Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Weekly Fantasy Roundup: Bench/Start Week 16

For my 2008 NQTC Fantasy Football finale, The Bad Guy is leaving you with a few balls to the wall suggestions for what is most likely your championship week. If anyone has any feedback or questions, feel free to contact me at nkupchan@stats.com. It's been fun, and hopefully I'll be back for baseball.


BENCH


RB LaDainian Tomlinson (Chargers) - If you have managed to stay alive in your leagues up to this point with LT, then you are most likely going to ride it out with him, but if you're in a shallow league, I would really consider sitting him this week. The Chargers head to Tampa to take on a Buccaneers defense that has allowed (you may want to make sure you're sitting down for this) ZERO rushing TDs at home so far this season. Combine that with the fact that LT has been anything but spectacular in 2008, and you have all the ingredients for a really disappointing game. The Bucs just lost starting safety Jermaine Phillips for the rest of the season, and Pro Bowl LB Derrick Brooks might be out as well due to injured ribs, but even with these injuries, LT is still a risky play.




RB Marion Barber (Cowboys) - You could just tell that Barber was not himself on Sunday night, rushing the ball for a ridiculous two yards on eight carries. His backup, RB Tashard Choice, led the Cowboys in both rushing AND receiving, compiling 91 yards on the ground (including a 38 yard TD) and 52 through the air, and seems to have assured himself of future playing time regardless of Barber's health. If the match up were better, Barber wouldn't be as much of a ?, but Baltimore comes to town in Week 16, and as we all know, the Ray Lewis and co. simply shut down the run. The Ravens allowing 78 yards per game on the ground, and have allowed a league low 3 rushing TDs all season. Barber's chances of putting up double digit fantasy points are slim to none, and I would recommend leaving him on your bench this week.




START



RB DeShaun Foster (49ers) - If Frank Gore is out again due to a sprained ankle, DeShaun Foster becomes someone to keep an eye on. While replacing Gore in Week 15, Foster put up pretty good numbers against one of the better rush defenses in the league - 18 carries for 76 yards and five catches for 25 yards, and considering the 49ers opponent this week, should be considered a huge sleeper. San Fransisco travels to St. Louis to take on a Rams defense that has given up 23 rushing TDs and allows over 150 yards per game on the ground. If you're dealing with injuries or like to play match ups, Foster makes for a pretty decent play, and the potential is definitely there for a big game.



RB Kevin Smith (Lions) - Forget Calvin Johnson, Smith is the focal point of the Lions offense. He is coming off back to back 20 carry games, and should continue that trend this week against the Saints. There will be plenty of scoring to go around in this game, and considering that New Orleans has allowed eight rushing TDs in their seven road games, Smith is almost a lock to find the end zone on Sunday. The Bad Guy will even go as far as to guarantee that #34 is a top 10 RB for Week 16. Make sure he's in your lineups, and don't be afraid to start him over bigger names, as there won't be too many guys who put up bigger numbers....

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