Waiver Wire Pickups Week 16
Week 15 brought us many bizarre occurrences including two of the league’s worst defenses (Oakland and New Orleans) blanking their opponents from the scoreboard. One of the NFL’s best running backs Doug Martin (a.k.a. the Muscle hamster) turned in a laughable performance, while the Seahawks posted a surprising 50 points on the Bills.
Most teams in the fantasy championship game this week won’t be needing to find anymore waiver wire pickups. But for those bragging rights leagues where every win or loss counts, I haven’t given up on you. There may also be some leagues that are playing for money or third place or other custom scenarios that a waiver wire pickup may benefit.
Russell Wilson – 35% owned – Next year there will be many fantasy owners building a team around Russell Wilson, who they will probably target around the 5th round. Wilson has been very solid all year long producing more than 20 points 33% of his games and only dipping below 10 points three times . Wilson had not scored a rushing touchdown all year until the first half against the Bills. The added running quarterback dimension will make Russell Wilson a poor man’s RG3 or Cam Newton and defenses will have to now factor in another element to covering this talented gem. Next week the Seahawks face the 49ers who Wilson struggled against earlier this year, still with so much experience in every passing game I believe Wilson will be better prepared.
Sam Bradford – 22% owned – When you allow your quarterback to throw the ball 55 times, production like what we saw last week from Sam Bradford is going to happen. Bradford has been steady all year despite limited fantasy upside. He should be considered a fantasy QB2 at best. This week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you could very easily make a case to start Bradford if you were in some sort of a loser bowl. Against the Vikings Bradford found 9 different receivers, which let’s us know his value is not tied to any one particular guy.
Beanie Wells - 48% owned – Still widely unpopular and unowned in many fantasy football leagues Beanie Wells has taken over the Arizona Cardinals starting running back job for good. Wells has racked up 5 touchdowns in the last 4 games and seems to be a hit or miss fantasy stud. If the Cardinals are going to run one in, Wells is going to be the guy they go to. The Cardinals face the Bears in week 16, look for Wells to get plenty of touches against a Chicago Defense that is slowly struggling against the run.
Vick Ballard – 49% owned – Week 15 brought a very strong performance against the Houston Texans from the former Mississippi State Bulldog Vick Ballard. Ballard rushed for 18 times for 105 yards and had a touchdown stolen away from him by Mewedle Moore, who then fumbled on the 1 yard line. Ballard has now recorded 100 total yards in back to back games and next week against the Chiefs seems to be a great matchup for the under the radar rookie running back.
Mike Tolbert – 6% owned – Last week Tolbert faced his former team and just seemed to be in the right place at the right time. He banged in two rushing touchdowns as the Panthers used him as a battering ram to finish drives. With this season over for the Panthers, look for Cam to make less dangerous break away scramble runs and allow the team’s over payed triple-headed backfield get the rushing yards they so depend on. Tolbert seems to be the best option for red zone carries for the Panthers and with week 16 against the Oakland Raiders the matchup couldn’t be prettier.
Golden Tate – 42% owned – While Tate only had three catches for 64 yards last week, his chances were limited by the nature of the game. As the Seahawks blew out the Bills there were less and less need for a passing attack. Tate had 64 yards in half of a game. He has not been a yards monster all year but has certainly been a touchdown machine scoring 7 times. Look for next week against the 49ers to be a better chance for Tate to find the end zone.
Brandon Gibson – 15% owned – The return of Danny Amendola did not seem to hurt Gibson’s value at all as he has now had 17 targets over the last two weeks. The same can’t be said for fellow wide out Chris Givens (4 targets) who seems to have taken a back seat role. Gibson and the Rams face the worst pass defense in the league next week so look for the Rams to easily throw the ball 50 times.
Leonard Hankerson – 4% owned – Although Hankerson remains one of those wide receivers that doesn’t get a ton of targets, he sure does seem to make the most of his chances. The Redskins WR had two catches on three targets for two touchdowns and 56 yards. While all the other Redskins receivers gathered more targets than Hankerson none of them found the end zone. Whether RG3 or Kirk Cousins starts for the Redskins, facing the Eagles next week looks like a good matchup.
Joseph Morgan – 1% owned – For the second straight week in a row Joseph Morgan has produced over 10 fantasy points with a very limited number of targets. Morgan is taking full advantage of his opportunity but with only 5 targets in this past two games fantasy owners would love to see his workload increase.
Dennis Pitta – 31% owned – Week 15′s best tight end was easily Dennis Pitta. Pitta posted 24.50 fantasy points and received 10 targets of which he caught 7 passes. Most of the production was in garbage time, but the Ravens seem to be using Pitta more in the overall game plan as he has gotten 10 or more points in 4 of his last 6 games. Baltimore faces the New York Giants this week, but look for Pitta’s talents to continue to flourish.
Scott Chandler – 35% owned – Chandler was somewhat quiet in week 15, but the Bills were facing the Seahawks Defense that has been incredibly good the past couple of weeks. Chandler still had 5 catches for 58 yards. Next week the Bills take on the Dolphins and Chandler should remain the number 2 pass catcher behind Stevie Johnson.
Carolina – 10% owned – After shutting out the Chargers last week the Panthers face a very attractive fantasy match-up in the Oakland Raiders. The Panthers have been playing better since getting some guys back who were recovering from injury, to play well and force some turnovers against one of the most confused and disappointing teams in the NFL.
Blair Walsh – 39% owned – After an amazing week 16, where Blair hit 5 field goals and 3 above 50 yards and three extra points, Walsh faces the Houston Texans next week. With the Vikings chasing the playoffs look for the rookie’s leg to be used in any chance that get 60 yards or less. Plus all the extra points from AP’s touchdowns.