8:52 pm, December 17th, 2012
If you are reading this, your Fantasy team has likely advanced to Week 16, widely considered a Super Bowl game. So we at RotoExperts.com officially congratulate you along with our friends at Sportsgrid. Read on as we push you to that coveted title.
1.1. Colin Kaepernick is a must-start.
In a marquee Sunday night game, the young passer outpointed Tom Brady, throwing four TD passes. Kaepernick can beat defenses with his turbo arm or his excellent scrambling skills. You have to keep him active next week at Seattle even in what seems to be a very challenging matchup.
2.2. Brandon Lloyd has finally arrived.
It has taken only 14 weeks, but Brandon Lloyd has finally started to make an impact over the past two weeks. Lloyd had his best game in a New England uniform on Sunday night, totaling 190 receiving yards. With injuries depleting the receiving corps and other top targets drawing extra attention in coverage, Lloyd has become relevant again.
3.3. You can’t start a quarterback based on matchups alone.
Josh Freeman was the overwhelmingly trendy pick as the quarterback to start. Hopefully, you did not use over Aaron Rodgers, as that would be matchup overanalysis. If you survived Freeman’s no TD, four interception performance, you should be thankful to have learned a valuable lesson.
4.4. Bad times from good players.
We saw down performances from the likes of Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin and Reggie Wayne, and newly-minted Fantasy star Danario Alexander was shut out. Don’t fret about these top performers. Not every play plays very well every week, and you cannot bench your top guys based on one disappointing outing, especially if you survived Week 15.
5.5. Knowshon Moreno is making the most of an opportunity.
The Denver RB had another strong game on Sunday, rushing for 118 yards and a score against Baltimore. Considered a bust last year, Moreno has re-emerged to seize a chance to come back from obscurity and the bottom of the depth chart. He should be locked in as a RB2 and could be the starter for 2013 as well.
6.6. You can’t intimidate Stevie Johnson.
Buffalo’s top WR does not back down to a tough matchup, as we have seen him take on the likes of Darrelle Revis before and win. Johnson totaled 115 receiving yards and a TD against the Seahawks this week. He’s a player you cannot bench based on the matchup.
7.7. Darren McFadden is special.
A reminder of how good he looks when he is healthy – Darren McFadden carried 30 times for 110 yards against Kansas City. He looked authoritative, broke tackles, flashed excellent speed and some power. But at this point of the season, you can’t trade him before he gets hurt again. So keep him plugged in and hope he finishes the next game.
8.8. You can’t start a defense based on matchups alone.
The Lions were the overwhelmingly trendy pick as the defense to start this past week. Seattle scored 41 NFL.com points against them in Week 14. But the Lions are certainly no Seahawks, as they allowed 38 points (even though much of it can be blamed on the rest of the team) and totaled three Fantasy points. But the bottom line is, quality of defensive unit counts just as much, if not more than opponent faced.
9.9. You have to stick with Heath Miller.
So many tight ends are unreliable right now, but with Ben Roethlisberger back, Heath Miller is a must-start again. Miller caught seven passes for 92 yards and a TD at Dallas, and has caught 23 passes with two scores while averaging 79.5 yards per game over the past four weeks.
10.10. You can win with Vick Ballard.
I have been downplaying his potential production in my pieces on here recently, but Ballard proved me wrong with an impressive performance against the Texans on Sunday. Displaying good patience and vision, Ballard rushed for 105 yards against a very good run defense. You can start him with confidence at flex in your Fantasy Super Bowl.
11.11. A reminder about revenge games.
Players often do well against their former teams. Marshawn Lynch ripped off a 54-yard run and went over 100 yards against Buffalo. Randy Moss scored against New England and Mike Tolbert rushed for two TDs against San Diego. Of course, nothing in Fantasy Sports is absolute (see Chad Henne against Miami), but very often, “revenge” games bring out better production in many players.
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