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Fantasy football: Russell Wilson is a risky play

Whether you're a fantasy beginner or don't have as much time to devote to your fantasy team during the week, I'm here for you with the newest edition of Fantasy 101 - all your fantasy needs in 15 minutes or less. Because that's how long you'll need to digest this column and make your appropriate moves. If you're in Championship Week, congratulations! If you're in Semi-Final week, congratulations! If you're in Consolation week, well, maybe you can finish third! If you're reading this for pleasure, I hope it's pleasure-full for you. Here are your big moves and things you need to know for Week 16. I know you'll be a wreck heading into this weekend, but remember - the team you're playing is good, but to be where you are, your team is pretty good too. Enjoy the week.

Big injuries to watch

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers: A broken left clavicle will end Mathews' disappointing season. You may have started him last week with his great matchup against Carolina (and he played well before getting hurt). If you have to replace him, there are some options below for you - one of which is Jackie Battle, who will likely inherit the majority of the carries for San Diego the rest of the way.

Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Be prepared for the possibility of Smith missing Week 16. A concussion is always difficult to try to come back from the next week, and you almost never really know until game-day. So have an alternate ready to go.

Free agents to pick up

At this point, if you're playing for a title, your roster is pretty set. So free agents (outside of replacing injured players) are a little bit harder to pick up and put in your lineup this week. But let me just throw out a few names that, if you have an opening, and they're available, may be worth a whirl. Running back-wise, Jonathan Dwyer has the running game all to himself in Pittsburgh and is getting the goal-line carries. Even though he's in a time-share, Bilal Powell has been very consistent for the Jets. If you need a tight end (and who doesn't?), Dennis Pitta was huge early in the season, and now may be getting that way again. Looking for a defense with a great matchup? The Carolina Panthers, coming off a big week, host the Raiders who are having all sorts of difficulty on offense.

Need to improve your fantasy football roster? Take a look at the top 10 waiver wire targets for Week 16.

Other news of note

1) Danny Amendola needs to be in your lineup in Week 16. They take on the Buccaneers who are just awful against the pass. He's less of a risk than you might think. And if you're in a bind at quarterback, Sam Bradford could be worth a desperation whirl coming off a 377-yard game.

2) The San Diego Chargers will be in full "mail-it-in" mode after the shellacking they took at the hands of the Panthers. Expect a hungry and opportunistic New York Jets defense for you to start opposite them.

3) As good as Russell Wilson was against Buffalo, and as good as he's been, I'm still wary of starting him championship week against San Francisco. I'd look for other options instead. I'll say the same thing for Colin Kaepernick. As great as he's been, this will be his stiffest test yet and I'm not sold on him having a huge day, either.

4) I know Andrew Luck just had an okay game against Houston, but he was under duress the entire game. Expect a much friendlier atmosphere against Kansas City in Week 16. You can start him with confidence. In fact, you can start T.Y. Hilton and Vick Ballard with confidence as well.

5) Andy Dalton is a sit for me this week against Pittsburgh. The game has all the earmarks of a defensive struggle with so much on the line. I can't expect a big game from him.

Jason Smith hosts NFL Fantasy LIVE on the NFL Network and writes fantasy and other pith for Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca, and listen to the NFL Fantasy LIVE podcast with Michael Fabiano and Elliot Harrison every week on He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.

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