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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.
Note: This column
will be updated tomorrow at the conclusion of Week 15.
Keelan Cole's blow-up performace and no
Marqise Lee puts his name in consideration for Week 16.
Flacco, BAL – Flacco took advantage of a favorable
matchup and threw for 288-1-0, adding a rushing TD in the win
over Cleveland, and now has three straight games with over 250
passing yards. He’s got a good matchup in Week 16 as well, facing
the Colts porous secondary. His upside isn’t great, but he has
a decent floor considering the Ravens offense over the past few
games and his ability to limit mistakes.
Stanton, ARI - Stanton takes over as the Cards starting
QB in a favorable matchup with the Giants, as Blaine Gabbert has
been benched following a couple of weeks of poor play. The Giants
have given up scads of passing yardage and lots of TDs to opposing
QBs this season, so despite his inconsistencies, Stanton might
be worth a look in some formats.
UPDATE: The Broncos will wait
until later in the week to name their starting QB, and I’d
consider Osweiler and Paxton Lynch both desperation plays at this
point. Also, the Packers have placed Aaron Rodgers on IR meaning
Brett Hundley could be worth a look as a desperation play as well.
His matchup against the Vikings in Week 16 is rough.
Bortles, JAC – Bortles came through in spades for owners
who took a shot on him in week 15, completing 21 of his 29 pass
attempts for 326 yards, three TDs and no INTs against the Houston
Texans on Sunday. He’s now thrown for 907-7-0 over his last three
games and makes for a fine play in Week 16 facing the 49ers.
UPDATE: Consensus rankings have Bortles approaching the Top 12
this week, but I might even consider him a Top 10 play against
Garoppolo, SF – Garoppolo’s 381-1-0 was a solid performance
in his third NFL start, and his first without a turnover. Unfortunately,
he’s not a viable option next week against the Jags and their
stout pass defense.
Foles, PHI – Foles also exceeded expectations in Week
15, throwing for 237-4-0 and spreading his TDs around to four
different receivers – Alshon Jeffrey and Nelson Agholor and TEs
Zach Ertz and Trey Burton. The Eagles’ defense was a bit lacking,
allowing 434-3-1 to Eli Manning, but Foles remains an upside play
this week against the Raiders.
Cutler, MIA – We got bad Jay on Sunday, with Cutler
tossing 274-0-3 in the loss to Buffalo. This is why I said he
wouldn’t be my first option. He’ll be hard to trust in Week 16
Kizer, CLE – I’m glad I only recommended Kizer for
deep two-QB leagues and deeper DFS tourney darts, because he was
awful Sunday (146-0-2; 35 rushing yards, lost fumble). As to his
Week 16 prospects, it appears he will get the start despite coach
Hue Jackson sounding iffy on his rookie QB but won’t be an option
on the road against the Bears.
UPDATE: Hue Jackson announced that Kizer will remain the Browns
starting QB for Week 16, but it’s going to be tough sledding
against the Bears.
Trubisky, CHI – Trubisky wasn’t expected to perform
well on Saturday, and his stat line reflected that (314-1-3),
but as I mentioned in this column last week, he could be worth
a look facing the Browns in Week 16.
Riddick, DET – I wrote Riddick up in Week 14, so much
of that remains applicable in Week 16 if he’s somehow still available
in your league (he’s about 70-80 percent owned). That said, his
ownership level is high compared to the rest of the players listed
below, and Ameer Abdullah (80-85 percent owned) didn’t fumble
on Saturday. Riddick is no sure thing, but he has some upside.
UPDATE: Riddick is apparently dealing with a wrist injury, and
Abdullah has been squawking about his role to the press. This
is a situation worth monitoring, or even avoiding, if you’ve
got better options this week.
Barber, TB –UPDATE:
Barber (40-55 percent owned) got the start on Monday night with
Doug Martin suspended one game for violating a team rule, and
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said that the issue is behind them. Regardless,
Barber has been effective and should draw the start in Week 16
against the Panthers.
Penny, ARI – Penny finished with 45 rushing yards on
10 carries seeing the bulk of the work in the second half after
Kerwynn Williams went down with a quad injury. If Williams can’t
play in Week 16, Penny makes for a decent RB3/flex with some upside
in a good matchup against the Giants.
UPDATE: Still no word on Williams’ status for Week 16,
so stay tuned. The starter at RB for the Cards will be in for
a decent workload.
McGuire, NYJ – Another solid Elijah performance! McGuire
isn’t getting the snaps of Matt Forte or Bilal Powell, but he’s
a playmaking RB with some dynasty value and longshot relevance
for Week 16 against the Chargers. He’s a physical rookie back
who contributed 3-48-1 in the loss to New Orleans as well as 24
rushing yards on just four carries.
Jones, GB – Jones played over a third of the Packers’
snaps in Week 15 against the Panthers and outgained Jamaal Williams
(47-30) despite seeing seven fewer carries. If the Packers decide
to play Aaron Rodgers against the Vikings in Week 16, we could
be seeing even more of Jones.
White, NE – Even with Rex Burkhead sidelined for most
of Week 15’s matchup with Pittsburgh, White’s role in the Pats
offense remained sparse. But this could be the week he returns
to his early-season role and gets more involved, as the Pats like
to rotate their RBs. Dion Lewis will remain the lead back if Burkhead
is forced to miss time, but White and Gillislee should see expanded
roles in the game plan.
UPDATE: Burkhead will be back for the playoffs but remains out
in Week 16. White could be a risky but decent flex fill-in due
to his commanding upside.
