KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 18: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers rolls out looking for a receiver against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Kansas CIty, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Packers 19-14. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Fantasy Football Week 16 Stats: Where Can We Expect Big Performances This Week?

Preview and highlighting the best -- and worst -- fantasy performances from Week 16. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Tweet @sbnationfantasy for any sit/start and waiver wire questions.

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Victor Cruz Fantasy Recap: Giants WR Caps Season With 99-Yard Receiving TD

The New York Giants kept their playoff hopes alive on Saturday as they handled the New York Jets 29-14. One of turning points in the game came when second year wide receiver Victor Cruz caught a pass from Eli Manning and proceeded to turn it into a 99-yard touchdown reception. The play gave the Giants the lead and they never looked back. Cruz finished the game with three receptions for 164 yards and the touchdown.

In only his second season since entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent, Victor Cruz has burst on the scene with a monster breakthrough year, possibly only overshadowed by the breakthrough of Cam Newton. With one game remaining, Cruz has 1,358 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, which is good for top five ranking among all wide receivers.

Cruz burst onto the scene the same week Ravens WR Torrey Smith had his three touchdown performance. It was an interesting waiver wire battle as both were top priorities. Smith ended up with a solid rookie season, but his numbers were inflated by the one big game when nobody had him on their roster. Cruz, on the other hand, put together a string of big performances for fantasy owners and will potentially be among the top ten receivers selected in 2012 fantasy drafts.

For more on the Giants, check out Big Blue View. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter.

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Marshawn Lynch Fantasy Recap: Seahawks RB Snaps 49ers Rushing Records

The Seattle Seahawks came up just short in their attempts to defeat the NFC West champion San Francisco 49ers, but they did walk away with a moral victory. Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch became the first person to score a rushing touchdown against the 49ers in 2011 and the first running back to rush for 100+ yards since 2009. Lynch finished with 107 rushing yards, the rushing touchdown and 24 receiving yards.

The 49ers rush defense has received a lot of publicity for their recent dominance, but Marshawn Lynch has also been on a hot streak. He has scored at least one touchdown in each of his last eleven games and he has rushed for 100 or more yards in six of his last eight games. The Seahawks recent hot streak coincided with that run as they climbed on Lynch's shoulders and went along for the ride.

Lynch is in a contract year, so this performance comes out an opportune time. It will be interesting to see how he is compensated in the offseason and how he performs in 2012 after he gets a chance to "taste the rainbow." He has exceeded career highs in rushing yards and touchdowns so one has to consider whether this is just a career renaissance or whether he can be expected to repeat this after a possible pay day. It will be something to factor into your 2012 fantasy football draft strategy.

For more on the Seahawks, check out Field Gulls. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter.

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Toby Gerhart Fantasy Recap: Adrian Peterson Injury Opens Door For Vikings RB

The Minnesota Vikings suffered a tough loss Saturday afternoon as they lost running back Adrian Peterson at the start of the third quarter to what looks to be a torn ACL and MCL. Although the Vikings ended up with a fairly lost season, the injury is still painful to bear. Peterson will rehab through the offseason with the hopes of being ready to go at the start of the 2012 NFL season.

Peterson was replaced by backup Toby Gerhart. Although Gerhart had received some playing time prior to the injury, he carried the load through the second half, finishing the game with 11 carries for 109 yards. This coming Sunday will be the second time Gerhart will replace Peterson in the starting lineup. Gerhart replaced AP after a high ankle sprain cost the Vikings star running back several weeks.

Peterson will be the guy in Minnesota next year if he is 100%, but as you get ready for fantasy football drafts next summer, this will all be a story to follow in preparation. Gerhart has proved to be a very capable backup, which could make him a very popular handcuff in 2012.

For more on the Vikings, check out Daily Norseman. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter.

