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Sure, you got a few points out of him last week, but if you want to win your league championship game, you need to bench Jamaal Charles.

Oh good, you’re still reading.

Benching a player just because someone told you it’s the right thing to do is the fantasy football equivalent of jumping off a bridge because your friend told you to.  If you even considered benching Charles after reading that first sentence, you need to get outside more.  This is your team.  As I’ve said all season, if you have a good feeling about someone, start them!  Sure, Adrian Peterson is coming off an injury and has a tough matchup in Cincinnati, but are you going to bench the guy you likely drafted in the first round or traded some serious talent to acquire?  Of course not!  Sure, Zac Stacy has a tough game against Tampa Bay this week, but he’s done great things against tough defenses before and the Rams are handing him the rock often so there’s no way you can bench him now.

This week, Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush, and Marshawn Lynch all have harder than average matchups, but unless you’re riddled with options, they still each have plenty of potential for a huge week.  Where you may want to start considering alternatives, however, are the running backs on the next tier down.  Pierre Thomas, for instance, has had plenty of solid weeks this season, but he has calmed down recently and this week faces the statistically most difficult run defense in the league.  He, along with Darren Sproles, still catches plenty of passes so there is some hope there, but Carolina’s defense covers everything well so plan accordingly.

Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington are in a similar situation in Seattle on Sunday.  Both of them put up great numbers in Tennessee last week, but if Seattle runs up the score as they’ve been known to do, Arizona may need to abandon the run.  Mendenhall scored a touchdown the last time these two teams faced each other, but he also only gained 22 yards.  Banking on a score as your only means of getting more than 5 fantasy points isn’t going to win you too many championship games.

In keeping with the running back tandems, LeGarrett Blount and Stevan Ridley are also in a tough spot in Baltimore.  You could say the same for Shane Vereen, but he’s more of a glorified wide receiver anyway so if you’re going to start any RB of the three, Vereen is your guy.

Speaking of wide receivers, some of them have tough matchups as well.  Remember what I said about Carolina’s defense, well that applies to Marques Colston.  He shred Carolina’s defense two weeks ago for 125 yards and two TDs, but if you think the Panthers are going to allow that to happen twice, you could be in for some disappointment on Sunday.  In a PPR league, the story is a little different, but don’t count on anything more than a single lucky break for a score this week.

The same can be said for Roddy White and Larry Fitzgerald.  Both have been PPR machines recently, but the 49ers and Seahawks will make it difficult for either of them to find the end zone.  They’re both still top 25 options at their position, but guys like Brian Hartline and James Jones, who should be getting Aaron Rodgers back this week, are both safer options with similar upside.

The surprise of the week could be Santana Moss.  After catching a season high of eight passes in Kirk Cousins’ first week under center, Moss could have a monster week against a porous Dallas defense.  Look for him to earn double-digit fantasy points for the first time since week 2.

Are there free agents worth picking up in your league?  Maybe, but unless you’re going after someone like Jordan Todman, who should receive the bulk of carries again assuming MJD sits another week, or Kirk Cousins, do you really want to rest your fantasy season in the hands of a guy no one was even talking about in November?

Start the guys who got you this far.  Good luck to all of you!

  1. Bobby says:
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    What if the guy that got me this far was RG3? Would you go with Tannehill, Cousins or A. Smith this week?

    • Chi says:
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      @Bobby:
      Tannehill!

      • Ferris says:
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        @Chi: Wow, I have been getting thru my first 2 rounds on Dallas defensive ineptitude. Have to think Cousins is the man!

    • Bertchr22 says:
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      @Bobby: Tannehill vs Buffalo is a great matchup and top 4 QB last 3-4 weeks. Watch the weather in buffalo though. Love Cousins this week and I think he will be your riskiest/highest reward play. All signs point towards another big game with a horrible Dallas D making Flynn look good. Jason Garrett could be coaching for his job this week and I don’t think the Redskins can block Demarcus Ware. Chance for a big time trap play. Alex Smith will not throw 5 Tds ever again. I look for him to return to the 200 yard 2 td passer that he is as they will run a lot to keep the ball away from luck and well because they are good at running. Tannehill is the play for me if the weather is good. Cold could be trouble for him but snow would be fatal. In that case go Cousins. Week 16 is all about winning. Smith is good if you’re just trying to hang in there and not get a goose egg from your QB.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Bobby: I would absolutely start Cousins this week of those 3 guys. Buffalo has a decent pass defense. Plus if RG3 got you this far, Cousins is at least the next best thing.

      • Bertchr22 says:
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        @Loudon: I don’t disagree I guess. But while Buffalo is 12th in the league in fantasy points allowed to QB’s they rank 29th versus WR’s. And for those WR’s to have a good game then Tannehill will have to put up points.

