Start & SitDecember 21, 2006

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Week 16

By Nick Hopkins

The end is almost here. For many owners, Week 16 represents the Fantasy Championship. For the rest, the final game is but a week away. Time to lay it all on the line to bring home the fantasy gold. The very best of luck to all those lucky enough to have made it this far. Here is the Fantasy Football Cafe’s Week 16 Start & Sit.

Our system is based on two separate rankings: Risk and Reward. Each player or defense was given a statistical ranking for each of the two categories.

Risk is determined by anything that could negatively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as matchup, situation, and injuries.

Reward is determined by anything that could positively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as talent, matchup, and situation.

The Ranking for the two categories is as follows:

Risk: Score of 0 being the lowest risk, 10 being the highest risk.
Reward: Score of 0 being lowest reward, 10 being the highest reward.


Peyton Manning – INDat HOU17.61.49.0
Drew Brees – NOat NYG15.62.88.4
Carson Palmer – CINat DEN14.83.48.2
Marc Bulger – STLvs WAS14.23.27.4
Matt Leinart – ARIat SF13.83.67.4
Matt Hasselbeck – SEAvs SD13.63.47.0
Brett Favre – GBvs MIN13.63.67.2
Tony Romo – DALvs PHI13.43.46.8
Michael Vick – ATLvs CAR13.44.07.4
Eli Manning – NYGvs NO13.03.86.8
Philip Rivers – SDat SEA12.03.85.8
Tom Brady – NEat JAC12.04.06.0
Jay Cutler – DENvs CIN12.04.66.6
Jeff Garcia – PHIat DAL11.64.05.6
JP Losman – BUFvs TEN11.44.66.0
Rex Grossman – CHIat DET11.44.66.0
Alex Smith – SFvs ARI11.24.05.2
Vince Young – TENat BUF11.24.65.8
Chad Pennington – NYJat MIA11.24.86.0
Joey Harrington – MIAvs NYJ10.24.85.0
Jason Campbell – WASat STL10.25.25.4
Trent Green – KCat OAK9.85.25.0
Tim Rattay – TBat CLE9.85.45.2
Jon Kitna – DETvs CHI9.65.85.4
Tarvaris Jackson – MINat GB9.45.85.2
David Garrard – JACvs NE9.25.04.2
Derek Anderson – CLEvs TB9.25.64.8
Ben Roethlisberger – PITvs BAL8.66.24.8
David Carr – HOUvs IND7.46.23.6
Chris Weinke – CARat ATL7.06.83.8
Steve McNair – BALat PIT7.07.04.0
Kyle Boller – BALat PIT6.27.03.2
Aaron Brooks – OAKvs KC6.07.23.2
Jake Delhomme – CARat ATL3.88.42.2

Matt Leinart, ARI (13.8 rating): Leinart ran into a little trouble against the Broncos last week, but overall he has had a very solid rookie season. If you are rotating quarterbacks at this point in the fantasy season, Leinart might be worth a hard look this week. The Cardinals go up against the San Francisco 49ers, and while the Niners held the Seahawks’ passing game in check last week, they are still at the lower end of the NFL in terms of passing yards and touchdowns allowed. Matt Leinart should have a productive game throwing to Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin in San Francisco.

Jon Kitna, DET (9.6 rating): Kitna’s 3,600 passing yards and 16 total touchdowns have been a useful addition to many fantasy rosters, but the Lions’ quarterback has slipped down the stretch run. Kitna has only two touchdowns against eight interceptions in his last three games, and it will not get any easier this week against the imposing Chicago Bears defense. He would appear to offer little help to teams in need of a starting quarterback this week.

