At this point in the fantasy football season, your team should be solidified heading into the fantasy football championship. If your quarterback has a tough matchup, you may be looking to stream somebody with a decent matchup just to bring it home, however, you shouldn’t get too cute with that. On the other hand, if you have been relying on Antonio Brown all year, you find yourself desperate for an option to survive his injury and win. This is week 16, so you don’t want to get too cute, but in the event you need somebody, here are some decent options that might be hanging out there. I am not going to dig deep or get cute with this article, I am going to stay fairly safe. Don’t get cute in the fantasy championship game.
Nick Foles – QB Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles lost Carson Wentz week 14 and Nick Foles assumed the starting role. Foles proceeded to absolutely shred the Giants decimated defense in a plus matchup. Foles comes back this week against the Raiders who are out of the playoff picture and banged up in the secondary themselves. Although the Eagles have things pretty well wrapped up in the NFC, a win would further lock things up for them and Foles needs all the reps he can get heading into the playoffs, so the coaching staff isn’t likely to rest him. Foles is only owned in 27% of Yahoo leagues.
Case Keenum – QB Minnesota Vikings – Keenum is 74% owned in Yahoo leagues, so it’s not like I am digging deep with this one, but the fact is he’s available in roughly 1/4 of leagues so there’s a chance he’s out there in your league. You don’t want to get too cute with the quarterbacks this week. The Packers are clinging to their playoffs lives and they have Rodgers back so they should put points on the board which will keep Keenum slinging it. The Packers secondary is horribly banged up which makes the matchup, along with the projected game flow, very appealing for him this week.
Blake Bortles – QB Jacksonville Jaguars – Bortles is only 54% owned in a golden matchup against the 49ers defense who have given up over 18 fantasy points to TJ Yates and Marcus Mariota over the last 2 weeks. Bortles should be able to come through in this one, but the 49ers defense is equally as bad against the run, so there’s a chance they run it and just get out of Dodge with the win. I would only play Bortles if you are really desperate.
Keelan Cole – WR Jacksonville Jaguars – Cole is only owned in 6% of Yahoo leagues and after Marqise Lee went down, he blew up. The Jags have the 49ers this week so he should continue to roll if Lee misses the game. However, as with Blake Bortles, if the Jaguars control the clock and run the ball a majority of the game, Cole may not get much volume, making him somewhat volatile.
Damiere Byrd – WR Carolina Panthers – Byrd is owned in 0% of Yahoo leagues and came through in a big way last week with 2 touchdowns. If you are desperate, Byrd can come through for you, especially since Devin Funchess is sure to draw most of the attention from opposing secondaries. Byrd has some decent speed compared to the other options in the Panthers receiving corp which makes him dangerous and appealing in deeper leagues, or a possible Antonio Brown replacement if you’re desperate. The Panthers face the Bucs this week which makes Byrd that much more appealing.
Martavis Bryant – WR Pittsburgh Steelers – Bryant is only owned in 56% of Yahoo leagues and with Antonio Brown already ruled out this week with a partially torn calf muscle, Bryant is almost a sure-fire WR2 against a Houston defense that can’t stop anybody through the air.
DeVante Parker – WR Miami Dolphins – Many, if not all fantasy football owners have given up on Parker for the 2017 season, but he bounced back (sort of) against the Bills last week with 6 catches off 12 targets for 89 yards. Parker is owned in only 60% of Yahoo leagues and faces the Chiefs this week. Theycan be beaten through the air and have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to wide receivers on the season. Parker has Julio Jones-like talent with an Adam Humphries stat line, but if the athletic ability shines, he could be a league winner for you in week 16. If Parker comes through for you, all of his 2017 woes will be forgiven.
Chris Ivory – RB Jacksonville Jaguars – Ivory is owned in just 27% of Yahoo leagues and has the 49ers this week. If the Jaguars hold Fournette out a second week in a row, Ivory could be in for a big day.
Peyton Barber – RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Barber is owned in 34% of Yahoo leagues and with Doug Martin coming through as a surprise healthy scratch on Monday night, it’s possible the Bucs are in full on evaluation mode with Barber. If you need help at the position or lost AB and need a flex, Barber is a decent option for you regardless of the dicey matchup against Carolina because he is somewhat capable in the passing game.
Jonathan Stewart – RB Carolina Panthers – Stewart had a 3 touchdown effort in week 14 and remains only 51% owned in Yahoo leagues. Stewart’s YPC isn’t the greatest and he offers little to no value in the passing game. But the reality is he’s the Panthers secondary goal line back after Cam Newton and he could score a touchdown, or three, any given week, making him viable on the low end.
Eric Ebron – TE Detroit Lions – Eric Ebron has come through two weeks in a row which is scary. Maybe he realized he needs to produce in order to remain on an NFL roster and is playing for his career. Who knows? Ebron remains owned in only 43% of Yahoo leagues and faces the Cincinnati Bengals this week who have given up touchdowns to opposing tight ends in 2 of their last 3 games.
Greg Olsen – TE Carolina Panthers – Owned in 73% of Yahoo leagues, Olsen is likely off your waiver wire, but it looks like he’s back as Cam’s primary passing target so it’s worth your time to check and see if he’s there. He came through this week with 9 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown off 12 targets which are WR1 numbers, let alone terrific numbers for a tight end. Olsen is back, believe that.
Vernon Davis – Washington Redskins – Davis is widely available in leagues and has a decent matchup against the Broncos this week. But to me he’s no more than a desperation play because he’s capable of disappearing any given week. I don’t want to trust Davis in my fantasy championship game. Proceed with caution on this one if you have no better options or were relying on OJ Howard and/or Cameron Brate and either of them miss time after getting banged up on Monday night.
Follow me on Twitter @Coachriggall
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