This past Week 15 was quite a wacky one in the world of the NFL. The 72′ Miami Dolphins uncorked their champagne after the previously undefeated Packers lost to the Kyle Orton led Chiefs and Dan Orlovsky probably downed a couple of adult beverages himself after making sure he wouldn’t be part of a second 0-16 team as he led the winless Colts to their first victory of the year over the Titans.
Week 15 was also the semi-finals of a lot of fantasy football leagues and teams that rode Aaron Rodgers to the playoffs were probably cursing their TV sets at halftime of the Chiefs-Packers game, as he hadn’t put up a single touchdown up to that point. Rodgers did end up having a good stat line at the end of the game but it just goes to show you that nothing in the world of fantasy football is guaranteed. I mean, come on, who would have thought Donald Brown would score an 80-yard touchdown at the end of the Titans-Colts game or that Reggie Bush would run for over 200 yards or that C.J. Spiller would score 2 touchdowns? I could keep going but you get the point.
If you’re still in the hunt in your fake football league just remember that anything can happen and that you should be prepared for the best and the worst. Now, onto players that might help you out in Week 16 that could potentially be available on your waiver wire…
I know I’ve said this before but it needs to be repeated: there aren’t that many free agent quarterback options left to pick-up in most leagues but that shouldn’t matter if you’ve made it to the finals of your fake fantasy football league this week. However, if you have a QB like Big Ben, who may or may not be affected by injury this week, or play in a points league and your QB options are less than satisfactory then you might want to pick up Kyle Orton, Jake Locker or Seneca Wallace, in that order.
Orton helped the Chiefs defeat the undefeated Packers and while he didn’t throw a touchdown he did put up almost 300 yards. Next up on the schedule for Orton is the Detroit Lions who let Carson Palmer throw for 367 yards and 1 touchdown and Orton could be a decent play if you have no other option.
The Snake didn’t start the game for the Titans against the Colts this past weekend but he did finish it going 11 for 16 with 108 yards passing and 1 touchdown. Not only is Locker a threat in the air but also on the ground and he’s going up against the Jaguars this weekend that can’t stop teams from passing on them since their cornerbacks went down with injury. Pick him up and hope he starts against the Jags, who have let up 7.5 yards per pass attempt.
I’m only throwing Seneca Wallace’s name in here because he might get a second straight start due to Colt McCoy’s concussion issues and he did reasonably well against the Cardinals, as he threw for 226 yards and 1 touchdown, plus he added 21 yards rushing on the ground. The only drawback is that the Browns play the Ravens this week, so look to Wallace as a last resort option only.
Kahlil Bell. By this point we know what Marion Barber is all about and Bell took over lead back duties in the Bears’ loss to the Seahawks on Sunday. Bell touched the ball 20 times, including 5 catches, for a total of 108 yards. He also accounted for 1 touchdown. In a PPR league, Bell should be considered a strong add because the Bears go up against the Packers on Christmas Day, who aren’t that great at stopping running backs from catching the ball. Whether Caleb Hanie or Josh McCown starts, Bell will be looked at to probably lead the offense.
Lance Ball. Ball would be my pick-up of the week if for some reason Willis McGahee is unable to suit up in the Broncos’ game against the Bills this weekend. However, it’s unlikely McGahee will miss this game, especially since it’s against his former team the Bills. Ball did pretty well in relief of McGahee, as he gained 105 yards and 1 touchdown on only 13 touches. The Bills have been a mess stopping the run, evidenced by them letting Reggie Bush go boffo for over 200 yards rushing and they have given up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs since Week 12.
Donald Brown. You will probably see Brown’s name thrown around as a strong pick-up on other sites but he really hasn’t done much against good rushing defenses, one of which, the Houston Texans, he plays this week. If you feel like risking a flex spot on a guy that might put up 90 yards then that’s your call. I’d stay away if you have other options.
Darrius Heyward-Bey. This is a guy I had on my team who was making my decision to start him easy and then Carson Palmer came into town and started throwing the ball to everybody but DHB. Well, one by one, the Raiders pass threats started to go down with injury, leaving DHB as the best guy left and Palmer finally brought DHB back into fantasy football relevance. His 155 yards and 1 touchdown performance should put him back in your line-up if you dropped him earlier.
Demaryius Thomas. If you didn’t pick him up last week and nobody else was willing to risk it either in your league you should add Thomas now. He’s had three straight big games and Tebow doesn’t have eyes for anybody else.
Randall Cobb. I mentioned picking up Jones or Driver last week and Driver came through with a touchdown. Cobb, however, wasn’t left out and actually led all receivers not named Jermichael Finley on the team in receiving yards with 53. His return skills add that extra dimension that could lead to him having a big game against their rivals the Bears.
Anthony Fasano. Fasano is a guy that just can’t seem to get much love in the world of fantasy football and just keeps sitting in free agency in a lot of leagues. If you’re down a tight end or don’t like the match-up of your current starting tight end then you should consider rolling the ball with Fasano. He’s going up against the Patriots, who he put up 82 yards against earlier this year and should see some red zone targets against the Patriots’ undersized secondary. It’s a risk that could lead you to be crowned the champion of your fantasy football team.
Tennessee Titans. You’re probably wondering why I’m recommending going with a defense that gave up 27 points to the hapless Colts, but one of the Colts’ touchdowns was because of an interception returned for a touchdown. So you can’t fault this defensive unit too much. I also think you should forgive them because this week they go up against the Jaguars, who just can’t do anything offensively, and if you saw last week’s Jaguars ugly loss to the Falcons, this Titans unit could be putting up a lot of points from sacks, forced fumbles, interceptions and even kick return touchdowns.