Tuesday, 16 December 2014 00:00

Week 16 pickups: Fantasy Title Edition

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Andre Williams continues to see significant looks as the Giants No. 2 running back. Andre Williams continues to see significant looks as the Giants No. 2 running back. Mark Kortum/Flickr

For a few lucky fantasy owners, this is the week that we have all been waiting for, Fantasy Super Bowl week. While those with a high seed no doubt saw their dreams of a fantasy championship dashed by the likes of Peyton Manning’s injury/illness or even worse, having the misfortune of playing against the future Rookie of the Year Odell Beckham Jr.  If you had the pleasure of advancing to your fantasy semi-finals or finals, you may be looking for a couple players that may be able to clinch your league title. While the Helpers have have covered most numerous waiver wire targets throughout the year, there are none more important than this week. If you have a high waiver wire priority here are a few guys that should be available in a majority of fantasy football leagues.

Top Additions

Joseph Randle RB/Dallas Cowboys 

With the recent news that DeMarco Murray is undergoing surgery to repair a broken band in his hand owners of, in my opinion, the front-runner for the MVP of fantasy football this season may be scrambling to find an alternative option prior to many league championships this weekend. While it is unclear if Murray is even certain to miss this upcoming game, but if he does I would imagine that Joseph Randle and not Lance Dunbar will be the better fantasy option.

Randle, better known for his off-the-field antics in which he was caught shoplifting a pair of underwear from a Dallas retail store, was a fifth-round selection in the 2013 and when given the opportunity has shown flashes of ability. So far this season Randle has ran the ball 34 times for 237 yards (7.0), as well as two rushing touchdowns. Although he has not shown much as a pass catcher (2 catches on the season), Randle did show some flashes as a pass catcher during his time at Oklahoma State, hauling in 108 passes during his three years in Stillwater.

If Murray is forced to miss this weekends game, Randle does have an owner-friendly matchup against the Colts. The Colts defense has allowed 110.4 rushing yards per game on the season, and are giving up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. If you are looking for a reliable option out of the running back position starting one matching up against the Colts has been a great course of action. The Colts defense has allowed double-digit fantasy points to opposing running backs in all but two games this season, including 6 in their last five games. 

Randle should be a hot commodity on the waiver wire this week and rightfully so, as the Cowboys offensive line opens up big enough holes for a Mack Truck to run through. Hurry up and put a claim in everybody. 

Recommendation: Add Immediately

Value: High RB2 w/ RB1 potential 

Carlos Hyde RB/San Francisco 49ers (58% Owned)

I have been waiting all year for the 9ers to unleash rookie second-round pick running back Carlos Hyde. With incumbent starter Frank Gore being forced to leave this weeks game with a concussion, the opportunity is there for Hyde to carve out a major role this weekend against San Diego.

Hyde has been the more effective runner this year and continued to show his potential as he racked up 55 yards on 6 carries against the vaunted Seahawks defense. However, the day did not go unblemished as Hyde also suffered a minor injury. Early reports said that Hyde injured his ankle, but after the game Hyde revealed that it was his back, not his ankle that was causing him issues.

If Gore is forced to miss this weekends game, Hyde would instantly become at the very least a mid-level RB2 against a Chargers defense that ranks in the middle of the pack against opposing running backs (17.7 FPPG). I would expect Hyde to be a hot-commodity on the waiver wire this week, so if you would like the opportunity to grab a talented player that has the workload potential of 20+ carries you had better have a higher priority selection this week.

Recommendation: Add Immediately

Value: RB2 w/Potential

Andre Williams RB/New York Giants (35.3% Owned)

The depth of waiver wire pick-ups this week is pretty thin, but my objective is to find players that have the potential to be a starter for you this weekend. Giants running back Andre Williams is owned in 35.3% of leagues right now, and with Rashad Jennings tweaking his ankle injury Williams could be in line for a major workload this weekend. 

The matchup for Williams against the Rams is not as owner-friendly as I would like, especially if I am asking him to be one of my top two running backs during the Fantasy Super Bowl. The Rams defense has allowed the 6th fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs on weekly basis, and has held opposing running backs under 100 yards rushing in five out of the last six weeks.

It will be hard for me to trust Williams as a viable RB2 this weekend with a tough matchup against the Rams. I would be much more comfortable playing Williams if you have the opportunity to start a third running back in your flex position.

Recommendation: Add Immediately

Value: Flex/Low Rb2

Jonathan Stewart RB/Carolina Panthers (68.9% Owned)

One of my biggest rules in fantasy football is to not put my trust in either the Patriots or Panthers' running backs in crucial fantasy weeks. However, with Jonathan Stewart being the only healthy option in the Panthers backfield and a juicy matchup ahead of him, Stewart is making me consider breaking my rule.

After posting a 20-carry performance for 155 yards in week 14, I would imagine that Stewart was a hot commodity on the waiver wire last week. Stewart did not do those owners who jumped the gun any favors, as he posted an underwhelming 73 yards on 22 carries against a Buccaneers defense that ranks in the top-10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs.

This weekend Stewart has another opportunity to post solid fantasy numbers as he goes up against a Browns defense that was gashed by Jeremy Hill to the tune of 148 yards and two touchdowns in week 15. With Cam Newton presumably returning to the starting lineup this weekend, I would expect the Panthers running game to the focal point of their offensive game plan.  If you're in one of the 18% of leagues that Stewart is still available in, I would highly recommend putting in a waiver claim.

Recommendation: Add Immediately

Value: RB2/High Flex

Dwayne Allen TE/Indianapolis Colts (44.9% Owned)

For the last four weeks, Coby Fleener took over for Dwayne Allen as the teams starting tight end while Allen was sidelined with an ankle injury. Now that Allen is once again healthy, I would expect him to become the primary pass-catcher out of the Colts tight ends once again.

It was a bad time for Luck to put up his worst fantasy performance of the year, as he posted just his second game under 200 passing yards this season. Allen returned to the Colts lineup in week 14 but was held to one reception for 5 yards while being limited to a part-time role. This week against the Texans Allen saved what was looking like a dud of a fantasy day, as he posted just two catches for 16 yards. Allen salvaged his day by hauling in a touchdown pass.

Next week I expect the Andrew Luck to bounce back in a major way against a Cowboys defense that ranks in the top-5 in fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends. Although Allen is a very touchdown-dependent fantasy option, with the Colts tendency to throw the ball near the goal line, and Allen leading the Colts in touchdown receptions (8). If Allen is still available I would highly recommend putting in a claim for the tight end.

Recommendation: Add Immediately

Value: TE1

Add at Own Risk

Kerwynn Williams RB/Arizona Cardinals (28.4% Owned)

I know that Williams has been at hot commodity over the last two weeks on the waiver wire, and rightfully so after posting 75 rushing yards in two straight games. However I have a feeling that the warm streak for Williams is about to come to an end this weekend as he matches up against a Seahawks' defense that has allowed the 4th fewest rushing yards this season.  Like the header says above, add Williams at your own risk folks.

Follow me, or send me additional questions on twitter @JoshMensch27


Last modified on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 00:28

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