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Week 15 into Week 16: Player Advice (Free Agency, etc.)

December 19, 2017

**No trade names listed this week. It’s Week 16, and if you can still trade…our Dynasty Stash report has most of our thinking of players to scoop for 2018.


Free Agent/Waivers To Trust…

Considered but not included: Randall Cobb (we’d put him on at #2 if Rodgers is playing and Adams isn’t). Tyrell Williams (but we assume Keenan will play this week).

11) Broncos DST – Facing the Redskins, which has a decent offense/QB but as Arizona showed last week – the Redskins line is all tattered. The Denver D shutout the Jets two weeks ago. Held Indy to 13 last week. Denver has won two in a row and is still grinding. I love this with Osweiler starting and it’s more of a prayer if Lynch is at QB.

10) Damiere Byrd – There is value in being the #2 WR for Carolina, but two tough matchups coming with ATL and NO.

9) Wayne Gallman – 6 catches in each of his last two games. He should see another load of cheap/easy targets this week again.

8) Keelan Cole – Cole has scored a TD three-straight games. 99 and 186 yards last two games. 45 or more yards in a game in 6 of his last 8 games. Facing the 49ers Week 16. You know how I feel about him as a talent.

7) Nick Foles – 4 TDs/0 INTs in his debut against a bad NYG defense. He gets a weak OAK defense this week. As you will hear a thousand times pre-game…the last time Foles faced Oakland as an Eagle he dropped 7 TDs/0 INT (all because of Chip Kelly the media will say and that’s bull shit).

6) Eric Ebron – You need a TE? Ebron has 4 or more catches in each game his last 5 games. He’s heating up after a terrible start to 2017 season.

5) Blake Bortles – Week 16 vs. the 49ers and Bortles is getting Case Keenum hot.

4) Martavis Bryant – High probability for a TD Week 16 and 17 with Antonio out and HOU and CLE on the schedule.

3) Mike Wallace – Jeremy Maclin out. Facing the Colts Week 16. Last 6 games: 8.7 FF PPG (13.2 PPR) on 4.5 rec., 66.7 yards, 0.33 TDs per game.

2) Steelers DST – T.J. Yates and Kizer/Kessler the next two weeks.

1) Robert Woods – He’s still available in like 40-50% of redraft leagues…he’s a #1 WR on a top NFL offense. All systems go.


Free Agent/Waivers Not To Trust…

5) Kerwynn Williams – Quad injury. Split role with Elijah Penny taking goal line and D.J. Foster the receiving back.

4) Kendall Wright – Lots of catches but low yards the past two weeks. He’s not a real threat for a TD or big yards, usually. He’s a WR3 hopeful not much upside to WR1 for title week in my book.

3) Jaydon Mickens – Like him as a #4 WR and return guy. A nice guy to have on the team but not a starting NFL WR yet. You have to hope for a lightning strike play to make this work…I’d rather play Cole or Dede.

2) Geronimo Allison – Even if he starts…he terrible, especially if Hundley is at QB.

1) Elijah Penny – Even if he starts…he’s terrible. Period.


Ahead of the Curve Free Agent Pickups…

6) D.J. Foster – If Kerwynn Williams is ruled out, Foster would get a pretty good touch count and all the receptions…facing a very ‘giving’ NYG defense.

5) Redskins DST – IF they are facing Paxton Lynch they are a legit option versus a sloppy Denver offense.

4) Garrett Celek – Jimmy Garoppolo favors him and with the Niners facing the Jags…the RBs and TE will have to step up in the passing game.

3) Mike Davis – Everyone will be giving up because he hasn’t done much, but last week Seattle was crushed by the Rams within in minutes and Seattle abandoned the run game to try to throw their way back in.

2) Mitchell Trubisky – Deeper league, desperate for a QB start this week? Trubisky, a huge Browns fan and native Clevelander now facing the Browns, who passed on him in the draft. Mitch keeps improving every week and this might be ‘a moment’ for him.

1) James White – no Rex Burkhead means White matters again. White’s first 8 games of 2017: 5.4 rec., 46.0 yards, 0.13 TDs per game…with another 15.0 yards rushing per game. 12.2 PPR PPG in those 8 games…some with Rex, some without.


Go Ahead and ‘Quit Them’ Players…

*The TE edition, apparently

5) Tyler Kroft – Was working as a TE1 his first few weeks taking over for Tyler Eifert…and then he just died the past few weeks. Like he’s a ghost.

4) Stephen Anderson – A flicker of hope when C.J. Fiedorowicz went down, one nice game…and then he died with T.J. Yates.

3) Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Was a top 5 tight end for about half the season and then he fell off like Tyler Kroft.

2) Ricky Seals-Jones – Scored 3 TDs his first two games with Blaine Gabbert and everyone took notice. He’s done nothing since. Now, with Gabbert gone it looks even worse.

1) Willie Snead – With Ted Ginn out there was a chance Snead might step up but he looks blackballed in New Orleans heading into free agency.



