It's Super Bowl time in most leagues. If your team made it this far, I would hope you're not in the market for a WR2 or RB2.
Last week we spent extra time talking about how waiver wire studs like Danario Alexander and Bryce Brown have become must-start options. Well, that certainly didn't work out well despite their impressive resumes over the past few weeks.
This week there should only be a minimal need for owners to pick up players, and hopefully you've used your bench on high-upside players that may be turning into strong options. Here are some others that might be viewed as spot-starts for owners that lost guys like Ryan Mathews, Robert Griffin III or Torrey Smith:
Sam Bradford - Bradford looks good for a couple reasons. First, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be his opponent for Week 16. The Bucs have been among the worst in the league at defending the pass. They are dead last in the league with 311 passing yards allowed per game, and rank just one spot behind the Washington Redskins with 27 touchdowns allowed through the air. Second, Bradford is coming off a 55-attempt game on Sunday. He threw for 377 yards and had three scores. He’s a sneaky low-end QB1 this week with everything working in his favor.
Ryan Tannehill - Tannehill had a 123.2 passer rating against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Miami Dolphins just got through a rough patch in their schedule--they played the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks in consecutive weeks--so things will be looking up for him when the Dolphins take on the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo has allowed the second most points per game in the league.
Here’s a list of QBs available in at least 25 percent of leagues and how I would rank them for Week 16:
Dexter McCluster - Jonathan Baldwin was expected to step up against the Oakland Raiders, but it became abundantly clear on Sunday that McCluster is the winner of the Dwayne Bowe injury fallout. He caught seven balls on 10 targets for 59 yards. He also has a friendly matchup against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, and could be a nice flex option in PPR leagues.
Jackie Battle and Curtis Brinkley - Are you really going to start either of these guys? Probably not, but if you are in a deeper league either could be worth a pickup. This situation will be developing all week, but I’d probably grab Battle first.
Danny Woodhead - Stevan Ridley was put in the doghouse for two costly fumbles against the 49ers on Sunday Night Football. Woodhead, as he tends to do, took the opportunity and ran with it by posting a stat line of 61 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, and five catches for 23 yards receiving. The Patriots should whip the Jaguars next week, so look for a heavy dose of rushing attempts.
Kregg Lumpkin - Is there a worse name in football for a guy that has mostly been a fantasy buzz kill? Lumpkin carried the ball nine times for 42 yards against the Atlanta Falcons. You would have to be in a 20-team league to even think about making this move.
Danny Amendola - After a quiet first half, Amendola finished with six catches on 12 targets for 58 yards and one touchdown Sunday. He should be viewed as a WR2 next week against the Buccaneers. If you wanted to call him a WR1, I wouldn’t argue.
James Jones - It’s hard to believe that Jones has 12 receiving touchdowns this year to lead the NFL. How crazy is that? He was widely viewed as the fourth option on his team behind Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
Justin Blackmon - Cecil Shorts gets all the love, and rightfully so, but Blackmon has been on the upswing, too. He saw 23 targets over the last two weeks, catching 12 balls. The Jaguars are going to need every bit of their passing game against the Patriots this week.
T.Y. Hilton - Hilton has become the clear deep threat on the Colts. He caught a 61-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck last week, for what was a career-long TD for both players. Hilton heads into a plus matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, giving him nice upside as a WR3 in non-PPR leagues.
Jacoby Jones - Torrey Smith only has a mild concussion, but a player’s status is always in doubt no matter the severity when it comes to head injuries. Jones could step up as the No. 2 receiver to Anquan Boldin, as a result. He’ll be running lots of deep routes against a soft New York Giants secondary.
Greg Little - Little has been one of the more disappointing X receivers in the NFL, but he’s starting to turn it on late in the season. He was targeted nine times on Sunday against the Washington Redskins, and had 74 yards on five catches. He was targeted seven times in Week 14. He takes on the Denver Broncos in Week 16, so the Cleveland Browns may need to pass a lot to make a comeback. Little is still a huge gamble in deeper leagues, however. To be clear, I’d rather start Josh Gordon.
Dennis Pitta - Pitta was one of the biggest surprises on Sunday, with a massive outing that included seven catches, 125 yards and two touchdowns. He’ll be a nice TE1 next week against a weak Giants defense with linebackers that don’t defend the pass well.