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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 16
12/18/17; Updated: 12/19/17 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
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.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.

Note: This column will be updated tomorrow at the conclusion of Week 15.

Keelan Cole

Keelan Cole's blow-up performace and no Marqise Lee puts his name in consideration for Week 16.


Joe 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.

Drew 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.

Other QBs to consider: Brock Osweiler (DEN), Tyrod Taylor (BUF) Brett Hundley (GB)

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.


Blake 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 the 49ers.

Jimmy 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.

Nick 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.

Jay 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 @KC.

DeShone 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.

Mitchell 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.

Running Backs

Theo 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.

Peyton 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.

Elijhaa 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.

Elijah 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.

Aaron 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.

James 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.

Other RBs to consider: Mike Gillislee (NE), J.D. McKissic (SEA), Tion Green (DET), Javorius Allen (BAL), Devontae Booker (DEN), Tarik Cohen (CHI)


Jonathan 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.

Rod 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 tourneys.

Wayne 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.

Mike 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

Keelan 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.

Sterling 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.

Martavis 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 hapless Texans.

UPDATE: Antonio Brown has been confirmed as out for Week 16.

TE Charles 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.

Randall 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.

Kenny 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, super-risky play.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Eric Decker (TEN), Damiere Byrd (CAR), Cody Latimer (DEN), Josh Bellamy (CHI), Roger Lewis (NYG), Seth Roberts (OAK), Brandon LaFell (CIN), TE Richard Rodgers (GB)


Corey 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.

TE Trey 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.

TE Eric 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.

TE Vernon Davis, WAS – Oh, look! Davis burned his owners again in a favorable spot (2-18-0 lost fumble). Never again, Vernon.

TE Jesse James, PIT – In Week 15, James hauled in 2-7-0, and the TD that never was. Sad emoji face.

Dede 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.

Tyrell 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 now.

Kendall 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).