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Fantasy Football Week 16 Q&A

Watchlist Q & A – Week 16

After all of the weekly games are finished be sure to check our waiver wire column, studs and duds, a who’s hot, and who’s not report plus more in our fantasy football guide.

Week 16 – time to separate the contenders from the pretenders.  There are lots of HUGE games in the NFL this week – one’s that could make or break team’s playoff aspiration.

Here is what I will be watching with great interest in Week 16 of the NFL.

Merry Christmas – enjoy Dave B’s Week 16 edition of the Watchlist Q & A.

1.  Will the teams that have playoff positions locked up rest players this week?

Indianapolis Colts – A perfect season is all that the Colts have to play for right now – they have Home field advantage clinched, so its up to the coaching staff whether or not they want to risk injury to their starters.  Although the coaches are not tipping their hands, history has shown with this team that the Super Bowl, not a 16-0 season is the real goal.  Nothing is definitive, but I would not count on all of the Colts starters for 4 quarters in any of the last 2 games.

San Diego Chargers – The Chargers played most of their players the whole game.  Blowout or not, the Chargers seem to want to keep the momentum going.

New Orleans Saints – The Saints have looked just a bit above average lately haven’t they?  They do not have Home field advantage secure yet and should start all of the usual suspects.  Their Week 16 game is against Tampa, and a blowout is certain.  If this is the case, look for the Saints coaching staff to start pulling their premier starters from the game.

Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings 1st team needs some practice for sure heading into the playoffs.  They will likely use Week 16 (the whole game) to get back to what made them successful earlier in the season – running the ball!!!!  No danger of anyone resting unless it’s a TOTAL blowout at Chicago on Monday Night.  Just try to take Favre out of the game!!!!!

2.  Will the teams barely in the playoffs help themselves in Week 16?

New England Patriots – The Patriots are home to Jacksonville this weekend, looking to sharpen up after a month or so of lackluster play.  They need to right the ship heading into the playoffs and you can bet that coach Belichek is awake night and day scheming on how to do so.

Cincinnati Bengals – Cincinnati looks to be in good shape.  They have a 1 game lead in their division and own the tiebreaker against the only teams that can catch them (Baltimore and Pittsburgh).  They are home to Kansas City – another win is inevitable.

Baltimore Ravens – At Pittsburgh in a game that is going determine their playoff fate.  It should be very interesting with the Ravens playing well and the Steelers coming off a 600 yard Offensive explosion last week.  Baltimore will likely expose an underachieving Defense (without Troy Polamolu) and move 1 step closer to the playoffs.

Denver Broncos – This team is reeling right now – not playing the kind of football that wins championships.  They face a red hot Philadelphia team that doesn’t look like it can lose right now.  It’s likely that the Broncos fall to 8-7, making an already murky AFC playoff picture even more cloudy.

Green Bay Packers – At home to the woeful Seahawks this weekend.  It should be a huge game on both sides of the ball for the Packers.  There’s NO danger of Green Bay stumbling this week – they’ll be a playoff team for sure.

Dallas Cowboys – Probably the toughest current playoff team to figure out right now.   Their past December woes are well documented, but they’ve put themselves in a good position to advance past the regular season.  A Week 16 game against a schizophrenic Washington team won’t hurt their cause either.

3.  Will the “bubble teams” remain so after this weekend?

Jacksonville Jaguars – Tough task for the Jags this week who travel to New England to face a Patriots team that is craving an Offensive explosion.  The Pats know that the world is watching and eager to judge whether or not they are the same dominant team as we’ve become used to.  The Jaguars likely go from “bubble team” to one that is OUT of the playoffs after this weekend.

Miami Dolphins – Intriguing team who at 7-7 could vault themselves into the last Wildcard playoff spot.  They have a game at home against Houston this week – a potent, but very beatable team.  If the Fins can’t win this game, they don’t deserve to be in the playoff picture.  My guess is that they win and keep things interesting

NY Jets – The Jets are also 7-7, but face the unenviable task of traveling to Indianapolis in Week 16. I don’t envy the Jets at all, but there is a chance that Jim Sorgi will see some time at Quarterback – if that doesn’t even the playing field, I don’t know what will. I still think the Jets lose and plummet out of playoff contention.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Their fate was seemed to be sealed a few weeks ago and all that they can do is play spoiler to the hated Ravens this weekend.  The Steelers will be without Troy Polamolu again – they are a totally different tem without him. I don’t think that they can contain Ray Rice and will fall to sub 500 for the 1st time since the Nixon era!!!

Tennessee Titans – Their fate was sealed months ago.  Bravo for the comeback to legitimacy, but the game against San Diego (who seemingly don’t lose in December) officially ended the Titans playoff march.

NY Giants – Just when you think that they are dead, they have a performance like the one in Week 15.  At 8-6, the Giants have a legitimate chance to sneak into the playoffs, staring with a win at home this weekend against the Carolina Panthers. Be scared NFC!!!!

Atlanta Falcons – Not that they have much of a shot at the playoffs, but a home game against the hopeless Bills this weekend should ensure that the Falcons don’t have a losing season.  Unfortunately, it won’t quite be enough this year.

4.  How will the “auditioning players” fare in the last 2 weeks of the season?

Chad Henne – Miami – Henne seems to have next year’s starting QB position locked up.  He has played very well for the Fins and his HOT streak should continue during a huge tilt at home against the Houston Texans this week .  Henne is this year’s Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco – he’s going to be in the league a long time.

Josh Freeman – Tampa Bay – Another player thrust into the starting QB job prematurely.  He has taken the Buccaneers from a laughing stock to a team that competes week in week out.  The Bucs have noone else and Freeman gives the coaches comfort in the fact that they probably have “their guy”.

Jamaal Charles – Kansas City – No questions here.  Charles might have a rough game this week against a tough Bengals team, but he has definately done enough to win himself a job on the starting roster for next year.  We are going to see a lot of Charles for many years to come.

Jerome Harrison – Cleveland – Your guess is as good as mine.  He had a hell of a week last week, but there are whispers that the coaching staff might groom Joshua Cribbs to take over at Running Back.  With Mike Holmgren taking over the day to day duties for the Browns, who knows what will happen to that team in the off season.

Beanie Wells – Arizona – Wells has been good of late, and seems to be emerging as “the guy” for Arizona.  If he can keep up his solid play, he’ll at least earn a backfield split with Tim Hightower.  Wells and Arizona play St. Louis this week, so the audition continues.

5.  Can the players that are on a tear continue their HOT streaks?

Jerome Harrison – Cleveland – Plays Oakland this week – and who knows?  After 386 yards and  3 touchdowns last week, Harrison could do some serious damage again.  Is he a top 10 option this week – No, but coach Eric Mangini has no choice bu to ride the HOT hand.

Jamaal Charles – Kansas City – Tough game against the stout Bengals this week.  He should be OK – the fact is that he is all that the Chiefs have on Offense (not unlike Steven Jackson in St. Louis).

Chris Johnson – Tennessee – Need 128 yards to reach the 2000 yard mark.  San Diego this week was yet another notch on his belt even though Tennessee lost the game.  Johnson faces the hapless Seahawks in Week 17 – it looks like his march to 2000 yards will come to fruition.

Andre Johnson – Houston – This dude has a 196 yard game (with 2 tds.) and a 193 yard game in his last 2 – incredible even for the Super-Stud Andre Johnson.  His HOT streak is bound to continue against the Dolphins this week – guaranteed!!

DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia – The most exciting player in the NFL, Jackson seems unstoppable right now.  He will be matched up against Champ Bailey this week at home against Denver.  I fell sorry for Mr. Bailey.

Dallas Clark – Indianapolis – On fire and figures to be a huge part of the Indi. Offense once again.  Can anyone slow Clark down?   My bet is NO.

6.  Can some of the ineffective Running games in the NFL finally find some success?

Atlanta Falcons – Unfortunately, the injury to Michael Turner has significantly affected the Falcons running game.  Jason Snelling and Jerious Norwood are 2 or 3 steps down from Turner and if he can’t go this weekend, Atlanta will not be much of a threat to run the ball.

Seattle Seahawks – Why do the Hawks keep Julius Jones as their starter?  Justin Forsett is clearly the better back.  Against Green Bay this weekend, however, the running game might not be featured at all.  The Packers will surely run up the score and take the RB’s out of the game.  The struggles continue for sure this weekend.

New Orleans Saints – If the Saints want to advance far into the playoff, the running game is going to have to right itself.  The combination of Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell are a talented group that can’t really seem to get it going as of late.  Count on the coaching staff to emphasize the running game in the last 2 regular season games.  If the RBS can get it going, the Saints are going to be hard to beat.

Houston Texans – What a mess in Houston.  The revolving door of RBS has one thing in common – fumbles.  Oh ya, they are ineffective too.  Coach Gary Kubiak has stated that Arian Foster would get another chance to carry the load, to prove himself.  It appears as though the Texans are grasping, and will probably struggle down the stretch, forcing the Texans to burn a 1st round draft choice on a Running Back.

7.   Which injuries will play a role in the Week 16 games?

  1. Jake Delhomme – Carolina – Placed on Injured Reserve
  2. Matthew Stafford – Detroit – Ditto
  3. Brady Quinn – Cleveland – Ditto
  4. Trent Edwards – Buffalo – Ditto
  5. Ryan Fitzpatrick – Buffalo – Bad ankle – playing status uncertain
  6. Matt Ryan – Atlanta – Toe is still sore, but he should play.
  7. Michael Turner – Atlanta – Has tried to return from an ankle injury unsuccessfully.  If he does play (IF) he will be a risk indeed.
  8. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina – Looks like a game-time decision.  Might play but it seem more and more unlikely.
  9. Brian Westbrook – Philadelphia – Medically cleared to play but will be VERY limited.
  10. Steven Jackson – St. Louis – Warrior – he’s sick and sore, but he should play.
  11. Julius Jones – Seattle -Should play but how much????  Justin Forsett is clearly the better Back.
  12. Reggie Bush – New Orleans – Add a bad hamstring onto the list of Bush ailments.  He should play in an important game for the Saints.
  13. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Bad foot, but Fitz. will surely play.
  14. Calvin Johnson – Detroit – Bad knee, but Johnson should suit up.
  15. Hines Ward – Pittsburgh – Sore hammy but he will play.
  16. Devin Hester – Chicago – All signs point to him playing but keep tabs.
  17. Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia – Looking good to play, but situation requires monitoring.
  18. Percy Harvin – Minnesota – Feeling better from migraine issue – if it doesn’t flare up, he’ll be good to go.
  19. Anthony Gonzalez – Indianapolis – Placed on Injured Reserve.

8.  Will the Titans be able to slow down the red hot Chargers on Christmas day?

Nope – the Chargers were just too much for the Titans whose Defense continued their Jekyll and Hyde season.  Chris Johnson is a pleasure to watch though isn’t he?

Lots of info. Folks – I hope it helps.


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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.