Waiver Wire Watch: Championship Edition
Editor’s Note: We’re happy that 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) is back on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He will continue to work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 16. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
* Players with an asterisk next to their name were mentioned in last week’s Waiver Wire Watch.
(NOTE: Since this is the final week of the season in most leagues, you’ll obviously spend whatever FAAB money it takes to acquire the player(s) you need. Therefore, the primary purpose of the dollar values below is to make value comparisons between potential waiver-wire additions.)
Chiefs QB Alex Smith* ($10)
There are obviously concerns here, as Smith’s aversion to taking chances downfield is well known. But Smith has thrown for 590 yards over his last two games, and he’s had two TD passes in three of his last four. Smith also has a green-light matchup against a Pittsburgh defense that was allowing 20.2 schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing QBs entering Week 14 and just gave up 310 passing yards and two TDs to Matt Ryan.
Next up: Steelers, Chargers
Washington QB Robert Griffin III ($4)
Colt McCoy started for the Redskins in Week 15 despite injuring his neck the week before, but with McCoy re-aggravating his injury on Sunday and Griffin playing well in relief, it seems a near lock that RG3 will start against the Eagles this week. Griffin completed 18-of-27 passes for 236 yards on Sunday, with one TD and no INTs, and ran five times for 46 yards. Although it’s hard to place a great deal of trust in a quarterback who’s struggled so badly this season, RG3 has a favorable matchup, solid weaponry and something to prove.
Next up: Eagles, Cowboys
Buccaneers QB Josh McCown* ($3)
The good news: McCown has thrown for at least 250 yards in four of his last six starts, including a couple of 300-yard games. The bad news: He’s completed only 50.6 percent of his passes over his last four games, with four TDs and six INTs. There’s not a lot of positive momentum here, though a home matchup with the Packers isn’t terrible, and McCown at least has WRs Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson as assets.
Next up: Packers, Saints
Panthers QB Derek Anderson ($2)
Starting in place of the injured Cam Newton, Anderson fared pretty well last week against the Buccaneers, completing 25-of-40 passes for 277 yards, with one TD and no INTs, in a Carolina victory. As of Monday, Newton’s status is unknown, but it would hardly be a shock if the Panthers were to play it safe with Cam, hold him out another week and let Anderson start against the Browns. Cleveland has been good against the pass this season, but the Browns’ pass D would take a hit if CB Joe Haden’s shoulder injury kept him out of action.
Next up: Browns, Falcons