Waiver Favors™: 2019 Week 16 Fantasy Football Pickups
By Ha Kung Wong Week 12 Fantasy Football Pickups
Twitter: @FBGarbageTimeAs I do every year over the last 7 years, I’m back to help with some waiver wire adds via my weekly Waiver Favors™ article! I’m assuming if you’re reading this week that you’re in your fantasy football championship this year, so congratulations!
But we want to keep helping you to the bitter end, so I’ll make a couple suggestions after Week 16 of the 2019 fantasy football season. You’re welcome. Again.
And for those who’ve read us all year long, thank you! We really appreciate it as we close out our 8th year, since we couldn’t do it without you!
Since this is the championship game, and Week 17, we’re expanding all pickups to be available in at least 60% of Yahoo standard fantasy football leagues (with some minor exceptions) as of Sunday evening. Note that in Week 17, some teams have nothing to play for since they’re locked in to their playoff seeding, some have a lot to play for in terms of playoff eligibility and seeding, and some have nothing to play for at all, so we’ll talk about all those categories in turn so that you can be aware of those that may have extra motivation or those who may be resting players. And at the end, we’ll discuss some specific pickups from teams that have nothing to play for. And don’t forget to check the list at the bottom of the article, which essentially compiles all of those players I’ve recommended over the season who remain relevant by depth of league.
Also, since this is for Week 17 games, we’ll update this throughout the week as starters are sat and opportunities open up for more waiver wire pickups!
Teams Locked in for the Playoffs
These teams have locked in Playoff positioning so you should be extra wary of their skill players in your fantasy football championships.
The Entire Team
That’s right, the entire team. The Ravens have locked up the 1 seed in the AFC and have already announced that they’ll be resting starters, including Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram as he looks to recover from a calf strain. So there theoretically can be some pickups in Baltimore as they play the Steelers at home in Week 17. Pittsburgh does have a solid defense (3rd overall per DVOA), but they were manhandled by Sam Darnold and the LAST ranked New York Jets offense per DVOA to the tune of 16 points in Week 16. If they can do it, certainly Robert Griffin III (0% Owned), Gus Edwards (10% Owned) and Justice Hill (4% Owned) can do it too. Note that safety Earl Thomas and defensive tackle Brandon Williams also won’t play, and some of the corners can also be rested, so you might shy away from the Baltimore Ravens defense as well.
The Bills are locked into the AFC 5 seed, so they really have nothing to play for in Week 17 against the Jets. It’s unclear if any starters sit this one out, as they might need the reps, but they might at least scale back reps for Devin Singletary and/or Frank Gore (24% Owned). Gore didn’t get any carries in Week 17, but it’s possible they try to save Singletary for the playoffs, so keep a close eye on that and any reports out of Buffalo.
- UPDATE (12/24/19) – Bills coach Sean McDermott has said that the team will “play a majority of the guys” in Week 17 against the Jets, but also confirmed that Matt Barkley is also “likely” to see time under center. I’d bet on Allen playing no more than a quarter, and perhaps even less.
The Texans locked up the AFC South and the AFC 4 seed with their win in Week 16, but do have a chance to move up to the 3 seed with a win in Week 17. That being said, with the 5 and 6 seed unsettled, it’s really unclear whether being the 3 or 4 seed would be better, but for some rare situations where homefield would be decided based on a 3 vs. 4 seeding. So it’s not entirely out the realm of possibility that Deshaun Watson, Deandre Hopkins, Will Fuller (who is also suffering from an injury) and even Kenny Stills sit out week 17. Perhaps we see some AJ McCarron (0% Owned), Keke Coutee (8% Owned) and DeAndre Carter (1% Owned). Keep an eye out for what happens.
The Vikings are locked in the 6 seed after losing to the Packers on Monday Night Football. Clearly, they were a different team with Dalvin Cook and Kirk Cousins can’t win on Monday nights. That being said, there’s no reason for the Vikings to risk any players in a meaningless game against the Chicago Bears, particularly after allowing 5 sacks of Cousins against the Packers. So it wouldn’t be surprising for Cousins, Cook, and maybe even Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph to rest at least part of the game, if not all of it. Maybe we’ll see some Sean Mannion (0% Owned), Olabisi Johnson (2% Owned), Laquon Treadwell (0% Owned), Mike Boone (65% Owned) and Ameer Abdullah (5% Owned).
Teams With Extra Motivation Based on Playoff Scenarios
These teams have skill players that are safe to deploy in your fantasy football championship, but for any latent injuries (with some suggested waiver pick ups per team if relevant).
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Tennessee Titans
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Oakland Raiders – They need a miracle, but they’ll play hard for the win and Josh Jacobs may still be injured, which means DeAndre Washington (48% Owned) & Jalen Richard (5% Owned) may be viable again.
