The Wire: Week 16

I can’t speak for everyone else out there, but the poor play of numerous fantasy stars (i.e. Antonio Gates) combined with the unexpected play of a few others (Anthony Gonzalez, Aaron Stecker, etc) has knocked me out of both of my semi-final games this past weekend. The best I can hope for now is a couple of third place finishes…not quite what I was hoping for going into the season, but the great part about fantasy football is that there’s always next year.

Anyways, enough of that depressing talk, as I’m sure there are a number of you who survived this past weekend’s battle and are on to the champion ship game this week. Before I go into this weeks suggestions though, I just wanted to give a quick warning to owners who may have players playing in wintry conditions…don’t start any kicker in the snow (Rian Lindell), and think twice before starting a border line receiver in freezing conditions (Jabar Gaffney)! For those of you whom it still matters, here are your waiver wire suggestions for week 16…most likely the last game of the fantasy football season…

Domanic Rhodes (RB-OAK): Did you get to the champion ship game in part due to riding the coattails of your week 9 waiver pickup Justin Fargas? If so, you’re probably searching frantically to patch up that hole in your lineup, as Fargas is expected to miss a game or so due to a knee injury. It appears that Rhodes was the guy they went to in Fargas’ absence this weekend, and he should get the start this weekend. I’m sure the team wants to see what they have in Rhodes before deciding what to do with their running back situation in the off-season, so he should get the majority of the carries over LaMont Jordan. Keep in mind though that Rhodes has a pretty tough matchup against Jacksonville this weekend.

Tony Scheffler (TE-DEN): It seems that the trend with Scheffler this year has been to have a big game, make the waiver wire list, then disappear for a few weeks, only to go big a few games later. Well, he had a huge game this past weekend, so who knows if he’ll continue his trend. However, the difference now is that Daniel Graham, the other tight end on the team, is now injured and it appears that he’ll be done for the year. This should give Scheffler ample opportunities to break his old trends and post a solid game or two here to end the year.

Dennis Northcutt (WR-JAX): Making David Garrard (10 touchdowns in the past 5 games) the starting quarterback in Jacksonville has to go down as one of the best personnel decisions of the season. Leftwich has been a failure in Atlanta, while Garrard is putting up near Pro Bowl stats and giving the Jaguars passing game the respect it hasn’t had in a while, in large part due to a kick ass running game with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. Dennis Northcutt seems to be the receiver taking the most advantage out of this increase in production in the passing game, and he makes a decent WR3 or flex play this week.

David Patten (WR-NO): Did managers in your league (yourself included) blow off Patten’s performance two weekends ago as a fluke and leave him on the waiver wire? If so, you’re in luck as he appears to be establishing himself as one of Brees favorite targets towards the end of the season. This past weekend, he again found the endzone again and as with Northcutt, he could make a viable WR3 or flex play this weekend against the Eagles.

Darren Sproles (RB-SD): With San Diego clinching this past weekend, Michael Turner hurting his shoulder, and the Chargers running game seeming to be "running" on all cylinders…Sproles has another chance this week to have a solid game. If you’re in the championship game due to LT…Sproles might be you’re least favorite player in the NFL this week. If you don’t have LT though, you might consider Sproles in a flex spot against a bad Denver run defense.

Arizona DEF: While they’re no Tampa Bay defense, the Cardinals ARE playing the Atlanta Falcons this week, whom the Buccaneers dominated last week and only gave up 3 points to. The Arizona defense is most likely available in your league at this point, so before you consider starting some middle of the pack defense, you might consider picking up the Cardinals defense this week.