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Fantasy Final Thoughts

by Jared Belson on Dec. 22, 2010
Now that it is week 16 in the NFL, for those of you who are still alive in fantasy football, this is likely your finals. With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to throw out a few rookie names from the 2010 NFL Draft class who could be intriguing starts in your final week if you are looking for help:

The Pleasant Starts:


Mike Williams, 4th Round 101st Pick:
This week will be the Mike Williams bowl. Luckily for this Mike Williams, he'll be going up against the 4th worst defense in the league, while the other will be facing the 11th best. If so he can be a reliable wide receiver when healthy, and this week might help solidify a productive rookie year.

LaGarrette Blount, Undrafted:
As previously mentioned, Seattle's defense is not very good. They might have stopped the run a little better than the pass, but they still would not be considered scary by any means. With a big pounding back like Blount, he should be able to topple over a few guys for some big yards and possible touchdowns.

The Intriguing Starts:


Joe Webb, 6th Round 199th Pick:
Unusual to see him up here, but I'll tell you why he might be the most interesting play for Week 16. At Quarterback? No way. But if you use Yahoo for fantasy, or possibly some of the others, Joe Webb also plays Wide Receiver! If you are short on wide receivers, then this is an interesting man to consider. To preface, this all goes out the window if Brett Favre ends up starting. If he doesn't though, consider Joe Webb's game last week. 129 yards throwing, 0 tds, 2 ints; He also had 38 yards, 1td. Depending on the league you're in, that's about 10 points. Now look back to see how many points each of your wide receiver's got last week. That was more than Dwayne Bowe, Miles Austin, Greg Jennings and Marques Colston. Do you know who had under 5 fantasy points? Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Santonio Holmes, Sidney Rice, and Hines Ward. It's been proven throughout the history of fantasy sports that wide receivers are no sure thing, and running backs and quarterbacks usually get more points than them on a weekly average.

The beauty is, Joe Webb can get points that a normal running quarterback might get, but you do not have to sacrifice you're quarterback to receive them. You can play him at wide receiver, where even a bad game, might be a great game for a normal wide receiver. Say Webb has a mediocre game. 150 yards, 1 td, 2 ints, 40 yards rushing. That's 10 points in a standard league. For a quarterback, that's not good. For a Wide Receiver? I'll take that. He was drafted as a wide receiver, so the team obviously loves his speed, and they will no doubt utilize it. What if he has an even better game? Say 200 yards passing, 2 tds, 3 ints, 40 yds rushing, 1td. Still not great for a quarterback, but that's 20 points! Find me a wide receiver who could have a bad game, yet still score 20 fantasy points. It would obviously be a big risk to start Webb this week since he is still a marginal prospect at quarterback and starting only his second game against a very tough Philadelphia defense. So starting him over established wide receivers would be a huge risk, but its something to think about if you are in a bind.

Tim Tebow, 1st Round 25th Pick:
While Houston has one of the worst statistical defenses in the league this year, their run defense isn't as bad as their passing. Going against a passing defense that is the worst in the league would normally be a good thing for a quarterback. However, it's Tim Tebow, and he probably won't throw too much. Last week he put up 138 passing yards, 1 td, 0 int, 78 rushing yards, and 1 rushing td, and that was against a decent Oakland defense. This week playing against Houston though, there's potential for an even better game.

Sam Bradford, 1st Round, 1st Pick:
Sam Bradford has had his typical ups and downs of a rookie year, unfortunately with his downs coming in the last 3 weeks. Yet this week he's playing against the 25th ranking passing defense of San Francisco. With St. Louis in playoff position, his line will be working extra hard to ensure that he gets the protection he needs and can complete the throws necessary to win. On the other hand though, San Francisco still has a shot at making the playoffs and will not let their feet off the breaks this week at all.

Ryan Mathews, 1st Round, 12th Pick:
He had 17 rushes last week, and 16 the week before. Even though his 17 only amounted to 56 yards, any time a running back can give over 15 carries in a game, he's got a great chance of breaking one for a long run or maybe a score. Against Cincinnati's 22nd ranked rush defense, he might be able to put something together. Yet based on his season so far, it is far from a certainty.

The Tough-Call Starts


Jimmy Graham, 3rd Round, 95th Pick:
He was a basketball player in college, so Drew Brees will definitely try to utilize his leaping ability once again. Whether its for this year or next, will be the question. Considering the playoffs are right around the corner though, New Orleans could try to work him in to the offense even more to get him ready. He showed he can catch some touchdowns last week, but against Atlanta's D it might be hard to replicate.

Rob Gronkowski, 2nd Round, 42nd Pick
& Aaron Hernandez, 4th Round, 113th Pick:
Both of these guys are great fantasy starters...if they played for different teams. On the same team though and with Brady as your quarterback, it's a crapshoot as to who's going to be the productive one.

Toby Gerhart, 2nd Round, 51st Pick:
With Peterson in he might get a few touches. With Peterson out, he's still playing Philadelphia's defense. With Joe Webb potentially running the ball from the quarterback position, it might also take away his carries. With Joe Webb in though, Minnesota will want to run the ball more, so he might have a chance.

Jahvid Best, 1st Round, 30th Pick:
After Maurice Morris's game last week and Best's nagging injuries, he'd be a very risky start.

Chris Ivory Undrafted:
He's back from injury, but so are Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush. Against a stout Atlanta defense, all of them will be hard-pressed for productivity.

Jacoby Ford, 4th Round, 108th Pick:
Ford had a big game last week, but without the 1 rush of 71 yards for a touchdown, you probably wouldn't even be considering it. If your league gets points for return touchdowns, it gives him another element to consider, but Oakland is playing Indianapolis, and they still have Jason Campbell at Quarterback, so it's probably a long shot.

The 'You're probably desperate if you're debating these guys' Starts


Jimmy Clausen
Emmanuel Sanders
Arrelious Benn
Brandon LaFell
Ed Dickson
Anthony Dixon
Dexter McCluster
Jordan Shipley
Tony Moeaki