Welcome back to the Week 16 edition of Between the Hashes where we preview some good plays for your fantasy football teams for the upcoming slate of NFL games.
This is my last Fantasy Football article of the year as next week I’m off to Western Maryland to hibernate for a week. Recharge the batteries so to speak. This won’t be goodbye though as you may see me resurface again when the Men’s Maryland Terrapins ACC basketball schedule starts to heat up or as we inch closer to spring training and Orioles baseball.
Anyway, I have some heartbreak to discuss as of course we discuss fantasy football here. In last week’s playoff game, the Sam Adams Assault were well on their way to a run to the championship game. The lockers were covered with plastic. The champagne sat on ice and hats and t-shirts were waiting. But it was never to be. And I lost in the most absolutely craziest way you could lose.
Late in the 4:00 PM games, I began to look at my (ill-fated) match-up against the opponent in the next round. My match-ups were mostly favorable and I dreamed of a nice pay day. But it was never to be. My team led 113-88 as all the 4:00 PM games had about 5-6 minutes left in the 4th quarter.
Then, as cursed as my fantasy teams are, things started going bad. The Oakland Raiders were blowing a huge lead out on the West Coast, and my opponent had the duo of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. I never stood a chance as I watched the Lions twice drive down the field and Stafford threw TD passes to Megatron TWICE. Dagger.
When all was said and done, the match-up was tied at 113. Arizona Cardinals’ RB Beanie Wells gave me hope as the Cards took their game with the Cleveland Browns to OT. I thought maybe they’d rush the ball and he would score the winning TD. Instead, he gave me just one more point. I led after the Sunday afternoon games, 114-113.
You’re probably asking, “so what’s the problem Matt, you bozo, you were winning after all that?!” Well, he still had Baltimore Ravens WR Torrey Smith who I now had to root against to not score more than a point in the Ravens game against the San Diego Chargers. Of course, Smith scored a TD late in the 4th quarter, which was the icing on the cake for my opponent who had already beaten me in the 1st quarter of the game. Sam Adams loses 126-114 and another heartbreaking season ends.
Last week I gave you some players, who quite frankly stunk up the joint. Eli Manning and the New York Giants put up a stinker against the Washington Redskins as Eli threw three interceptions in the loss. I guess me calling him “ELIte” was a jinx. Joe Flacco threw two TD’s for the Ravens in their loss to San Diego, but his game was worse than the number suggest. He threw two really bad interceptions and just looked out of rhythm all night.
Cowboys RB Felix Jones had a strong game against the horrible Bucs run-defense, rushing 22 times for 108 yards in Dallas’ victory. Vikings WR Percy Harvin turned in a dud for Minnesota, catching three passes for just eight yards. I guess he was bound to have a bad game, but it always sucks to have it happen during playoff time for your team.
Looking Ahead to Week 16
Rex Grossman- Redskins: Rex has played well since returning to the starting lineup for Washington and he gets a nice match-up at home against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are extremely vulnerable to the pass, giving up the 6th most to QB’s the last five weeks. He’ll test out the secondary and I think he’ll have himself a decent game.
Prediction: 225 yards/2 TD
Tim Tebow- Broncos: Yes, finally, Tim Tebow makes it into Between the Hashes! Tebow and the Denver Broncos slipped up a little last week to the New England Patriots, but this week he’ll face the Buffalo Bills and I think he’ll be able to do it through the air with his arm and on the ground with his legs. Denver is fighting for the AFC West crown, so look for Tebow to have himself a nice day.
Prediction: 200 yards throwing, 65 yards rushing/TD
Rashard Mendenhall- Steelers: It appears Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will sit out Saturday afternoon’s tilt with the St. Louis Rams, meaning Charlie Batch is the starting QB. Mendenhall should get plenty of work in this game, as the Rams are horrible against the run.
Ryan Mathews- Chargers: He ran hard against the Ravens on Sunday night, rushing for 90 yards and two scores and I think that continues against a Lions team that has been run on all year.
Brandon Marshall- Dolphins: Marshall had a nice game last week against the Buffalo Bills, hauling in three passes for 84 yards and a TD. In Week 1, Marshall went for 139 yards against the team he faces on Saturday, the New England Patriots. Despite the changes at QB for the Dolphins, Marshall has been a steady presence in the lineup, but keep in mind he’s been dealing with a knee injury, but he looks good to go and should be in your lineup.
Prediction: 110 yards/TD
Santonio Holmes- Jets: There’s been a lot of trash talking going on between the Jets and the New York Giants this week, and one player doing the talking is Holmes. But I think he’ll have himself a nice game against a Giants secondary that couldn’t cover anyone well last week against the Redskins. Also the Giants are giving up the most fantasy points to WR the last five weeks.
Prediction: 80 yards/TD
Jason Witten- Cowboys: Witten has been a pain in the side of the Eagles during his career and he’ll continue that this weekend. The Eagles aren’t very good against the pass with tight ends, so look for Romo to look his way in this game.
Prediction: 70 yards/TD
Brandon Pettigrew- Lions: Pettigrew has had an up-and-down season for the Lions, but he’s come on in the last few weeks. He’s caught 11 passes in the last two weeks and he’ll face a Chargers defense who is a bit shaky against the TE. Ed Dickson from the Ravens scored last week against the Chargers. I think Pettigrew will have a solid game as he should see a good amount of targets.
Prediction: 55 yards/TD
It’s probably championship week in a lot of leagues, so good luck to everyone playing for all the marbles!
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