The Waiver Wire 12/20
Final update at 7pm
Welcome to the Week 16 waiver wire! Good times are afoot for those of us still reading waiver wires. It means we’re still alive, and it most likely means that this week is for all the marbles. The only exception would be if you play in a league that still uses Week 17 for its big game, which, at this point, is the equivalent of using a flip phone to take your family photos on Christmas morning. If your league is still living in the year 2001, I suggest you have a talk with your commissioner.
As I said last in last week’s wire, you might have all the players you need for this week, but your opponent might not. Be sure to go though the roster of the team you play. Adding a player who would have helped your opponent will ultimately help you. It’s a zero sum game now, and you need to approach it that way.
The ownership rates listed below were sourced from Yahoo!
Joe Flacco, Ravens, 29 percent
He’s throwing more with Marty Mornhinweg calling the plays, but he has a medium road matchup this week with the Steelers, so it’s not like he’s a great option. That said, his weapons are healthy and so is he. You could do worse, but most likely, being that you are a bowl team, you have better options on hand.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers, 33 percent
He plays at the Rams this week, and he is a viable option if you need one. Kaepernick’s been running less the last few weeks, but I think that changes against the Rams, who get upfield quickly, and that tends to open running lanes for quarterbacks like Kaepernick. He is a risky play, but he has a high ceiling when he gets it going. If you are a decided underdog with a weak Week 16 quarterback situation, he could be a way to give your team more scoring reach. Horses for courses.
Matt Moore, Dolphins, 1 percent
He’s at Buffalo this week, and who knows if the Bills will show up ready to play with their coach’s situation hanging over their heads. If you are in a jam or play in a 2QB format, Moore has some appeal. He’s a better option than Ryan Tannehill because he sees the field better and is more accurate.
Tom Savage, Texans, 0 percent
He has been named the starter over Brock Osweiler, mercifully, and the Texans are hosting the Bengals this week. This is good info if you play in a 2QB league, but the better storyline is what this can do for DeAndre Hopkins owners. Hopkins came back to life once Savage was under center, and I have hope for him this week as a WR3 with upside.
Bilal Powell, Jets, 71 percent
Normally I would not put a 71 percent guy on the wire, but Powell could really help you if you have some issues at running back. He’s healthy, fresh-legged and playing very well right now. The Jets will not allow Matt Forte to take back more than 50 percent of this backfield, and there is a good chance that Forte will be playing a secondary role due to his balky knee. Powell is a RB2 at worst this week.
Tim Hightower, Saints, 51 percent
He’s playable because the Saints continue to keep him involved, and that includes in the red zone. This week’s matchup with Tampa Bay is below average, but it’s a home game, and the Saints tend to do well at home. Some goal-line carries are likely.
Kenneth Dixon, Ravens, 49 percent
The Ravens travel to Pittsburgh this week for a huge must-win divisional matchup. They will continue to rotate their backs as we’ve seen the last month or so. Dixon is a good matchup for the Steelers because he offers stunning quickness and versatility as a receiver. He makes a strong flex play in 12-team formats if you are in need.
Dion Lewis, Patriots, 48 percent
Lewis led the Patriots running backs in snaps last week and he responded with a nice effort. One more carry probably would have taken him over 100 yards on the ground, and we know what he can do as a receiver. This week the Patriots face the Jets, and a win is crucial in the race for home-field advantage -- which is huge given the way things usually go at Foxboro. Dion is a perfect back to deploy against the Jets, who struggle with quick backs and who are vulnerable to runners who can break formation and line up outside or in the slot. Lewis thrives in these situations. A big day is possible. He can help you as a RB2 with upside this weekend.
Derrick Henry,Titans, 44 percent
The Titans are mixing him in consistently and using him with surprising frequency near the goal line. If you play in a big league and have a problem at your RB2 spot, Henry could be a tonic for what ails you. He’ll be a top-30 running back option this week.
Paul Perkins, Giants, 13 percent
He is now in a near-even time share with starter Rashad Jennings, and with Shane Vereen’s latest injury, Perkins is in line for increased passing down reps in Week 16, when the Giants travel to play the Eagles. New York clinches a playoff spot with a win and Perkins has been running too well to move away from, in my opinion. He’s a solid flex option in 12-team leagues this week.
Justin Forsett, Broncos, 19 percent
He played ahead of Devontae Booker last week, and though he wasn’t exactly electric, it’s pretty clear that Gary Kubiak values his experience. This week’s matchup with the Chiefs is hardly exciting, but Forsett is an option in bigger leagues if you are in need.
Mike Gillislee, Bills, 25 percent
He gets carries when the Bills get close to the stripe, so he is a viable option this week, especially in deeper formats. The upside is not much, but he has a good chance at a score.
Dwayne Washington, Lions, 12 percent
Washington’s value is heavily tied to the availability of Theo Riddick. If you are a Riddick owner, you might want to roster Washington just to cover your posterior on Monday night. Riddick could end up being a game-time decision, and if it goes bad, Washington at least gives you an option. He’s clearly playing ahead of Zach Zenner, who had a costly goal-line fumble last week.
