Where does the time go? Nothing seems to fly by quite like fantasy football season. For the overwhelming majority of leagues, the regular season is complete and the playoffs officially begin now. Hopefully you made it in all of your leagues and are now focused on winning championships and a little (or a lot of) money. Pickings are pretty slim at this point in the year barring a big injury, but there are a few players out there who should be able to help you win this week as well as the coming weeks. If you made the playoffs, congratulations. If not, it’s never too early to start building for the future and preparing for next season. Especially in dynasty leagues, grab some young upside guys now and drop some of the dead weight from your roster. As always, thank you to DFF’s Shane Manila @DFF_Shane & KJ Hanna @DFF_KJ for their help putting this together. Questions, comments, feedback any and all of it is welcomed any time! @dibari22
QB: Bryce Petty, New York Jets
Ryan Fitzpatrick has finally, this time Todd Bowles means it, played himself out of a starting role in New York. Petty didn’t exactly play lights out Monday after taking over for Fitzpatrick, but he did throw for one touchdown. In addition to that singular touchdown Petty’s overall numbers may have been a bit easier to swallow if Robby Anderson could have held onto more passes. Petty did show a willingness to go down field which could help boost his weekly totals, assuming he actually connects on some of those shots. Most importantly, especially in 2 QB leagues, Petty is a starting QB with good weapons in Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa.Todd Bowles claims Petty is the Jets starting QB for the final four games which means he can help you for the remainder of your fantasy season.
WR: Josh Bellamy, Chicago Bears
Over the previous two weeks Bellamy has turned 15 targets into 8 receptions for 134 yards adding 1 touchdown. Likely due to his practicing with and having built chemistry with Matt Barkley while both we’re buried on the depth chart Bellamy has received plenty of work since his ascension up the depth chart. Bellamy is getting the targets now and converting them into fantasy points and may be someone you can throw into your WR4/WR5 spot in the playoffs.
RB: Troymaine Pope, Seattle Seahawks
Running back is volatile position as you are acutely aware of I’m sure. Thomas Rawls looked superb on Sunday night, but did most of his damage in the 1st half. Rawls also needed to be checked out for a concussion, he did pass the baseline test and was able to finish the game. With Prosise finished for the season, Christine MIchael no longer on the team, Alex Collins tethered to the bottom of the totem pole, Pope could be in line for much more usage should Rawls succumb to injury this year.
WR: Josh Huff, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Though the Bucs have quite successfully navigated the 2016 season targeting Mike Evans with 30% or so of their targets and giving Cameron Brate another 5-8 targets per game there still could be some meat left on the bone. Enter Josh Huff, maybe. Huff is an excellent kick/punt returner who can steal you some points if your league allows for special team points. Huff is also as dangerous as anyone in the league in the open field. I’ve always felt Huff was misused by Chip Kelly and then Doug Pederson while with the Eagle’s. Perhaps the Bucs will be able to properly utilize Huff and find a way to use him similar to the way the Chiefs have utilized Tyreek Hill.
RB: Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9% Owned
Sims is returning from the IR this week and Doug Martin maybe nursing another injury. IF Martin plays this week, he still will be the main back but Sims will move into the passing down RB for TB. If Martin is out this week then expect The Quiz to carry the mail and Sims to spell him. TB has one of the nicest playoff schedules for RBs with wks 14 and 16 vs the Saints. He’s a must own for Martin owners and a PPR golden ticket for those in RB need.
RB: Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills 25% Owned
McCoy was not in the best shape this past week and that was evident by Gillislee’s usage and 2 TDs. If you own McCoy he’s been but is now a MUST own handcuff for your playoffs. If you don’t own McCoy, Gillislee may be the TD dependent FLEX play you are needing on the run heaviest team in the NFL.
WR: Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals 17% Owned
This recommendation is more on opportunity than it is true talent. LaFell, while not a bad WR, has a big opportunity to be the #1 WR in Cinn with A.J. Green out. In week 13, LaFell was targeted 7 times, catching 5 for 95 yards and a TD. Plus, he faces the Browns in week 14. Add and start as a WR3 or FLEX play.
