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Fantasy News: Week 16 Edition

CHARLES IN CHARGE

The Kansas City Chiefs have definitely found their staple running back now and in to the future.   Coming off his second consecutive 140+ yard rushing performance former Texas Longhorn Jamaal Charles is just 241 yards away from a 1,000 yard season.  And while 1,000 yards may not be as hard to achieve these days in the NFL, it will be a highly impressive feat if Charles pulls it off, especially considering the young back has started just eight games this season.  But wait, it gets better, and so has Charles as the season has progressed. 

According to the

Associated Press Charles looked fresh and felt good against the Browns last week. 

“I’m feeling good,” said Charles, who ran the ball 25 times and caught it twice. “It’s football, You’re going to feel pain, and you’re going to be hurt. You’ve just got to suck it up and go on to the next play. I’ll be ready next week when we play Cincinnati.”

Let’s hope that Charles will be ready.  The Bengals defense has allowed a third best 85.2 rushing yards per game this season, so the young man could have a harder time finding open lanes this week.  The good news for fantasy owners that have no other options is that he has become the heart and soul of the offense, so he will get the rock, if not in the rushing game, in the passing game.

 

MORE PACKER ISSUES

The Green Bay Packers passing attack should be flying high at home this week.  On tap are the Seattle Seahawks; a team that is allowing a 29th worst 249.4 yards per game, and a third worst 26 touchdowns through the air.   But when you come off a heartbreaking loss that featured plenty of missed opportunities you find things you need to improve upon.  There are two offensive topics on everyone’s mind this week in Green Bay — protection and dropped passes.  But which one needs more improvement?

According to the

Green Bay Press Gazette the Packers early season verbally beaten offensive line allowed just one sack to an effective Steelers pass rush.  So what did head coach Mike McCarthy have to say about the Rodgers protection? 

“(Rodgers) took some hits early,” McCarthy said. “I thought he just stayed right in there and threw the ball. They had some dropped balls in the first half that hurt us, and he didn’t lose confidence in anybody and just kept going. I thought the protection was outstanding. I thought the direction of Aaron and (center) Scott Wells and the production of our protection unit was outstanding.”

On the flipside offensive coordinator Joe Philbin is getting real tired of the dropped passes, something that has been haunting Packer receivers as of late. 

“Too many,” Philbin said. “It’s getting old, kind of like the sack problem that we had, which we’ve done a better job of, but this had been kind of a lingering issue. We’ve got too many drops. I don’t know any other to put it. I think in practice they do a good job. They catch extra balls after practice. I wish I had a good answer. It’s kind of stumping us all.”

While it is surprising at how many passes Packers receivers have dropped recently, it is nothing to be overly concerned over, especially for most that are in the last week of their fantasy season.  Start your Packers this week, as they should fly over the Seahawks defense with ease. 

JOHNSON’S TIME IS RUNNING OUT

Titans running back Chris Johnson has had a season to remember, and last night while the Titans moved away from the playoff picture, he inched closer to 2,000 yards with his 142 yard rushing performance.  Before the game, according to the

Nashville Tennessean Johnson’s 376 needed yards in the final two games to break Eric Dickerson’s single season record were reachable, well, at least according to Johnson. 

“I have not closed the book. Anything is possible,” Johnson said. “I still think it is in reach. I still think it’s possible. Of course you’re going to need a huge game. It is not going to be easy.”

Last night’s performance included Johnson has rushed for 100+ yards ten straight times now, and needs 128 yards to reach 2,000, but still needs 233 yards to break Dickerson’s record. 

“I feel I need to crank it up a little more,” he said. “I feel like I need to have better games. It is crazy, because last year if I would have had those games I would’ve been happy.

“But I guess on that five-game winning streak some of the yards I was able to get I kind of spoiled myself and basically that is what I expect. I really say I raised the bar — that is what I expect out of myself every time I get on the field.”

IS HARRISON READY FOR MORE?

Last week the Cleveland Browns almost witnessed history on their side of the field in what has been a season to forget.  Running back Jerome Harrison found plenty of holes in the Chiefs defense in Week 15, rushing for 286 yards, and scoring three touchdowns.  Harrison’s rushing total came just 11 yards shy of breaking Adrian Peterson’s single game record, but there is troubling news surrounding Harrison’s unbelievable day. 

According to the

Cleveland Plain-Dealer No. 35’s 286 yards weren’t enough to grab AFC player of the week honors, something that oddly enough doesn’t bother him one bit. 

“I just found out Ben got it,” said Harrison. “He deserved it. He’s a household name. He’s won Super Bowls. He made a hell of a play to win the game. I’m not mad about it. I don’t play for accolades anyway. I won’t miss one second of sleep over it.”

Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi made the statement of the week.  “I’m sure that’ll be extra motivation for him to come back this week and put up some more big numbers.”

Add a Raiders poor run defense (148.9 rushing yards allowed per game), and fantasy owners could see yet another unbelievable performance from Harrison. 

IN OTHER NEWS….

According to the

Associated Press Rams running back isn’t listening to the whispers telling him to sit out the final two games of the season. 