Trade For (guys we believe are worth much more than the current market price in most cases) 

*I get most of the redraft trade deadlines have passed, but looking more at dynasty names…

5) David Johnson – Just keeping him in front of you the last few weeks. If you’re out of it in dynasty – this should be your focal point…stripping him away from an owner maybe still in the race and needs/wants X for a 2017 title push.

4) Adam Thielen – The best WR in football, while most people think he’s a future WR2 waiting to ‘burn’ the current owner when he falls back to earth. He’s oddly, reasonably available for how great he really is.

Let me give you a trade concept – Aaron Rodgers announced as ‘back’ officially – Jordy Nelson for Adam Thielen foundation of a deal to get Adam Thielen.

3) Jimmy Garoppolo – In another game, Garoppolo is going to be all the rage. He is SOOO good. He starts getting TDs to go with the yards, etc., and the FF-price is going to blast off. The full hysteria hasn’t hit yet, but it’s starting. The football establishment still doesn’t like Jared Goff nor Mitchell Trubisky…but Garoppolo has the ‘Patriots seal of approval’. They are going to like him so the masses will too. You have time on Trubisky…you might run out of it on Garoppolo soon for a reasonable deal.

2) Josh Gordon – Hear me out. I get that those of you who have held on for a while would like to cash out before you get burned (maybe burned ‘again’). It makes sense. You’ve been a jilted lover on Gordon…why not take a profit and run? I support that decision too, but come on…why do all fantasy ‘things’ have to be couched in the negative? We always desire to trade players ‘before they burn us’. The player you want in exchange hasn’t been on your team to ‘burn you’ yet, so they seem loving and kind and would never do anything to hurt us…and then you get them and they ‘burn you’ with a bad week every so often and you eventually hate them too.

That person, who I just described, owns Josh Gordon today…and wants to sell him for those reasons. A #1 WR talent re-entering a league that’s much more built for WRs than it ever has been…especially since he last was a star. He’s an ‘A’ you probably can buy for a ‘B’ price because ‘fears’. So what if he burns you too? Players burn us all the time. David Johnson just burned me this year. How’s Mike Evans doing for you? How much did I give up for Tarik Cohen after Week 2 this season? Sometimes your big move doesn’t love you back.

I’m not suggesting you send over a blank check for Gordon, I mean try to steal him for some hyped up names and see if you steal a WR1 for 2018+.

1) Joe Mixon – A week off with the concussion, before that a game shortened due to that in-game injury, and a downtrodden Bengals team in general – all of it will help people discount Mixon in their mind…forgetting the breakout he had 3 weeks ago. He’s not being given away, but he is available because people have started placing him in a ‘B’ talent box instead of the ‘A’ he will become.


Trade Away (Players we believe are radically overvalued and can cash in on, or ones you need to get off of ASAP…plus, trying to give you an idea of valuation)…

5) Dez Bryant – Back-to-back TDs the last two weeks…cash out him with his eroding skills and potential NFL release or trade elsewhere in 2018. He’s going to be that big name veteran that plays for one team forever, then shows up in Cleveland or wherever for a season and is a disaster and is we all mock him. I want to sell Dez as a WR2 if at all possible and get into something else more viable/sustainable.

4) Kelvin Benjamin – Caught a TD pass in a snowstorm, and is now Calvin Johnson. NFL analysts love two players because they got traded – Kelvin Benjamin and Jay Ajayi, even though they were traded to worse situations (for their FF performance) and their original team just gave them away…which is a red flag, but not to football analysts. Sell this junk off…what Tyrod-to-Kelvin is going to be a thing?

3) Jay Ajayi – The football people LOVED Ajayi to Philly…RB1 calls all the way around. Three weeks later all those people are in hiding, but now they’re coming back for seconds because Wentz is out – so, to them, this means an all-Ajayi offense is coming. I can’t say it enough – Jay Ajayi sucks and that’s why he has sucked all year. But you might can sell him for an RB1.5 inflated price this week only before the balloon pops again.

2) Theo Riddick – Ameer Abdullah benched (finally) and Theo Riddick scores two TDs…it seems like it’s Riddick’s job now, which it is…but you want to cash out on that because it won’t be for long. A perfect player to sell off as part of a package or just solo to a team in need right now.

1) Jamaal Williams – Two TDs Week 14…left open for a receiving TD early on, and a short plunge run later. He wasn’t actually ‘creating any magic’. People might think THIS is the new franchise RB…we’ve gone from Ty Montgomery hysteria to Aaron Jones hysteria…back to Ty Montgomery hysteria to now Jamaal Williams delight. He’s the 3rd best RB on the depth chart when healthy. You’re at ‘peak Jamaal Williams’ this week…sell out if you can.


Waiver names to trust (obviously, depending on league…I'm looking at less than 50% owned in mainstream league stats; your league may vary):

5) Falcons DST – Our hot tip of the week last week, in prep for the Falcons 11-day rest leading into their must-win game vs. failing Tampa Bay missing their two best OLs. Atlanta is like the Chargers right now according to The Computer only every football analyst LOVES LAC and is falling asleep on ATL…because they are ‘old news’, the hard-luck losers of the Super Bowl. Would we feel better about them if they had won?

