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The Waiver Wire 12/3 (re-finalized)

Playoffs?!  Playoffs?!

Congratulations! 

It’s officially win-or-go-home time.  I’m glad you all made it this far.  I have six pretty big matchups myself this weekend, so I feel your angst, acutely.  Let’s dig in and increase our odds of success, shall we?

Some of you will be more focused on winning now while others will be more focused on matchups for Week 15 and to a lesser extent, championship week.  I’ll do my best to qualify which players fit into one category but not the other.

 

This week’s pod is probably a tad more helpful than usual.  Listen if you have the time.

There will be updates coming until about 6pm, so check back or just read later.

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

 

 

QUARTERBACKS

 

Daniel Jones, Giants

His matchups over the next three weeks are excellent with a trip to the Eagles this week before hosting the Dolphins in Week 15.  If you need him Week 16, it’s a trip to Washington.  Jones does have an ankle issue that could affect his status for this week, but he is worth rostering because he’s a good play every week going forward.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins

His schedule is awesome and he’s found some real weapons in recent weeks.  Check out this trifecta.

  • at Jets
  • at Giants
  • vs. Bengals

It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that, so add Fitzpatrick if you are in need or just so you have some playable insurance to buttress your starter.

Ryan Tannehill, Titans

He has a plus matchup at Oakland this week and his Week 15 matchup versus the Texans is also solid.  His Week 16 tilt with the Saints is less desirable.  Tannehill is playing very well, so he’s a solid way to add some quarterback insurance in any league.

Mitchell Trubisky, Bears

His schedule is interesting because the matchups re just ok, but the game will require a lot of offense for the Bears to win.

  • vs. Cowboys
  • at Packers
  • vs. Chiefs

That’s a lot of offense, so I doubt that Trubisky’s pass attempts are going to dip as significantly as one might think.  Trubisky is also healthier now, and we’ve seen an increase in rush attempts over the last two weeks, with a touchdown in Week 12.  I could see adding him above Tannehill if ceiling is what you need.  It’s the playoffs, if you are overmatched, it’s ok to play your high-ceiling high-variance types.

Jacoby Brissett, Colts

He’ll be more enticing if he gets a few players back–particularly Hilton, but for now we’ll just have to like the matchup at Tampa Bay.

Going Deep: 

  • Gardner Minshew, Jaguars
  • Drew Lock, Broncos
  • David Blough, Lions

None of these guys are locks to stay at the helm, but they probably will.  Minshew and Lock are potential future starters for their teams, and it’s a good time to evaluate.  The only way Blough loses his gig would be if Matt Stafford makes a return, but that seems unlikely.  In large leagues and perhaps in 2QB formats, you may be able to land a starting option here.  All three of these guys have good weaponry at their disposal, so they’re viable.

 

RUNNING BACKS

 

Easy Button RBs:

  • Rashaad Penny, Seahawks 
  • Derrius Guice, Washington

Both are over 50% owned but they are obvious adds at this point.  I’m thinking most of you have these guys as we’ve been high on them lately.  Penny is the better add, but both have big upside.

 

Alexander Mattison, Vikings

If Dalvin Cook’s shoulder injury proves to be more serious than initial reports indicate, then Mattison becomes the Viking’s interim starter.  Mattison could be a league-winner for the fantasy teams that snag him, but, as I alluded to, there’s also a good chance that Cook’s injury does not cost him time.  If you have Cook on your team, you should be selling out to get Mattison.  He’s a nice upside target even if you don’t.  Cook could easily aggravate the shoulder at any point going forward.

Darwin Thompson, Chiefs

Both Williams, Damien (ribs) and Darrel (hamstring) are banged up.  As long as either one of them remains out, Thompson should have a role and perhaps a significant one.  This week is his best shot at meaningful playing time, and if that comes to fruition, he’ll be playing the Raiders in Kansas City.  That’s pretty solid action.  Thompson ran well with 44 yards on 11 carries after Williams left the game.  He could end up being the brass ring this week and he is available in more leagues than most of the other running backs listed.  Make sure you kick the tires and check his status–even if it’s to keep him away from your competition.

Bo Scarbrough, Lions

He’s getting the early down work and the goal line work as well.  If new starting quarterback, David Blough, can keep playing well, then maybe Bo will be worth something.  He’s obviously worth more in standard scoring, because he’s not going to catch any significant amount of passes.  Still, at this stage, if you need a player to fill your RB2 spot, you are getting a guy who is going to touch the ball and who has some touchdown equity.  Not bad at all.

Benny Snell, Steelers

As with Mattison, Snell’s value is tied to the health of his team’s starter.  If James Conner’s shoulder is ready to go this week, Snell will be playing a secondary role.  Still, Snell’s late emergence could help Conner teams add a quality handcuff.  As with Mattison, Snell is a target for all of us, but a higher priority for those who own the starter–in this case, Conner.  The Steelers have a sweet matchup this week at Arizona.

Raheem Mostert, 49ers

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.

Peyton Barber, Bucs

He’s risky because they are grooming Ronald Jones and you never know when Barber will get a light load, but for now, he has a flexworthy feel in deeper formats, because he always has a shot to score, and if they bench Jones again as they did last week, you get bonus time.

Jordan Wilkins & Nyheim Hines, Colts

Wilkins seems to have surpassed Jonathan Williams as the early down runner when Marlon Mack is not around.  Williams was benched early after running poorly and I doubt they flip it back if Mack happens to miss one more week, and he may just do that.  Wilkins has the most TD equity of the non-Mack backfield.  Hines has the PPR-friendly role and did see a goal line look last week.  Hines’ appeal is that he’ll have value even if Mack is back.  If you are a Mack team, I’d be adding Wilkins.

Patrick Laird & Myles Gaskin & Zach Zenner, Dolphins

Laird led the team in snaps last week but they were chasing most of the day.  It’s very possible that Gaskins earns a role going forward–probably on early downs.  He’s a feisty back who can do a ot lof things if given the chance, so he’s worth a stash in deep formats.  Laird would be a slightly higher priority, especially in PPR leagues.

And, now we have Zenner in the mix.  The above is from Rotoworld.  I’m a fan and he can play all three downs, but most importantly, he brings some size to the mix.  Fefinitely worth a look in deep formats.

Jeff Wilson, 49ers

In really deep leagues, I’d roster him if I had a spot to play with.  All of the other 49ers backs are in and out of the trainer’s room and whenever Wilson gets in the game, he’s knocking bodies around.  The odds on him being a strong flex at least once before the year ends is pretty good.  Again, for deep leagues.

Top Handcuffs:

  • Tony Pollard
  • Wayne Gallman
  • Malcolm Brown
  • Ryquell Armstead
  • Gus Edwards
  • Dion Lewis
  • Bilal Powell
  • Gio Bernard

 

 

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

 

Easy Button WRs:

  • Robby Anderson
  • Sterling Shepard
  • Deebo Samuel

 

Darius Slayton, Giants

As I’ve been saying for weeks, he’s a great add for the playoffs because he’s a serious big play guy, and he’s got great playoff matchups throughout the next three weeks.

  • at Eagles
  • 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 for the rest of the season.

Anthony Miller, Bears

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.

AJ Brown, Titans

He’d be worth even more if they passed the ball more, but he’s moving into a more primary role so his value is currently at its peak.  His target totals make his floor a bit shaky, but you get big game potential every week.  He’s worth rostering in all 12-team leagues.

James Washington, Steelers

He’s been a lot better with regular playing time so he’s worth an investment this week just in case he’s starting again.  Why?  Because he gets a crack at the Cardinals defense and better yet, he gets to play in a Cardinals game environment, where the pace quickens and the play counts elevate.  The only way you get boxed out here is if JuJu Smith-Schuster returns and they demote Washington.  Even in that scenario, he is a viable flex option.

Mecole Hardman, Chiefs

Huge upside if anybody gets hurt in the WR rotation.  He’s a legit flex in deeper formats right now.

