Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: December 17
Sean Mitchell brings you his top waiver wire adds for Week 16 of the fantasy football season!
Well you’ve made it. If you’re reading this article it’s likely for one of two reasons: you’re in your fantasy league’s championship or you’re in the fight to avoid coming in dead last. And honestly if it’s the latter you shouldn’t be eligible to make waiver claims in my opinion. Even in the Toilet Bowl, the best free agents should be made available to the final two teams playing for a title. But to each their own. I can’t make the rules for all leagues. This week’s piece may seem a bit abbreviated, but I feel it’s only pertinent to mention players that could actually help win Week 16 and crown a champion. Obviously, there are no more stashes and handcuffs to target. It’s win or go home and if you’ve made it this far you likely have a really solid team that you’re comfortable starting. But if you want to grab a guy to block your opponent from potentially getting him, or if you genuinely need a RB2 or WR2/Flex play then these are some players to target. I wish you the absolute best of luck and hope the FANation brings home many championships this week!
Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee Titans) – He’s still available in shallower leagues, but even in those shallow leagues you probably have a solid quarterback that’s carried you to the finals. But if you want to start Tannehill, well, at least he’s proven to be pretty consistent. And he gets a good matchup against the Saints next week at home. The Saints might get out to an early lead, but if the Titans fall behind or remain competitive, Tannehill could have a solid game. He’s proven to have a solid floor no matter the matchup and he can find the end zone with his legs. Again, you might not need him, but he might be there in shallower formats.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Miami Dolphins) – In deeper formats you can look at Fitzmagic. He’s about 15% owned in ESPN leagues and 25% owned in Yahoo leagues. He’s kind of all over the place in terms of production, but he’s thrown caution to the wind. That’s somewhat wreckless, but he presents a ton of upside. He gets a good matchup next week against the Bengals. It’s an easy defense to pick apart and perhaps the Bengals put up some points and keep the game competitive. After all, the Dolphins defense is terrible and Joe Mixon could run all over them. If Fitz isn’t available in the deepest of leagues, then maybe roll the dice on Drew Lock who is at home against Oakland. Hopefully you aren’t that desperate in your championship matchup.
Alexander Mattison/Mike Boone (Minnesota Vikings) – The Dalvin Cook injury likely screwed a lot of owners in fantasy. However, if Alexander Mattison is active next week and Cook is out, then Mattison is a Top 24 running back. He’s a flex play at worst. But Mattison missed this past Sunday’s game and once Cook went out, Mike Boone got a decent amount of work (56 yards on 13 carries) while finding the end zone twice. Obviously you can’t feel great about starting Boone, but if Mattison is active and Cook isn’t, Mattison is an outstanding value that can be found on waivers.
Boston Scott (Philadelphia Eagles) – Scott cracked the waiver additions last week as a last-minute add since this article is typically written during Monday Night Football. He apparently earned the trust of the coaching staff because he was a PPR darling last week. Sure, he only yielded 13.5 PPR points, but he caught seven catches and now has 13 in his last two games. Miles Sanders stole the show on Sunday with his big performance and it may have overshadowed Scott’s performance. But with a crucial divisional matchup in Week 16 against the Cowboys, I would expect Scott to have similar involvement to the past two weeks where he could record five-to-seven catches.
Patrick Laird (Miami Dolphins) – Laird was a bit of a dud last week as he only recorded 7.4 PPR points, but don’t overlook his 47 total touches in his last three games. He has PPR upside especially in a matchup against the Bengals next week. He only has one touchdown on the season, but he’s being treated as the lead running back in Miami. He’s a borderline flex play next week and you can expect more than the 7.4 points he got in Week 15.
Breshad Perriman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Similar to Alexander Mattison, Breshad Perriman has really seen his stock rise in recent weeks due to the injuries to Mike Evans and more recently, Chris Godwin . Perriman has three straight games with six targets and he has four touchdowns in his last two games, including a three-touchdown performance in Week 15. This is probably what the Ravens were expecting when they drafted him in the first-round a few years back, but he’s finally excelling in a pass-happy offense like Tampa Bay’s. Currently it appears that Godwin could be inactive for Week 16, but he’ll get a MRI later today. If he’s out, then Perriman could be in line for a healthy dose of targets and oddly enough he could be a key play for your championship team if you’re not confident in your flex spot. If you miss out on Perriman then Justin Watson is another player worth keeping an eye on especially if Scotty Miller is also out for the Bucs. Both Perriman and Watson could be high upside plays in Week 16 alongside O.J. Howard and possibly Cameron Brate (more on them shortly).
Anthony Miller (Chicago Bears) – Miller is shockingly available in about three-quarters of Yahoo and ESPN leagues with 52 targets in his last five games. He’s made the waiver wire column numerous times the last few weeks, but few people have pulled the trigger. If you lost Chris Godwin and need a WR2 your best options are Perriman and Miller. Miller has 33 catches in his last five games with healthy yardage and he’s found the end zone in back-to-back games. The Bears play the Chiefs next week so the Bears will have to throw it an awful lot and Miller will be involved.
