Fantasy Football Fab Five: Week 16

We pinpoint five players you want in your starting lineup this weekend, including our 'Start of the Week.'

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Sometimes during the decision process of picking who to start for your fantasy football squad, over-thinking can happen and mistakes are made; eventually getting your kids yelled at on Sunday as well as your dog kicked. To spare you that from happening, here are five guys that are a sure thing. These guys are right up there with death and taxes so make sure that if you own any of these players, you start them.

Your dog and kids will thank you.

5. Steven Ridley, RB, New England Patriots (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

Facing a brutal San Francisco defense last week did not help Stephen Ridley in any way as he rushed for just 23 yards with a fumble. Luckily for him he gets to rebound with the Jacksonville Jaguars this week which clearly isn't on the 49ers level.

Also, recent history suggest that Ridley is going to find the end-zone. Prior to the 49ers game, Ridley had scored a touchdown in five straight games and six out of his past seven. With Ridley approaching 1200 rushing yards this season and clearly looking for some bounce-back, he is sure to light it up against the Jags.

4. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos (vs. Cleveland Browns)

Demaryius Thomas came out against the Baltimore Ravens last week and basically sucked with only four catches for 13 yards. While targeted often, it just appeared that he and quarterback Peyton Manning weren't in sync on that day.

On the positive side, Thomas had three straight games before the Ravens game where he put up 80 or more receiving yards. If you add that with the motivation to have a bounce-back game with the opponent they are playing (Cleveland Browns), then you have a recipe for points-a-plenty!

3. Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants (at Baltimore Ravens)

While injury and a lack of a rapport with Giants quarterback Eli Manning has resulted in a down year for wideout Hakeem Knicks, all signs point to a big week against the Ravens in Week 16. It's a must win game for the Giants if they want to remain in the playoff hunt and after laying a goose egg last week, Baltimore may be just what they are needing.

Coming into this game with the Giants the Ravens are on a three game losing skid and have allowed an average of 28.5 fantasy points to opposing wideouts over the last two weeks. This combined with Nicks himself alluding to a big game makes me want this guy occupying a starting spot.

2. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts (at Kansas City)

Andrew Luck's performance over the last six games shows that the outstanding rookie may have hit a wall. Over that stretch, Luck has completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes while throwing for 10 interceptions to 10 touchdowns.

That's the bad news.

The good news is that he has a more than favorable matchup this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. So far this season the Chiefs have allowed 10 of the 14 QBs they have faced to have multiple touchdown games. Also the Colts find themselves at home where Luck is much more productive. Up to this week home cooking has allowed Luck to average 279 yards per game passing with 10 tds to only five interceptions.


1. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (at Oakland Raiders)

I don't know what the Carolina Panthers have done with Cam Newton over the second half of the season but I think a big fruit basket from his fantasy owners should definitely be in order. Coming off of a disappointing first half of the season where he just averaged 17 points a game, Newton has stepped it up as of late with some impressive performances.

In six of his last seven games, Newton has scored at least 20 fantasy points per game with a cheer producing 28 points per game average during that span. This late season production has elevated his stats to where he is now the fifth highest scoring fantasy quarterback and has redeemed him in the eyes of everyone who took an early flier on him this past fantasy draft day.

These good times should just keep going as Newton faces the Oakland Raiders this week. The Raiders are allowing opposing quarterback an average 259 passing yards and 20.9 fantasy points per game this season with 25 passing touchdowns to just 10 interceptions.

Basically no math is really needed here, just start him.

James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on

Photo Credit: Getty

By: Jim McIsaac
Collection: Getty Images Sport