Dion Lewis and the Week 16 PPR Waiver Wire
Coming off of a season highs in snaps played (28) and fantasy points (12.4), Dion Lewis headlines the Week 16 PPR Waiver Wire. With many fantasy leagues entering their championship week, everyone you may need should already be on your roster. For that reason, these columns understandably get lighter as we enter the twilight of the fantasy season. With too much on the line whether your championship game falls this week, next week or both, you can’t rely too much on the waiver wire. You need to trust your gut and what brought you to this point. But some owners need bodies because of injuries to their squads. In those cases, there are still a few players under 50-percent owned in Yahoo leagues that can help you bring home the gold.
All listed players are owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues at the time of publication.
Click the player’s name to be taken to their Player Profiler page, containing game logs and efficiency metrics
For the first time this season, Dion Lewis (48% owned) led the Patriots backs in snaps played. Although LeGarrette Blount vultured a score after Lewis was ruled down at the one-yard line, Lewis led the backfield with 12.4 PPR fantasy points despite not scoring a TD. This version of Lewis looks like the one owners thought they were getting with their fourth round pick this year. He’ll still be hard to trust in starting lineups going forward. But he at least looks to have marginalized James White (45% owned), who was limited to six touches and only caught three of eight targets. With the New England offense clicking on all cylinders, Lewis can be started over the next two weeks against the Jets and Dolphins.
Given how effective Tennessee’s offensive line and run game have been this season, how Derrick Henry (44% owned) is still owned in under 50-percent of Yahoo leagues heading into most fantasy championships is a mystery. The last time he faced Jacksonville, his Week 16 opponent, he recorded a career-best 19.7 fantasy points. Despite DeMarco Murray also being active, Henry still saw nine red zone attempts. More than Murray has managed in any game this year. He’s earned the chance to be in starting lineups this week.
Though LeSean McCoy is averaging over 20 fantasy points per game, Mike Gillislee (25% owned) has still been fantasy viable. He’s scored five TDs in his last six games, five of which McCoy was also active for. And he was 0.3 points away from recording his fourth double digit outing in his past six. Most of this may be because Buffalo ranks third in the league with 29.6 team run plays per game. But it has put Gillislee on the streaming radar heading into a Week 16 showdown with Miami.
The good news for Justin Forsett (19% owned) is that he was Denver’s clear lead back in Week 15. He out-snapped Devontae Booker 34-28 and out-touched him 14-8. The bad news is that he isn’t scoring fantasy points, only recording 14.8 in his two games as a Bronco. The schedule doesn’t get any easier with Kansas City on tap this week. But if you’re depleted by injuries and need a body, at least Forsett now looks to be Denver’s lead back.
About the only thing that was encouraging about the Week 15 performance of Charles Sims (17% owned) was that he had a higher Snap Share than the previous week. But his return has rendered Jacquizz Rodgers (18% owned) a game-day inactive. The Bucs have a nice match-up against New Orleans this week. But Sims only managed eight fantasy points in their previous meeting two weeks ago. He’s still worth a dart-throw start for desperate teams, given that the Saints let up three rushing TDs to Arizona.
Another week, another double digit fantasy-point performance for Pierre Garcon (46% owned). That makes it six in his last seven games. Though he had no TD passes this past week, Kirk Cousins has been elevating his receivers with his play. Averaging over 40 pass plays per game, and heading into a showdown with Chicago, Garcon needs to be started.
John Brown (43% owned) has been one of the more volatile receivers in fantasy this season. His 19.1-point outing against New Orleans in Week 15 was his first since Week 8. And it was only his fifth such game of the season, as he’s been battling leg issues related to a sickle cell trait. But with Michael Floyd (44% owned) now in New England, Brown will have a chance to end the season on a high note. He’s still playing fewer snaps than J.J. Nelson (27% owned), so he’ll be a risky Week 16 start against Seattle. But if your league plays Week 17, Brown draws the Rams. In Week 4 against these same Rams, he set season highs in targets (16), catches (10), yards (144) and fantasy points (24.4).
After a season full of disappointment, Tyler Lockett (43% owned) has finally come on over the past few weeks. Battling a knee injury all year, he had managed only two games with 10-plus points until Week 13. He’s had point totals of 24.8, 9.6 and 26.0 over the last three weeks. And he ends the season with games against the Cardinals and 49ers. You know what to do.
Though he saw a streak of three games with a TD come to an end in Week 15, Dontrelle Inman (36% owned) still put up his sixth double digit fantasy game in his last seven. Upcoming games against the Browns and Chiefs should see the Chargers continue to take to the air. Especially if Melvin Gordon continues to miss action. Inman has earned his place as a starter in Week 16 lineups.
