Hurts may win some fantasy owners a championship in Week 16
For most fantasy leagues, Week 16 is the fantasy championship. This is what you've been waiting all season for, and now it's here. This is the time to make sure you have your handcuff for your running back. If Week 15 taught us anything, it's to be prepared. It seemed like Ezekiel Elliott would be active, and then Sunday morning, fantasy owners found out that he was inactive. Those on their phones or computers could easily look to see if Tony Pollard was available, but if you had him on your roster already, it was an easy switch.
In addition, on Monday night, James Conner was ruled inactive. Fantasy owners needed to be sure they put Benny Snell Jr. in their lineup. Along those same lines, fantasy owners of Clyde Edwards-Helaire should try to pick up Le'Veon Bell. He's already owned in more than half of leagues so he doesn't qualify for the waiver wire column, but he should be picked up if he's available.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (47 percent owned)
In the past four weeks, Mayfield has had at least two touchdown passes. He's earned fantasy owners at least 20 fantasy points in those weeks. The Browns face the Jets in Week 16. While the Jets have proved that they can win a game, perhaps the Browns won't underestimate them like the Rams did. Mayfield wants to get the Browns into the playoffs (and now the AFC North title is very much within their grasp) and he's going to continue playing as hard as he can. Look for him to be a high QB2 in Week 16.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (39 percent owned)
Hurts is still available in 60 percent of leagues and is someone that could potentially win you a fantasy championship. Hurts threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns and added 63 rushing yards and another score in Week 15. He was the No. 1 quarterback in fantasy for the week and next faces the Cowboys. Dallas allows the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so this is a great matchup. It may be tough to bench a quarterback that got you to the fantasy championship for Hurts, but it may just be a decision that wins you a championship.
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (46 percent)
If this is the last week of your fantasy season, use your remaining FAAB budget on Pollard if he is still available. While it is certainly possible that Ezekiel Elliott is active for Week 16, it seems silly for the Cowboys to risk it when Pollard has looked better. Elliott has a calf injury that he's been dealing with for a few weeks, so if the Cowboys do make the playoffs (in that division, anything is possible), they are going to want a healthy Elliott. Pollard is a borderline RB1 if Elliott is out.
Salvon Ahmed, Miami Dolphins (34 percent owned)
Ahmed is a speculative add, because whether or not you choose to start him depends on the status of Myles Gaskin. Gaskin tested positive for COVID-19, and it is unclear if he will be cleared in order to play in Week 16. If Gaskin is out, Ahmed becomes a solid RB2 with upside in Week 16 against the Raiders. If Gaskin is active, Ahmed becomes a low RB3.
Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams (16 percent owned)
Cam Akers suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 15 and is now out indefinitely, which means Darrell Henderson Jr. (63 percent owned) will be the lead back for the Rams in Week 16. Henderson should be picked up wherever he's available. However, Brown also will likely have a role in the offense. Brown hasn't done anything with a healthy Akers and Henderson, but it's unlikely that the latter will have the job all to himself. Brown will likely be a low RB2 for Week 16.
Keke Coutee, Houston Texans (41 percent owned)
Coutee has cemented himself as the No. 2 receiver for the Texans, and in Week 15 he had five receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown. He has a touchdown in the past two games and gets the Bengals in Week 15. Deshaun Watson looks for him in the red zone, and Coutee, when healthy has proven to be a decent fantasy wide receiver. He should be considered a WR3 with upside for Week 16.
Kendrick Bourne, San Francisco 49ers (7 percent owned)
Bourne had a nice stat line in Week 16, but it was because of a Hail Mary pass at the end of the game that didn't do anything to change the outcome. Taking away that (which is impossible to predict), Bourne had three receptions for 35 yards. He's had three or four receptions in the past five games, and his yardage has not topped 45 in that span. For fantasy owners looking for a 7-9 PPR point game, Bourne is your guy. But the absence of Deebo Samuel doesn't seem to result in more targets for Bourne, so his upside is limited.
Cam Sims, Washington Football Team (1 percent owned)
For very deep fantasy leagues, Sims is likely available. In regular 12-team leagues, Sims is not worth the gamble. In the past three weeks, he has had nine, two and eight targets for 92, 8 and 26 scoreless yards. It does seem that Sims is the No. 2 wide receiver for Washington, but his production isn't consistent enough and questions remain about the quarterback position.
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (12 percent owned)
After seeing seven targets in the past two weeks, Kmet only had two in Week 15. Mitchell Trubisky only completed 15 passes, however, and two of them were to Kmet. Jimmy Graham is still in the picture (three targets in Week 15; he caught two of them for 25 yards). With both tight ends getting looks, they eat into each other's value. If fantasy owners are desperate, Kmet will likely get you about 5-7 fantasy points.
Dan Arnold, TE, Arizona Cardinals (2 percent owned)
After being off the fantasy radar entirely for the first 10 weeks or so of the season, Arnold has become fantasy relevant at the end of the season. In the past five weeks, he has four touchdowns. However, in that span, he doesn't have more than three receptions, so Arnold is definitely a touchdown-dependent tight end. However, Kyler Murray does look for him in the red zone and for leagues starting two tight ends, Arnold may be worth the risk in Week 16.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Arizona Cardinals (34 percent owned)
The Cardinals face the 49ers in Week 16, and there are other options to pick up if you are streaming defenses, but the Cardinals are at least a solid defensive unit. In the past two games, they have 14 sacks. Nick Mullens has at least one interception in the past six games. He's also lost a fumble in each of the past two games and got benched this past Sunday. It seems that the Cardinals can take advantage of his struggles (and the fact that they are without Deebo Samuel and likely Raheem Mostert as well) and be a solid DST in the fantasy championships.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Top photo by Drew Hallowell/Philadelphia Eagles, courtesy of philadelphiaeagles.com)