(Rankings will be updated throughout the week)
QB Player Rankings – Week 16
(Majority of the Games Are Played On Saturday, Dec. 24th)
Quarterbacks (Updated: Friday, Dec. 23 - 03:56PM CT)
1. Drew Brees (vs. Atl – Monday Night) – Not only is Drew Brees the hottest quarterback in the league right now averaging over 30 fantasy points a game in his last four games, but he might also have the most motivation of the elite QBs to do well this weekend. Riding a six-game winning streak, the Saints have already clinched a spot in the 2011 playoffs, but on Monday night, they’ll have a chance to clinch the NFC South by beating the team that stole the division from them last year—the Atlanta Falcons. As if that wasn’t enough, with 272 career passing TDs, Brees also has a chance to move ahead of Joe Montana (273) and Vinny Testaverde (275) into ninth-place on the all-time TD passing list if he tosses four TDs. That may be a lot to ask of a QB in a heated interdivision rivalry game like this one, but maybe not. Cool Brees has averaged 314.1 yards and 2.2 TDs in his last 10 games against the Falcons while the Saints themselves have averaged 26.4 points and gone 8-2. I’m betting the over in all respects with Drew being as hot as he is right now.
2. Tom Brady (vs. Mia) – There’s not much to say here as you’re obviously going to start Brady in your fantasy championship, but I’ll put in my two cents anyway. If you can remember, back in Week 1 of the season, Brady threw for the most passing yards of his career against these Dolphins scorching them for 517 yards and four touchdowns en route to a 38-24 win. It’s highly unlikely the Stetson Man comes anywhere close to those numbers this time around with Miami playing much better on defense nowadays, but I wouldn’t put anything past the future Hall-of-Famer. The big bonus for fantasy owners is that with New England still fighting for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, you can bet both Tommy and coach Belichick will keep the pedal to the metal the entire game regardless of the score.
3. Cam Newton (vs. TB) – If you were to ask me who was averaging the second most fantasy points per game this season behind Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees would be my answer—and I’d be wrong. The answer is Cam Newton. Of course, this observation may change from league to league depending on your scoring system, but my point is that despite being a rookie and throwing for only half the number of TDs as the other elite QBs, his style of play makes up the difference and more in fantasyland. This weekend, Newton will face a rapidly declining Buccaneers defense that has not only allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to QBs, but just lost their best player in the secondary (CB Aqib Talib) for the season. Furthermore, Newton put up his best fantasy game of the year against this team just three weeks ago in Tampa Bay scoring 35.6 fantasy points.
4. Matthew Stafford (vs. SD) – Matthew Stafford has been absolutely phenomenal this season and after leading the Lions to an NFL record FOURTH comeback win from a 13-point deficit, he has without a doubt earned the nickname of “Second Half Staff”. Another of his many accomplishments this season includes becoming the second-youngest QB ever to throw for 4,000 yards and 30 TDs in a season (Dan Marino, 1984). This Saturday, the Lions will take on a Chargers team that has been as hot as any team in the league of late, but doesn’t play nearly as well away from home giving up an average of nearly 26 points a game on the road. With the Lions fighting for their first playoff berth since 1999 and Stafford’s obvious poise under pressure, I’m betting on a great showing from the comeback kid this weekend.
5. Aaron Rodgers (vs. Chi – Sunday Night, Christmas) – It looks like Aaron Rodgers is human after all—or at least some sort of half-human-like creature. Last weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs became the first team this season to hold Rodgers to less than two touchdown passes in a game, though he somewhat made up for it fantasy-wise by running in a score late in the game. This Sunday night, Aaron will face a Bears team that has not only held opposing QBs to one or fewer TD passes in six of their last seven games, but they’ve also held Rodge to an average of just 242 yards passing and 1.4 TDs in his seven career games as a starter against them. Basically, without his favorite wide receiver (Greg Jennings) in the lineup, don’t expect the same type of fantasy magic from Aaron that got you to the finals in the first place.
6. Philip Rivers (@ Det)
7. Tony Romo (vs. Phi)
8. Tim Tebow (@ Buf)
9. Rex Grossman (vs. Min) – TOP-5 SLEEPER CANDIDATE
10. Michael Vick (@ Dal)
11. Matt Ryan (@ NO – Monday Night)
12. Eli Manning (@ NYJ) – POTENTIAL BUST
13. Matt Moore (@ NE)
14. Kyle Orton (vs. Oak)
15. Mark Sanchez (vs. NYG)
16. Carson Palmer (@ KC)
17. Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Den)
18. Andy Dalton (vs. Ari)
19. John Skelton (@ Cin)
20. T.J. Yates (@ Ind – Thursday Night)
21. Matt Hasselbeck (vs. Jax)
22. Josh Freeman (@ Car)
23. Tarvaris Jackson (vs. SF)
24. Charlie Batch (vs. StL)
25. Joe Flacco (vs. Cle)
26. Alex Smith (@ Sea)
27. Christian Ponder (@ Was)
28. Dan Orlovsky (vs. Hou – Thursday Night)
29. Seneca Wallace (@ Bal)
30. Josh McCown (@ GB – Sunday Night, Christmas)
31. Blaine Gabbert (@ Ten)
32. Kellen Clemens (@ Pit)
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