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Fantasy Football 2013 Quarterback Rankings: Week 16

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Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins

Peyton Manning is on the verge of reaching some significant milestones, so no one should be surprised to see him leading off Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 16 quarterback rankings. But while Manning no doubt carried many a fantasy team to the championship game, he's not the only quarterback who could end up helping an owner bring home the title this week.

As far as Manning goes, he needs just 189 yards passing to reach 5,000 in a season for the first time in his career. He's also three touchdown passes shy of tying Tom Brady's single-season record of 50. Unless the Broncos decide to rest Manning next week there's a pretty good chance that record will be his before Week 17 is complete. Manning does have to face Houston's second-ranked passing defense this week, but this is a Texans team that has lost 12 games in a row and has allowed 25 touchdown passes compared to six interceptions. There was no debate when it came to the No. 1 quarterback this week.

That doesn't mean that Manning's the only quarterback whose outlook we don't like though. The Sunday night Chicago vs. Philadelphia game not only is a critical matchup as it pits the NFC North and East division leaders against each other, it features two of the NFL's more generous defenses. Nick Foles and Jay Cutler both have the weapons and the ability to post big numbers in any given week, and this head-to-head matchup has all the makings of a high-scoring affair.

Foles has been more consistent (21.4 or more fantasy points in six straight games), but that's because Cutler has missed time because of a groin and ankle injury. He returned last week against Cleveland and after a shaky start that saw him toss two interceptions, Cutler finished with 265 yards passing and three touchdowns. There's certainly some risk in starting a "rusty" Cutler with so much at stake, but you also can't ignore the prospect of him throwing to the likes of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte against an Eagles defense that gave up 382 yards passing to Minnesota's Matt Cassel last week.

For those who have an appetite for risk-taking, what about rolling the dice with Kirk Cousins? In his first game replacing Robert Griffin III, Cousins threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns against Atlanta. This week Cousins gets a reeling Dallas defense that has given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Cousins did turn the ball over three times (2 INTs, fumble) and will be making just his second career NFL start. However, unless you already have Manning, Foles, Cutler or a better option on your roster, you could certainly do worse than taking a chance on the Redskins' backup quarterback.

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2013 NFL Week 16 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

Rk

Player

Team

OPP

1

Peyton Manning

DEN

at HOU

2

Nick Foles

PHI

vs. CHI

3

Drew Brees

NO

at CAR

4

Cam Newton

CAR

vs. NO

5

Matthew Stafford

DET

vs. NYG

6

Philip Rivers

SD

vs. OAK

7

Russell Wilson

SEA

vs. ARI

8

Jay Cutler

CHI

at PHI

9

Colin Kaepernick

SF

vs. ATL (Mon.)

10

Tony Romo

DAL

at WAS

11

Andy Dalton

CIN

vs. MIN

12

Tom Brady

NE

at BAL

13

Ben Roethlisberger

PIT

at GB

14

Kirk Cousins

WAS

vs. DAL

15

Alex Smith

KC

vs. IND

16

Andrew Luck

IND

at KC

17

Ryan Fitzpatrick

TEN

at JAC

18

Joe Flacco

BAL

vs. NE

19

Ryan Tannehill

MIA

at BUF

20

Jason Campbell

CLE

at NYJ

21

Matt Ryan

ATL

at SF (Mon.)

22

Matt Flynn

GB

vs. PIT

23

Matt Cassel

MIN

at CIN

24

Carson Palmer

ARI

at SEA

25

Eli Manning

NYG

at DET

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 16 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers