If you’re reading this article, chances are your fantasy football team is still alive in your league’s fantasy playoffs. And on top of that, as good as your roster has been to get you this far, you’re probably missing one key piece to pull off your title run.
Believe it or not, there’s still some help out there. Regardless of your league or scoring system, there are a few players you’re either over-looking or you simply have let slip through your fingers. Take a gander at the hot pickups on the Week 16 waiver wire before it’s too late:
Joe Webb, QB/WR, Minnesota Vikings (Available in 76 percent of all standard fantasy leagues)
Webb didn’t get his first career start on Monday night, be he played over half of the game after Brett Favre left with a concussion. We saw what we probably should have expected; a quarterback who looks down the field, and then immediately runs from pressure when he can’t hit his first read.
Webb didn’t look pretty against a good Chicago Bears defense, but for his first extensive action, the numbers could have been a lot worse. He threw two picks and fumbled once, but he also threw for 129 yards, while rushing for another 38 and a score. If you can still use him as a wide receiver in your league, you can expect to get something around 12-13 points at a minimum for the next two weeks.
Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers (79 percent)
Smith was hot in his return in Week 14 against the Seahawks, and then came down to earth against a good Chargers defense. We know his potential, and we know how low he can go. However, with his final two games against the Rams and Cardinals, looks for Smith to air it out as he attempts to get the 49ers to the top of the division.
Tim Tebow, QB, Denver Broncos (91 percent)
You can call it a “mixed review” all you want, but all we saw was a rookie quarterback taking care of the ball and doing what he does best. Tebow tossed a touchdown and ran for another in his debut as a starter, leading us to believe he can play at the highest level. Sure, he’s got work to do and progress to make, but he also has weapons around him to help ease the learning curve. You may not want to play him against the Chargers to end the season, but if you need a quarterback this week, it’s hard to pass on Tebow, who goes up against the terrible Texans defense.
Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts (70 percent)
Well, we were wrong about this guy. But if it’s any consolation, so was just about everyone else. Brown stepped up and shocked the world, bringing the Colts never-truly-living rushing attack back to life. Brown toted the ball 14 times for 129 yards on the ground, including a touchdown. The Colts are in the driver seat for the playoffs, so look for them to continue trying to present a balanced attack, which will feature Brown as the lead runner going forward.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Minnesota Vikings (78 percent)
Gerhart got his first NFL start with Adrian Peterson sitting out against the Bears on Monday night, and was immediately productive on the opening drive. An injury to Brett Favre and inconsistent blocking down the stretch made his numbers fairly pedestrian, but he showed glimpses of being able to carry the full load, as he topped 75 yards rushing for the second time in four games. With Peterson nicked up, don’t be surprised to see Gerhart get more action over the final two weeks.
Maurice Morris, RB, Detroit Lions (90 percent)
Morris out-played teammate Jahvid Best in Week 15, rushing for over 100 yards and a touchdown in Detroit’s big overtime win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There’s no guarantee Morris will get the majority of the carries or put up numbers like these over the final two weeks, but he’s shifty with solid speed, and currently has a quality role. As long as Drew Stanton is under center, look for Morris and co. to run the ball as much as possible.
Kevin Walter, WR, Houston Texans (68 percent)
Walter has recorded at least four receptions in each of his last three games, including a seven-reception, 70+ yard and one score effort in Week 15 against the Titans. Walter is back in the picture for the Texans’ passing offense, and you shouldn’t expect him to go away anytime soon. With great matchups against suspect defenses in the Broncos and Jaguars to end the season, he could end on a hot streak.
Blair White, WR, Indianapolis Colts (86 percent)
Austin Collie returned and went off immediately in Week 15, but inevitably was knocked out of a game once again this season with a concussion. There is speculation that he could be placed on injured reserve, or at least rested until the playoffs (if the Colts make it). If either is correct, White’s fantasy value soars back to where it was before, as a solid WR3. With Manning throwing to him, White carries the potential to score in any week.
Jordan Shipley, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (92 percent)
With Terrell Owens out for the season with a knee injury and rumors about Chad Ochocinco also being shut down, Shipley’s value is quickly on the rise in Cincinnati. He’s been a random quality spot-start over the course of the season, but extended playing time could make him a more reliable WR3. Keep updated on the status of his role and the roles of the receivers ahead of him.
Kevin Boss, TE, New York Giants (63 percent)
Boss isn’t overly flashy or athletic, and he doesn’t receive an insane amount of targets in the passing game. However, he’s good for about 2-5 catches in any game, and has three scores in his past four contests. If your regular tight end hasn’t been doing anything, Boss could be a good play down the stretch.
Randy McMichael, TE, San Diego Chargers (95 percent)
McMichael doesn’t have the speed or athleticism he once had, but he’s still a flashier tight end than most others. With Antonio Gates unlikely to play before the post-season (if the Chargers make it), look for McMichael to see more targets in an offense that needs to keep slinging it if they want to win their final two games. He’s scored twice on the year and hauled in five catches for over 50 yards in Week 15, so there’s potential there.
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