The final week of the Page 2 Fantasy Football Challenge is upon us. Each week, a guest picker chooses a QB, WR and RB who he or she believes will score big. The only players off-limits are those selected by the previous week’s guest picker. The guest — reader Jake Wanek, a self-described bogey golfer, marathon runner and pass-first point guard — will go head-to-head against Star Tribune writer Michael Rand, who is not allowed to pick anyone projected to score in the top 10 at their positions by NFL.com.
jake wanek’S WEEK 16 FANTASY PICKS
QB: Philip Rivers, Chargers
NFL.com QB projection: No. 18
Never been a huge fan of Phil, but after Oakland was shredded last week by Alex Smith, and with the Chargers clinging to their playoff lives, it’s hard to bet against the 2004 Senior Bowl MVP.
RB: Eddie Lacy, Packers
NFL.com RB projection: No. 38
Slight homer pick on my part, but the fact that the Packers control their own destiny has a lot to do with Lacy. He will be a big part of what they do Sunday at a cold Lambeau Field.
WR: A.J. Green, Bengals
NFL.com WR projection: No. 5
Green led me to zero playoff appearances in two fantasy leagues this year, but against a Vikings secondary that has been, well, less than stellar, I’m looking for him to have a big game.
MICHAEL RAND’s WEEK 16 FANTASY PICKS
QB: Tony Romo, Cowboys
NFL.com QB projection: No. 14
Even after their meltdown against the Packers, the Cowboys will claim their division with wins over Washington and Philly to end the year. Look for a bounce-back game from Romo.
RB: Frank Gore, 49ers
NFL.com RB projection: No. 15
Atlanta has been woeful this season, and Gore feasts on bad teams. It seems reasonable to expect somewhere close to 100 yards rushing, plus a score on the ground.
WR: Pierre Garcon, Washington
NFL.com WR projection: No. 24
He had his second-highest fantasy output of the season last week playing with backup Kirk Cousins. I’m hoping that chemistry stays the same against the awful Dallas pass D.
SCOREBOARD WEEK 15 FANTASY RECAP (USING NFL.COM DEFAULT SCORING METHOD)
Winner: Eric Thompson — Peyton Manning (17.6), Jamaal Charles (51.5), Calvin Johnson (9.8). Total: 78.9.
Loser: Michael Rand — Drew Brees (20.5), Rashad Jennings (22.3), Dez Bryant (21.3). Total: 64.1.
Overall standings: Guest pickers 10-5.