For many fantasy football owners, this upcoming week is the championship round. All other weeks were leading up to this. This match is for all of the marbles, and your lineup has to reflect that. Many actions from last week will have major effects on what happens this week. Because of their respective wins last week, the Cardinals and Panthers may be inclined to bench their starters this week. Also, many owners were ready to use Odell Beckham as their top receiver, but he will sit this weeks game against the Vikings out because he was suspended, standing at the dismay of both Giant fans and fantasy owners.

Great Plays:

QB: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New Orleans Saints

In fantasy football, the quarterback needs to be a consistent force driving up your team’s score. Blake Bortles should not only score a few points, but he should be more than able to lead your team in scoring. With a great arsenal of receivers by his side, and an extremely great matchup, Blake Bortles seems destined to have a great game this Sunday. He faces the New Orleans Saints horrendous defense, which allows the most passing touchdowns and fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Bortles and his receivers should all be in line for great games.

RB: David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers

This pick is not really about matchups, but more about the sheer volume that he should receive if the Cardinals decide to play their starters this week. Even if Andre Ellington comes back this week, Johnson should still be a top running back play for the championship round. Johnson was an absolute beast last week against Philadelphia, racking up over 180 rushing yards, three rushing scores, and he looked like Marshawn Lynch on a 49-yard-rushing touchdown. This weeks game projects to be more of a shootout, but Johnson is so versatile he can make rake up many points catching the football too. He should get around 25 touches this week, which is more than enough for him to have a very productive day.

WR: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears

Mike Evans has been a target machine whenever Vincent Jackson has been hurt, and Vincent Jackson is unlikely to play in week 16. In addition to this, he faces a Chicago defense that let up two touchdowns to Stefon Diggs. This game should have a high score, meaning lots of fantasy points for all players playing.


       (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Not So Great Plays:

QB: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

This season has not been the best for Matt Ryan. He has more turnovers (19) than touchdowns (18), and averages barely over 1 touchdown per game. If the Panthers decide to keep their starters in the lineup, the brutal seasons should continue for Matt Ryan. When he faced the Panthers in Week 14, he was held to under 225 throwing yards with no touchdowns, and also threw an interception and committed a fumble. The Panthers lead the league in takeaways, interceptions, and fumbles, and Matt Ryan should turn the ball over a couple times this week.

 RB: Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks

Todd Gurley has been having a sensational rookie season out of Georgia, and even more remarkably he has done it all just a year after tearing his ACL. He was forced to miss the first few weeks of the season, including the Rams week one game against the Seahawks. He has been a touchdown machine ever since he came back, and has scored 10 or more points in all but two of the games he started. This week he faces the Seahawks, which have not yet allowed a 100 rushing yards in a game to a running back. They have only given up four rushing touchdowns by running backs all season. They also allow the least amount of fantasy points to running backs this season. Gurley should have a hard time running all game and shouldn’t live up to his usual production.

WR: Brandon Marshall, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots

The last time the Jets played the Patriots, Brandon Marshall was limited to only four catches for 67 yards. The Patriots have done a pretty good job at shutting down the opposing primary receiver this season. They kept Jordan Matthews to only 36 yards. Allen Robinson was thoroughly shut down; he garnered only 68 yards. Even more impressively, the Patriots held DeAndre Hopkins to only 52 yards. The trend of small amounts of Fantasy points for wide receivers should continue in Week 16.


Lawrence Kurtz

Spark Sports Fantasy Sports Analyst

Follow me on twitter at @kurtz_lawrence