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The Waiver Wire 12/17 (finalized)

There’s nothing like making your league’s bowl game, so congratulations are certainly in order.  Of course, if your teams are anything like mine, they still need some maintenance due to all of the injuries.  In one of my leagues this week, I’ll be playing in a bowl–going for my fourth straight title, but I’ll have to do it without Chris Godwin and most likely without Dalvin Cook as well.  While it certainly beats the alternative, I’m going to need some help to get that squad over the line.  If you are in a similar situation, keep reading.  In fact, even if all your players are in great shape, keep reading.

As always, this is a living article that will have updates throughout the day up until around 8pm tonight.  The best move to is to check out the podcast and then read the final wire tonight.

 

Unless specified, all players in this article are owned at a less than 50 percent rate on Yahoo.

 

QUARTERBACKS

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins

Fitzmagic can be your Week 16 starter if you need him.  He’s posting solid digits and has no real ground game to limit pass volume.  He’s got a hot receiver in DeVante Parker and most importantly, he hosts the Bengals this week.  You probably have a better quarterback on-hand, but if not, you have a nice fallback option with Fitz.

Jacoby Brissett, Colts

T.Y. Hilton is back and that obviously helps a ton.  This week, Hilton (calf) should be even closer to his normal highly-explosive self (he played just over 50 percent of the Week 15 snaps), and that could open up the deep game for Brissett a little bit.  Also helping matters is the plus matchup at home versus the Panthers, who have been charitable to quarterbacks in recent weeks.

Mitch Trubisky, Bears

It’s all about your situation.  Trubisky allows you to dream big and to possibly compete with bigger names like Jackson and Watson, because he can drop 50 yards and a touchdown with his feet on a good day.  He can also go over 200 yards passing and even tease 300 on a good week.  With weapons like A-Rob and a surging Anthony Miller, he has the playmakers.  Dump-offs to Tarik Cohen can turn into cheap long scores.  And then there’s the bad part.  He implodes at times and its oftentimes been in nationally televised games.  Still, if you are a dog and you want a spark, he’s a name to consider.  The Bears host the Chiefs this week, so all offensive options will be on the table.

Andy Dalton, Bengals

He’s playing for a job somewhere and this matchup at Miami is outstanding.  John Ross’ return gives him a vertical weapon and some much needed overall explosiveness.  You certainly don’t WANT to play Dalton, but there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get away with it if you do.  He even has some big game potential in this game environment.  The problem, obviously, is that sometimes you just get one of those Dalton days.

Eli Manning & Daniel Jones, Giants

It will probably be Eli this week and either guy would be a viable option in deeper leagues in a sweet matchup at Washington. The problem, obviously, is that sometimes you just get one of those Eli days.

Gardner Minshew, Jaguars

If he gets DJ Chark back, I like more, so maybe consider him as a midweek add if Chark starts trending well.  The Jags visit the Falcons this week.  Not a bad matchup.

Will Grier, Panthers

If you play in a super deep format or a 2QB format, Grier could be a significant option.  He appears likely to land the Week 16 start over the struggling Kyle Allen, and the matchup at Indianapolis is a solid one.  Grier led an offensive air show in his time at West Virginia.  He has some passing upside and he’ll be working with strong weapons like Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore.  Just be careful, because he’s not a great option in traditional single QB formats.

 

RUNNING BACKS

 

Adrian Peterson, Washington

With Derrius Guice’s latest knee injury, Adrian Peterson will be running unopposed on early downs, and that most certainly gives him RB2 appeal in a home matchup versus the Giants this week.  Heck, he probably has RB1 upside here.  Old man AP could be a league winner for all we know.  He posted 91 total yards and a score in Week 15, and that was against a tougher Philadelphia front.  Peterson is available in just under 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, so he’s over the threshold I usually use for this space, but if he is available, I’d prioritize him over Mike Boone.

