Fantasy Football 2013: Week 16 Mailbag
The time has come.
After countless hours studying matchups, surfing the waiver wire and sweating out close games, all the hard work has led you to this. The fantasy Super Bowl. Of course, with stress mounting among all fantasy owners, plenty of lineup questions are present. As always, I’m here to offer a helping hand. Let’s do this.
Let’s go win the Shiva Bowl.
Q: Jay Cutler or Kirk Cousins at QB this week?
AP: There are a ton of good fantasy matchups for signal callers this week, including both of these two. Cousins gets a historically bad Dallas defense, and as enticing as that is, I’m still leaning Cutler here. His weapons are arguably the best in all of football, and his matchup isn’t too shabby either. He faces an Eagles defense that was just torched to the tune of 382 yards and three total touchdowns. Cutler looked good in his return to the starting lineup on Sunday, tossing three touchdowns and eclipsing 20 fantasy points. More importantly, he escaped without suffering a setback. The Eagles secondary is weak, allowing 291.6 passing yards per game (2nd-most) and opposing passers are averaging a league-leading 41.8 pass attempts per game against the Eagles. Cousins may have the best matchup possible, but we have more of a sample size with Cutler under center.
Q: If Aaron Rodgers is a go, play him or Nick Foles?
AP: This is a very, very interesting question. It’s still early in the week, but Rodgers could very well return to the lineup this week, especially after Detroit’s loss keeps Green Bay alive in the playoff hunt. Of course, there is risk in playing him if he is a go, and Foles has been playing so well, that I think I would stick with the hot hand in Foles, who hasn’t posted fewer than 21 fantasy points since Week 7. The Bears are absolutely depleted on defense, and this game currently has the highest over/under of the weekend, so plenty of points will be had.
Q: Tom Brady or Jay Cutler at QB? Coby Fleener or Zach Miler at TE?
AP: Cutler seems to be the man of the hour. I’m siding with him in this one, and it isn’t really that close. Brady has a tough matchup against the Ravens, a defense that is allowing the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and over his last six games against Baltimore, he’s only posted one multi-touchdown game. Cutler is better by far this week. As for your tight end question, Fleener is an intriguing look this week, as while the Chiefs have been stout against the position all year long, they’ve struggled as of late. An opposing tight end has found the end zone in each of the last four games (Rivera, Paulsen, Thomas, Green). I do love Miller and his matchup, but he has to compete for looks a lot more than Fleener. I think the Colts receivers struggle in this game, presenting chances for Fleener.
Q: PPR: Darren Sproles, Shane Vereen, Reggie Bush, Zac Stacy. Need 2.
AP: If anyone knows me, they fully understand how much I love Zac Stacy. A guy who is getting force-fed the ball, Stacy is the only running back in the league to post at least 26 carries in four games this season. Since taking over the starting job, he is averaging a healthy 17 carries per game. For the final spot, I love Vereen, but hard to go against Bush in the championship. He’s just been too good, and even though New York’s run defense has been quietly very good this year, it’s difficult for me to bench him.
Q: Start Larry Fitzgerald this week?
AP: Short, simple and to the point. So, my answer will be the same. No. Do not do it. On top of dealing with a nasty concussion, Fitz has to travel to Seattle to face the best secondary in football, allowing the fewest passing yards per game (174.2) and forcing the most interceptions (22) in football. Only three opposing wideouts have finished as top-12 fantasy receivers against Seattle, and I think Carson Palmer struggles to get a clean pocket in this game.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.