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Starts, Sits & Smashes

Championship weekend is upon us. It’s time to close the deal. Joe Fortenbaugh

Print This December 23, 2011, 01:30 PM EST

SIT ‘EM DOWN

Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants (at New York Jets): Manning has been terrific for fantasy owners this season, but we advise you to look in another direction for Week 16. The Jets currently rank seventh in the NFL against the pass (205.1 yds/gm) and are surrendering an average of just 15.4 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season (5th-fewest in NFL). Keep in mind that in seven home games this year, Manning has thrown nine interceptions and has a QB Rating of just 86.9.

The line: New York Jets -3/45.5

Vegas notes: The Giants are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Saturday games while the Jets are 4-0 ATS in their last four Saturday games.

The pick: Giants (+3)

Steven JacksonICONImagine what Jackson could do if he played on a decent offense?

Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams (at Pittsburgh): Jackson has found the end zone only one time over his last seven starts and hasn’t posted a 100-yard outing since November 13. Leave him on the bench for championship weekend as the low-scoring St. Louis Rams head to Pittsburgh to take on a Steelers defense that ranks sixth in the NFL against the run (97.2 yds/gm) and is giving up an average of only 15.5 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (6th-fewest in NFL). The upside here is very minimal.

The line: Pittsburgh -16.5/39

Vegas notes: Already previewed above.

The pick: Already made above (UNDER 39)

Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota Vikings (at Washington): Harvin put together quite a streak while Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson was out of action due to an ankle injury. However, with All Day back in the lineup last Sunday, Harvin caught just three passes for eight yards in a 42-20 blowout loss to the St. Louis Rams. Expect more of the same Saturday in Washington against a Redskins defense that is giving up an average of only 17.5 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season (4th-fewest in NFL). Minnesota has mailed it in and we don’t expect a solid performance from a team that is now in contention for the top pick in next April’s draft.

The line: Washington -6.5/43.5

Vegas notes: The OVER is 5-1 in the Vikings’ last six games overall and 4-1 in the Redskins’ last five games overall.

The pick: OVER (43.5)

Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Philadelphia): Witten has been held out of the end zone in each of his last four starts and posted a 4-28-0 stat line the last time these two teams met back on October 30. Keep in mind that the Eagles are giving up an average of just 7.0 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season (9th-fewest in NFL), so if you have another option with a more favorable Week 16 matchup, we advise you to sit Witten.

The line: Dallas -1.5/50.5

Vegas notes: The Eagles are 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings between these two teams.

The pick: Eagles (+1.5)

Chicago Bears, D/ST (at Green Bay): The Packers are giving up just 7.1 fantasy points per game to opposing D/STs this season (7th-fewest in NFL) and have to be pissed after their bid for a 16-0 regular season fell apart last Sunday in Kansas City. Ask yourself this: On fantasy championship weekend, do you really want to start the defense that is playing opposite MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers? We didn’t think so.

The line: Green Bay -12/43.5

Vegas notes: The UNDER is 8-0 in the last eight meetings between these two teams.

The pick: UNDER (43.5)

Joe FlaccoJust because he's playing Cleveland does not mean you should start Flacco on Saturday.

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cleveland): Yes, Flacco has a Week 16 date with a terrible Cleveland Browns team, but keep in mind that wide receiver Anquan Boldin is out for the rest of the regular season with a knee injury. In addition, the Browns are surrendering an average of just 14.0 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season (3rd-fewest in NFL), so if you were thinking about getting creative and riding with Flacco and his Fu Manchu this Saturday, you better think again.

The line: Baltimore -12.5/38.5

Vegas notes: The Browns are 1-6 ATS in the last seven meetings between these two teams.

The pick: Browns (+12.5)

Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants (at New York Jets): Jacobs has been running like a man possessed over the last few weeks, with four touchdowns over his last four games to prove it. However, the big bruiser has carried the ball less than 10 times in two of his last three starts and will struggle to find running lanes Saturday against a Jets defense that is giving up just 17.2 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (11th-fewest in NFL). With Ahmad Bradshaw cutting into his carries, we think it’s wise to leave Jacobs on the bench this weekend.

The line: New York Jets -3/45.5

Vegas notes: The OVER is 4-0 in the Giants’ last four games as an underdog and 4-0 in the Jets’ last four home games.

The pick: UNDER (45.5)

Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers (at Seattle): The 49ers are on short rest and heading north to take on a Seattle Seahawks team that has been red hot as of late, having won five of their last six games. In addition, Seattle is surrendering only 17.8 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season (5th-fewest in NFL). When you combine all that with the fact that Crabtree has scored just one touchdown in his last seven starts, you have yourself a recipe for disaster. There are better WR options out there for Week 16.

The line: San Francisco -2.5/37.5

Vegas notes: The home team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings between these two teams.

The pick: Seahawks (+2.5)

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

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