Cole Beasley, Bills

Still widely available.  Beasley has been in this space every week this season, so I figured I’d add him–even though most of you either already have him or aren’t about to start listening to me now.   His matchup this week (vs. Ravens)  is a very tough one, and it’s not easy the rest of the way, but in some ways, Beasley shines more in tough matchups, because he can uncover against almost anybody.  He lacks weekly ceiling due to the schedule, but he’s always a viable PPR option, so he’s very rosterable.

John Ross, Bengals

He returns this week (at the Browns), and you could consider using him in deeper leagues.  Ross should be ready to go as he’s been practicing since November 13th.  Hopefully you added him last week when I listed him, but he is still available in most places, so go get him.  His biggest perk is probably his matchup with Miami in Week 16.  He’s probably not a good option when he faces the Patriots Week 15.

Zach Pascal, Colts

In Week 13, he finally broke out with 7 receptions for 109 yards. His matchup with the Bucs this week is enticing but his value is tied to the health of T.Y. Hilton (calf) and to a lesser extent Parris Campbell, who is close to returning from a broken hand.  If both return, Pascal is more of a flex play than a WR3, but early reports indicate that Hilton is fifty/fifty at best and Campbell is also very much up in the air.  So Pascal offers a nice hedge for those tethered to Hilton and could be a nice WR3 option for anyone.

Demaryius Thomas, Jets

He will be in a potential barn burner this week against the Dolphins, so he’s a sneak start in deep formats, like 14-team leagues with flex spots.

Parris Campbell, Colts

His matchups are playable and he could be forced into a primary role as soon as this week if Hilton is not ready to go, and it sounds like that’s possible.  He’s for deep leagues or maybe to stash if you have deep benches in a 12-team league.

Going Deep:

  • JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Eagles
  • Andy Isabella, Cardinals
  • Allen Hurns, Dolphins

Hurns is the most playable but his real value would come if there were more injuries in Miami.  Nt a bad guy to roster in deep leagues if you have DeVante Parker crushing it for you right now.  Both Isabella and JJAW are guys who could emerge if their teams decide to play the kids.  JJAW scored last week but played only about half the snaps.  He’s a decent stash who can be played in an emergency.  Isabella was down to 31% in Week 13, but he could see expanded time soon.  Not a bad stash in deep formats.

 

TIGHT ENDS

 

Mike Gesicki, Dolphins

As I’ve been saying the last few weeks, he’s emerging in terms of his role.  Since Preston Williams was placed on IR four weeks ago, Gesicki’s target share has increased.  He’s seen 26 targets in that span with 14 over the last two games.  He’s also posted touchdowns in consecutive contests.  This week he has a nice matchup with the Jets and he’s got very playable matchups the rest of the way, with the Giants and Bengals after that.  He can be your starter going forward.

Vance McDonald, Steelers

He’s been light, no question.  And, I’m not loving him the rest of the way BUT he gets Arizona this week.  I did not realize that his ownership had dropped so far (he’s at 50%), but you can get him in a lot of places.  He’ll be a TE1 level play this week.

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 said with Hollister, we want to target matchups against the Cardinals.  Well, Njoku gets them Week 15, and as long as he starts and looks good this week against the Bengals, we’ll be comfortable starting him in that awesome matchup.  If you are a bye team with a weakness at tight end, adding Hollister and Njoku could tighten up that weak flank.

Tyler Higbee, Rams

Yet another contingency option.  Higbee’s continued target explosion depends on the status of Gerald Everett, who hyperextended his knee in Week 12.  Why the Rams would rush Everett back is beyond me, but it’s something to keep track of.  If Higbee is the clear cut starter this week, he will be very playable as the Rams travel to Seattle, who have been very charitable to the tight end position.

Ian Thomas, Panthers

Thomas could be a real find if you are struggling in a deep league.  Once again, this is a contingency option, because Thomas’ appeal is tethered to the availability of Greg Olsen, who suffered a concussion in Week 13. Carolina’s playoff hopes are, by and large, theoretical, so I see no reason why they would push Olsen, who has a significant concussion history (this is his third on record), to play.  If Thomas is playing, he’s absolutely a legitimate option.  At this stage of the game, he probably has more per game ceiling than Olsen, who is near retirement.