Mike Boone, Vikings

Dalvin Cook left Sunday’s game against the Chargers with yet another shoulder injury, and with Alexander Mattison (ankle) also hurting, Boone could be a Week 16 savior.  Boone scored twice last week in Minnesota’s blowout win at the Chargers.  The Vikings host the Packers on Monday Night Football this week, so Boone is an absolute must for those who’ve been relying on Cook.  The downside is that, if either Cook or Mattison can get healthy, they would likely take the lead role back.  This makes Mattison a pick with as much potential as Boone, if he happens to be available.  Adding both is a ninja move if you can pull it off.  I will get into this on today’s podcast.

Kerryon Johnson, Lions

Johnson has a shot at returning this week and with such slim pickings at running back, he could be a lifeline for desperate teams.  He’s not a lock to play but he sounds probable and the Lions could really use their lead back with all the injures they have in other areas. 

Boston Scott, Eagles

He’s really coming on but don’t get too excited because Miles Sanders has upped his level of play too.  So, this is a flex level consideration, but if you are in need, and your league uses full PPR scoring, Boston could provide you with some peace of mind.  Sometimes that’s all we want, right?  Boston’s Eagles host Dallas this week.

DeAndre Washington, Raiders

This is a little thin, but I’d keep Washington rostered and I’d scoop him up if he gets dropped.  The Raiders have little to play for and they could easily opt to shut Josh Jacobs (shoulder) down for the last two games.  If that happens, Washington is a solid RB2 option for Week 16.

Patrick Laird, Dolphins

Laird is getting consistent work for Miami.  That’s about the best thing you can say about him.  He’s a viable flex option splitting time with Myles Gaskin.  Laird is worth more in full PPR leagues because catching the ball is his specialty.  His matchup with the Bengals this week is a strong one.  In deeper formats, Gaskin is also a consideration as a very deep flex option.  He’s actually the better back, but Miami seems to enjoy getting their backfield wrong, as they did for years with Kenyan Drake.

Chris Thompson, Washington

He is locked into the passing down role, once again, and he offers some mild PPR upside if you are in need.  Very little touchdown equity though, so his fantasy ceiling is limited and he’s borderline worthless in standard scoring.

Rex Burkhead, Patriots

I should have had him on the morning wire. He’s a Patriot for crying out loud! Burkhead’s healthy and we know he’s often used in big games. I could definitely see him scoring this week, so use him as a flex in deeper formats.

Gus Edwards, Ravens

He’s going to play and if the Ravens blow the Browns out (very possible), then they’ll go with Gus throughout the second half. Obviously you don’t WANT a thin option in a big game, but if you are in a bind, he’ll get you something and has some aside with touchdowns. Basically, you’d have a puncher’s chance.

Tony Pollard, Cowboys

Speaking of puncher’s chances, Pollard is a light flex but the Cowboys OL gives him big play upside. He’ll drop he occasional touchdown.

Dion Lewis, Titans

Derrick Henry has a hamstring issue and on the off chance he misses this week, Lewis would be a monster play.  If you have Henry rostered or have some bench space to play around with, Dion could be a lifesaving handcuff or a great upside starting option.  Most likely, he’s playing behind Henry, as usual.  This is a move mostly for those who are relying on Henry.

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

 

Darius Slayton, Giants

As I’ve been saying for a while now, he’s been a great add for the playoffs because he’s a serious big play guy.  He gets Washington this week and he’s still available in some places.  He’s rostered in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, so call him this week’s “easy button” pickup–if he happens to be on the wire.

Anthony Miller, Bears

Here’s what I said last week on Miller, which was a quote from the Week 14 wire.  “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, the production just keeps on keepin’ on, yet Miller is still available for pickup in many leagues.  This guy is locked in right now.  He can help you, especially in full PPR scoring.  He could also be involved in a shootout this week, at home, versus the Chiefs.  Go get him!

Breshad Perriman, Bucs

Breshad scored three times in Week 15 and he’ll be running as their number one receiver this week, thanks to injuries to both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.  Of course, one of my teams in the bowl this week had Evans and another had Godwin.  Sigh.  The Bucs’ home matchup with the Texans this is a good one.  If you cannot land Godwin, you could target Justin Watson from this same offense.  With Scotty Miller’s recurring hamstring injury, Watson should be in line for second receiver responsibilities.

