I hope your championship week went well last week and that your fantasy quarterback played like a champion. If this week is your fantasy Super Bowl, challenges could await. A few teams that have clinched playoff spots may rest their starting quarterback or at least the star position players around them. Also, injuries have taken away Tony Romo and may cause some great receivers to sit out the last game.
Kyle Orton looks to be starting the Cowboys biggest game of the season. Dallas made sure they had an excellent backup behind Romo just in case, and Orton's time has come. He has experience being thrown into the action in previous stops in Chicago and Kansas City, and with the talent around him on the Cowboys he should be able to put up some passing yards and touchdowns. I'm expecting 275 yards and two touchdowns but not much more than that. Dallas should feed the ball to DeMarco Murray which will lower the ceiling on Orton's numbers.
Terrelle Pryor will be back in the starting lineup for Oakland this week. His fast start to the season came to a fizzle when he sprained his knee. He'll get a final chance this season to prove that he can start and perform at a high level in the NFL. Pryor's ability to put up fantasy points through the air and on the ground makes him a valuable asset. If I needed a last minute replacement this week, I would give Pryor a long look. He's facing a Denver defense that will be without its best pass rusher in Von Miller.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has started the majority of this season's games for the Tennessee Titans. Looking at his season, he has put up some very respectable numbers. When he played for Buffalo it seemed that the second half of the season was always a dud for him. This season he has performed very well down the stretch. I think he'll have a very strong final game against the Houston Texans. Houston has been giving up an average of 267 passing yards and ten touchdowns over their last four games.
My sleeper of the week is Ryan Tannehill. He had a bomb of a game last week against Buffalo but should bounce back this week. He had one of his best games against the Jets this month, passing for 331 yards and two touchdowns. The Jets pass defense has been atrocious and Tannehill should have plenty of opportunities. I believe the Dolphins will go with a pass heavy game plan which will result in a fine afternoon for Tannehill and his receivers.
Listed below are the top five quarterbacks for passing touchdowns:
1. Peyton Manning - 51
2. Drew Brees - 35
3. Tony Romo - 31
4. Andy Dalton - 31
5. Philip Rivers - 29
And the top five quarterbacks for passing yards:
1. Peyton Manning - 5,211
2. Drew Brees - 4,781
3. Matthew Stafford - 4,433
4. Philip Rivers - 4,249
5. Matt Ryan - 4,235
Quick Notes: Josh McCown is uncertain about his future. He'll be a free agent after the season. With the way he played this season, he should be a hot commodity for many teams....Dallas has signed Jon Kitna to be the primary backup to Kyle Orton. He has a pretty good grasp of their system from his previous time with the team....Joe Flacco will wear a knee brace for the second consecutive week....Carolina says that Cam Newton's ankle is fine and he'll play in Week 17....Jason Campbell will start the Cleveland Browns final game....Houston has not yet decided between Matt Schaub and Case Keenum for their starter this week....Matt Cassel will start the Minnesota Vikings final game....The Buffalo Bills are unsure if E.J. Manuel will play in Week 17.