Now we’re getting serious. If you’re reading this, you’re either hurting badly for reading material or you’re in your leagues semifinal–on the precipice of the big game. And, while your team is probably a strong one, it’s always good to do your due diligence. As I always say at this stage, it’s not just about your roster. Look at your opponent’s roster and your potential Week 16 opponent’s rosters. If you have no needs, consider adding the player or players who you’d least like to face or who might help your opposition the most. Don’t be a fat cat. Be proactive.
As always, this is a living article with updates throughout the day. It will be finalized around 5pm.
Unless specified, all players in this article are owned at a less than 50 percent rate on Yahoo.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans
As I said last week, Tannehill is playing very well, so he’s a solid way to add some quarterback insurance in any league. And, he upped the ante in Week 14 with a very strong game, featuring 391 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Titans host the Texans this week and the Saints in Week 16.
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears
He’s got his mojo back and he’s using his feet again. The schedule is not friendly as I told you all last week, but the foot-points seem to be part of the plan again, and that gives him enough floor for consideration.
Eli Manning, Giants
Yes, that Eli Manning. He may not be sexy. He may not be an NFL player after this season. Still, he gets a sweet home matchup with the Dolphins this week and he’s got enough healthy weapons to do some damage. Saquon Barkley looked healthier in Week 14 and Manning quickly established some rapport with Darius “big play” Slayton. He’s got plenty of ceiling in this matchup, which could become offensively unhinged–in a good way. Obviously, if Daniel Jones is somehow playing, you get some risk but more upside because he adds foot points. I’d be fine with whoever is starting for the Giants, and that’s very likely to be Manning if Jones has the high-ankle that the team says he had.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts
He’s playable this week because, as John Daigle pointed out over at Rotoworld, he’s got the Saints in Big Easy, and that means he’ll almost certainly have to throw. You can’t run on the Saints much and they are likely to drop points on the Colts. The Colts host the Panthers next week.
Drew Lock, Broncos
His remaining games are at Kansas City and versus the Lions respectively. Those are both playable matchups so if you need an option in deep formats, Lock is out there–almost universally. He’s posting solid raw numbers and he’s got some good young weapons.
Raheem Mostert, 49ers
Here’s what I said last week. “And we have yet another highly-qualified target. As with Mattison and Snell, Mostert’s appeal is tied to the health of another back. In this case, it’s Matt Breida who has a solid shot at returning this week. That being said, Mostert has outplayed nominal starter Tevin Coleman to the point where he may have earned a role. Only time will tell as it’s hard to read Kyle Shanahan’s mind. Mostert is worth adding in all 12-team leagues.” In Week 14, Breida did return and he ran well, but the guy who seemed to fall off of the radar was Coleman, which makes sense. Right now, Mostert could be the most valuable piece in the 49ers’ dominant ground game, along with Breida. Mostert should be picked up in all leagues.
DeAndre Washington, Raiders
Washington played 63 percent of the offensive snaps with Josh Jacobs (shoulder) out. While Jacobs could return this week, there’s probably a better chance that he gets shut down for the rest of the season. In that scenario, both Washington and Jalen Richard become players with value. Richard was involved plenty himself, with 9 Week 14 touches, and he has a passing game role even with Jacobs healthy. He’s the 1B to Washington’s 1A, so consider adding him, especially in large PPR formats.
Adrian Peterson, Washington
With Derrius Guice’s new knee injury, Adrian Peterson will be running unopposed on early downs, and that most certainly gives him RB2 appeal over the last two weeks. His matchup with the Eagles this week is on the rough side, but his matchup with the Giants in Week 16 is worth acting on in advance. Both games are home games for Washington.
Patrick Laird, Dolphins
Laird is playing heavy snaps for Miami. That’s about the best thing you can say about him. He’s viable and worth more in full PPR leagues because catching the ball is his specialty. He does play the hapless Giants this week, so that’s a plus and next week’s tilt with Cincinnati is obviously nothing to fear.
