Bilicki's NFL fantasy Week 16

DAN BILICKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:57 PM ET

TORONTO - If you’re reading this column and the advice still applies to you, chances are you’re either playing for your league’s championship this week or you’re very close to it. Or, you’re in a rare NFL rotisserie league.

So, while this is the probably most important week of your season so far, don’t go against your usual strategies. The worst thing you can do this week is out think yourself and get cute by picking up or starting a guy that’s a bit more risky than your proven stud.

Remember, you got here by playing one way all season, don’t abandon it now.

Anquan Boldin had knee surgery this week to help him get healthy for the playoffs, but that’s not going to help you win your championship. He has been the Ravens’ top receiving threat and great compliment to rookie speedster Torrey Smith. With Boldin out, Lee Evans will start, but he has been such a dud this season that he already lost his starting job to Smith. Don’t expect too much from those two against Cleveland’s surprisingly stingy pass defence.

With two pretty easy games left on the schedule, it looks like the Pittsburgh Steelers could let Ben Roethlisberger sit and recover from his ankle sprain. That means Charlie Batch would be in line for the starts against a woeful Rams defence. If you’re in need a QB — like if you have the possibly sitting Big Ben — Batch is not that bad of an option. He has some top-rate receivers around him, is playing at home and should have a nice time of possession.

The Chicago Bears finally decided to pull the plug on the Caleb Hanie experiment. Stepping in for Jay Cutler, the second-year QB didn’t play nearly as well as he did in his playoff cameo last season. He completed only 50% of his passes and had nine interceptions to only three passing TDs. Taking his place is Josh McCown, but he’s probably not the Bears’ saviour either. He might be able to help your fantasy team if you’re in a deep league, though. Playing against the Packers, he’ll get tons of chances to throw the ball.

Staying on the Bears, their top wide receiving option, Johnny Knox has been lost for the season after suffering a brutal-looking back injury on Sunday. He was the Chicago’s only fantasy-relevant receiver, and he wasn’t that great of option either. Both Roy Williams and Devin Hester should get a few more looks in Knox’s absence.

It’s not often we highlight kickers in this column, but you’d be wise to drop Billy Cundiff if you haven’t already. The Ravens brought in Shayne Graham for insurance this week and the veteran will play against the Browns. Considering the game could get out of hand, Graham might be a nice play for you off the waiver wire.

St. Louis is pondering shutting down Sam Bradford for the rest of the season, but chances are you weren’t likely to be relying on him if you made it this far in the playoffs. The bigger impact is on Steven Jackson and Brandon Lloyd. The Steelers — this week’s opponent — will likely stack the line more to stop Jackson while Lloyd will be trying to catch passes from third-stringer Kellen Clemens if A.J. Feeley’s thumb injury holds him out.

Sammy Morris, who was sitting on his couch watching the games just two weeks ago, could be in line for a start — in real life and your fantasy team — this week. With Felix Jones nursing an injured hamstring, one that was hurt earlier this season, Morris might be the only option at running back the Cowboys have. Keep an eye on Jones’ status, but if he’s ruled out, you could do a lot worse than Morris facing the Eagles — ranked ninth in fantasy points allowed to opposing RBs.

And just in case you thinking about sneaking in Peyton Manning as a late-season saviour, he has been ruled out for the last two weeks. It would have been a dicey proposition playing him anyway, even in deep leagues. It’s not like the Colts were protecting the other guys at QB very well.

SIT OR START

Start: Tim Tebow, QB, DEN at BUF: – The Bills defence can make anybody look good these days.

Sit: Carson Palmer, QB, OAK at KC: The Chiefs did a pretty good job against Aaron Rodgers last week, how do you feel about Palmer’s chances?

Sit: Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA vs. SF: Even with his impressive scoring streak, he shouldn’t be trusted against the Niners defence.

Start: Reggie Bush, RB, MIA at NE – Bush ran for more than 200 yards last week and the Pats defence loves to give up yardage.

Sit: Marion Barber, RB, CHI at GB: – Last week, Kalil Bell had more carries and overall touches than him.

Sit: Chris Johnson, RB, TEN vs. JAC – Has been limited in practice this week with an ankle injury and there’s talk of limiting his carries too.

Start: Lance Moore, WR, NO vs. ATL – With teams paying more attention to Jimmy Graham in the red zone, Moore is reaping the benefits. He has score 5 times in the past four games.

Start: Laurent Robinson, WR, DAL vs. PHI: Over the past four weeks, the Cowboy has been the No. 3 WR in fantasy overall.

Start: Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN at BUF: Leads the league in receiving yards for the month of the Decemeber.

STAT CORNER

Larry Fitzgerald is only catching 52% of the passes he’s targeted on. That’s the worst catch rate of any player with at least 100 targets.

A WINNER IS YOU

After losing the past 17 games he played in, Dan Orlovsky has now won two in a row.

VERSUS

C.J. SPILLER, RB, BUF vs. DEN

Coming off a big week in which he recorded his first multi-TD game of this career.

Coach Chan Gailey could be limiting his touches and feels Spiller’s not ready for 25-30 touches per game.

Broncos have given up the seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing RBs over the past five weeks.

Denver has given up at least 10 points to the primary RB in the past four weeks.

AHMAD BRADSHAW, RB, NYG at NYJ

After practising on Wednesday, took Thursday off. He’s still probable to play though.

The Jets have been stout against opposing RBs this season, but allowed 24 points for LeSean McCoy last week.

The Jets should be focussing on shutting down the Giants troika of great receivers as opposed to the running game.

Brandon Jacobs always looms as a TD-vulture threat.

Verdict : This is a tricky one, but Spiller’s more likely to punch one in for a touchdown than Bradshaw is.


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