We've finally made it to the fantasy football championship round. Even if you've made it this far, finding a quality quarterback may not always be a simple decision.
Week 15 was another reason why keeping an eye on your quarterback position is important. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was pedestrian in week 14, only to come back in week 15 to score more than 30 fantasy points against Green Bay's porous defense. And Russell Wilson was a no-show in week 15 after being a regular contributor in fantasy football.
Streaming quarterbacks should still be on the radar, too, even in the championship round. Here's the week 16 quarterbacks start 'em, sit 'em guide in fantasy football.
Case Keenum vs. Green Bay Packers
You've been riding Keenum to this moment, so there's no reason to stop now. The Vikings need this game more than Green Bay to keep up with the chase for the No. 1 seed in the NFC, so you don't have to worry about motivation for Minnesota.
Green Bay is basically done for the season, so it's likely that defense could be even worse against the pass. Green Bay ranks 24th against the pass in the NFL and has allowed the ninth-most touchdown passes this season.
Since week 8, Keenum has been a top-tier fantasy option. Even in a blowout win, where his volume wasn't as high as others, he was efficient, completing 23 of 26 passes in week 15 against Cincinnati. Most importantly, he keeps throwing touchdowns. He has at least two touchdowns in every game but one since week 8.
The Vikings are running the ball at a solid clip, but they need Keenum to throw touchdowns to score points. That will continue this week against Green Bay.
Philip Rivers vs. New York Jets
Don't give up on Rivers just yet. A plus matchup against Kansas City didn't turn out so well for Rivers in week 15. Much of that should be attributed to Rivers' and the Chargers' inability to beat Kansas City. Los Angeles still has one of the most talented units in the AFC, but they just can't get past the Chiefs.
It's been that way for the majority of the last few years.
In games not against Kansas City this year, Rivers has four total interceptions. That's two fewer than the amount of interceptions he has against Kansas City this season.
He'll get back on track against the Jets in week 16, so he still should get consideration as a starter in week 16. The Jets allow the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. New York also is allowing 278 yards passing per game in the last three games.
Rivers offers high upside this week, so disregard his performance in week 15 and book him against the Jets.
Nick Foles vs. Oakland Raiders
There are some legitimate streaming options this week. Blaine Gabbert has potential against the New York Giants and Blake Bortles shouldn't be overlooked as an option against the 49ers.
For me, though, and in my championship game tilts, I'm looking to Foles to carry me. Owners who have benefited from Jimmy Garoppolo in recent weeks have to square off against Jacksonville, so those who have been bouncing around with quarterbacks in recent weeks should consider Foles their best option as a streamer in week 16.
Foles threw for four touchdowns in week 15 against a terrible New York Giants defense, and now he'll face an Oakland defense at home. And the Raiders were basically eliminated from the playoffs in week 15, and could be completely eliminated by the time this game happens on Monday night. Foles still has all the weapons Carson Wentz utilized during his season-long campaign for MVP, and he's not as bad as many have characterized him. He has a Pro Bowl under his belt and has basically been a pretty good quarterback as long as Jeff Fisher isn't his head coach.
Keep Foles in mind when filling out your lineup for the championship round.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Because of the decent streaming options available, I'm benching Garoppolo this week.
This doesn't dismiss what I believe will be a 2018 season of being a top-10 fantasy quarterback. This matchup just doesn't work out for Garoppolo based on his lack of weapons. Garoppolo has turned Marquise Goodwin into a fantasy football weapon who doesn't need touchdowns to be a fantasy football producer.
Nobody has loved Garoppolo more than me during these last few weeks. That's why he has been starting on my roster. However, I'm not risking my championship life against the Jaguars with the limited options on the 49ers roster.
Jacksonville is where fantasy quarterbacks go to die. They allow less than 10 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, the best in the NFL, and allow less than 170 yards passing per game. Garoppolo hasn't been a touchdown machine just yet, so it's scary to just depend on him putting up 300 yards to have production. I'm sitting Garoppolo -- not based on how good I think he will be, but because he doesn't have the weapons on his roster to compete with Jacksonville's defense.
Kirk Cousins vs. Denver Broncos
I thought Cousins would get back on track in week 15 against an Arizona defense that hasn't been the dominant force from years past. However, he was once again pedestrian, with less than 200 yards passing for the second straight game. He's reached the 20-point fantasy plateau only twice in the last eight games, and now he suits up against a Denver defense once again finding its form.
After being embarrassed against Miami in week 13, Denver has been a different defense. They're reverting back to their old form, just in time to make life difficult for any fantasy football owner still depending on Cousins as the lead man in the quarterback position.
The Broncos are allowing just 140 yards passing in the last three games. They're putting more pressure on quarterbacks and should keep Cousins in check for the majority of this game. Going forward, Cousins needs better weapons to be in that top-12 discussion going into 2018. Without pass-catching running backs and a capable tight end, Cousins has been less-than-average in recent weeks.
Derek Carr vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Had it not been for a ridiculous rule, Carr would have finished in the top-12 among fantasy quarterbacks in week 15. However, he finished 14th, but still looked decent in the loss to Dallas.
This week, though, I'm not betting on my championship life with Carr at the helm. The Raiders don't have an offensive line that can consistently protect Carr. And even though the Eagles have been horrendous in the last two weeks against the pass, I still believe in that pass rush. They haven't been rushing the passer well in recent weeks, but that will change in week 16.
A weak offensive line is a problem for the Raiders, especially going across the country, with likely nothing to play for. The Eagles' defense will right the ship and be much better. That will make it very difficult for Carr to have any real fantasy value in week 16.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. Check out more at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH