Week 16 NFL Gridiron Guide and Fantasy Take

Santonio Holmes of the New York Jets celebrates

Santonio Holmes of the New York Jets celebrates his second quarter touchdown reception against the New York Giants during their preseason game. (Aug. 29, 2011) (Credit: Getty Images)

John Boell

Newsday sports writer John Boell John Boell

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GIANTS (7-7) at JETS (8-6)

Jets by 3; O/U: 45 1/2

TV: Ch. 5. Radio: WFAN (660), ESPN (1050).

Every New York football fan had all kinds of hopes and dreams when the 2011 NFL schedule came out, especially when they looked at Week 16: Dec. 24, Giants at Jets. Unlike previous meetings, this game has playoff implications for both teams. The Jets, who were crushed by Philly last week, aren’t the best bounce-back team: Gang Green is 1-5 against the spread (ATS) in their last six games following a loss. Meanwhile, the Giants are good in tight games with a 11-4-1 ATS mark in their last 16 games as an underdog of 3 points or less. I believe Big Blue is playing for Tom Coughlin’s future. The Giants just want to end the talk of another “Coughlin Collapse,” and show Rex Ryan who the “better team” really is. Giants 23, Jets 19.

THE PICK: Giants

RONIS’ FANTASY TAKE: Jets WR Santonio Holmes has scored in four straight games. The Giants have allowed 25 passing TDs making him a WR2.

RAIDERS (7-7) at CHIEFS (6-8)

Chiefs by 2; O/U: 42

Will the Chiefs have a letdown after upset of the year? Oakland (0-2-1 ATS in last 3 games overall) is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 against the AFC West, and have covered five straight in Kansas City. THE PICK: Raiders

FANTASY: KC WR Dwayne Bowe gets a boost with QB Kyle Orton.

CARDINALS (7-7) at BENGALS (8-6)

Bengals by 4; O/U: 40 1/2

The Bengals (0-4-2 ATS last 6 games) need to win out to even have a shot at the postseason. Arizona is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games, as former Fordham QB John Skelton (5-1 in games he’s played) has taken over.

THE PICK: Cardinals

FANTASY: Don’t be afraid to start Bengals WR A.J. Green, who has a Grade 3 shoulder sprain.

BRONCOS (8-6) at BILLS (5-9)

Broncos by 3; O/U: 41 1/2

Tebow Time will be early and often for Denver, which controls its own playoff hopes.

THE PICK: Broncos

FANTASY: Broncos RB Willis McGahee will be motivated to play against his former team. The Bills rank 29th against the run.

DOLPHINS (5-9) at PATRIOTS (11-3)

Patriots by 9 1/2; O/U: 48 1/2

Miami has covered 7 of last 8 overall, and are 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 road games.

THE PICK: Dolphins

FANTASY: Dolphins RB Reggie Bush has three straight 100-yard rushing games. WR Brandon Marshall is a must-start against the Pats’ worst-ranked pass ‘D’.

RAMS (2-12) at STEELERS (10-4)

OFF (Pittsburgh QB questionable); O/U: OFF

Whether or not Ben Roethlisberger plays, this will be a double-digit spread. Maybe St. Louis can cover that.

THE PICK: Rams

FANTASY: Rams RB Steven Jackson (nine catches last week) is still viable in a PPR league.

BUCS (4-10) at PANTHERS (5-9)

Panthers by 7 1/2; O/U: 47 1/2

Tampa has lost eight straight, by an average of 15 points per game.

THE PICK: Panthers

FANTASY: Panthers RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are great starts vs. a defense that ranks 30th against the run and has allowed 20 rushing TDs.

BROWNS (4-10) at RAVENS (10-4)

Ravens by 12 1/2; O/U: 38 1/2

Baltimore has won seven straight vs. Cleveland, and covered six times. The Ravens should respond after getting pounded by the Chargers on national TV last week.

THE PICK: Ravens

FANTASY: Expect a heavy workload for Ravens RB Ray Rice against the 31st-ranked run ‘D’.

JAGUARS (4-10) at TITANS (7-7)

Titans by 7 1/2; O/U: 40

Tennessee, which lost to lowly Indy last week, is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games following a loss.

THE PICK: Titans

FANTASY: Titans RB Chris Johnson has an ankle injury and is having problems cutting. Jamie Harper could steal some touches.

VIKINGS (2-12) at REDSKINS (5-9)

Redskins by 6 1/2; O/U: 44

I think former Eagles, Redskins, & Vikings QB Donovan McNabb should handle the pregame coin toss.

THE PICK: Redskins

FANTASY: Redskins WRs Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney are good plays against a secondary that has allowed 31 passing TDs.

CHARGERS (7-7) at LIONS (9-5), 4:05 p.m.

TV: Ch. 2.

Lions by 2 1/2; O/U: 52

Philip Rivers (23-2 in December) and the red-hot Chargers are at it again. But I think they’ll get a cold welcome in Detroit as the Lions (7-3-2 ATS in last 12 as favorite) clinch their first playoff berth since 1999.

THE PICK: Lions

FANTASY: Chargers RB Ryan Mathews is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and scored twice last week vs. tough Ravens defense.

EAGLES (6-8) at COWBOYS (8-6), 4:15 p.m.

TV: Ch. 5. Radio: WBBR (1130), WFAN (660) joined in progress.

Cowboys by 1 1/2; O/U: 50 1/2

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said this week that he was “scared” of the Eagles. As a native of Philly, I’m taking that sound bite and making it my new ringtone! Dallas gets revenge for earlier 34-7 pasting.

THE PICK: Cowboys

FANTASY: Cowboys RB Felix Jones has been bothered by a hamstring injury all week.

49ERS (11-3) at SEAHAWKS (7-7), 4:15 p.m.

49ers by 2 1/2; O/U: 38

Seattle (8-1 ATS last 9 vs. NFC foes) still has a shot as a wild card, but I think San Fran (11-1 ATS last 12 as favorite) ends those dreams here.

THE PICK: 49ers

FANTASY: Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch tries to get first rushing TD vs. 49ers this season.

BEARS (7-7) at PACKERS (13-1), Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

TV: Ch. 4. Radio: WFAN (660)

Packers by 13; O/U: 44

Last time one of these teams beat the other by more than 10 points was ’08.

THE PICK: Bears

FANTASY: Even if he plays a half, start QB Aaron Rodgers unless you have another Top 5 option.

FALCONS (9-5) at SAINTS (11-3), Monday, 8:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN. Radio: WBBR (1130), WFAN (660) joined in progress

Saints by 6 1/2; O/U: 53

The Saints are 6-0 ATS at home, but the Falcons are 11-5 ATS in their previous 16 games in Nola.

THE PICK: Falcons

FANTASY: Many fantasy titles will be determined in this high-scoring game and the usual studs are pretty much must-starts.