You won’t find any insider information that goes more in-depth to discover trends and information pertinent to your fantasy football success. These picks are based on outliers from my Week 16 rankings:
WRs to Perform Above Expectations:
Steve Smith (vs. Oakland Raiders): The Carolina Panthers catching fire hasn’t just been fantasy gold for quarterback Cam Newton owners. Over the last three games, Smith has been targeted 30 times, resulting in 286 yards and two touchdowns. On Sunday, Smith and Carolina will meet an Oakland secondary that yields that most fantasy points to opposing #1 receivers. The matchup and the current brand of football that Carolina is playing make Smith a must start on championship day.
Greg Jennings (vs. Tennessee Titans): Jennings numbers since his return haven’t exactly instilled confidence in his owners. However, Jennings will line up against Jason McCourty in Week 16 which has translated into fantasy success throughout the season. McCourty has allowed touchdowns at a ridiculous rate this season, including three when he went head-to-head with Brandon Marshall earlier this season. Aaron Rodgers has plenty of mouths to feed but Jennings will assuredly be open very often on Sunday.
WRs to Perform Below Expectations:
Michael Crabtree (@Seattle Seahawks): Crabtree has been the undisputed favorite target of Colin Kaepernick since he took the helm for the San Francisco 49ers. He has been targeted 34 times in the last three games which have resulted in some gaudy numbers. However, Crabtree will be held in check on Sunday Night as he will be tracked by Richard Sherman. As I suspected, Sherman had his suspension hearing pushed back, allowing him to play in Seattle’s biggest game of the season. Sherman has locked down receivers all season, including Crabtree who he held to four catches and 31 yards in Week 7.
Danario Alexander (@New York Jets): Alexander has been arguably the best last season pickup of 2012. Despite the San Diego Chargers struggles, Alexander still managed five touchdowns since he emerged in Week 9. He was held without a catch last week against the Carolina Panthers and faces Antonio Cromartie on Sunday. Cromartie is yet to allow a 100 yard receiving game or a touchdown to any of the top receivers that he has faced this season. Alexander will likely be held in check again this weekend.