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Cam Newton Fantasy Recap: Panthers QB Does It All Again

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton wrapped up fantasy football championship week with another dominant performance as his Panthers destroyed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Newton finished the game with only 171 passing yards, but he also threw three touchdowns and rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown. In most leagues, that amounts to approximately 31 points. Not too shabby.

Cam Newton has burst on the scene like nobody's business this season. The rookie QB had plenty of doubters heading into the season but he has shown he can make plays at the NFL level. His Panthers are 6-9, which is light years ahead of their 2-14 squad last season. And much of that is due to Cam Newton.

Most fantasy football leagues are wrapping up for the season and we can start to look ahead to the 2012 NFL season for fantasy football purposes. Cam Newton's draft placement will be one of the biggest discussions when we hit the summer. There will be leagues where someone jumps on Newton in the first round, and there might be leagues where he slides a round or two. It depends on how people trust him heading into what some view as the trap of a possible sophomore slump. He has proven doubters wrong, so we'll see if he can do it next year.

For more on the Panthers, check out Cat Scratch Reader. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter.

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Aaron Rodgers Fantasy Recap: Packers QB Caps Fantasy Season With Dominant Performance

Week 16 of the 2011 NFL season is just about wrapped up and it was fitting that Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers put together one more dominant performance. Rodgers threw for 283 yards and five touchdown passes en route to a 35-21 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football.

There was some concern about Rodgers status for SNF as the Packers would clinch the number one seed with a 49ers loss on Saturday. Some folks had to consider benching Rodgers due to that possibility. If they did bench him, they lost out on a monster performance, but given the risks of fantasy football, sometimes you have to make that call.

Rodgers capped off another brilliant fantasy season in which his 45 touchdowns have him atop the fantasy rankings. Cam Newton put together a monster rookie season, but even with all his rushing yards, Cam was unable to match Aaron Rodgers. Drew Brees has a chance to set the single season passing yardage record on Monday Night Football and he still will finish behind Rodgers in total fantasy points for the season. That right there is reason enough to vote Aaron Rodgers 2011 NFL MVP.

For more on the Packers, check out Acme Packing Company. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow @sbnationfantasy on Twitter.

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Fantasy Football Week 16 Advice: Sit/Start Projections For WRs

Week 16 of the 2011 NFL season picks back up today with a full slate of quality matchups. While NFL teams continue to battle for playoff positioning, fantasy football playoffs have reached their championship games. The NFL schedule got started with the Colts and Texans on Thursday Night Football and picks back up with a Saturday schedule of games. Due to Christmas falling on Sunday, the league moved all but Sunday Night Football to Saturday, so make sure and get your lineups set.

There are some pertinent injuries to note for Saturday. Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin was limited in practice on Wednesday, but then sat out practice on Thursday and Friday, resulting in a questionable tag for Saturday. He will be a game-time decision in a late game. If you have to roll the dice early on whether to start him, it is probably safer to sit him this week. He could have a solid day against a 49ers secondary that gives up a lot of yards between the 20s, but he could also end up inactive and a goose egg.

The Raiders will not have Jacoby Ford yet again, which could open the door for Denarius Moore to step up. He only had 26 total yards last week against Detroit in his first game back, but Moore remains a solid upside guy. Darrius Heyward-Bey remains the best consistent Raiders receiver to start, but Moore has the serious upside as the deep threat.

Here are the top 30 wide receiver projections for Week 16. You can view all the projections at numberFire.com. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow us on twitter @sbnationfantasy.

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Fantasy Football Week 16 Advice: Sit/Start Projections For RBs

Week 16 of the 2011 NFL season picks back up on Sunday after the Colts got us going with their upset of the Houston Texans.Week 16 features primarily Saturday games as the NFL moved most of their Sunday slate a day earlier due to Christmas. Arian Foster got some of you off to a monster start as you try and emerge as fantasy football league champion this week.

There are numerous injury issues that have cropped up with Felix Jones and Marion Barber. Neither practiced this week and neither is a particularly good fantasy option in Week 16. Barber is listed as doubtful, which means he has a 25% or less chance of playing. Kahlil Bell will get the start in his place. For Dallas, Sammy Morris could see a sizable role, even if Jones is active. Morris could be a solid start given the Eagles questionable rush defense.