  2. Romo says:
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    Roddy White, Greg Jennings, or Hakeem Nicks?

    • Bertchr22 says:
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      @Romo: see below on Jennings VS White. Hakeem Nicks is interesting with Cruz out. Randle is the safest play for a Giants WR but the opportunities are there for Nicks this week. Correct me if I’m wrong but I still don’t think Nicks has scored all season. I like him as a big target for Eli in the redzone this week. I think Andre Brown has a tough time against the Lions up front which could lead to some Nicks jump balls from inside the 10 yard line. This is all assuming of course that Eli can even get the ball past midfield. He’s awful. He’s on locally In my area every week and I’m forced to watch him puke on himself every weekend. And then stand on the sideline with this I just puked and might again look on his face. He’s burned me so many times on Draftkings with his “great” matchups this season. He’s dead to me. But for real though, I would consider using Nicks. I don’t like white or Jennings upside this week. Nicks can’t go ALL seas I without scoring, right?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Romo: I’d go with Roddy. I agree Nicks is an interesting play, but White’s the safer play with an even higher ceiling.

  3. Dave says:
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    Any sleeper TE’s you can recommend I’ve been scrambling since Gronk went down and Clay did nothing for me last week. Its .5PPR and options out there are like Heath Miller, Zach Miller, Garrett Graham/Ryan Griffin whoever starts for Houston, Tim Wright. There’s more in that tier or below, I need someone safe because I can’t afford the 1 point I got from Clay last week its championship time!!

    Thanks

    • Richie says:
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      @Dave: Zach Miller has a good matchup against AZ. They’ve allowed the most points to TE’s this season.

      If Tyler Eifert is still available, he could be a sneaky good play but I would only start him if Jermaine Gresham sits out this week (he was injured in last week’s game.) Tyler also has a pretty good matchup versus Minnesota, who just gave up a good game to Zach Ertz, the tight end for Philly.

    • Bertchr22 says:
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      @Dave: I would stick with Clay. Zach Miller 2nd. But Clay has been solid. Belechick shuts down teams best offensive weapon. They chose Clay. Wallace was the only other option, but Talib got that job which allowed them to scheme against Clay. Play him this week with confidence and then send me 10% of your winnings after I told you so. LOL

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Dave: Unless someone like Delanie Walker is still available, I’d stick with Clay. Both of the Millers are close alternatives, but Clay comes with the most upside.

  4. Ross says:
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    Which 3 to start in my final: Josh Gordon, Kendall Wright, Crabtree, Larry Fitz, T.Y. Hilton ?

    Thanks

    • Bertchr22 says:
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      @Ross: Gordon and Wright are no brainers in this group. Fitz is sleeping in Seattle. Hilton tough matchup and Crabtree good matchup. The conservative owner takes hilton. The risk taker goes Crabtree. Hilton should see plenty of targets regardless of the matchup. Crabtree hasn’t gone off yet. Maybe he’s still too rusty or maybe it’s coming this week. I still think Boldin is gonna be the play for SF this week. But he’s not on your team.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Ross: I wouldn’t really put Wright in the no-brainer category with Gordon, but Gordon, Wright, and Crabtree would be my starts this week.

  5. Btdrnks says:
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    Now that tate IS out….D. Johnson, Andre Brown or Lamar Miller at RB2? Lacy is my RB1 and my WRs/Flex are Allen, Gordon, Megatron. There is crap on the waiver.

    • Bertchr22 says:
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      @Btdrnks: ewwwww choices LOL. Johnson is super intriguing, Brown is most reliable and Miller has best matchup. If it snows in Buffalo then it’s Miller time. Otherwise good luck!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Btdrnks: I’d start Johnson. Plenty of upside and probably the best chance to score.

  6. Chi says:
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    Jennings or white at wideout?

    • Bertchr22 says:
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      @Chi: I would go Jennings. Bengals are still dealing with injuries to their Db’s and Cassel loves him. They should have to throw alot again too. Something tells me though that Cassel will be what he really is and throw 3 INt’s In a blowout loss. But the Falcons have given up and will not do much on the road in SF. I’m not confident in either one. If you’re feeling risky check to see if Andre Holmes or Nate burleson are available. Good matchups and could be sneaky TD options. You only live once! But fantasy football is life, so tough call LOL!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Chi: I know what I said about White in this article, but I still think he’s the safer play of those two this week.

  7. Bryan says:
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    Need to start one RB, standard scoring. L’Eveon Bell, Zac Stacy or Reggie Bush?

    • Bertchr22 says:
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      @Bryan: @Bryan: Bell! Packers run D. Nom, nom, nom.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Bryan: I’d start Stacy, but needing to start only one of those guys is a nice problem to have.