Mike Williams (Los Angeles Chargers) – Williams is only available in shallower leagues because owners haven’t been able to pull the trigger to drop him. But he’s come on very strong the last two games and in fairness, he’s had a decent season. The touchdowns just aren’t there, but he’s put up decent yardage. He’s only 88 yards away from 1,000, and he’s done it all on 44 receptions. He’s averaging over 20 yards per reception. That’s absolutely phenomenal, you just wish he’d get more work. And he has been, slowly but surely. He’s scored in two straight games with a friendly matchup on tap against the Raiders in Week 16. He’s only available in shallower leagues, but he’s a solid addition if he’s floating on waivers. He’s the kind of guy you could add to keep off your opponent’s team.
Danny Amendola (Detroit Lions) – Kudos to Howard for mentioning him as a DFS play this past week. In season-long leagues Amendola wasn’t getting much rub because the production was down. However, he’s been getting looks from David Blough. In Weeks 13 and 14, Amendola had eight targets in each game. He just didn’t do much with them. However, last week on 13 targets, he caught eight passes for over 100 receiving yards. The Lions get a difficult matchup next week on the road in Denver and any of the three guys above are better additions, but Amendola may be worth a deep league add for next week in a tough matchup.
Greg Ward Jr. (Philadelphia Eagles) – If you don’t like Amendola then maybe you look to the Eagles pass catchers. Greg Ward came on strong late in Week 14 against the Giants and it rolled over to Week 15 against the Redskins. For the second straight week, Ward saw nine targets, of which he caught seven for 61 yards and a touchdown. As mentioned previously, the Eagles have a massive game in Week 16 and Ward could be a solid play again in deeper leagues. It’s clear Carson Wentz isn’t afraid to target him and Ward could be a solid play in PPR formats.
Tyler Higbee (Los Angeles Rams) – Higbee might be the biggest free agent add of the week even in a difficult matchup against the 49ers in Week 16. In his last three games Higbee has 26 catches on 33 targets for 334 receiving yards. Goff is giving him plenty of attention and the Rams offense has looked much better of late. The 49ers just got beat at home by the Atlanta Falcons. They’ll be looking for blood, but Higbee will be a top eight play at the tight end position next week.
O.J. Howard (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – I know he hasn’t been great this year. But he almost has to get looked at next week by default, right? Without Mike Evans , Chris Godwin , and Scotty Miller (possibly) the Bucs are left thin with pass catchers. Howard had eight targets in his last game and he could see a similar workload this weekend against the Texans. Don’t sleep on Cameron Brate either. Brate and Jameis Winston have a well-documented chemistry on the field, but Howard could get about 65-75 receiving yards.
Others to Consider: There have been so many tight ends worth picking up the past few weeks and I feel I’ve written them up ad nausea, but we’ll at least acknowledge some guys to look at in Week 16 because there are a lot available on waivers. Jared Cook is definitely a guy worth grabbing off waivers. I might start him over Higbee based on the matchup, but you cannot deny Higbee’s workload. Cook caught all four of his targets Monday night against Indianapolis and gets a good matchup next week against the Titans. Jonnu Smith , Cook’s opponent next week, is worth a grab as well. He caught all five of his targets last week for 60 yards and contributed a 57-yard run as well. That’s not a typo, that actually happened. The Saints are pretty tough against tight ends, but Smith is a good option in deeper leagues. Lastly, Noah Fant might still be available in 12-team leagues, but honestly Higbee’s a better play at this point based on the target share.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I’ve been quite fond of the Buccaneers D/ST the last few weeks especially in DFS (check out the D/ST Coordinator every Friday folks). Tampa Bay has quietly turned their defense around and those draft investments are finally paying off. Over their last four games the Bucs have returned a total of 59 fantasy points with at least 16 points in three of their last four games. Over that span they’ve forced ten turnovers, recorded 14 sacks, and scored three touchdowns. The D/ST touchdowns are incredibly hard to predict, but the Bucs defense is hitting on all cylinders. They get a tough matchup against the Texans next week, but it’s a home game at the Pirate Ship and I’m not going to be sleeping on Tampa. They could really give Deshaun Watson fits on Saturday (yes, the game is on Saturday) and they have shown a lot of upside recently.
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs, similar to the Bucs, have been returning solid fantasy value at the D/ST position. Sure, they lost Alex Okafor but they claimed Terrell Suggs off waivers and they get a friendly matchup against the Bears in Soldier Field. The Chiefs have returned double-digit fantasy points in three straight matchups, but they’ve done it the old fashion way by allowing just 28 points in their last three games. They haven’t put up the flashy numbers like the Bucs, but they’ve been solid. Mitchell Trubisky is prone to forcing passes and could be in a little trouble this week with Kansas City coming to town.
Denver Broncos – The Broncos get a friendly home matchup against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Over their last three games the Broncos have three sacks in each contest with six forced turnovers in that span. What’s killed the Broncos have been the points and yards allowed. That’s limited their upside a little bit. Since David Blough’s marvelous first quarter on Thanksgiving, he has thrown five interceptions and just one touchdown. I can’t imagine he’ll enjoy his first business trip to Denver.