My condolences to those of you who were bounced from the fake football playoffs by the Seahawks defense or Cam Newton in Week 14. I crashed and burned the old-fashioned way in my longtime keeper league: by starting a couple running backs who combined for 42 total yards and a fumble. I would say “thanks for nothing”, but “thanks for negative” is more accurate. Enough sob stories, though, let’s move on to this week’s waiver wire wish list.
Brandon Weeden, CLE – It’s the season for giving, so the NFL schedule is bestowing Weeden with the gift of facing one of the league’s most generous teams in terms of fantasy points allowed to QBs this week. It’s a give-fest, a give-a-palooza, and a give-stravaganza all rolled into one.
Nick Foles, PHI – Foles turned in a strong performance on Sunday, but remember who his opponent was before you cash in your remaining FAAB dollars on the Eagles QB. The Buccaneers make most quarterbacks look better than they are (see Carson Palmer’s 414 yards & 4 TDs in Week 9). Foles likely won’t be as fortunate against the Bengals this week.
Kirk Cousins, WAS – Are Kirk and DeMarcus cousins? No, but also yes. I don’t recommend that you boogie with Kirk this week, but in 2-QB leagues, you occasionally don’t have a choice.
David Wilson, NYG – Ahmad Bradshaw injured his knee against the Saints on Sunday. Tom Coughlin petitioned the league to amend the injured reserve rules in-game so he could activate Andre Brown, to no avail. With no other options, the Giants’ coach begrudgingly put Wilson into the game. Thirteen carries, 100 yards, and 3 total touchdowns later, Wilson is the clear-cut #1 waiver claim this week.
Bilal Powell, NYJ – Powell continued his recent stretch of strong play on Sunday and matched Shonn Greene’s total of 13 fantasy points. We’re at a point where Powell has equaled or bettered Greene’s fantasy production in three out of the past four weeks. Powell is a solid flex option going forward.
Montell Owens, JAC – Like David Wilson, Owens had a nice Week 14 game in relief of a litany of injured teammates, with 102 total yards and score on 14 caries and one reception. Maurice Jones-Drew and/or Rashad Jennings could return this week, but Owens is worth a speculative add in case they don’t.
Joique Bell, DET – When Mikel LeShoure doesn’t get TDs, Bell is the Lions running back you want to own. The Detroit coaches appear to be noticing this, as Bell’s carries have steadily increased over the past four weeks. Meanwhile, he was already outperforming LeShoure every week in the passing game. With the Lions falling out of playoff contention, they appear to be changing the guard at RB slightly to see what Bell can do down the stretch.
LaMichael James, SF – James was active for the first time all season on Sunday, posting 30 yards on 8 carries and 1 catch for 15 yards. Frank Gore is still the man in San Francisco and Anthony Dixon will get some work (9 yards and a TD on Sunday), but James is in line to pick up the change-of-pace touches that Kendall Hunter was seeing earlier in the season.
DuJuan Harris, GB – If we ignore Week 11 against the Lions, Alex Green has averaged exactly 6 fantasy points per game since Week 5, with a ceiling of 7 points and a basement of 5 points. That’s extremely consistent, but it’s equally unexciting. In his first action of the season on Sunday, Harris carried seven times for 31 yards and a touchdown. DuJuan? Do want.
Robert Turbin, SEA – Turbin had his best game of the season in Sunday’s blowout against the Cardinals. It was primarily a garbage time performance, but this week’s game against the Buffablow Bills could offer similar garbage time opportunities to Turbin.
Kenny Britt, TEN – I was surprised to see Britt was only owned in 50% of Yahoo leagues (73% ESPN ownership, for what it’s worth), but that number will increase significantly after Sundays 8-catch, 143-yard outburst. It was his best game of the season and it came against a weak opponent, but Britt is finally healthy and has reassumed the #1 WR mantle in Tennessee.
Josh Gordon, CLE – Speaking of players taking hold of the wideout conch on their respective teams, Josh Gordon continues to garner the bulk of Brandon Weeden’s targets. Sucks to your assmar, Greg Little.
Alshon Jeffery, CHI – I endorsed Jeffery on Twitter before game time on Sunday morning and he rewarded me with 57 yards and a TD against the Vikings. Brandon Marshall is still Jay Cutler’s first, second, and third reads on pass plays, but Jeffery is emerging as a valuable red zone target for the Bears.
Chris Givens & Brandon Gibson, STL – Gibson had the better fantasy day, with 6 catches for 100 yards and a TD, but Givens had more targets (10 to Gibson’s 9). With Minnesota and Tampa Bay on deck, both of these receivers will continue to have value going forward.
Dwayne Harris & Cole Beasley, DAL – As of this writing, Dez Bryant has been diagnosed with a finger ligament tear, but no decision has been made regarding season-ending surgery. If Bryant can’t play, Harris and Beasley will become the #2 and #3 Cowboy wide receivers, respectively. If Bryant postpones surgery, tapes up his fingers and plays, Harris should still receive extra work as the WR3 to limit Bryant’s on-field exposure.
Rod Streater, OAK – It’s not always sunny in Oakland, but there’s a looks-brains-wildcard situation brewing in the Raiders’ receiver ranks. Until the team figures out this dynamic on the field, the fantasy ramifications will continue to be unpredictable. Analogous to other unpredictable systems, the wildcard, Rod Streater, has emerged as the most reliable option of late for the Raiders.
Kris Durham, DET – Contrary to last week’s hypothesis that Mike Thomas would inherit the #2 WR role from the injured Ryan Broyles, it was Kris Durham doing the damage opposite Calvin Johnson on Sunday. Durham caught 4 passes for 54 yards on 9 targets, while Thomas had zero targets (he did run the ball twice for 25 yards).
Tony Scheffler, DET – Scheffler, on the other hand, delivered on the speculation that he’d be used more in Broyle’s absence. He grabbed 3 of his 10 targets for 20 yards and a score on Sunday, which landed him inside the top-10 tight ends amid an admittedly lackluster week at the position overall. Scheffler’s Week 15 match-up against the Cardinals isn’t particularly exciting, but he will continue to be a viable option at tight end if given a similar number of targets.
Rob Housler, ARI – Housler also had 10 targets in Week 14. He’s averaging 9 targets over his past three games, and 8 targets over his past six games. Unfortunately, Housler’s yardage and touchdown production over those spans have been pretty mediocre. With a half-decent quarterback under center for the Cardinals, we might have remembered Housler’s season a little differently. Regardless, he’s still worth a look in deep PPR leagues.