  8. Mateo says:
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    Dalton or R. Wilson?

    • Bertchr22 says:
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      @Mateo: Dalton! Seahawks are great at home. But so are the Bengals. Coming off a tough loss I can see dalton and Aj green hooking up a couple times against a dreadful Vikings D. Seahawks could get up early in this one and run a lot. Then maybe sit out the 4th Quarter after they lock it up along with homefield advantage. I see Palmer throwing a pick 6 or 2, so there’s a chance that Wilson may not even throw a TD pass and they win by 3 scores. OR this game is very low scoring. Either or Dalton! Ginger QB’s thrive in week 16′s.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Mateo: I’m with @Bertchr22 on this one, Dalton is the better option for sure.

  9. Micky says:
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    Made it to the Chip and I need some help! .5 PPR
    QB – Kaepernick or Rodgers
    RB – Charles
    RB – Stacy
    WR – DJax
    Pick one WR and one flex – R. White, Colston, K. Wright, J. Todman or MJD
    TE – VD
    K – I hate them. I picked up Henery or should I go get – Folk, Walsh, Sturgis, Carpenter, Feely, Succop, Bryant, Bullock, Zuerline or Janikowski
    DEF – Seattle

    Thanks for the help in advance. Need the fantasy gods on my side!

    • Bertchr22 says:
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      @Micky: @Micky: I would go Kap, Wright and Todman. Colston and Roddy should get locked up. If MJD plays I would actually prob use neither and then maybe go with Colston. Go with Bryant or Shayne Graham who is now in New Orleans. Most of the games for your other choices will be in cold weather this week. Bryant is in SF and Graham is in Carolina. Both teams will have trouble getting in the end zone which could give them some nice opportunities. Zuerlin is at home in a dome, that’s always a plus as is their bad QB play. Janinowski always get chances at long tries and will be in SD. Any of the 4 are a crap shoot but offer the best upside. Lots of advice for a kicker. But it’s week 16 baby.

  10. Chicken Dinner says:
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    Flex? Vereen @ BAL or Crabtree vs ATL

    • Bertchr22 says:
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      @Chicken Dinner: tougher call than I thought it would be. Vereen for me based on recent performance. Crabtree has looked better lately and Atlanta is awful. Find room for both maybe. I think Boldin is the WR to own this week in this game.

      Sorry Loudon if I’m stepping on toes. Feel like giving advice today. It is the giving season. LOL

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Bertchr22: It’s always good for people to hear other opinions.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Chicken Dinner: Of those two options, I’d go with Vereen.

  11. Tony Starks says:
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    Start the guys that got you there, right??… But all the data tells me to go with Cousins over Brees this week. Both QB’s will be playing in 65-70 degree weather with 40-50% chance of rain and strong winds, but Was vs Dal should be a shoot-out and Brees has performed significantly worse on the road and now gets to face a top 5 pass defense (although he did torch them just two wks ago). Ughhh. This is going to be a tough one

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Tony Starks: I would personally still start Brees over Cousins this week.

  12. FIlthyRich says:
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    Kaepernick vs ATL or Cutler at PHL? Both have juicy matchups. Cutler slight concern because he’s been injured. But I may lean back to Cutler because my opponent starts B Marshall, so I figure anything that Marshall gets comes from my QB so they slightly balance out.
    Any thoughts on that? Something I didn’t consider?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @FIlthyRich: I’d definitely start Cutler. Your opponent having Marshall is a bit of a bonus, I suppose, but you shouldn’t be making decisions based on who your opponent is playing anyway. Go with the player that’s best for your team and in this case, that’s Cutler.

  13. MTP says:
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    QB Cousins or Romo RB Andre Brown or Dennis
    Johnson

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @MTP: Romo and Johnson

  14. Paul says:
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    Should I start Stafford against NY or risk Foles in the Philly December weather?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Paul: Foles. I’m pretty sure the weather won’t be as bad as the Detroit game and he did fine in that one.

  15. SnowNinja says:
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    Drew Brees or Jay Cutler? – I am very hesitant to bench Brees but Cutler has weapons and a juicy matchup.
    LFitz or D.Baldwin? (PPR)- LFitz has the talent but faces that nasty D in SEA. Baldwin has been solid lately but he is still a hit or miss WR especially vs ARI.

    • SnowNinja says:
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      @SnowNinja:
      Oh also….. J.Todman or D.Johnson (PPR)- I pretty much decided on going w Todman if MJD sits. Todman showed us he can run the rock & should get a nice workload & better matchup vs TEN. Johnson hasn’t shown a complete game w full workload yet and DEN will likely pull ahead of HOU early which will only limit his carries. Anyone have further insight on this? Did I miss anything?

  16. Aaron says:
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    championship game and I need help. (non ppr)
    who would you start?

    Foles or Romo (pick 1)

    Edelman, Kendall Wright, Jordy Nelson (pick 2)

    Thanks!

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