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
for that elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp.
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 that
might be available in 12-team PPR leagues. I’ll also provide
a brief update on the players I covered the previous week.
NYG at Minnesota – Obviously, you’d prefer to grab QBs like Trevor
Lawrence and Deshaun Watson, both available in only around 25%
of leagues by now. But if you need someone with some running upside
in a good matchup, Jones could be your guy. He completed 21-of-32
pass attempts for 160-0-0 and added 35 rushing yards on 10 carries
in the 20-12 win over Washington. Not great, but the Vikings represent
a plus matchup in Week 16.
Sam Darnold, CAR vs. Detroit – Darnold completed just 14
of his 23 passes for 225-1-0 in Sunday’s 24-16 loss to the
Steelers, but the matchup this week is much better and his secondary
WRs are starting to produce.
SF – Purdy had another solid game with 217-2-0 in the 49ers’ 21-13
win over the Seahawks on Thursday night. He’s a better option
vs. WAS than the next couple of guys, probably on par with Jones
UPDATE: Purdy was limited
(oblique/ribs) in Tuesday’s practice but played through
the issue last week, so we’ll likely see him before they
have to go to current backup Josh Johnson.
LAR – UPDATE: Mayfield was
predictably erratic and finished MNF with 111-1-1 in the 24-12
loss to the Packers. He gets Denver this week at home in LA.
WAS – Heinicke completed only 17 of the 29 passes and he threw
for 249-1-0, adding three carries for 33 yards. The problem was
the two lost fumbles. I wouldn’t be playing him against the 49ers
in Week 16.
Zack Moss and
IND vs. Los Angeles Chargers – Both backs will be firmly on the
fantasy radar, even though workload is a bit murky. Jackson had
a 10-reception game back in Week 6 against the Jaguars when Jonathan
Taylor (out for the rest of the season with a high ankle sprain),
was previously sidelined, has a higher ceiling, but Moss could
see more goal line work and that’s good to have for the final
three matchups. Both backs are available in most leagues.
BUF at Chicago – Against the Dolphins, Cook rushed only five times
but totaled 34 rushing yards and added 2-5-1 to have a nice little
day – something that could increase as he spells Devin Singletary
and gets more in-game experience. The touches have room to increase
and I’m glad he got a score last week for his confidence.
Marlon Mack, DEN at Los Angeles Rams – Mack rushed five
times for 37 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 24-15 win over
Arizona. He added four receptions on four targets for 26 yards.
The veteran back continued offering some big plays when he got
touches – a hallmark of his days in Indy when he wasn’t
injured. He’s got a smaller role than Murray, but I could
see this being split more evenly in the coming weeks.
Jerick McKinnon, KC – With 30+ fantasy points in consecutive
games, McKinnon being on last week’s list seemed obvious
to me, but not every expert was convinced he could keep doing
big things. Not only did he rush the ball 10 times for 52 yards
and a TD, but he hauled in all eight targets for 70 yards and
another score on Sunday. He’s now over 60% owned but there
may be a window in more shallow (8-10 team) formats.
J.K. Dobbins, BAL – Dobbins ran 13 times for 125 yards
in the loss to the Browns. He added one catch for three yards
and remains a solid pickup if he’s somehow still available.
He’s now rushed for 245 yards on 28 carries in the two games
since returning from injury.
Chuba Hubbard, CAR – Hubbard didn’t run as much –
he had four carries for 10 yards – but he did haul in all
three of his targets for 57 yards the 24-16 loss to the Steelers.
He remains a deep RB3/flex.
New England RBs – This didn’t end up working out
for waiver wire speculators, as the near-universally owned Rhamondre
Stevenson was good to go, rushing 19 times for 172 yards and a
TD in Week 15. Pierre Strong Jr. had just four carries for 25
yards and3-12-0 receiving, while Kevin Harris carried five times
for 19 yards on just seven total snaps.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Goodwin, SEA at Kansas City – While Tyler Lockett recovers
from a bad finger/hand injury, Goodwin will be the No.2 behind
DK Metcalf. He had just 2-10-0 on five targets vs. SF, but the
Seahawks should be throwing a lot more against KC in Week 16 and
we’ve already seen some big games.
Jahan Dotson, WAS at San Francisco – Dotson is an emerging
star. He caught four of six targets for 105 yards and a touchdown
in SNF. He is coming off an impressive 5-54-1 game and is starting
to excel since coming off IR in Week 10. Combine that with a nose
for paydirt (six TDs in nine games this season), and you’ve
got a great pickup even for this tougher matchup with SF.
Okonkwo, TEN vs. Houston – Okonkwo (15% rostered on ESPN)
looks like a full-fledged receiver now, and he’ll probably catch
3-6 balls a game until the Titans find a viable replacement for
injured rookie WR Treylon Burks. The sensational young star-in-the-making
hauled in four of his five targets for 54 yards in Sunday’s 17-14
loss to the Chargers and has now caught at least three balls in
four-straight after managing only eight total catches over his
first 10 NFL contests. The Titans face the Texans in Week 16,
and he could clean up again.
K.J. Osborn, MIN vs. New York Giants – Osborn finished
with 10-157-1 on 16 targets in largest comeback in league history
(33 points) and he even drew a huge pass interference flag in
the end zone to set up the fourth of Minnesota’s historic
five (unanswered?) second-half TDs. He may not top his career-best
performance when he faces the Giants in Week 16, but he’ll
probably contribute WR3 numbers or better.
TE Juwan Johnson, NO at Cleveland – Johnson has a tougher
matchup this week in the Browns, but last week saw him go for
4-67-2 on six targets vs. Atlanta. The big TE now leads the team
with seven receiving TDs this season, all of which have come across
his last seven contests.
DAL vs. Philadelphia – Brown was in our considerations last week
and caught 6-49-2 on nine targets in the loss to Jacksonville.
He actually led the Cowboys in targets, but CeeDee Lamb racked
up more catches. He now has 134 yards and two scores over his
past two games. He’s a deep-league add with some upside but a
HOU – Moore (still less than 20% owned) caught four of nine targets
for 42 yards in the OT loss to the Chiefs on Sunday – pretty much
all at the beginning of the game. He’s losing his value as the
Texans will eventually get one or both of Nico Collins and Brandin
Cooks back in the fray. Keep an eye out for their injury status
with a divisional matchup against the Titans in Week 16.
TE Evan Engram, JAC – Engram had another big game with
eight receptions on 10 targets for 62 yards. Engram has been a
viable TE1 for a few weeks now and seems poised to keep it up
if he can stay healthy.
Peoples-Jones, CLE – Wow. DPJ just keeps putting up numbers.
He’s not as reliable as Amari Cooper has been over the past couple
of years, but he’s getting more experienced every week with his
new QB and is still just about 50% owned in ESPN leagues. Peoples-Jones
had 4-31-1 in the win over the Ravens and while the receptions
and yardage are his floor, the TD saved the contest.
Isaiah Hodgins, NYG – Hodgins had 4-37-0 in the win over
the Commanders. The Oregon State alum seems a bigger part of the
Giants’ offense, so I like the matchup against Minnesota