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Week 16 Free Agent Focus

By Alex Korff | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT

You probably have 1 week left to go. Or maybe your league plays through Week 17, in which case you only have 2 weeks left to go.

Either way, there’s not much strategy left to your waiver bidding. If you need something and it’s out there, go get it. Considering some “what if” players? Don’t. There’s no more time for such players to pay off.

There are only 3 circumstances in which you should bother bidding on a player you don’t plan to start next week:

  • You plan to start him in Week 17.

  • You play into Week 17, you don’t have any real options behind your starting RB(s) and he’s the clear handcuff.
  • You’re trying to keep him away from your Week 16 (and/or 17) opponent.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers

Kaep had a fine bounce-back effort in Atlanta, completing 20 of 33 passes for 183 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs — plus another 21 yards on the ground.

Next up is a Rams defense that’s seemingly mailed it in for the season. They’ve allowed 11 passing scores over their last 4 games.

Ty Montgomery, RB, Packers

HC Mike McCarthy said this week that Montgomery could handle 20 carries if needed. He almost got there on Sunday, toting it 16 times for 162 yards and 2 TDs.

Montgomery added 2 catches on 3 targets for just 1 yard, but we know he has receiving upside well beyond that.

He should remain the clear lead back for a Week 16 game against a Vikings defense that’s been just mediocre against the run lately.

Dwayne Washington, RB, Lions

Theo Riddick (wrist) didn’t seem particularly close to playing today and is no lock to return for Week 16. His absence would again leave Washington as Detroit’s lead back.

Washington tallied 17 and 16 touches, respectively, over the past 2 weeks. Volume could make him a low-end RB2 vs. the Cowboys next weekend.

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks

Lockett was owned in just 25% of ESPN leagues heading into this week. That’ll shoot way up after his big 7-130-1 line in Thursday night’s win over the Rams.

Lockett saw a team-high 8 targets in that one and has now seen 6+ in 4 straight. He’ll be in the WR3 mix next week against a Cardinals pass defense that just got smoked for 389 yards and 4 TDs by Drew Brees and the Saints.

Charles Clay, TE, Bills

Clay took advantage of a plum matchup against the Browns on Sunday, hauling in all 7 of his targets for 72 yards and a score. He’s hit pay dirt in 2 straight after failing to do so in any of his first 12 games.

More importantly, Clay has seen 13 targets over his last 2, which accounts for 26.5% of Tyrod Taylor’s total pass attempts in that span. That puts Clay on the Week 16 spot-start radar against a mediocre Dolphins TE defense.

Deep League Targets:

Matt Barkley, QB, Bears

Barkley dueled with Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, chucking for 362 yards, with 2 TDs and 3 INTs. It was his 2nd game with 300+ yards and multiple TDs among 4 starts. Barkley will be squarely on the 2-QB league radar for a plus Week 16 matchup against the Redskins.

Derrick Henry, RB, Titans

The rookie scored twice among 9 carries in Sunday’s win in Kansas City. DeMarco Murray remains the clear lead dog in this backfield — and we can’t even say for sure that Henry is the goal-line back. But he’s now carried 8+ times in 5 straight games, averaging 10.8 per game over that span. The rookie will be in the RB3/flex mix for Week 16 against a Jaguars defense that’s tougher against the pass than the run.

Eli Rogers, WR, Steelers

Rogers popped up for 5 catches on 6 targets for 75 yards and the game-winning TD against the Bengals on Sunday. The slot guy could be a deep-league play in Week 16 vs. a Ravens pass defense that’s tougher on the outsides than down the middle.

Ryan Griffin, TE, Texans

We’ll see if C.J. Fiedorowicz can get through the concussion protocol this coming week. If not, Griffin will be a spot-start candidate against the Bengals’ 30th-ranked TE defense. He hauled in all 8 of his targets for 85 yards in Sunday’s win over the Jaguars.

Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

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