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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 16

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


David Garrard vs. WAS

Garrard has had a nice late-season run, throwing five touchdowns in his last two weeks and should be a solid play this week against the Redskins. The Redskins are 28th in fantasy points allowed to the quarterback position and have averaged 285.5 yards allowed in their last two games. Garrard could be a nice replacement for a low-end starter who has a poor matchup this week.

Josh Freeman vs. SEA

While Freeman hasn't been spectacular as a fantasy quarterback, he has been very consistent. He has thrown for a touchdown in 11 consecutive games and has averaged 258.5 passing yards in his last two games. Freeman has a solid matchup this week against Seattle. The Seahawks are traveling east and are 27th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Freeman owners will be more pleased to know that, with the exception of a poor Carolina passing attack, the Seahawks have given up at least three touchdown passes in four of the last five games. Freeman and the Buccaneers have a lot to play for, so expect to see him at his best.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. BUF

Green-Ellis rushed for a touchdown but otherwise didn't do a lot last week against Green Bay. The Packers are one of the better run defenses in the league, and Tom Brady got a rhythm going through the air. This week should be much better for Green-Ellis as he faces the Bills. Buffalo has shown steady improvement but continues to struggle against the run. The Bills are 28th in fantasy points allowed to running backs and gave up 133 yards and a touchdown in their first contest with the Patriots. With potential bad weather looming, the matchup looks like a strong one for Green-Ellis.

Brandon Lloyd vs. HOU

While Tim Tebow can't excite Lloyd owners, Lloyd did catch four passes for 79 yards and a touchdown last week against a fairly strong Oakland pass defense. This week, Lloyd has a much more favorable matchup against the Texans. The Texans are 31st in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers and have given up four touchdowns in the last two weeks. Look for Lloyd to have a nice game to end what has been a breakout season for him.

Dallas Def vs. ARI

The Cowboys have been a mediocre fantasy defense for most of the season but have begun to come on with seven sacks and eight interceptions in their last three games. This week they have one of the best matchups on the board against the Cardinals. The Cardinals couldn't' run the ball in a good matchup against Carolina last week, and rookie John Skelton has looked overmatched in his two starts. Look for the Cowboys to have one of their better fantasy outings of the season in this all-important week.


Ben Roethlisberger vs. CAR

While Roethlisberger continues to guide the Steelers toward the playoffs, he hasn't been lighting up the fantasy world lately. Roethlisberger has thrown just two touchdowns in the last four weeks and has struggled a bit behind a shaky offensive line. Roethlisberger has a tough matchup this week against the Panthers. The Panthers have given up the second fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks this season and have a very bad run defense, giving up the third most fantasy points to running backs. This looks more like a Rashard Mendenhall week with Roethlisberger being more of a game manager than a fantasy stud.

Mark Sanchez vs. CHI

Sanchez has been fantasy gold for several weeks this season, but since Week 12, he has been nothing more than fool's gold. Sanchez has just one touchdown pass in four weeks and in that time has three games of fewer than 200 yards passing. The Bears will present challenges to Sanchez, as they have given up the fourth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks all season and have allowed just 12 touchdown passes in 14 games. The Jets may win this battle in Chicago, but don't expect it to be because of the fantasy exploits of Sanchez.

Jonathan Stewart vs. PIT

Stewart is finally healthy and is showing all the promise fantasy owners had for him in the beginning of the season. Stewart has rushed for 270 yards in the past two weeks and could very well be the Panthers top back next season. However, Stewart's fiery run to the end of the season should be put on ice against the Steelers run defense. The Steelers have given up by far the fewest fantasy points to running backs all season and have allowed just one rushing touchdown in the past 10 games. Stewart may finally get the chance to be the No. 1 guy for a full season in 2011, but he shouldn't be No. 1 on anyone's fantasy roster this week.

Chad Ochocinco vs. SD

With Terrell Owens out for the season, Ochocinco should see his targets increase in the final two games of the season. However, Ochocinco doesn't have the matchup this week to take advantage of his increased role. The Chargers have given up the second fewest points to fantasy receivers all season and have allowed just 19 catches and one touchdown in the past three weeks. The Chargers have everything to play for this week, so expect an all-out effort by the defense and for Ochocinco to be of little fantasy use.

New Orleans vs. ATL

The Saints pass rush has been good lately with three sacks in each of the last three games. However, this hasn't translated to their overall fantasy defense and doesn't bode well for their matchup against the Falcons. The Falcons are the third-toughest offense for fantasy defenses to score against, and for the season they rank fifth in scoring offense, third in fewest sacks allowed per game, fifth in fewest interceptions thrown and second in fewest fumbles lost. In perhaps the game of the year in the NFC, expect the offenses to rule Monday night.