Welcome back for your Studs and Duds Week 16 edition!
Championship weekend is finally here! What better time to have your title match-up than Christmas time? There’s joy in the air, the weather is in full-blown football mode, and everything in life is perfect. You’re in the championship after all!
I will be doing a Studs and Duds next week as well, but since I know most of you will be done this week, I just want to take a second to thank you. I’ve had so much fun interacting with you all on Twitter and through the podcast. This season has been a blast, and getting messages from you guys and gals who’ve made the championship due to my advice has been truly awesome.
Just because the article is going away doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye! Reach out to me on Twitter anytime (@the1andonlypz) to talk football, Nascar, life, Netflix or whatever else you want!
Best of luck in your championship match-up, I hope this article helps!
Andrew Luck vs. Oakland Raiders
I have both Luck and Carr on this list for two reasons. 1. Vegas has this game as the highest scoring game of the week. If I’ve learned anything this season, it’s “don’t ignore Vegas”. 2. The Colts and Raiders sport two of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. This leaves the door wide open for a good ol fashioned shootout.
Derek Carr vs. Indianapolis Colts
He’s had back to back shoddy weeks putting some-what of a damper on his stellar season. See my reasoning above though for why you should put your trust in Carr this week.
Jameis Winston vs. New Orleans Saints
He was greatly disappointing in their first match-up just two weeks ago. 184 yards and no score is hardly what his owners are looking for championship week! I have a good feeling about this second match-up. Brees is a lock for big points at home, meaning Winston will be on his toes trying to keep up. If you’ve made it to your championship by streaming QB’s, Winston would be a good look this week.
Alex Smith vs. Denver Broncos
Despite having a top 5 defense and a pristine running game, Alex Smith has been as much a game manager as we’ve come to expect. The Broncos as a whole may not be on the level they were last year, but their pass defense has still been the cream of the crop. Having allowed less than 200 yards per game to opposing signal callers, your best bet would be to avoid Smith.
Carson Palmer vs. Seattle Seahawks
The disappointing Cardinals season lies heavily on their defense, but they’re not the only reason this team has faltered. Palmer has been a disappointment this season, following up his stellar 2015 campaign with just 22 touchdowns and a 13 interceptions through 15 weeks. Some may be tempted to start Palmer due to his recent play, but a trip to Seattle is hardly a spot you want to get cute.
Joe Flacco vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
His 8 touchdowns to 3 interceptions over his last three games has to be tempting for fantasy players in seek of a championship QB. The Steelers defense has been top notch against opposing passers as of late, allowing just 5 touchdowns to 6 interceptions over their last four games. When last these teams met in week 9, Flacco had 241 yards with 1 score and 1 interception.
Running Back Studs
Jordan Howard vs. Washington Redskins
He’s scored 4 of his 6 rushing touchdowns over the past three weeks. This match-up vs. the Redskins 5th worst defense against fantasy RB’s should open things up for yet another big week.
Todd Gurley vs. San Francisco 49ers
We all know the story of Todd Gurley this year. Labeled by most as this years biggest bust, it’s likely rare that many championship teams even have him on their roster. If you do, this is the week to get him in your lineup. The 49ers are allowing an incredible 156 yards and nearly 2 scores a game to opposing backs!
LeSean McCoy vs. Miami Dolphins
Miami’s bend, but don’t break, defense may have them winning games this year, but it’s also allowing fantasy backs to run wild. In their first match-up, McCoy was severely hobbled with an injury and was eventually pulled from the game. This time around, he’s coming off 100+ yard performances in 3 of his last four games, and 5 rushing touchdowns in that same time.
Running Back Duds
TJ Yeldon vs. Tennessee Titans
Back to back weeks on the duds list for Yeldon! I’ll admit, he’s been a valuable asset in PPR leagues, excelling in the passing game as of late. On the ground however, he’s been anything but impressive, having yet to eclipse the 100 yard mark, and last scoring in week 1.
Jeremy Hill vs. Houston Texans
Three straight weeks with a scoring touchdown has Kevin Steele gloating like a child. I’m still solidly positioned in the anti-Jeremy Hill wagon, with an extra dose of “anti” this week. The most rushing yards the Texans have allowed since week 7 was 70 to Melvin Gordon in week 12. In that same time frame, they’ve allowed just 1 rushing touchdown.
