The Fantasy Wrecker – Week 16


My cousin Danny was down by 35 points with only David Johnson left to play. He conceded the loss, sent his opponent a congratulations text, and took his kid to see Star Wars.

I was up by 86 points, and my opponent had Johnson, Carson Palmer, Michael Floyd, and the Cardinals defense left to play. I was a little concerned about Palmer, but didn’t think my lead was in jeopardy.

You know what happened next. The Cardinals running back had the game of his life. Suddenly cousin Danny was in the championship game easily, and I was down by seven and depending on boom or bust Brandin Cooks on Monday night to get me the win.

Sunday was just the latest example of how fantasy football can take you to the mountaintop and then rip your heart out in the space of just a few hours. But that’s the way it goes.

Merry Christmas, and let’s get to Week 16:

Three Players Who Will Wreck Your Opponents This Week:

Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville—The Saints suck. Their defense sucks. Their secondary sucks. They get lit up by every quarterback they face. Yeah, I’m bitter because I lost a playoff game thanks to Matthew Stafford finding wide open receivers on every play. Start Bortles. The Saints are the worst.

Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland—The Raiders give Murray the ball pretty consistently, and the Chargers have allowed the fifth most points to running backs this year. Add in the fact that they’ve probably already planned their January vacations, and you can expect a good day from Murray this week.

Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh—The Ravens have allowed the most points to wide receivers this season. I think Baltimore will focus all its attention on stopping Antonio Brown, which will result in a lot of easy catches for Bryant.

Three Players Who Will Wreck Your Team This Week:

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, New York—The Jets QB is a trendy pickup right now, but I think this game against the Patriots will be sloppy and low scoring. New England’s defense is playing pretty solid right now, so you should find another option if you can.

Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore—Pittsburgh is tough on running backs, having allowed the second fewest points to the position all year. The Ravens will probably be behind early, too, so there won’t be a lot of rushing opportunities for Allen.

Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas—First of all, Kellen Moore is probably the best quarterback on this team. That’s who Bryant will have throwing to him on Sunday. Second, while Buffalo has been mediocre on defense this year, Rex Ryan is trying to keep his job, and he knows how to scheme defenses. He’ll make a point of stopping the only real offensive weapon that Dallas has.

The Guy Who’s Wrecking My Fantasy Season This Week:

Plenty to choose from this week. Matthew Stafford eviscerated the Saints defense and buried me. Dennis Allen’s “defense.” But I’ll go with Ben Watson, since he caught the touchdown pass that actually put my opponent over the top and into the championship. Thanks, Ben Watson. No, really. I would have faced my wife in the championship game, so you probably saved me from a tense week at home and a few months of marriage counseling. I didn’t want to win anyway.

Ben Zajdel is a contributor. You can follow him on Twitter at @bzajdel. His last name would be a great Scrabble word.

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