- San Francisco 49ers
- New Orleans Saints
- Green Bay Packers – The Packers currently have the bye but can potentially move up to the 1 seed with a win and could fall to the 3 seed with a loss.
- Seattle Seahawks – Travis Homer (0% Owned) – with both Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny on the shelf due to injury, and even CJ Prosise out with an arm injury, Travis Homer is now the top dog in the backfield, which has some serious value in Seattle. Also keep an eye on practices with Marshawn Lynch (0% Owned), as he’s signed with the team for Week 17 and the post-season. I’d still prefer Homer as he’s at least in football shape, but Lynch makes this a lot murkier.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Dallas Goedert (60% Owned) & Greg Ward (9% Owned) – both particularly if Zach Ertz’s rib injury is serious.
- Dallas Cowboys
Potential Pickups from Teams that Have Nothing to Play For
QB – New York Giants – 19% Owned
The Giants are going nowhere, but they sure would love to be spoilers to the Eagles, and they get that chance in Week 17. Daniel Jones is coming off a huge performance completing 28 of 42 pass attempts for 352 yards and 5 touchdowns in Week 16 and may have just re-earned his “Danny Dimes” nickname. There’s certainly some motivation here to end the season on a high note at home to show the Giants faithful that their new franchise QB is definitely here, while also getting the satisfaction of knocking out their NFC East foes from the playoffs, particularly in light of the Eagles 20th ranked pass defense. He’s worth considering for those needing to stream a QB in the finals or in two QB leagues.
QB – Cincinnati Bengals – 9% Owned
The Bengals had a heartbreaker against the Dolphins in Week 16 after a dramatic comeback in the 4th quarter, but honestly, it’s all for the best as they lock in that number 1 draft pick in 2020. That being said, Andy Dalton was “The Return of Good Dalton” as he completed 33 of 56 passes for 396 yards with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 16. With Cincinnati locking int that that top pick in the 2020 draft, though, it’s essentially written in stone that they’ll be taking a QB and moving on from Dalton, so there may be some extra motivation for Dalton to go outwith a bang in what is likely his last game with the Bengals in Week 17 versus the Browns, particularly at home in Cincinnati. He’s worth some consideration if you need a streamer or are in a 2 QB league.
TE – New York Giants – 2% Owned
The TE position has been a complete wasteland this year outside the top 4, and Evan Engram was mostly a lost cause due to injury. In stepped rookie Kaden Smith who caught 6 of 8 targets for 35 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 16. He’ll get a good amount of looks in Week 17 continuing as the starting TE, and has all the same motivations that Jones has above. So feel free to consider him if you need to pick up a TE, or play defense to stop your opponent from grabbing a TE.
WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 6% Owned
Well, it turns out that no Evans and no Godwin was a huge problem for Jameis Winston. But it wasn’t an issue for Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson, who caught 5 of 10 targets for 43 yards and a touchdown in Week 16. We were concerned that maybe Watson wouldn’t get enough targets with OJ Howard and Cameron Brate there, but that appeared not to be an issue. If both Evans and Godwin remain out against the Falcons in Week 17, Watson may be a decent desperation fill-in, particularly if you were not able to grab Breshad Perriman..
And here’s who I’ve recommended in previous weeks that I still think deserve a look (I’ve identified in RED the ones I want to highlight again for Week 14):
QBs – Jimmy Garoppolo, Ryan Tannehill
RBs – Carlos Hyde, Raheem Mostert
WRs – Cole Beasley (PPR), A.J. Brown, John Brown, Marquise Brown, DJ Chark Jr. (Pending Injury), Terry McClaurin, DK Metcalf, DeVante Parker, Breshad Perriman, Deebo Samuel, Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, Greg Ward
TE – Jared Cook, Jacob Hollister
QBs – Sam Darnold, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mitchell Trubisky
RBs – Mike Boone, Ronald Jones II, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Williams
WRs – Jamison Crowder (PPR), Alex Erickson, Diontae Johnson, Anthony Miller, Zach Pascal, Demaryius Thomas, James Washington
TE – Cameron Brate, Noah Fant, O.J. Howard, Kyle Rudolph, Jonnu Smith
QBs – Drew Lock
RB – Patrick Laird, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell Jr.
WR – Randall Cobb, Chris Conley, Corey Davis, Phillip Dorsett, Russell Gage, Mecole Hardman, N’Keal Harry, Allen Lazard, Tim Patrick, Hunter Renfrow (PPR), Josh Reynolds, Demarcus Robinson, Mohamed Sanu, Steve Sims Jr., Kenny Stills, Auden Tate
TE – Mike Gesicki, Dawson Knox, David Njoku
Thanks for reading Waiver Favors and we helped you out in your Fantasy Football leagues! We’ll be back next year for our 9th year running!