Rob Kelley vs. Chicago Bears
He’s been a surprising play that last two weeks, posting back to back 15+ point games in PPR formats, with a touchdown in each game. The Bears defense just got shredded on the ground by Green Bay, but before then, were actually quite solid.
Wide Receiver Studs
Michael Thomas vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In the shadow of Brandin Cooks monster performance last week, was the return of rookie sensation Michael Thomas. After missing their first match-up in week 14, Thomas returned against the Cardinals, pulling in 7 of 10 targets for 52 yards and a touchdown. I anticipate Thomas will build on this against a Bucs secondary that could struggle against the Saints high-powered passing game in the big easy.
Stefon Diggs vs. Green Bay Packers
In their first match-up Diggs had an absolute field day, pulling in 9 of 11 targets for 182 yards and a score! The Packers secondary has arguably gotten worse. Despite the Vikings recent struggles, I like Diggs to break through once again for another big day with playoff implications on the line.
Julian Edelman vs. New York Jets
Patient owners are enjoying much success from their star receiver as of late. Since week 10, Edelman has caught 6 or more passes every week, and hasn’t recorded less than 73 yards in a game. Just 1 touchdown over that same time hurts in standard leagues, but I fully expect Edelman to double his season TD total this week (he has 2).
Wide Receiver Duds
Rishard Matthews vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
He’s enjoyed some pretty good success this year as the top WR in the Titans offense. With two 100-yard games in his past four outings, this match-up vs. the Jaguars may look juicy to some. Keep in mind, however, that Jaguars rookie CB Jalen Ramsey has been an absolute lock-down corner all-season long and should be matched up with Matthews quite often.
Terrelle Pryor vs. San Diego Chargers
The reasoning here goes way beyond a surprisingly good Chargers defense. Pryor and RG3 aren’t on the same page. In fact, RG3 isn’t even on a page, he’s slid completely out of the book. Unless Cody Kessler magically get’s the start this week, Pryor is too hard to trust in your battle for the gold.
Brandon Marshall vs. New England Patriots
Ironically enough, Marshalls’ last solid performance was against this very team. Unfortunately, Marshall once again finds himself on a team without a QB. It honestly makes his career look so much more impressive when you consider who he’s had throwing the ball to him. The Pats defense will look to lock him down with the #1 seed on the line, and I don’t doubt they will.
Tight End Studs
Hunter Henry vs. Cleveland Browns
He’s not a huge part of the offense, until the team is in the endzone. Henry has been a scoring machine, and that’s about it. Sure, that means he comes with some extensive risk, but given the state of TE’s all season long, a guy who scores touchdowns almost at-will, is a welcome commodity.
Ryan Griffin vs. Cincinnati Bengals
There’s been a lot of talk surrounding his counter-part, C.J. Fiedorowicz, but Griffin himself has actually enjoyed much success this year. He has the same number of receptions, 70 fewer yards and just 1 less touchdown. C.J. is set to return this week, but it’s Griffin who has the rapport with new QB Tom Savage, and Griffin who will enjoy a big fantasy day against the Bengals awful defense against opposing TE’s.
Cameron Brate vs. New Orleans Saints
He’s very clearly the #2 option in the passing game behind Mike Evans. With 22 targets in his last three games, he’s sure to enjoy much success should this game turn into a shoot-out as I’ve predicted.
Tight End Duds
Will Tye vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Having him here almost seems like cheating, but I know there are some in the fantasy-verse that won’t give up on finding a solid TE in New York. That’s not likely to happen, for either team, and this match-up against the Eagles is tough no matter what.
Vernon Davis vs. Chicago Bears
He enjoyed 9 targets last week with Jordan Reed getting ejected. When Reed did play a full game, he received just 1. I’ve been high on Davis all year long, but he’s simply to inconsistent to trust in the big game. A trend for the position it would seem.
Dion Sims vs. Buffalo Bills
Four scores in three games likely has Sims high on your “most added” list. He showed some great redzone presence against the Jets, pulling in two scores in Matt Moore’s first game last week. The Bills have been solid against opposing TE’s, allowing the 7th fewest points to the position overall. Sims hasn’t received more than 4 targets this season, so unless you’re a big-time risk taker, you may want to explore other options.
That’s all for your Studs and Duds Week 16 edition!
Whether you agree or disagree, reach out on Twitter @the1andonlypz and let’s discuss! As always, enjoy another week of great football action, and best of luck to you in your fantasy match-ups!