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Week 16 Waiver Wire: Must-Have Pickups for Fantasy Championship Week

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystDecember 18, 2012

Week 16 Waiver Wire: Must-Have Pickups for Fantasy Championship Week

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    We've hit Week 16 of the 2012 fantasy football season, and in most leagues that means that only two teams are left standing and have headed to New Orleans for the fantasy Super Bowl.

    Or something to that effect involving less travel.

    In any event, that probably means that your starting lineup for Week 16 is more or less set, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't still hit the waiver wire, even if it's only to keep that matchup running back away from your opponent.

    With that in mind, here are some Week 16 waiver options. Granted, many are likely owned in most leagues, but if they're out there, these are the players most capable of making a real dent on the stat sheet this week.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

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    There are three groups of people that play fantasy football.

    1.) People who own Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson

    2.) People who wish they owned Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson

    3.) People who had the misfortune of playing against Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson last week and don't have to worry about it because they're done.

    After piling up over 300 total yards and scoring four touchdowns a week ago, Wilson gets a tough matchup with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, but the rookie is the best quarterback play this week that might actually be available.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers

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    Except, of course, for possibly his opponent.

    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick passed the biggest test of his brief NFL career with flying colors in Sunday night's win over the New England Patriots, throwing for 216 yards and four touchdowns in a San Francisco victory.

    Much like Russell Wilson, Kaepernick is a dual fantasy threat capable of racking up points with his arm and legs, and much like Wilson, Kaepernick's fantasy matchup leaves a lot to be desired.

    However, that matchup will improve significantly if Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman's PED suspension is upheld later this week.

Vick Ballard, RB, Indianapolis Colts

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    The Indianapolis Colts were defeated by the Houston Texans in Week 15, but lost in that loss was the strong game turned in by rookie running back Vick Ballard.

    Ballard picked up 105 yards on 18 carries, and over the past two weeks, Ballard is averaging just over 100 total yards a game and over five yards a carry.

    Not eye-popping numbers by any stretch, but even in a worst-case scenario, Ballard will look better on your bench than in your opponent's lineup.

Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    There hasn't been much go right this year for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but at least their rookie wide receiver panned out.

    It just wasn't the one they traded up in the first round to get.

    Cecil Shorts is closing in on 1,000 receiving yards in his first NFL season, but after missing Week 14 with a concussion, many fantasy owners in shallower leagues cut Shorts loose.

    If he's available in your league, acquiring Shorts should be a priority, as the youngster is a viable fantasy WR3 this week in a favorable matchup with a soft New England Patriots secondary.

Jackie Battle, RB, San Diego Chargers

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    Finally, for my last waiver recommendation of the 2012 season (sniffle!), I'll throw one out there for the Cinderellas who may have crashed the ball and find themselves on the brink of the unthinkable.

    It can be done. I've backed into the playoffs on a three-game losing streak as a sixth seed and won the whole enchilada...you gotta believe!

    If you've got your slingshot out, are ready to take on Goliath and need a running back for Week 16, may I suggest Jackie Battle of the San Diego Chargers, who may draw the start this week in a top-10 matchup with the New York Jets.

    A worldbeater Battle isn't, but in a Week 4 start against the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this year, Battle did rack up 81 total yards and two scores.

    Believe!

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