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ON SECOND THOUGHT: Week 16

Did you just squeak into your championship game, or do you own Lamar Jackson and have been laughing all the way in? Maybe you are trying to not take last in your league and suffer the league punishment. Either way you need help and we have it for you in Week 16.

Welcome to the final week of the 2019 season! At least, that is, for most of us. Yes, for most of us it is the championship week. Week 16 finds some of us playing for the trophy and the bragging rights. Week 16 finds others of us fighting to just not take last so we won’t have to suffer whatever terrible punishment our league has dreamed up for the season loser.

It does not matter what group you fall into, if you need help you need help. My hope for you is that your studs are all healthy and you can go with them. However, many of us have players who have suffered injuries or just straight up never got a position filled the way we would have hoped. If that is the case then I am here for you. This year has been surprising in the fact that most of the season has seen strong, competent players available on the waiver wire. This week is no exception. So, if you are looking for help look no further, we will start discussing the Week 16 waiver gems, and as always, we’ll start with quarterbacks.

Quarterback

Jacksonville quarterback Gardner Minshew looked like a fantasy starter on Sunday when he led his team to a win over Oakland. In that game Minshew completed 17 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He is available in 85 percent of leagues. Jacksonville gets a favorable matchup next week when it goes on the road to Atlanta which means you should consider grabbing him off of waivers, right?

No, on second thought, Minshew is not the quarterback for you in Week 16.

Minshew has been hot lately and he does have a great matchup but if you look at his stats, he is far too inconsistent to trust in the last week of the season. His points this last week were basically in garbage time. It’s just too risky in such an important week to put in a rookie quarterback who has been sporadic since returning to the lineup.

If you have a need at quarterback look to a play-caller with much much more experience.

Ryan Fitzpatrick in Miami can get the job done for you in Week 16. At 85 percent availability, most of you have the chance to grab him in your leagues. Fitzpatrick threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 36-20 loss to the New York Giants. He added four carries for 33 yards as well. Not only can Fitzpatrick sling it (he has always been able to do that) but he took over as Miami’s leading rusher for the season with 219 yards on Sunday. He gets a lot of rushing attempts with Miami because he is always scrambling. This is bad if you are the owner of Miami, but this is good if you are a fantasy owner of Fitzpatrick. Miami hosts hapless Cincinnati in Week 16, which makes Fitzpatrick a must start if you have him.

Dwayne Haskins also is making quite a name for himself lately. The Washington quarterback is available in 98 percent of leagues. Haskins completed 19-of-28 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 26 yards in Sunday’s 37-27 loss to Philadelphia. He seems to be figuring it out just in time for his fantasy owners. If he is available in your league and you have a need, he could work out for you as well as he has a pretty nice matchup in Week 16 when Washington faces the New York Giants.

Running Back

The running back position is a little thin this week. Typically however, the running back position in non-existent by Week 16, so just the fact that there are serviceable running backs is a good thing. The first of the bunch that some owners have been talking about is Rex Burkhead. It makes sense as the New England running back recorded 53 rushing yards with a touchdown and two catches. That’s a very nice game for a guy who is available in 87 percent of leagues. Some owners who may be decimated at the running back position might even be considering him.

To them I say, on second thought, don’t do it.

Burkhead is consistently No. 3 in that lineup. This last week he was out-snapped by both Sony Michel (27) and James White (25). His snap count and targets/attempts are just too inconsistent to give him a shot in your lineup.

You need to look elsewhere such as Minnesota.

Dalvin Cook left the game with an injury, paving the way for Mike Boone to have a good day.

Boone ran for 56 yards and two touchdowns. He is available in 99 percent of leagues. Alexander Mattison is sidelined right now with an ankle injury. It looks like Cook might miss Week 16. Add all of that up and you have a potentially great week for Boone. With Minnesota’s run offense he is definitely worth the risk if you have a need at the running back spot.

Tony Pollard is making some waves in Dallas lately. He is available in 90 percent of leagues and could have a serviceable Week 16. We know that Ezekiel Elliott is the man in Dallas but the team has been playing so well lately that Pollard has been getting some good garbage time. On Sunday he carried the ball 12 times for 131 yards and a touchdown and caught both his targets for 12 yards. With a huge game against Philadelphia this week Pollard could see some action again. He’s not a sure thing but if you are really hurting, he could be a sneaky nice pickup for Week 16.

About Rick Olson

Rick joined FantasySharks,com as a staff writer in 2013, though he fell in love with fantasy football in 1988 with the first league he played in. In his articles he tries to feature players off the radar or deeper than most since, in his experience, by the time a player is a waiver wire "must have" they are not usually available in most leagues.