Nobody needs to be told starting Cam Newton, David Johnson,
or Antonio Brown is a good idea. Duh, right? You can’t have
studs at every position, though, unless you’re in the shallowest
of leagues. This is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help
deciding which bargain basement QB to use and which to ignore
on Newton’s bye week? Let’s talk. Looking for solutions
at running back because David Johnson is a game-time decision?
Look no further. Need to know which of your unproven targets to
start and which to sit since you ignored Brown and went RB-QB-Gronk
in your first three rounds? You get the idea. Past results may
not guarantee future success, but ignoring them entirely can ruin
your Sundays in a hurry (maybe even your Mondays and Thursdays).
Read on for a little history and, hopefully, a little sage advice.
Note: Fantasy points
based on FF Today’s standard scoring system.
Bye Weeks: N/A
Marcus Mariota posted 270 yards and 2 touchdowns
the last time the Titans faced the Jaguars.
Grab a Helmet
Rodgers v. MIN (Sat): Green Bayís franchise didnít throw
a TD pass in frigid Chicago last Sunday, the first time heíd failed
to do so since Week 8 of last season, the game some critics point
to as the beginning of a prolonged funk. We should all be so funky.
All Rodgers has done since that unsightly performance against the
Broncos is accumulate the second most fantasy points at the position
(Drew Brees). This despite numerous injuries to key offensive contributors.
Bad weather and a balky hamstring have also conspired against him
of late, but few QBs have as much self-confidence and fewer still
play with such a large chip on their shoulders. A-Rodge predicted
the Pack might run the table and to do so, heíll need a V for Vendetta-type
performance against the hated Vikings. He gets it, so donít get
cute if you survived last weekís dud.
Mariota @ JAX (Sat): Mariotaís owners know what a real
funk looks like, having suffered through two brutal outings in a
row (20.1 points combined in Weeks 14 and 15). First came Denverís
ďno-fly zoneĒ and then came the Chiefs in subarctic Kansas City,
conditions the Hawaiian-born signal caller has never played in.
So what to do with the leagueís sixth most productive slinger now
that heís likely scuttled your playoff hopes? Get him in there and
go win a consolation bracket. In the first meeting against the Jags,
Mariota completed 18-of-22 for 270 yards and two scores and all
but three of those pass attempts came before halftime. Jacksonville
doesnít even have an embattled coach to save this time, so a maximum
effort doesnít seem likely. Meanwhile, the Titans are legitimately
in the playoff hunt. Shake it off and get my boy back in your lineup.
Prescott v. DET (Mon): Maybe the head Cowboy was just
pulling some next level reverse psychology when he cryptically suggested
Tony Romo might see the field again in 2016? Regardless, thereíll
be no need for such foolishness this week after Prescott played
a near flawless Sunday nighter against Tampa Bay (32-of-36 for 279
yards and a rushing touchdown). And if Jerruh really DOES believe
the Cowboys would be better off with Romo under center, he might
want to consider the following: Prescottís worst three games as
a pro have come against New Yorkís Giants (twice) and Minnesota,
two of the top three pass defenses in the league. In every other
game, heís notched at least 20 fantasy points. Every. Other. Game.
If heís been starting for you all season, heís undoubtedly the best
bargain on your roster. Start Prescott against a bend-and-frequently-break
Detroit secondary on Monday night.
Grab a Clipboard
Wentz v. NYG (Thu): Six quarterbacks where chosen ahead
of Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL draft and seven were chosen ahead
of the aforementioned Prescott in this past Aprilís draft. Iím
not saying Dak is the next Tom Brady, butÖinteresting parallel,
yes? Carson Wentz was one of those guys selected before Dallasí
rising star and things looked fairly promising early on (20.5
FPts/G through his first four). Then he seemed to hit the rookie
wall, way earlier than most typically do. Oddly, as Wentzís pass
attempts increased, his production began to decline. He didnít
throw 40 passes in a game until Week 8, but has only failed to
do so twice since then and still canít produce like he did out
of the gate. If the Giants can handle Prescott, Iím betting they
can make life pretty tough for the mistake-prone Wentz on short
rest. Sit him down.
Palmer @ SEA (Sat): In fact, itís probably wise to
sit down ALL quarterbacks named Carson in Week 16. Itís been a
pretty forgettable 2016 for Palmer and his Cards, to say the least.
The season began with high hopes and lofty expectations but will
end with more losses than wins and many more questions than answers.
Thereís really no statistical explanation for why Arizona has
failed to live up to expectations (top 10 offense, top 10 defense,
average turnover differential), but solid fundamentals donít always
guarantee success. A couple breaks here or there and it may have
been a different story. Instead, itís the sad one where Arizona
heads to hostile Seattle after getting boat-raced at home by an
equally underachieving Saints team. Newsflash: Seattle in late
December isnít the ideal environment for an opposing quarterback
and his playing-out-the-string teammates. Best not rely on Palmer
this Christmas Eve.
Flacco @ PIT (Sun): The NFL schedule-makers donít always
get it right (see Thursday Night Football), but occasionally they
drop a little something special in our stockings. This year’s
Christmas Day early game will be one of those late season, must-see
TV beauts the league is famous for as fierce rivals square off
in a game that likely decides the AFC North crown. Purists will
love the hard-hitting, no-holds-barred action, but Flacco’s
fantasy owners may not. Baltimore v. Pittsburgh is usually a low-scoring
affair and the former Blue Hen, despite a 9-7 record in the series,
has averaged only 16.1 points/game in 16 career outings v. the
Steelers. For perspective, Brock Osweiler, who just got demoted
in Houston, is averaging 15 per this season. Flacco’s a
great spot starter when the spot is right, but a visit to Heinz
Field with a whole bunch on the line probably isn’t it.