Carolina Panthers

Week 16 advice: Roll dice, load up on Saints, Falcons

Chicago Bears quarterback Jimmy Clausen (8) looks on from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Nov. 23, 2014, in Chicago.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jimmy Clausen (8) looks on from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Nov. 23, 2014, in Chicago. AP

Week 16 is here as many teams gear up for fantasy Super Bowl week. If you are up against a tough opponent, don’t be afraid to roll the dice to try to connect for the win.

The other piece of advice for this week: Load up on your Falcons and Saints. The Saints rank 31st in total defense and the Falcons rank 32nd. Needless to say, this should be a high-scoring game. When these teams met in Week 1, the Falcons won 37-34 in overtime.

• It’s bad timing on the Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray’s broken left hand, but he intends to play (a game-time decision plus in-game management). Either way, Joseph Randle should have more of a role. I am starting Murray; the Cowboys have a track record of wounded skill-position stars turning in big games.



• In Chicago, Jay Cutler ($22.5 million this season) is benched, and former Panther Jimmy Clausen will take over. It’s hard to imagine it can hurt after Cutler’s game last week. Keep Alshon Jeffery locked in (Jeffery has scored in five straight games and has a new career high with nine touchdowns this season).



• Matthew Stafford (Detroit) comes off a season-low 153-yard game, but start him with confidence this week. No team allows more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Bears, and Stafford passed for 390 yards and two touchdowns against them in Week 12, and three touchdowns last year at Chicago.



• This is likely the week NFL history is made. In the past 20 years, only eight receivers have reached the 1,000 mark in their rookie season, and there have never been two receivers to do it in the same season, let alone three. The Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. (972), the Panthers’ Kelvin Benjamin (952) and the Bucs’ Mike Evans (948) should all surpass 1,000 receiving yards on the season this week.



• My FanDuel Week 16 lineup is: QB Drew Brees ($9,100), RB Tre Mason ($6,500), RB Joseph Randle ($4,900), WR Demaryius Thomas ($9,100), WR Golden Tate ($7,400), WR Kenny Stills ($6,100), TE Jimmy Graham ($7,100), K Mason Crosby ($4,900), Carolina Defense ($4,800).



Week 16 sleepers

• Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota) comes into Week 16 with a two-game streak of 300-yard games, and he could have another at Miami. Bridgewater should be motivated as he returns to Miami where he was born and played high school ball.



•  Johnny Manziel (Cleveland) woefully underperformed last week no matter your expectations, and he didn’t look ready. The Browns ran 38 offensive plays, the fewest by a Browns team since 1999. The Panthers defense looks like a sneaky strong start this week in a big game at home for Carolina.



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