by Will Overton
I am a week 16 Championship game advocate because there are just too many variables and things left to chance in Week 17 to decide a champion. That said, I know there are plenty out there who do still play in Week 17 and have very high stakes on the line, so we’re still plugging away with top notch coverage here at Rotoprofessor.
As of now there are no guaranteed to sit kind of guys, which is nice to see. There were also no significant injuries in Week 16, so the talent pool on the wire is a little thin. Based on matchups and recent form there are a few guys jumping out at me who you should take a look at. Let’s break down the top waiver wire targets for those who are still on the lookout for some help:
Sam Bradford – QB, Philadelphia Eagles: I always make sure to include a streaming QB option in my waiver wire columns and Bradford is the widely owned QB I have identified. This one is all about matchup, and a little bit about game script. The Eagles draw the Giants porous secondary which is nice, and it’s almost certainly going to be a shootout similar to the one they just had with the Redskins in which Bradford threw for 361 yards. I like him to put up numbers based on quantity of work, if nothing else.
DuJuan Harris – RB, San Francisco 49ers: I am certainly not feeling good if I have to use Harris in a championship showdown, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures and he is only an option if Shaun Draughn can’t play. In Draughn’s absence in Week 16, the newly signed Harris ran 11 times for 73 yards, far out touching any other running back. Despite all of their shortcomings this season, the 49ers have continued to run the ball well and even though I don’t love Harris, I like this system for running backs and I somewhat like this matchup against St. Louis. If Draughn is out you have to at least consider Harris.
Isaiah Crowell – RB, Cleveland Browns: The roller coaster season of Crowell continues and it looks like the Cleveland Browns have re-committed to him as their featured back on running downs. He carried the ball 16 times for 88 yards and a TD on Sunday and now has 3 TD in his last three games and 311 rushing yards in his last four. This week the Browns get the Steelers who are much more susceptible to passing attacks, but the Ravens ran on them with success last week and the Browns are going to feature a run heavy attack with Johnny Manziel under center. While he’s not available in as many leagues as DuJuan Harris, I’d rather have Crowell if given the choice.
Keshawn Martin – WR, New England Patriots: This is a flier add because there are a lot of variables at play. Martin has been taking on a bigger role in the Patriots offense lately and had his best game yesterday with seven catches for 68 yards. His success this week is based on whether or not Danny Amendola and/or Julian Edelman are healthy enough for the Patriots to use them. It also depends on what the Patriots are playing for as Tom Brady could sit, or the other receivers on the team could sit making Martin more attractive to use. You’ll have to keep an eye on things during the week, but Martin has some upside in a strong matchup with the Dolphins if the chips fall right.
Roddy White – WR, Atlanta Falcons: After the season of disappointment had by Roddy White it’s hard to even consider using him with so much at stake. That said, the idea of using anyone against the New Orleans Saints is always tempting. The Falcons clearly have not written him out of their game plan just yet, as he had five catches for 67 yards yesterday ,and for six weeks in a row he has had at least three catches. White has just one TD grab this season, though it’s encouraging that the one score did come against New Orleans. The Saints always seem good for allowing a few big games and White could have his best one of the season this week.
Vance McDonald – TE, San Francisco 49ers: I can’t believe I am endorsing a second different member of the San Francisco 49ers, but like I said the pickings are slim this week. Vance McDonald has had some nice chemistry with Blaine Gabbert and seems to be past the concussion that limited him in Weeks 14 and 15. McDonald had five grabs for 61 yards and a TD yesterday. The Rams are 24th in the league at defending the tight end position as well which makes this play more appealing.