Like last week, if you’re reading the Week 16 Waiver Wire Pickups, then you have reached your fantasy football championship. I won’t dilly dally and give you some long-winded intro talking about players who came up big (Aaron Rodgers) or those who took a dump on the heads of many owners (Jimmy Graham), lets get to those who could give you some nice backup options to ponder as we enter Week 16.
Russell Wilson (ESPN Owned 27.3%)
Wilson’s passing numbers of 205 yards and a score against the Bills wasn’t anything special, he still showed he had some of the fastest legs of any quarterback, rushing 9 times for 92 yards and another 3 scores. Over the past few weeks, Wilson has been slowly getting better and better in all facets of the game. However, he faces a 49ers Defense that was embarrassed by the Patriots Sunday night. Wilson is still a QB2, but a rising one.
Sam Bradford (ESPN Owned 38.2%)
The only thing that blew about Bradford’s 377 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception was that most of it was in garbage time in a blow-out loss against the Vikings. One of the positive signs was he was able to get Danny Amendola in the mix after a 2-game absence. Bradford looks like he’s getting better, but he is still too inconsistent to count on as someone to throw in as your starter for Week 16. Good backup, not starter material.
Colin Kaepernick (ESPN Owned 54.4%)
Kaepernick pulled the upset of all upsets by going into New England as a gunslinger (216 yards, 4 scores and a pick) and beating the Patriots on their own turf. There were some bad points, including throwing a pick into double coverage. But aside from that and a few other small problems, Kaepernick continues to show he should keep the job going into the playoffs. Playing against Seattle could be a big test, but he could be a borderline QB1 as the week goes on. Of course, this all depends on who your other option is. No matter what, there will always be upside on Kaepernick’s side.
I’m not going to add the ESPN-Owned part of Cousins because this isn’t me telling you to pick him up for the rest of 2012. Dynasty owners, however, should snatch this guy up if possible. Starting in place of a last-minute inactive RG3, Cousins showed his own and pushed his future value through the roof. Showing calm in the pocket and better-than-average mobility against the Browns, Cousins 329 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception is an impressive feat for someone who wasn’t expected to start at all this year. Maybe there is a chance that Cousins will start against the Eagles next week. But with the division crown on the line after a Giants loss, RG3 will do everything he can to get ready for Week 16.
Danny Woodhead (ESPN OWNED 28.2%)
Those who were counting on Ridley last night got a rude awakening. He fumbled the ball on the very first carry, but that was overturned. Unfortunately. he put the ball on the ground again in the 3rd quarter, which resulted in excellent field position for the 49ers. After that, Bill Belichick had enough and threw Woodhead in for the rest of the game, allowing him to rush 12 times for 61 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also adding another 5 receptions. We doubt Ridley will lose his starting job outright. But putting the ball on the ground twice, even if one was overturned, won’t sit well with the coaching staff. Woodhead will either see his role expand, or he will go back to being a small part of the backfield.
Beanie Wells (ESPN OWNED 62.8%)
If you had told me Wells would rush for 1 score, let alone 3, I would have laughed in your face. But the Cardinals Defense came to life and allowed the offense to keep the ball on the ground and away from Matthew Stafford. Wells did just okay with his rushing yards, rushing 17 times for 67, so it was those scores that salvaged his day. As many points Wells put up Sunday, I find it hard to believe he can come anywhere close to Sunday’s outing against the Bears. I had Wells sitting on my bench, so this game against the Lions was extra hard to swallow.
David Wilson (ESPN OWNED 75.5%)
With the Falcons up by so much going into the half Sunday, Wilson never had a chance to capitalize on his 12 rushes for 55 with the Giants having to abandon the run. Had the game been somewhat close, Wilson would have easily surpassed the projected 20-25 carries. Ahmad Bradshaw has stated he will be ready for Week 16’s matchup against the Ravens, and he does have a history of playing through pain. But owners should still have Wilson ready just in case Bradshaw can’t get over his troublesome knee problem this week in practice. Wilson didn’t drop the ball on the ground at all Sunday.
Mike Tolbert (ESPN OWNED 12%)
In the offseason, I had touted Tolbert as a possible sleeper option on a team that was running back needy. So you can imagine my surprise when he signed with the Panthers. In a blowout win against the Chargers, the Panthers kept the ball on the ground, which allowed Tolbert to rack up 2 touchdowns, something I doubt we see again.
Brandon Lloyd (ESPN OWNED 92.1%)
I thought I’d add Lloyd because I know he had been dropped in a couple of my leagues. After falling out of favor with the coaching staff, Lloyd has now racked up 17 catches, 279 yards and a score. Owners who had left Lloyd on the scrap heap could do well in picking him back up and using him as a WR3 going forward. It’s clear he is back in the good graces with the offense. Lets just hope he keeps this train rolling when you absolutely need him the most.
James Jones (ESPN OWNED 86.2%)
While we were arguing between Greg Jennings and Randall Cobb during yesterday Google+ Hangout, we all left out James Jones, who single-handedly destroyed the Bears all by himself with 3 touchdowns. Buyer beware, however. With Jennings and Cobb still part of the playcalling, Jones can either put up a decent game or be taken out entirely against the Titans. Although, the matchup on paper is certainly pointing up.
Danny Amendola (ESPN OWNED 50.3%)
Amendola seemed like he was never even gone. With 6 passes for 58 yards and a score against an iffy Vikings secondary, it’s clear Amendola is now back to being a key part of the offense going forward. He also added a two-point conversion as icing on the cake. Amendola and the Rams have a very tasty matchup against the Buccaneers secondary that got picked apart by Drew Brees and the Saints Sunday. Amendola is a strong PPR option in Week 16.
Dennis Pitta (ESPN OWNED 29.8%)
Damn Dennis, where the hell were you when I needed you weeks ago? Coming off a one-catch game against the Steelers in Week 13, Pitta has now racked up 12 catches, 171 yards and 3 scores in the last 2 games. While I hate ranking him a TE1 against the Giants next week, it looks like I am going to have to in the hopes he continues this new-found fantasy value.
Zach Miller (ESPN Owned 1.1%)
Miller has quietly stringed together 2-straight games with a touchdown, but I’d be hard pressed to add him to my fantasy roster unless I was that desperate. He simply isn’t a huge part of the Seattle offense.