Rank's 11 championship sleepers: Start Matt Barkley

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You know, you underestimate a guy and the things that can happen. And no, this isn't an anecdote about Ty Montgomery, though that guy looked really good last week. This wasn't one of those, 'Well, he was playing the Bears' situation. Because the Bears had been good up front against the run (not so much in the secondary). But I'll get to Montgomery in a moment.

This is about my (so-called) friend Steve L. You might know him better as Metal Snake bassist Tokyo Rose. (What, you don't know this band? Well, then that is your loss. Because they are legendary. I saw them one night down at the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa, Calf. The place was going bonkers. Look, here's my thing. I'm not a big metal guy. I like the hits. I don't want to go to a concert and hear deep cuts from Judas Priests' "Defenders of the Faith" or something. Just play "Living After Midnight" and then bounce to "Round-and-Round" by Ratt, follow it up with "Turn Up the Radio" by Autograph and we're golden. That's why tribute bands like Metal Snake work. And why the two remaining members of Quiet Riot play the Sandwich Fair. Actually, I shouldn't besmirch the Sandwich Fair, that's a pretty legit gig. But I think you get the point. Outside of "Metal Health" (the bang your head song) or "Come on Feel the Noise" can you actually name another Quiet Riot song? You can't. Just play the songs I want to hear and be done with it. And if I might say, when are the 90s tribute acts going to start? Oh wait, Sublime with Rome is touring right now. Nevermind.

Hey but this is about Tokyo Rose and what he did to me in our Second City League. I have the top-seeded team and needed to play a defense. I had the Falcons from last week. So it wasn't like I truly needed an upgrade (though probably). So I put in a claim for the Patriots. I felt pretty confident I would get them because nobody else in the league would make a waiver claim during championship week like somebody in our NFL Fantasy League has done recently. (Kind of cost me a shot at the title, but I'm used to getting cheated out of that league since I won three out of the first four titles.) And I was sure Tokyo Rose wouldn't make a claim either because while he's a sweet bassist, he's kind of a dumb-dumb. He wasn't going to make a savvy play like grabbing the Patriots defense was he?

He was.

I was kind of bummed when I got the email about my waiver claim being rejected.

Rank's 11 Sleepers, Week 16


QB: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
QB: Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
QB: Matt Barkley, Chicago Bears
RB: Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers
RB: Justin Forsett, Denver Broncos
WR: Chris Hogan, New England Patriots
WR: Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots
WR: J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals
WR: Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers
TE: Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans
DEF: New England Patriots D/ST

Matt Barkley, QB, Chicago Bears

I'm not sure if the Bears have their quarterback of the future. But they have their starter for next year. And he throws a ton when the Bears are behind, which kind of happens a lot. I would love to see the Bears give him a shot and then draft a guy like Chad Kelly in the fourth-round. (Or Luke Falk even.) But we can talk about that stuff in the future. We're talking about this week. He's a desperation flex. I wouldn't bench, say, Dak Prescott for him. But if you have been streaming for the past month or so, the numbers say Barkley.

Ty Montgomery, RB, Green Bay Packers

I originally wrote "WR" because old habits die hard. Now, I know it's weird to include a guy who just went for 30 points (I get bonuses, alt-fantasy guys), but I felt like I needed to add him because of the matchup against the Vikings. Which looks pretty (expletive) great right now. Plus, Montgomery was making folks miss a lot against the Bears. He forced seven missed tackles. And his yards-after-contact were amazing. He's played so well they are now considering Aaron Rodgers for the MVP award.

New England Patriots wide receivers

Get them into your lineup. Chris Hogan. Malcolm Mitchell. Start them all. This is the last warmup for the Patriots before they coast in Week 17. I'm not sure I would have the courage to go with Michael Floyd this week. But the rest of the receivers will be very good.

Ryan Griffin, TE, Houston Texans

This wouldn't be the first "That Helps No One" All-Star to turn into a viable fantasy option. I like Griffin this week against the Bengals. But only if C.J. Fiedorowicz is out for the coming week. And it also gives you the chance to sing "The Family Guy" theme over and over again.

Be sure to watch "Fantasy and Friends" at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network, Monday-Wednesday and Friday. (Sorry, the Thursday night game preempts us. But you can be a part of the show by going to NFL.com/fantasyandfriends. Also follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.

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