Marry, Cheat, Dump – Week 16

While he isn’t technically certified to help you with your love life, Featured Writer – Marcus Katkin is going to discuss a few fantasy football players that you should Marry (hold on to and start during the fantasy playoffs), Cheat with (players that you should start because of their recent production but feel dirty in doing so) and Dump (players you should bench or drop).

This is it…Week 16. It’s Fantasy Championship week for many leagues. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You are the cream of the crop in your league. If not, better luck next year. For this week’s article, I’m going to focus on those flex level players that may make it or break it for you this week as sneaky plays.

QBs (Tony Romo, Sam Bradford, Eli Manning)

Marry – Sam Bradford

I talked about Bradford in last week’s article as a potential fill in for an injured RG3. If you listened you plugged him in for a nice 27 fantasy point day that hopefully supplanted your team into the fantasy championship.

This week Bradford faces a struggling Buccaneers secondary that has allowed 9 passing TDs and 930 passing yards over the last 3 games. Over these three games they’ve given up an average of over 26 points per game to the opposing QBs. One of those QBs was Nick Foles!

I expect the Rams to throw in this game as the Bucs run defense is actually pretty good. Bradford should be in store for a nice day with my projections being 275 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT for a solid 18 fantasy points.

Cheat – Tony Romo

Tony Romo has quietly thrown for either 300+ yards or 2 or more TDs in 7 of his last 8 games.

Marry, Cheat, Dump - Week 16

Is Tony Romo Mr. Right Now?

DeMarco Murray is helping defenses stay honest and a juicy game against a terrible Saints secondary at home is a prime matchup for your fantasy championship.

In the Week 12 Edition of Marry, Cheat, Dump I talked about how Dez Bryant was statistically better at home this year on turf than in away games (Away: 363 yards 4 TDs, Home: 724 yards 6 TDs).

But what about Jason Witten? On the road this year Witten has 360 yards and 0 TDs. At home in the new Cowboys Stadium… 563 yards and 2 TDs.

The Dallas receivers are just better at home, on the turf, then on the road. Given that this is a game against the Saints I fully expect this to be a shootout game where the Cowboys will throw a lot to keep up.

Start Tony Romo and don’t think twice.

Dump – Eli Manning

Speaking of Home/Road splits… I give you Eli Manning.

In away games this year, Eli has 68 fantasy points, good for less than 10 per game. In home games, 118 points for almost 17 points per game! Only once this year has Manning either thrown for over 300 yards or more than one TD in an away game. By the way, that game was 12 weeks ago!

Stay away from Manning! I beg you! For the sake of your fantasy championship!

RBs (Michael Turner, Mikel Leshoure, Darren Sproles)

Marry – Darren Sproles

Can you believe I’m recommending you to Marry a RB that has not had over 7 carries in one game all year? Can you believe I am telling you to start him with confidence during the biggest game of your fantasy season? You betcha!

Despite not getting the carries, Sproles has been getting a lot of touches this year… especially in the Red Zone where he becomes their go-to-guy! In games that Sproles has played in he has the most Red Zone touches of anyone else on the Saints! In fact it’s not even that close! He has over 30% more touches in the Red Zone than each of the next two closest Saints players (Colston and Pierre Thomas)!

Cheat – Michael Turner

On the surface, there’s not much to like about Michael Turner. He hasn’t had over 16 carries since week 9, has been losing snaps to Jacquizz Rodgers, and is only averaging 3.7 YPC this year.

I’ll admit, I’m not a Turner fan. He gets burnt out every year in the second half of the season and this year is no different. He needs a TD to be fantasy relevant and I hate relying on guys like this as TDs are so unpredictable. That is unless you are Michael Turner…

Can You Trust Michael Turner?

Can You Trust Michael Turner?

Turner has a rushing TD in each of his last 5 games and 6 out of his last 7. When the Falcons get in close, they pound the ball with Turner. This week the Falcons face a Lions run defense that has allowed 8 rushing TDs in the last 4 games. 8!!! In those 4 games fantasy RBs have scored a total of 93 fantasy points!

