Curt Kestila
Good Call/Bad Call - Week 16

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Quarterbacks

Jay Cutler shook off the rust last week and looked decent in doing so. This week, you can feel safe starting him. His trip to Philadelphia should be friendly to his fantasy owners. Just last week Matt Cassel had 31 fantasy points playing the Eagles. If that doesn’t say enough, you haven’t been paying attention this year. The Eagles have allowed the second-most passing yards and third-most completions this season. You don’t need to be nervous about this one, just start him and worry about the rest of your lineup.

If you’re trying to decide between another quarterback and Ryan Fitzpatrick, pick Fitzpatrick. Playing in Jacksonville is going to result in some good fantasy points for you if you do. The Jaguars have allowed nine of the 15 quarterbacks they’ve faced to get 20 or more fantasy points. Fitzpatrick should have no problem hitting that mark since he’s done it five times in his eight starts this year. Jacksonville also sacks the quarterback the second-least of any team in the league, so you don’t have to worry about Fitzpatrick getting injured in your championship game either. He’s safe and is going to have a good game.

Matt Ryan has been the epitome of mediocre this year. With Roddy White banged up and Julio Jones out, his weapons have been diminished as has his fantasy potential. If you’ve been spot-starting him, this is a week to sit him. San Francisco has been holding quarterbacks to an average of 14 fantasy points. They’ve even held three pass throwers to under 10 points. This isn’t the week to be starting Ryan, and he’s a bad call this week.

Running Backs

If you’ve got Fred Jackson, you’ve probably been starting him. If you haven’t, this week you’re going to want to. Miami gives up an average of 27 fantasy points a game to their opponents’ running backs, which ranks ninth in the league. With Jackson being the guy who’s been getting a majority of the rushing totals for Buffalo, there’s a good chance he’s going to be close to 20 fantasy points this week. That kind of production is what you want to see, and Jackson is a good call for you to start this week.

Rashad Jennings has been the seventh-best running back since Week 9. He could have been the guy that turned your fantasy season around or pushed you into the playoffs. This is the kind of guy that helps teams win championships, since he was probably on the waiver wire for half the season. This week you’re going to want to start him for sure. San Diego has given up 20 or more fantasy points to five different running backs since its Week 8 bye, seven weeks ago. Jennings looks to have another good week on tap to go along with his 141 fantasy points over the last seven games.

Andre Brown has been declining lately, going from 22 to 15 to seven points over the last three games. Brown was the lone bright spot on an inconsistent New York Giants team, but even he seems to be slipping as well. This week he gets another tough matchup playing in Detroit. The Lions have allowed just one running back to get more than 15 fantasy points against them since Week 6. The Lions also don’t give up many rushing touchdowns. Just two running backs have found the end zone when facing Detroit since Week 4. This is not a good week to think that Brown will be turning things around.

Wide Receivers

Michael Crabtree is a name we haven’t said much about this season. If you were able to stash him in an Injured Reserve spot or picked him up off the waiver wire a few weeks ago, this is the week to start him. Crabtree had his first touchdown of the season while playing in 64 percent of his teams snaps last week. He looks to be fully recovered from his torn Achilles tendon, and gets a good matchup this week. Atlanta has given up 28 receiving touchdowns this year, which ranks as fourth-worst in the league. Crabtree is a touchdown guy. He had eight during the season last year and three in the playoffs. With the Falcons giving up a good amount, Crabtree is a good call this week.

One thing Matt Cassel does is give Minnesota some consistency in the passing game. That means we can look at the Vikings wide receivers as viable fantasy starters again. Greg Jennings had a huge game last week, and this week he should be solid as well. Cincinnati has been slipping down the rankings as a tough defense for wide receivers to go against, to just middle-of-the-road. It looks like the losses of Leon Hall and Taylor Mays in the middle of the season have taken their toll. Over the last eight games every single teams' top receiver has 14 or more fantasy points against them. Things look good if you’re going to start Jennings this week.

Trips to Seattle should scare you if you’ve got a receiver making the trip. This week Larry Fitzgerald owners should be shaking. The Seahawks are the best defense against wide receivers and playing at home makes them even tougher. They give up an average of just 22 total receiver points to opponents, and that’s spread across all of a team’s wideouts. In his first meeting with Seattle this year, Fitzgerald had just two catches for 17 yards. If you’ve got another receiver that has even a decent matchup, I’d start them instead this week.

Tight Ends

Expect Tyler Eifert to have a good game this week. The Minnesota Vikings rank as the third-easiest team for tight ends to go against. The last two weeks have seen Dennis Pitta and Zach Ertz go for 16 and 17 points, respectively. Expect something similar for Eifert this week. He’s a good call for you to be starting.

Zach Miller had 15 fantasy points in his first meeting with the Arizona Cardinals this year. Playing them in Seattle should make his stat line even friendlier. Arizona ranks as the easiest team for a tight ends to go against. Get him in your lineup if you can.

Get Coby Fleener out of your starting lineup if you can. Kansas City is one of the stingiest teams versus opposing tight ends. Only two tight ends have caught more than three passes when playing the Chiefs. This is not the week to be playing Fleener. He’s a bad call.

Good luck this week and, as always, may your starters stay healthy and I hope you make all the right calls.