Fantasy Football wild-card starts who could win you Week 16
At least a few of you hopefully took my advice last week in this column, as I actually nailed Gabriel Davis, Duke Johnson and Jimmy Garoppolo. As tumultuous of a week as it was across the fantasy landscape, getting even one boom-or-bust player on your roster to hit can be a difference-maker in the playoffs.
Here is this week’s crop of wild card candidates. As always, these players have the potential for greatness — or they could get you nothing at all.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB - Dolphins
With a Yahoo! rostership of just 46 percent, it’s most likely you made it this far with another QB not named Tua Tagovailoa in your starting slot. However, injuries and COVID-19 happen and there may be some of you in search of a fill-in for Week 16.
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Tagovailoa did struggle last week without rookie WR Jaylen Waddle, but he’s back for this important Monday Night showdown boasting playoff implications. The Saints are a top-five defense against the run which should force Miami to throw more often, and their secondary has shown signs of returning to earth in recent weeks. Tagovailoa falls in the fringe RB1/2 category for this week and could pay off for those in need.
Justin Jackson, RB - Chargers
Jackson saw a season-high 13 carries last week after a previous season-setter of nine in Week 14. His increased volume was a result of Austin Ekeler’s ankle not being 100%, but now the lead back has landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. If Ekeler can’t get cleared before Sunday’s contest, Jackson makes for a solid RB fill-in, but even if he’s active, Jackson is still worthy of flex consideration.
Game script should favor the Chargers’ ground game in this potential blowout and LA would seemingly want to protect their best non-QB offensive asset. Joshua Kelley could also come into play here if you’re truly desperate for RB bodies.
Ameer Abdullah, RB - Panthers
Last week’s workload for Abdullah consisted of four rushes for seven yards — plus an additional four receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown on four targets. Week 16 could be set up similarly for the 28-year-old, as the Panthers face a pass-funnel Tampa Bay defense on Sunday afternoon.
He probably won’t light up the fantasy scoreboard, but Abdullah could make for a nice RB2 with touchdown upside for those in need of some legitimate potential due to a depleted RB corps.
Albert Okwuegbunam, TE - Broncos
The Denver TE led the team in receiving in Week 15 and is currently the TE15 in half-PPR points per contest over the last three weeks. With Teddy Bridgewater suffering a terrifying head injury last Sunday, Drew Lock should take over at QB for the Broncos at least for this week. Lock and Okwuegbunam have a prior connection from Missouri and have shown solid chemistry in their limited time together on the field for the Broncos.
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Denver gets AFC West rival Las Vegas this week, who allow the third-most fantasy points per contest to the TE position. Albert O is a low-floor, high-ceiling player in Week 16, which is what this article is all about.
Antoine Wesley, WR - Cardinals
With DeAndre Hopkins on the shelf for the rest of the season, Wesley was used primarily in three-WR sets last week and tied with A.J. Green for the second-most targets (8) behind Christian Kirk’s 12. Wesley has a history with Kliff Kingsbury from Texas Tech and the Cardinals’ HC seems to be firing up the 24-year old down the stretch.
Last week may have just been an outlier, but Wesley could also be a sneaky start in PPR formats this week if you’re in need of a deep cut at WR.