4) Randall Cobb – In PPR, Rodgers sometimes makes Cobb a star in games…10+ targets in games when the opportunity is right. 5.8 catches per game in 4 games with Rodgers earlier this season.

3) Robbie Gould – Two games with Jimmy G. = 5 and 4 FGs…4.5 FGs per game. He’s been a great kicker all season and even better with Garoppolo. Great for this week, not so much Week 16 v. JAX.

2) Marquise Goodwin – Two games with Jimmy G. = 7.0 rec., 10.0 targets, 102.5 yards per game. Works next week fine vs. TEN, then no-go Week 16 vs. JAX.

1) Saints DST – A good Saints defense gets Bryce Petty now, instead of Josh McCown -- I’m in. If you need to win this week and you’re not so sure about your DST…get the Saints. The biggest one-week impact player you might get from free agency.


Waiver names to mistrust:

5) Tyrell Williams – Love the guy but his targets have been so erratic. I fear they sacrifice him to Marcus Peters this week, so they can throw to Keenan Allen 27 times, per usual.

4) Rod Smith – 2 TDs last week, but ‘so what’…one was a lucky dump pass turned 81-yard jaunt against a defeated Raiders team. I like Smith but he’s clearly not the primary RB for Dallas with Elliott out so it’s a high-risk move to try to catch lightning in a bottle again this week.

3) Wayne Gallman – Got some extra work with the new head coach but he’s still in a rotation. He’s still not that good. You’d have to be in a ‘reaching’ position to put this in your Week 15 lineup.

2) Kerwynn Williams – Not a legit workhorse back. D.J. Foster is preferred for passing downs and Elijah Penny for the goal-line…run from this ‘starter’ while AP is out.

1) Peyton Barber – I keep hearing Doug Martin is failing, and how good Barber looks…and that the Bucs are going to turn the backfield over to him. First off, Peyton Barber is terrible…as a talent. Second, the reason Doug Martin is failing is that the Bucs are terrible and now missing all their best OLs – so, I’m supposed to believe Barber is going to come in and be a star when Martin can’t. I don’t think so.


Names to grab off deep waivers Ahead of the Curve

5) Nick Foles – Hey! He can play. He should be an NFL starter today, considering some of the guys starting in the NFL. Denver said, “No, thanks…we’re good.” He’s going to get two great matchups – NYG and Oakland the next two weeks.

How did he do last time he faced Oakland…hmmm…I’m trying to remember…oh, yeah – that’s the game he threw for 7 TDs/0 INTs in 2013.

4) Trent Taylor – For your stashes for next year…Taylor was starting to get some heat last week, a tiny few people were starting to put 2 & 2 together. Now, that mini-fire has been dowsed. When people wake up to this Garoppolo-Taylor potential in 2018, there will be no turning back.

3) Dallas DST – at Oakland this week…and the Raiders have looked horrible on offense the last few weeks. Really, anemic. If your free agent DST options have been drained of all the obvious choices…this might be a salvation. With Sean Lee playing, Dallas has one of the better defenses in the NFL. In every game Dallas has won this year, they’ve held their opponent under 20 points.

2) O.J. Howard – We had the first sign that OJH is pushing ahead of Cam Brate for Winston last week, finally. Perhaps, you need a TE2 ‘just in case’…or maybe you need a Hail Mary TE play for big upside because your current stuffy TE play is killing you…Kroft, ASJ, Witten, etc. Howard is a special talent that is capable of a big/shocking game if he can get the touches. 5 TDs this season. Three of last 4 games with 50+ yards.

1) Paul Richardson – You need a WR3 with WR2 upside…WR1 upside in nonPPR? Richardson is still trending as Russell Wilson’s top target of late…the same Wilson tearing it up at quarterback.

Targets the last 4 games:

8-7-4-7 (6.5 per game) = Richardson

6-3-7-6 (5.5 per game) = Baldwin


Rec. Yards the last 4 games:

56-70-08-72 (51.5 per game) = Richardson

40-25-84-78 (54.8 per game) = Baldwin


Rams-Cowboys next two games, safe matchups…where Richardson will see lesser coverage than Baldwin and may be the main target again for Wilson.


Players you can just give up on, stop believing (for this season)…

5) DeMarco Murray – He is beyond awful in an awful offense with a key O-L that’s gimpy. It’s been a terrible season for Murray. You’ll see him on waivers…don’t take the bait.

4) Rishard Matthews – If Mariota is toast, then there is little hope for the talented Rishard.

3) Zay Jones – Supposedly benched/demoted…playing for McDermott’s Bills sounds like a lot of fun. Poor Zay.

2) Marcus Mariota – Mariota looks terrible as a passer, and now has a knee issue that will at minimum make him not-run…and you don’t want not-running Mariota for fantasy.

1) Tion Green – If you thought you got a snowball’s chance at the Lions’ new starting RB…guess again. Week 14 should have been his opportunity, and he got 5 worthless carries. I told you he’s junk…


About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

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