The list this week is short, but sweet. If you’ve made it this far, you likely have a pretty tight team about to contend for a championship this weekend or next, or you’re playing in a consolation game trying to rack up a prize. Either way, congratulations. It’s such a relief to see your hard work and research pay off, literally, while most of the haters in your league sit back and write out their checks.
I’m very pleased to be playing this weekend for a second consecutive championship in the Triple Crown Fantasy Football Experts IDP league against a co-worker with another site. Any time you have a chance to win a championship, it is nice, but it is especially rewarding to have success against your peers. I know I’ve had quite a few stinkers here, and in my start ‘em/sit ‘em column. That goes with the territory, really, as you cannot always be 100 percent correct. But really, if you’re 60-75 percent correct, that’s a successful rate in fantasy football.
Good luck in Week 16!
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh: Brown is back from injury, and so is QB Ben Roethlisberger. Brown has scored touchdowns in back-to-back games, and he has been targeted 31 times in three games since returning to the lineup. He has 17 receptions for 169 yards during the impressive span, making him worthy of use as a WR3/4 or ‘flex’ play in all lineups this weekend.
Colts, DST, Indianapolis: The Colts defense has been rather mediocre this season, and pretty erratic from a fantasy standpoint. However, they are facing a Kansas City Chiefs team on the road this weekend which has a banged-up QB Brady Quinn (ribs) and WR Dwayne Bowe (ribs). It is looking like QB Ricky Stanzi, the former standout at the University of Iowa, could get his first meaningful regular season action and/or start. If so, the Colts are sure to generate a few turnovers and some decent fantasy points.
Jeff Cumberland, TE, N.Y. Jets: It’s hard to believe, but Cumberland has actually been a fairly useful fantasy asset over the past three weeks. He has been targeted 15 times, hauling in seven receptions for 115 yards and two scores during the span. That’s better production than New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham and San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates, for example. Cumberland is on a terrible team in a terrible offense, but might have the most sure hands of all the receivers left standing.
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Washington: Hankerson had just two catches last week in Cleveland, both going for touchdowns. If you’re absolutely desperate for receiving help in an ultra-deep league, Hankerson is worth a look. He has had a problem with drops during the early part of his career, so that is really what has seemed to set him back. When he holds onto the ball, he is a playmaker capable of doing big things.
Steven Hauschka, PK, Seattle: Hauschka is the kicker for an offense which has generated 50-plus points in each of the past two weekends. There is no really good reason not to like him for fantasy purposes, other than the fact the Seahawks face a difficult matchup against the 49ers. However, Seattle might actually have more field goal chances this weekend than in past games, making Hauschka a Top 10 Fantasy option as his position.
Joseph Morgan, WR, New Orleans: Morgan has a ton of playmaking ability, and with the Saints out of the postseason hunt, it is expected some of their younger players will get a more in-depth evaluation process down the stretch. Morgan is a guy who has shown the ability to make the hard catches, and lack focus on the easy ones. For fantasy owners, he could be a useful addition in those formats which reward longer TDs.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami: Tannehill faces a very juicy matchup against a Buffalo Bills defense which has been absolutely atrocious. Last weekend, Tannehill threw for 220 yards and two scores in a win against Jacksonville, and the rookie completed a season-best 78.6 percent of his pass attempts. The last time he faced Buffalo was actually not that great, as he had just 141 passing yards with a TD and two interceptions. However, after seeing Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson pick apart the Bills last week in Toronto, it’s hard not to wonder if Tannehill can do the same in Week 16.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle: Speaking of Wilson, those Fantasy owners who took a chance last week likely advanced to the championship game, or next round, of their playoffs. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to run for three scores in the first half of a game, and the first QB in franchise history to run for three scores in a game. He also tossed one TD, and has a 101.7 passer rating over his past three outings. He has been the field general of an offense with back-to-back 50-plus point performances, and he has emerged as a solid low-end QB1 in all formats.