Waiver wire pickups like Williams, DaeSean Hamilton and Taywan Taylor could help you win your fantasy football championship
Thinking back to fantasy football draft season, who would have thought that Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams would be first and second in total fantasy points scored by wide receivers?
They both have more than 200 fantasy points (in standard leagues). That's more than Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr. and DeAndre Hopkins. But that’s fantasy football.
Now that it’s championship weekend, and even though you might be fighting to finish third, it is still very important to choose the right players to start and to sit at wide receiver and tight end this week.
So before handing out one final round of start/sit advice let's see how Week 15 went.
Good Calls for Week 15...
Sit Jarvis Landry (3.7 fantasy points) – Landry has been a big disappointment this year and just can’t seem to get on the same page with Baker Mayfield.
Bad Calls for Week 15...
Start Curtis Samuel (2.5 FP) – Cam Newton’s struggles have taken down everyone with him, except Christian McCaffrey.
Sit Kenny Golladay (14.6 FP) – Golladay is looking more and more like a potential WR1 next year.
START THESE WRs...
Mike Williams, LAC (vs. BAL, Sat.)
Williams exploded in Week 15 for seven catches, 76 yards and two touchdowns against the Chiefs. He also caught the game-winning two-point conversion. Keenan Allen went down early Thursday night with a hip injury and his status for Week 16 is in question. If Allen doesn't play, Williams will be a WR2 even in a tough matchup against the Ravens. If Allen is active, Williams is still worth starting but move him down to a WR3/flex.
DaeSean Hamilton, DEN (at OAK, Mon.)
Hamilton was on the field for 72 of Denver’s 73 snaps last week and led the Broncos in targets with 12, which easily stood above Tim Patrick’s eight and Courtland Sutton’s six. Somehow, Sutton still hasn’t seen more than seven targets in a game despite Demaryius Thomas’ trade and Emmanuel Sanders’ injury. Sprinkle in a date with the Raiders and Hamilton becomes a great flex option.
Allen Robinson, CHI (at SF)
Robinson hasn't been the dynamic wide receiver many anticipated coming into this season, but he deserves another opportunity. It's not necessarily the volume that has Robinson down, though. His targets have been good, notching 24 total in the last three games. However, he hasn't been in the end zone since Week 10. But this could be the week that changes. The 49ers are terrible against opposing wide receivers, giving up almost 30 fantasy points per game, second-most among all teams. San Francisco's bad pass defense will be on full display against a Chicago offense that should be motivated even though the Bears have already clinched the NFC North.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Taywan Taylor, TEN (vs. WAS, Sat.)
If you are in dire straits, or in a really deep league, Taylor is a great option this week. He returned from injury in Week 13 and has proceeded to garner 17 targets in Tennessee’s last three games — one more than Corey Davis. The Titans have started leaning on Derrick Henry more down the stretch, which is hard to argue with and does cap Taylor’s ceiling, but the 50-slot gap between Davis and Taylor is a bit odd to me. With Davis likely drawing Josh Norman, Taylor makes for a viable dart throw based on his potential matchup with Fabian Moreau.
SIT THESE WRs...
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (vs. LAR)
There are few positive words one can use to describe to the Cardinals’ Week 16 prospects as Vegas paints them as 14-point underdogs despite being at home. NFL teams typically receive a three-point bump for home-field advantage with betting. You can’t trust Josh Rosen or Mike Glennon to stand in the pocket against Aaron Donald and make throws that can beat Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and company. Fitzgerald has seen just one red-zone target over the last four games, so standard-leaguers should leave the future Hall of Famer on the bench and buy into a better offense.
Curtis Samuel, CAR (vs. ATL)
The bottom fell out on Samuel along with Cam Newton and the Panthers last week. While it’s encouraging that Carolina remains creative in getting Samuel a couple of carries along the way, it’s worth noting the over/under from Vegas has dropped to 46.5 at some books from a 50.5 open. With Newton expected to sit out the last two games, you shouldn't feel comfortable starting anyone on the Panthers other than Christian McCaffrey.
Corey Davis, TEN (vs. WAS, Sat.)
With Derrick Henry dominating fantasy football, don't believe in the Titans' passing game, especially against a depleted Washington team. Davis has been inconsistent this season. He has five or fewer targets in three of the past five games. He also has been held under 50 receiving yards in four of the last five games. That's a major problem for a player who is supposed to be a WR2 option in Week 16. The Redskins have been bad against the pass in recent weeks, but the Titans don't have to pass to win this game. They can do all the damage on the ground, meaning Davis won't get enough volume to make a mark.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Doug Baldwin, SEA (vs. KC)
Baldwin feasted on an injury-riddled 49ers secondary last week for 77 yards and two touchdowns on four receptions. If that performance has you thinking about starting Baldwin with a fantasy championship on the line, don't let it. Baldwin simply can't be trusted, even in a favorable matchup against Kansas City. Baldwin has recorded 52 yards or fewer in eight of 11 starts this season. Leave him on the bench.
START THESE TEs...
Blake Jarwin, DAL (vs. TB)
Jarwin has seen seven targets in each of his last two games as Dallas finally realizes that only Jason Witten retired and not the tight end position as a whole. The looks have resulted in Jarwin’s being just one of 11 tight ends with more than 100 air yards in the past two weeks. The Buccaneers just went through a stretch where they gave up at least 46 receiving yards to opposing tight ends in five straight games (Weeks 9-13) and remain vulnerable there.
Jared Cook, OAK (vs. DEN, Mon.)
Cook caught only two of five targets for 23 yards last week, but he's in a good spot to rebound when the Raiders face a Broncos defense that's one of only two in the league to allow more than 1,000 receiving yards to opposing tight ends this season.
David Njoku, CLE (vs. CIN)
Njoku caught three of his five targets for 30 yards last week, making it his fourth straight game with at least three receptions. He'll try and make it five in Week 16 when the Browns face the Bengals, who give up the fifth-most receiving yards per game and the sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Matt LaCosse, DEN (at OAK, Mon.)
LaCosse caught four passes on a career-high six targets for 43 yards last Sunday, giving him some upside in Week 16 when the Broncos face a Raiders defense that ranks in the bottom three in the league in yards and touchdowns surrendered to the position.
SIT THESE TEs...
Chris Herndon, NYJ (vs. GB)
The Packers are one of three teams yet to give up more than two touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season. While Herndon showed some signs of chemistry with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold last week, don’t buy into this matchup. Herndon has seen just 12 targets over his last three games and his lone red-zone look in Week 15 was the first he’s seen since Week 8.
Trey Burton, CHI (at SF)
Burton has gotten 12 targets in two games since Mitchell Trubisky returned under center for the Bears, but he has turned them into only 58 yards. Burton is a touchdown-dependent option entering a Week 16 matchup against a 49ers defense that hasn't allowed an opposing tight end to top 46 yards since Week 6.
Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at DET)
Rudolph remains scoreless since Week 3 and has topped 50 yards only once since Week 4 entering Sunday's matchup against a Lions defense that has had just three tight ends top 50 yards against them all season.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Austin Hooper, ATL (at CAR)
Hooper flopped with zero catches on one target last week after his target share had turned into roughly five looks per game in Weeks 12-14. He’d seen 10-plus targets in three of five games in the middle of the season, catching at least nine balls in each of those tilts, but hasn’t topped 45 yards since Week 10. The Panthers' defense gave up nine touchdowns to tight ends through their first 10 games but have held the position scoreless with a game-high 36 yards (Cameron Brate, Week 13) since then. Throw in that this is a road game, and it’s best to not deal with Hooper’s low floor.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.