With Matt Barkley at the controls of the offense, the Bears passing attack has become even more volatile. Week 15 saw Cameron Meredith (33% owned) and Deonte Thompson (0% owned) combine for 23 targets, 17 catches and 214 of Barkley’s 362 yards. Though the TDs were scored by Josh Bellamy (0% owned) and the returning Alshon Jeffery. Aside from Jeffery, it will be hard to know who to start from this receiving core going forward. But the best bet is Meredith, who has been the most consistent option among the receivers as it relates to both fantasy production and playing time. Their final two games come against Washington and Minnesota.
With the Vikings ending their season against the Packers and Bears, WR-needy owners who need injury fill-ins should keep tabs on Adam Thielen (31% owned). He’ll be startable if he can return from a concussion in time to play this week. If not, both Cordarrelle Patterson (5% owned) and Charles Johnson (0% owned) would qualify as sneaky desperation starts.
With TDs and double digit points in four of his last five, Ted Ginn (27% owned) has played his way into the starting discussion. Though he only scored 3.4 fantasy points against in Week 4 against Atlanta, his Week 16 opponent, that was before he began to find his stride. He can be fired up safely over these last two weeks as Carolina plays Atlanta and Tampa.
Brandon LaFell (25% owned) and Tyler Boyd (44% owned) have been trading usable fantasy performances since A.J. Green went down with his hamstring injury. Week 15 belonged to LaFell, as he put up 16.1 fantasy points on nine targets and seven catches. Both players should be stashed/kept if Green ends up sitting out another game.
Hopefully you didn’t start Malcolm Mitchell or Chris Hogan (19% owned) against Denver in Week 15. They only saw three targets between them in a game where Julian Edelman and the rushing attack were leaned on. Though Mitchell led the receivers with 67 snaps played, Hogan (52 snaps) can still be started against the Jets. He’s been one of the league’s most efficient receivers all year per Player Profiler efficiency metrics. And his 2.45 Fantasy Points per Target is still third among qualified wideouts.
By now, we all know the risk present in starting Kenny Stills (12% owned). Especially in the fantasy playoffs, where a goose egg could cost you the season. Those who took the chance last week were bailed out by a 52-yard TD catch that accounted for all of his fantasy points. He’ll be hard to trust as a starter in fantasy lineups with Matt Moore at the offensive controls. But with 2.15 Fantasy Points per Target (seventh among qualified WRs), he’s been efficient enough for me to feel comfortable taking that chance. He ends his season against he Bills and Patriots, both of whom he’s found the endzone against already this year.
Still the ideal slot receiver in the potent Pittsburgh offense, Eli Rogers (9% owned) put up 18.5 fantasy points in Week 15. It was his best point total of the season, aided by his third career TD. He draws the Ravens in Week 16, the team he recorded his only career 100-yard game against. And he draws the Browns in Week 17, making him an ideal plug-and-play dart throw to end the fantasy season.
With Bryce Petty now starting at QB for the Jets, Robby Anderson (7% owned) has benefited greatly. Over the last three weeks, he’s seen 19 targets and scored 51.2 fantasy points. He’ll be worth a spot start for the rest of the fantasy playoffs with Petty being locked in to his favorite preseason target.
Though he wasn’t a Week 15 box score hero, Vernon Davis (24% owned) should still be added. Jordan Reed is still dealing with an injured shoulder, and Davis saw a season-high nine targets on Monday night against the Panthers. He’s cooled off a bit after going on something of a hot streak from Weeks 6-12. But he’s still been a viable fantasy option throughout much of the season, and would be a must-start against Chicago in the event that Reed doesn’t suit up. He at least needs to be added as Reed insurance for the championship stretch.
Even with Antonio Gates hogging TE targets or leading the position in snaps in most games, Hunter Henry (20% owned) has still scored four TDs in the last five weeks. Tied for the league lead at the position in TDs with seven, Henry is second among qualified TEs in Fantasy Points per Target (2.44). He can be started in Week 16 as the Bolts take on the winless Browns.
It’s understandably hard to place your trust in a payer who has scored twice in 2016 and has only had four games that can be considered good. But if you need a desperation start at the position, you can’t ignore Charles Clay (13% owned) putting up 34.4 points over the last two weeks. He’s found the endzone in each of the last two games, and was the highest scoring fantasy TE in Week 15 with 20.2 points. If you’re a fan of the revenge game narrative, he takes on his old team (Miami) in Week 16.
Filling in for a concussed C.J. Fiedorowicz (27% owned), Ryan Griffin (2% owned) had his best fantasy performance of 2016. He set season highs in snaps (66), catches (8), yards (85) and fantasy points (16.5). His eight targets were his most since Week 3, and the second highest number he’s had in a game. He’ll be worth a look as a Week 16 spot start against the Bengals if CJF is once again unable to play.