“Everybody loves a winner!
Cause when it all begins
My eyes on the prize so it’s on again
I refuse to loose I ain’t gon pretend
I thought I told you I was born to win
Everybody loves a winner!

Victory I choose
Ain’t no turning back cause I paid my dues
I tighten up my laces when I tie my shoes
Born to win, I refuse to lose
Everybody loves a winner!”

-Papoose “Born to Win” (featured on Madden NFL 2006)

It’s championship week in most leagues and hopefully, you’re still in it. Last week provided a very epic set of upsets and wacky results that could have shaken up your league’s playoffs. You know when New Orleans and its Swiss cheese defense throws a shutout that the unexpected will ensue.

At one extreme, I saw a 14-0 team that was rolling over teams all season long take a face-plant and lose by nearly 40 points in a standard league. I had an 11-2 team of mine get bounced out of an eight-team playoff by a 5-8 squad where the owner hadn’t looked at his lineup in months and got extremely lucky. Clearly, the meek might be inheriting the fantasy football earth.

By this week, you should know who you will be trotting out as your starters for this final game. However, if teams choose to rest some players you still need to have a backup plan in place. That’s what this edition of the waiver wire is about, calling for backup.

Keep in mind that there is no Thursday night game this week for the first time all season. The only game before Sunday is Detroit-Atlanta on Saturday. Availability is based on ESPN leagues and FAAB is basically whatever you have left.

Jets QB Tim Tebow (91%) looks to get the call this week at quarterback. Mark Sanchez looked awful last night and threw four picks against the Titans as they lost 14-10 and got mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Tebow will take on a San Diego team that just got mauled by Cam Newton so the potential for a repeat performance is there.

Bears RB Kahlil Bell (99%) will be re-signed by the team this week. Backup running back Michael Bush has been dealing with a rib injury and is not likely to play this week against Arizona in an afternoon game. He’s going to add depth behind Matt Forte as the Bears are still in the hunt for a wild card. Forte hasn’t scored in three games and broken the 70-yard barrier just once in those games. I wouldn’t expect Bell to get a start over Forte but the Bears need a jolt if they want to make a playoff push.

Titans WR Nate Washington (27%) looks to be a little more viable after Kendall Wright broke a rib against the Jets. He’s worth considering but keep in mind he hasn’t had more than six catches in a game all season. He’s broken the 100-yard mark once and has not scored since week nine. The Titans take on a Green Bay team that has wrapped up the NFC North and will finish as either the #2 or #3 seed in the NFC. Green Bay still has something to play for but Washington could put up some numbers late in the game.

Redskins QB Kirk Cousins (97%) threw for 329 yards and two scores with a pick in the ‘Skins win over Cleveland. With a game against a miserable Philadelphia team on deck, Cousins should put up good numbers again. His value hinges on the knee of RGIII.

Bengals K Josh Brown (98%) has hit on all six field goal attempts and five PATs since filling in for Mike Nugent two weeks ago when Nugent went down with a calf injury. Brown looks to get the nod the final two weeks of the regular season. The Bengals take on the Steelers this week in a critical AFC North battle in Pittsburgh and keep in mind that kicking into the open end of Heinz Field limits the range kickers have.

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (5%) has been spotted without a cast on his arm. It’s worth checking the waiver wire to see if he is out there. Pick him up so that no one else can and follow the news over the week. He might play this week against Jacksonville and should definitely be in for the finale with Miami. If your league goes all 17 weeks, he’s totally worth the three seconds to scour the wire. Imagine the boost your team would get from picking him up now!

Chargers RB Jackie Battle (88%) looks to get the nod against the Jets after Ryan Mathews broke his collarbone, again. Battle might have a tough time this week in Gotham but for those of you who play all 17 weeks, he’s worth the add. The Chargers end with Oakland and should be able to Run, Run, Rudolph all over the Raiders in the finale.

The Patriots DST (28%) takes on Jacksonville so they look like a solid play. The Colts DST (96%) takes on KC in the between games against the Texans.  The Chiefs are going to start Ricky Stanzi so it appears they have found a way to go even lower on the QB scale than Brady Quinn.

All of the teams still have something to play for this week, so don’t expect teams to rest their studs as you set your fantasy super bowl lineups.

Leave your questions and comments below. I hope you do well this week and get your fantasy football championship. I’ve got 23 of my 49 teams in the finals and should be capturing multiple fantasy titles.

  1. CL says:

    Oh baby! Super Bowl Week for my 5-8, division winning team! 12 team, PPR…

    Am I starting RGIII? I rolled with R-Berger on your recommendation last week and still have him. I have a claim in for R. Wilson too. Who does it look like I’m going to start?

    I’m pretty sure I have had some key wins with Seattle DEF.

    I’ve been rolling with Tucker at Kicker… no reason to jinx myself there with a change, right?

    Otherwise, I round out the rest of my team with:

    R. White
    A. Johnson
    C. Johnson

    On my bench: Bryce Brown, Britt, and possibly Battle if I can claim him along with R. Wilson.

    You like where I’m at?!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @CL: You won a division at 5-8? What’s it like playing NFC West Fantasy Football?

      Go with the R-berger. Pittsburgh has beaten Cincy nine times in a row and I don’t see any reason why it won’t be a perfect ten. I also like that Big Ben is airing it out more instead of the dink-and-dunk game before he got hurt. Plus you know both teams want that game sooooo badly.

      Wilson will have a potentially tough go of it in the Sunday night game and I’m not sure how he’ll hold up to the pressure of the big stage. He’s looked great the last two weeks against cannon fodder competition. The 49ers ain’t no fodder.

      Stay with Tucker…if it ain’t broke don’t fix it now!

      The rest of the line up looks good. Battle is a decent insurance policy since Mathews broke his collarbone.

      You’re in the finals. Of course I like where you are at! It doesn’t matter how you got there, just as long as you did. Now go out there, execute and FINISH IT OFF!

      • CL says:

        @Andrew Nordmeier: Yep… all 4 teams at 5-8 and I was the best 5-8 team in my division… 3-1 and that got me in the playoffs! Some guys are super-pleased with this… not really, but eff ’em! I’m up against the #1 powerhouse in the 12 team league for all the marbles!

  2. Denis says:

    I have 2 terrible TE to choose from– which one is better for wk 16– CHAMPIONSHIP!! Yes my #1 TE went out with a broken arm– kind of hurt my numbers from that point on– and I lost my #1 RB in wk#7, yes that caused RB issues for the season as well, but none the less I am 8-5, 2nd in a 12 team PPR league.

    Clark or Lewis?

    Thanks for a great season of commentary and insightfulness..


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