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.
IND – There’s not a lot to love among the free agent QBs this
week – at least the ones available in over 50 percent of leagues
– but I’ve got my eye on the Colts’ Week 16 matchup with the Panthers.
We’ll update after the MNF game, but for now, he’s looking like
a possible QB2.
UPDATE: Brissett completed just
18-of-34 passes for 165-0-0 in the blowout loss to the Saints
Monday night, and the Colts offense looked anemic. I’m having
reservations about starting him even in two-QB leagues in Week
Gardner Minshew, JAC – Okay, he has my attention again.
Minshew threw for 201-2-0 on Sunday in the win over Oakland, and
he’s firmly regained the starting job. His receivers are
healthy, and he could pass muster as a QB2 in Atlanta in Week
DET – He had it rough on Sunday but gets a big part of the offense
back this week in Kerryon Johnson (more on him later) and seems
to have found a nice security blanket in Danny Amendola (we’ll
get to him too). I think he’ll improve dramatically from the numbers
against TB in a Week 16 trip to Denver.
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF – Garoppolo had a bad day, completing
22-of-34 passes for 200-1-0 in the 49ers’ Week 15 loss to
the Falcons – a loss that dropped them down to the fifth
seed in the NFC. He’s a risky play against the Rams in Week
Ryan Tannehill, TEN – Tannehill has thrived since taking
over as the Titans starter in Week 7. On Sunday he completed 21-of-27
passes for 391-3-1 in the win over the Raiders, and he’s
on the low-end QB1 radar facing the Saints in Week 16.
Jared Goff, LAR – Goff completed 33-of-51 passes for 284
yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in Los Angeles' Week
15 loss to the Cowboys.
DET – Johnson returns from IR and could have an immediate impact
in fantasy. He’s practiced over the past two weeks, avoiding any
setbacks in his recovery and could be activated right away. He’s
obviously not a lock to play this week or next, but he’s worth
a look if you’re trying to hit a home run, because he could have
a leading role for the Lions with “Boring” Bo Scarbrough dealing
with a rib injury.
HOU – Hyde totaled 104 rushing yards and a TD on 26 carries this
week, and while the formula may be a little different in the Week
16 game plan against a much tougher Bucs run defense, that type
of volume shows the Texans are committed to running the ball more.
UPDATE: Hyde (ankle) was just
a limited participant in practice Tuesday, but it’s likely
maintenance. Stay tuned.
Boston Scott, PHI – He’s probably only a viable option
in PPR leagues, but he’s the type of scatback who could
be used a lot against the Cowboys in Week 16. He had 7-39-0 receiving
to go along with six carries for 26 yards facing Washington on
Tarik Cohen, CHI – Cohen rushed eight times for 28 yards
and caught 7-of-10 targets for 57 yards in the Bears’ Week
15 loss to the Packers – a performance that was solid for
a PPR flex. He offers a similar floor and plenty of upside next
week against the Chiefs.
Washington, OAK – Josh Jacobs was active for the Raiders,
so Washington played just 11 offensive snaps in the Week 15 loss
to Jacksonville, totaling 16 yards on six carries while also chipping
in with 2-6-0 receiving on three targets.
TEN – Like Washington, Lewis took a back seat as the starter (in
this case, Derrick Henry) ended up playing. The Albany, NY native
totaled just 10 yards on three carries but did haul in a TD grab
on an 11-yard reception – so he wasn’t a complete bust.
Adrian Peterson, WAS – Peterson rushed 16 times for 66
yards and a big TD in Week 15 against the Eagles, adding three
catches for 25 receiving yards. He’s on the RB2 radar for
Week 16 facing the Giants.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Terry McLaurin, WAS – McLaurin (about 65-70 percent owned
in ESPN leagues) caught all five of his targets for 130 yards
and a score in Week 15 against the Eagles. McLaurin’s 75-yard
touchdown was the longest play of the season for the Redskins,
and he offers similar big-play upside and decent volume in the
Week 16 matchup with the Giants.
Perriman, TB – Still under 10 percent ownership in ESPN leagues,
Perriman went nuts in Week 15, hauling in five of six targets
for 113 yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Lions.
He'll be on the WR1 radar pending injury news when he faces the
Texans in Week 16.
TE Tyler Higbee,
LAR – UPDATE: I have been operating under the assumption
that Higbee had been added in most formats since his big Week
13, but he remains under 40 percent owned in ESPN leagues after
three straight 100-yard performances, his last being a 12-111-0
effort on Sunday against Dallas. He’s a solid TE1 moving
forward now that the Rams are only using Cooper Kupp on about
one quarter of their snaps.
TE Jonnu Smith, TEN – Smith caught all five targets for
60 yards in the Titans’ Week 15 loss to the Texans, adding
a 57-yard rush – and he looked impressive doing so. Smith’s
speed is something the Titans would be smart to use as they match
up with the Saints in Week 16.
DET – Amendola led the team with 13 targets, his third straight
with at least eight, hauling in 8-102-0 in the loss to Tampa Bay.
He’s on the WR3/4/flex radar for Week 16.
UPDATE: The Broncos are a tough matchup but it’s looking
like top corner Chris Harris will be shadowing Kenny Golladay,
making Amendola’s exploits in the slot a favorable spot
for the veteran receiver.
Albert Wilson, MIA – Wilson (5-10 percent owned) got back
in the swing of things Sunday and caught 5-of-8 targets for 59
yards in the Dolphins’ Week 15 loss to the Giants. He’s
worth a look with the Dolphins hosting the Bengals in a favorable
week 16 matchup.
Steven Sims, WAS – Sims is the other Washington receiver
who’s spiking some interest heading into a favorable Week
16 matchup. He caught 5-45-1 in Week 15 against the Eagles on
a team-high 11 targets, and he looks like the team’s WR2
PIT – Johnson will be on the FLEX radar for a Week 16 matchup
with the Jets, and he had a decent game on Sunday night vs. the
Bills – hauling in 5-of-7 targets for 62 yards in Week 15.
UPDATE: JuJu is questionable for Week 16, so Johnson could be
looking at a boatload of targets.
TB – Watson went for just 2-17-0 on Sunday, but could be on the
WR4/flex radar for Week 16 against the Texans in a possible shootout.
UPDATE: Bucs WR Scotty Miller just hit the IR as well, so Watson
and the backs could get a few extra targets.
A.J. Brown, TEN – Brown exploded for a 8-114-1 game (13
targets in the Titans' Week 15 loss to the Texans. He’s
a lock-n-load WR2 even in a tough matchup vs. the Saints for his
Anthony Miller, CHI – Miller caught 9-118-1 on a season-high
15 targets in the Bears' 21-13, Week 15 loss to the Packers. The
Bears are passing a lot and Miller is a WR2/3 with plenty of upside
Robby Anderson, NYJ – The Jets had a rough matchup but
Anderson ended up having a decent day, getting into double digits
in full PPR. He caught 4-of-6 targets for 66 yards in the TNF
loss to the Ravens and faces another tough matchup in Week 16
against the Steelers.
MIA – Hurns got hurt during the week (knee, ankle) and caught
his lone target for 9 yards on Sunday – mainly because Wilson
and DeVante Parker were both active. I’m moving on.
TE Ian Thomas, CAR – Thomas caught two of four targets
for 23 yards during Sunday's 30-24 loss to the Seahawks. Greg
Olsen has cleared the concussion protocol, which makes Thomas
expendable in fantasy moving forward.
TE Noah Fant, DEN – Fant caught two of three targets for
56 yards during Sunday's 23-3 loss in Kansas City, but he injured
his right shoulder during the game. Keep an eye on the injury
report this week.