One down, two to go. At least, for most standard fantasy leagues that is the case. It’s Week 15, the second week of the playoffs, and due to all the injuries, you most likely have some holes you need to fill. Let us help.
Ryan Tannehill, Matt Forte, Melvin Gordon, Julio Jones and more felt the injury bug bite them this week. Something happened and the injuries just piled up and up. I hope for your sake that you avoided them. I can tell you this, in one league my running backs were Forte and Gordon and my main receiver was Jones. I don’t think you would be surprised to know I am now out of the playoffs in that league.
That’s how the cookie crumbles in fantasy football, but for every situation like the one I had this week there were some of you made it through and are playing on with hopes of bringing home the trophy. So it is for you that I press on, OK, that and the big fat paycheck that Tony pays me to write this article.
And if you believe that, I have a Top 3 running back available in 90 percent of leagues to sell you. Nope, I write these articles for the same reason that some of you play in no-buy-in leagues, for the love of the game. Not that Tony is not generous, but I would write this article for free. I really would, (please don’t call me out on this Tony, I’m trying to make a point).
My point is that I am going to give you some waiver wire picks that could really help you out this week in your lineup and from the looks of the NFL injury report many of you could use some help. So let’s get started on this journey, and, as always, let’s start with quarterbacks.
Ryan Tannehill received good news on Monday when the doctors told him that he didn’t tear his ACL but rather sprained his ACL and MCL. However, Miami will need to start Matt Moore for at least the next two weeks due to this injury.
Moore will be coming in for a very hot team that has won seven of its last eight games and has averaged 23.25 points per game. He is an easy pick for a quarterback that you would want to target on the waiver wires, especially since he is available in 100 percent of leagues currently, right?
On second thought, no. Moore has only barely played in two games this season and his average amount of starts over the last six years is even less where he has averaged 1.5 starts per season. I just don’t see him making enough of an impact this late in the season to warrant you putting him on your roster.
If that is not enough, then take into consideration that in his next two games, which most likely are your last two of the season, Moore will face the New York Jets and Buffalo. The last time Miami played against those two teams this year, Tannehill threw for a combined 353 yards and two touchdowns. That is barely 175 yards and one touchdown a game. You don’t want that person leading you through the playoffs.
You instead want a quarterback who is going to be throwing lots of passes and preferably touchdown passes over the next few weeks in which case you should look in the direction of Trevor Siemian.
Siemian is available in 90 percent of leagues and has thrown for 368 and 334 yards in back-to-back games as well as a combined for four touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Siemian and Denver have a tough schedule over the next two weeks where they face both New England and Kansas City, but the good news is they have lost the last two games to Kansas City and Tennessee and Siemian still had great games. Remember, garbage time counts and when you are playing from behind you are usually throwing, so going with Siemian during this rough stretch could actually pay off.
If you find that a little risky, consider Sam Bradford. Bradford is also available in 90 percent of leagues, and unlike Siemian he is going up against teams that have been known to be easy on opposing fantasy quarterbacks, Indianapolis and Green Bay.
Bradford threw for 292 yards and a touchdown this last week against Jacksonville in a 25-16 win, and in the week before in a loss to Dallas he had 247 yards and a touchdown. They are not eye-popping numbers but they are good solid numbers and if you are in the second round of the playoffs and still need quarterback help I am guessing that the rest of your team is solid so some steady points in the quarterback position might just be all you need.
Speaking of solid, Dwayne Washington has made a nice little spot for himself in the Detroit backfield. The backup running back was thrown into the spotlight on Sunday when it was decided that Theo Riddick could not play due to a wrist injury.
Washington had a solid game, gaining 64 yards on 16 carries. He also happens to be available in 94 percent of leagues and he definitely is receiving some scuttlebutt around the fantasy water coolers as a possible running back pickup off of waiver wires this week.
I caution you against him, however, due to a couple of reasons. The first is that we have yet to see any significant yardage games from his this year so far, we have only seen one touchdown and that was in game one, and most importantly Riddick just might play next week.
Washington is an interesting person for dynasty leagues because the kid could have a nice future in Detroit, but this year and these fantasy playoff games are not the time.
Instead, consider Kenneth Farrow. Farrow is replacing Melvin Gordon for possibly the rest of the season and is available in 99 percent of leagues. Gordon has both a hip strain and a left knee sprain. The same knee he had surgery on this offseason.
Gordon just might play after all but it most likely won’t be effective if he does and Farrow will continue with the lead back roll. With 16 carries on Sunday, Farrow gained 55 yards and caught six balls for 23 yards on top of that.
Farrow could be a nice fresh set of legs in that backfield, and if he is San Diego just might give him the opportunity to have some big games, especially in the championship Week 16 when he faces Cleveland.
In the meantime, Powell, who is available in 63 percent of leagues took the ball Sunday and totaled 179 yards from scrimmage with two touchdowns as well. I think we all know by now that if Forte is out Powell is more than capable of helping our your fantasy team, and as it looks right now Forte could be out or at least hindered for another week.