If your team has survived the various injuries and referee screw-jobs of the fake football season thus far, chances are your team won’t need much help from the waiver wire this week. If the following players won’t be starting over your roster’s regulars, try to find an upgrade over your current defense (I recommend checking out C.D. Carter’s Dreaming of Streaming piece, which usually shows up on Tuesday). Failing that, you might be best served using your waiver claims defensively to block your playoff opponent from adding a key free agent. Good luck on the wire and in your match-ups this week.
Nick Foles, PHI – Foles zigged back toward his uninspiring self against the Bengals on Sunday, posting a flimsy 7 fantasy points. Still, with an attractive match-up against Washington coming up, Foles should zag towards the 31 fantasy points he scored two weeks ago against Tampa Bay. I’m not promising another top-5 finish for the Eagles’ QB, but expecting 15+ fantasy points is reasonable.
Kirk Cousins, WAS – Robert Griffin III could be back this week, but the Washington coaching staff won’t take any chances with their franchise QB, so Cousins may earn another start.
Mark Ingram, NO – Ingram had his best game of the year on Sunday, with 90 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Since Week 10, Ingram has led the Saints in carries in all but one game. Based on the volume of his usage and his status as the team’s goal-line back, Ingram is a fine flex play for the final two weeks of the season.
Curtis Brinkley, Jackie Battle, & Ronnie Brown, SD – Ryan Mathews’ snake-bit season came to an end on Sunday when he broke his (other) clavicle against the Panthers. With Brown already sidelined, Brinkley received the bulk of the backfield work after Mathews left the game and gained 56 total yards on 6 carries and 3 catches. Battle was used sparingly, carrying 3 times for 2 yards. Brown could be back for Week 16, but I’d bet on Brinkley remaining the most valuable fantasy running back for San Diego, at least for this week.
Mike Tolbert, CAR – With Jonathan Stewart sidelined, Tolbert found the end zone twice on Sunday. DeAngelo Williams also found paydirt, albeit through the air, but Tolbert has emerged as a deep-league lottery ticket since the Daily Show went off the air.
Mike Goodson, OAK – Goodson ran for 89 yards on 13 carries against the Chiefs, supplanting Marcel Reece as Darren McFadden’s primary backup. If you’re in a league that plays through Week 17, put a bid in on Goodson in case DMC gets hurt this week.
Brandon Gibson, STL – Despite the return of Danny Amendola, Gibson saw a healthy dose of targets against the Vikings (8). Wideouts tend to do pretty well against the Vikings, but they do even better against the Buccaneers, who happen to be Rams’ next opponent. Unless you’re stacked at the position, consider Gibson for one of your starting WR spots this week.
Alshon Jeffery, CHI – Subject of some suspect pass interference calls on Sunday, Jeffery finished the game with zero catches (and zero fantasy points as a result). Don’t let one strange game scare you away, Cutler is keeping Jeffery involved and as defenses continue to focus on stopping Brandon Marshall, Jeffery will continue to see plenty of targets.
Dexter McCluster, KC – Only Jamaal Charles touched the ball more than McCluster on Sunday (that’s not to say Charles touched the ball nearly enough against one of the worst run defenses in the league, but I’m not bitter…). McCluster’s total of 10 targets more than doubled that of any of his teammates and he caught 7 of them for 59 yards. As long as Dwayne Bowe is out – and it sounds like it might be for the rest of the season – McCluster is worth owning in PPR leagues.
Jason Avant & Riley Cooper, PHI – Part of the problem with Nick Foles from a fantasy perspective is that he spreads it around to a lot of different receivers. Cooper and Avant each caught 3 passes on Sunday and while Avant had more yards (44 to 20), Cooper caught the only touchdown. It’s would be easy to err on the side of Cooper being more productive going forward because he had more targets and the TD this week, but remember that Avant had more targets the previous week. Going back three weeks, they each had 5 targets, so it’s pretty damn close overall. I’d go with Avant if I had to choose based on his yards per catch (18.3 over the past three games compared to 9.8 for Cooper)
Leonard Hankerson, WAS – Hankerson caught two passes on Sunday, both for touchdowns. While I wouldn’t want to rely on him, Hankerson’s match-up against the Eagles in Week 16 is a good one.
Benjamin Watson, CLE – After seeing what Dennis Pitta did against the Broncos on Sunday (7 rec., 125 yards, 2 TDs), you better believe I’m going to recommend Watson against them in Week 16.
Lance Kendricks, STL – The Buccaneers also tend to be fairly generous with fantasy points allowed to tight ends, so Kendricks could be a sneaky play for deep-leaguers this week. He’s averaging 35.0 yards and 0.5 TDs per game over the last four weeks.