Fantasy Football Rankings: Start 'em, Sit 'em for Week 16

Kevin Hanson@EDSFootballAnalyst IIIDecember 22, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 16:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After drafting a solid team, combing the waiver wire and making the correct start-sit decisions, you're one victory away from taking home the championship in your league(s).

The decisions on which players to start, or sit, have the utmost significance this week.


Players To Consider Starting in Week 16


QB: Tony Romo, Cowboys (vs. NO)

One week after facing the Steelers, the league's stingiest passing defense (180.6 yards allowed per game), Romo faces the Saints, who rank 31st in the NFL in pass defense. Despite the difficult matchup last week, Romo threw for 341 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Since Week 8, Romo has thrown for 300-plus yards in six of eight games. In fact, he has as many 400-yard games (two) as he has games with less than 300 yards during that span.

With the exception of Drew Brees (4,335) and Tom Brady (4,276), no quarterback has more passing yards than Romo (4,269) through Week 15. Romo is only 217 yards from tying his career high (4,483) set in 2009.


RB: Knowshon Moreno, Broncos (vs. CLE)

Since Willis McGahee suffered his season-ending injury in Week 10, Moreno has had 20-plus carries every week. In his past four games, Moreno has 94 carries for 391 yards and two touchdowns. Only Washington's Alfred Morris (96) has more carries than Moreno during that span. In addition, Moreno has back-to-back games with more than 100 rushing yards.


RB: DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (vs. OAK)

Last week, Williams carried the ball a season-high 22 times for 93 yards and caught two passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. In fact, it was his second consecutive game with more than 100 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.

This week, Williams and the Panthers face the Raiders, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs on the year.

Teammate Jonathan Stewart has not played since November due to his ankle injury, but he is listed as questionable on the team's injury report. If The Daily Show returns this week, that could unfortunately limit Williams' upside.


RB: Vick Ballard, Colts (at KC)

In the month of December, Ballard has delivered for fantasy owners with a string of three consecutive games of double-digit fantasy points. After posting over 100 yards from scrimmage in Week 14, Ballard rushed for a career-high 105 yards last week. Including Moreno and Williams, only seven running backs have more carries in their past two games than Ballard (37).

The Chiefs have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.


WR: Cecil Shorts, Jaguars (vs. NE)

After missing Week 14 due to a concussion, Shorts returned to action in Week 15 with his fourth 100-yard game in his past seven games played. Since the team's bye, Shorts has double-digit fantasy points in seven of the past eight games.

The Patriots have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. Considering the Patriots are big favorites (more than two touchdowns) this week, the Jags should need to air it out often.


WR: Danny Amendola, Rams (at TB)

Amendola had only six receptions for 58 yards on his 12 targets last week, but he scored a touchdown. Amendola and the Rams receivers have a great matchup this week against the Bucs, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.


WR: Eric Decker, Broncos (vs. CLE)

Decker has back-to-back games with eight receptions and had his second 100-yard game of the season last week against the Ravens. On the year, Decker has 72 receptions for 923 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Broncos have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. Considering that Joe Haden should focus his attention on Demaryius Thomas, however, it wouldn't surprise me to see Decker have a more productive game (than Thomas) this week.


TE: Dennis Pitta, Ravens (vs. NYG)

Pitta had his most productive game of the season last week with seven catches for a career-high 125 yards and two touchdowns. That said, he has scored five touchdowns in his past six games.


Players To Consider Sitting in Week 16


QB: Carson Palmer, Raiders (at CAR)

In the past four weeks, Palmer had his only two games with less than 200 passing yards this season. In the past two weeks, Palmer has 30 or fewer pass attempts after having only one such game in his first 12 games. With reports that Terrelle Pryor will see more snaps this week, it's unlikely that Palmer has a prolific passing week in the fantasy championship week.

The Panthers have allowed 20-plus fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks only twice this season. In fact, they have held them to less than five points in two of their past four games.


RB: Beanie Wells, Cardinals (vs. CHI)

The good news is Wells had three touchdowns last week and a total of five touchdowns in the two games he scored during the past four weeks.

Over those four games, Wells had 55 carries for 155 yards, which is 2.8 yards per carry. In Weeks 13 and 14, Wells had two and one fantasy point(s), respectively. In other words, it's been feast or famine for Wells recently.

With a tough matchup against the Bears this week, the odds favor more of a famine-type game for Wells.


RB: Montell Owens, Jaguars (vs. NE)

Although Maurice Jones-Drew has been ruled out this week, Owens may not get a lot of work as the Jaguars could find themselves trailing early and big. In addition, the Patriots are much stronger against the run than they are against the pass. Only seven teams have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.


WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (vs. CHI)

Poor quarterback and offensive line play have made it difficult for the talented Fitzgerald to produce anywhere close to his ability level. In his past five games, Fitzgerald has a total of 10 receptions on 42 targets for a mere 89 yards and no touchdowns. Against the Bears, there is little reason to expect things to turn around for their passing offense.


WR: Denarius Moore, Raiders (at CAR)

Moore has five consecutive games with 46 yards or less and has caught only one of his six touchdown passes this season during that span. Since Week 11, Moore ranks fifth on the team in receiving yards (149) behind Rod Streater (284), Brandon Myers (244), Darrius Heyward-Bey (191) and Marcel Reece (150).

This year, the Panthers have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.


WR: Sidney Rice, Seahawks (vs SF)

Rice scored a total of six touchdowns over a seven-game stretch from Weeks 6 to 13. In his past two games, however, Rice has failed to score. Things won't get any easier this week against the 49ers, who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers.


TE: Vernon Davis, 49ers (at SEA)

Not only have the Seahawks been strong against tight ends as they have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to the position this season, but Davis has struggled to develop chemistry with new quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In his past four games, Davis has a total of four receptions for 29 yards and no touchdowns.


Note: All player designations and practice participation notes above are from the's injury page.


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