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Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Football: Week 16 Waiver Wire Pickups

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Fantasy Football: Waiver Wire Pickups For Week 16

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Week 15 will end on Monday night when the Baltimore Ravens take on the Detroit Lions in a pivotal game for both teams’ playoff chances, and with many notable players (Calvin Johnson, Matt Stafford, Reggie Bush, Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Joe Flacco, Dennis Pitta) still to play a lot of fantasy football leagues may not have both of their Week 16 championship game participants decided yet.

Waiver wire additions can still matter at this late stage of the season, with only those fantasy owners that have been eliminated from the playoffs having nothing to gain by looking to re-shuffle their roster right now. Injuries and demotions have opened up some opportunity for players who are not household names to produce over the last few weeks, even if by draft time next August most of them (Matt Asiata, etc.) will no longer be on the fantasy radar. As a sidenote, some players that finish a season strongly with an opportunity to play more can be worth monitoring as potential difference makers for next year.

I have again attempted to focus on players who are available in over half of Yahoo! leagues with this week’s waiver wire recommendations, though with fewer viable options and two weeks to go in the season stretching that constraint is worthwhile in some situations. I have also tried to look toward Week 17 where it’s appropriate, for fantasy owners that may need to find roster-worthy and startable players for that week.

As another fantasy football seasons nears an end, here are my “Waiver Wire Pickups” for Week 16.

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Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tennessee Titans

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Fitzpatrick went 36-for-58 for 402 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, and he now has at least 14 fantasy points in five of six games since taking over for an injured Jake Locker. The Titans will face the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16, and Fitzpatrick threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns against them back in Week 10. Week 17 against the Houston Texans is not overly favorable, but they have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in six of their last seven games. Fitzpatrick is still very widely available (13 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues), and he remains usable as a QB2 in 12 and 14-team leagues.

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Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Cousins threw for 381 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, and he will surely get another start in a favorable Week 16 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys came into Week 15 allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks, and they’ve now allowed eight passing touchdowns in their last two games. Cousins also has a favorable matchup in Week 17, since the New York Giants have now allowed at least 15 fantasy points (ESPN scoring) to a quarterback in four straight games, so fantasy owners looking for a QB2 can consider adding him.

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Jordan Todman, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

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Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Todman started in place of an injured Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, and had 25 carries for 109 yards along with four catches for 44 yards. If Jones-Drew is unable to suit up in Week 16, Todman would again get a start against a Tennessee Titans’ defense that has allowed 20 or more fantasy points (ESPN scoring) to opposing running backs in eight of their last nine games with multiple rushing touchdowns allowed to the position seven times in that span. Todman’s fantasy value is dependent on Jones-Drew’s progress heading toward next Sunday, but right now he is worth a speculative add for any fantasy owner who seeks a running back.

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Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Patterson had five receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown, with two carries for 15 yards, against Philadelphia on Sunday, and he now has 10 catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns over the last two games and has found the end zone in three straight games overall. A Week 16 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, who entered Week 15 in the top half of the league against wide receivers, does not look favorable but they continue to lose defensive backs to injury and Patterson’s big-play ability could give the Bengals’ secondary trouble. He probably should have made this list a week or two ago, but Patterson still fits the criteria (43 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues).

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Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

I’m stretching my normal criteria for this list here, but only because I was shocked to find Randle is still owned in 62 percent of Yahoo! leagues. But with Victor Cruz (concussion, knee) possibly out for Week 16 and 17, the second-year receiver could get a chance to start in two favorable-looking matchups against the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins. The Lions play on Monday night, but they entered Week 15 allowing the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers (26.4 per game, ESPN scoring), and Washington also came into the week in the bottom half of the league against the position. If he is still available in your league, Randle is worth adding if Cruz’s prognosis remains dismal.