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Barkowitz: Closer to being stiffs than stars of fantasy

SAW THAT the NFL handed out Pro Bowl invitations this week. As Dana Carvey's "Church Lady" character used to say, "Isn't that special?"

SAW THAT the NFL handed out Pro Bowl invitations this week. As Dana Carvey's "Church Lady" character used to say, "Isn't that special?"

Her tone was always sarcastic, which is how fantasy players who've been eliminated feel. When Jordan Reed was selected to his first Pro Bowl, the grumbling from fantasyland had more to do with his two measly catches and ejection from Monday night's dismal loss during our playoffs. Grrrr.

So let the stars go to the Pro Bowl. We're sending these guys to the Coal Bowl, because they broke our hearts and dented our wallets.


* Russell Wilson, Seattle: Had his first multitouchdown outing last week in about a month, but it really didn't matter. Wilson's five interceptions in Week 14 either dashed fantasy chances or led to his benching. He's the only visiting quarterback not to throw a touchdown pass at New Orleans. Jared Goff had three.

Running backs

* Todd Gurley, Rams: The No. 1 overall pick in many leagues, Gurley enters Week 16 tied for 20th in RB scoring, according to ESPN. He has five touchdowns - half as many as last season - and his next 100-yard game will be his first. Perhaps more maddening is that Gurley is a must-play this week as an RB2 against the 49ers, who have given up the most points to opposing RBs. Good luck with that.

* Lamar Miller, Texans: The move from Miami was supposed to elevate Miller to solid RB1 status. He started the season with no touchdowns in the first five games, which was like a baby dropping his pacifier on the beach. Miller has scored the last two weeks, but his six TDs for the season trail the nine and 10 he had in his last two seasons with the Dolphins. He sat out practice Thursday with an ankle injury and is danger of missing his first game this season.

Wide receivers

* Julio Jones, Falcons: Atlanta's game program will tout that Jones leads all receivers with an admirable 1,253 receiving yards. But the last time he scored a touchdown was the night after the Cubs won the World Series, and he's missed the first two weeks of the playoffs with a toe injury. Disappointment comes in many flavors.

* Allen Robinson, Jaguars: We just as easily could have used the Jags' team picture.

* DeAndre Hopkins, Texans: Started the season with touchdowns in the first two games, then went into the witness protection program. In fairness, Hopkins' biggest problem was the ineffectiveness of quarterback Brock Osweiler. With Osweiler benched for Tom Savage (Cardinal O'Hara), Hopkins is worth peeling off the bench as a WR2.

Tight end

* Jordan Reed, Redskins: The reward for sticking with Reed through a concussion, which he hid from the team, and subsequent separated shoulder, was 16 yards total these last two weeks. And now his coach doesn't think he'll play at all Saturday because of that shoulder injury. Reed had two touchdowns on Thanksgiving - the only thing he's done since October.

Contest result

Longtime reader Tom Harper, of Northeast Philadelphia, picked up a Daily News fantasy football T-shirt after winning last week's contest.

We asked how many passing attempts Carson Wentz would have against the Ravens. Harper's guess of 43 was closest to the 42 passes Wentz threw.

It doesn't mean much, but good hustle by several folks who guessed 44, including Ted Rybka, of Sauk Rapids, Minn.

Those were the days

The last time the LA Rams hosted San Francisco, the 49ers drilled them, 34-19, in a 1994 game in Anaheim. Steve Young threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more scores. Jerry Rice and John Taylor each had 100 yards receiving and a score.

The 2016 Niners have had only two 100-yard receiving games all season. Quinton Patton had 106 against New Orleans in Week 9 and Jeremy Kerley had 102 against Arizona in Week 5.

Position watch

Quarterbacks: The Falcons still have given up more passing yards than any other defense despite holding fantasy JV quarterbacks Jared Goff (235) and Colin Kaepernick (183) in check the last two weeks. Cam Newton, who looked like the 2015 Cam Newton on Monday against the Redskins, is Atlanta's opponent Saturday. We have him fifth among QBs . . . Matt Barkley has two 300-yard games in his last four. He had 300 passing yards total in his two seasons mopping up for the Eagles. This week, he gets a Redskins defense that gave up 300 yards to opposing QBs in five of the last six games . . . Marcus Mariota and the Titans have scored 78 points in their last two games against Jacksonville. Mariota has accounted for six TDs and ran for a career-high 112 yards last year against the Jags.

Running backs: We dropped Jeremy Hill to a low RB2 against a Texans defense that has allowed less than 100 yard rushing to opposing RBs in each of the last seven games. Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski is the only back with a rushing TD in that span . . . Devonta Freeman, who has seven rushing touchdowns in the last four games, can become this year's Doug Baldwin with monster games in his final two. Atlanta plays at Carolina on Saturday and has a tasty matchup at home against New Orleans in Week 17 . . . Melvin Gordon (knee, hip) is best left on the bench, despite a gorgeous matchup at Cleveland. The Browns have given up the second-most points to opposing RBs, so Kenneth Farrow is worth considering as a flex.

