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Fantasy Football: Week 16 Pickups

Fantasy Football Week 16 Pickups

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Kirk Cousins (WAS)--In his first start under center his Week 15 of last season, Cousins finished in the top 10 at his position, proving he can be a legitimate fantasy option down the stretch. In Sunday's loss to the Falcons, Cousins passed for 381 yards and two scores, totally 21 fantasy points in standard leagues. The Redskins will face off against the Cowboys in Week 16, who have allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season, after back-to-back games of surrendering four passing touchdowns. Those who have been rolling with the hot hand at the quarterback position will want to give Cousins strong consideration this week as he continue to prove he is good enough to be both a starter in the NFL and for fantasy purposes. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick (TEN)--After a dismal performance in Week 14 against the Broncos (only eight fantasy points in standard leagues), Fitzpatrick got back on track on Sunday, throwing for four touchdowns in the Titans loss to the Cardinals. Despite consistent fantasy production since take over the starter gig, this was the first time this year that he had thrown for more than two touchdowns in a game. With the Jaguars on deck for Week 16, Fitzpatrick could be in line for another solid performance, considering the last time the two teams met resulted in his highest fantasy output prior to Week 15. Similar to Kirk Cousins, Fitzpatrick should really only be added if you played the matchups all season at the quarterback position, so I don't recommend using him over a struggling Matthew Stafford or even Jay Cutler, just to name a few.


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Running Backs 

Jordan Todman (JAC)--In his first game as a starter, Todman surpassed the 100-yard mark in Sunday's loss to the Bills, a feat that took starter Maurice Jones-Drew 14 weeks to accomplish. Granted, Todman was given the gift of the Bills poor run defense in his lone start, but still was able to prove he can contribute just as good as the starter. Adding to his 109 rushing yards, Todman also caught four passes for 44 yards and had he scored a touchdown, would have landed in the top 10 among fantasy running backs in standard leagues. The Jaguars have reported that Jones-Drew's hamstring remains an issue, so there is a good chance that Todman could get his second consecutive start if he is unable to give it a go. The Titans have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season, including two or more touchdowns in seven of nine games, so if the starts align, Todman is a must-start outside of extremely shallow leagues. 

Edwin Baker (CLE)--Despite only receiving eight carries in Sunday's loss to the Bears, Baker led the team in carries and was fortunate enough to score a touchdown. Following last week's performance the Browns coaching staff discussed giving Baker more opportunities in the running game, which makes him a decent pickup this week. Baker also showed his versatility in the game, adding four catches for 46 yards, outdoing starter Chris Ogbannaya in yardage in both categories. The Browns will matchup against the Jets tough run defense in Week 16, so there will be better options to use, especially in the championship week, but those who are desperate or have a Week 17 championship should give him some consideration. 

Matt Asiata (MIN)--With both Adrian Peterson (foot) and Toby Gerhart (hamstring) ruled out for Week 15, the Vikings called upon Asiata to carry the load out of the backfield. If you were like me, prior to Sunday's announcement about the Vikings running game, you probably had no idea who Asiata was. Well, that changed quickly after a three-touchdown performance landed him behind only Jamaal Charles in fantasy points. The team has yet to announce the status of both Peterson and Gerhart, but with nothing to play for, there is no reason to rush them back, meaning Asiata could be in line for another start this week. However, the Vikings will have to travel to Cincinnati to matchup with the Bengals, who have allowed only one rushing touchdown since Week 3. Those who are desperate will want to add Asiata, especially if you are a Peterson owner, but he should only be used in deep league formats at best. 

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Wide Receivers

Cordarrelle Patterson (MIN)--For the second week in a row, Patterson is the main attraction in this section of my weekly article, and for good reason. Having now recorded receiving touchdowns in back-to-back weeks, Patterson continues to evolve into an everyday player for fantasy purposes. With Matt Cassel under center, the Vikings passing game has taken a significant step forward, helping both Patterson and Greg Jennings live up to their potential. Despite his increase in production, Patterson is owned in less than 50 percent of leagues throughout the major providers, which is hard to believe. This week's matchup will be no walk in the park, with the Bengals allowing double-digit scores to wide receivers only twice this season, but his playmaking ability makes him a solid pickup and play this week if you need a roster boost. 

Doug Baldwin (SEA)--As the season progresses, Baldwin has slowly emerged as the favorite target of quarterback Russell Wilson and should now be on the fantasy radar. Baldwin finished Week 15 with six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown, which tied his season-high in fantasy production in standard leagues. Although the Seahawks are not a pass-first team, the fact that Baldwin has only three drops over the last four weeks proves he is making the best of his increased role in the offense. The Seahawks will face off against the Cardinals in Week 16, and will need to pass the ball more than usual considering how well Arizona has been defending the run this season. If there was a player in the Seahawks passing game to start, it would be Baldwin. 

Marvin Jones (CIN)--Following a four-touchdown performance in Week 8, Jones has fallen back to earth in a big way, but has now scored touchdowns in back-to-back weeks. In Week 15, Jones hauled in five catches for 48 yards and a score, which was the only receiving touchdown of the game. Despite A.J. Green being targeted 18 times in the contest, Andy Dalton went Jones' way nine times, which resulted in more fantasy points than Green in standard leagues. The Bengals have the Vikings on deck, Jones makes for a decent pickup in deep leagues, with the Vikings giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. 

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Tight Ends

Tim Wright (TB)--After making a splash earlier in the season, Wright has only two games of more than two receptions in his last six games prior to Week 15. However, Wright got back on track Sunday after hauling in seven catches for 82 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Niners. Wright finished the week as the top scoring tight end in standard leagues, and could continue to rise up the rankings in the final two games of the season. Quarterback Mike Glennon has taken a liking to Wright this season, and besides Vincent Jackson, he is really the only legitimate option in the Buccaneers passing game. The Buccaneers Week 16 matchup is not favorable for Wright, with the Rams giving up the four-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, but neither was last week's matchup. Taking into consideration his volume of targets, Wright makes for a decent play this week for those in desperate need at the position. 

Andrew Quarless (GB)--For the second week in a row, Quarless has now finished with six receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown, as quarterback Matt Flynn continues to build confidence in his young tight end. The Packers were in desperate need of production from the tight end position, and Quarless has finally started to come through. At this point, Quarless would probably produce more with Flynn under center than Aaron Rodgers, who would likely target the wide receivers down field more. With Rodgers' status unknown at this point, it is really hard to gauge what to expect from Quarless, but either way, he is a solid pickup this week based on his recent production and slightly-favorable matchup against the Steelers (allowed three touchdowns to tight ends over the last two weeks).

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