If you’re hitting the waiver wire to finish building your lineup for this week, there’s still plenty of value to be had as you scramble to make the playoffs. These players are all owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues and all scoring references are to standard-scoring formats.
Last week’s picks (click here to view) turned out great! Hoping for more of the same this week as I roll with these players.
1. Chad Henne-Jacksonville Jaguars: (owned in 8.1% of ESPN leagues) Henne has throws for 615 yards and six scores in the past two games since taking over for the injured Blaine Gabbert. This week he’ll take on Buffalo in Buffalo but will again be without Maurice Jones-Drew meaning he’ll be looked to to carry the load as the Jags look for their second win in a row. Henne makes a good QB2 and a fill-in option if you’re waiting for Big Ben to return or are in need of a one-week fill-in. His schedule for the rest of the year sets up nicely for him to finish strong making the Jags QB controversy all-the-more fascinating heading into the offseason.
2. Christian Ponder-Minnesota Vikings: (19.4%) Ponder will be without Percy Harvin but the Packers secondary has been beatable this season and has allowed double-digit points in four of five games. I expect Green Bay to be up big early, so Ponder may need to throw more than what’s best for Minnesota but what could result in a big game for him statistically.
3. Brandon Weeden-Cleveland Browns: (7.5%) The Browns QB could be in bad conditions again as the Browns play the Raiders but provided he can grip and throw the football could be in for a nice day against the Raiders who allow the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and have allowed over 20 in each of their last three.
1.Marcel Reece-Oakland Raiders: (43.8%) Don’t give up on Reece quite yet as he’s expected to be the primary back again even if Darren McFadden is able to play this Sunday. In muddy conditions, the Raiders may rest McFadden’s ankle more than usual making Reece a decent play again this week especially in PPR leagues. He’s had 15-9-19-9 points the last four weeks in non-PPR leagues despite only getting into the end zone once. Reece may not be a home run this week but is still a solid flex play.
2. Jonathan Dwyer-Pittsburgh Steelers: (40.8%) The Steelers are reportedly ready to go with Dwyer as their primary workhorse back after all their options struggled and fumbled last week’s game away to Cleveland. If you’re looking to fortify your backfield for the rest of the season, Dwyer is a better option than Reece although for a one-week add Reece is a better pickup. The Ravens rank 12th in most fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs but it’s tough to be too high on Dwyer when the passing game is in the hands of Charlie Batch.
3. Bilal Powell-New York Jets: (1.8%) Powell has 17 and 11 points the last two weeks including three total touchdowns getting double-digit carries in both games. This week the Jets get a Cardinals defense that’s vulnerable to the run, bu the only question is whether he’ll get the touches he needs to be a flex option. I think he will and makes a solid RB3
Bonus Sleeper-David Wilson-New York Giants: Wilson steps in as the #2 back with Andre Brown done for the year. The only reason he’s not on this list is that his week the Giants play the Redskins top-ranked run defense. He’ll be useful the rest of the year though.
1. Davone Bess-Miami Dolphins: (19.4%) Bess has been targeted over 20 times the last two games by Ryan Tannehill. Bess always seems to kill the Patriots who are allow the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Bess is a WR3 with WR2 potential headed into this nice matchup and should be in for plenty of catches upping his value in PPR leagues. I expect Miami to be throwing from behind and if Bess remains Tannehill’s go-to option he could be in for another nice game.
2. Ryan Broyles-Detroit Lions: (6.5%) With the Lions reportedly moving on from Titus Young, it’s rookie receiver Ryan Broyles who gets the spot across from Calvin Johnson as the Lions host the Colts this weekend. Indianapolis ranks fifth in the league in most fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers making him a great flex play this week in what could rapidly turn into a shootout. Last week, Broyles had 126 yards on six catches against the Texans on Thanksgiving.
3. T.Y. Hilton-Indianapolis Colts: (33.3%) Hilton is a big-time playmaker for fellow-rookie Andrew Luck in the Colts offense. With five total touchdowns in four games, he should get plenty of chances to make plays as the Colts look to run with the Lions in Detroit today.
1. Dallas Clark-Tampa Bay: (5.1%) The worst team in the league at allowing fantasy points to opposing tight ends is the Denver Broncos who have allowed eight touchdowns to tight ends in their 12 games this year. As Clark and the Bucs try to keep up wiht his old-QB Peyton Manning and the Broncos, expect Clark to get plenty of looks although he may not get 11 like he did two weeks ago. In his last three games he has a pair of touchdowns and has 11 catches for 123 yards the last two weeks. Clark is a fringe TE1 this week and I’m playing him in the league where I’m waiting for Gronk to return.
2. Rob Housler-Arizona Cardinals: (0.1%) Housler and the Cardinals face the Jets who rank in the top five of fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends as he comes off an 11-target week last week as the Cardinals faced the Rams. Housler finished with eight catchs for 82 yards and has become a part of the passing offense Ryan Lindley feels comfortable with. Lindley expects to start in New York making Housler an option if you need a plug-and-play option.
3. Dennis Pitta-Baltimore Ravens: (30.6%) The Steelers are good against the pass and especially against the tight end, but Pitta should see more action with Ed Dickson sidelined this week. He caught a touchdown last week giving him two in his last three games but was held to just one catch against the Steelers during that time. He’s a risky pick, but one that could pay off in the long term in the always evolving Ravens offense.
1. Dallas Cowboys D/ST: (49.0%) Dallas got lit up by the Redskins on Thanksgiving but welcome the Eagles to town this week on Sunday Night Football. They put up a season-high 23 three weeks ago in Philadelphia and will be out to harass rookies Nick Foles and Bryce Brown this Sunday Night in Dallas.
2. Buffalo Bills D/ST: (27.1%) The Bills D is trending the right way with 27 points the last two weeks. They should be able to attack the Jags offense which will be fairly one-dimensional without MJD meaning plenty of opportunities for sacks and picks as they host Jacksonville. The Bills have seven sacks in their last two games against the Dolphins and Colts.
3. Carolina Panthers D/ST: (12.1%) Luke Kuechly and the Panthers looked good against the Eagles last week and now head to Kansas City to face the worst offense at giving up opposing D/ST points. They don’t usually make big plays but are solid and facing a turnover-prone Chiefs team.