Wide receivers: Gamble of the week is starting A.J. Green against Houston. Green is playing for the first time since Nov. 20, when a hamstring injury threatened his season. We have him as a mid-WR2, just behind Michael Thomas and just ahead of Larry Fitzgerald . . . Ex-teammate Brian Hartline roasted Terrelle Pryor on a Cleveland radio station this week. Pryor's career year has been sidetracked by a torn ligament in his finger that will require offseason surgery. He is set to become a free agent after the season.

Week 16 rankings

Quarterback, team: opponent

1. Tom Brady, NE: vs. NYJ

2. Aaron Rodgers, GB: vs. Min.

3. Matt Ryan, Atl.: at Car.

4. Drew Brees, NO: vs. TB

5. Cam Newton, Car.: vs. Atl.

6. Marcus Mariota, Ten.: at Jac.

7. Derek Carr, Oak.: vs. Ind.

8. Andrew Luck, Ind.: at Oak.

9. Philip Rivers, SD: at Cle.

10. Russell Wilson, Sea.: vs. Ari.

11. Ben Roethlisberger, Pit.: vs. Bal.

12. Matt Barkley, Chi.: vs. Was.

Running back, team, opponent

*Montgomery may not be eligible as an RB

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Dal.: vs. Det.

2. LeSean McCoy, Buf.: vs. Mia.

3. Le'Veon Bell, Pit.: vs. Bal.

4. David Johnson, Ari.: at Sea.

5. Jordan Howard, Chi.: vs. Was.

6. Devonta Freeman, Atl.: at Car.

7. DeMarco Murray, Ten.: at Jac.

8. Ty Montgomery, GB*: vs. Min.

9. Todd Gurley, LA: vs. SF

10. LeGarrette Blount, NE: vs. NYJ

11. Latavius Murray, Oak.: vs. Ind.

12. Lamar Miller, Hou.: vs. Cin.

13. Mark Ingram, NO: vs. TB

14. Jeremy Hill, Cin.: at Hou.

15. Jonathan Stewart, Car.: vs. Atl.

16. Thomas Rawls, Sea.: vs. Ari.

17. Carlos Hyde, SF: at LA

18. Jay Ajayi, Mia.: at Buf.

19. Dion Lewis, NE: vs. NYJ

20. Doug Martin, TB: at NO

21. Tevin Coleman, Atl.: at Car.

22. Tim Hightower, NO: vs. TB

23. Ryan Mathews, Phi.: vs. NYG

24. Bilal Powell, NYJ: at NE

25. Frank Gore, Ind.: at Oak.

Wide receiver, team: opponent

1. Odell Beckham, NYG: at Phi.

2. Antonio Brown, Pit.: vs. Bal.

3. Mike Evans, TB: at NO

4. Julio Jones, Atl.: at Car.

5. Jordy Nelson, GB: vs. Min.

6. T.Y. Hilton, Ind.: at Oak.

7. Dez Bryant, Dal.: vs. Det.

8. Demaryius Thomas, Den.: at KC

9. Julian Edelman, NE: vs. NYJ

10. Golden Tate, Det.: at Dal.

11. Brandin Cooks, NO: vs. TB

12. Emmanuel Sanders, Den.: at KC

13. Amari Cooper, Oak.: vs. Ind.

14. Doug Baldwin, Sea.: vs. Ari.

15. Davante Adams, GB: vs. Min.

16. DeAndre Hopkins, Hou.: vs. Cin.

17. Michael Crabtree, Oak.: vs. Ind.

18. Alshon Jeffery, Chi.: vs. Was.

19. Michael Thomas, NO: vs. TB

20. A.J. Green, Cin.: at Hou.

21. Larry Fitzgerald, Ari.: at Sea.

22. Rishard Matthews, Ten.: at Jac.

23. Dontrelle Inman, SD: at Cle.

24. Stefon Diggs, Min.: at GB

25. Sammy Watkins, Buf.: vs. Mia.

Tight end, team: opponent

1. Travis Kelce, KC: vs. Den.

2. Delanie Walker, Ten.: at Jac.

3. Zach Ertz, Phi.: vs. NYG

4. Greg Olsen, Car.: vs. Atl.

5. Jimmy Graham, Sea.: vs. Ari.

6. Cameron Brate, TB: at NO

7. Tyler Eifert, Cin.: at Hou.

8. Antonio Gates, SD: at Cle.

9. Martellus Bennett, NE: vs. NYJ

10. Kyle Rudolph, Min.: at GB

11. Jason Witten, Dal.: vs. Det.

12. Eric Ebron, Det.: at Dal.


QBs: Philip Rivers, Matt Barkley

RBs: Todd Gurley, Jeremy Hill

WRs: DeAndre Hopkins, Dontrelle Inman

TEs: Antonio Gates, Kyle Rudolph