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Last week this column feature two obvious QB streams that turned out to be…not so obvious. Ryan Fitzpatrick was right at my stream threshold of 15 points. Underwhelming but acceptable. Meanwhile Alex Smith fell victim to game flow as the Chiefs went up 21-7 early behind a big Charcandrick West run and a defensive score. They were able to play clock management the rest of the way and Smith never had the chance to do the damage I believe he was capable of doing here. Lastly, A.J. McCarron which was better than several other deep league options but Jimmy Clausen of all people ended up being the best.
Moving on, Week 16 is championship week for many. That probably means you have a stable QB, but I’m sure there are still a few people out there in search of a QB. So let’s turn our heads towards the best of Week 16! A couple players reached the 50% ownership mark this past week but make for nice streams if they are out there - Alex Smith and Jameis Winston.
For this article Zach will look at two QBs owned in 50% or less of Fleaflicker leagues and another QB owned in 25% or less to account for the QB scarcity in 2QB leagues. The waiver wire is always thinner this time of the year but there is always a good stream if you look hard enough!
Standard League QB Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 16
Teddy Bridgewater (MIN) vs Giants
OWNED IN: 36% of Fleaflicker leagues
Streaming against the Giants has worked very well the last several weeks. Over the last seven games, every QB has scored at least 15 points. The Giants have also given up the most passing yards on the entire season. Meanwhile Teddy Bridgewater appears to be getting hot at the right time.
Last week Bridgewater set a career high in passing yards vs a tough Cardinals defense. This week he had the best game of his career. After never having more than two touchdowns in a game, he easily passed that with five total touchdowns (four passing, one rushing). I do worry about how blah Teddy had been up until this little hot streak, but I’m willing to put my belief in him. It’s hard to imagine him slowing down against this Giants team.
Kirk Cousins (WAS) @ Eagles
OWNED IN: 36% of Fleaflicker Leagues
I have something to admit. I have not given Cousins nearly enough respect this season. After his third 25+ point game, it’s finally time to acknowledge the really nice season that Cousins is having. He has more points than preseason favorites Ryan Tannehill and Matt Ryan. That isn’t saying much but those two (Ryan especially) get a lot of respect on name value.
The Eagles really struggle against QBs. In Week 15 Carson Palmer didn’t actually do much, but only because David Johnson was able to do so much on the ground. The Redskins are far less likely to run all over any team. If they are going to score it has to be through the air, and that is exactly what happened in Week 15 when Cousins threw for four touchdowns. Maybe he won’t do that much but Desean Jackson is healthy and back to full speed and Jordan Reed is playing at an elite level. He should be able to put up good points again this week.
Deeper League QB Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 16
Johnny Manziel (CLE) @ Chiefs
OWNED IN: 16% of Fleaflicker Leagues
I’m kind of disappointed that Manziel hasn’t run more this season because that would make him a LOT more interesting from a fantasy perspective. Out of the QBs owned in under 25% of leagues, I’m still liking him the most anyway. It’s a lot of ugly names and Manziel has some upside. In Weeks 12 & 14 he threw for 372 and 270 yards. Week 15 he was up against Seattle, a tough task for any quarterback. I thought he did a respectable job with just one interception while completing 59% of his passes.
Manziel knows he is playing to set himself up for a shot at the starting role in 2016. I think he may finally be turning the page and starting to ‘get it’. The Chiefs matchup is an interesting one. They started off the season horribly, and then went through a five game stretch where they gave up just four passing touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Now over the last four games they are somewhere in the middle, giving up multiple passing touchdowns in three of the last four games while also making some big plays defensively. My thinking is if Jimmy Clausen can throw two touchdowns with the Ravens receivers, there is no reason Manziel can’t as well.