For most leagues, Week 16 is the final week of fantasy football, so if you are tuning in this week, you are likely in your league’s championship, so ‘Congrats!’ That being said, if you are in your league’s championship, I am hoping you are not looking to the waiver wire for starters this week, but if you are, well, we have you covered.
NOTE: All ‘Percent Rostered’ stats are based off ESPN.com fantasy leagues
If you are looking for a starting quarterback this week, there are only two on this list I would be comfortable starting (Cousins or Tannehill). If you happen to be in one of the leagues where they are available and you need a quarterback, they would be a worthy pickup.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Min:
Percent Rostered: 63.8%
Stats thru Week 15: 3,481 yds, 25 TD, 5 INT; 1 rushing TD
As I said last week, his percent rostered number is still below 70%, so I am keeping him here. Despite coming off back-to-back weeks of low fantasy output, he still ranks in the top 10 in nearly every quarterback category, making him a solid QB1 who is still available in more than one out of every three leagues.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Ten:
Percent Rostered: 63.3%
Stats thru Week 15: 2,272 yds, 17 TD, 6 INT; 37 rushes, 157 yards, 4 rushing TD
Tannehill scored the fourth most points amongst QBs in Week 15 and continues what is one of the most amazing turnarounds I have ever seen for a quarterback. Tannehill has now scored multiple touchdowns in all eight of his starts this season, accounting for 21 touchdowns in those eight starts (17 passing; 4 rushing).
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Mia:
Percent Rostered: 15.7%
Stats thru Week 15: 2,790 yds, 15 TD, 12 INT; 3 rushing TD
Laugh all you want, but the Bearded Magician has been a solid fantasy quarterback the past nine weeks, accounting for 16 touchdowns over those nine weeks (13 passing; 3 rushing). Starting Fitzmagic in your championship game would take some stones, but he does play Cincinnati, so it could be a good play if you’re forced to do it.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chi:
Percent Rostered: 21.4%
Stats thru Week 15: 2,774 yds, 17 TD, 10 INT; 40 rushed, 172 yards, 2 rushing TD
Trubisky did not have a great game in Week 15 in terms of real football, but it wasn’t bad in fantasy terms. Despite two picks, he put up 334 yards passing and a touchdown. In most leagues, Trubisky has put up 20+ points in five of his last six games and he gets a friendly matchup in Week 16 at home against a bad Chiefs defense.
Gardner Minshew, QB, Jax:
Percent Rostered: 16.4%
Stats thru Week 15: 2,795 yds, 17 TD, 5 INT
It took a while, but Minshew and his moustache are back and worthy of a pickup. Since returning to the starting lineup three weeks ago, Minshew hasn’t thrown for a bunch of yards (510), but he has four touchdowns to just one interception.
If you are hurting at running back and/or looking for a sleeper Flex play, there are a few running backs out there this week – thanks to injuries – who could help you in your chase for a championship.
Mike Boone, RB, Min:
Percent Rostered: 0.2%
Stats thru Week 15: 21 carries, 97 yds, 2 TD; 0 rec, 0 yds, 0 TD
With Dalvin Cook having left multiple games the past few weeks with what appears to be the same shoulder injury, it is unlikely he will play in Week 16 and with Alexander Mattison down as well, Boone is likely to get the start and the bulk of the carries. He looked great this past week, averaging 4.3 yards per carry and netting two rushing touchdowns.
Wes Hills, RB, Det:
Percent Rostered: 0.0%
Stats thru Week 15: 10 carries, 21 yds, 2 TD; 2 rec, 1 yds
Who? I said the same thing. Apparently, he is the latest running back the Lions have pulled off the streets now that Bo Scarbrough is dealing with a rib injury. His 21 yards and 2.1 yards per carry were less than impressive, but he found the endzone twice.
Raheem Mostert, RB, SF:
Percent Rostered: 61.0%
Stats thru Week 15: 116 carries, 662 yds, 5 TD; 13 rec, 164 yds, 2 TD
Despite Matt Brieda and Tevin Coleman being healthy, Mostert lead the backfield in carries and found the endzone again, for the fourth straight week. Over the last four weeks, he has 389 yards from scrimmage, six receptions and five touchdowns. Those are good RB2 numbers and he is available in nearly 40% of leagues.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Hou:
Percent Rostered: 72.2%
Stats thru Week 15: 224 carries, 1,030 yds, 5 TD; 9 rec, 32 yds, 0 TD
Hyde hasn’t scored a bunch of touchdowns (5), but he has surpassed 1,000 yards rushing with two games to go and ranks 10th in the NFL in rushing yards. He is a legitimate RB2 and somehow is available in more than one out of every four leagues. If you are in one of those leagues, pick him up and start him.
Myles Gaskin, RB, Mia:
Percent Rostered: 0.4%
Stats thru Week 15: 20 carries, 78 yds, 0 TD; 6 rec, 48 yds, 0 TD
Patrick Laird has failed to take over as the lead back for the Dolphins and as a result, Gaskins has found opportunities In Week 15, the split was almost 50-50 with Gaskin putting up better yards per carry numbers and outscoring Laird in fantasy points as well. If you are in a real pinch this week, the Dolphins get the league’s worst rush defense in the Bengals, and Gaskin or Laird could be a decent Flex play.
No position has more talent on the waiver wire this week than the wide receiver position. All five players below are worthy of a start as either a WR2 or Flex start. I could even make an argument for a few of these guys as WR1 this week.
A.J. Brown, WR, Ten:
Percent Rostered: 69.9%
Stats thru Week 15: 47 rec, 893 yds, 7 TD (74 targets)
Over the last four weeks, Brown has 29 targets, 20 receptions, 447 yards and four touchdowns, putting up 26+ points in three of those four weeks. He is clearly Tannehill’s top target and is a clear WR2 at this point.
Breshad Perriman, WR, TB:
Percent Rostered: 35.6%
Stats thru Week 15: 24 rec, 409 yds, 5 TD (46 targets)
Apparently, Perriman is still in the NFL – who knew? – and he plays for the Bucs…and in Week 15, he played quite well! With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin going down in back-to-back weeks, Perriman is likely the Bucs number one receiver going into Week 16. Over the last three weeks, he has 18 targets, 13 receptions, 270 yards and four touchdowns. He is worthy of at least a Flex play this week.
Anthony Miller, WR, Chi:
Percent Rostered: 24.9%
Stats thru Week 15: 50 rec, 649 yds, 2 TD (81 targets)
Miller has now scored in back-to-back games and has put up 115+ yards receiving in two of his last three games. With Trubisky suddenly looking like a real NFL quarterback, his receivers are responding. Miller saw 15 targets last week, pulling in nine of those for 118 yards and a touchdown. Miller has five straight weeks of double-digit output (PPR) and has 24+ points in two of his last three games.
Greg Ward, Jr., WR, Phi:
Percent Rostered: 3.0%
Stats thru Week 15: 18 rec, 140 yds, 1 TD (28 targets)
Apparently, Ward is a receiver for the Eagles, and thanks to injuries to Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, he was the Eagles’ number one receiver last week and likely this week as well. Over the past two weeks, he has seen 18 targets, pulling in 11 of those for 95 yards and a touchdown. A risky start for Week 16, but playing the role of number one receiver, the opportunities should be there.
Chris Conley, WR, Jax:
Percent Rostered: 19.2 %
Stats thru Week 15: 42 rec, 681 yds, 4 TD (79 targets)
With Minshew back and DJ Chark Jr. out with an ankle injury, Conley was the beneficiary. Conley didn’t have a huge day – just four receptions for 49 yards – but he found the endzone twice. He is a risky start for your championship, but with a matchup against the Falcons, he could have another nice week.
If you can get double-digits out of your tight end, that is pretty good, and all of the tight ends below should be able to get double-digits this week – or at least be very close. Unless you have a top tight end, all five of these are worthy of a start.
Tyler Higbee, TE, LAR:
Percent Rostered: 39.0%
Stats thru Week 15: 52 rec, 546 yds, 2 TD (66 targets)
Higbee is hands down a starting tight end at this point, yet is available in six out of every ten leagues. Over his past three games, he has a whopping 33 targets, pulling in 26 of those for 334 yards and a touchdown. He has three straight 100-yard games and three straight 19+ point fantasy games.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Phi:
Percent Rostered: 42.9%
Stats thru Week 15: 45 rec, 451 yds, 4 TD (64 targets)
Generally, the second tight end is not worthy of a fantasy roster spot, but with all the injuries the Eagles have, Goedert is probably their second/third passing option, so he is worthy of a roster spot in Week 16 and possibly even a start. Goedert now has seven straight games with five or more targets and has scored double-digits in five of his last eight games and 7+ points in all of his last nine games.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Sea:
Percent Rostered: 6.9%
Stats thru Week 15: 32 rec, 376 yds, 2 TD (40 targets)
With Delanie Walker out, Smith is TE1 in Tennessee and with the way Tannehill is playing, he is at least worth a thought when setting your lineup. In Week 15, Smith pulled in all five of his targets for 60 yards and also managed a 57-yard run. With a matchup against the Saints, where the Titans will likely have to throw a lot to stay in the game, Smith is a borderline starting tight end.
Noah Fant, TE, NYJ:
Percent Rostered: 33.8%
Stats thru Week 15: 37 rec, 548 yds, 3 TD (62 targets)
Not a huge game for Fant in Week, 15, but he pulled in two of his three targets for 56 yards. Over his last two games with Drew Lock, he has pulled in six of his seven targets for 169 yards and a touchdown. With a matchup this week at home against a terrible Lions defense, he is a borderline starting tight end.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Mia:
Percent Rostered: 25.7%
Stats thru Week 15: 41 rec, 454 yds, 2 TD (70 targets)
Gesicki has come on the second half of the season, scoring 8+ points in four of his last seven games and putting up double-digits in three of those. The problem with Gesicki, is in three of those seven games, he put up less than six points. The silver lining this week is two-fold though: 1) he has seen five or more targets in seven straight games, and 2) he gets the Bengals this week.