It’s crazy to think we’re already in Week 17. It seems like just yesterday we were deciding between J.K. Dobbins or Cam Akers in fantasy drafts… oh well. If you’re reading this, you either a) misclicked or b) are playing for your fantasy title. Congrats if you’re the latter!
It’s no understatement to say this season has been one of the weirdest in recent memory. And to top it off, COVID-19 took many good players out of lineups during the peak of the fantasy playoffs. It’s also another reason to ensure you have the best possible players on your benches.
If you’re a weekly reader of my column, then hopefully you took my advice in past weeks and picked up players like Amon-Ra St. Brown, Rashaad Penny, and Sony Michel, to name a few. If you’re new, then keep reading to see which players you should consider adding to your lineups as the season winds down. As always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @ZachCohenFB for more questions!
Justin Fields (QB - CHI)
Week 16 Stat Line: Out
If Nick Foles can drop 16.8 points, then why can’t Fields? The rookie didn’t play due to an ankle injury, but if he can return for next week’s matchup against the Giants, he’s a sneaky start. Just look at what Fields has been averaging in the last two games.
- 17.6 points
- 254.5 passing yards
- 54.5 rushing yards
He also hit the 18-point mark in two other games this season. Fields’ upside far exceeds any other quarterback typically on waivers. If he’s still available and you need a quarterback, pull the trigger immediately.
Jimmy Garoppolo (QB - SF)
Week 16 Stat Line: 13.18 points, 322 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 2 interceptions, 3 rushing yards
If you need a quarterback and Jimmy Garoppolo is the best you can get, you’ll just have to suck it up. Sorry, that sounds harsh. It’s just that there aren’t any good quarterbacks typically available in most leagues. Luckily, if you got this far, you probably don’t need a quarterback. Still, you could do worse than Garoppolo. He hasn’t played terribly from a fantasy perspective; he’s dipped below 13 points just once since Week 8. The 49ers also get to face the Texans in San Francisco. That’s not a terrible matchup, even if Houston just held Justin Herbert to below 17 points.
Davis Mills (QB - HOU)
Week 16 Stat Line: 18.06 points, 254 passing yards, 2 passing TD, -1 rushing yards
Everything I said about sucking it up with Garoppolo applies to Davis Mills. I pray you don’t have to rely on either quarterback, though things do get weird in Week 17. If you somehow have to go with Mills, at least he’s averaging 16.9 points over the last three weeks. That includes five passing touchdowns and one pick. If anything, Mills could be an intriguing dart throw in DFS or weekly best-ball drafts.
Players to Watch: Carson Wentz, Zach Wilson
Rashaad Penny (RB - SEA)
Week 16 Stat Line: 19.5 points, 135 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 0 catches on 1 target
If you weren’t sold on Penny then, you better buy all of his stock now. Penny led Seattle’s backfield for the third week in a row, which included a team-high 17 carries and 30 snaps among running backs. While DeeJay Dallas was more involved as a passer, Penny’s workload is big enough to warrant RB2 appeal in all formats. As long as the Seahawks keep running the ball—they’re averaging 24 rushing attempts over the last three games—Penny will remain a low-end starter in your lineups. He has league-winning potential.
Dare Ogunbowale (RB - JAX)
Week 16 Stat Line: 15.2 points, 57 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 2 catches on 4 targets, 15 receiving yards
There’s devastating news out of Jacksonville as James Robinson tore his Achilles, sidelining him for the Jaguars’ final two games and then some. It’s difficult to find a silver lining in massive injuries like Robinson’s, but it was nice to see Ogunbowale play well in Robinson’s absence. The Jaguars have not shied away from running the ball, and they normally prioritize just one running back. Ogunbowale played all but one snap for the rest of the game. With Carlos Hyde also out for the season, Ogunbowale becomes a sneaky flex option for Jacksonville’s upcoming games against the Patriots and the Colts.
Boston Scott (RB - PHI)
Week 16 Stat Line: 10.1 points, 41 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
Similar to Ogunbowale, Scott was the main benefactor of an injury(Miles Sanders left the game with what’s now confirmed as a broken bone in his hand). If Sanders can return for their bout with Washington next week, then Scott wouldn’t be a huge priority. However, without Sanders, Scott led Philadelphia’s backfield in carries. Jordan Howard did see two more snaps and three more targets, though Scott was more effective. At this point in the season, you take what you can get at the running back position. Scott’s a solid flex play if Sanders is sidelined.
Devontae Booker (RB - NYG)
Week 16 Stat Line: 8.6 points, 27 rushing yards, rushing TD, 4 catches on 4 targets, 19 receiving yards
Another week with Booker heavily involved in the Giants’ offense. And of course, another week where the Giants’ offense failed to show up. The riveting combo of Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm has contributed to some large deficits, which has allowed backups like Booker to see more playing time. In Week 16, Booker saw more snaps and targets than Saquon Barkley. It’s also the second-straight week where Booker outscored Barkley. As the cherry on top, we know Booker has low-end RB2 potential if Barkley were to get hurt, again. He’s a solid stash with starter upside.
Players to Watch: Rex Burkhead, Justin Jackson, Samaje Perine, D’Ernest Johnson, Khalil Herbert
Braxton Berrios (WR - NYJ)
Week 16 Stat Line: 15 points, 5 catches on 6 targets, 37 receiving yards, 1 kickoff TD
Excuse me if you’ve heard this one before, but the New York Jets are not a good football team right now. Luckily, Berrios has been a bright spot on the team. His 100-yard kickoff return touchdown helped the Jets earn a win against the Jaguars. Last week, he ran one in for six, too. He’s now gone three weeks with double-digit points, and even if he hasn’t gotten them in conventional ways, he’s Zach Wilson’s No. 1 target right now. I don’t expect that to change unless Elijah Moore makes it back this season.
Robby Anderson (WR - CAR)
Week 16 Stat Line: 10.8 points, 5 catches on 10 targets, 58 receiving yards
Is Anderson Carolina’s new No. 1 wide receiver? I’m not ready to give Anderson that distinction, though he did see more snaps and targets than D.J. Moore. Since his bye in Week 13, Anderson’s had a nice string of performances. He put up 21.4 points, then 9.2 and 10.8. That’s good enough to make him worthy of a roster spot moving forward, regardless of whomever Matt Rhule shoves in at quarterback.
Laquon Treadwell (WR - JAX)
Week 16 Stat Line: 9.4 points, 4 catches on 5 targets, 54 receiving yards
Don’t look now: Treadwell has been playing really well lately. Since Week 12, Treadwell has averaged 10.3 points while maintaining enough consistency to make him a low-ceiling flex option. He hasn’t been seeing the target volume of Marvin Jones Jr., but again, he’s been extremely predictable—in a good way.
And he’s only owned in less than 2% of leagues, per FantasyPros’ consensus ownership stats. I’d rather have him on my team over guys like Julio Jones, Kenny Golladay… and even Terry McLaurin. What has the world come to??
Players to Watch: Joshua Palmer, Tavon Austin, Allen Lazard, Antoine Wesley
Gerald Everett (TE - SEA)
Week 16 Stat Line: 16.8 points, 4 catches on 5 targets, 68 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
When I think of Everett, I think of his three infamous turnovers in Week 13. What we should think of Everett, though, is that he’s a TE1. After all, that's what he's been since Week 10. I know D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett haven’t been the healthiest duo in recent weeks, but even with both of them on the field Sunday, Everett still managed to see the second-most targets on the team (tied with Metcalf). If he’s still available, he’s an easy pick-up-and-start for the rest of the season.
James O’Shaughnessy (TE - JAX)
Week 16 Stat Line: 8.9 points, 4 catches on 4 targets, 4.9 receiving yards
Consider this a more desperate option at tight end. If you need one, O’Shaughnessy may be the best option on waivers. I use the term ‘best’ loosely here. Coming off a nine-week absence, O’Shaughnessy has seen 4-6 targets since Week 12. He’s averaged about nine points in his last two games and has emerged as the Jaguars' go-to tight end. Again, you shouldn’t be too eager to get him into your lineups, especially with a pending matchup against the Patriots. I wouldn’t blame you for aiming for more upside in guys like Brevin Jordan or C.J. Uzomah.
Players to Watch: Brevin Jordan, Cameron Brate, C.J. Uzomah