray medically cleared, will decide status
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (hand) will make the final call on whether he plays in Week 16 against the Colts after being medically cleared Friday, NFL.com reports.

Murray is listed as questionable to play after participating in Friday's practice in a limited fashion, but since he's received medical clearance, it would be surprising to not see him active Sunday. The Cowboys lead rusher has racked up 1,687 yards on 351 carries with 11 touchdowns as well as another 395 yards on 54 receptions.


Marshawn Lynch among notable Seahawks probable for Sunday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) The Seahawks have ruled tackle Russell Okung (chest) out for Sunday's game at Arizona. Center Max Unger (ankle) and defensive end Demarcus Dobbs (ankle) were labeled as questionable. Tight end Tony Moeaki (shoulder) is the only player labeled questionable and is expected to be a game-day decision.

Meanwhile, the following players were labeled probable: Running back Marshawn Lynch (back), wide receiver Paul Richardson (hamstring), guard J.R. Sweezy (ankle) and tight end Cooper Helfet (ankle).


Saints list Armstead, Hicks, Sanford questionable for Week 16
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) Saints tackle Terron Armstead (neck), defensive end Akiem Hicks (ankle) and safety Jamarca Sanford (hamstring) were unable to practice Friday and were all ruled questionable for Sunday's game against Atlanta.

New Orleans remains a 6 1/2-point favorite at home against the Falcons.


 
 
 
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