Finally, we’re done with NFL bye weeks and we eliminate that headache from our lineup selections. That particular headache is replaced with that of the playoff pressure and knowing that each game could now be your last in any particular league. If you’ve made the playoffs, great. If you’ve earned a bye then even better!
At this stage, the waiver wire becomes all that more important and every player you select now should be in contention for your starting lineup or you should be blocking a rival from playing a certain player in their lineup. Any remaining FAAB budget should be carefully spent in an attempt to win your Championship.
Don’t forget to keep your #EyesPeeled for the weekly recap podcast where we discuss some of our favourite waiver wire targets in a bit more detail.
1st Class Ticket
The 1st class ticket section covers players who will be the top targets on the wire and the hot ticket.
Cam Akers – RB – Los Angeles Rams
Ownership Percentage: 62%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 30%
Akers does sit above the usual ownership threshold of 50%, but with 21 touches in the game just gone, it’s important that I highlight to you that he’s still available in 38% of leagues. The Rams backfield has been a total minefield thus far this season but Akers, a second round pick out of Florida, finally got a bell-cow volume of work against the Cardinals this weekend.
Ironically, Darrell Henderson Jr. only finished 1 point behind Akers in PPR leagues despite only touching the ball 5 times. This was all down to a 38-yard breakaway touchdown but, on the whole, Akers was the guy on Sunday. It’s a nice enough run-in for the Rams on the ground with the Patriots, the Jets and the Seahawks to close out the fantasy season. With the Rams in a very strong position to be winning the division, they’ll be going all out to win every game for the rest of the season and I expect Akers to feature heavily in this.
T.Y. Hilton – WR – Indianapolis Colts
Ownership Percentage: 55%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 10%
Again, another one slightly over the threshold but a player that should definitely be rostered. 191 yards and 2 TDs in the past 2 weeks, Hilton is seemingly “back”. Many had written off T.Y. after a barrage on injuries and a slow start to the season but he’s been the WR6 of the past 2 weeks.
With not the best finish to the season from a matchup perspective, I wouldn’t be breaking the bank for Hilton. That being said, Indy are in a divisional battle and will be wanting to win games in any way that they can. If Rivers and Hilton have finally found their groove, the pairing could be a divisional winner for the Colts and a Championship winner for your fantasy team.
2nd Class Ticket
This section covers player who may not be the top option but could be good replacements for bye weeks or just have strong matchups. A Flex ticket if you must.
Ty Johnson – RB – New York Jets
Ownership Percentage: 1%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 1%
Johnson arrived into a running back room consisting of Gore (concussion), Bell (with the Chiefs), Ballage (with the Chargers), Perine (IR) and Adams (active) and was still able to be the main ball carrier in week 13. It was an impressive performance from the former Detroit Lion and, understandably, he’s the player trending most upward on Sleeper right now.
I’m not buying the hype as much as everybody else and don’t recommend that you blow all of your remaining FAAB on him this week. Gore may not miss any games and Perine will be returning from IR. Couple this with the fact that the Jets won’t be competitive in too many more games and that their playoff schedule against the running back is lousy, Johnson won’t have too many days like Sunday.
Jordan Reed – TE – San Francisco 49ers
Ownership Percentage: 34%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 5%
Rule 81: if George Kittle is out and Jordan Reed is healthy – play Jordan Reed. It was touch and go for Reed and it was a garbage time TD that saved his fantasy performance against the Bills last night. I know this TD came late because I finally went to sleep when this game was dead and buried and actually missed it! Reed took a bit hit early on in this game which I actually think limited his time on the field during this contest.
16 targets over the past 3 games is good going for the TE position and playoff matchups against the Football Team, the Cowboys and the Cardinals aren’t to be sniffed at.
Other players of note:
QB: Kirk Cousins (MIN-69%), Jared Goff (LAR-69%)
RB: Adrian Peterson (DET-46%), Peyton Barber (WAS-2%)
WR: Tim Patrick (DEN-35%), Keke Coutee (HOU-42%), Gabriel Davis (BUF-9%), Allen Lazard (58%), Rashard Higgins (CLE-9%)
TE: Logan Thomas (WAS-45%)
Day Return Ticket
This section will highlight the options who you may be able to pickup as a streaming option this week. We often advise people not to draft an early QB and certainly not an early DST so this section backs up that advice.
Mitchell Trubisky – QB – Chicago Bears – vsHOU
Ownership Percentage: 20%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 0%
Yes, you may be thinking that I’ve just forgotten to change this segment from last week, but I have changed the opponent and the ownership percentage.
Trubisky was my QB streaming choice against the Lions last week and I was bold enough to call him a top-5 fantasy quarterback on the week. He didn’t quite achieve that (QB22 to be precise), but I’m rolling the dice with him again this week. The Texans aren’t a bad team which will mean that Chicago remain competitive throughout. Additionally, they give a fair amount of points up to the fantasy quarterback position. This is by no means a great pick, but a solid one.
Carolina Panthers – DST – vsDEN
Ownership Percentage: 6%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 0%
The Panthers play the Broncos in week 14 – the second best matchup for a DST. Additionally, the Panthers have been scoring a fair few points at the DST position throughout the past few weeks. In weeks 10 thru 13, they’re the DST6. If you take their bye out of the equation, they’ve been the DST2. An unstoppable force meets a moveable object and we’ve got a recipe for a lot of fantasy points here.
Other low rostered options are: Philip Rivers (QB-43%), Tennessee Titans (27%), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (44%)
Advanced fares are for players who you won’t be playing in your line-ups straight away, but keep an eye on developments, and if you’re in deeper leagues, get a bargain by jumping in before everyone else.
Cole Kmet – TE – Chicago Bears
Ownership Percentage: 2%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 2%
In week 13, Kmet posted season (and subsequently career) highs in targets, receptions and fantasy points. Trubisky threw him the ball 7 times, for which he caught 5 of those for 37 yards and his second career touchdown. It’s tricky for rookie TEs to acclimatise to the NFL but Kmet shows signs to be doing this just before the NFL playoffs. With tasty matchups against Minnesota and Jacksonville, Kmet could be a very nice play in both of these fixtures. Buy now to avoid the rush!
Phillip Lindsay – RB – Washington Football Team
Ownership Percentage: 54%
Recommended FAAB Budget: 10%
All of the attention is on Gordon in the Broncos backfield right now but Lindsay is still getting his lion’s share of the work. He’s never been renowned for his receiving ability, but Lindsay has still carried the ball 39 times over the past 3 weeks. Granted, he’s only produced 128 yards from these carries, but the opportunity is still there. Generally considered a more explosive back than Gordon, should MGIII miss any time, Lindsay would become an important part of your fantasy lineup.
For the latest on pick-ups and drops, make sure you checkout @F10YFantasy on Twitter. Remember, keep those #EyesPeeled.