Adam Levitan

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Waiver Wire: Week 16

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

1. Delanie Walker, Titans – Owned in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues
In Week 15, Delanie Walker went for 8/53/1 against the Cardinals unit that is the worst in the NFL at defending tight ends. In Week 16, he gets to face a Jaguars unit that is the second worst in the NFL at defending tight ends. So let’s not make this rocket science and try to poke holes in Walker’s game – because there are plenty. Simply say thank you and accept the matchup for a player that has eight or more targets in four of the last five games.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Tyler Eifert, Bengals – Owned in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues
Jermaine Gresham has missed one game this season, the Week 10 overtime loss at Baltimore. In that game, Tyler Eifert had just three catches for 55 yards. But note that he recorded a season-high nine targets, dwarfing his average of 3.5 targets in all other games. Fast forward to the present, and Gresham’s Week 16 status is in jeopardy due to a hip injury he sustained in Week 15. If Eifert is the lone tight end, his production will bump in a big way against a Vikings defense that gets shredded through the air weekly. Fellow rookie tight end Zach Ertz just lit up Minny for 6/57/1.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

3. Ryan Griffin, Texans – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
As of Monday, Garrett Graham was still feeling soreness in his hamstring and Owen Daniels (leg) was very questionable to make his return. It leaves open the possibility that Ryan Griffin will draw another start in the Texans’ tight-end friendly scheme. The sixth-round rookie is coming off a 6/62/0 line and faces the Broncos this week. We can safely expect a ton of passes out of Houston as they project to enter all-out comeback mode early.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

4. Tim Wright, Bucs – Owned in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues
When the Bucs are trailing big in a game, Tim Wright usually produces. He’s posted five catches or more five times this season, and the Bucs lost four of those games. That’s because as the strict “move” tight end, his snap count rises as the Bucs go to their hurry-up and pass-happy sets. So the question is if Tampa will be able to take a lead at St. Louis in Week 16. Well, the early line is Rams -5.5 and they’ve played far better in the dome this year, where they’re 4-3. Wright has more upside than the other TE2 Hail Marys because he’s a college wideout with gobs of athletic ability.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

5. Andrew Quarless, Packers – Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
Coming off back-to-back 6/66/1 lines, Andrew Quarless’ production can no longer be ignored. He’s always been an excellent blocker, but he’s raised his game as a receiver. And the coaches have noticed, as Quarless split out and caught a touchdown on quick slant against the Cowboys in Week 15. There’s still a very low floor here as Quarless could be needed to block against the Steelers’ pass rush in Week 16, so tread lightly.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 14-team leagues

Watch List: Scott Chandler, Zach Ertz, Brandon Myers, Fred Davis – Chandler is averaging 3.4 catches for 40.6 yards with two touchdowns this season. It is what it is. … Don’t chase Ertz’s Week 15 blowup. The Eagles will go run-heavy against the Bears. … Myers will have a shot at a TD against the Lions, especially with Victor Cruz likely out. … Davis will continue to be the pass-catching tight end for Washington with Jordan Reed out.

1. Titans – Owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Jaguars offense regressed in Week 15 as they turned the ball over four times and took five sacks in a home game against the Bills. Now playing without Justin Blackmon (suspension), Cecil Shorts (groin), possibly Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) and a host of offensive linemen, it’s not a huge surprise. The Titans should be able to go into Jacksonville and completely shut down the passing game with their elite corner duo of Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty.

2. Rams – Owned in 61 percent of Yahoo leagues
After watching a domination of the Saints’ high-powered offense in Week 15, the Rams defense is suddenly on the national radar. Lighting quick DPOY candidate Robert Quinn is on his way to becoming a household name and now they get an inexperienced and inconsistent Bucs team at home. Note that the Rams are 4-3 at home vs. 2-5 on the road and their numbers are better across the board in the Edward Jones Dome. 24 of their 42 sacks, eight of their 14 interceptions and 12 of their 19 forced fumbles have come at home.

3. Lions – Owned in 14 percent of Yahoo leagues
We’ve reached the point in Eli Manning’s career where we actually stream defenses against him. That’s what happens when you’ve thrown 25 interceptions and fumbled four times in 14 games. Now the Giants have to go on the road to a tough spot at Detroit, where they’ll face a Lions team looking to take some frustration out after getting Tuckered on Monday night.

4. Chargers – Owned in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Chargers are brimming with confidence after beating Peyton Manning in Denver. Now they have a long week to prepare for a home game against the Raiders, who are oddly sticking with Matt McGloin instead of turning to more explosive Terrelle Pryor. The Chargers will give up points due to their talent deficiencies at every level on defense, but expect turnovers and big plays.

5. Jets – Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues
Some folks might have the Jets higher on streamer lists, but I think the matchup is only mediocre. Rex Ryan’s group excels at stopping the run (No. 3 in the NFL) but struggles against the pass (No. 26 in the league). That fits perfectly with the Browns’ offensive scheme, as Norv Turner and company have no desire to run the ball at all. I’d consider the Jets more of a desperation play than a solid plug-n-play.

1. Nick Novak, Chargers – Owned in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues
We keep plugging Nick Novak into lineups and he keeps rewarding us. Over the last two weeks, he’s 5-of-5 on field goals and 7-of-7 on extra points. Now he gets to face the Raiders at home in a game the Chargers are likely to move the ball with ease.

2. Alex Henery, Eagles – Owned in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues
I normally try to avoid kickers in potentially rough weather this time of year, but the initial forecast in Philadelphia for next Sunday is 57 degrees. This game against the Bears has shootout written all over it, meaning plenty of chances for Alex Henery -- who is coming off a 3-of-3 day (including a 51-yarder) in Week 15.

3. Robbie Gould, Bears – Owned in 45 percent of Yahoo leagues
That Bears at Eagles SNF matchup is going to decide a ton of fantasy championships. Oddsmakers have set the initial over/under at a gaudy 56 points and I talked about the potential for reasonable weather in the Alex Henery blurb. Even if the weather is bad, Gould is a pro at that after having played at Penn State and then in Chicago. 

Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
Email :Adam Levitan

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