Hamstring injury still plaguing Garrett Graham
His continued absence would thrust rookie Ryan Griffin back into the starting role. Griffin caught six passes for 62 yards in the loss to Indianapolis.
Fantasy Analysis | 1387469695
Greg Olsen not a great play Week 16
New Orleans has done a good job limiting opposing tight ends this season, allowing them to average 6.57 Fantasy points per game. The Saints have allowed just 17 touchdowns in 14 games this year. Seven of them have gone to tight ends. The first time the two teams met, Olsen had eight catches, but only picked up 40 yards.
Olsen has been the main weapon for Cam Newton this year. He leads the team in yardage, and is tied for the lead with five touchdowns. While he should receive a fair amount of targets, it's totally possible that his yardage is limited once again. Olsen has been a decent play most of the year, but could be in for some struggles Week 16.
Fantasy Analysis | 1387468427
Enigmatic Browns DST not an ideal Fantasy option in Week 16
The reasons are many, including the third-worst red zone defense in the NFL, ranking of 22nd in takeaways and an inability to sack quarterbacks, particularly recently.
One might think that the Jets offense could prove to be the ideal tonic for the Browns. But one might have thought that three weeks ago when they played Jacksonville at home and gave up 32 points.
The Jets offense has rebounded nicely from a horrible three-game period to score 57 points and average 325 yards of offense in their last two games. That doesn't bode well for a Browns defense that has given up an average of 33 points in their last five games and might be playing without top cornerback Joe Haden (hip pointer).
There are worse Fantasy plays than the Browns DST this week, but few that are riskier. It would be wise to use a steadier option.
Fantasy Analysis | 1387468101
Steve Smith could be limited Week 16
New Orleans has done a good job limiting receivers. They've held pass catchers to 17.00 Fantasy points per game this year. Through 14 games, the team has given up 17 passing touchdowns. Smith did manage to score the first time the two teams met this season. He caught six passes for 49 against the Saints Week 14.
Smith hasn't been the de-facto number one receiver on the Panthers this year. While he has as many catches as Greg Olsen, Olsen has more yards and touchdowns than Smith. He also hasn't been a big target in the red zone. Both Ted Ginn and Brandon LaFell have at least as many touchdowns as Smith this year. The 34-year-old appears to have lost some effectiveness this season, making him a risky play Week 16.
Fantasy Analysis | 1387467398
Texans DST not a great start this week
Even if you were unabashedly optimistic about the
The Broncos not only have a quarterback looking to shatter the NFL's single-season passing record, but they have a major chip on their shoulder after sputtering on Thursday night against the Chargers. The Texans, meanwhile, adept as they are at limiting passing yards, only have three sacks over their last three games, and have intercepted just six passes all season. They've also allowed 25 or more points in each of thier last three games, and in six of their last seven.
The Texans have a solid pass defense, but that hasn't translated to Fantasy success this season. They can be left on the waiver wire in most formats.
Fantasy Analysis | 1387467134
DeAngelo Williams an average play
New Orleans has been about league-average against opposing runners, allowing them to average 16.43 Fantasy points per game. Through 14 games, the team has given up 10 rushing touchdowns. When the two teams met earlier in the year, Williams rushed for 52 yards on 13 carries.
Williams continues to get the most work on the team, but Mike Tolbert has been a constant thorn in his side. When the team gets near the goal line, Tolbert gets the majority of the work. Due to the lack of touches at the goal line, Williams is probably not a strong Fantasy play Week 16 against the Saints.
Doug Marrone defends decision to keep EJ Manuel active
Doug Marrone has defended his decision to keep
"Every snap, every time we can get him in there, that type of experience, the better and better he gets," Marrone told the team website. "And we've seen that with him."
Manuel, who rebounded from a four-interception performance in Week 14 to register a 105.0 quarterback rating in a Sunday defeat of Jacksonville, is expected to play against New England in the season finale.
Fantasy Analysis | 1387466396
Cam Newton facing tough matchup Week 16
New Orleans has been effective against opposing quarterbacks this year, limiting them to 14.57 Fantasy points per game. Through 14 games, the team has allowed 17 passing touchdowns. The first time the two teams met this season, Newton was limited to 160 yards and a touchdown. That game was in New Orleans, where the Saints typically play much better.
Newton also happens to play better at home. While he's thrown for the same amount of yardage, Newton has a 65.95 completion percentage during home games. He's thrown for 12 touchdowns in seven games at home thus far. Newton has been a useful Fantasy play thoughout the season, but could be limited again Week 16 against the Saints.
Struggling Terrell Suggs aware of sackless streak
John Harbaugh is also aware of it, but he's not complaining.
"Every team is going to look at Terrell Suggs, and they're going to do everything they can to make sure he doesn't destroy their passing game because he is capable of doing that," Harbaugh said. "But he has gotten pressure on the quarterback. He's forced the ball to come out quickly. And those are all things that count, too."
Suggs has been slowed in other areas as well. He has just 14 tackles in his last six games and was blanked in Week 15 against Detroit.
Fantasy Analysis | 1387463682
Jets DST a risky play at best, even against Cleveland
Several factors should make Fantasy owners wary of playing the
The first is that the Browns lead the NFL in pass attempts and rank ninth in both passing yards (3,658) and touchdowns (26). The second is that the Jets are 29th in interceptions (8) and 26th in yards allowed through the air (3,575). The third is that the Jets once-vaunted run defense has yielded 406 yards on the ground in the last three weeks combined. Three of the four 100-yard rushing games by opponents this year have been achieved during that stretch.
Not that the Browns are much of a threat to run, but the recent incapabality to stop teams in that department had worsened a defense that ranks 23rd in the league in points allowed (367). The Jets have lost four of their last five games for a reason and it's not all because of a terrible offense.
The three CBSSports.com senior Fantasy writers all rank the Jets DST among the top 13 plays this week, but the belief here is that the Browns will rack up enough points and yards to stunt the point total of a DST that ranks 31st in the NFL in takeaways. The Jets are not a strong option in Week 16.
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December 18, 2013
Fantasy Football Today: News & notes (12/18) (5:08)