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Week 16 flex rankings: Looking for good matchups

12/24/2009

When in doubt, look at the matchup.

Really, at this time of the year, a number of teams certainly seem to be counting down the days until the season ends. If you have multiple good options for one flex spot, look at the matchups to sway the decision. For example, you'll see below that Michael Crabtree is one spot better than Maurice Morris. If you have them both for one spot, I think you have to trust the one meeting the Detroit Lions, not the one wearing that uniform.

Regardless of what you decide, look at the facts, use our rankings and projections to help guide you, and ultimately do what feels right to you. It's your team, and you're the one who must live with the decisions you make. If you think Jerome Harrison has another 286 rushing yards in him, by all means keep him active over someone like Pierre Thomas, who has needed his past six or seven games to get to that lofty rushing total. Whatever you decide, best of luck.

Note that this is not the last week of flex rankings; I realize this is the championship round for some of you, but not all. Either way, enjoy yourself and merry Christmas to all!

1. Chris Johnson, RB, Titans: Needs 270 rushing yards to reach 2,000. I think he gets it, though not all this week. He's not Harrison, after all.

2. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings: Hey, here's a novel idea, Mr. Favre. Instead of audibling on every other play, why not hand off more to this guy?

3. Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals: See Harrison, Week 15. Honestly, the Chiefs have no chance against a better rushing team. Only question is whether Benson gets 20 carries or 30.

4. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars

5. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers

6. Ricky Williams, RB, Dolphins: It says something that he rushed for "only" 80 yards last week and it was called a disappointment.

7. Ray Rice, RB, Ravens

8. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans: For those wondering, Johnson has the same number of fantasy points this season as the next guy on this flex list, believe it or not.

9. Thomas Jones, RB, Jets

10. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs: I am absolutely trusting this guy, even in tough matchups, which this week is.

11. Randy Moss, WR, Patriots: Now that the motivation questions are out of the way, Moss & Co. get to face that Jacksonville secondary. That's so much fun that the motivation is built in.

12. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals

13. Steven Jackson, RB, Rams: As long as he's playing, he's productive. Certainly his owners can't complain.

14. DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles: Please don't throw out names like Champ Bailey and say it'll hurt D-Jax. Jackson will find a way to make a few big plays regardless.

15. Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys

16. Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints: We project him to score well this week, and I've kind of bought in to that. He is the healthiest running back on the team and its No. 1 guy, after all.

17. Marques Colston, WR, Saints

18. Ryan Grant, RB, Packers

19. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots

20. Vincent Jackson, WR, Chargers: He's back to top-10 status after a rough month.

21. Jerome Harrison, RB, Browns: I'd be stunned if he doesn't get 20 touches. Trust the touches, and assume that against the Raiders, he'll get the yards.

22. Anquan Boldin, WR, Cardinals: Maybe this week he can actually be across the line of scrimmage when he catches the ball and scores the touchdown.

23. Beanie Wells, RB, Cardinals: The Arizona running back you want these days.

24. Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals

25. Donald Driver, WR, Packers

26. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers: I think he's largely matchup-proof at this point. Speaking of which, remember when Willie Parker was good?

27. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers: I think he'll play and get enough touches to be a decent RB2.

28. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers: I no longer expect good yardage, but I do think a touchdown is coming nearly every week.

29. Brandon Marshall, WR, Broncos: I think he's the one Broncos player you can trust in Philly this weekend.

30. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers

31. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts: Pretty low rank for him, but it's not only the threat of Colts starters being on the sidelines in the second half. It's not even the Darrelle Revis factor. Simply put, Wayne hasn't been a great fantasy option of late anyway.

32. Joseph Addai, RB, Colts

33. Roddy White, WR, Falcons: The Bills' pass defense isn't a whole lot easier than facing the Jets', ya know.

34. Fred Jackson, RB, Bills

35. Steve Smith, WR, Panthers: Now that Jake Delhomme has been placed on injured reserve, everyone on the team can breathe a little easier.

36. Dallas Clark, TE, Colts

37. Laurence Maroney, RB, Patriots: Jaguars aren't all that good against the run, either.

38. Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jaguars

39. Jason Snelling, RB, Falcons: I really doubt Michael Turner plays, and the Bills are not good against the run. Some could argue Snelling is way too low on this list, and I do see the upside.

40. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos: Not giving up on him, but he should have shredded the Raiders. Philly will not be easier.

41. Sidney Rice, WR, Vikings: Lost in this Favre-Childress mess is the fact the team's wide receivers haven't been as productive.

42. Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers

43. Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions: No Matthew Stafford this week, but his ability gets him ranked this high.

44. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants

45. Steve Smith, WR, Giants

46. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers: Move him up to DeAngelo's spot if it appears he'll get all the carries.

47. Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens

48. Hines Ward, WR, Steelers

49. Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers: Has a roaring matchup against the Lions, and I've been wondering when he'll have that truly monster game. Could be this week.

50. Maurice Morris, RB, Lions: Not someone I would choose to rely on, but he does appear to be getting the carries.

51. Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys

52. Greg Jennings, WR, Packers

53. Robert Meachem, WR, Saints

54. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons

55. Tim Hightower, RB, Cardinals

56. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs: Got plenty of targets last week, and I could see him getting in the end zone this time.

57. Matt Forte, RB, Bears: The Vikings will bounce back against the run this week.

58. Antonio Bryant, WR, Buccaneers

59. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants: Some view him as a better option than teammate Jacobs, and I think it's close, but obviously I still give the fantasy-starting edge to Jacobs.

60. Terrell Owens, WR, Bills: I feel like the past three weeks, with seven receptions and a total of 12 fantasy points, is more like what we should expect from T.O.

61. Roy E. Williams, WR, Cowboys

62. Brent Celek, TE, Eagles

63. Quinton Ganther, RB, Redskins: Maybe he gets another short touchdown run, but the guy really hasn't looked very good as the starting running back.

64. Braylon Edwards, WR, Jets

65. Mike Bell, RB, Saints

66. Chris Chambers, WR, Chiefs

67. LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles: Inconsistent carries, and it's tough to rely on someone like that.

68. Justin Forsett, RB, Seahawks: Major upside here, but the way the Seahawks have been playing, I could see them getting blown out as well.

69. Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys

70. Kenny Britt, WR, Titans

71. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Seahawks

72. Ryan Moats, RB, Texans: If you want to rely on how many touches he gets, be my guest. Hey Ryan, just make sure if/when you fumble, you don't do it early in the game!

73. Steve Breaston, WR, Cardinals

74. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Bills

75. Santonio Holmes, WR, Steelers

76. Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings

77. Michael Bush, RB, Raiders: Another player with considerable upside, but there's no guarantee he'll get the chances.

78. Cadillac Williams, RB, Buccaneers

79. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants

80. Chris Jennings, RB, Browns: Looks like he got Wally Pipped, eh? Not that he was the safest bet in the first place.

81. Lee Evans, WR, Bills

82. Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles: I'll say he falls short of 10 touches in this game. Don't go with name value and assume a big game is coming.

83. Fred Davis, TE, Redskins

84. Julius Jones, RB, Seahawks

85. Austin Collie, WR, Colts

86. Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders

87. Santana Moss, WR, Redskins: I do think the Redskins show a little something this week, and I think the only wide receiver on the club you can count on is Moss. What's Devin Thomas done the past few weeks since his breakout?

88. Reggie Bush, RB, Saints: Risky play, since he's not likely to get many touches, and he's probably been limping around all week anyway.

89. Larry Johnson, RB, Bengals: I think trusting him as option 2 to Ced Benson is awfully dangerous. Might get 13 carries, might get three, and yes, I realize he's facing the team he used to play for. The Bengals don't "owe" Johnson touches; he's just insurance.

90. Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Jets

91. Arian Foster, RB, Texans: Many people are angry with this guy for causing his Week 15 benching. Shoot, now watch him get 20 carries this week and pull a Jerome Harrison. With the Texans, anything is possible.

92. Josh Cribbs, WR, Browns

93. Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers

94. Derrick Ward, RB, Buccaneers: C'mon, can you give us one monster game this season? I've pretty much rid all my teams of Ward's services by now, but ...

95. Earl Bennett, WR, Bears

96. Leonard Weaver, RB, Eagles

97. Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers

98. Josh Morgan, WR, 49ers

99. Jerious Norwood, RB, Falcons

100. Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys