Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire options that are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. I’ll list any players at the top who are above the 50% threshold (or are household names) but are still somewhat widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.
Higher-Owned Options: Ryan Tannehill (Ten, 68%), Philip Rivers (LAC, 59%)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Mia, 10%) — Fitz is going to be a streaming option this week in a good matchup against the Bengals since he’s averaging 37.7 attempts/game since he was reinserted as the starter nine games ago. Fitz completed 23/41 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants in Week 15 and he added 4/33 rushing. You know the risks when using Fitz on this bad Dolphins team, but he has a pretty cushy spot against the Bengals this week and the Dolphins are slinging it right now because they have absolutely no running game.
Mitchell Trubisky (Chi, 19%) — Don’t look now but Trubisky has hung 19+ fantasy points in five of his last games. He completed 29/53 passes for 334 yards, one TD, and two INTs against the Packers in Week 15 and he added 4/29 rushing. Allen Robinson has been dominant all season but Trubisky’s recent improved play has coincided with Anthony Miller’s second-half emergence. Trubisky has also improved in the second half of the year because HC Matt Nagy stopped trying to hide him and he started playcalling to Trubisky’s strengths by getting him on the move and letting him run. Trubisky obviously isn’t easy to trust but he’s on the radar as a low-end QB2 against the Chiefs this week.
Andy Dalton (Cin, 8%) — Dalton is coming off a dreadful four-INT performance against the Patriots in Week 15 and he’s thrown for just two TDs and five INTs since being reinserted back into the lineup. However, he’s got a puncher’s chance at fantasy production against the Dolphins this week, who just gave up 283/2 passing to Eli Manning last week.
Jacoby Brissett (Ind, 37%) — Brissett threw for multiple TD passes in each of his first four games this season but he’s cooled off recently with multiple passing scores in just two of his last eight completed games. Brissett has been handcuffed recently with T.Y. Hilton (calf) and Eric Ebron (ankle, IR) missing time. With Hilton struggling through his calf injury, an inaccurate Brissett completed 18/34 passes for 165 yards (4.9) without a touchdown against the Saints. Brissett gets a good matchup against a Panthers defense that’s allowed 280+ yards and two TDs in each of the last two week, but he’s hard to completely trust with Hilton playing well below 100%
Drew Lock (Den, 6%) — Lock came back to earth against the Chiefs in snowy conditions after hanging 309/3 passing on the Texans in Week 14. He completed just 18/40 passes for 208 yards and one INT against Kansas City, but he does get a juicy matchup against the Lions in Week 16 for those digging deep in two-QB leagues.
Higher-Owned Options: Adrian Peterson (Was, 53%), Latavius Murray (NO, 65%), Matt Breida (SF, 61%), LeSean McCoy (KC, 61%), Duke Johnson (Hou, 56%), Tarik Cohen (Chi, 63%), Patrick Laird (Mia, 45%),
Alexander Mattison (Min, 39%) and Mike Boone (Min, 1%) — Dalvin Cook aggravated his shoulder injury and was in major pain early in the third quarter in Week 15 and he never returned to action. Cook has been gutting through the injury in recent weeks and he should be considered very questionable for Week 16. However, he was able to play through the injury two weeks ago after he aggravated the injury on Monday Night Football in Week 13 so nothing is guaranteed. What makes this situation even more complicated is that the Vikings play on Monday Night Football in Week 16 and it’s critical matchup against the Packers, which could decide the NFC North. Cook will likely do everything he can to play. Mattison missed Week 15 and he sat out of practice last week with an ankle injury after initially saying early in the week that he would play against the Chargers. With both Cook and Mattison out of the lineup for much of Week 15, Boone piled up 13/56/2 rushing against the Chargers ahead of Ameer Abdullah (5/25 rushing). Hopefully, we get some clarity about the statuses of Cook and Mattison this week because whoever leads this backfield against the Packers has high-end RB2 potential — Mike Zimmer downplayed the injury on Monday so we didn’t learn much.
