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Deeper Sleepers for Fantasy Football (Week 16)


It's (probably) your championship week and you might have some issues if, for instance, you're an Antonio Brown owner in a deep league. That's why Rotoballer is here: to help you through this final week of your fantasy season.

Because so many of our readers are done after this week, none of these targets take Week 17 into consideration. I know there are a few of you that have Week 17 championships, so I'll be back here next week to help y'all out. Also, though, stop having Week 17 championships, because the randomness involved in those is not indicative of your fantasy team's strengths and weaknesses.

Anyway, let's look at deeper waiver wire targets and sleepers for Week 16, players whose ownership is currently under 20% and are likely available in many of your leagues. Note: All ownership percentages are for Yahoo leagues.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Deeper Waiver Wire Targets for Week 16

QUARTERBACKS

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens - 18% owned

Flacco makes this list for a second consecutive week, which surprises me a little because he was 14% owned coming into this past weekend and was playing Cleveland, so I expected him to be streamed a little more than he was. If you're still in need of a quarterback for this upcoming week, check out Flacco, who has three strong fantasy games in a row and a match-up with a Colts defense that's allowed the ninth-most points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks. A knee injury to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin could hurt his upside a little bit, but he's worth a shot.

Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears - 6% owned

How desperate are you? Trubisky has a good match-up on paper against the Cleveland Browns (i.e. the team that Flacco put up big numbers against in Week 15), but he's a little scary to trust because of the Jordan Howard factor. Howard could see almost thirty carries against a bad Browns defense, which obviously limits Trubisky's upside, but if the game stays close or Chicago gets behind, there's an exploitable Browns secondary for Trubisky to carve up. He's a risk, but if for some reason you're in need of a starting quarterback this week and he's there, don't be too afraid.

 

RUNNING BACKS

Wayne Gallman, New York Giants - 5% owned

Running back is kind of a wasteland this week, but there a couple of reasonable dart throws. Wayne Gallman looked immensely better than Orleans Darkwa in New York's loss to the Eagles, rushing eight times for 39 yards to Darkwa's nine carries for seven yards, though Darkwa did find the end zone. Gallman was also a factor in the passing game, hauling in six catches for 40 yards. The Arizona Cardinals have a good run defense, but if you have a spot on your bench and need a running back then Gallman is worth a grab. Monitor reports out of New York over the course of the week and see if anything gets said about Gallman starting over Darkwa. If he does, he's got flex consideration in deeper leagues.

Tion Green, Detroit Lions - 3% owned

I really like Tion Green this week for a few reasons. First, he's overtaken Ameer Abdullah on the depth chart. Second, he's a better option in short yardage situations than Theo Riddick. Finally, THE BENGALS RUN DEFENSE. Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon combined for 100 yards this past week, and Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen combined for over 200 rushing yards in Week 14. If Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict (concussion) is out again, the Lions could actually have a good day on the ground. Really!

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars  - 5% owned

There is a whole lot to like about Keelan Cole this week. He's got a touchdown in three straight games, he's playing against the 49ers passing defense, and Marqise Lee (ankle) is expected to be out in Week 16, allowing Cole to claim an even larger role in the offense. If you lost Antonio Brown and don't have receiver depth, Cole gives you a reasonable shot at finding the end zone. He's definitely worth a look for receiver-needy fantasy owners.

Kendall Wright, Chicago Bears  - 4% owned

I'm a big believer in tracking targets, because they can be good predictors of future success. Wright's targets over the past two games? 11 in Week 14 (10 catches for 107 yards) and 12 in Week 15 (7 catches for 81 yards). As mentioned above, the Bears get to play a weak Browns defense. He's a good option in deeper formats this week, though there's always some bust potential with Bears wide outs--remember when Dontrelle Inman was the next big thing? Still, if the usage holds up then Wright is a solid floor play in a week where you might need someone who can be that person, especially if you're trying to replace any injured receivers.

Damiere Byrd, Carolina Panthers  - 0% owned

Byrd found the end zone twice in Week 15. The Panthers are thin at wide receiver right now and Devin Funchess doesn't appear to be at 100%. The reemergence of tight end Greg Olsen hurts Byrd's upside, but this past week proved that Cam Newton isn't afraid to look his way with the ball near the goal line. He's risky, but at this point most players still on waivers are risky.

 

TIGHT ENDS

Benjamin Watson, Baltimore Ravens - 14% owned

I suggested Flacco above and I'm going to suggest his tight end here. The tight end position has been hard to predict this year, so if you're looking for a deep league streamer this week you could do worse than Watson against the Colts. He's found the end zone in two of Baltimore's last three games, though that other game is worrisome--no catches in the Ravens high-scoring loss to the Steelers. But if you're willing to ride out the potential bust factor, Watson could have a strong day against an Indianapolis defense allowing the 11th-most points to fantasy tight ends this season.

 

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