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On Second Thought – Week 16

For most of us it’s championship week, which means championship level stress for those trying to navigate the waiver wire waters.  Let me throw you a life preserver from the deck of the S.S. Winner where we will discuss any help you may need this week.

Whether you are cheering, sighing, or crying right now, this week’s waiver wire claims will prove to be very interesting.  At stake for most of us is likely a championship, a higher position in next year’s draft or just plain old bragging rights.

No matter what is at stake, there are always some constants you can rely on every week.  Owners will always need fill-ins and help from the wire, and the argument of whether or not you should grab a player will always have two sides to it.  This is where I come in, to help you sift through the information you need to make an informed decision.  As always let’s start with the quarterbacks.

Brock Osweiler, who is available in 85% of leagues, had a very nice week in a tough game against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Throwing for 296 yards and 3 touchdowns is going to make him a hot commodity on the waiver wire this week.  That’s understandable, but on second thought, you should really look elsewhere if you are in  need of help in your championship week.

Osweiler has been anything but a fantasy juggernaut in his first five games, averaging just 1 TD a game and more than half an interception per game is hardly what you need in your lineup to get you to the Promised Land.

Facing a much tougher defense in Cincinnati on Monday night, Osweiler is looking to have a rough go in Week 16.  Couple that with the fact that he is now a little banged up after hurting his shoulder against the Steelers, and I’d say you are better off passing up on Osweiler if you have a need at QB.

Teddy Bridgewater is a QB you should consider instead.  Available in 84% of leagues, Bridgewater had a monster game on Sunday when he threw for 231 yards and 4 touchdowns as well as adding 17 yards rushing with another TD.

His big game caught many by surprise since it was his best fantasy game of the 2015 season; however you should not let that deter you.  He faces the league’s worst pass defense next week in the New York Giants and if you saw what Carolina just did to them you may want to hedge your bets with the shifty QB from Minnesota, you just may find yourself laughing all the way to a championship.

Jimmy Clausen is also someone you could throw into your lineup as a spot-start for Week 16.  Available in 99% of leagues, Clausen had a very nice day on Sunday throwing for 281 yards and 2 touchdowns against the visiting Chiefs.

Facing Pittsburgh next week will be a little daunting for him as far as real football is concerned, but as far as fantasy football is concerned, he could produce a very nice week for you.  Pittsburgh’s defense is anything but stout.  They are the 26th ranked defense against the pass giving Clausen a very nice opportunity for a big game.  Not to mention that with the Steelers ability to score on offense on any given play, the odds are that Baltimore will find themselves trying to come from behind most of the game, which as you know, usually equals big games for QBs and wide receivers.

Since we are talking about the Ravens, let’s look at Kyle Juszczyk who had a very nice week as well.  The third-year fullback out of Harvard caught 5 passes for 26 yards and a touchdown against Kansas City on Sunday.  Available in 99% of leagues, Juszczyk may seem like a good flyer to grab if you are hurting at RB.  However, due to his role as a check-down catching fullback, if you grab him you are really setting yourself up to be dependent on the touchdown.

That is a recipe for disaster when it comes to the running back position, so if you need help there, you should consider Jerick McKinnon of the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota RB Jerick McKinnon.

McKinnon will be facing the Giants on Sunday night, with what will most likely end up being a division-deciding game coming up the next week against Green Bay.  I mention this because with Adrian Peterson hurting his ankle this past week, it paved the way for McKinnon to rush for 10 yards and receive 4 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.

The Vikings are really going to need Peterson to be healthy for that Week 17 matchup against the Packers, because of this, the next week could see A.P. either sitting or at the very least taking a good amount of series off.  This will pave the way for McKinnon to catch many passes against the league’s worst passing defense.

Even if you are not in a PPR, he will be worth a waiver claim this week.  If you are in a PPR league the necessity for him to be in your lineup just multiplies.  Also, it should go without saying that if you own Peterson, McKinnon is a must grab for you as a handcuff.

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.