Cover Photo: Steven Ryan/Getty Images


No matter how much time and effort you put into crafting the perfect fantasy football lineup, there's bound to be a few curveballs that throw things out of whack throughout the season. It wouldn't be fantasy football otherwise, right?


Well, championship weekend just so happened to throw us several. 


Week 16's list of top-scoring fantasy running backs, heading into ​Monday night's game between the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos, features six names that nobody expected to be fantasy relevant on championship weekend coming into the season. Those names: Jamaal Williams (Green Bay Packers), Damien Williams (Kansas City Chiefs), Elijah McGuire (New York Jets), C.J. Anderson (Los Angeles Rams), Darren Sproles (Philadelphia Eagles), and Jacquizz Rodgers (Tampa Bay Buccaneers). 

All six of those running backs spent the majority of the season on the waiver wire, yet they helped decide oh so many fantasy football championships. It's pretty amazing to think that some leagues were basically decided by waiver priority.

Championship-winning performances aside, fantasy football players shouldn't read too much into these individual performances as a given for future outcomes. Most, if not all of these backs were injury replacements and streamers, but that proves that it takes more than just a good draft to win a title. One such surprising performance prompted Anderson, the LA Rams' injury replacement for All-Pro Todd Gurley, to ask for donations to his charity from those he helped attain a fantasy football championship.

It's weeks like this that prove that anyone can win a fantasy football league, but that's also what makes it so unpredictable and fun. And if you're sour because one of these guys beat you this week, here are some suggestions on ​how to make fantasy football better moving forward.


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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.