Thursday Night (Carolina @ Pittsburgh) and Christmas Night (Dallas @ Arizona) Previews

By: Steve DeAngelo


It’s Super Bowl week and if you’re reading this then you are most likely in the Championship game, unless you just like to read this site for the fun of it, which could be the case, because we are that serious! As we have had all season, FantasySavvy has the answers for your fantasy lineups this week. From now until Sunday we will be releasing our Rankings, Projections, Start Em Sit Ems, 1 O’clock game breakdowns and updated player news. So make sure to check our site as well as tune into our radio show tomorrow night at immediately after the Thursday night game. Thanks to all the readers who followed us this year, we hope you found success with our information and that you continue reading next season. GL this weekend, Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all.

Carolina @ Pittsburgh Thursday Night 8:20 (Weather- 22 degrees, 10-15 Mph winds, Flurries)

Week 16 starts off on Thursday night, in a game in which Pittsburgh should cruise to victory. The only person you’re starting from Carolina is Jonathan Stewart and even he doesn’t have a good matchup against Pittsburgh and their #1 run defense. Stewart has been on fire of late with 460 rushing yards in his last 4 games. The Jets ran for over 100 yards last week against Pittsburgh, but I don’t see Stewart doing that although 80 yards and a TD is likely. This is not the week to use Mike Goodson at the flex. This is a bad matchup for him and Stewart has officially taken over as main back. Carolina is going to want to keep the ball out of Jimmy Clausen’s hands and play conservative football, otherwise Clausen is gonna get his head ripped off by James Harrison and LaMar Woodley as Carolina is tied for most sacks allowed this year (43). Steve Smith is being wasted there right now and can’t be relied upon, if anything he’s a low-end flex play in PPR leagues only.

Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t had a great fantasy year, but he has been serviceable. The yards have been there but the TD’s haven’t. In his last 3 games Ben only has 2 TD’s but has thrown for over 250 in each game. I think that is what you can expect in this game as well, Ben going for around 250 through the air with 1 TD and possibly two. Carolina’s pass defense is no slouch and have been underrated all season letting up the 8th fewest yards a game (208) and ranked 5th in TD’s allowed at 16. But working for Ben this week and which may enable him to throw 2 TD’s is Pittsburgh should have a good amount of possessions because of their defense against Carolina’s O. Pittsburgh should also be playing with a lead most of the game and these two factors will benefit Rashad Mendenhall. He should reach the endzone at least once this week and go for over 100 yards against Carolina’s Run D who have been getting pounded of late. Mike Wallace and Hines Ward will both be in the mix, but don’t expect big numbers. I can see both finishing with about 60-70 yard games with Wallace the favorite to score. Heath Miller appears to be healthy for Tomorrow night and might not be a bad emergency start against the Panthers who don’t defend the tight end well, ranked 26th and letting up an average of 60 yards per game.

Dallas @ Arizona Saturday 7:30

If you picked up Jon Kitna prior to the fantasy playoffs then you have been pleased. Kitna had a great matchup last week against the Redskins and he exploited it with 2 TD’s and 300 yards passing. Kitna should enjoy similar success against a bad Arizona pass Defense. I expect Kitna to toss at least 2 TD’s once again and stay close to the 280 yard mark. Miles Austin and Jason Witten will be Kitna’s main targets and both are solid fantasy starts. Witten has been the best tight end in fantasy since Kitna took over at QB. Roy Williams is questionable for Saturday, so stay tuned. If he plays he’s still not a good option as he hasn’t scored since week 6.

Felix Jones missed practice again today with bruised chin, but I would expect him to play. If he goes expect around 100 total yards with about 4-5 catches and a possible score. Tashard Choice gets the goaline carries and will be an extremely solid start if Jones can’t go for some reason. Regardless, Choice will be a good start, that is however if Marion Barber doesn’t play. Barber has been practicing this week, but he also practiced last week and didn’t play, so you’re going to have to wait and see to make a decision on Choice. Stay away from Barber if he starts and think twice about staring Choice as well if that happens.

John Skelton obviously shouldn’t touch fantasy lineups, but at least he’s helping Larry Fitzgerald produce. Dallas’ Secondary has been brutal, they just let Rex Grossman toss 4 TD’s on them, that should be all you need to know. I mean maybe you expect two td’s from Grossman but not 4. Fitz could see the endzone this week, at least he should come close to 100 yards with about 7-8 catches. Steve Breaston can’t be relied upon, but he actually might have a decent game. Beanie Wells has been a huge fantasy bust and shouldn’t be on rosters. He had 8 carries for 11 yards last week against Carolina and has been failing to produce in good matchups all season. After going for 148 yards on 18 carries against Denver in week 14, Tim Hightower let owners down that tried to ride the hot hand with just 16 yards on 6 carries. He can’t be trusted this week, even though he could finish with around 70-80 total yards.

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