Four long months ago we were so bright-eyed and bushy tailed, but 2017 has been a hell of a year, leaving most broken along with their roster. But there is still a game to be played, and in this championship week, we know that there’s no do-overs. This is it. Week 16 or nothing. Maybe not nothing. Perhaps your league’s runner-up gets a fajita from Chili’s, but that’s a different kind of glory.
Instead of the typical start/sit column that we’ve done over the last 16 weeks, we’re not going to assume that you’re going to need any deep waiver pickups or clever plays. You have a championship team in place, but use this information for a few key plays that will hopefully get you over the top. This is just to reaffirm a strategy already in place, or to nudge someone into being comfortable starting James White this week. It’s just another opinion that can hopefully clean up a roster decision until it’s something more clear.
Good luck. We love you.
Players To Consider Your Championship Week
MIN QB Case Keenum: Few quarterbacks have been as consistent as Minnesota’s Case Keenum this season, and if you don’t want to take a risk with Blake Bortles and see a juicy Green Bay matchup in Week 16, this is your dude.
JAX QB Blake Bortles: Blake Bortles is absolutely on fire. Blake Bortles. Bortles. On fire. No one is better than Blake Bortles right now. No one. Bortles. At this point, you can’t deny him, and the Niners have the kind of defense that Jacksonville should be able to score on. Roll him out, but it’s also Bortles so if he does terrible what can ya do. That’s what happens sometimes when you play Blake Bortles Week 16. But, if he can just be a QB4-6…
PHI QB Nick Foles:The Eagles are really, really good on offense, and Nick Foles just threw four touchdowns on the Giants. The Raiders defense isn’t the Giants defense, but it’s close! If you’re in a position to play Foles, you should feel somewhat comfortable.
CAR RB Christian McCaffery: The Bucs have a terrible defense and the Panthers are finally beginning to understand that he’s one of their best players. He could be RB1-level good in PPR leagues.
NE RB Dion Lewis/James White: No team is worse at stopping the run than the Bills, and Rex Burkhead is hurt, which opens up a few more receptions for James White, and more rushes for Lewis and possibly Mike Gillislee. It’s scary to depend on a Bill Belichick running back in Week 16, but unless something weird happens and everyone fumbles but Gillislee, feel free to start this duo.
Ezekiel Elliott: You didn’t hold onto him to not start him (if you made it this far with him on your bench). It may be risky, but Todd Gurley just gashed the Seahawks and Dallas is grasping at a playoff spot. They might just unleash Zeke. And how awful would it be to lose the championship with Zeke going off on your bench?
First, there’s this:
And a reminder, because six games away kind of wipes the memory:
PIT WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (from our Waiver Wire column): Antonio Brown is out for at least the next two weeks with a slight tear in his calf, now in comes a healthy Smith-Schuster who has only improved as the season’s gone on. Taking over for brown somewhat early against the Patriots Sunday night, he had six catches for 114 yards and should see tons of targets with Brown out. He’s worth a flex with WR2 upside. Hell, maybe even WR1 upside. But like anything, it’s championship week and a team that likely doesn’t need Smith-Schuster in the lineup got you here. We get it.
Players To Avoid Your Championship Week
Jamaal Williams: Aaron Jones is eating away at his touch share, and the Vikings have one of the best defenses in the league.
Jimmy Garoppolo: The feel-good story of the Niners finding their quarterback of the future is pleasant and nice. Maybe you’ve even got a deep-league keeper. Kudos! Don’t play Jimmy this week against Sacksonville. That would be a silly thing to do and everyone knows you’re not silly. Everyone.
Lamar Miller: He has a decent basement, and running backs are scarce, but Miller’s relatively weak year could be exacerbated by poor game flow as the Steelers rack up the points on Houston. Perhaps this will lead to a few caught balls in garbage time, but it’s tough to really depend on Miller to break a game wide open for you right now. The New England RBs, are better, or Kenyan Drake, or obviously the guys in New Orleans.
Tyrell Williams: Unless you’re the Keenan Allen owner and you’ve got no one else to turn to, avoid the up and down nature of the Tyrell Williams/Philip Rivers connection. They’ve had their moments, but as we’ve said so many times before — it’s Week 16. Play a sure thing if you can.
So many of his points come off one, unpredictable big play: