For many of us fantasy football players, week 16 of the NFL means we get to finally enjoy watching our favorite teams play the rest of the season without screaming at the TV when a particular player does or does not find the end zone. Yes, that's right. Finally, all of you Charger fans can finally just kick back, relax and see if Norv Turner will be able to end the season with a couple back to back wins...or give us yet one more reason not to buy season tickets.
To the elite few who made it to their fantasy Super Bowl, I congratulate you. Super Bowl week for fantasy players is pretty simple: play the guys who got you there and always keep an eye out for injuries. Why fix something that isn't broken? Ride the guys who got you to the dance and laugh at those who tried to steal a playoff spot with constant flavor of the week matchup swaps. The big question is what can you expect out of fantasy players as your big game approaches. I’m here to break down it all down for you as week 16 of the NFL has begun.
Danario Alexander has been a breakout player since week 10 and has helped carry many teams into the playoffs. Last week, the Panthers did a great job at putting pressure on Rivers and shutting down Alexander. This week the Chargers face the mercurial Jets with Alexander matching up against Antonio Cromartie. The Pro Bowl cornerback will be more than ready to keep the electric Alexander out of the endzone, but after being shut out by the Panthers, expect Alexander to come out with a chip on his shoulder. While Alexander is still a start on my roster, I would lower my expectations for him this week.
Chargers defense is actually one of my favorable matchups this week. The Jets offense is nothing to brag about. It's safe to the Charges defense has one of the top five favorable matchups this week, especially with the Jets turmoil at QB and frequent ineffectiveness to score. If you are a Chargers defensive owner, your bench options are probably not any better. You should have a good performance from them this week, especially since many of them are playing for their jobs.
While Antonio Gates finally found the end zone last week against the Panthers, I can't present a convincing argument to start him at Tight End this week. If you're in a league where you can start two tight ends, then feel comfortable starting him as a TE2. A week 16 fantasy sleeper you may want to consider is Kyle Rudolph against the Houston Texans. In the last couple of weeks, Rudolph has not done much for his fantasy owners so you may find him either on your bench on the waiver wire. Houston is ranked in the top 10 teams to allow favorable amounts of fantasy points to TE’s. If you're looking for another option to allow yourself the peace of mind to sit Gates, Rudolph may be your guy.
Finally, for all you Ryan Matthews owners out there, I must ask you: Can the man stay healthy? If you're looking for a desperate pick up, I highly consider Vick Ballard. Ballard is still available in a majority of leagues and has a tasty matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are more than generous to running backs. If Ballard is not available, look into Mark Ingram. The Saints' backfield may have been a little frustrating to fantasy players this season, but Ingram has been consistently putting up decent numbers to still be available on many waiver wires. If you lost Matthews, you need of a quick pick up and can’t be too picky with what is available on waivers or your bench. Ingram could possibly get you 6-10 fantasy points this week against the Dallas Cowboys and ensure a victory.
Good luck y’all