by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
If you are still standing you are likely preparing for your championship game. The toughest decision is going to be if you stick with the guy that got you here (even if they face some risk) or do you go to the hot hand with the favorable matchup? All bets are off at this point and you generally simply do what you need to do. How does that leave our rankings? Let’s take a look:
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – vs. Tampa Bay
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – at Dallas
- Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers – at New York Jets
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Houston
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – vs. Buffalo
- Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – at San Francisco
- Case Keenum – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
- Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Miami
- Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Oakland
- Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams – at Tennessee
- Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Carolina
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
- Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins – vs. Denver
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Indianapolis
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – at Cincinnati
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
- Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears – vs. Cleveland
- Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Seattle
- Jay Cutler – Miami Dolphins – at Kansas City
- Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills – at New England
- Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Jacksonville
- Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Detroit
- Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – vs. Los Angeles Rams
- Eli Manning – New York Giants – at Arizona
- It has been a stellar run for Blake Bortles, who has thrown for 903 yards, 7 TD and 0 INT over his past three games. With another seemingly favorable matchup, this time against a San Francisco defense that has struggled overall this season, there’s a good chance that he continues producing. Granted the 49ers have been significantly better of late, though over the past three weeks the matchups have helped to skew things (Chicago, Houston and Tennessee). Bortles should surprisingly be viewed as a QB1 for your Championship Week.
- The Seattle offense had an abysmal Week 15, with Russell Wilson throwing for just 142 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT. It would be easy to completely lose faith in him, if you even survived the poor performance, but Wilson steps into a favorable matchup against the Cowboys (26 TD vs. 9 INT on the season) in Week 16. Considering how good he’s been all season long, now isn’t the time to look in another direction.
- Are we really prepared to sit Tom Brady with our fantasy title hanging in the balance? That’s going to be a hard sell, but over the past three weeks he has 2 TD vs. 4 INT (including a matchup with the Bills where he had 258 yards, 0 TD and 1 INT). Over the past four weeks he’s averaged a mere 254 yards per game, and with the Bills being among the better passing defenses in the league (third fewest points per week against opposing QB) the outlook actually isn’t very good. Would we start him? Most likely, but this is a rare instance that he’s going to fall outside the Top 5. You could actually argue both Blake Bortles and Case Keenum deserve to be ranked ahead of him this week, that’s just a tough sell.
- Everyone wanted to jump on the Aaron Rodgers bandwagon, but he unsurprisingly struggled in his first game back as he threw 3 INT. Of course he showed signs of the old Rodgers, including 290 yards and 3 TD, though a difficult matchup is going to help to limit the upside (Minnesota has allowed just 12 passing TD on the season). Could you justify using him as a backend QB1? Absolutely, as long as he’s playing (which isn’t actually a guarantee), but he’s hardly a given unfortunately.
- While it was against the lowly New York Giants, Nick Foles seamless stepped into the Philadelphia offense and flourished (237 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT). Look for the Eagles to keep the pedal down, especially as they want to make sure that Foles has a good rapport with the skill players around him, and against the Raiders that should mean another strong performance.
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