Running BacksOpponentRatingRiskReward
LaDainian Tomlinson – SDat SEA18.51.29.7
Larry Johnson – KCat OAK18.21.39.5
Frank Gore – SFvs ARI17.51.59.0
Steven Jackson – STLvs WAS16.82.29.0
Brian Westbrook – PHIat DAL16.21.88.0
Ladell Betts – WASat STL16.02.28.2
Tiki Barber – NYGvs NO15.52.27.7
Willis McGahee – BUFvs TEN15.02.87.8
Rudi Johnson – CINat DEN14.82.77.5
Shaun Alexander – SEAvs SD14.73.27.8
Marion Barber – DALvs PHI14.53.27.7
Reggie Bush – NOat NYG14.23.27.3
Deuce McAllister – NOat NYG13.83.37.2
Cedric Benson – CHIat DET13.73.26.8
Chester Taylor – MINat GB13.73.57.2
Travis Henry – TENat BUF13.33.36.7
Maurice Jones-Drew – JACvs NE12.73.86.5
Sammy Morris – MIAvs NYJ12.53.56.0
Edgerrin James – ARIat SF12.53.86.3
Jamal Lewis – BALat PIT12.34.06.3
Willie Parker – PITvs BAL12.24.56.7
Dominic Rhodes – INDat HOU12.04.26.2
Joseph Addai – INDat HOU12.04.86.8
Cedric Houston – NYJat MIA11.83.85.7
Corey Dillon – NEat JAC11.54.25.7
Ron Dayne – HOUvs IND11.34.05.3
Julius Jones – DALvs PHI11.24.25.3
Mike Bell – DENvs CIN11.25.26.3
Thomas Jones – CHIat DET11.04.25.2
Ronnie Brown – MIAvs NYJ11.04.25.2
Brandon Jacobs – NYGvs NO11.04.75.7
Tatum Bell – DENvs CIN11.05.36.3
Warrick Dunn – ATLvs CAR10.54.85.3
Michael Turner – SDat SEA10.34.85.2
Justin Fargas – OAKvs KC9.24.73.8
DeAngelo Williams – CARat ATL9.25.34.5
Ahman Green – GBvs MIN9.25.34.5
Cadillac Williams – TBat CLE9.25.54.7
Correll Buckhalter – PHIat DAL9.05.04.0
Wali Lundy – HOUvs IND8.75.34.0
Reuben Droughns – CLEvs TB8.75.54.2
Jerious Norwood – ATLvs CAR8.35.84.2
DeShaun Foster – CARat ATL8.05.83.8
Fred Taylor – JACvs NE8.06.34.3
Laurence Maroney – NEat JAC8.06.34.3
Leon Washington – NYJat MIA7.76.03.7
Jerome Harrison – CLEvs TB7.56.03.5
Vernand Morency – GBvs MIN7.06.23.2
Najeh Davenport – PITvs BAL7.06.33.3
Arlen Harris – DETvs CHI7.06.83.8
Maurice Morris – SEAvs SD6.36.83.2
TJ Duckett – WASat STL6.06.72.7
Lendale White – TENat BUF5.86.72.5
Samkon Gado – HOUvs IND5.77.02.7
Mike Anderson – BALat PIT4.57.52.0
Musa Smith – BALat PIT4.57.82.3
Michael Robinson – SFvs ARI4.07.81.8
Noah Herron – GBvs MIN3.77.81.5
Ciatrick Fason – MINat GB3.28.31.5
LaBrandon Toefield – JACvs NE2.58.71.2
Kevan Barlow – NYJat MIA2.38.81.2

Ladell Betts, WAS (16.0 rating): Betts has been on a tear since he took over the starting role in Week 12. The Redskins’ runner has recorded four straight 100-yard games, and goes into St. Louis needing only 67 yards to reach 1,000 for the season. Look for him to get that and then some, as the Rams are second worst in the NFL against the run, giving up 147.8 rushing yards a game.

Cedric Houston, NYJ (11.8 rating): Houston has quietly taken over the role of lead back for the Jets, as he’s carried the ball 18 times or more in each of their last three games. However, he does not make the best start in Week 16 against a Miami defense that has been strong against the run all season. The Dolphins have allowed only six rushing touchdowns, and a paltry 3.5 yards per carry average to opposing running backs.