Kerryon Johnson (Det, 39%) — Johnson is eligible to return off the injured reserve in Week 16 off his knee injury, and the Lions could use some stability in the backfield with rookie QB David Blough struggling. UDFA Wes Hills out of Slippery Rock became the latest practice squad option to come up and lead the Lions in rushing with a pathetic 10/21 rushing but he did fall into the end zone twice. Johnson has been practicing for two weeks and he told the Detroit News that he hasn’t had a setback since he returned to the practice field. Johnson could be on a snap count if he does return against the Broncos in Week 16 but, as Hills showed in Week 15, Johnson could fall into the end zone at any time. He also has way more talent than any back that they’ve trotted out since he landed on the IR. If Johnson is activated this week, he’d be a risky flex option against the Broncos.
Boston Scott (Phi, 8%) — Scott sparked the Eagles to a critical Week 15 win on Monday Night Football and he backed it up with 13.5 fantasy points against the Redskins in Week 16 — 6/26 rushing and 7/39 receiving on 45% of the snaps. Scott has earned a bigger role going forward but Miles Sanders will remain the go-to option against the Cowboys this week and Jordan Howard (shoulder) could potentially return, which would hurt his role.
Dion Lewis (Ten, 12%) — Derrick Henry has been battling through a hamstring injury the last two weeks but he continues to play through the issue. Henry is unlikely to practice much this week and he’ll likely play again against the Saints this week, but his owners should add Lewis this week just in case he’s a surprise inactive in Week 16.
Higher-Owned Options: Darius Slayton (NYG, 65%), Sterling Shepard (NYG, 62%), Tyrell Williams (Oak, 65%), Zach Pascal (Ind, 50%)
Breshad Perriman (TB, 9%) — The Buccaneers keep losing WRs left and right to hamstring injuries the last two weeks with Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller joining Mike Evans on the sidelines. Perriman, a former first-round pick by the Ravens, will now likely be the #1 option for gunslinger Jameis Winston the rest of the season. It paid off big-time for Perriman in Week 15 against the Lions as he racked up 5/113/3 receiving on six targets — all three of his scores came from 25+ yards away. Remarkably, Perriman is going to be a top-20 option for fantasy championship week because of his suddenly huge role and because his good matchup against the Texans in Week 16.
Anthony Miller (Chi, 26%) — Miller was a popular second-year breakout candidate this summer and he’s on fire in the second half of the year after a disappointing start to the season. He’s now caught 33 passes over his last five games for 431 yards and two touchdowns on a healthy 52 targets — he’s topped 11+ FP in all five games. He lit up the Packers in Week 15 with 9/118/1 receiving on 15 targets. It doesn’t hurt that Mitchell Trubisky is playing his best football over the last couple of weeks, which is obviously correlated with Miller’s improved play. Miller is a WR3 heading into the fantasy finals when he’ll take on the Chiefs in Week 16.
Danny Amendola (Det, 25%) — Marvin Jones (ankle) landed on the IR last week and Amendola immediately delivered a team-best 8/102 receiving on 13 targets while playing 86% of the snaps as the #2 WR against the Buccaneers in Week 16. With Chris Harris likely shadowing Kenny Golladay next week, Amendola could be a low-end WR3 for PPR formats against the Broncos in the fantasy finals.
Chris Conley (Jax, 20%) — D.J. Chark missed Week 15 with an ankle injury and Conley stepped up to lead this passing attack with 4/49/2 receiving on eight targets while playing 88% of the snaps against the Raiders. Conley and Dede Westbrook will carry the water for this passing game if Chark can’t play again this week and the Falcons secondary will give up production. Conley will be a boom-or-bust WR4 this week in this struggling offense with Gardner Minshew.
James Washington (Pit, 32%) and Diontae Johnson (Pit, 15%) — Washington is easily playing the best football of his young career over the last seven weeks and Johnson has re-emerged over the last two weeks (he’s going to be a special player in the years to come once he gets a QB). Washington posted 5/83 receiving on 11 targets against the Bills in Week 15 while Johnson added 5/62 on seven targets. We need to see about JuJu Smith-Schuster’s status this week as his bad knee continues to heal. If he can’t play again, Washington and Johnson would be boom (Jets bad secondary) or bust (bad QB Duck Hodges) WR4s this week.
Greg Ward (Phi, 1%) — With Alshon Jeffery (foot, IR) done for the season, Ward is unbelievably the best WR left for Carson Wentz. The former Houston Cougars quarterback stepped up against the Redskins in Week 15, posting 7/61/1 receiving on nine targets (75% snap share), which included the game-winning touchdown in the final minute from four yards away. Ward has now seen nine targets in each of his last two games since Jeffery went down, and he’ll be a volume-based WR4 option against the Cowboys this week.
