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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.
Aaron Jones suffered a sprained MCL early
in Wk 15 leaving the bulk of RB work to Jamaal Williams.
Mariota, TEN – It’s slim picking for quarterbacks on
the waiver wire in most leagues at this point, and Mariota has
had two bad games in a row – most of that due to Derrick Henry
taking over the offense and leading the way in two recent victories.
I expect Washington to stack the box against Henry with their
stout defensive lineman and linebackers and force Mariota to throw
the ball a bit more in Week 16. He’s far from a great play, but
he’s a risk that could pay off in DFS and in deeper formats.
Darnold, NYJ – Darnold is coming off one of his better
games this rookie season, throwing for 253-2-0 against the Texans
in Week 15. The Packers season is all but over and they don’t
seem to be playing with much intensity at this point, so I could
see them struggling against the Jets in New Jersey in Week 16.
Darnold is a decent QB2 option this week.
Allen, BUF – Since Week 12, Allen has been one of the
more consistent fantasy QBs out there. He’s coming off a Week
15 performance in which he threw for 204-1-0 and added 16 rushing
yards and a TD on the ground. He gets the Patriots in Week 16
and Bill Belichick’s defense could make an interesting foil –
or a challenging obstacle for the rookie to overcome.
Foles, PHI – Like Mariota and Allen, Foles (5-15 percent
owned) is a risk as well, but the threw for 270-0-1 on Sunday
night and gets the Texans in Week 16. It’s not a great matchup
but Foles has worked his magic before.
UPDATE: Foles is starting Week
16, even though Carson Wentz is not being placed on IR.
Prescott, DAL – I’ve talked a little in previous articles
about expecting the occasional dud from Prescott, but I didn’t
see them getting shut out by the Colts. His 206-0-1 passing line
and glaring lack of any rushing yardage (or attempts!) in Week
15 are an extreme example of his poor play. Expect a bounce-back
against the Bucs in Week 16, but don’t get too excited.
Carr, OAK – Car’s 263-1-0 (lost fumble) is a bit disappointing
considering the favorable matchup with the Bengals. Carr gets
a tougher task against Denver in Week 16 and shouldn’t be rostered
in single QB leagues.
Jackson, BAL – Jackson’s been steady since taking over
the starting duties and turned in another decent game with 131-1-0
and 95 rushing yards (lost fumble) in Week 15. I’d caution against
starting him versus the Chargers in Week 16, but I wouldn’t be
surprised if he had a passable, Top 15 performance.
Keenum, DEN – Keenum threw for 257-0-2 but added a
rushing TD to somewhat salvage his day and earn the Broncos a
win. The Raiders should be easy pickings in Week 16, but Keenum
just hasn’t been taking advantage of favorable matchups this season.
Williams, GB – Williams (20-30 percent owned) rushed
12 times for 55 yards and a TD in Week 15 against the Packers,
notching 4-42-0 receiving on five targets. The second-year back
out of BYU took over once Aaron Jones left with a knee injury
and he should be the go-to tailback in Week 16 with Jones likely
UPDATE: Kapri Bibbs was added to the Packers roster while Jones
was placed in Injured Reserve. Williams can safely be fired up
as an RB2 this week.
Blue, HOU – While Lamar Miller’s ankle injury isn’t
considered serious, Blue could get more work in Week 16 and has
had his moments this season when given the opportunity. He has
limited upside but could make an impact in PPR leagues, noting
he had a 8-73-0 receiving game back in Week 5 against Dallas.
Blue has rushed for 472 yards and two TDs on 143 carries this
season as Miller’s backup.
Sproles, PHI – Smallwood (25-35 percent owned) rushed
for 48 yards and two scores Sunday night, adding 2-9-0 in the
win over the Rams. Sproles rushed for 30 yards on three carries
and hauled in 3-16-0 on Sunday night. He’s a viable flex play
in PPR leagues and could have sneaky DFS value in Week 16 facing
the Texans if he can get loose for a score. Adams remains the
lead back in this committee, but these two both fill substantial
Ford, BUF – Marcus Murphy is heading to IR with
a dislocated elbow, and both LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory are
questionable. Ford rung up 53 yards on 15 carries in Week 15,
so he’d get the call if McCoy and Ivory are unavailable.
Dixon, BAL – Dixon (20-35 percent owned) rushed for
48 yards on 11 carries, but it was Gus Edwards and Jackson who
led the Ravens rushing offense. Dixon should remain the secondary/third-down
back and earn 10-15 touches in Week 16, but he’s not a bell cow
in this run-heavy offense that seems comfortable with Edwards
carrying a larger share of the workload.
McGuire, NYJ – McGuire (20-40 percent owned) had a
solid outing on Saturday, rushing for 42 yards and a TD and adding
3-29-0 receiving. His fantasy prospects for Week 16 remain promising
with Isaiah Crowell heading to IR with his toe injury.
Williams, KC – Williams (now about 60 percent owned
in competitive leagues) had a monster outing on Thursday night,
rushing for 49 yards and two TDs and adding 6-74-0 receiving in
the last second loss to the Chargers. Williams was the starter
with Spencer Ware (shoulder, hamstring) unavailable and would
get the start again in Week 16 at Seattle if Ware is unable to
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Williams, LAC – Williams (50-75 percent owned) was
a revelation on Thursday night, doing everything he could for
the Chargers to sneak out a victory over the Chiefs. He caught
7-of-9 targets for 76 yards and two TDs in the stunning win, adding
a 19-yard touchdown rush and scoring the game-winning two points
on a conversion in the closing seconds.
Foster, BUF – Foster finished the Bills Week 15 victory
over Detroit with 4-108-1 on five targets and seems to have developed
a good rapport with Josh Allen. The rookie WR is about 5-10 percent
owned in fantasy leagues and could continue to be an impact player
over the last couple of weeks.
Anderson, NYJ – Anderson is finally having the kind
of fantasy performances that his owners imagined when they drafted
him before the 2018 season got underway, hauling in 7-96-1 on
11 targets in Week 15. He’s now got TD receptions in consecutive
weeks and is still just 25-40 percent owned.
Ross, CIN – Ross is a huge risk for the remaining couple
of weeks, but he’s vaulted in the No.1 receiving role for the
Bengals with Tyler Boyd (MCL sprain) likely missing the last two
games. There’s some limited upside facing the Browns, though –
and the Bengals have nothing to lose except a couple more games.
Westbrook, JAC – Westbrook (50-70 percent owned) salvaged
what would have been a disappointing day with a punt return TD
and 20 yards on a single carry but caught just 3-21-0 on five
targets in Week 15. He should be a viable WR3/flex play in Week
16 against the Dolphins.
Thomas, CAR –UPDATE: Thomas started off fast with
a couple of catches but that was it – two catches for 14
yards on four targets from Cam Newton. It was a strange Monday
night game with the defenses dominating much of the action, but
Thomas should be right back on the streaming radar in a favorable
matchup with the Falcons in Week 16.
Stills, MIA – Stills busted out with just one catch
for 17 yards Sunday against the Vikings. Ryan Tannehill just didn’t
have the time to get the ball downfield to Stills – a deep- threat
type of receiver who could face similar issues against the Jags
and their staunch pass rush in Week 16.
Conley, KC – Conley didn’t get a lot of attention on
Thursday night and caught just 2-19-0 on three targets. He’s
a similar risk in Week 16.