“It’s been whispered in my ear and that’s from people on my side looking out for best of my future,” Jackson said. “But I love to play and we only have two games to play, so I’m just going to gut it out.”

According to the

Associated Press Eagles running back Brian Westbrook completed a full week of practice and is expected to play against the Broncos this week.

“We’ll see how his numbers go and how he feels,” coach Andy Reid said Friday. “I’ll stay in communication with him throughout the game. He’ll have a chance to play. He’s done well this week.”

According to

Bengals.com wide receiver Chad Ochocinco will throw a pinata full of 2,000 dollar bills in to the stands if he scores a touchdown this week against the Chiefs. 

“That’s my gift for Christmas,” he said.  

According to the

Indianapolis Star coach Jim Caldwell has indicated that all healthy players will play this week.  How long?  That remains to be seen. 

“I’m still not going to assign any time period,” Caldwell said. 

According to

DallasNews.com Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has figured out how to eliminate his December mistakes, and he‘s not about to reveal how he‘s done it.

“I’m doing some things a little differently that I’m not going to tell you. But they’ve helped me to minimize certain decisions that I’ve made in the past, and that’s part of growing up and being experienced on the football field.”

For the record, Romo has thrown six touchdown passes and zero interceptions in the past three weeks.  

ON THE INJURY FRONT

According to the

Charlotte Observer running back DeAngelo Williams didn’t practice for the third straight day Friday and is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s games against the Giants. 

According to the

Denver Post wide receiver Eddie Royal has been ruled out for this week’s game against the Eagles. 

According to the

Buffalo News quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t practice Friday and is listed as questionable for this week’s game against the Falcons increasing the chances of Brian Brohm making his first ever NFL start. 

 

According to the

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Steelers safety Troy Polamalu will once again sit this week when his team takes on the Ravens Sunday. 

OTHER INJURIES

QB Trent Edwards — Out

RB Michael Turner — Questionable

QB Matt Ryan — Questionable

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey — Out

TE Zach Miller — Questionable

RB Chris Jennings — Probable

WR Nate Burleson — Doubtful

LB Aaron Curry — Doubtful

RB Julius Jones — Questionable

LB Brian Cushing — Questionable

RB DeAngelo Williams — Doubtful

RB Jonathan Stewart — Questionable

RB Ahmad Bradshaw — Probable

WR Hakeem Nicks — Probable

CB Aaron Ross — Probable

RB Fred Taylor — Questionable

WR Antonio Bryant — Questionable

S Tanard Jackson — Questionable

WR Lance Moore — Out

S Darren Sharper — Questionable

TE Jeremy Shockey — Questionable

WR Eddie Royal — Out

WR Jeremy Maclin — Probable

RB Brian Westbrook — Probable

S Ed Reed — Doubtful

S Troy Polamalu — Out

LB James Harrison — Questionable

DE Leonard Little — Out

RB Steven Jackson — Questionable

WR Larry Fitzgerald — Probable

WR Calvin Johnson — Probable

LB Larry Foote — Questionable

K Joe Nedney — Out

CB Nate Clements — Out

WR Pierre Garcon — Out

WR Anthony Gonzalez — Out

DE Dwight Freeney — Questionable

DE Robert Mathis — Questionable

RB Donald Brown — Probable

WR Reggie Wayne — Probable

WR Devin Thomas — Doubtful

DT Albert Haynesworth — Questionable

DE Andre Carter — Questionable

RANDOM TIDBITS

In

11 career games against the Rams Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is averaging 6.5 receptions & 85.5 yards per game, and has scored 10 touchdowns.  In his last game earlier this season big No. 11 caught eight balls for 87 yards, and found pay-dirt once. 

49ers running back Frank Gore has come to life in the past two weeks with two 100+ yard rushing performances, but the 49ers are still not a potent rushing attack as they average just 99.4 yards per game on the ground, good for 26th in the NFL.  Plus, with how poorly Alex Smith played last week, offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye may be a little pass happy to see what he truly has in Smith, especially against a Lions defense that has allowed a 2009 league high of 30 passing touchdowns. 

Very quietly Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker has tallied his third consecutive 100-catch season.  And while he has increased his average from 10.5 yards per catch a year ago to 11.0 this season, he doesn’t find the end-zone enough.  Welker has just four touchdown receptions, all of which came in Weeks 5-7.  Look for him to score one this week against the Jaguars. 

The three worst offenses in the NFL when it comes to time of possession per game are the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, and Oakland Raiders; all teams with losing records.  The fourth worst is the Indianapolis Colts.  Scary?  No.  It just means that they’re efficient and waste no time getting down the field.  It also exposes, once again, just how good Peyton Manning is. 

Saints running back Pierre Thomas hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown since Week 9.  However, he has caught 19 passes for 167 yards in the past three weeks, and did average 8.4 yards per carry the last time the Saints played the Buccaneers Week 11.  The Saints offense does need to re-establish the run though, as Thomas has averaged just 3.4 yards per carry in his last three games.  Start Thomas this week with confidence. 

Thanks for reading!

Good luck. 

Eric Huber is a staff writer for FantasySharks.com.  E-mail him at

e.huber12@yahoo.com

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