The Waiver Wire “Playoff Edition” – Week 16
You made it! If you are reading this you’re either in your league championship, fighting for 3rd place money, are in your league semifinals with a championship appearance on the line, or just love reading this article every week. Whichever the reason may be, you have come to the right place to get ready to dominate your league waiver wire this week and hopefully help crown you champion! 2017 is going to go down as the year of the injury and this week it struck down one of the biggest names in all of football, not just Fantasy, Antonio Brown. Your #1 overall WR on the season is gone for the rest of the regular season with a calf tear. A major blow to any team who has him as you try to prepare for your league championship game. Replacing AB over a full season is impossible but the waiver wire is the perfect spot to find that one-week matchup streamer who can help take you to the promise land! Trust me, it’s going to be ok no matter how hard it’s going to be to look at your starting lineup and not see AB’s name in it.
AB wasn’t the only impactful player to get hurt in week 15, Rex Burkhead is out for the remainder of the regular season with a knee injury, Marqise Lee suffered what is feared to be a high ankle sprain and might not return until the playoffs, Keenan Allen left Saturday’s game with a lower back injury but it does not seem to be serious, Davante Adams was ruled out after a vicious blindside hit and will be in concussion protocol all week, Trevor Siemian has been placed on IR after hurting his throwing shoulder, & AP was put on IR with a kneck injury earlier in the week. Needless to say week 15 was brutal!
Week 16 & the return of Ezekiel Elliott are only a few days away from kicking off! Let’s go help get you one step closer to your league championship or help you week 17 warriors punch your ticket to the big dance!
As a disclaimer, all players must be owned by less than 60% of ESPN or Yahoo leagues. Ownership percentages are in parenthesizes. Below I have ranked the top 3 adds at each position with a bonus player or two sprinkled in throughout.
Blake Bortles (ESPN 39% / Yahoo 54%): BB was my start of the week and boy did he deliver! Still owned in less than 60% of leagues on Yahoo & ESPN is insane and he is once again a top streaming option on the road in San Francisco. Since the week 11 bye the 49ers have allowed multiple touchdown passes in 3 of their last 4 games and Bortles has thrown 2 or more touchdown passes in each of his last 3 games. Blake Bortles for the ship!
Nick Foles (ESPN 45% / Yahoo 27%): Holy Nick Foles, 4 touchdown passes! The Giants are a sieve in the secondary but winning on the road in the NFL is never easier. Things stay easy as this week the Eagles head home to take on the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have given up the 9th most fantasy points to QB’s this season but have stiffened over their past three games. I still like Foles at home with the way that offense is clicking, plus Oakland might just be done after that heartbreaking loss.
Joe Flacco (ESPN 8% / Yahoo 18%): Don’t look now but Big Joe Flacco is starting to heat up. Mighty Joe Flacco has thrown for 250 or more yards in each of his past three starts and has 5 touchdowns over that same time. Indy just gave up a QB1 performance to Brock Osweiler, start Joe Flacco don’t over think it!
Kerwynn Williams (ESPN 35% / Yahoo 35%): Kerwynn Williams is Arizona’s 4th starting RB on the season and will be the primary back moving forward as the Cardinals placed AP on IR this past week. Williams looked very good until he was knocked out of Sunday’s game vs the Redskins. The severity of his quad injury is uncertain but you can secure your self to this backfield by also picking up Elijhaa Penny. The Giants are allowing 116.3 rushing ypg over their past 3 which makes this a plus matchup for the Arizona backfield.
Mike Gillislee (ESPN 17% / Yahoo 27%): Gillislee has been a healthy scratch every week since week 10 when New England turned to Rex Burkhead full time but his injury re-opens the door for Gillislee who will be NE’s primary goalline back. A position of great value in fantasy football as the Patriots are always one of the highest scoring teams in the league. With a home game vs his old team on deck what better way to welcome yourself back then to score a few goalline touchdowns? Buffalo is allowing 1 rushing touchdown a game on average and gave up 2 on Sunday. On the season the Bills have given up 19 touchdowns on the ground.
Corey Grant (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%): Fournette was a late scratch making all his owners run to the waiver wire to claim either Ivory or TJ Yeldon. But it was Grant who looked like the best RB on the field for the Jaguars. Grant on 11 carries was able to produce 69 yards and one touchdown. Jacksonville is one of the heaviest run teams in the NFL and attaching your self to that volume is just smart team management. If Fournette sits again, Grant is a great streaming option in the flex vs the 49ers.
Keelan Cole (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 6%): Keelan Cole was a not for the faint of heart streaming option in last weeks article but the injury to Marqise Lee catapulted Cole into the #2 spot and he delivered with a 9 target, 186 yards & 1 touchdown performance. The thing I like most and why I feel safe putting him as my #1 WR target is the 78% snap share he saw. That target volume and snap share combo equal fantasy production and with the way BB and Jacksonville are playing I would look to get Cole into most of my starting lineups.
Randall Cobb (ESPN 56% / Yahoo 53%): Aaron Rodgers is back and Randall Cobb is one happy man! 14 targets ins ARod’s first game back is phenomenal target share and with Davante Adams potentially missing the rematch vs the Vikings, Cobb will be asked to do more against the Vikings second or third Corners which can be beaten. Cobb is a great flex stream or WR3 for 3 WR leagues this week.
Martavis Bryant (ESPN 42% / Yahoo 56%): The Alien has been a major disappointment this year but if there is any time to repay all the fantasy owners who believed it’s right now! With AB down for the rest of the regular season, Martavis Bryant and company (JuJu, Eli Rodgers) are going to be asked to pick up his slack. The Houston Texans are giving up the 7th most points to WR’s but just gave up 186 yards to Keelan Cole!
Eric Ebron (ESPN 30% / Yahoo 43%): Ebron once again found the end zone making it two weeks in a row and now has 18 targets over his past two weeks. With just under a 50% snap share Ebron is still hard to trust but the Bengals looked like a team who didn’t care on Sunday and Ebron is a great streaming option even on the road.
Jesse James (ESPN 9% / Yahoo 24%): The loss of AB means more targets for the TE’s and even though I like Vance McDonald better if he can’t play Sunday, James could see a return to the volume of week 14 (12/10/97) against a Texans defense that is giving up the 5th most fantasy points to TE’s (9.84 p/g).
Garrett Celek (ESPN 4% / Yahoo 2%): The 49ers are balling right now, Jimmy G has thrown for over 300 yards in back to back games and he has found his favorite TE in the back of the end zone in two straight weeks. The matchup is brutal vs Jacksonville but this could be a statement game for the 49ers which they can build off of heading into the 2018 season.
Defenses to Stream
Washinton Redskins vs Den
Chicago Bears vs Cle
Detroit Lions @ Cin
Kickers to Stream
Jake Elliott vs Oak
Dan Bailey vs Sea
Phil Dawson vs NYG
That will do it for week 16 of the Waiver Wire! I want to wish each and every one of you the best of luck if you are in your league championship games this week! Don’t over think it, play your studs, but don’t forget to put those waivers in! Please share your championship winning stories with us on Twitter using the hashtag #LeagueChamp!
Do you need EVEN more fantasy advice? You can find us on Twitter @TFFGurus or feel free to email us at TrophyTime@TFFGurus.com. I will see you all next Tuesday for our last edition of The Waiver Wire for the 2017 Fantasy Football Season.