We're going to run this column through Week 17 in case you need to grab someone off the waiver wire for the playoffs or if you're in a total points league. As the season winds down, there emerges some new prospects on the wire who could get more playing time with on a team facing a lost season or clinching a playoff spot. Of course, there were a couple of devastating injuries this week to key fantasy players.
Ryan Tannehill, MIA - If you're looking at the waiver wire for a quarterback this week, gamble on Tannehill. He has a nice home matchup against the Patriots, meaning weather won't be an issue for the game. Against the Steelers he only had 200 passing yards but had three touchdowns and 58 rushing yards. Prior to Sunday, he had consecutive 300-yard games against the Jets and Panthers. The Patriots just gave up 391 passing yards to Jason Campbell, and the chemistry between Mike Wallace and Tannehill has gotten better as the season has progressed. FAAB: $10-14
Kirk Cousins, WAS - With the Redskins somehow going from bad to worse, there are whispers that they should shut down franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III and give Cousins some playing time. Besides saving Griffin, it would be wise for Washington to showcase Cousins to potentially boost his trade value. The Washington defense isn't going to magically improve, which will lead to plenty of passing should Cousins find himself under center. Nothing has been announced for certain, but it's a situation that bears monitoring. In limited time last season he had a 9.7 YPA with four touchdowns and three interceptions. FAAB: $4-8
Toby Gerhart, MIN - A few weeks ago I recommended stashing Gerhart in case the Vikings shut down Adrian Peterson with the team eliminated from the playoffs. If you did it's going to pay off nicely as Peterson could be done for the season with a foot injury. While he reportedly does not need surgery and could continue to play, the Vikings would be wise to shut down their star player and get him healthy for next season. Gerhart only has 36 rushing attempts this season but is averaging 7.9 yards per carry and has two rushing touchdowns. He tweaked his hamstring during the Baltimore game, so keep an eye on his status during the week. FAAB: $50-60
Marcel Reece, OAK - We discussed Reece a few weeks ago when the Raiders backfield was hit by the injury bug, and he showed his upside Sunday with 161 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. I'd be higher on him this week, but Rashad Jennings passed his concussion test Monday and declared himself ready to take on the Chiefs this week. Reece will still get 5-10 touches, but Jennings should be ready to assume most of the workload. FAAB: $4-8
Fozzy Whittaker, Chris Ogbonnaya, CLE - It looks like Willis McGahee will be out this week, therefore Whittaker and Ogbonnaya come onto the fantasy radar. It looks like Whittaker could get more carries while Ogbonnaya will play a bigger role in the passing game. They both couldn't have a better matchup going against the Bears, a team that weekly gives up 100-yard rushers. Both should see a similar number of snaps this week unless the Browns offer some information as to who their main ball carrier will be. FAAB: $4-8
Daniel Thomas, MIA - It was something of a surprise to see Thomas not only suit up Sunday but turn in a solid fantasy performance. Thomas finished the day with a season-high 105 rushing yards, which included a touchdown and saw teammate Lamar Miller sustain a concussion. That means there's a good chance Miller misses this week and Thomas gets 15-plus touches against the Patriots.
Robert Turbin, SEA - I'd feel better about this recommendation had the Seahawks beaten the 49ers Sunday and given themselves a near lock on the NFC's No. 1 seed. Still, Seattle is in control of its own destiny and could lock up the top seed within the next two weeks. That could mean Turbin takes over as the main back while Marshawn Lynch rests his aches and pains to get 100 percent healthy for the playoffs. This week he's my favorite roster stash. FAAB: $1 or FCFS
Da'Rick Rogers, IND - One of the bigger surprises Sunday was Andrew Luck throwing for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns, yet T.Y. Hilton only accounted for seven of those yards. Rogers was a big reason for Luck's day, hauling in two touchdown catches and amassing 107 receiving yards. Darrius Heyward-Bey has been a complete bust this season with multiple drops, and it appears Rogers has taken over as the second wide receiver. He's a big target at 6-foot-2, 217, and has a nice pedigree even though you may have not heard about him before Sunday. He initially was considered among the top wide receivers heading into college at Tennessee. Rogers was thrown off the team for violating team rules and transferred to Tennessee Tech. Rogers had a nice NFL Combine but despite his numbers went undrafted and signed a contract with the Bills. He was released during camp and signed onto the Colts' practice squad. With his breakout game Sunday look for him to have a bigger role in the Colts' offense. FAAB: $25-30
Rod Streater, OAK - I considered putting Streater higher, but Denarius Moore should return soon and it's unclear what the Raiders are doing at quarterback. Streater had a big day Sunday, finishing with 130 receiving yards and a touchdown. The crazy stat for him is that except for 11 yards in the first half, all the production came during the second half. He now has at least 87 receiving yards in three of his last four games and two touchdowns over his last four games. FAAB: $6-10
Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN - Patterson took a wide receiver screen the distance in Baltimore for what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown only to see Baltimore come back and win the game with six seconds left. Patterson scored for the second straight week, last week's coming on a 33-yard run. If Adrian Peterson is done for the season, don't be surprised if Patterson gets more running opportunities the rest of the season. FAAB: $4-8
Lavon Brazill, IND - Like his teammate Da'Rick Rogers, Brazill was able to take advantage of a defense missing Leon Hall and Geno Atkins to turn in a big fantasy game Sunday. Brazill had only 53 receiving yards but found the end zone twice Sunday. I'm not as high on him as Rogers because he's been around for a little bit and never done anything close to Sunday's performance. He's probably the fourth receiving option at best for the Colts, so don't go too crazy about him this week. FAAB: $1 or FCFS
Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, NE - Both of these wide receivers were inactive last week as Thompkins dealt with a hip injury while Dobson had a foot injury. With the loss of Rob Gronkowski for the season it wouldn't be a surprise if one or both of these players makes it back this week. If they're ready to go, they'd be a sneaky play with Gronkowski's targets having to go to someone. Tom Brady has thrown for at least 296 yards in each of his last five games, so to have any role in this offense would be potentially beneficial from a fantasy perspective. Monitor both players to see if they practice and at what level this week. FAAB: $1 or FCFS
Jordan Cameron, CLE - After a hot start to the season, Cameron cooled off after Week 4 until Sunday's game in New England. Jason Campbell wisely looked Cameron's direction nine times and successfully completed all nine passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. After the stagnant number of games, Cameron was dropped in the majority of standard public leagues. With the number of injuries at the position, consider going after Cameron strongly if you need tight end help. FAAB: $15-20