Stewart – Stewart didn’t get in on any of the TD action
in Sunday’s win over Green Bay, relegating the veteran RB to fantasy
afterthought with just 27 rushing yards and 1-9-0 receiving. It’s
all about the goal line carries with J-Stew.
Smith, DAL – After the Cowboys opening drive, I was
second-guessing my decision to start the recently acquired Smith
over Alfred Morris in my 13-team PPR league, but Smith found the
end zone and finished with a few more points than Morris in that
format, rushing for 13 yards and a TD and adding 3-21-0 receiving.
Now I can plug Zeke back in!
UPDATE: Elliott looks ready to go, but Smith could remain involved
on some third downs. I’d limit my exposure to DFFs GPP large-field
Gallman, NYG – Gallman led the Giants RBs in touches
on Sunday and finished with 39 rushing yards and 6-40-0 on seven
targets, but Orleans Darkwa vultured a TD and Shane Vereen had
10 touches as well. There’s little upside to be found here, but
Gallman is a capable RB3/flex in deeper formats.
Davis, SEA – Davis had 19 rushing yards on six carries
and added 2-20-0 receiving, but this was never a contest. The
Cowboys defense presents a better opportunity for fantasy, but
this entire team is going to have to confront their cumulative
issues and stop pointing fingers for their offense to break out.
I’m having a difficult time deciding if I should start Russell
Wilson (@DAL) or Philip Rivers (@NYJ) in Week 16, when that should
be a little more obvious.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Cole & Jaydon
Mickens, JAC – It’s teammates week in the Week 16 wire,
and we’ll start off by highlighting the excellent work of Cole
and Mickens, who combined for 14-246-3 in the win over the Texans.
Cole (7-186-1 on nine targets) clearly gets the bigger bump in
value from the ankle injury to Marqise Lee, but both should be
involved in the Week 16 game plan and are nearly universally owned.
Shepard & Tavarres
King, NYG – Shepard (11-139-1 on Sunday) is owned in
about 70-90 percent of fantasy leagues already, but King (2-70-2)
is almost universally available (0.5 percent owned). Week 16 is
shaping up to be a shootout in the desert, with Shepard as a WR2
and King a worthy WR4/flex play.
UPDATE: King is now in the concussion protocol, so perhaps Roger
Lewis makes more sense as a target if Shepard is unavailable.
Bryant & Eli
Rogers, PIT – The partially torn calf of Antonio Brown
will keep the stud WR out of fantasy Super Bowl lineups in Week
16, much to the chagrin of owners like me who’ve ridden his most
recent points surge into the finals. Both Bryant (50-70 percent
owned) and Rogers (0-2 percent owned) stand to benefit, along
with JuJu Smith-Schuster (who’s 90-95 percent owned and mostly
unavailable at this point following his mid-season breakout).
The Steelers will be angry and ready to run up the score on the
UPDATE: Antonio Brown has been confirmed as out for Week 16.
Clay, BUF – Clay had a nice game in a good matchup
with Miami (5-68-0 on nine targets) but failed to find the end
zone and remains a TD-dependent fantasy option for Week 16 against
the Pats. If the Bills are going to win, they’ll need to rely
on Clay to move the ball along with the running of stud RB LeSean
McCoy. Clay is about 40-60 percent owned.
Cobb, GB – Cobb (50-70 percent owned) got a boost from
the return of Rodgers but is still worth a look even if they decide
to play it safe with the collarbone injury in Week 16 and start
Brett Hundley. Either way, the no-show in Week 13 is almost forgotten,
as the veteran WR has seen 22 targets over the past two weeks,
with 14 coming in the 7-84-1 performance against the Panthers.
Golladay, DET –UPDATE:
With T.J. Jones hitting injured reserve, Golladay could earn more
red zone targets in the final two weeks. He’s a high-upside,
Coleman, CLE – Coleman had just 1-16-0 on three targets
in Week 15, as Kizer was really bad. A QB change could radically
help his (and Josh Gordon’s) cause at this point.
UPDATE: Kizer seems more interested in playing with his new toy
than throwing at Coleman, but there’s some deep-league upside
if Coleman gets the poor coverage of Kyle Fuller.
Burton, PHI – Burton survived the return of Zach Ertz
and hauled in 2-15-1, with the TD helping his cause tremendously.
He’s not a great option as long as Ertz is healthy.
Ebron, DET – Ebron came through on Saturday with 5-33-1,
and he’s on the radar as a low-upside TE1 in 12-team leagues for
Week 16 @CIN.
Davis, WAS – Oh, look! Davis burned his owners again
in a favorable spot (2-18-0 lost fumble). Never again, Vernon.
James, PIT – In Week 15, James hauled in 2-7-0, and
the TD that never was. Sad emoji face.
Westbrook, JAC – Westbrook disappointed season-long
fantasy owners and DFS players alike with his 2-21-0 stat line
in Week 15, especially considering the injury to Lee and the fact
that Bortles threw three TDs.
Williams, LAC – The Chargers passing game just never
got going against the Chiefs, and Williams finished with 3-31-0
on seven targets from Rivers. He’s a risk-reward WR4 in Week 16
against the Jets, who are actually playing with some life right
Wright, CHI – Wright hauled in 7-81-0 on 13 targets
Saturday and the Bears get a favorable matchup with the Browns
in Week 16, so he continues to be high on my list of WRs to target,
despite his low ownership (10-15 percent).