NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week 16 Fantasy Football Risk vs. Reward 

Fantasy Football

This is championship week for most of the remaining fantasy football owners.

Week 16 of fantasy football still has a lot of excitement to go with it, and for rare leagues, this is just the semi-final before the Week 17 finally.

However, Week 17 is generally skipped in fantasy because of teams potentially resting starters, but some leagues still do it for more excitement.

Here are some big time Risk vs. Reward scenarios for Week 16′s matchups:

Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina

Freeman has had some struggles in 2011, mostly in his last seven games where he has posted three single digit fantasy performances.

He was out because of a thumb injury in Week 13′s loss to Carolina so we don’t have any idea of what he can do against a defense that has some trouble stopping the opposition.

Freeman could have a big game, making himself a high end QB2 this week, especially if LeGarrette Blount struggles on the ground again.

Kyle Orton, QB, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland

Orton threw for 299 yards and 9.6 yards per attempt against a Green Bay defense that has had its ups and downs.

Oakland’s defense has had plenty more downs than ups, and it’s not impossible for Kyle Orton to have a pretty respectable fantasy performance.

This game could be a shootout, or be a one-sided game. Regardless, there’s potential for Orton here.

Matt Moore, QB, Miami Dolphins @ New England

Matt Moore has been quite respectable as a fantasy option since he blew up in Week 9 against the Chiefs.

Since then he has posted double digit fantasy numbers four out of six times, only struggling against Washington and Philadelphia.

New England has the worst secondary in the nation in terms of overall yardage, and Moore could break 300 for the first time this season in Week 16.

However, watch the weather forecast as playing in New England could limit Moore if there is a bit of snow.

Willis McGahee, RB, Denver Broncos @ Buffalo

McGahee has been a bust in his last two weeks after being a pretty solid fantasy option for much of the season.

Still, he had 70 yards on seven rushed against New England, and he did practice on Tuesday, so his hamstring likely won’t keep him from playing.

Lance Ball, however, could take snaps from him if he’s not feeling 100%. Either way, look for Denver to get back to running the ball heavily.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco

Lynch has produced big time this season and has been one of the most underrated runners.

But a match-up against San Francisco does not favor him.

I still believe that he gets a score to give up the first San Francisco rushing touchdown on the season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was held to under 45-50 yards on 15-20 carries.

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville

Johnson’s ankle is bothering him a bit, but it’s not expected to keep him out of Week 16.

However, despite back to back exceptional weeks in 12 and 13, he has posted back to back mediocre weeks scoring just 16 fantasy points combined in his last two weeks, despite favorable match-ups.

Johnson has a tough rushing defense in Jacksonville to face, and he has struggled. But we also know that he’s capable of putting up a 20+ point game at any time. He’s hard to sit in the championship week.

Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. St. Louis

Brown and the Steelers were shut down in Week 15 by the 49ers, but Brown’s big play ability makes him hard to pass up in championship week.

Look for Big Ben and the Steelers offense to rebound this week with Brown getting a score at some point, whether it’s in the return game or on the receiving end of a Big Ben pass.

St. Louis’ defense can’t seem to stop anything, so he’s a good bet for solid fantasy points.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland

Bowe has been quiet since Week 5. After the Bye week he’s had to face inconsistency at the quarterback position with Matt Cassel struggling, then going down and Tyler Palko getting the start in Week 11.

But with Kyle Orton throwing the ball, I have a hard time believing that Bowe won’t see solid fantasy points, and possibly get into double digits this week.

Bowe is a legit receiver, but he just needs a real quarterback throwing to him. He may have one.

Seattle Seahawks Defense vs. San Francisco

We know that the Seahawks defense has been improving, and we know that the San Francisco offense is above average, and that’s it.

Frank Gore is a great running back, but the Seattle defense will force Alex Smith to beat them in the air. While they struggle in the secondary, Smith isn’t a game changing quarterback and may not have enough to put up big points this week.

Look for a low scoring game overall.

Kansas City Chiefs Defense vs. Oakland

The Chiefs defense is tricky. Against the Jets and a mediocre combo of Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene, they gave up 37 points.

Against Aaron Rodgers and a talented offense, they gave up just 14 points.

I’ll take my chances with KC this week against an Oakland offense that turns the ball over thanks to Carson Palmer.

About the author: Keet Bailey

Keet Bailey heads the NFL Draft division of NFL Soup. Bailey’s 2012 NFL Mock Draft scored 12th overall among 112 participants according to The Huddle Report’s Annual Mock Draft scoring contest. An avid Cleveland Browns fan, Keet hails from and resides in Ohio. Follow Keet on Twitter @NFLSoupKeet

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