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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 16
12/19/13
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, or Calvin Johnson is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore on Rodgers’ bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because Peterson is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since you ignored Megatron and went RB-QB-Jimmy Graham in your first three rounds? I’m your huckleberry. Past results may not guarantee future success, but I believe ignoring them entirely can ruin your Sundays in a hurry. Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice..

Note: Fantasy points based on FF Today’s default scoring system.

Bye Weeks: N/A

Grab a Helmet

Nick Foles

Foles is a must start in Week 16.

Nick Foles v. CHI or Kirk Cousins v. DAL: Itís championship week for virtually all of you and that means you need a championship-caliber quarterback at the wheel this coming Sunday. Would you believe Foles and Cousins fit that bill? None of us would have back in September unless we were either crazy or clairvoyant, but thatís the kind of season itís been. Foles, of course, has been must-start material for a couple months now and is coming off an insane performance against the Vikings in Week 15 (30 for 48 for 428 yards and three scores). Cousins, on the other hand, is coming off just his first start of the 2013 season Ė a narrow loss to Atlanta in which he threw for 381 yards and three TD strikes Ė and now draws a Dallas defense on track to give up the most yards in NFL history. There are certainly more established options at the position, but numbers are what win fantasy chips and Foles/Cousins will throw up plenty this weekend.

Jay Cutler @ PHI or Tony Romo @ WAS: So will the guys they respectively oppose in two of Week 16ís most important matchups, Jay Cutler and Tony Romo. The former celebrated his return from injury last weekend by tossing for 265 yards and three TDs as Chicago was able to outlast the feisty Browns in Cleveland. Romo, meanwhile, looked to be well on his way to celebrating a big victory until disaster struck in the form of a(nother) killer interception and that aforementioned Cowboys defense. These two established options may be deeply flawed (Romo more so than Cutler), but they still routinely post above-average fantasy stats and can absolutely be trusted to deliver the points when the games matter most. Prior history and two of the leagueís ripest defenses suggest you probably canít go wrong with either of these veterans in Week 16.

Andy Dalton v. MIN: Dalton has bombed down the stretch in both of his previous two professional campaigns Ė scoring significantly fewer points in Weeks 13 through 17 (14.4/game) than he has in Weeks 1 through 12 (19.2) Ė and his performance in Week 13, a 14.4 dud against the Chargers in San Diego, seemed to presage more of the same this season. Since that game, however, the Red Rifle has topped the 30-point mark and then the 20-point mark and is now ranked as the sixth most valuable player at the position with just two weeks to go. If thatís not enough to ease your concerns of another playoff slump, this probably will: Heís facing Minnesota on Sunday, a team that would easily sport the leagueís worst pass defense if the NFC East didnít exist. The Vikes have given up a league-high 32 TD passes in 2013 and have allowed fewer than 25 fantasy points to opposing QBs just three times so far (none since Week 11). Trust Dalton.

Grab a Clipboard

Carson Palmer @ SEA: If youíre wondering how Arizona has managed to stay in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt, consider the following. Since Week 8, the Cardinalsí offense is averaging nearly 30 points per game, all but one of them victories. Surprised to hear that? Iíll bet Palmerís owners arenít. The former Heisman Trophy winner has averaged 21.4 fantasy points/game during that prolific span and has really cut down on the interceptions that plagued him earlier this season. Then again, the recent competition (Atlanta, Jacksonville, Indy, Philly) might have a lot to do with that upswing in production. Palmer steps up significantly in class this weekend, opposing a Seattle defense that feasts on careless triggermen (a league-leading 22 picks) and that already victimized him twice back in Week 7. Itís gonna be loud, itís gonna be cold/wet, and Richard Shermanís gonna be hounding Larry Fitzgerald all day long. Those are three good reasons to sit Arizonaís main man down this Sunday.

Matt Ryan @ SF or Matt Schaub v. DEN: The best laid plans of mice and fantasy GMs often go astray. When 2013 began, Ryan and Schaub looked like two of the more attractive options at the position, experienced signal callers piloting what seemed like finely-tuned offensive machines. Nothing much has gone right for either man (or team) since and only Ryan has managed to cobble together a semi-decent year from a statistical standpoint. Itíll likely be his worst since 2010, yes, but at least he still has a job, right? Schaub only regains his for Week 16 because Case Keenum is sidelined with a thumb injury. Oh, and that ďfinely-tuned offensive machineĒ he re-inherits in Houston has been anything but (18.1 points/game) and is now missing both Arian Foster AND Ben Tate. I donít like Ryanís matchup (San Fran needs a win) and I donít like anything about Schaubís situation. Steer well clear of both men in Week 16.

Matt Flynn v. PIT or Matt Cassel @ CIN: So basically, you shouldn’t start any quarterback named “Matt” this weekend except for Matt Stafford and possibly Matt McGloin. Flynn turned in one of the wildest performances of any field general last Sunday, regardless of given name, when he rebounded from a 117-yard, one-pick first half in Dallas to throw for 182 yards and four scores in the second stanza of the Pack’s improbable come-from-behind victory. Earlier in the day, Cassel riddled the overmatched Eagles secondary to the tune of 382 yards and two TD passes and even added a six-yard rushing score to further pad his bottom line (a staggering 35 total fantasy points). Alas, the instinct to ride these two hot hands should be summarily suppressed in Week 16. The Pittsburgh and Cincinnati defenses are ninth and eighth, respectively, against opposing passers and won’t be nearly as generous as the Cowboys and Eagles were last weekend.

Running Backs