Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sneaky Week 16 Plays

It's Week 16, the week in which many fantasy football leagues are decided!In this crucial week of the fantasy football season, many owners are faced with tough decisions of who to start/sit. In this article, two undervalued players for each offensive position will be highlighted as sneaky plays this week in fantasy leagues.

For a complete list of how players are valued this week, check out our Week 16 Position Rankings and resident D/ST expert Dylan Lerch's Week 16 D/ST Rankings.

QB #7: Tony Romo
Romo matches up with the lowly Saints this week in the perfect matchup for championship week. After a tough start to the season, Romo has quickly worked his way back in to the top fantasy 10 QBs, fueled by three 20+ fantasy point games in his last four. Additionally, the return of DeMarco Murray has made the Cowboys a much more balanced offense which has allowed the passing game to flourish. Despite shutting out the Bucs last week, the Saints have been the 2nd worst defense against QBs this season, averaging almost 19 fantasy points per game. Start Romo with confidence this week!

Tony Romo has been a top 10 play this season and is a great start this week against the terrible Saints defense

QB #14: Sam Bradford
Another QB with a great matchup, Bradford is a quality deeper league QB this week against the Bucs. The Bucs have allowed the most points to opposing QBs (19.4/game) and have allowed QBs to pass for at least 300 yards in six of their last nine games. Bradford is coming off a monster game in which he threw for 377 yards with 3 TDs against MIN and has now scored in double digits in every game since Week 5 (despite playing much of that time without top WR Danny Amendola).

RB #21: David Wilson
After exploding in Week 14, Wilson entered Week 15 with a lot of hype but disappointed his owners with a 12 carry for 55 yard performance in the Giants disgusting showing vs. the Falcons. Wilson did average almost 5 yards per carry and the Giants were playing catch up for most of the day. The Ravens defense has allowed at least 11 fantasy points to opposing teams RBs in every game this season (and is allowing 6th most points on the year), so Wilson should have no problem being productive in his carries this week. Don't let last week's disappointment stop you from starting him. Assuming Bradshaw sits out, he's a solid flex play.

RB #22: Vick Ballard
Ballard has been very good the past two weeks, posting back-to-back 100 yard performances vs TEN and (much more impressively) @HOU. This week, he faces the Chiefs, a team that allows the 7th most points to opposing RBs. Donald Brown is out for the year, Delone Carter has an ankle injury and Mewelde Moore was terrible last week (4 carries, 6 yards, fumble) so Ballard should expect to touch the ball close to 20 times.

WR #19: Michael Crabtree
Over his last seven games, Crabtree has posted 9 fantasy points or more in all but one game (and has had at least 70 receiving yards in 5 of 7). Over his last three games, his rapport with Colin Kaepernick has been undeniable as he's caught at least 7 receptions for 90+ yards in each game. Facing Seattle's tough defense is not an ideal matchup, but they have not been as strong in their last 4 games allowing good games to less than stellar offenses CHI and BUF. This matchup might get even better on Friday when we will find out the results of Richard Sherman's suspension appeal (at which case, I would trust Crabtree even more this week).

Michael Crabtree has had a lot to celebrate the past few weeks and he's becoming a must start WR2 in fantasy leagues.

WR #25: Brandon Lloyd
I'll admit I left Lloyd for dead and didn't expect much of a role in Week 14 after 4 straight weeks with 4 fantasy points or less and only one game with more than 50 yards receiving since Week 3. However, injuries to Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman left Brady little choice than to go back to Lloyd. He seized the opportunity with a 7 catch, 89 yard, TD performance vs HOU and followed it up with a 10 catch, 190 yard game vs SF. Lloyd's problem earlier in the season was that he wasn't catching a high percentage of the balls thrown to him which was losing Brady's trust. However, in those two games, 17 of 25 targets (68%). Expect the Patriots to rack up the points this week vs. the Jags and Lloyd to have another solid game.

TE #8: Dennis Pitta
Dennis Pitta came out like gangbusters to start the year, but quickly fell off the map. However, Pitta took advantage of a great matchup last week for a monster game vs DEN (7 catches for 125 yards and 2 TDs) and has now had three very good games in his last four. The lone game in which he struggled was against the Steelers, one of the best teams at defending the TE. Pitta has averaged seven targets in those four games, so Pitta is a pretty reliable start for a position that's been a complete crap shoot all season.

TE #12: Tony Scheffler
The Lions have thrown more than any other team in the NFL so with Ryan Broyles and Titus Young on injured reserve and Brandon Pettigrew dealing with a high ankle sprain, Stafford has to throw to someone besides Calvin Johnson. Well last week, Scheffler got 7 of those targets, and should see a similar number again this week. For fantasy owners desperate for a TE that you can expect decent production, look no further than Scheffler.

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