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Fantasy Football: Week 16 waiver wire

12.17.13 at 9:23 am ET
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And then there were two … Congratulations to all the teams in their league’s final game. The Week 16 dynamic is a bit unusual and this article reflects that. What we want this week are players that might be available, who can tip the scales for either you or your opponent. There are some leagues that have different rules. Perhaps your league has a second game between the semifinal losers, for third place. Whatever the case, the team you want to work against in this week’s free agent market is your opponent.

First, look at your roster. Do you have a weak spot in your lineup that can be strengthened in free agency? That should be your first priority — maximizing your Week 16 lineup. Second, look at your opponent’s roster. Do they have a weak spot that can be improved via the waiver wire? If they do, that is a move that you might consider blocking if you have waiver priority or a larger remaining free agent budget. Lastly, you can be aggressive with your cuts now. There’s nothing left to save for. You’re here. The only players you truly need are the ones who will be in your lineup this week, so don’t be afraid to manage your roster with that in mind and cut players who can’t help your opponent this week.

For example, let’s say that you have Rashard Mendenhall as your fifth running back.  You are not playing him this week and he’s got a brutal matchup at Seattle. Your opponent has injuries at running back and horrible matchups with what he has left. You think he’ll go after Jordan Todman in free agency. In this case, I would dump Mendenhall and add Todman, who I project to outscore Mendenhall by about 10 points this week. You won’t play Todman as you would not have played Mendenhall, but you’ve hurt your opponent’s potential score and helped yourself.

So, get in that frame of mind and see all the angles. One more win and you’re a champion. Having said all that, I will be back next week just in case you play in one of those bizarre leagues that use Week 17 as its championship week. We’ve got you covered. As always, I will be adding talent throughout the day at Rotobahn as I continue to work through the film from Week 15. Come by later if you play in a really deep format.

QUARTERBACKS

Kirk Cousins, Redskins

He had a very nice outing against Atlanta, and he is a very good fantasy play in Week 16 if you’ve been streaming quarterbacks. A home matchup against Dallas is about as good as it gets right now. Cousins is a very good option.

Jay Cutler, Bears

He was dumped in a good many leagues after his injury, so he could be a nice addition for those of you looking for quarterback help. Cutler has a very nice Week 16 matchup at Philadelphia, and his receivers are insanely good.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins

Give Tannehill a lot of credit for hanging tough behind a reconstructed offensive line. He continues to make plays on a weekly basis and is on a nice four-week run of production. He’s a solid option this week at Buffalo if you need help at quarterback.

Joe Flacco, Ravens

He’s available in about 50 percent of leagues, so he’s worth mentioning, since he’s playing for something and has a solid Week 16 matchup at home vs. the Patriots. I’d rather start Cousins, Cutler or Tannehill, but Flacco is viable.

RUNNING BACKS

Jordan Todman, Jaguars

He’s obviously a talented back with some upside, and he has a good chance to be starting again this weekend against a vulnerable Tennessee run defense. Pick up Todman if you need a back or if your Week 16 opponent has a need in their backfield.

Andre Ellington, Cardinals

He has a tough matchup at Seattle, but he is available in about 40 percent of leagues, and he’s running very well now. He’s also very active as a receiver, and those skills will be needed this week for a game in which we expect the Cardinals to be trailing.

Matt Asiata, Vikings

He’s a player to add if you rely on Vikings running backs. While both Adrian Peterson (foot) and Toby Gerhart (hamstring) could return this week, it’s a very good idea to cover your backside by adding Asiata, as we now know he’ll get all the goal-line carries if he’s the starter.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Julian Edelman, Patriots

Nationally, he is available in a fair amount of leagues, but I am guessing that he is 90 percent gone, at minimum, in the Boston area. Still, just in case he is out there, I want to recommend him as a high-priority pickup, especially in PPR formats.

Michael Crabtree, 49ers

He is out there in more than 50 percent of leagues, which is astounding. Crabtree is a player to add for sure this week as he has shown good movement since his return from Achilles reconstruction. The kicker is Crabtree’s wonderful Week 16 matchup against the hapless Atlanta secondary. Go get him.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings

Patterson now has been fantasy relevant in six out of the last eight games, including the last four weeks. In Week 15, Patterson was used as both a back and as a receiver and found the end zone for the second consecutive week. He also was given a chance to throw but chose to run when the play was covered downfield. It appears that Minnesota finally is committed to using him. With a somewhat tough Week 16 matchup at Cincinnati, Patterson is more flex than WR3 for bowl week.

Rod Streater, Raiders

He’s been pretty consistent lately, and he had nine targets last week against the Chiefs despite Denarius Moore’s return. Streater can help you this week as a flex option in deeper formats. He has a solid rapport with new starting quarterback Matt McGloin and a better Week 16 matchup at San Diego.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks

With Percy Harvin very likely to sit, I am liking Doug Baldwin a lot. I see him getting a lot snaps in the slot, which keep Patrick Peterson on Golden Tate most of the day. Baldwin’s chances of scoring this week are pretty good. He makes a nice add in large formats if you are looking for a flex or WR3 option.

Nate Burleson, Lions

He has a nice home matchup with the Giants, so he’s a viable option for Week 16. Burleson is not special, but he’ll have some value in PPR leagues this week and he throws up a big game every now and then. Not a bad add if you are desperate.

Marvin Jones, Bengals

He’s on a roll again and he has a nice matchup vs. the Vikings this week. You can add him as a flex option in large formats due to his touchdown potential. Jones has more value in standard scoring.

Aldrick Robinson, Redskins

If you are looking for a deep option, then Mr. Robinson has appeal with a great matchup at home vs. the sieve that is the Cowboys defense. He makes a nice flex in a deep leagues.

TIGHT ENDS

Dennis Pitta, Ravens

Pitta will be a key to the Ravens’ Week 16 game plan against the Patriots. Both teams are vying for postseason positioning, and Pitta will be playing in his third game since returning from his hip injury. There should be no restrictions on his playing time.  He is a TE1 in any format despite his light Week 15 output.

Delanie Walker, Titans

Walker has been playing very good football lately, and he is a big part of the passing attack in Tennessee. He fits really well with new starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who uses the tight end often, as some of you probably remember from his days in Buffalo. Walker can help you in any format.

Zach Ertz, Eagles

His Week 16 matchup at home vs. the Bears is very appealing, and he has been used a lot lately, with the exception of the snow game in Week 15. Ertz can help you if you have a need at tight end this week. He’s clicking with quarterback Nick Foles.

Tyler Eifert, Bengals

If Jermaine Gresham’s hip injury costs him next week’s game, then Eifert becomes an attractive option against a suspect Vikings defense. The increased snaps would make him a fringe TE1 option for Week 16.

Fred Davis, Redskins

He scored last week, and in really deep formats he might be the best thing available. If Jordan Reed misses another game as expected, Davis could be a decent desperation play for those who need a tight end.

Read More: Andre Ellington, Jay Cutler, joe flacco, Jordan Todman Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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