Week 16 Fantasy Insights

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It's Championship Weekend for most fantasy leagues. If you are still alive, hopefully, the rest of the information on this page will be good news for your title hopes.

Spoiler Alert: If you started Matthew Stafford, Victor Cruz or Marshawn Lynch you are going to enjoy the read.

If you are out of it, I'm proud of you for still doing the research to get better. There are NFL Fantasy Playoff leagues and next year is already "just around the corner."

Cleveland at Baltimore

When talking about the best receiving backs in the league, only two names should be thought of - LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice. Rice's 42-yard catch and run was a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

Peyton Hillis (24-112-0) comprised what little offense the Browns could muster.

Denver at Buffalo

The weak Bills defense held Tim Tebow to 25 yards passing and three yards rushing in the first half as the Bills took a 17-7 halftime lead. We all know, however, that Tebow's best stuff takes place in the fourth quarter. Tebow finished with one touchdown pass and a quarterback sneak for another score, but four interceptions cost him dearly.

Steve Johnson posted respectable numbers despite a groin injury and Champ Bailey coverage.

C.J. Spiller posted nice numbers, but he's no Fred Jackson.

Tampa Bay at Carolina

Another day of sleepwalking for Steve Smith as Brandon LaFell was the receiving star with a 91-yard touchdown catch.

Cam Newton is throwing less and the team is winning more. Coincidence, I think not. With DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the team's best talent is running the ball.

Where's Waldo...I mean LeGarrette Blount? Looks like a first-quarter fumble got him a semi-permanent seat on the bench.

Arizona at Cincinnati

The three Bengals receivers, A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham and Jerome Simpson, might be the most athletic trio in the league. You'll be seeing replays of the Simpson 19-yard touchdown catch for most of the week.

The Bengals defense made John Skelton look like the inexperienced quarterback he is. Still, he and Larry Fitzgerald started to click in the second half.

Oakland at Kansas City

Carson Palmer wasn't any more successful than Aaron Rodgers was last week, but somehow he found a way to win.

Kyle Orton has been very consistent in his two games with Kansas City, throwing for 299 yards last week and 300 yards this week.

A game-tying touchdown from Dwayne Bowe with one minute left, saved the day for Bowe owners.

This one was hard to watch if you had fantasy players.

Miami at New England

Reggie Bush, Brandon Marshall and Matt Moore have the makings of a solid offense. Who needs Matt Barkley?

A pointless first half for New England is hard to believe and poor timing for fantasy owners who depend on the Pats offense. Brady was 7-for-19 for 87 yards and was sacked three times.

Never fear, however, Brady turned it on in the second half and finished with 304 yards passing and three touchdowns, two rushing.

Wes Welker's 12 catch, 138-yard day was mainly a second-half production.

New York Giants at New York Jets

A 99-yard catch and touchdown run for Victor Cruz (3-164-1) validated the confidence fantasy owners had in him after hearing Mario Manningham and Jake Ballard would miss the game.

Manning completed just nine passes in 27 attempts, but they were timely completions.

I think the Jets let Ahmad Bradshaw score on his second TD run as that's the only way they had a chance to win the game.

Mark Sanchez throwing 28 times in the first half is a bad sign. He finished with 59 passing attempts, one touchdown pass and two interceptions. This is not the offense Jets fans and fantasy owners were looking for.

St. Louis at Pittsburgh

As expected, Rashard Mendenhall had a great day against the league's worst run defense (18-116-1). With Ben Roethlisberger sitting out the game, this was perhaps the easiest big game to predict.

With Kellen Clemens leading the Rams, their zero point first half was a lot easier to predict than New England's. They didn't score in the second half either.

Another nice day from Steven Jackson (24-103-0). I'll bet he'd be really good with a decent offense surrounding him. But it looks like he'll be retired before that happens.

Jacksonville at Tennessee

Maurice Jones-Drew (24-103-1) continues to sparkle and will be a top-five pick next season.

Matt Hasselbeck, on a short leash, proved himself with a 350-yard game. Still, the writing is on the wall that he's only holding the position until Jake Locker is ready.

Unfortunately, most of his yards went to non-starter Jared Cook, instead of Nate Washington and Damian Williams.

Chris Johnson's ankle obviously was a huge roadblock in his performance this week (15-56-0).

Minnesota at Washington

The hit on Adrian Peterson's knee looked very bad. Hope he survives as well as fantasy owners who had him in their lineup. At least he got double-digits by half-time. Gerhart posted 109 yards on the ground in a relief role.

Surprise stat of the day - Evan Royster had 19 carries for 132 yards. Not bad for a guy not expecting to start when he woke up this morning.

San Diego at Detroit

The Lions offense looked unstoppable in the first half, a continuation from the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders. Stafford finished the half with 260 yards and three touchdowns as Detroit built a 24-0 halftime lead. He finished 29-for-36 for 373 yards and was the obvious star of the game.

Another solid game for Calvin Johnson (4-102-1).

Those that gambled with starting Vincent Jackson were disappointed even though he played. He just didn't play well (2-41).

Philip Rivers threw the ball 53 times. That's way too many for a team that was much more balanced in 2011 than in previous seasons. Unfortunately, Ryan Mathews was a non-factor.

Philadelphia at Dallas

The minute the Giants victory was posted, the Cowboys took out their stars, but it was already too late for Tony Romo who hurt his throwing hand on a helmet. That's the danger of playing late into the season, teams with clinched playoff spots take their players out of the lineup.

Steven McGee quarterbacked the Cowboys for three quarters and showed he's not ready for "prime time." Get well soon, Tony.

Michael Vick looked like the 2010 version, a.k.a. Fantasy MVP material (13- for-20 for 221 and two scores in the first half. He finished with 293 yards passing and no turnovers. Too bad that didn't happen enough in 2011.

San Francisco at Seattle

Marshawn Lynch ran well in the first half (14-83), but the 49ers kept him out of the endzone to keep their spotless record of no rushing touchdowns intact. They couldn't stop him in the second half, however, as he scored from four yards out to give the Seahawks the lead. He was also the first running back this season to earn the 100-yard rushing bonus against the 49ers (21-107-1).

Alex Smith was horrible, but then he's usually worse on the road than at home. Career home QB Rating 83.1, road rating 64.4. Today fit right into those numbers.

Four more field goals for David Akers - he set a single-season record with 42 field goals. He was a nice addition to any fantasy lineup.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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