Patrick Daugherty

Goal Line Stand

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Week 16 Rankings

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Updated 12/27 at 12:00 PM ET. Moved Denard Robinson up (healthy week of practice). Moved Ben Watson down. Moved Kamar Aiken down (Ryan Mallett at quarterback)

Each season develops its own unique golden rules. If you were playing fantasy in 2013, you never benched a running back against the Bears. 2015’s “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"? Start everyone against the Saints, but especially quarterbacks. Here are all 14 finishes against Sean Payton’s “defense” this season: QB3 (Carson Palmer), QB19 (Jameis Winston, who was making his second career start), QB3 (Cam Newton), QB24 (Brandon Weeden), QB9 (Sam Bradford), QB14 (Matt Ryan), QB3 (Andrew Luck), QB2 (Eli Manning), QB4 (Marcus Mariota), QB1 (Kirk Cousins), QB23 (Brian Hoyer), QB2 (Cam Newton), QB22 (Winston) and QB16 (Matthew Stafford).   

The Saints have allowed a top-three quarterback performance 40 percent of the time. They have already permitted the second most passing touchdowns of all time. Their 39 are second only to the 1963 Broncos’ (lol) 40.

The Saints make fantasy dreams come true, and this week the lucky winners will be Blake Bortles owners. Bortles has yet to exactly ace the “eye test,” but enters finals week as the QB3. He’s cleared 25.0 fantasy points in seven of his past 10 starts, including each of the past four. Better on the road than he is at home, Bortles’ receiver corps is at full strength, with Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Julius Thomas all amongst the league’s top red zone threats.  

It’s destiny that the QB3 is meeting the Saints’ perpetual-QB3-allower machine with everything on the line in fake football. Start Bortles in season-long. Cash game him, tournament him. Celebrate the miracle that is the Saints’ passing defense this holiday season.    

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Week 16 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Ben Roethlisberger at BAL -
2 Cam Newton at ATL -
3 Blake Bortles at NO -
4 Carson Palmer vs. GB Probable (finger)
5 Russell Wilson vs. STL -
6 Tom Brady at NYJ Probable (illness)
7 Matthew Stafford vs. SF -
8 Drew Brees vs. JAC Questionable (foot)
9 Aaron Rodgers at ARZ -
10 Kirk Cousins at PHI -
11 Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. NE -
12 Derek Carr vs. SD -
13 Tyrod Taylor vs. DAL -
14 Philip Rivers at OAK -
15 Eli Manning at MIN -
16 Alex Smith vs. CLE -
17 Jameis Winston vs. CHI -
18 Teddy Bridgewater vs. NYG -
19 Ryan Tannehill vs. IND -
20 Sam Bradford vs. WAS -
21 Jay Cutler at TB -
22 Matt Ryan vs. CAR -
23 Zach Mettenberger vs. HOU -
24 Brock Osweiler vs. CIN Probable (shoulder)
25 Johnny Manziel at KC -
26 Matt Hasselbeck at MIA Probable (ribs)
27 A.J. McCarron at DEN -
28 Brandon Weeden at TEN -
29 Blaine Gabbert at DET -
30 Ryan Mallett vs. PIT -
31 Kellen Moore at BUF -
32 Case Keenum at SEA -
33 Charlie Whitehurst at MIA -

QB Notes: Ben Roethlisberger has been on another planet this season. 836 yards — that’s how many he combined for against the Seahawks and Broncos, the two teams allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Now Big Ben gets the hated Ravens, who have been ripped apart for a 28:4 TD:INT total against. … No. 2 in passing scores (33), Cam Newton is also No. 1 in quarterback rushing touchdowns (seven). He’s the QB1 on the season, and averaging 33.5 points over his past five starts. He’s been the MVP in both real life and fantasy. … Carson Palmer has only five touchdowns over his past four games, but has posted a 101.6 QB rating in the process. With Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown all in peak form, Palmer is overdue for a three-score day. … All the way up to QB6 status on the year, Russell Wilson is tied with Cam Newton for No. 1 honors over the past five weeks. It’s hard to see anything getting in his way, though Wilson does have a checkered history against Jeff Fisher’s Rams. A big day should still be expected, perhaps just not a monster one.

