We have reached Week 16. While many of us will celebrate Christmas week, fantasy footballers have another annual tradition to look forward to: your league semi-finals.
If you are reading a waiver wire column this week, congratulations on winning your matchup. While many are tuning out fantasy football in frustration from brutal defeats, you moved on and will continue to compete.
You are here to read about potential additions that can help you strengthen your roster with the Championship insight. You certainly do not want to read about how painful Week 15 was, and you most definitely do not want to read how wacky the week was. All week long, we had tiresome, relentless COVID and injury news. There were rumors of postponed games, and ultimately the league decided on Monday and Tuesday doubleheaders.
When the week kicked off, we not only breathed a collective sigh of relief, but we got to see an exciting game that helped many teams to fantasy victories. We witnessed an array of fantasy goodness: 400-plus yards passing for Patrick Mahomes, TDs from Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler, and absolute smash performances from Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
This game was exciting and fun, but it was certainly not a harbinger of things to come.
When we reached Sunday, we all enjoyed a collective sigh of relief surviving the final COVID news- only to suffer through one miserable fantasy performance after another. The night ended fittingly. So many fantasy players were relying on the Bucs-Saints Sunday Night Bailout game, only to suffer through a 9-0 Saints win.
This week is certainly not over, with two Tuesday night games still left to be played, but it is time to refocus and get your waiver wire plan ready to put your team in the best possible shape to advance and compete in your league championship.
As a reminder, you add players to help your team and sometimes, adding them to hurt your opponents’ chances of victory. This week we can also look two weeks ahead. Do not be afraid to add a Week 17 defense.
Pay great attention to the news. With COVID becoming such a daily occurrence, you need to stay a step ahead of your leaguemates and be as active as possible. There will be plenty of time to relax in the offseason.
If you need a defensive streamer this week, here are a few options to consider:
Philadelphia (vs. New York Giants)
LA Chargers (vs. Houston)
Miami and New Orleans are most likely rostered, but either can be started in a game that could be a slug fest.
Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers)
We recommended Jimmy Garoppolo last week, and we will go right back to the well. He had a decent performance in Week 15, as the 49ers controlled the Falcons. He gets another plus matchup this week as San Francisco faces off against Houston. Garoppolo can be considered a high-end QB2 this week.
Tyler Huntley (Ravens)
Just a reminder that Tyler Huntley has been a stud since college and it’s a shame he went undrafted. I liked him coming out of Utah and Baltimore became the perfect place for him to learn and grow. Excited to see what opportunities lie ahead for him. https://t.co/oIzcy7MsGI
— Nate Christian (@NateNFL) December 20, 2021
The Ravens ran the same offense they did with Jackson, and the team seems to have the utmost confidence in Huntley. If he gets another start, consider him a top 10 option with a high floor due to his rushing ability.
Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins)
Ronald Jones (Bucs)
Leonard Fournette looks set to miss the rest of the fantasy season, and Ronald Jones should be the biggest beneficiary. Ke’Shawn Vaughn could also be mixed in, but Jones should get every opportunity to receive 15-20 touches. The Buccaneers will be looking for a big rebound game this week at Carolina.
Jeff Wilson (49ers)
Jeff Wilson is coming off of his best game of the season with 110 yards rushing and a TD. Elijah Mitchell seems close to a return, but San Francisco could choose to rest him one more game with the game on a Thursday night. Wilson will be a locked-in high touch RB2 if he gets another start.
Justin Jackson (Chargers)
Justin Jackson had 86 rushing yards and 13 receiving yards against Kansas City, with LA going to more of a split backfield as Austin Ekeler dealt with an ankle injury. With Ekeler landing on the COVID list, Jackson could see even more work. If Ekeler is out, Jackson would be yet another RB2 with a plus matchup as the Chargers look to handle Houston.
Craig Reynolds (Lions)
Craig Reynolds continues to be a Cinderella story for Detroit. The 25-year-old seemingly came out of nowhere in Week 14, and this past week saw a bell cow-like 26 carries for 101 yards as Detroit convincingly upset Arizona.
Craig Reynolds is not a very athletic for his position but the man can play and there’s good reason to think if he keep sit up can carve out a nice NFL role for himself. pic.twitter.com/d69ZHzSVup
— 𝐌𝐢𝐠𝐮𝐞𝐥 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐨𝐧 (@ProFootballPSI) December 20, 2021
This week, Reynolds has a plus matchup against Atlanta.
Samaje Perine (Bengals)
Joe Mixon is dealing with an ankle injury. His status seems very much up in the air, but if he were to miss, Samaje Perine would lead the Bengals backfield. This week, Cincinnati faces a must-win divisional game against Baltimore. Perine would have a decent floor because of his receiving ability.
Duke Johnson (Dolphins)
Duke Johnson found the end zone twice and ran with grit, effort, and determination. He looked fresh and saw a whopping 22 carries as Miami defeated The New York Jets. I would not bet on a repeat performance, but Johnson certainly will see some work as Miami looks to ride the hot hand.
I mean yeah, sure. Why not.
Duke Johnson balled out for his hometown crowd 👏 pic.twitter.com/Im6pHQmAjl
— PlayerProfiler (@rotounderworld) December 20, 2021
Gabriel Davis (Bills)
We’ve recommended Gabriel Davis for several weeks now, and he continues to come through with fantasy contributions. Davis had one of the best performance of his career with five receptions for 85 yards, and two TD catches. He now has four TD catches in his last three games and 15 targets over his previous two games. He looks to be part of the Bills weekly game plan down the stretch and he has the trust of Josh Allen. Davis can be treated as a WR3.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Lions)
Amon-Ra St. Brown is almost assuredly rostered, but if he is somehow available, be aggressive as you can in adding him. He is the midwest version of Hunter Renfrow, and has become the focal point of Detroit’s offense.
Don’t look now, but Amon-Ra St. Brown has 35 targets in his last three games 👀 pic.twitter.com/N6gqZd77RJ
— PlayerProfiler (@rotounderworld) December 20, 2021
ARSB is heating up and is a player whose stock should rise this summer in dynasty.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Packers)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling tied for a team-high seven targets, and had five catches for 98 yards. He has 31 targets in his last four games and is a locked-in part of the Green Bay passing attack. MVS is a high ceiling WR3/Flex play this week.
Cole Kmet (Bears)
Cole Kmet seems to pop up in this column almost every week, and for a good reason. He followed up a five-target Week 14 with a team-high eight in Week 15. He can be treated as a low-end TE1.
Foster Moreau (Raiders)
Foster Moreau had one of his best games this season, as Las Vegas defeated Cleveland 16-13 on Monday Night. He caught a team-high seven passes on nine targets. Darren Waller‘s return still is very much up in the air. This week, the Raiders have a big divisional matchup against Denver, and Moreau should have a near every-down role.