Boston Scott, Eagles
Here’s a very, very interesting player. He’s clearly running better than anybody else in the Eagles backfield. He reminds me of a smaller and slightly slower version of Maurice Jones-Drew. His size can make him tough for defenders to locate and his low center of gravity makes him very sudden when he changes direction. He’s been less than perfect when it comes to ball security, but he’s also been one of the few players who has breathed any kind of life into the Eagles’ listless offense. I’m adding him where I can in leagues with some bench space. If Jordan Howard returns, that could change the calculus here, but Howard’s been missing a lot of important games. There’s no real reason to think he rertuns this week. It’s possible.
Chris Thompson, Washington
He played 40 percent of the offensive reps and that’s two weeks in a row where he’s been back in his old role. It added up to 8 targets and 7 receptions. Thompson can help some folks in tough PPR situations.
Spencer Ware and Darwin Thompson, Chiefs
My guess is that Damien Williams is returning soon, but this week is certainly up in the air. Thompson loooed ok out there and Ware knows the offense. LeSean McCoy will mix in as well, so we’re talking flex value here. The real hope is that Williams gets back in there and we actually get a playable asset. This is a situation to monitor all week.
Ty Montgomery, Jets
Bilal Powell left Week 15 with a foot injury and could miss this week with the Thursday Night start. I’m assuming the Le’Veon Bell is back, but if not, Montgomery could conceivably own the backfield. He’s worth a flier just in case, assuming you have bench space to play with. This is a relatively thin proposition, so be careful chasing it unless you have deep benches or are in a really deep format.
Dion Lewis, Titans
Derrick Henry will probably be fine, but if you lack depth in the event of Henry sitting out, Lewis should cover a portion of your posterior. He’s obviously not going to replace what Henry currently is.
Darius Slayton, Giants
As I’ve been saying for a while now, he’s a great add for the playoffs because he’s a serious big play guy, and he’s still got great remaining playoff matchups.
- vs. Dolphins
- at Washington
It really doesn’t get much better for an outside receiver and Slayton is already producing at a strong level. He can be your WR3 every week, and you also get upside commensurate with a WR1.
Zach Pascal, Colts
With T.Y. Hilton still hurting, Pascal is in line for lead receiver treatment in Week 15 or at least something close to that. He’s played 100 percent of the team’s offensive snaps over the last two weeks, so you know what you’re getting. He plays the Saints on the road this week and he’s home versus Carolina next week. He’s a more secure Week 15 asset than Slayton, though I like Slayton’s 2-week ceiling more.
AJ Brown, Titans
Last week I said that “he’d be worth even more if they passed the ball more.” Well, they did, though not a ton. Here’s the thing. Ryan Tannehill is on fire and Brown is emerging as a go-to weapon. It’s a connection worth getting involved in over the next two weeks. The Titans will be hosting the Texans and Saints respectively. You can make a good argument for Brown as the top pickup as he’s seemingly become his team’s top target. If Hilton returns in Indy, Pascal takes a hit. That’s more likely to happen this week than next. Choose the option that best suits your needs.
Anthony Miller, Bears
Here’s what I said last week on Miller. “The question is not, why did the Bears target Anthony Miller heavily (33 targets) over the last three games? The question is, what were they waiting for? Miller did suffer an ankle injury in August that clearly lingered into the season. Still, his lack of involvement had been bordering on inexplicable for some time until they finally got him involved back in Week 11 versus the Rams. Since then, Miller has gotten better and better. On Thanksgiving, he posted 140 receiving yards. In full PPR leagues, he can start for you if need be. They’d be nuts to go away from him right now while he’s winning such a high percentage of his routes.” Well, Miller’s targets dipped in Week 14, but he still played well and came up with the big play–scoring his first touchdown of 2019. His matchup with the Chiefs this week is a decent one and he gets the Vikings next week, which is not a scary thing for a slot receiver.
Cole Beasley, Bills
He played 97 percent of the snaps in Week 14 and he produced in a very tough matchup versus the Ravens. This gives me some confidence that Beasley can succeed on the road this week in Pittsburgh. The diminutive “slot machine” has found the end zone in three straight games. He’s Josh Allen’s favorite weapon along with John Brown.
