Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 16: WRs Fantasy Owners Should Keep on the Bench

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIDecember 23, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 16:  Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals watches from the sidelines during the NFL game against the Detroit Lions at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Lions 38-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The importance of every fantasy football-related decision is amplified this week, as one wrong move could cost an owner a championship.

With so much riding on this week’s matchups, everyone fortunate enough to be taking part in a title game must avoid players set for disappointing days. 

A few wide receivers who are capable of coming through with quality performances are facing difficult matchups this week and must be kept on the bench. 

Here are the wideouts that should be avoided in Week 16.


Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers

Fantasy owners with Crabtree on their roster may feel a sense of loyalty to the 49ers wide receiver, as he is likely a large part of the reason that they are in the Super Bowl. 

Crabtree reeled in seven receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns against the New England Patriots last week. But he will not maintain that type of production against the Seattle Seahawks this week.

Seattle’s physical secondary will make it difficult for Crabtree to get a clean break on his routes, and the team’s speedy pass-rushers will contain Colin Kaepernick.

Despite an excellent outing last week, Crabtree should be benched for his championship matchups.


Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks 

Seattle will not be the only team at CenturyLink Field on Sunday with a physical secondary and a fearsome pass rush.

Just as Crabtree will struggle to get open against Seattle, Rice will have difficulty against San Francisco. 

Fantasy owners will be less tempted to play Rice as he is not coming off of an impressive performance and has had just one double-digit outing in the past four weeks. 

The game between San Francisco and Seattle will be a defensive battle that has little to do with each team’s passing game. Field position and success on the ground will be more important than making plays down the field, and both Crabtree and Rice should not be in starting lineups this weekend.


Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals 

While it may seem strange not to start Fitzgerald, fantasy football is about production, not skill.

Fitzgerald is still one of the best wide receivers in football, but his quarterbacks are among the worst. It is a testament to their futility that they are unable to consistently get the ball to a receiver like Fitzgerald.

With struggling passers and a monumentally disappointing offensive line, the Cardinals will continue to struggle against the Chicago Bears. While the Monsters of the Midway are not as fearsome as they were earlier in the season, the team certainly has the players on defense to torment Arizona’s offense. 

Fitzgerald will continue to post lackluster numbers due to poor play from his offensive teammates, and fantasy owners should not have him in their lineups.