Week 16 is finally upon us, fantasy football fans! For many, this week signifies the week of your Fantasy Football Super Bowl! That's right, if you're still playing this week, it means you drafted well, paid close attention to the waiver wire, maybe pulled a successful trade or two and probably had a little bit of luck sprinkled in your season. However you did it, you should give your self a little pat on the back for getting this far.
If you are still active in your league, you probably have one of the following players on your roster. Here's a quick list of some of the top fantasy producers this season.
Ladanian Tomlinson – Tomlinson is having his best season as a pro – and that is saying a lot, since this fantasy stud puts up great numbers on a yearly basis. He really took off in the second half of the season, scoring 19 TDs in the last 7 weeks!
Drew Brees – Brees was probably one of the bigger surprises of the season, by leading the rejuvenated Saints out of the doldrums and into playoff contention. After week 15, Brees leads all passers in the NFL with 4,420 passing yards to go along with his 25 passing TDs.
Marques Colston – Colston is, no doubt, the biggest waiver wire pick up this year for fantasy owners. Colston went from almost not being drafted to being a 1,000 yard receiver through 15 weeks of the NFL season. What is more impressive is that Colston has played injured the last couple of weeks and has missed two games this season due to a nagging ankle injury.
Chad Johnson – Johnson started the season off slow, scoring only 2 TDs through the first eight games of the Bengals season and averaging only a little over 60 yards receiving during that span. Since then, Ocho Cinco, has been on a tear, averaging over 133 yards per game with 5 TDs in the second half of the season.
Antonio Gates – Gates is another player who rebounded from a slow start in 2006 to find himself at the top of the heap of fantasy tight ends at week 16. Gates only had 13 receptions through 4 weeks of action (3.25 per game) while he was getting used to playing with new QB Phillip Rivers. In the last ten games for the Chargers, Gates has hauled in 56 receptions and 6 TDs, to show he is still the top tight end in fantasy football.
Here are a few players that you might want to take a look at plugging into your starting lineup this week to either turn around your luck or keep your success going! They may not be the top names in fantasy football, but most are the ‘in between' guys that you might have to make a tough decision on. The good fantasy owner is able to pick these players out from a crowd and stick them in their lineup for fantasy success!
QB - Jay Cutler – Cutler has performed well since taking over the starting job from Jake Plummer late in the season. The young QB out of Vanderbilt has thrown 2 TDs in each of his first three starts while only throwing 3 interceptions. He could be in store for his best week yet, as he will face the Bengals pass defense that gives up over 140 yards passing per game to go along with 21 passing touchdowns. The Broncos are in a must-win position and look for them to pull out all the stops at home this week with Cutler.
RB – Ladell Betts – Betts has been an absolute terror for opposing defenses for the last month of the season. In his pas four games, Betts has averaged over 137 rushing yards per game with 1 TD scored. You can expect more of those type numbers as the Redskins will face a Rams defense this week that gives up over 147 yards per game and 16 rushing TDs on he season. Betts has been a critical waiver wire pickup and we suggest you keep him in your lineup this week.
RB – Ron Dayne – Dayne is another running back that has come on dramatically in the past few weeks. Over the past 3 games, Dayne is averaging 92 yards rushing per game and has scored 3 TDs. He shouldn't have much of a problem continuing that success this week as he will face the Colts run defense that is last in the league at stopping the run. Opponents are averaging 5.4 yards per carry against he Colts and have rushed for a league-high 18 rushing TDs. Dayne is another late season pickup that is paying major dividends for the conscientious fantasy owner that plucked him off the waiver wire.
WR - Braylon Edwards – Edwards has shown a bit more consistency since Derek Anderson has been taking snaps at QB for the Browns. In the games that Anderson has played, Edwards has averaged 63 yards receiving and a TD per game. He should be primed for success this week as he will be facing a Tampa Bay pass defense that has given up a league high 25 passing touchdowns while intercepting only 7 passes on the season. When you factor in the fact that Joe Jurevicius may be out or limited due to a concussion, Edwards makes for an attractive starting option for fantasy owners this week.
WR – Larry Fitzgerald – Fitzgerald has been very solid since returning from his early season shoulder injury. Since getting back on the field, Fitzgerald has averaged over 80 yards receiving per game and has scored 2 TDs. He and QB Matt Leinart have been developing a nice chemistry and that should continue to develop against the 49ers who are third in the league with 23 passing touchdown given up. Opposing quarterbacks average over 222 yards per game passing against the Niners and we think Fitzgerald will get a good number of those yards this week.
TE – Jerramy Stevens – While Stevens may not have caught many balls this season, he has made the one he has caught count. Since coming off the PUP list in week 6, Stevens has managed to catch 4 TD passes for the Seahawks. With Darrell Jackson expected to miss another game, Stevens could have another productive game on his horizon since the Chargers give up and average of 50 yards per game to opposing tight ends.
DEF – New England – The Patriots are in the top ten as far as rushing and passing defenses are concerned and will be facing a Jacksonville team that has had trouble hanging onto the ball lately. The Jaguars turned the ball over 4 times last week in the loss to the Titans and will find things much tougher this week against he Patriots. The Pats are the second ranked fantasy defense and have only given up 19 total TDs on the season while holding opponents to under 14 points per game.