WR: Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta Falcons 37% Owned
Gabriel took a step back in week 13, however, Julio Jones AND Sanu both were injured during the game. Sure, you’d think this would open up some room for Gabriel but he needs the bigger WRs to create plays. Gabriel has seen an average of 5 targets per game for the past 4 wks and has 3 scores in those 4 weeks. I like his fantasy playoff matchups and he at the very least should be on your bench to make sure your competition doesn’t snatch him up.
WR: Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots 20% Owned
Mitchell just continues to impress and with Gronk out for the year, Brady will continue to utilize him. After scoring the past 2 wks, MM missed the end zone in week 13, however, he still hauled in 8/82 on 12 targets. That’s a nice PPR day. Keep your expectations in check, however, as he will face BAL, DEN in wks 14-15 but has a juicy matchup in the championship wk vs NYJ. He’s worth stashing just for wk 16.
WR: Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks 25% Owned
Explosive, speedy, are words you’ll constantly hear about Lockett and that’s exactly why a majority of us drafted him in the 8-9th rds in our drafts. But, dealing with a PCL issue most of the season Lockett was dropped in the majority of leagues. However, he’s now healthy and starting to click in the Seattle offense. In week 13, Lockett took a simple end around for a 75 yd TD and added 5 receptions for 63 yds. It’s now time to add Lockett to your squad, again. His targets will be influx, however, he is another player I’d rather have on my bench or in a Flex spot rather than my competition.
WR: Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers 20% Owned
Here we go again recommending Inman. He’s been a bit up and down but in 4/5 games he’s scored in double digit points in PPR leagues. Tyrell Williams is not fully healthy, Rivers LOVES to air it out and Inman has taken over as the WR2 from Travis Benjamin. Plus, Inman’s fantasy playoff schedule is the best for WRs in weeks 14-16. Add him now!
(DEEEEEP League Option)
Robby Anderson, WR, Jets: .3% Owned
12 targets? Well, looks like Robby is going to be Petty’s security blanket. So if you are in a true bind or in a VERY VERY deep PPR league, Anderson could help you out. Mind you he only caught 4 of those passes but for 61/1.
TE: Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers: 12% Owned
Well, this is a no-brainer. We all were waiting for this past wks production from Green ever since he was signed by the Steelers post Heath Miller’s retirement and Martavis Bryant’s suspension. But, unfortunately an ankle injury and headaches kept Green off the field, until now! The past 2 weeks Green has been the shot in the arm the Steelers and TE deficient owners have been craving for. Green should be your top waiver claim and started immediately vs the Bills who give up the most yds to the TE in
TE: Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins 53% Owned
Jordan Reed is hurt again (shocker) and should be held out another week. Enter Vernon Davis. Davis has seen 2 straight weeks with 5 catches for over 40 yds in both. Quick math, that’s 9 pts in PPR leagues and with the TE position being a wasteland, that’s production you can bank on for the playoffs. I’m not completely suggesting you start him, however, if you don’t have a top TE to start, take a shot at him in week 14.
DEFs: (This is the time to stash away 2 DEFs for weeks 14-16)
Falcons: 8% Owned
Schedule: LA, SF, CAR
Chargers: 45% Owned
Schedule: CAR, OAK, CLE
Texans – 45% Owned
Schedule: IND, JAX, CIN
Bengals – 50% Owned
Schedule: CLE, PIT, HOU
QB: Matt Barkley, Chicago Bears.
I don’t feel good about recommending him, not one bit, but shockingly, he’s performed decently as the Bears’ signal caller. At this point, if you’re still playing, you’re most likely in the fantasy playoffs and you probably already have a good QB rostered, but if the waiver wire is a barren wasteland, he might be worth a stash in case your starter goes down.
QB: Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns.
