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Fantasy Football 2012: Top Week 16 Performers

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Fantasy Football Top Players of Week 16

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Ideally, the best fantasy football rosters win by having great overall contributions from every player on the roster. When some players struggle to score near their projected totals, players that exceed expectations and have great outputs help balance out a team’s lower scorers. To win on a frequent basis, top performances are what fuel teams to the top of their respective leagues’ standings.

In Week 16, there were many players who would fit the statements of overachiever and high-scorers. The top performers of this week range from elite options with favorable matchups to the unlikely sources of production. If owners have one or more of the players on this list, they typically put themselves in a great position to win their matchup.

Week 16 provided plenty of scoring opportunities. In total, nine teams scored at least 28 points, meaning there were plenty of touchdowns to go around for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends. This week, Russell Wilson threw for four touchdowns in a big win that clinched a playoff berth, Ray Rice had over 150 total yards and a touchdown and Eric Decker caught two touchdown receptions, yet none of these players make the list as Week 16 fantasy leaders. Here’s a look at the best of the best from this week in the NFL.

* Fantasy points are determined by Yahoo! fantasy football default scoring settings. Ownership numbers are from Yahoo! fantasy football leagues and up to date as of Monday, December 24. Statistics listed for players are subject to change after the game.

Austin Chang is a featured columnist and fantasy sports expert at Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.

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QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

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QB Aaron Rodgers – 32.78 points (vs. Tennessee Titans, 100% owned)

Week 16 statistics: 342 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 11 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown

In the most important week of the fantasy football season for most leagues, Rodgers panned out for owners drafting him as the top quarterback of the league with an elite performance. The Titans defense was no match for the Green Bay Packers offense, which made for an easy day for Rodgers and a performance worthy of winning championship games for many owners.

Honorable mentions: Tony Romo (32.64 points, 92% owned), Drew Brees (29.74 points, 100% owned), Matt Ryan (29.66 points, 99% owned)

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RB Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins

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RB Reggie Bush – 28.70 points (vs. Buffalo Bills, 96% owned)

Week 16 statistics: 65 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 42 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns

Known as a threat both on the ground and in the air, Bush finally had big plays in the passing game with his first two receiving touchdowns of the season. Finishing with three touchdowns on the day, he handled the workload well for his team, who still had a small chance at making the playoffs prior to this week’s games.

Honorable mentions: Jamaal Charles (27.00 points, 99% owned), Marshawn Lynch (25.00 points, 100% owned), Ryan Grant (23.40 points, 5% owned)

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WR Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

WR Dez Bryant – 34.40 points (vs. New Orleans Saints, 97% owned)

Week 16 statistics: 224 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns

In a huge game with plenty of playoff implications, Bryant chewed up the poor Saints defense for one of the best individual fantasy performances of the season. The fourth-most receiving yards in a game in franchise history, he has somehow become an even bigger fantasy performer after injuring his finger.

Honorable mentions: Roddy White (27.30 points, 100% owned), Calvin Johnson (20.50 points, 100% owned), Mike Williams (19.20 points, 84% owned)

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TE Lance Kendricks, St. Louis Rams

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

TE Lance Kendricks – 17.90 points (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2% owned)

Week 16 statistics: 119 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

While it only took four receptions to do it, Kendricks lead all other players at this position in production in a poor overall showing by tight ends around the league. Making the most noise with the longest reception by a tight end in franchise history, he certainly showcased his abilities when he’s given a chance to produce.

Honorable mentions: Delanie Walker (11.40 points, 0% owned), Antonio Gates (10.40 points, 93% owned), Kyle Rudolph (9.90 points, 58% owned)

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K Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens

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K Justin Tucker – 15.00 points (vs. New York Giants</strong>, 72% owned)

Week 16 statistics: 4-for-4 field goals made (23, 21, 30, 29), 3 extra points made

In a huge win for the Ravens that helped them clinch the AFC North, Tucker did his part by making all four of his easy field goals attempts, all of which were 30 yards or less. This performance was a nice bounce back for his owners, as he averaged just five points over his last two games.

Honorable mentions: Mason Crosby (14.00 points, 56% owned), Blair Walsh (14.00 points, 41% owned), Stephen Gostkowski (12.00 points, 98% owned), Josh Scobee (12.00 points, 2% owned)

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Chicago Bears team defense

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Chicago Bears team defense – 26.00 points (at Arizona Cardinals, 99% owned)

Week 16 statistics: 7 points allowed, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 2 defensive touchdowns

The Cardinals offense has served as an excellent matchup for any fantasy defense this season and the Bears were no exception. With two more touchdowns on defense, the Bears increased their season total to 10 and have continued to play at tiptop shape regardless of the opponent.

Honorable mentions: St. Louis Rams team defense (25.00 points, 26% owned), San Diego Chargers team defense (22.00 points, 49% owned), Cincinnati Bengals team defense (20.00 points, 54% owned)