Wide ReceiversOpponentRatingRiskReward
Marvin Harrison – INDat HOU17.51.59.0
Reggie Wayne – INDat HOU17.31.58.8
Donald Driver – GBvs MIN17.01.88.8
Larry Fitzgerald – ARIat SF16.72.08.7
Torry Holt – STLvs WAS16.32.08.3
Steve Smith – CARat ATL16.32.58.8
Terrell Owens – DALvs PHI16.02.28.2
Plaxico Burress – NYGvs NO15.82.58.3
Lee Evans – BUFvs TEN15.22.77.8
Anquan Boldin – ARIat SF15.02.77.7
Marques Colston – NOat NYG14.82.77.5
Chad Johnson – CINat DEN14.83.07.8
TJ Houshmandzadeh – CINat DEN14.83.07.8
Andre Johnson – HOUvs IND14.33.07.3
Javon Walker – DENvs CIN14.23.57.7
Laveranues Coles – NYJat MIA14.03.57.5
Braylon Edwards – CLEvs TB13.33.36.7
Santana Moss – WASat STL13.33.36.7
Donte’ Stallworth – PHIat DAL13.23.36.5
Joey Galloway – TBat CLE13.03.36.3
Devery Henderson – NOat NYG13.04.07.0
Reggie Brown – PHIat DAL12.83.76.5
Isaac Bruce – STLvs WAS12.73.25.8
Muhsin Muhammad – CHIat DET12.73.56.2
Bernard Berrian – CHIat DET12.74.26.8
Marty Booker – MIAvs NYJ12.74.26.8
Mark Clayton – BALat PIT12.53.76.2
Terry Glenn – DALvs PHI12.33.86.2
Jerricho Cotchery – NYJat MIA12.33.86.2
Reche Caldwell – NEat JAC12.23.75.8
Hines Ward – PITvs BAL12.24.06.2
Roy Williams – DETvs CHI12.25.27.3
Chris Henry – CINat DEN12.04.56.5
Deion Branch – SEAvs SD11.84.05.8
Derrick Mason – BALat PIT11.34.25.5
Drew Bennett – TENat BUF11.24.25.3
Rod Smith – DENvs CIN11.03.84.8
Joe Jurevicius – CLEvs TB11.04.25.2
Nate Washington – PITvs BAL11.04.75.7
Keyshawn Johnson – CARat ATL10.84.35.2
Keenan McCardell – SDat SEA10.54.24.7
Antonio Bryant – SFvs ARI10.35.05.3
Michael Jenkins – ATLvs CAR10.25.05.2
Santonio Holmes – PITvs BAL9.84.84.7
Mike Furrey – DETvs CHI9.85.25.0
Arnaz Battle – SFvs ARI9.85.25.0
Greg Jennings – GBvs MIN9.74.74.3
Eddie Kennison – KCat OAK9.74.74.3
Bryant Johnson – ARIat SF9.54.84.3
Mark Bradley – CHIat DET9.55.24.7
Joe Horn – NOat NYG9.55.55.0
Troy Brown – NEat JAC9.34.74.0
Brandon Marshall – DENvs CIN9.35.24.5
Matt Jones – JACvs NE9.25.04.2
Wes Welker – MIAvs NYJ9.05.04.0
Travis Taylor – MINat GB9.05.74.7
Terrance Copper – NOat NYG8.85.34.2
Chad Jackson – NEat JAC8.85.54.3
Ashley Lelie – ATLvs CAR8.75.34.0
Josh Reed – BUFvs TEN8.75.84.5
Drew Carter – CARat ATL8.55.33.8
Reggie Williams – JACvs NE8.55.54.0
Hank Baskett – PHIat DAL8.55.74.2
Eric Parker – SDat SEA8.55.74.2
Vincent Jackson – SDat SEA8.55.84.3
Chris Chambers – MIAvs NYJ8.56.24.7
Roddy White – ATLvs CAR8.25.53.7
Troy Williamson – MINat GB8.25.84.0
Eric Moulds – HOUvs IND7.86.03.8
Nate Burleson – SEAvs SD7.86.34.2
Ernest Wilford – JACvs NE7.76.23.8
Jabar Gaffney – NEat JAC7.56.03.5
Antwaan Randle El – WASat STL7.36.03.3
Rashied Davis – CHIat DET7.36.53.8
Bobby Engram – SEAvs SD7.26.73.8
Marcus Robinson – MINat GB6.56.53.0
Tim Carter – NYGvs NO6.57.23.7
Kevin Curtis – STLvs WAS6.26.83.0
Justin McCareins – NYJat MIA6.06.82.8
Sammie Parker – KCat OAK5.57.02.5
Mike Williams – DETvs CHI5.37.02.3
Cedrick Wilson – PITvs BAL5.37.22.5
Brandon Lloyd – WASat STL4.87.32.2
Roscoe Parrish – BUFvs TEN4.77.82.5
Dennis Northcutt – CLEvs TB4.57.72.2
Doug Gabriel – OAKvs KC3.88.72.5
Darrell Jackson – SEAvs SD3.58.21.7
Az Hakim – SDat SEA3.28.21.3
Randy Moss – OAKvs KC2.28.70.8
Jerry Porter – OAKvs KC1.59.20.7

Lee Evans, BUF (15.2 rating): It seems like the light has come on for Buffalo’s quarterback J.P. Losman. The young signal caller struggled early in the year, but in his past five games Losman has thrown a whopping ten touchdowns and only four picks, as the Bills have won four of five. And as you would expect, the quarterback’s success has translated to good numbers for the Bills’ #1 wide out. Evans has four touchdowns in the past five games, after grabbing only two in the first nine. There is reason to expect more of the same this week against the Titans below-average passing defense.