John Ross (Cin, 14%) — Ross has just 4/52 receiving on six targets since returning to the lineup two weeks ago. With A.J. Green and Auden Tate out of the lineup, Ross has the chance to break back out this week in a juicy matchup against a leaky Dolphins secondary in Week 16 but he needs to play more than 38% of the snaps like he did in Week 16. He’s a desperation WR5 play this week
Corey Davis (Ten, 25%) — Davis is clearly the #2 WR in this offense behind A.J. Brown at this stage of the season but it may work in his favor this week against the Saints. He posted 3/57 receiving on six targets against the Texans in Week 15 on 76% of the snaps, which means he hasn’t topped 9+ FP since Week 7. However, Davis has a chance to be more involved this week if Marshon Lattimore shadows Brown and Tannehill could throw it 30+ times for the second straight week to keep pace with the Saints.
Justin Watson (TB, 6%) — The Buccaneers keep losing WRs left and right to hamstring injuries the last two weeks with Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller joining Mike Evans on the sidelines. Watson will now likely be the #2 WR behind Breshad Perriman for the final two weeks of the season. He didn’t do much in Week 15 against the Lions with just 2/17 receiving on two targets while playing 56% of the snaps. With Jameis Winston slinging the rock all over the field, Watson is going to be a boom-or-bust WR4 in the fantasy finals in a good matchup against the Texans.
Higher-Owned Options: Tyler Higbee (LAR, 67%), Greg Olsen (Car, 65%), Dallas Goedert (Phi, 61%), Kyle Rudolph (Min, 63%) Jacob Hollister (Sea, 61%), Jason Witten (Dal, 50%)
O.J. Howard (TB, 41%) — Howard has had a miserable first season under HC Bruce Arians but he’s finally emerging late in the year with the Buccaneers losing WRs left and right to hamstring injuries (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scotty Miller). He posted 4/46 receiving on eight targets against the Lions in Week 15, giving him 4+ catches and 45+ yards in three straight games. Howard gets a good matchup against the Texans this week, who allowed 117 scrimmage yards to Jonnu Smith last week, and he could be quite active with Jameis Winston throwing it plenty without his top two receivers done for the year.
Jonnu Smith (Ten, 13%) — Smith is back on the radar this week after posting 11+ FP in two consecutive games. He caught all five of his targets for 60 yards against the Texans in Week 15 and he added a 57-yard carry to pad his stats while playing 81% of the snaps. Ryan Tannehill could be forced to throw it 30+ times for a second straight week going against a potent Saints offense this week, and Smith could be leaned on a little more if A.J. Brown struggles against top CB Marshon Lattimore.
Noah Fant (Den, 6%) — Fant has racked up 6/169/1 receiving on seven targets over the last two weeks playing with rookie QB Drew Lock. Fant came into Week 15 nursing hip and foot injuries and he left for a period of time against the Chiefs with a shoulder injury — he played 46% of the snaps — so there’s a chance Vic Fangio could rest him for a week with the Broncos having little to play for down the stretch. If he does play this week, he gets a solid matchup against a Lions secondary that’s been gashed down the stretch.
Mike Gesicki (Mia, 30%) — Gesicki has been emerging a bit since their Week 5 bye but he’s been a little too inconsistent to be a guy you can trust in your lineups. He posted 4/47 receiving on eight targets against the Giants in Week 15 while playing 77% of the snaps. Gesicki has now seen 5+ targets in seven straight games and Ryan Fitzpatrick is averaging 37.7 attempts/game since he was reinserted as the starter nine games ago. Gesicki is seeing a decent number of targets each week to give him a chance as a low-end streamer against the Bengals this week.
Kansas City Chiefs (@Chi, 63%), Denver Broncos (vs. Det, 23%), Seattle Seahawks (vs. Ari, 62%), Indianapolis Colts (vs. Car, 27%), Houston Texans (@TB, 41%), Cincinnati Bengals (@Mia, 1%), Washington Redskins (vs. NYG, 5%), New York Giants (@Was, 8%), Miami Dolphins (vs. Cin, 8%)
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