And just like that, playoff time is here.
After a summer of draft preparation, high-stress drafts, continual waiver wire grinding, and lineup deliberations and setting, the end is in sight.
If you made the playoffs: Congratulations! You survived the wildest season any of us can remember. We had to not only worry about how our players would perform, but whether or not their games would even take place.
If you play NFFC and FFPC tournaments, your rosters are locked and there is no more drop/add. For other leagues, this week’s waivers will be an important way to shape the bottom of your roster or add a spot-starter if you are in a jam. If you have a bye week, try to add anyone that can help someone win this week. Your goal is not to only help your own team, but to weaken your opponents with waivers. If there is a team in need of a QB streamer and a good one is available, grab him. If someone is RB-needy but you are stacked at the position, damn right you want to grab a RB that can help your opponent.
“Who should I cut”, you might ask?
In the playoffs, the WR4’s who fill the back-end of your bench mean nothing. The playoffs are about starters and depth that can become starters. Cut whoever you need to. Depth matters, but it matters far (far) less than it did during bye week hell. You absolutely need to have options if you lose a player to injury or COVID-19, but the very bottom of your roster should be players who can help your opponents, or handcuff running backs.
During the regular season, rostering two defenses does not make sense for a number of leagues, but in the playoffs, rostering two is often a good move. Grabbing a great Week 15 or 16 defense to stash, can oftentimes make sense.
Absolutely focus on your teams but as soon as you are done assessing your own needs, you should take a look at who the playoff teams have, their respective FAB left, and their needs. Determine a weak-spot for every team; know your opponents and waiver wire.
Before we discuss the waiver wire options, let’s take a look at a few “they are not available in my league”-types who would be phenomenal adds:
Cam Akers RB (LAR): It is finally happening, Akers could make some noise during the playoffs run. I will be starting him with confidence in a league I did not start him all season.
J.D. McKissic RB (WAS): Antonio Gibson suffered a turf toe injury; expect McKissic to be a very useful player for the fantasy playoffs, especially in PPR leagues.
Curtis Samuel WR (CAR): If Samuel was somehow cut during the bye week, he could be in a great spot with D.J. Moore and Robbie Anderson both on the COVID/IR list.
Keke Coutee WR (HOU): Coutee looked great and was targeted often in the first non-Will Fuller game for the Texans. He can be used as a WR3 or FLEX all playoffs.
Tim Patrick WR (DEN): Patrick is coming off of a 2 touchdown performance against KC.
While all of those players would be nice to add, let’s take a look at some players you can actually get.
As always, our threshold are players rostered in less than 20 % of Yahoo Leagues. Please also note: This week we will not list as many options as there are less teams to compete with for the additions.
Jalen Hurts QB Philadelphia (3%)
Hurts finally will get his chance as the starting QB in Philadelphia. He immediately becomes a starter in superflex formats. He has scrambling ability that will provide a floor, and has some weapons available in the passing game.
Ty Johnson RB NY Jets (3%)
Frank Gore went down with a concussion and Johnson made the most of the Jets’ near-win against Las Vegas. Johnson had 104 yards on the ground on 22 carries. He also caught 2 passes. He should see a nice amount of volume and could be a receiving threat out of the backfield this week against Seattle. Roster him and see which way this goes.
Rashard Higgins WR Cleveland (9%)
“Hollywood” Higgins has appeared in this article before and has been in our Dumpster Dive. This past weekend he had 6 catches for 95 yards and 1 TD. Higgins may not be a great play against Baltimore this weekend, but consider adding him for his Week 15 and 16 match-ups; Baker Mayfield is coming off of a terrific game and the Browns appear to be rolling offensively.
Chad Hansen WR Houston (0%)
Recently promoted off the practice squad, Hansen had 5 catches for 101 yards. Suddenly a player completely off the radar is a viable pass catcher for one of the league’s best quarterbacks in Deshaun Watson. Hansen would be a player to monitor more than use, but he has a plus match-up Week 16 against Cincinnati.
Anthony Firkser TE Tennessee (9%)
With Jonnu Smith missing, Firkser saw 7 targets and caught 5 of them for 51 yards. He could see another start this week in a nice match-up against Jacksonville. If you are in need of a TE (who isn’t?), he will be on the radar. Make sure to check Smith’s injury status as we move forward.
Cole Kmet TE Chicago (1%)
Kmet has overtaken Jimmy Graham in Chicago. The second round draft pick had 7 catches and caught 5 of them, adding a TD. Houston’s defense is a mess, and Kmet could find the end zone once again.