By: Ken Mahoney @Turning2Sports
Burning the Wire
Welcome back to another edition of Burning the Wire, brought to you by Turning Two Sports. We’ll be focusing in on the Week 16 waiver wire prospects for Fantasy Football this week. You know what means? If you care at all about this article it means you are probably in your fantasy finals! If that is the case, congratulations to you. Bring it home next week! Hopefully Turning Two’s plugs help you hoist that illustrious trophy.
Nick Foles – Maybe the success of the Eagles was not all directly related to Carson Wentz after all. Foles took over for Wentz last week and erupted for 237 passing yards and 4 touchdowns against a porous Giants secondary. Yes, the Giants are bad. Let’s not take away from what Foles did though. He did not turn the ball over, he took only one sack, and he spread the ball out wonderfully. It was everything the Eagles could’ve asked for. If you rolled with Foles in Week 15, you probably did so as a Wentz owner. Rodgers isn’t going to play in Week 16, so give Foles a long look against a very susceptible Raiders pass defense.
Eli Manning – It could be his swan song, so give Eli a solid look for your championship squad. Against a very tough Eagles defense, Eli looked spry with his 434 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Sterling Shepard active and healthy clearly makes a lot of difference for the signal caller. Next up is a date with a susceptible Cardinals pass defense that ranks in the bottom 10 in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. I think Eli is a safe 20 points this week.
Wayne Gallman – It’s clear that the G-Men want to see if Gallman will enter 2018 as the lead dog at running back. So far, I’d say he’s earned it. He’s coming off 19 and 15 touch games respectively, and has scored 16 and 13 fantasy points in PPR leagues. While he isn’t safe, I think his workload is locked in for week 16 against Arizona, and I wouldn’t hesitate to add Gallman and lock him into your flex spot. Even if you are out of contention, give him a look because he has that “freebie” keeper appeal.
Peyton Barber – It looks like we’ve seen the last of Doug Martin in Tampa Bay. He was a healthy scratch on Monday Night Football this week, which allowed Barber to start and see 16 touches. While his output wasn’t great with 7.8 fantasy points in PPR, he’s got the backfield locked down. The floor is considerably high due to that workload, as I wouldn’t expect him to come in under 7 points in week 16 against Carolina. This is pending Martin’s status of course, but I don’t see Tampa activating him for a meaningless week 16 contest.
Keelan Cole – Cole would probably be my most sought after asset on the waiver wire this week. Lee went down hard last week, and I would wager he doesn’t suit up for week 16. In his place, Cole exploded for 7 catches, 186 yards, and 1 touchdown. Bortles is hot, and the Jags receivers are hot. Things are finally clicking down in Jacksonville. Given the plus matchup against the 49ers this week, Cole is a great plug-and-play.
Martavis Bryant – If you own AB and made the finals, thank your lucky stars. Make sure you lock down Martavis Bryant for this week 16 matchup with Houston. Houston’s pass defense is utterly putrid and is bottom five in the league against wide receivers. Bryant will see multiple deep balls this week with AB already being ruled out. He may even be safer than Cole, and may present a higher ceiling. This just seems like a week for a breakout as he tries to get on the radar of other teams in the 2017 offseason.
Robert Woods – Talk about not missing a beat, Woods just really fits into the Rams system better than Sammy Watkins and Kupp. Woods returned to see 7 targets, 6 catches, 45 yards, and a touchdown. Not only that, he has the benefit of going up against a lowly pass defense of the Titans in week 16. I wouldn’t leave him on your wire.
In addition to Cole and Bryant, make sure that Dede Westbrook and JuJu Smith-Schuster are already owned. In most leagues, they should be.
Greg Olsen – The only TE I would burn a claim on is Olsen. He finally welcomed himself to the 2017 season with a monstrous line of 9/116/1. The Panthers are banged up, so I expect Cam to continue relying on Olsen in the short yardage game in order to get him ready for the playoff push. He looked great against Green Bay, who are actually tough on tight ends this year. Perhaps the reports of Olsen’s demise were greatly exaggerated. In a fantastic matchup with Tampa Bay this week, I see no reason to shy away from starting Olsen as your TE1. It’s better late than never!
There you have it for Burning the Wire Week 16. Get those claims in for your leagues! Thanks you all for reading, and good luck conquering that stretch run.