Let’s assume a 65/35 split between Turner and Rodgers and let’s assume they can continue the trend we saw in the previous 4 games. This would mean Turner should score around 15 fantasy points while Rodgers chips in with another 8 or so. I’ll take a 15 fantasy point day from a RB all day during the fantasy playoffs and definitely in the championship.

Dump – Mikel Leshoure

Yet another TD dependent RB. Leshoure has only had 1 game over 100 yards rushing all year. That game was exactly 100 yards and happened way back in week 2.

Four of his last 5 games have gotten you double-digit points but that is also because in 4 of those 5 games he’s had a rushing TD.

This week he faces an Atlanta run defense that has really stepped up the last two weeks. Atlanta’s allowed only 55.5 yards per game rushing the last two games to starting RBs. Leshoure’s season average is 57.9 yards per game. You can see where this is going.

I expect 50-60 yards rushing and zero TDs for Leshoure this weekend.

WRs (TY Hilton, Brandon Lloyd, Larry Fitzgerald)

Marry – TY Hilton

In the beginning of the year Andrew Luck locked in on his first read (Reggie Wayne) and threw it his way all game, every game. In the first 12 games of the year Wayne only had 1 game with less than 6 receptions. Since then, Wayne has had 2 out of 3 games with less than 6 receptions.

It’s easy to see that Luck is developing as an elite NFL QB and is beginning to look around more and spread the ball out.

One of the big recipients has been TY Hilton. Four out of his last 5 games he’s scored double-digit fantasy points. He has 361 yards and 4 TDs in those 5 games. This could be a preview of things to come for next year. If you extrapolate these last 5 games out over a 16 game season you’d have 64 receptions for over 1,150 yards and 13 TDS!

By the way, did I mention the Colts are playing the Chiefs this week? This matchup should produce fantasy gold for T.Y. Hilton owners!

Reggie Wayne is not getting any younger and Andrew Luck is only going to get better.  Start Hilton this week and keep him mind when you’re making sleeper list for next year’s draft.

Cheat – Brandon Lloyd

Brandon Lloyd

Brandon Lloyd appears to be finally on Brady’s good side.

Gronk should be back this week or next, but I think his time away, and the injury to Julian Edelman has opened the door for Brandon Lloyd.

His fantasy owners have been waiting for this type of production all year! Now that he’s producing it, these same owners are scared to put him in their lineups because of the chance that he could go back to disappointing them.

Fear not! The Patriots face the hapless Jaguars this week.

I expect Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley to be in Bill Belichick’s doghouse after their fumbling problems Sunday night. This means lots of Danny Woodhead.

Woodhead looked good Monday night but I’ll be the first to tell you that he is more of a passing down RB then a runner. I know he put up great rushing numbers Sunday night, but that’s not his style of play.

But this article is not about Woodhead, it’s about Lloyd you say? Well with Woodhead in the backfield, I expect lots of passing situations from the Patriots. Belichick wants to prove that they are the team to beat after getting embarrassed on national TV by losing at home in what was at one point a blowout.

Lloyd has 25 targets in the last 2 games and is averaging over 8 targets per game. Brady really started throwing the deep ball to him more in the San Francisco game and they really appear to have a connection going now.

Dump – Larry Fitzgerald

Sigh… Larry Fitzgerald has to be one of the biggest, non-injury disappointments of the year. He’s got the elite talent but his QBs are just terrible. Kolb is now on IR so any chance of a “competent” QB throwing him the ball this year is over.

He hasn’t had a TD reception or over 35 yards receiving in a game since their bye week. Yes, you read that right…35 yards. To give you an idea of how bad 35 yards is…Braylon Edwards has caught for more than 35 yards in a game this year for 2 different teams!

Thanks for reading & good luck in the finals!

If you need help with any of your fantasy football playoff decisions – send your start/sit questions to Marcus on Twitter @MarcusKatkin or hit him up in the Polls Section on