Drew Brees’ Week 16 health is up in the air as he nurses a foot injury, but his fantasy prospects are not. Averaging 349 yards and three touchdowns across seven home starts, Brees will be an elite QB1 against the Jaguars as long as he can suit up. Only three teams have allowed more fantasy points to enemy quarterbacks. … With his supporting cast ravaged by injury for a tough road date with the Jets’ elite defense, Tom Brady could fall another sport or two if Julian Edelman (foot) doesn’t get cleared. Danny Amendola (knee) is expected to be sidelined in East Rutherford. … The QB5 over the past five weeks, Matthew Stafford gets a 49ers defense that’s been routinely dismantled on the road. You’re not chasing points with Stafford, you’re chasing a great matchup. … Down to QB10 status amongst healthy quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers is the QB14 over the past five weeks, and QB13 over the past three. It’s been a long time since he played elite football, and even with Tyrann Mathieu sidelined, there’s little reason to expect the old Rodgers to show up in Arizona.    

Kirk Cousins has been historically good at home, but he should have a big night on the road in Philadelphia. Getting ripped to shreds every single week, the Eagles have now allowed the third most fantasy points to quarterbacks. With DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed both healthy and playing their best football, Cousins is a legitimate QB1 for the finals. … Ryan Fitzpatrick is easily playing the best football of his career, but is more floor than ceiling against a Patriots defense that’s allowed the eighth fewest passing scores (19). It’s also worth remembering that Fitz has thrown for more than two touchdowns in only 2-of-14 starts. … Derek Carr hasn’t had much of a ceiling of late, but continues to provide floor with nine touchdowns over his past four games. Creating two TDs shouldn’t be a problem against the Chargers on Christmas Eve. … Tyrod Taylor has one of the most tempting ceilings in fantasy football, but is unlikely to hit it against a Cowboys defense that’s allowed the second fewest passing touchdowns (15). Quarterbacks have also failed to take advantage of Rod Marinelli’s unit on the ground, averaging all of 12 yards per week.

Philip Rivers has thrived in good matchups and struggled in bad ones. For Week 16, he gets a middle-of-the-road opponent in Oakland. The Raiders have allowed a respectable 22 passing touchdowns, but are 19th in fantasy points against and 28th in yards allowed. Rivers should have a nice night. … Eli Manning is missing Odell Beckham, but the banged up Vikings are not a forbidding matchup. A top 15-16 day should be expected from a quarterback who has Rueben Randle, Will Tye, Shane Vereen and Dwayne Harris at his disposal. … The Browns are an excellent matchup for Alex Smith, but so was Baltimore. Smith managed a solitary score, and has a meager 18 on the year. There’s only so much that can be expected from Kansas City’s game manager-in-chief. … Jay Cutler has regressed sharply in the second half, but should provide a top-20 day against a Bucs defense that just got shredded by Case Keenum. Only five teams have allowed more passing scores than the Bucs. … Aside from some garbage time action against the Rams, Jameis Winston has slammed into the rookie wall over the past month, totaling six scores in four starts. He offers very little ceiling for the fantasy finals.

Suddenly playing the best football of his career, Teddy Bridgewater isn’t a bad DFS tournament option against a Giants defense allowing the second most fantasy points to rival signal callers. … Seemingly getting worse every week, Ryan Tannehill can’t be trusted, even though, on paper, Indy/Miami has shootout potential. … Speaking of shootouts, one could develop between Philadelphia and Washington, but Sam Bradford’s ceiling is so seldom hit that he’s nothing more than a low-end QB2. … If Brian Hoyer (concussion) can gain clearance, he’ll be in the QB18-20 range. … The QB18 by total points, Matt Ryan doesn’t stand much of a chance against a Panthers defense that shut him out two weeks ago. … Zach Mettenberger loves to sling it, but a statue with little regard for his own body, is a weekly injury risk. Mett offers cheap ceiling, but a scary-low floor. …. Possibly on the verge of a total collapse, Brock Osweiler can’t be trusted against a Bengals defense allowing the third fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. … Johnny Manziel didn’t embarrass himself in Seattle, but “not embarrassing himself” will remain the low bar he has to clear in another tough road matchup, this one in Kansas City. … Kellen Moore is a conversation piece, not a fantasy quarterback.

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Patrick Daugherty

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