Saturday - Feb 23, 2019

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ON SECOND THOUGHT: Week 16

It’s championship week and it has come down to this.  You are either, vying for the trophy, playing for pride, or trying to keep from finishing last so you don’t have to suffer whatever punishment your league has for that person.

If this is not your championship week don’t worry, we will have articles next week as well but for the vast majority of fantasy football leagues, Week 16 is it.

Most likely, at this point, your team is pretty much what it is.  You may have a position that you have been platooning or maybe you have one of those guys who is day to day so you need insurance.

Either way, you need a quick fix and you are looking for some ideas, I have a few of them for you at each position so let’s get to it, and as always, let’s start with quarterbacks.

Matt Barkley has really made a statement to be the Bears’ starting quarterback next season.  He has played with poise and confidence and kept his team in every game he’s played and even won one of them.  He had a season high 362 yards passing on Sunday with 2 touchdowns and he is available in 98% of leagues right now.

He sounds to me like a perfect candidate to pick of the waivers for anyone needing QB help, right?  On second thought, no.  Barkley is all of those things mentioned about but he also comes with a lot of risk.  He did have a great game on Sunday but he did also throw 3 interceptions as well.  In fact, he has more interceptions, 7, this year than he has touchdowns, 6.

Barkley also faces a Washington team next week that has to win and get some help to get into the playoffs so you can be assured that he is going to get all he can handle.  Last week was the week to have Barkley if you were going to use him, but this week you need to cut your losses until next year. If you do need help at QB, I suggest you look in the same division just a little further west to Minnesota.

Sam Bradford of the Vikings is still available in 90% of leagues and had a gem of a game on Sunday with 291 yards passing.  He did not have a touchdown, but it’s important to note that this game marked the return of Adrian Peterson and unfortunately for the Vikings it seemed that they went away from what they had been doing all year and threw all their eggs into A.P.’s basket.

This turned out poorly for the Vikings who now face a huge game next week at Green Bay.  Just like the aforementioned Redskins, they have to win and then get some help from the rest of the league.  The good news for Bradford owners is that I firmly believe the offensive coordinator will leave everything he’s got on the field Saturday.  Sam Bradford should get plenty of attempts, which in turn should mean he’ll give you a solid score or better.

Robert Griffin, the quarterback formerly known as RGIII, is available in 96% of leagues and could prove to be a very intriguing pickup this week.  He only had 196 yards passing on Sunday in his 33-13 loss to the Bills, but that almost doubled last week’s output when he only threw for 104 yards, not to mention he has scored a rushing touchdown in both games since he has been back.

There is no doubt he is warming up.  There is also no doubt that he can be devastating as a fantasy QB when he is firing on all cylinders, and there is no doubt that by facing the San Diego Chargers next week he should find himself in a high offense, low defense sort of game. So the big question is, are you willing to take the risk?

I would simply because I would be willing to bet that Cleveland will be doing everything they can to not finish the season winless.  That sort of motivation makes a team come out on fire, in the hopes that they can take this train wreck of a season and go into the offseason on a positive note.  So if you give me a QB who we have seen be elite at times, on a team with nothing to lose and everything to play for, I like those odds and have a sneaking suspicion that the old RGIII will return for one day next week.

Speaking of odds that I like, how about a hot running back on the best team in the NFL?  That’s what you get if you pick up Dion Lewis off of waivers.  He is available in 57% of leagues and with his 95 yards rushing and 2 receptions last week, you can assume he will fly off the waivers this week, so you should get in on that action, right?

Wrong.  Lewis is on the best team currently in the NFL and Lewis did have a great week but do not forget that LeGarrette Blount is still the main back and James White is the 3rd-down and long yardage back. So the Dion Lewis show this week was nothing more than a Belichick psych-out move, don’t bite, it never works for those people that do.

Paul Perkins on the other hand has slowly been earning a spot in the Giants’ backfield and is available in 85% of leagues.  He did not blow the doors off the stadium by any means but his 56 yards on 11 carries in a tough game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday proved to be more effective than Rashad Jennings output that day.

He is not flashy but could prove to be a sleeper next week against the Eagles in what is also turning out to be a very important game with a lot of playoff implications.

The Green Bay Packers are also in a do-or-die situation next week when they go up against the Minnesota Vikings.  As they are trying to keep their playoff window open, the waiver window on their running back Ty Montgomery is closing quickly.  Montgomery, available in 43% of leagues, had a career game on Sunday when he ran for 162 yards and 2 TDs with 2 receptions against the Bears.

Montgomery has looked better and better for 3 straight weeks and it will all culminate in a playoff deciding game next week against the Vikings.  Take Montgomery and reap the benefits of a hot guy on a desperate team.

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.