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Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to help your team from week to week while you strive
to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the
elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While
I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster,
the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll
highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can
help your squad and may still be available in your league.
Tom Savage is likely to be the Texans QB
moving forward after Brock Osweiler was benced in Week 15.
Taylor, BUF – The Dolphins have played well recently,
but the Bills passing game has looked better as well, and Taylor
can do a lot more with his legs than the other QBs the Dolphins
have faced. But Colin Kaepernick (another mobile QB) lit them
up for 296-3-1 and 113 rushing yards in Week 12.
Flacco, BAL –UPDATE:
Flacco is just a high-end QB2 this week, but if you’re desperate
and need someone who’s reliable and available in a majority
of leagues, Flacco is that dude.
Savage, HOU – Who knows? Maybe Savage, who led the
Texans to a comeback victory over the Jaguars in Week 15, can
figure out how to get the ball to DeAndre Hopkins and solve what
has been a solid Cincy secondary the past few weeks. He hasn’t
been named the new starter just yet, but it wouldn’t be a surprise
if that news came in the next couple of days.
UPDATE: Savage is getting the call in Week 16. This should be
Smith, KC – Once again, Smith took what should have
been a favorable matchup and hosed his owners, throwing for 163-0-1
and adding a rushing TD that represented about half of his fantasy
value. He’s not on the radar for Week 16 against the Broncos.
Bradford, MIN – Okay, well now I’m 0-for-2. Bradford
tied his worst fantasy output of the season with 291-0-1 and a
lost fumble. I didn’t anticipate the Vikings having Adrian Peterson
available this week, but even he struggled mightily against a
relatively weak Colts defense.
Barkley, CHI – Yikes. It’s a good thing Barkley threw
for 362 passing yards and two TDs, because the four turnovers
(three INT, one lost fumble) would have been difficult to stomach
otherwise. Hopefully your QBs were healthy with decent matchups
and you didn’t have to start any of these bums.
Lewis, NE – Lewis (50-75 percent owned) rushed for
95 yards on 18 carries and added 2-9-0 receiving. He’s the Pats’
best all-purpose back and could get more touches in the coming
weeks. He’s got added upside and value in PPR leagues as well.
Perkins, NYG – Perkins (25-40 percent owned) didn’t
get the majority of touches versus the Lions (Rashad Jennings
has 18 carries for 38 yards), but he looked better running the
ball, totaling 56 rushing yards on just 11 carries. He’ll likely
shoulder a larger workload against the Eagles in Week 16.
UPDATE: Shane Vereen re-injured his triceps in Week 15, so it
looks like it’ll be just Perkins and Jennings this week.
Forsett, DEN – Forsett is the lead back going forward,
and he had 37 rushing yards in 10 carries (and 4-16-0 receiving)
against the Pats. Devontae Booker can be dropped in some redraft
McFadden, DAL –UPDATE: So it appears McFadden
will be the first to get the call should Elliott get rested in
either of the final two games. He’d be an RB1 in Week 17
if the Cowboys clinch home field and Elliott sits.
Peterson, MIN – Peterson practiced well enough to be
active for the Week 15 game, receiving six carries in the loss
to the Colts. He totaled 22 yards on the ground and a lost fumble,
but should find more success in his second week back against the
Packers. Consider him an RB2 with moderate upside.
Washington, DET – The Giants run defense looked stellar
against the Lions, holding Washington to just 31 yards on 14 carries.
The rookie back added 2-9-0 on four targets and has a tough matchup
against Dallas in Week 16, when lead back Theo Riddick may also
Sims, TB – Sims had just 4 yards on three carries but
added 3-15-0 receiving in the loss to Dallas. He’s a low-upside,
PPR-specific RB3 going forward.
Powell, NYJ – Powell was sharp in Saturday night, rushing
for 84 yards on 16 carries and adding 11-78-0 on 12 targets from
Bryce Petty. Matt Forte as active but got very little work. Powell
is an RB2 with tons of upside in PPR formats.
Farrow, SD – Farrow’s 39 rushing yards on 15 carries
(and 2-14-0 on three targets) was a disappointment considering
the favorable matchup against Oakland. He’ll have an easier time
against the Browns in Week 16.
UPDATE: Melvin Gordon could return for Week 16, so stay tuned
to see if Farrow retains any value. He’d obviously be next
to worthless as a fantasy option if Gordon is back in the fray.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Lockett, SEA – I feel like I should get an award for
staying bullish on Lockett throughout his tumultuous 2016 season,
because he waited about 13 weeks before giving us anything of
value (fantasy-wise) and now he’s red hot just in time for the
fantasy playoffs. Lockett finished Thursday night with 7-130-1
on eight targets, and he gets the Cards in Week 16. Giddyup.
Griffin, HOU – Griffin was popular target on Sunday
and Savage seems to look his way often. His value and fantasy
prospects moving forward depend on the availability of C.J. Fiedorowicz
(concussion, missed Week 15), but Griffin’s 8-85-0 was impressive.
UPDATE: There’s chatter that C.J. might be ready for Week
16, so stay tuned to the injury report as it develops.
Thompson, CHI – The Matt Barkley Era (can I call it
that?) has been a confounding one from a fantasy perspective,
with different favorites coming into the game plan each week –
and this Sunday’s flavor was Deonte, who had 8-110-0 on 10 targets
for the Bears QB. He’s a risk-reward option going forward but
is getting more looks in this offense.
LaFell, CIN – If A.J. Green is back for Week 16, he’s
probably not a great play, but I suspect Green will be held out
until he’s healthy. LaFell had 7-91-0 in Week 15 and has 39 targets
in the last five games.
Robinson, ATL – If Julio Jones is active in Week 16,
you can probably disregard this recommendation, but Robinson had
a nice game Sunday filling in for the injured superstar, hauling
in 4-111-0 on five targets.
Anderson, NYJ –UPDATE: He’s a risky play
against a tough team like the Pats, but he’s seen 29 targets
over his last three games and had 4-80-1 last week against Miami.
He and Petty have decent rapport, so you’ll have to check
to see Petty’s availability before plugging him in.
Inman, SD – Inman is getting consistent work in the
Chargers passing game and tallied 5-68-0 on eight targets Sunday.
UPDATE: Inman has really stepped up with Tyrell Williams struggling,
and he’s got a decent floor to go along with his TD-laden
upside. Get him active for Week 16.
Watkins, BUF – With LeSean McCoy and Mike Gillislee
running effectively, there was not much need for Watkins (1-10-0)
to push it. He’ll be a decent WR3/flex play against the Dolphins.
Gabriel, ATL – Gabriel had another good week, hauling
in 3-60-1 on six targets. He’s now snagged six receiving TDs and
one rushing TD over his last seven games.
Ertz, PHI – Ertz did not disappoint on Sunday (6-80-0
on eight targets) though he failed to reach the end zone. The
Giants pass defense has been good, but they’re not great at stopping
Nelson, ARI – Nelson provided some more plug-n-play
value in Week 15 following the release of Michael Floyd, catching
5-38-1 on 11 targets from Carson Palmer. He’s a WR3 with