Justin Watson & Breshad Perriman, Bucs
Both will have roles and both have plenty of talent. Watson is sort of the evil we don’t know yet and for that, he has more unexplored ceiling, Perriman has flashed opten, but has put streaks together rarely. Both look like decent flex options in deep formats the rest of the way and if one emerges, he could becoe a WR3 option in Week 16. Tampa’s schedule is very playable.
Greg Ward, Eagles
Ward is the only healthy Eagles receiver at the moment. Hence, he’s likely to have some value this week. If you are in a deep format, this is a situation to monitor if not one to act on immediately. Alshon Jeffery went down last week and is getting an MRI on his foot. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside looked to have pulled a hamstring late in Monday’s game as well. His Week 15 status is as murky as Jeffery’s. With Nelson Agholor being undependable even when healthy (he should return in Week 15), Ward could loom large in Week 15.
Isaiah Ford & Allen Hurns, Dolphins
As I said on Twitter, Ford was a name to keep an eye on, and if DeVante Parker misses time, he’ll be a factor in his stead.
Isaiah Ford could be a guy to look at next week if Parker is stuck in concussion protocol.
— Pete Davidson (@Rotobahn) December 8, 2019
Parker’s injury did not look bad, but this is still good information. Ford’s a good cheap form of protection for Parker teams in deep formats. Hurns will be a factor either way and is a flex option in deeper leagues.
Keke Coutee, Texans
The is a sea change thing. He’s back in the coach’s good graces and played major snaps with Will Fuller out. He’s not a bad guy to go after if you rely on Fuller in a deep PPR format or are hoping to find a play this week in a deep format. Fuller could go either way this week.
Bill O’Brien on Will Fuller said him not playing due to hamstring was in his best interest. Was noncommittal on his status for this week.
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) December 9, 2019
Tyler Higbee, Rams
Last week I told you that “Higbee’s continued target explosion depends on the status of Gerald Everett, who hyperextended his knee in Week 12.” After Higbee’s second straight monster game, that may no longer be the case. The Rams need wins badly and Higbee is locked in at the moment. He’s been over 100 yards in each of the past two weeks and is the hottest tight end in the sport. Feel free to ride the Higbee wave when he visits Dallas this week.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
He had a down Week 14 but his role was still good and he gets the Giants this week which is obviously a very good matchup.
O.J. Howard, Bucs
I know, I know. The thing is, Howard has been decent the last two weeks with 11 targets and 134 yards receiving. Now let’s factor in the target vacuum left behind by Mike Evans, who is probably done for 2019. Tampa likes to throw, and Howard should be more involved going forward.
Jacob Hollister, Seahawks
He’s a guy you can start when needed, but the real reason I want you to roster him is his Week 16 matchup with the super duper tight end-friendly Arizona Cardinals. This matchup has been so good all year that we should be targeting it at this point.
David Njoku, Browns
As I’ve said the past few weeks, Njoku gets the Cardinals this week. You may have a better option on your roster, but if your opponent is struggling at tight end, you might want to roster this guy just to keep him from dropping two scores on you this week.
Ian Thomas, Panthers
Thomas came though for us last week and he could easily be a great play in Week 15 depending on the status of Greg Olsen, who was concussed in Week 13. Being that Olsen is nearing retirement and being that his concussion was caused by a pretty nasty hit, I could see the Panthers being cautious here. They no longer have any playoff hopes and they are looking at big organizational changes this offseason. Pushing Olsen to play rather than getting a better look at the emerging Thomas sounds unlikely. If your starter is Olsen, I’d add Thomas for security.
Noah Fant, Broncos
He broke out a little more in Week 14 but he also suffered a foot sprain. Fant is a strong deep option if he plays this week but there’s a chance that the Broncos could err on the side of caution here. Keep an eye on his status.
Hayden Hurst, Ravens
Keep an eye on this one as well, because it could be huge for some folks in deeper formats or tight end premium formats. Mark Andrews sprained his foot last week, but it sounds minor. If Andrews is forced to sit this week, Hurst is a TE1 caliber option. He could be a great midweek addition.