By Matt Citak
(CBS Boston/CBS Local)- The time has come.READ MORE: Whitmer Signs Executive Directive On Abortion, Reproductive Health
Everything you’ve worked for all season comes down to this week- the fantasy football championship.
The last two weeks have not been kind with injuries, as many big-name players all around the league have gotten hurt. But the season goes on, and just like in the NFL, it is next man up. Luckily, injuries open the door for some great pickups on the waiver wire. This week, there are several guys available that could end up being league-winners.
Here are your top waiver wire adds for Week 16.
QB Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts– The Colts face off against the Carolina Panthers this week. Carolina’s defense has been awful lately, allowing an opposing quarterback to toss for over 290 yards in four of their last five games. Brissett topped 20 fantasy points in Week 14 against Tampa Bay, and with T.Y. Hilton seemingly nearing a return, the fourth-year quarterback should have no problem reaching that mark again in the fantasy championship.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins– Believe it or not, Fitzpatrick has been a reliable fantasy quarterback over the last month. The veteran quarterback is averaging 285 passing yards per game over his last five outings in addition to nearly 30 rushing yards per game. Going up against the Giants this past Sunday, Fitzpatrick threw for 279 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and added 33 yards on the ground. The Dolphins get the one-win Bengals in Week 16, meaning the journeyman quarterback will remain fantasy relevant for one more week. It certainly comes with some risk, but you could do a lot worse than relying on a little Fitzmagic in the fantasy championship.
RB Mike Boone, Minnesota Vikings– There was one big injury among fantasy football’s relevant running backs in Week 15, and it was the shoulder injury suffered by Dalvin Cook. While Alexander Mattison has been Cook’s handcuff all season, the rookie back missed Week 15 with his own injury. If Cook misses any time and Mattison is unable to suit up, that catapults Boone to the top of the depth chart. The second-year back performed well in that role against the Chargers, taking 13 carries for 56 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. The Vikings are a run-first offense, and with a matchup against Green Bay on deck, Boone would be a strong RB2 if he starts on Monday night.
RB Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions– Remember him? Johnson has been on injured reserve ever since he suffered a knee injury on October 20. However, the talented young back returned to practice last week, and after suffering no set-backs, Johnson looks like he might make it back on the field for Week 16. The Lions could use him, as his replacement, Bo Scarbrough, is dealing with an injury himself. Johnson might be activated off IR and immediately thrown back into the starting lineup against the Broncos this week. Rust is certainly a concern, but if you’re desperate for a FLEX option, Johnson might be your guy as he should be guaranteed double-digit touches if active.READ MORE: Michigan Legislature Pushes For Pause On Gasoline Tax
RB Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins– The Dolphins finally wised up and gave Gaskin the most touches out of the backfield against the Giants. Patrick Laird has simply not been good, and Gaskin easily looks like the most talented runner among Miami’s backs. Gaskin took nine carries for 43 yards Sunday, averaging 4.8 yards per attempt, and added two receptions for 29 yards. The only reason Gaskin is listed here is because of Miami’s Week 16 matchup against the Bengals, who are coming off a loss in which they allowed 175 rushing yards to the Patriots. Miami’s offense is nowhere near New England’s, but the Dolphins should still be able to move the ball with relative ease. We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but if Gaskin is able to fall into the end zone against Cincinnati, he should offer up FLEX value this week.
WR Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers– Perriman is my top add of the week, and frankly, it isn’t very close. Tampa Bay has been a pass-heavy team all season, as Jameis Winston leads the NFL with 4,573 passing yards on the year. Combine that with the Buccaneers’ swiss cheese pass defense, and it’s easy to see why Mike Evans and Chris Godwin had both been two of fantasy’s top receivers. However, over the last two games, both Evans and Godwin have been hit with the injury bug. Godwin was the latest to go down this past Sunday, and Perriman stepped up into the role of Tampa Bay’s number one receiver. Perriman caught five of six targets for 113 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions in Week 15. The Bucs get the Houston Texans next, and assuming Godwin, along with Scott Miller, both remain out (which appears likely), Perriman immediately jumps into WR1 territory. Do whatever you can to get Perriman on waivers this week.
WR Chris Conley, Jacksonville Jaguars– DJ Chark has been one of fantasy’s biggest surprises this season. But with the second-year receiver sidelined this past Sunday, it was Conley, not Dede Westbrook, that became Gardner Minshew’s favorite target. Conley led Jacksonville with eight targets, twice the number that Westbrook saw, and finished the day with four receptions for 49 yards and two touchdowns. The Jaguars get the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16, and as long as Chark remains sidelined, then Conley should continue to soak up red zone targets. If he’s starting for a second straight week, Conley should offer WR3 value with WR2 upside in the final week of the fantasy season.
WR Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions– Sunday was Detroit’s first game since Marvin Jones was placed on injured reserve. While the matchup against Tampa Bay couldn’t have been better for the Lions’ pass-catchers, it was clear that Amendola would be the biggest beneficiary of Jones’ injury. The veteran slot receiver led Detroit with a whopping 13 targets, six more than any other Lion, and reeled in eight of those passes for 102 yards. This week’s matchup is a lot tougher, as the Broncos have been good against the pass all season. However, with top corner Chris Harris Jr. likely shadowing Kenny Golladay, David Blough will likely have to lean heavily on Amendola. There is undoubtedly some risk tied to Blough and the Lions’ passing game, but Amendola should see enough targets to warrant streaming consideration this week.
TE Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins– Let me preface this by saying the tight end options on the waiver wire are not great this week. However, over the last month, Gesicki has solidified himself as the number two option in Miami’s passing game behind DeVante Parker. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m targeting the Dolphins offense this week with their matchup against the Bengals. Gesicki is averaging 6.6 targets per game over the last five weeks, and is coming off a game in which he tied for the team-lead with eight targets. The second-year tight end finished with four receptions for 47 yards, but should have more success against Cincinnati this week. He’s not the safest option, but I like Gesicki’s chances of finding the end zone this week.
TE Noah Fant, Denver Broncos– Fant has shown a strong rapport with fellow rookie Drew Lock. Over the last two weeks, Fant has caught six passes for 169 yards and a touchdown with Lock under center. Despite only seeing three targets against the Chiefs this past Sunday, I like the rookie tight end’s chances at a big outing this Sunday against the Lions. Detroit’s pass defense has been awful, as Jameis Winston just threw for 458 yards against them, while Tampa Bay’s tight end duo of Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard combined for seven receptions for 79 yards. Fant suffered a shoulder injury against the Chiefs, but reports after the game indicated that the tight end is fine. As long as he plays, Fant will be one of the top streaming options at tight end in Week 16.MORE NEWS: Local Communities Organize Student Walkouts To Rally Against Gun Violence
Matt Citak is a contributing writer for CBS Local. Follow him on Twitter here for all things fantasy football, New York Giants and more.