For much of the season, we've seen surprises and unknowns make it onto the list of fantasy football studs. But in Week 16, the tried and true stars of fantasy football came out to play. Just in time for Championship Week. This is why you draft these guys early. They produce when you need them to.
Points based on standard scoring in NFL.com fantasy football leagues
5. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (29.66 fantasy points)
Call him Matty Ice. Call him The Mattural. Call him Mr. Ryan. Either way, he saved one of his best performances for when fantasy owners needed it most -- tossing four touchdown passes in a 31-18 win over the Detroit Lions. It was Ryan's best fantasy performance since Week 1, when he exploded for more than 32 points against the Kansas City Chiefs. For anyone playing in Week 17, Ryan and the Falcons face the slumping Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have been poor against the pass all season.
4. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints (29.74 fantasy points)
After posting a couple of stinkers late in the season, Brees has rebounded in a big way, scoring 29-plus points in back-to-back weeks. Sunday, the Saints field leader threw for 446 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 34-31 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys. It was the fourth time Brees tallied more than 29 fantasy points in a game and keeps his momentum going into the season finale against the Carolina Panthers. He scored 19 points against the Cats when they met in Week 2.
3. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys (32.64 fantasy points)
Romo has saved some of his best football for late in the season and reserved his best performance for Championship Week. The Cowboys' QB threw for 416 yards with a season-high four touchdowns in a losing effort. Romo has scored more than 20 fantasy points in four of his last five games. He'll face the rival Redskins in the regular season finale -- a game that could feature quite a bit of offense.
2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (32.78 fantasy points)
Speaking of guys getting hot at the right time, Aaron Rodgers chose Week 16 to revert to his MVP form. Rodgers threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns and added a rushing score in Green Bay's 55-7 rout of the Tennessee Titans. It was the first time Rodgers topped 300 passing yards since Week 7, but he does have six combined touchdown passes in his past two games. The Packers end the regular season in Minnesota against the Vikings. With a chance to lock up the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye, it's pretty unlikely that Rodgers is going to sit.
1. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys (34.40 fantasy points)
Bryant has asserted himself as the undisputed No. 1 receiver in the Dallas offense and showed it in a big way, catching nine passes for a career-high 224 yards and two touchdowns to earn #KABOOM honors. After today's huge outing, the Cowboys' playmaker has now scored more than 20 fantasy points in four of his last six contests. He'll finish the season against the Redskins, who have allowed the second-most points to fantasy receivers in 2012.
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