Smart fantasy plays for Week 16

Julian Edelman might be bargain for savvy holiday fantasy shoppers

Updated: December 20, 2013, 9:16 AM ET
By Tim Hasselbeck | ESPN Insider

Julian Edelman Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY SportsJulian Edelman has gifted owners with great fantasy production lately.

It can be easy to forget sometimes, but pro athletes are people, too. And never was that more clear during my playing days than around the holidays. You have to find gifts for everyone and drive back and forth to pick up relatives at the airport (and have extra house guests for several days), and, of course, there are the kids' performances at school to catch.

That gets overlooked sometimes during the lead-up to the late-December NFL games, but it also reminds me of one of the most memorable pep talks I ever heard a coach give.

I was with Arizona, and we broke out of the team meeting to have our offense-only meeting with coordinator Todd Haley. Everyone was expecting him to start the install for the upcoming game, but instead, he offered up some advice: Give your credit card to someone else, let them do all the shopping for you. Don't be distracted by all that, just focus on the task at hand.

We were all looking around surprised, thinking, "Did he really just tell us to give our credit card to someone else?"

But, even though it was weird to hear it like that, it was actually pretty good advice in general: We needed all of our mental focus on the game, not on what presents we were buying for the kids.

I'll always remember that scene, and it applies to fantasy football, too, especially during the championship weekend. It's easy to get distracted with everything else going on right now, but if you do your homework and pay attention to certain trends and matchups, you can definitely impact your chances in a positive direction.

Here are three specific players who can help you out this week.

What I'm seeing

For the most part, Julian Edelman was a guy who went pretty late in drafts this season, and people drafted him mainly because there was belief that Danny Amendola would get hurt and Edelman would pick up the slack.

Amendola has been hurt a bunch, but Edelman has been pretty productive regardless, and he's been really good lately.


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