StrategyDecember 21, 2010

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Waiver Wire: Week 16

By R.J. White

The time has come — fantasy championships are ready to be won and lost. Week 16 is upon us. Gone from the Waiver Wire column is the Watch Them section, as time has run out on monitoring players. Below, we’ll take a look at the potential Week 16 pickups that could actually be usable in fantasy leagues, depending on the depth of your league, availability of players, and the options already on championship rosters. Good luck!


Jon Kitna, QB, DAL – The Cowboys signal caller has been a top-ten QB over the past six weeks. The threat of Tony Romo’s return is unreal at this point. The Cardinals (Dallas’s Week 16 opponent) just made Jimmy Clausen look like a quality QB. Translation: Kitna deserves to start in the fantasy championship.

Tim Tebow, QB, DEN – Standard-league owners won’t want to bother with the Denver rookie this week, but two-QB and QB-flex leagues need to hop on Tebow. His legs establish a double-digit floor to his fantasy line (as long as he can reach 40 yards and one TD) and his arm should be adequate against the Texans in Week 16. He’s definitely a top-20 option this week.

Ryan Torain, RB, WAS – He followed up his big Week 14 with 100 yards and a TD. He now faces a Jaguars team that just made Donald Brown look like Edgerrin James. Torain is well worth a start in Week 16.

Derrick Ward, RB, HOU – Arian Foster’s status is up in the air after suffering a muscle spasm late in the Texans’ Week 15 loss to the Titans. If he were to miss Week 16, Ward would become an immediate option for fantasy owners against the Broncos.

Tashard Choice, RB, DAL – After an off-game in Week 14 against the Eagles, Choice rebounded to total 84 yards and a touchdown on 18 touches. His fantasy upside would be curtailed if Marion Barber is active next week, but if Barber is out again, Choice should shine against a terrible Cardinals defense.

Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN – Adrian Peterson was a surprise inactive on Monday night, and another week off for the star back could lead to a solid fantasy week from Gerhard, who posted 95 yards on 18 touches against a good Chicago defense.

Maurice Morris, RB, DET – I wouldn’t put my season in his hands, but there’s something to say about a back that’s just touching the ball consistently. Morris has received 11 touches or more in each of the last five games, and his 18 touches on Sunday were his highest total this season. He’s worth consideration as a flex this week.

Joe Webb, QB/WR, MIN – After getting knocked out of Monday night’s game, Brett Favre will likely subject us to another round of “will-he-or-won’t-he” for Minnesota’s Week 16 game against Philadelphia. If he’s out, Webb makes a nice WR3 option in Yahoo leagues. Just keep a New Orleans receiver (Monday night game) in reserve in case Favre plays.

Mike Williams, WR, SEA – Now healthy, Williams predictably dominated passing game looks in Week 15, catching eight of Seattle’s 18 completed passes. He faces a Tampa Bay defense in Week 16 that’s without its best cover corner. That makes Williams at least a WR3 play this week.

Anthony Armstrong, WR, WAS – Surprisingly, Rex Grossman was able to throw a spark into the Washington passing game, and his quality play led Armstrong to catch five passes for 100 yards. Armstrong now has an outside shot at a 1,000-yard season, and he has a great matchup against the Jaguars in Week 16.

Josh Morgan, WR, SF – Deep-league owners desperate for WR help can turn to Morgan, who posted his second straight quality fantasy performance in Week 15. That came against a very good Chargers pass defense, and Morgan now has 10 catches, 188 yards and a TD in his last two games.

Andre Caldwell, WR, CIN – Terrell Owens has been lost for the season, though his fantasy owners can tell you he was pretty useless over the last month or so anyway. Up steps Caldwell, who led the Bengals in receiving yards in Week 15. A matchup against the Chargers could limit Caldwell’s upside.

Jimmy Graham, TE, NO – Owners looking for a desperation play at tight end should target Graham, who has carved out a bigger role in the Saints offense than anyone could have expected. The rookie caught two TDs in Week 15, marking his fourth quality fantasy performance in the Saints’ last six games.

David Buehler, K, DAL – The Dallas kicker had been great in three straight games heading into Week 15, and he topped them on Sunday by kicking four FGs. He’s not incredibly accurate, but he’s been one of the best fantasy kickers in the league over the last month. Arizona allows more kicker points than any team in the league. Jackpot.

Dallas Cowboys, TM, DAL – It’s been a Dallas themed Wire article this week, but that’s what happens when a team faces the Cardinals. If you can grab this defense, they should do quite well on Christmas Day. I have them in both my fantasy championships.


Kyle Orton, QB, DEN – He’s out for Week 16, which means there’s no point keeping him around in fantasy leagues.

Donovan McNabb, QB, WAS – He’ll be the No. 3 QB in Week 16, so he’s no use to your fantasy team.

Mark Sanchez, QB, NYJ – He’s not an option in Chicago next week.

Carson Palmer, QB, CIN – You don’t want your season in his hands when he takes on the Chargers.

Mike Goodson, RB, CAR – Jonathan Stewart is clearly the No. 1 back, and the Steelers aren’t a team you want to play a backup RB against.

James Starks, RB, GB – He went from lead back to forgotten back to deactivated in the span of three games. Look elsewhere for playoff help.

Randy Moss, WR, TEN – Duh.

Austin Collie, WR, IND – He caught two TDs against the Jaguars before suffering another concussion. There should be no way the Colts let him back on the field this year, and certainly not next week.

Eddie Royal, WR, DEN – All Denver receivers take a big hit with Tebow under center, but you can completely ignore Royal from here on out.

R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
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