It’s week 16. Do or die….make or break….put up or shut up…sink or swim….choose your expression. May your true Shark come through this week reducing your opponent to chum and a light snack. Good luck everyone!
When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:
1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions. This list will change from week to week. The first week, the studs will consist of the preseason top “tier” at each position.
2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.
Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!!
Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. N.Y. Giants
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Houston
Michael Vick, Atlanta vs. Carolina
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Denver
Marc Bulger, St. Louis vs. Washington
Tom Brady, New England vs. Jacksonville
Brett Favre, Green Bay (vs. Minnesota): In what could be Favre’s last home game EVER, he faces a Vikings defense who have allowed the 4th most passing yards in the league. Don’t be afraid to start Favre for old time’s sake. The old man has a bug game left in his tank.
Matt Leinart, Arizona (vs. San Francisco): Leinart’s last big game came against the Vikings almost a month ago when he threw for over 400 yards. The 49ers pass defense has been on par with Minnesota’s, so look for Leinart to light up the San Francisco sky on Sunday posting big numbers.
Trent Green, Kansas City (vs. Oakland): Green has thrown for under 200 yards in the past two games after a huge outing against the Browns. Look for Green’s struggles to continue against the Raiders who have allowed the fewest passing yards in the NFL this season.
David Carr, Houston (vs. Indianapolis): Carr has thrown for a total of 300 yards in the past three games COMBINED! It’s not all his fault. His offensive line looks overmatched on practically every series. With the Colts ramping up for a playoff run, expect another dismal outing from Carr.
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Seattle
Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Washington
Larry Johnson, Kansas City vs. Oakland
Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia vs. Dallas
Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Arizona
Willie Parker, Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. New Orleans
Reggie Bush, New Orleans vs. N.Y. Giants
Marion Barber, Dallas (vs. Philadelphia): Despite the fact that Julius Jones is still considered the starter in Dallas, Barber is the back you want started this week. Not only has Barber continued to steal TDs from Jones, but last week he carried the ball 11 times to Jones’ 13. Expect more of Barber this week, which will translate into solid numbers against an Eagles defense that has allowed more yards on the ground than all but four teams this season.
Travis Henry, Tennessee (vs. Buffalo): The Bills defense has allowed an average of 4.5 yards per carry the last two games to the likes of Leon Washington and Sammy Morris. Yikes. Look for Henry to surpass 100 yards for the fifth time this season as the Titans will play ball control on the road.
Ladell Betts, Washington (vs. St. Louis): Betts just keeps on rolling. He posted his fourth straight game of over 100 yards last week against the Saints and don’t expect that streak to come to a halt this week in St. Louis. Hopefully, you were one of the lucky ones that has enjoyed the Betts ride.
Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (vs. Pittsburgh): Lewis has had a resurgence in the second half of the season, but he is not someone I would be comfortable resting my championship hopes on. Lewis rushed for 66 yards and a TD the last time he faced the Steelers, but look for Pitt to tighten up the run defense at home.
Arlen Harris, Detroit (vs. Chicago): Don’t get fancy this late in the season with shot-in-the-dark guys like Harris. Yes, he’ll likely see the bulk of the action for Detroit against a Bears defense that has been susceptible against the run. However, the Lions offense has been lousy without Kevin Jones and Harris’ 10 carries for 18 yards total in the past two games will not bring hope to even the most rabid Lions fan.
DeShaun Foster, Carolina (vs. Atlanta): With Delhomme out and D’Angelo Williams in, Foster’s chances will be limited. The Falcons have performed well against the run lately and they’ll do just enough to contain Foster to minimal yardage.
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Houston
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Houston
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Denver
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. Washington
Donald Driver, Green Bay vs. Minnesota
Andre Johnson, Houston vs. Indianapolis
Terrell Owens, Dallas vs. Philadelphia
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Atlanta
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati vs. Denver
Removed from Studs list
-Roy Williams, Detroit
Isaac Bruce, St. Louis (vs. Washington): Sure, Bruce is a risky play this week, but expect the Rams to come out firing and Holt will be the Redskins top priority. That should give Bruce the cushion he needs to take one of those short timing passes over the middle for a couple long gains paying off those owners daring enough to check off his name this week.
Marques Colston, New Orleans (vs. N.Y. Giants): Colston looks fully healthy as his seven catches for 84 yards last week can attest to. Expect even more of Colston this week as the Saints offense looks to prove last week was a fluke and the Giants pass defense will oblige.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (vs. San Francisco): This former stud has slowly climbed back up the WR ranks. With big things expected from Leinart this week, look for Fitzgerald to come close to matching the nine-catch, 133-yard performance he posted back in week one against these same 49ers.
Reggie Brown, Philadelphia (vs. Dallas): So much for Stallworth surpassing Brown on the Eagles WR depth chart with Jeff Garcia at the helm. Brown has 70+ receiving yards in each of the past three games and has caught three TDs in four weeks. Look for Brown’s success to continue as Garcia will do some damage in the air in Dallas this week.
Eddie Kennison, Kansas City (vs. Oakland): Bad things from Trent Green equal little to no chance of a big day from Kennison. Gonzo will get his, but Eddie will be left out to dry.
Drew Bennett, Tennessee (vs. Buffalo): How can you go from catching six passes for 113 yards to zero catches the following week? Inconsistency is a killer this time of the fantasy year and Bennett is unlikely to play a major role in the Titans offense this week in Buffalo as he watches Travis Henry run wild.
Laveranues Coles, N.Y. Jets (vs. Miami): Coles suffered a back injury last week and is questionable against Miami. Despite the results of last week’s game, the Dolphins defense is the same one that dominated the Patriots two weeks ago. As the fish head back home, Coles and the rest of your Jets WRs should be heading to your bench.
Reggie Williams, Jacksonville (vs. New England): Here’s another, “Don’t get fancy” guy this week. Williams has flashed signs of greatness and his numbers last week were solid (88 yards receiving on four catches). Keep your cool and don’t expect the Patriots to let Williams do anything special this week.
Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Seattle
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. Oakland
Kellen Winslow, Cleveland vs. Tampa Bay
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. New Orleans
Todd Heap, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. Carolina
Removed from Studs list
-Ben Watson, New England: knee
Ben Utecht, Indianapolis (vs. Houston): Without Dallas Clark, Utecht has received a lot of attention from Manning lately. Look for that trend to continue this week against the Texans who I believe allowed six catches and 50 yards to the water boy last week in New England.
Jason Witten, Dallas (vs. Philadelphia): Witten has averaged over 50 yards receiving in each of the past three games and should find similar success against the Eagles this week. Witten caught four passes for 51 yards the last time these teams met and that was with Bledsoe at QB. Look for those numbers to improve with Romo at the helm.
Owen Daniels, Houston (vs. Indianapolis): See David Carr.
Chris Baker, N.Y. Jets (vs. Miami): Baker won’t find much room in the middle of the Dolphins defense this week when he’s not protecting Pennington which won’t be very often.