If I felt bad recommending Barkley, I’m disgusted recommending RGIII. Look, the upside from years ago is still lurking in there somewhere. Do I think we’ll ever see it again? I did, but I don’t think so anymore. Again, much like Barkley, maybe you catch lightning in a bottle with him during these last few weeks… not likely, but better you than somebody you play in week 16.
WR: Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots.
Gronk is out for the season, Amendola suffered an injury and Mitchell saw an uptick in snaps and targets. He looks to be an integral part of the Pats’ passing game for the remainder of the season, He worth every penny of FAAB money you have left. He’s a must add in all formats.
WR: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings.
Mainly in PPR leagues, Thielen saw his targets and catches increase when Stefon Diggs was out with an injury, but even now with Diggs back in the lineup, Sam Bradford is still finding Thielen regularly enough to make him a worthwhile add, especially in PPR leagues.
WR: Paul Turner, Philadelphia Eagles.
Between injuries and guys being awful at football, Turner is the only option left in the city of brotherly love. The breakout star of the pre-season, Turner did nothing in the regular season until last week when he was forced into service and looked good doing so. Expect the Iggles to let him play a bit more going forward, especially if they literally have nobody else to throw the ball to.
WR: Robby Anderson, New York Jets.
Each season, a back-up QB finally gets a shot to start in the NFL and when they do, usually another player emerges with them. The backups practice with each other all season, and get on the same page, and once thrust into game action, especially for quarterbacks, they tend to go with players they trust. This seems to be the case for Robby Anderson and the Jets’ new starting QB Bryce Petty. Petty got into the game, and Anderson led the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns. With Petty reportedly getting the nod for the remainder of the season, Anderson might see the biggest uptick in production.
RB: Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Deep breath… ok… Look, if you’ve read anything I’ve written since the end of last season and/or listened to any podcasts I’ve been on, then you already know I’m obsessed with Charles Sims- especially in PPR leagues. He was sidelined with an injury but has been activated off of the IR by the Bucs. He was dropped in many leagues when he went down, and now you can grab a PPR-league winning back off the waiver wire. Do it. Thank me later. He has 2 games against the terrible Saints’ defense in the fantasy playoffs, you’re welcome.
RB: Justin Forsett, Denver Broncos.
Forsett played his best football in Baltimore under then OC Gary Kubiak. Now, reunited with HC Kubiak in Denver, and only rookie Devonte Booker ahead of him on the depth chart, you might see a few little flashes from Forsett to close out the year. If you’re desperate at RB, you could do a lot worse.
RB: Troymaine Pope, Seattle Seahawks.
We’re digging really deep here, but let’s face it, the Seahawks like to run the ball and Thomas Rawls has been a little bit banged up over the last 2 seasons. If Rawls were to go down again, Pope is suddenly a RB2 with upside. If you’re a Rawls owner, he’s an absolute must add insurance claim. If you are an owner of any other banged up RBs, and their handcuffs are already taken (I’m looking at you Shady McCoy & Lamar Miller owners) you could do worse than taking a flier on Pope.
TE: Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints.
I know you’re not supposed to wish for injuries, but Jeremy Hill was emerging as the main tight end in the Saints offense and as a Fleener owner in several places, I was maybe, kinda hoping for something to happen where Fleener would get more work. Maybe not an injury but, maybe something little like a dress code violation or Hill would show up late to a meeting… and drunk. Whatever the case may be, Fleener is the man again, hopefully he can capitalize on it over the next few weeks.
TE: Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers.
He’s looking like the guy many projected him to be entering the season. The Steeler offense is always fun to own a part of, if he’s available, grab Green and enjoy your seat on the bandwagon.
There you have it fantasy fans. If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the playoffs and good luck to you. Hopefully our weekly waiver wire recommendations have played a small part in helping you get there. Thanks for checking us out, we hope we’ve been of some help to you up until this point. After another win, we’ll see you next week, one more game closer to a fantasy championship.