Hines Ward, PIT (12.2 rating): The fall of the Steelers has been well-documented, and while running back Willie Parker was able to have a stellar year despite the Steelers’ troubles, Hines Ward was dragged under. Ward is on pace for his lowest yardage total since 2000. He is in his second week after returning from an injury that kept him sidelined in weeks 13 and 14, and will have to face the Ravens defense. This is a pretty good week to sit Ward if you can afford it.

Tight EndsOpponentRatingRiskReward
Jeremy Shockey – NYGvs NO16.51.78.2
Antonio Gates – SDat SEA16.52.38.8
Tony Gonzalez – KCat OAK16.21.77.8
Alge Crumpler – ATLvs CAR15.22.37.5
Chris Cooley – WASat STL14.82.37.2
Todd Heap – BALat PIT14.52.77.2
Desmond Clark – CHIat DET14.32.87.2
LJ Smith – PHIat DAL14.22.56.7
Kellen Winslow – CLEvs TB13.82.86.7
Vernon Davis – SFvs ARI13.83.06.8
Jeremy Stevens – SEAvs SD13.32.86.2
Jason Witten – DALvs PHI12.53.56.0
Ben Utecht – INDat HOU11.23.85.0
Tony Scheffler – DENvs CIN11.24.55.7
Jermaine Wiggins – MINat GB11.03.54.5
Heath Miller – PITvs BAL11.04.75.7
Stephen Alexander – DENvs CIN10.24.34.5
Randy McMichael – MIAvs NYJ10.04.74.7
Owen Daniels – HOUvs IND9.54.54.0
Chris Baker – NYJat MIA9.54.84.3
Daniel Graham – NEat JAC9.34.84.2
David Martin – GBvs MIN9.25.04.2
Alex Smith – TBat CLE9.25.04.2
Ben Watson – NEat JAC8.75.84.5
Eric Johnson – SFvs ARI8.55.23.7
Joe Klopfenstein – STLvs WAS8.35.84.2
Courtney Anderson – OAKvs KC8.25.53.7
Bryan Fletcher – INDat HOU7.85.73.5
George Wrighster – JACvs NE7.86.03.8
Kris Mangum – CARat ATL7.25.83.0
Bubba Franks – GBvs MIN6.76.53.2
Steve Heiden – CLEvs TB6.36.32.7
Jeb Putzier – HOUvs IND6.36.32.7
Leonard Pope – ARIat SF5.86.52.3
Reggie Kelly – CINat DEN5.86.82.7
Jason Dunn – KCat OAK5.76.52.2
Dan Campbell – DETvs CHI5.56.82.3
Bo Scaife – TENat BUF4.57.31.8
Anthony Becht – TBat CLE4.37.72.0
Marcus Pollard – DETvs CHI4.27.51.7
Itula Mili – SEAvs SD3.88.01.8

Kellen Winslow, CLE (13.8 rating): Pro-bowl snubs may not be too important to most people, but I have a feeling Winslow may be a little miffed at being left off the team, as he always seems to be looking for respect. And, he may have a good point. He has had a very nice season. He could very well have a statement game against Tampa Bay. The Bucs have given up more passing touchdowns (25) than any other NFL team.

Owen Daniels, HOU (9.5 rating): Daniels has had a decent year for a rookie, but the fact is, he has not found the end zone since Week 8. The Texans would appear a little over-matched this week against the Colts, so Daniels is probably not your best bet at tight end this week.

