Week 16: Pickups of the Week
Oft-embattled Sam Bradford had his best performance of the season last week against Minnesota (377 yards, 3 TD) and will be looking to carry that momentum into Tampa Bay, where he squares off against the league's leakiest pass defense. A pure matchup play, Bradford can be used with confidence in two-QB leagues. Unless you're a nervous Robert Griffin III owner, Bradford probably doesn't belong in your fantasy championship lineup if you're in a regular sized standard league. All the other top QBs are active and you should carefully weigh the risk vs. reward before you consider sitting a higher-rated pivot (with belated apologies to James Brown, who could have benefited from this sage advice last weekend re: Freeman vs. Rodgers).Injury Status: Injured Reserve
This dark horse candidate keeps building on his rookie of the year-worthy numbers as he continues to grow by leaps and bounds. A trusted passer who can pick apart teams with his arm, Wilson showed us on Sunday that he can also kill teams with his legs. He eviscerated the Bills (and confounded Marshawn Lynch owners), putting up 92 rushing yards and three touchdowns on nine rushes -- most of them designed option runs. He faces a stiff challenge this week in the division-rival 49ers, but Wilson has come a long way since their last meeting. In the eight games since his Week 7 clunker, Wilson has totalled sixteen touchdowns against only three turnovers. He also benefits this time around from being able to spend the week studying Tom Brady's blueprint on how to torch San Francisco for more than 370 yards in a single half.MyFantasyLeague availability: 97%
It's a sad week to be stuck RB shopping, but Ryan Matthews' second broken collar bone of the season will likely send many owners scrambling to the waiver wire. If Ronnie Brown ( sat out last week with a hamstring injury) can't go, the Chargers will likely roll with a combination of Jackie Battle and Curtis Brinkley toting the rock. As the bruiser of the pair, Battle is the better bet for early down and goal line work. Given a chance in September because of Matthews' first broken clavicle (and subsequent fumbling issues), Battle averaged five yards a carry and scored three touchdowns over a three-game span. Desperate owners may have nowhere better to turn.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
With Ryan Matthews done and Ronnie Brown looking unlikely to play, the Chargers will turn to a platoon approach with Jackie Battle and Curtis Brinkley splitting snaps in the backfield. Brinkley isn't much of a force rushing the football, but he's an effective pass-catcher who could put up decent PPR numbers in a pinch. He could easily turn out to be the busier of the pair if the Chargers get behind or if they start finding success in the passing game. That being said, Brinkley is only recommended for use in the deepest or more specialized of fantasy leagues.MyFantasyLeague availability: 95%
We've listed Curtis Brinkley and Jackie Battle as the likely inheritors of Ryan Matthews' vacated rushing duties. But if Ronnie Brown can heal quicker than expected, he'll be the one getting the call. The veteran former Dolphin is averaging a healthy 4.7 yards per carry and 3.8 catches per game on the season. His experience and reliability would give him the edge over the younger two Chargers running backs. On Monday, Norv Turner told the San Diego Union Tribune there was "a chance" Brown could play in Week 16. It's a longshot right now, so don't make the claim unless you have dead weight to trim from your roster.