With 15 weeks almost behind us, the fantasy football season will soon culminate with championship week. It’s been a wild season filled with plenty of surprises, and even if they drafted well, any owner who made it to the title game meticulously worked the waiver wire to find those rare impact players who make all the difference week-to-week.
Some of the better players plucked off the wire this season included Minnesota’s pair of running backs Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon after Adrian Peterson was suspended by the league. Same goes for Justin Forsett coming up with the best season of his career after the Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice.
The list of key rushers that came up with big games is pretty extensive, including Jacksonville’s Denard Robinson, Cleveland’s Isaiah Crowell, Detroit’s Joique Bell, Denver’s C.J. Anderson and Indianapolis’s Ahmad Bradshaw.
Rookie receivers also burned up the waiver wire this season, like Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans, the Giants Odell Beckham Jr. Buffalo’s Sammy Watkins and Carolina’s Kelvin Benjamin, all of whom figure to garner votes for Rookie of the Year.
There weren’t too many surprises at quarterback and tight end. Other than maybe Miami’s Ryan Tannehill the quarterback position played out much like many anticipated, with Peyton Manning once again dominating and Andrew Luck on his coattails.
And at tight end we did see a resurgence from San Diego’s Antonio Gates, and the rise of Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, Indy’s Dwayne Allen and Tennessee’s Delanie Walker.
Many of these players played pivotal roles in a successful owner’s run to the title game, but there are still more impact players available who can help as we enter Week 16 and the championship round.
Here are four players owners should consider during Week 16‘s waiver wire period. Remember, always add and drop at your own discretion.
Robert Griffin II, QB, Washington Redskins
Is he back? Like all the way back? No. But in flashes against the Giants in Week 15 Griffin looked like the rookie that tore through the NFL in 2012. Though the touchdown call was reversed, the leap he made toward the pylon near the end zone to close the first half was vintage RG3. Filling in for the injured Colt McCoy, he threw for 236 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for another 46 yards, an excellent sign that RG3’s fantasy value is rising. Next week is a difficult game against Philadelphia, but in four career games vs. the Eagles Griffin’s tossed 10 touchdowns to four picks and for over 900 yards.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, Indianapolis Colts
He caught only his third touchdown of the season against Houston this week, and was only targeted twice. But when healthy Nicks has played a solid No. 3 receiver role. In Week 16 he’ll matchup against a leaky Dallas secondary that could be more preoccupied with T.Y. Hilton.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
With Denard Robinson pulled for the rest of the season with a foot sprain, Gerhart moved back into the starting role he lost due to injury and looked pretty solid against Baltimore's fourth ranked rushing defense this week with 4.2 yards per carry. He only got 13 attempts, but as usual the Jags were down big and forced to throw 38 times. Next week could be a different story against a Titans defense that’s last in the NFL against the run.
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Owners hesitated after Williams' 100-yard debut against Kansas City, but he seems to be the real deal on a Cardinals offense sorely in need of weapons at running back. Williams gained 75 yards at an excellent 5.0 yards per attempt rate against another solid defense in St. Louis. He’ll face the punishing Seattle defense in Week 16, so use him only in an emergency, but Williams is still a must add in the final week, if only to keep his potential production away from your opponent.
Others to watch: Devin Hester, WR, Falcons; Bryce Brown, RB, Bills; Andre Holmes, WR, Raiders; Eli Manning, QB, N.Y. Giants; Marlon Brown, WR, Ravens