Week 16 Waiver Wire: One Last Pickup Can Make All the Difference

Jeremy AlpertSenior Analyst IIDecember 21, 2011

Week 16 Waiver Wire: One Last Pickup Can Make All the Difference

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    Injuries continue to be a huge factor this year and have affected some of the best players in the league. But even though these things can suck the life right out of your team, you deal with them and move on because, hey, this is fantasy football—not fantasy badminton.

    Still, with guys like Darren McFadden and Andre Johnson recovering at a snail's pace, along with Ben Roethlisberger being banged up and Matt Forte looking done for the season, what do you do?

    Hopefully, you stashed a little depth on your squad that you can plug right in there—but what if you didn't?

    This is where the all-important waiver wire comes in handy and why you need to know exactly who is worth picking up and who you can ignore as you head into your fantasy championship.

    (***Disclaimer***)

    On this list are guys who you may not normally think of as a viable pickup, but either their schedules for Week 16 or their particular situation will at least make them useful for teams in deeper leagues.

Pickup: QB Jake Locker (Tennessee Titans)

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    I already said to pick this guy up last week (hence the replay of the photo displayed here), but I'll say it once again.

    Coach Mike Munchak might make the biggest mistake of his coaching career if he decides to stick with Matt Hasselbeck this weekend instead of turning to rookie Jake Locker, but I'm guessing he changes his mind by the end of the week.

    Locker has clearly outperformed a declining Hasselbeck in each of the Titans' last two games. And if Munchak wasn't so darn stubborn and just let the more talented QB play, he might have spared Tennessee the embarrassment of losing to the winless Indianapolis Colts last weekend.

    By the way, the Titans also happen to play a Jaguars defense on Saturday that seems to be getting worse by the minute, so let's hope Locker gets his shot.

Pickup: QB Kyle Orton (Kansas City Chiefs)

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    Here's another guy I said to grab last week, so if you didn't listen, hopefully nobody else in your league did either.

    Orton is far from being one of the NFL's elite QBs, but he's efficient, doesn't turn the ball over and has a pretty good group of wide receivers around him.

    With Kansas City going up against a miserable Oakland secondary this weekend that has allowed less than two TDs to opposing quarterbacks just TWICE the entire season, you might want to think about snatching up Captain Neckbeard before your opponent beats you to the punch.

Pickup: QB Matt Moore (Miami Dolphins)

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    Moore is another guy who's probably sitting on somebody else's roster by now, but having one of the best QB matchups of the week, he should be snatched off of waiver wires immediately if available.

    The Patriots have allowed the most passing yards and the second-most fantasy points to opposing QBs this year, so the potential is obviously there for Moore to go off.

    In addition, for those of you who don't remember, Miami's former starting QB (Chad Henne) had the game of his life against the Pats earlier this season, tossing up 416 yards and two TDs in a Week 1 loss.

Pickup: QB Rex Grossman (Washington Redskins)

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    Grossman is highly unlikely to be available at this point, but if he is, he could be one of the sneakiest and best plays of the week going up against a depleted Vikings defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season.

    Grab him immediately if he's still out there.

    Desperation Pickup if Nobody Else Is on the Waiver Wire: Seneca Wallace

Pickup: RB Kahlil Bell (Chicago Bears)

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    It looks like there will be a changing of the guard in the Bears backfield this week as Marion Barber failed to impress for a second straight game.

    Bell, after relieving Barber of his duties mid-game last weekend, did extremely well with his opportunity, combining for 108 total yards and a touchdown on 20 touches against a very tough Seattle defense.

    Even if Chicago sticks with Barber as their starter for some reason, Bell will still get the most playing time this Sunday, considering he's the team's passing-down RB and that the Bears will likely be playing from behind against the Packers.

Pickup: RB Lance Ball (Denver Broncos)

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    Ball should really only be picked up if it comes out that Willis McGahee can't play this weekend due to injury.

    The latest word is that McGahee will indeed play, but watch the news coming out of Denver in case something changes; the Broncos have a nice fantasy RB matchup going up against a Bills defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs this season.

    Desperation Pickups

    Chris Ivory: Atlanta has a super-tough rush D, but since Ivory has been playing well in Mark Ingram's absence, you might take a look if you absolutely need someone. 

    Sammy Morris: If Felix Jones can't play, Morris will start against a beatable Philadelphia rush D and could possibly be used as a flex this weekend.

Pickup: WR Steve Breaston (Kansas City Chiefs)

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    Breaston has averaged almost five catches per game during the Chiefs' last seven contests, so even though he only has two touchdowns on the season, it hasn't been for lack of trying.

    This weekend, not only will he have Kyle Orton tossing him the rock again, but he'll be going up against an Oakland defense that has allowed the second-most TDs and the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

    If you need a WR3/flex player that has a chance to score you some decent points, Breaston could be worth a look.

Pickup: WR Andre Roberts (Arizona Cardinals)

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    Roberts is one of the more dynamic receivers people don't know about yet, and he is finally putting up the type of numbers that he was expected to get before the season began.

    Over the last three weeks, Andre has 14 receptions on 21 targets for 179 yards and two touchdowns—numbers that would rank him 19th in the league and ahead of guys like Wes Welker, Steve Smith, Mike Wallace, Brandon Marshall, Victor Cruz and Jordy Nelson in that time.

Desperation Pickups: WRs Brian Hartline, Harry Douglas and Dane Sanzenbacher

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    Brian Hartline (Miami Dolphins)

    Hartline had four catches on seven targets (both tied for his season-highs) for 47 yards and his only touchdown of the year against the Patriots back in Week 1.

    Maybe lightning strikes twice this weekend.

    Harry Douglas (Atlanta Falcons)

    Granted, he was taking over for an injured Julio Jones during the game, but in the Falcons first matchup with the Saints, Douglas turned in a career performance, catching eight balls on 14 targets for 133 yards.

    Jones will be playing in this one, so the upside obviously isn't as good, but maybe Matt Ryan remembers how well the kid did in the first game and tries to use him the same way again.

    Dane Sanzenbacher (Chicago Bears)

    With Johnny Knox out for the season, Devin Hester playing mostly on special teams, and Roy Williams being maybe the worst offseason acquisition in the league this year, Sanzenbacher should see a ton of targets on Sunday against a Packers team that he had five catches against (including a TD) back in Week 3.

    These last four guys are HIGHLY unlikely to be available, but I feel it's better to throw their names out there as a reminder to grab them just in case they are:

    Jabar Gaffney (Was)
    Demaryius Thomas (Den)
    Darrius Heyward-Bey (Oak)
    Nate Burleson (Det)

Pickup: TE Brent Celek (Philadelphia Eagles)

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    He might not be available at this point, but if he is, Celek has been a steady target for Michael Vick since the middle of the season. And he just put up the game of a lifetime last weekend, catching five balls for 156 yards and a TD against the Jets.

    The first time the Eagles and Cowboys met back in Week 8, Brent had another great game, catching seven balls for 94 yards and a touchdown.

    If you don't have one of the top-tier tight ends, Celek is definitely your man if you can get him.

    Desperation Pickups

    Jared Cook (Ten)

    Todd Heap (Ari)


    Check out the preliminary QB, RB, WR and TE Rankings

    Also click here to see the Full List of Waiver Wire Pickups and Drops from every week of the season

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