Week 16 RankingsFriday, December 21, 2012
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Last updated at 5:35 p.m. ET on Friday, December 21, 2012
Nobody can say with certainty that Stevan Ridley has escaped the doghouse this week after putting the ball on the ground three times in the past two games. The Boston Herald is convinced, however, that coach Bill Belichick will "give Ridley the rock" this week. He's earned that trust with 1,105 yards and 10 touchdowns on 252 carries this season. The Patriots realize they're not making a Super Bowl run without Ridley's ability to move the chains and grind out tough yards.
Ridley is coming off the only game of the season without double-digit carries, but that's mostly because the Patriots fell behind by four touchdowns versus the 49ers. At that point, passing-down specialist Danny Woodhead was better suited to the offense. Look for a bounce-back game from Ridley against a Jaguars defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing backs this season.
Week 16 Quarterbacks
QB Notes: Cam Newton’s offense is averaging 3.0 offensive touchdowns over the past seven games after averaging 1.7 in the first seven. Newton’s 7,502 passing yards are the second-most behind Peyton Manning’s 7,874 in a player’s first two seasons. … Aaron Rodgers is back on solid fantasy footing after passing for more scores last week than his three previous games combined. You’re not going to sit Rodgers in a plus matchup with your season on the line.
Tony Romo leads all QBs in passing yards over the past five weeks, ranking third in fantasy points behind Newton and Tom Brady. … Robert Griffin III was moving fine in Wednesday’s full practice and will start Sunday barring a setback. Since ditching the Wide 9 scheme, the Eagles have allowed Josh Freeman and Andy Dalton to complete just 27-of-61 passes (44.3 percent) at 5.2 yards per attempt. RGIII’s matchup isn’t quite as attractive as it looked a month ago, but his fantasy ceiling is still as high as any QB’s.
After Peyton Manning at No. 8, there’s not much separating Matthew Stafford from Sam Bradford, who is coming off the best fantasy game of his career. The Bucs defense has surrendered 30+ fantasy points to QBs five times this season, including the past two weeks versus Nick Foles and Drew Brees. … Even without a rushing score, Andrew Luck is a top-five fantasy QB over the past five weeks.
Russell Wilson’s offense is averaging 3.7 offensive touchdowns in the past seven games after averaging 1.4 in the first seven. Wilson is fantasy’s No. 2 QB over the past three weeks, trailing only Cam Newton. … Carson Palmer has a tough matchup against a Panthers defense that is fifth in the NFL since Luke Kuechly moved to middle linebacker in October. With Terrelle Pryor threatening to steal a series or two, Palmer is a risky fantasy play in championship week.