You've worked all year for this. Week 16 is Championship Week in most fantasy football leagues, and for once, you don't have to worry one little bit about key players taking the week off.
In 2009, the Colts and Saints had already clinched everything there was to clinch at this point in the season, so fantasy owners who had rode on the back of Peyton Manning or Drew Brees all year had to go looking for other options. Not this year though. This year, both teams are still fighting for playoff spots, and only one team in the whole league, the Chicago Bears, has clinched its division.
So instead of worrying about coaches resting their top players to avoid injuries, you now only have to worry about coaches benching their top players to "evaluate" those below them on the depth chart. Speaking of which...
If you picked up either David Garrard or Rex Grossman as an emergency replacement for injured Aaron Rodgers or Kyle Orton last week, you did pretty well for yourself. Grossman was second only to Michael Vick among quarterbacks last week with 28.78 fantasy points, while Garrard put up a very solid 19.56. Both players could be good bets again this week as the Redskins' defense is ranked 30th against the pass and Jacksonville is ranked 27th. Its also worth noting that the Jaguars have given up 26 passing touchdowns this season, tied for fourth in the NFL.
But you'd still probably be better off putting Rodgers back into your starting lineup if you've got him. Afterall, this is Championship Week! Roll with the guys who got you there.
Maurice Jones-Drew is second in the NFL in rushing yards, and is facing the Washington defense that is ranked 27th against the run. That's a Championship-winning combination. Jones-Drew should be in for a big week. The Jaguars rushing defense is 18th in the league, but will struggle to stop Ryan Torain, who has earned an average of 17.15 fantasy points since returning from injury two weeks ago. Both should be starting for you.
Santana Moss has been on fire lately. He's moved up the wide receiver ranks to 18th in the league after catching three touchdowns over the past two weeks. Moss was heavily targeted by Grossman last week, as was Anthony Armstrong who had five catches for 100 yards receiving and is worth a pickup against the touchdown-prone Jacksonville defense.
Even though we've already discussed how bad the Redskins' passing defense is, this doesn't mean that any Jaguars wide receivers should be starting on your fantasy team. Their two top receivers are Mike Thomas, who I've never heard of, and Mike Sims-Walker, who has been wildly inconsistent since entering the league.
So who will Garrard be throwing the ball to then? Marcedes Lewis, that's who. I'm in the championship of two of my three fantasy leagues, and I've got Lewis in both of them. Coincidence? Probably not. He's a great value pick and underappreciated as the No. 3 ranked tight end. And he's got five games with double-digit points this season, which is great for a tight end. For the Redskins, Chris Cooley remains a solid fantasy option and is coming off his best performance in months, catching five passes from Grossman for 62-yards and a touchdown.
I did a lot of research to try to figure out who the Redskins' current kicker is. Every website still lists Graham Gano as their kicker, but that can't be ready because the Redskins MUST have cut him by now. Right? Gano was having a surprisingly good fantasy season through the end of November, but has totaled just seven fantasy points over the past three weeks. Josh Scobee of the Jaguars is the 12th ranked fantasy kicker, and is incredibly consistent, earning between five and nine fantasy points every week except two.
No. Stay away if you know what's good for you. If you're in the Championship Game of your fantasy league, you've probably got at least one defense better than either Jacksonville or Washington. But if you're playing for seventh or eighth place and must pick one, I'd probably go with the Jaguars because Grossman does indeed like throwing the ball to the other team.