Some fantasy owners might be in a tight spot this week. A lot of reliable fantasy quarterbacks have a sub-par matchup and a lot of them are hurt, too. That likely means a number of owners will have to roll the dice on a shaky quarterback with a good matchup.
For instance, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gets a horrible matchup against the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has a tough one against the Atlanta Falcons. That means there are really only 6-8 reliable studs with so many injuries.
Here are some options for fantasy pickups in case you need help in the playoffs this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (owned in 46 percent of leagues)
He's been really good. In his last three, he's totaled nine TD passes and didn't turn the ball over. Plus, he has not really had a soft schedule, either. His receivers are finally healthy and he's been able to move the ball down the field a myriad of ways.
This upcoming week, he gets the Dallas Cowboys on a short week. Usually, the short week on the road spells trouble for quarterbacks, so he's still going to be a tough guy to trust this week. In Week 16, he gets a home game against the New England Patriots, so that should be a good chance for him to put up huge numbers.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (owned in 45 percent of leagues)
Like Fitzpatrick, Mariota is coming in pretty hot. He didn't have any passing TDs last week, but he added a wild 41-yard TD reception on a trick play. Before last week, he threw for three TDs in his previous two games, and he had a bad matchup against the Jets last week.
He gets a good matchup against the New England Patriots this week, so he could be in play as a low-end QB1.
Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos (owned in 21 percent of leagues)
He's not anywhere near the caliber of starter as the top two on this list, but he did have his first 300-yard game come on Sunday. Osweiler is likely going to get more looks as the Broncos try to build up their pass game before they head into the playoffs.
He's likely going to start the rest of the way and he gets a good matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's a high-end QB2 this week.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (owned in 32 percent of leagues)
Nobody will want to start Alex Smith, but at least he gets a good matchup this week against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are a top-five matchup for fantasy quarterbacks and have been destroyed lately. Russell Wilson threw five TDs against them last week and they are just not putting pressure on QBs like they used to.
Smith is still only a high-end QB2.
A.J. McCarron, Cincinnati Bengals (owned in 1 percent of leagues)
If you're really desperate, feel free to take a chance on McCarron. He put the ball up a ton on Sunday, completing 22 of 32 passes for 280 yards, two scores and two picks.
McCarron gets a great matchup against the San Francisco 49ers this week. He is a mid-level QB2 in deeper leagues this week and is hands off in Week 16 against the Denver Broncos.
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