Christine Michael, Packers, 35 percent
If you are really hurting, Michael may have earned himself some more carries last week with a very nice long touchdown run. If you play in a really deep league, he could be a life raft option.
Ty Montgomery, Packers, 60 percent
In some leagues he may be available as a running back, but he’s a good add either way -- even if it’s just to keep him away from your opponent. Montgomery will be the lead back for the Packers this week.
Cameron Meredith, Bears, 33 percent
He had another strong game in Week 15 and I like his chances of making some big plays this week against Washington. I assume that Josh Norman will be guarding Alshon Jeffery for the most part. That will leave Meredith with plus matchups regardless of where he lines up. He’s established good on-field rapport with quarterback Matt Barkley and he can help you if you need a receiver.
Dontrelle Inman, Chargers, 36 percent
He’s been playing starter’s snaps all year long, and his production has been dependable of late. He had eight targets last week, and he projects for about the same this weekend in a sweet matchup against the Browns. Iman is very unlikely to draw Joe Haden in coverage, which makes a solid WR3 play in all formats this week.
Robby Anderson, Jets, 7 percent
The Jets have played three receivers almost 100 percent of the time in recent weeks. It’s made Anderson an every-down option, and he has responded with solid production. Anderson should see plus matchup against the Patriots this week with Brandon Marshall getting the No. 1 treatment. He’s a good bet to be heavily targeted once again.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks, 43 percent
His snaps and production are both on the rise. Lockett was a “starter” last week, and after his performance, I think Pete Carroll will stick with that distinction in Week 16. The Seahawks have a tough matchup with the Cardinals, but we saw what the Saints did to them last week in Arizona and it’s possible that this team is mailing it in to some degree. The bottom line is that, no matter how well the Cardinals play, Lockett is likely to have good matchups on most of his snaps -- with Patrick Peterson likely to shadow Doug Baldwin. Lockett is a solid WR3 option for the championship week, with WR1 upside if he can make the big play again.
Ted Ginn, Panthers, 27 percent
He had another good game on Monday Night Football. Ginn should be a big part of the offense this week when the Panthers host the Falcons, who are absolutely vulnerable to the deep ball in the wake of Desmond Trufant’s season-ending injury. Ginn is a potentially savvy addition this week if you need a home run option or just want to keep one away from your opponent.
J.J. Nelson, Cardinals, 27 percent
He has really stepped up to fill the void with all the injuries the Cardinals have had at receiver. In his first game after Michael Floyd’s departure Nelson had a season-high 11 targets. He should see plenty more this week in Seattle, and he can be your WR3 in all leagues this week if you have a need. I doubt that Nelson will see much of Richard Sherman in coverage.
Pierre Garcon, Washington, 46 percent
He had another good game on Monday Night Football. Garcon was targeted a whopping 11 times -- catching seven of them for 78 yards. He will be a viable WR3 this week when Washington travels to play the Bears in a game with playoff implications. You throw to beat Chicago, so I expect plenty of pass volume from Kirk Cousins and company.
Dion Sims, Dolphins, 0 percent
He’s been playing well for a while now, and he finally got some red zone love. It might not be coincidental that it happened with Matt Moore at quarterback. Moore is better than Ryan Tannehill in a few ways, and one of them is general awareness.
Charles Clay, Bills, 12 percent
He’s been banged up all year, which is often the case with Clay, but he’s found some health the last two games and his production has been good. This week he faces his old team, the Dolphins, and I’m sure he’d enjoy playing spoiler. He can start for you this week if you are streaming your tight end.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans, 27 percent
If he returns from his concussion this week, as I suspect he will, he will make a strong play with Tom Savage upgrading the quarterback position. The Texans visit the Bengals this week, so keep an eye on Fiedorowicz’s status. If he gets cleared, go ahead and add him.
Garrett Celek, 49ers, 0 percent
Blake Bell is now out for the season, and the 49ers are already without starter Vance McDonald. So that leaves the tight end duties to Garrett Celek, who is a bit underrated. I would not trust Celek outside of desperate situations, but in big formats you may have just that, so he is worthy of consideration. Celek has scored in two out of the last four games, including last week.
San Diego Chargers, 32 percent
At Cleveland. And oh yeah, they are at Cleveland.
Tennessee Titans, 12 percent
They travel to Jacksonville this week and that’s a good spot for any defense. They are widely available so they can help you if you need a defense this week.
Green Bay Packers, 37 percent
They are getting turnovers and they host a Vikings team that is in free fall right now. If Aaron Rodgers carves them up like Andrew Luck did in Week 14, then the Packers defense will be in prime position to rack up sacks and turnovers in the second half.
New York Giants, 34 percent
They are paying well and they get a rookie quarterback (Carson Wentz) this week, so they are viable even they they are on the road.
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