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Working the Wire: Championship Week

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

Truth be told, it's tough to imagine needing the waiver wire this week, as those who are still alive are likely heading into championship games. Still, deep leagues and those who have been hit by the injury bug or are looking for a flex play might still need someone on this list. Good luck if you're playing for a championship this week.

QUARTERBACK

Primary Targets

Kirk Cousins, WAS -
I'm breaking my rule here of mentioning players in consecutive weeks, but I think Cousins worth discussing again. He was listed last week as a long shot, and if you took a chance on him, it paid off nicely. This week the matchup looks good once again as he gets a home game against the lowly Dallas defense. Both teams have bad defenses, meaning this could be the highest scoring game of the week. FAAB: $6-10

Secondary Targets

Ryan Fitzpatrick, TEN -
I never thought I would be writing about the ex-quarterback of my Buffalo Bills, yet here I am. Fitzpatrick is like a Quad-A baseball player; good enough to be in the big leagues but not good enough to consistently be a standout player. Fitzpatrick is coming off a season-best fantasy game with 402 passing yards and four touchdowns, but the floor with Fitzpatrick is pretty low. Three of his eight starts have seen him throw for 201 or fewer yards, and he has thrown for one or none touchdowns in five of eight starts. He has a favorable matchup this week against Jacksonville (24th in the league with a 7.8 yards per attempt on defense), which is why he's even mentioned. He's also a threat to scramble, helping his fantasy value. FAAB: $4-8

Hail Mary

Ryan Nassib, NYG -
I've always thought that Eli Manning got a bad rep because he seems a little aloof, especially compared to his brother. While he's been an easy target for critics with his play this season, keep in mind he has two Super Bowl rings and is therefore playing with house money at this point. Tom Coughlin likely has a little rope too with said rings, so he might give Nassib a late-season audition. It speaks volumes that Doug Marrone passed on Nassib in the draft, but if he gets a start or two he'll have value in two-quarterback leagues. FAAB: $1 or FCFS

RUNNING BACK

Primary Targets

Jordan Todman, JAC -
Todman went into Sunday's tilt averaging 3.2 yards per carry (albeit on limited touches), so I wasn't expecting too much from him. He proved me wrong with more than 100 yards rushing and four catches for 44 yards. The Jaguars have little reason to bring back Maurice Jones-Drew unless he presses them to play, so Todman could see a significant workload again over the final two weeks. He has divisional games against Tennessee and Indianapolis on his plate, two decent matchups. You might want to consider him in your flex spot this week. FAAB: $30-40

Secondary Targets

Edwin Baker, CLE -
Like many, I expected Chris Ogbonnaya to handle most of the workload Sunday out of the Browns backfield, but Baker had the better fantasy game. He totaled 84 yards from scrimmage and scampered for a two-yard touchdown, as well. Baker was just signed off the Texans' practice squad last Tuesday and getting more time to learn the offense should lead a bigger role this week. Rob Chudzinski said Monday that the team would look at getting Baker more looks, especially already knowing what they have in Fozzy Whittaker and Ogbonnaya. FAAB: $4-8

Hail Mary

Matt Asiata, MIN -
Most are going to be higher on Asiata, coming off a three-touchdown performance. The reason I'm pumping the brakes is that while he's a big guy, he's ridiculously slow. He ran a 4.72 40 at the Combine coming out of college and showed it Sunday. Asiata's 30 rushes for 51 yards (1.7 yards per carry) shows his lack of efficiency, and it appears that either Adrian Peterson or Toby Gerhart, if not, both will be back this week. FAAB: $1 or FCFS

WIDE RECEIVER

Primary Targets

Andre Caldwell, DEN -
I'd love this recommendation a lot more if I knew for sure Wes Welker was going to miss this week's game against Houston. Peyton Manning will be indoors rather than in cold weather, which will help, and Caldwell was utilized more than Jacob Tamme last Thursday. Any piece of this offense has fantasy value, and Caldwell will be the least guy the Texan's defense will be worried about, even after his two-touchdown performance. But again, his value is completely dependent on the health of Wes Welker. FAAB: $8-12

Secondary Targets

Reuben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan, NYG -
It's amazing to see how many hits and injuries Victor Cruz has seemingly suffered only to get back up and continue to play. However, it appears like he might be out for a while after Sunday's injury, giving value to both Randle and Jernigan. Considering Hakeem Nicks doesn't appears 100 percent healthy, it's conceivable that Randle is the most talented, healthy wide receiver on the Giants. He didn't record a single catch Sunday, but that could have been due to the matchup against Seattle. Jernigan, on the other hand, had eight targets that he turned into a team-leading seven catches for 67 receiving yards. Both players will see an increase in targets if Cruz misses time, and my lean between the two is Randle despite Sunday's total for the two. FAAB: Randle $5-9, Jernigan $4-8

Hail Mary

Ace Sanders, Mike Brown, JAC -
Both of these players will see a boost in targets with Cecil Shorts likely done for the season. Sanders got into the end zone Sunday for the first time this season and has the better upside of the two with at least six fantasy points in standard formats in four of his last five games. It's hard to imagine picking up either player unless you're in a deep league and desperate for receiving help. FAAB: $1 or FCFS

Robert Woods, BUF -
Woods has shown a good rapport with EJ Manuel this season with the problem being injuries to the both. Coming off a season-high 82 receiving yards and a touchdown, Woods could be considered the main receiver for the Bills against the Dolphins this week. Steve Johnson is away from the team dealing with the sudden death of his mother, meaning there's a chance he may not play or at least won't practice much, if any, with Manuel this week. FAAB: $1 or FCFS

TIGHT END

Primary Targets

Andrew Quarless, GB -
I wonder what black magic Quarless has been practicing when looking at his stat line from the last two games. In each game he had exactly six catches for 66 yards (6-66) and one touchdown. It's obvious he's developed some chemistry with Matt Flynn, and with the defense less than stellar there will continue to be a lot of passing. Looking at the injuries at the position, it's conceivable that you could plug-and-play Quarless this week against the Steelers. FAAB: $6-10

DEFENSE

Primary Target

Detroit Lions -
The Lions defense is practically on every waiver wire this week, and you have to love the matchup. Whether Eli Manning is under center or my long-shot Ryan Nassib, multiple turnovers for New York is a near certainty. The Detroit defense has been practically impossible to run on lately, putting more emphasis on the passing game. That should equate to a good fantasy day for the Lions defense.