A short list this week, but good quality players to consider. We promise that once we start this article we will finish the act of writing it to completion. We also will not make any reaches that will put us at risk for losing our way and having the article go off the rails and out of bounds for a touchback.
The season has been long, and yet there are still teams and players out there that seem to be unclear on the concept of completing a catch. The rule continues to rear its ugly head, and though it is a rule that many have objections to, it is a necessary evil because it specifically defines what a catch is so that the referees have a clear standard to which to make a decision. There is no judgment, it is spelled out, and it is being enforced.
Even more baffling is that players continue to reach for the goal line, attempting to get a piece of the pylon or to break the plane for a score. With the ultimate penalty hanging in the balance, many near scores are ending up as fumbles out of the end zone, giving possession to the defense. And yet the ultimate reward is there, too, a touchdown. Risk and reward at its best.
On to what we came here for, the wonders. Best of luck to those still alive in your playoffs!
WR Keelan Cole, Jacksonville
Jacksonville continues to roll this season, and if it were not for a meltdown in Pittsburgh, Jacksonville would be holding the No. 2 seed in the AFC. As it is, Jacksonville is in prime position for the playoffs, and is riding a hot offense AND a strong defense. The only blemish this past week was the loss of Marqise Lee, but that opened the door for more playing time for Keelan Cole. He had already been trending upward, having scored in each of the two previous games, and stepping in for Lee he was dynamite. He scored again on his way to posting a line that featured seven catches for 186 yards. He will be active again this week against San Francisco, and we easily have him as our top selection off waivers this week.
K Robbie Gould, San Francisco
Hard to believe that we have a kicker as the second-best selection off waivers this week, but the recommendation is well warranted. The difference between winning and losing in the playoffs is so slender that every point and potential lineup improvement matters. Jimmy Garoppolo has infused life into San Francisco, as he has led them to three consecutive wins. A rising tide raises all ships, and his spark has translated into a tremendous amount of work for the kicker, Robbie Gould. He has connected on a whopping 15 kicks (FIFTEEN!) in the last three games, including six alone in last week’s win over Tennessee. He has not missed, and of these 15 two have been longer than 50 yards, and four in the 40-yard range. Take a close look at your kicking situation and upgrade to Gould if you have any room for improvement.
RB Tion Green, Detroit
Detroit has clearly soured on Ameer Abdullah, as he touched the ball only four times last week against Chicago. Theo Riddick is the leader, but a late wrist injury last week puts his status going forward in doubt. Behind Riddick is Tion Green, a capable ball handler who registered 10 carries against Chicago. Detroit has difficulty running the ball, but without Riddick, Green will be called upon to get active in the passing game. Look for an increase in touches against Cincinnati this week for Green.
RB Benny Cunningham, Chicago
Tarik Cohen is falling out of favor with the coaching staff, so much so that Cunningham has moved into the role as the pass catching back for Chicago. He grabbed four passes last week against Detroit last week, good for 33 yards and a score. The numbers will not jump out at you, but especially in points per reception leagues, Cunningham can generate some points for those desperate at the position.