Greg Ward, Eagles

Last week’s waiver wire had this on Ward.  “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.”  Ward was the clear number one receiver in Week 15–scoring the game winning touchdown, and I fully expect that to continue this week at home versus Dallas.  He’s a solid WR3 option if you need one.

Zach Pascal, Colts

He is still largely available and can still help you despite T.Y. Hilton’s return.  Pascal will now get to ply his craft versus number two corners and the injuries at receiver will still allow him to play major snaps.  He’s a strong flex option this week in a plus home matchup versus the Panthers.

James Washington & Diontae Johnson, Steelers

Both make good adds as WR3s or better yet, as flex options.  The risk here is that Juju Smith-Schuster makes a return and negatively effects their target loads.  This week’s matchup with the sad sack Jets is a very good one.

Danny Amendola, Lions

Not loving his matchup with Chris Harris Jr. though Harris could end up on Golladay as well. My guess is that his slot skills fit DA so they could double Golladay. The bottom line is that the Lions have only a few healthy targets left. Amendola will be targeted.

John Ross, Bengals

As I said on the pod, Ross was a miss this morning, because he’s got a great matchup this weekend. The risks are obvious, but in some mid-sized leagues and certainly in some larger ones, he could be the best thing out there.

Cole Beasley, Bills

Beasley is coming off a down week versus the Steelers but he’ll be a big factor this week versus the Patriots.  He’ll be seeing single coverage out of the slot so if you need him, he’s viable.  Best saved for large PPR formats.  Beasley has found the end zone in six of his last nine games. 

Albert Wilson, Dolphins

Finally!  After struggling with injuries all year and never playing more than 53 percent of the offensive snaps, Wilson broke out in Week 15.  The actual output was mediocre with five catches for 59 yards but he saw 8 targets and if that usage carries over to this week’s game versus the Bengals, we could really have something.  If you are in need in a deep format, Wilson is intriguing.

N’Keal Harry, Patriots

He could be an option in deeper formats but his usage is still a projection. One thing is obvious. The Patriots need some playmakers of the non-downfield variety. Harry is a guy who can get after 50/50 balls and at this point, that sounds somewhat appealing. In really deep leagues, he could be a flex this week.

Hunter Renfrow, Raiders

If he returns this week, he’ll have flex appeal in deep PPR formats.

Allen Lazard & Jake Kumerow, Packers

He’ll see some targets and it could be a game where the Pack needs to throw. They need to be aggressive as it’s a crucial game and you really can’t run much on the Vikings. Lazard hasn’t been used much but he’s been the most targeted player after Adams over the last few games. It’s a thing play if you are a desperate in a deep format. Kumerow is going to see a spike is usage according to coaches and he’s worth a look in super deep formats, like 14 and 16 team leagues.

 

TIGHT ENDS

 

Jonnu Smith, Titans

He’s been running unopposed as the lead tight end ever since Delanie Walker got hurt and that will continue this week, at home, versus the Saints, who have been oddly charitable to tight ends in recent weeks.  I’d still say it’s a medium to tough matchup, but there’s hope and Smith’s multi-pronged usage is encouraging.

O.J. Howard, Bucs

I said it last week and I’ll say it again.  Howard may give us all acid-reflux but he is now in a great spot to produce with both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin fully expected to miss Week 16 due to hamstring injuries.  Howard is always a risky proposition but he’s been heating up and his big play ability is proven.  He has 30 point potential but a weak floor. 

Mike Gesicki, Dolphins

He’s a strong bet to see seven targets in a game against the Bengals, so you bet he’s startable in your bowl game.  Gesicki is going to be an underrated Week 16 option.  Use him if you need a tight end.  His level of play is gradually elevating.  He’s going to be a very nice sleeper next season.  This guy catches everything.  

Noah Fant, Broncos

Speaking of big play ability, it’s Fant’s calling card and with so few other options in the Denver passing game, he’s a solid target if you need a tight end this week.  He’s playing the Lions and that’s a plus matchup for the position.  The thing to watch here is Fant’s shoulder, which cost him significant field time last week.  I like his ceiling against Detroit, but you will need a plan B as well.