Adam Vinatieri – INDat HOU16.21.88.0
Robbie Gould – CHIat DET16.22.08.2
Nate Kaeding – SDat SEA15.22.27.3
Shayne Graham – CINat DEN14.23.27.3
Jeff Wilkins – STLvs WAS13.73.26.8
Neil Rackers – ARIat SF13.53.57.0
John Carney – NOat NYG13.33.26.5
Jason Elam – DENvs CIN13.03.36.3
Jay Feely – NYGvs NO13.03.56.5
Matt Stover – BALat PIT13.03.86.8
Lawrence Tynes – KCat OAK12.33.76.0
Josh Brown – SEAvs SD12.23.55.7
Martin Gramatica – DALvs PHI12.04.06.0
John Kasay – CARat ATL11.84.05.8
Dave Rayner – GBvs MIN11.73.85.5
Ryan Longwell – MINat GB11.73.85.5
David Akers – PHIat DAL11.54.25.7
Joe Nedney – SFvs ARI11.34.25.5
Shaun Suisham – WASat STL11.34.25.5
Stephen Gostkowski – NEat JAC11.34.35.7
Rian Lindell – BUFvs TEN11.04.35.3
Morten Andersen – ATLvs CAR10.74.55.2
Mike Nugent – NYJat MIA10.54.75.2
Phil Dawson – CLEvs TB10.34.34.7
Jeff Reed – PITvs BAL10.34.54.8
Josh Scobee – JACvs NE10.04.54.5
Rob Bironas – TENat BUF9.75.24.8
Olindo Mare – MIAvs NYJ9.54.74.2
Jason Hanson – DETvs CHI9.55.04.5
Matt Bryant – TBat CLE8.85.34.2
Kris Brown – HOUvs IND8.74.83.5
Sebastian Janikowski – OAKvs KC7.85.83.7

Lawrence Tynes, KC (12.3 rating): Tynes accounted for all nine of the Chiefs points last week against the Chargers, and he has a good chance to put up some points this week against the Raiders as well. Oakland has allowed 26 field goals this season, good for 5th most in the league.

Olindo Mare, MIA (9.5 rating): This has not been the best season for the Dolphins’ usually dependable place kicker. In fact, Mare is on pace for the second worst season of his ten year career. The Jets have only given up 16 field goals on the year, so this week would not be the week to pluck Mare from your league’s waiver wire.

Team DefenseOpponentRatingRiskReward
Chicagoat DET17.81.29.0
Baltimoreat PIT17.01.88.8
Kansas Cityat OAK14.32.87.2
San Diegoat SEA13.73.06.7
Green Bayvs MIN13.32.86.2
Indianapolisat HOU13.23.36.5
Pittsburghvs BAL13.23.56.7
New Englandat JAC12.73.76.3
Buffalovs TEN12.03.85.8
Minnesotaat GB12.03.85.8
Dallasvs PHI12.04.06.0
Miamivs NYJ11.54.05.5
Jacksonvillevs NE11.54.56.0
Arizonaat SF11.34.35.7
Philadelphiaat DAL11.34.55.8
New York Jetsat MIA11.04.25.2
Tennesseeat BUF11.04.55.5
Atlantavs CAR10.84.75.5
Denvervs CIN10.85.05.8
Cincinnatiat DEN10.34.85.2
Carolinaat ATL10.05.35.3
St. Louisvs WAS9.84.84.7
Clevelandvs TB9.54.74.2
Oaklandvs KC9.55.24.7
Seattlevs SD9.35.34.7
Washingtonat STL9.05.24.2
San Franciscovs ARI8.85.54.3
Tampa Bayat CLE8.75.23.8
New Orleansat NYG8.75.54.2
New York Giantsvs NO8.56.04.5
Detroitvs CHI6.37.03.3
Houstonvs IND4.37.72.0

Green Bay (13.3 rating): Green Bay at home against the Vikings is a pretty sneaky play this week if you need a defense. The Packers have forced a respectable 26 turnovers and have recorded 41 sacks, the fourth most in the NFL. Vikings’ rookie quarterback Tarvaris Jackson will probably experience some growing pains in his first career start. Green Bay should be able to capitalize on this and put up some solid fantasy numbers.

Denver (10.8 rating): Denver is a good defense in a bad situation this week. I know I would not want to be the defense that has to face a high-powered Bengals’ offense that has a chip on its shoulder after being shut down by the Colts in Week 15. I have a hard time believing that Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson, and company will be quieted for the second week in a row. If there are any good alternatives available, give Denver’s defense the week off.

Special thanks to black_hawk8888, BlueBandit24, killiansjmd, lmcjaho, madaslives911, NittanyLions, and SwiperNoSwiping for their rankings and involvement with this week's article. For more insights and additional fine-tuning, visit our Who to Start/Bench forum section or listen to The Coach's Voice on Fantasy Cafe Radio.
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