Ravens receiver Torrey Smith will look to remain productive and get back in the end zone at home against the Patriots in Week 16.
In a 28-13 playoff win last season, Smith caught four of the nine passes thrown his way for 69 yards. Only 413 of his 1,032 receiving yards have come at home this season. He has not reached the century mark since Week 5 at Miami.
Smith will face a New England defense that has allowed 12 touchdowns to wide receivers over the previous nine games played. The Patriots have allowed a receiver to reach 100 yards in each of the last three games. Opposing wide receivers have scored 21.57 Fantasy points per game this season against New Engand. Consider Smith a solid starting option in most formats for Week 16.
Ravens running back Ray Rice could be in line for a productive performance if he is healthy enough to play in Week 16 against the Patriots.
Rice will try to overcome a thigh injury which caused him to miss Wednesday's portion of practice. He was limited to 56 yards on the ground in Week 15 against the Lions in Detroit. He has been held under 67 rushing yards over his last four games. His last 100-yard performance came in Week 11 against the Bears.
Luckily for Rice, he'll face a New England defense that has permitted 132.5 yards per game on the ground, which is the second most allowed this season. Running backs have scored at least 19 points in six of the last nine games against New England. Barring a setback, we expect Rice to play on Sunday, so consider him a decent starting option in the majority of Fantasy formats for Week 16.
For the first time in his career, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will wear a brace on his sprained left knee during a game. His mobility will certainly be limited at home against the Patriots in Week 16.
The Patriots have registered 40 sacks this season, which ranks 11th in the league. New England has also permitted 240.2 passing yards per game, which ranks 18th in the league. Opposing quarterbacks have scored 19.86 Fantasy points per game this season against New England, including at least 30 points in back-to-back games.
Flacco tossed for 240 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in his last meeting against the Patriots in the playoffs last season. He has not passed for more than 273 yards over his last eight games played. He has only thrown for multiple touchdowns in three of those eight games.
At this point, Flacco may not be worth the risk, especially since he is not at 100 percent. Consider him a low-end option in all formats heading into Week 16.
McCarthy: Aaron Rodgers not cleared, but "looks ready to play
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters he thought quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked good at practice Thursday, and thinks he might be able to play in Week 16 against the Steelers Sunday. Of course, that all depends on whether Rodgers can be cleared by doctors to return from a six-game absence due to a broken collarbone.
"Rodgers practiced well today," McCarthy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Thursday. Will have a conversation tomorrow about him. Looked very good at practice."
Rodgers still needs to be medically cleared, and the team will make an announcement as to his status Friday. Matt Flynn still took the majority of the snaps in practice Thursday, but McCarthy did say he thought Rodgers looks nearly ready to play.
"He looks better this week," McCarthy said. "He looks ready to play."
Danny Amendola still a worthy starting option for Week 16
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola will try to keep rolling in a difficult road matchup against the Ravens in Week 16.
Amendola, who is coming off a 10-catch, 131-yard effort, has been bothered by a groin injury since the start of the season. He has been able to practice this week and should be ready to roll come Sunday. He has totaled 283 yards and one touchdown over his last five games played.
Although the Ravens did not allow a wide receiver to get in the end zone last week against the Lions, Baltimore has allowed four touchdowns to wide receivers over the last three weeks. Opposing wide receivers have scored 21.86 Fantasy points per game this season against the Ravens. Consider him a solid starting option heading into Week 16.
With Steve Johnson unlikely to play, the Bills are likely to rely pretty heavily on rookie wide receiver Robert Woods in Week 16 against the Dolphins. Despite his strong performance a week ago, Woods might struggle to get going against a Dolphins defense that has been stingy against the pass overall.
Woods had five receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown a last week, his first time topping 50 yards in seven games. The last time he faced the Dolphins, Woods was held to just three receptions for 24 yards.
The silver lining for Woods might be that this is a Dolphins' secondary that has been badly exposed in recent weeks. After holding opposing wide receivers to just 13.8 Fantasy points per game through the season's first dozen games, the Dolphins' last two opponents have racked up more than 80 Fantasy points.
Woods is likely to be the top option in the passing game for the Bills this week, and Miami's recent history makes this a better matchup than it might appear at first glance. Still, Woods is unproven, and makes for a risky starting Fantasy option for Week 16.
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will look to keep his recent success heading into Sunday's difficult road matchup against the Ravens in Week 16.
Edelman exploded into the scene with his third 100-yard game in the previous four games. He has totaled 37 catches for 414 yards with four touchdowns while being targeted at least nine times in each of his last four games played.
Although the Ravens did not allow a wide receiver to get in the end zone last week against the Lions, Baltimore has allowed four touchdowns to wide receivers over the last three weeks. Opposing wide receivers have scored 21.86 Fantasy points per game this season against the Ravens. Consider Edelman a solid starting option for Week 16.
Patriots running back Shane Vereen will be seeking a bounce back performance heading into Sunday's road game against the Ravens in Week 16.
Just a week after tallying 12 receptions, Vereen saw his role shrink against the Dolphins in Week 15. He had two carries for 13 yards and three catches for eight yards in a 24-20 defeat in Miami. Baltimore limited Vereen to only 16 yards on four carries and two receptions for 22 yards in the playoffs last season.
With that said, Baltimore's defense looks completely different compared to last year, as they have allowed only 102.4 yards per game on the ground this season. The Ravens have allowed at least four receptions to running backs in five of the last seven games played. Opposing running backs have scored 13.14 Fantasy points per game this season.
Vereen's numbers should only go up from here after a mediocre game against Miami last week. Consider him a decent starting option, especially in PPR formats heading into Week 16.
Stevan Ridley, LeGarrette Blount still viewed as low-end options
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
Patriots running backs Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount both could be in for productive performances, depending on the amount of touches they'll receive Sunday against the Ravens in Week 16.
Ridley's production remained the same, as he rushed for 35 yards on eight carries for the second consecutive game. Blount rushed for 40-plus yards for the third straight games. He tallied 47 yards on 11 carries, averaging 4.3 yards per rush against Miami in Week 15.
The Ravens have allowed a rushing touchdown in three straight games. Baltimore has yielded 102.4 yards per game on the ground, which is seventh fewest allowed this season. Opposing running backs have scored 13.14 Fantasy points per game this season against Ravens.
At this point, it may be awfully difficult to start Ridley or Blount, given their recent role on offense. Despite a somewhat favorable matchup, consider them both low-end options for Week 16.
The last time C.J. Spiller and the Bills faced off against the Dolphins, both sides were in very different positions then they are for Week 16's matchups.
Entering that Week 7 matchup, Spiller has been limited to just 18 carries in his previous two games, as a result of an ankle injury that limited him for much of the first half of the season. He would finish that game against Miami with just 11 yards on six carries. Over his last four games, however, Spiller has received at least 11 carries in each game, as he continues to work his way past the injury.
Unfortunately, Spiller's workload is increasing right into a matchup against an improving Dolphins' defense. Though Miami still allows the 10th-most Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, only one has topped double figures over the last five games.
Spiller is still splitting carries, a scenario that makes him a risky Fantasy start against even the best matchups. Against a defense that has tightened up against the ground in recent weeks, Spiller is best used as a low-end starting option in Week 16.