The Green Bay Packers running back situation remains a mess for fantasy purposes. James Starks practiced all week and will likely get the start over Ryan Grant. Starks is the play between the two, but the Bears bring a strong enough defense that you might want to consider alternatives.

Here are the top 15 running back projections for Week 16. You can view all the projections at numberFire.com. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow us on twitter @sbnationfantasy.

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Fantasy Football Week 16 Advice: Sit/Start Projections For QBs

Week 16 of the 2011 NFL season picks back up with a full slate of Saturday games following Thursday's Colts-Texans thriller. Due to Christmas falling on a Sunday, the NFL elected to move most of their games to Saturday, so make sure and get your lineups set early. Fantasy football championships are underway and the quarterback position raises a lot of question marks this week.

The most notable piece of news is that Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is going to sit out Saturday's game against the St. Louis Rams. Roethlisberger has been dealing with a high ankle sprain and after struggling last Monday against the 49ers, the Steelers decided to go with Charlie Batch. Although Batch has limited upside, he has a numerous weapons at his disposal. If you were counting on Big Ben and do not have another viable option, you might want to grab Charlie Batch if he is available.

Another significant question mark is Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. If the 49ers lose on Saturday, the Packers clinch the number one seed. The Packers play Sunday night and having lost their first game last week, there is a good chance Aaron Rodgers might not play the entire game. It is a risk that has to be considered in deciding whether to start him. The 49ers are slim favorites in Seattle and have had their share of struggles in the Pacific Northwest.

A solid sleeper option on Saturday is Redskins QB Rex Grossman. He faces a struggling Minnesota Vikings secondary. Grossman can easily burn you, but if you are dealing with injuries, he has a lot of upside this weekend.

Here are the top 15 quarterback projections for Week 16. You can view all the projections at numberFire.com. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow us on twitter @sbnationfantasy.

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Fantasy Football Week 16 Sit/Start Advice: Texans Vs. Colts, Thursday Night Football

Championship week has arrived for just about every fantasy football league on the planet. If you are reading this you likely find yourself in a battle for prizes, whether it be the grand prize or a third place prize. Week 16 will be a bit of a funky week for fantasy football because the Christmas holiday has the schedule all over the place. The biggest change is moving the Sunday slate minus Sunday Night Football to Saturday since Sunday is Christmas Day.

The first game of the week is Thursday evening on the NFL Network. The Indianapolis Colts, fresh off their first win of the season, host the Houston Texans, who find themselves in a dogfight for the number two seed following their unexpected home loss to the Carolina Panthers. This game has some great fantasy options, but also some limitations due to injury.

Houston Texans

Matt Schaub is out for the season and Andre Johnson is not returning until Week 17. Arian Foster remains a must-start every week and Owen Daniels is right up there with him. Although we've seen Joel Dreessen put up some solid numbers at times, with Johnson out, Daniels is their biggest receiving weapon after Foster.

I get questions fairly frequently about starting Ben Tate. If you have no other options he is a guy you start. Otherwise, the odds are all over the place as to how many touches he will get in a given game with Foster in the lineup. Generally speaking, Tate should be on your bench.

With Andre Johnson out, Kevin Walter is the "safest" wide receiver play, while Jacoby Jones has a bit more upside and bit more downside.


Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts have been a train wreck this season, but they have still managed to produce a decent fantasy option or two. Pierre Garcon has taken over as the most prolific receiver on this team and remains a decent start each week. Houston has a solid defense, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the matchup. It is also interesting to see how this team comes back from the emotion of their first win.

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Fantasy Football Week 16 Stats: Where Can We Expect Big Performances This Week?

Preview and highlighting the best -- and worst -- fantasy performances from Week 16. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Tweet @sbnationfantasy for any sit/start and waiver wire questions.

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