FANTASY FOOTBALL ADD/DROPS

Week 16 working the waiver wire: Chase that championship

Week 16 working the waiver wire: Chase that championship
Mike Nowak/Chargers team site

Congratulations, if you're reading this article you've had a good fantasy season. Adding free agents should be easier with many teams already done for the season. Also, be aware that other owners that are in the playoffs will be looking to block you from picking up any players that can help you, so go all-in if you need a certain player this week. Owners in the consolation game might be looking to add players this week too, so don't just assume your opponent in the championship game is your only competition on the waiver wire.

Keep in mind the owner % mentioned is for 10-team standard ESPN PPR leagues. Good luck!

QB

Ryan Tannehill: He's still only 63% owned, and he continues to come through for fantasy owners. He plays the Saints this week, and they're a middle of the road matchup for QBs over the last 4 games.

Philip Rivers: He's only rostered on 43% of leagues and should have a great game since the Raiders are the 3rd best matchup a QB can face over their last 4 games.

Desperation play:

Ryan Fitzpatrick: You can use him against the Bengals if you're desperate. The matchup isn't as good as you might think. Don't look now, but the Bengals are the 5th worse matchup for QBs over their last 4 games.

RB

Adrian Peterson: Peterson was my top player to add last week, and he didn't disappoint. You have to love the volume he's getting and a home matchup against the Giants isn't scary. He's still only rostered in 55% of leagues.

Mike Boone: This is a tough week for RBs on the waiver wire. Hopefully, you're playing in your fantasy Super Bowl because you have good RBs. Boone could be a league winner if Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison sit this week, but there's no way of knowing that this early in the week. The matchup against the Packers is tasty, so keep your eye on the Vikings' practice reports. This will be tricky because the game is on Monday night, so add Boone and play him if he's the starter.

Kerryon Johnson: He could be back this week, but who knows how much work he gets. If you're in a keeper league, and he's out there, he might be worth picking up for next year.

WR

Breshard Perriman: You have to love his upside playing with Jameis Winston who will face a Texans secondary that can be exploited. He's only rostered in 9% of leagues. He has 3 straight games with 70 yards receiving or more, so he's worth a shot for sure. You can't expect another 113 yard performance with 3 TDs, but he should good again.

Darius Slayton: He didn't put up big numbers, but he did score again. His matchup against the Redskins isn't great, and we'll see if Eli Manning plays again this week. Slayton comes with some risk this week, keep that in mind. He's rostered in 65% of leagues.

Anthony Miller: I've been one of the last people to back Miller this year, but you can't ignore how good he's been lately. He's produced in fantasy for 4 straight weeks, but his matchup couldn't be worse this week, so be aware. The Chiefs have given up the least amount of points to WRs over their last 4 games. He's rostered in 25% of leagues.

Greg Ward: He's getting a lot of targets because Carson Wentz doesn't really have many other options. Ward faces the Cowboys defense this week, and they're a Top 10 matchup for WRs over their last 4 games. He's available in 97% of leagues.

TE

Tyler Higbee: He's only rostered in 39% of leagues, and he has 3 straight games with over 100 receiving yards. PICK HIM UP. Even if Gerald Everett returns, you have to love Higbee.

O.J. Howard: His matchup against the Texans is beautiful, and Jameis should target him heavily. He's rostered in 52% of leagues and should be owned.

DEF

If you need a defense this week, the Chiefs look like a good option against the Bears. Kansas City is playing a lot better on defense as of late, and they're only rostered in 34% of leagues.

Okay, that will do it. Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo on ESPN 97.5FM. We're on every Sunday morning from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday. Good luck this week!

@JoshJordan975

@Moneyline975

@JerryBoKnowz

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How significant Astros spring training revelation highlights even more reasons for optimism

The Houston Astros had a very successful season in 2023 which led them back to the ALCS for the seventh-straight season, but despite another deep playoff run, their pitching did regress from the prior year.

While many would point to their historic bullpen in 2022 and say they had nowhere to go but down, that doesn't paint the full picture. It was the starting rotation that really fell off in 2023. Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Hunter Brown, and Jose Urquidy all saw a spike in their ERAs from the previous season.

According to a recent report from The Athletic's Chandler Rome, we might have an explanation for Jose Urquidy's down year.

The Astros and Urquidy believe he was tipping his pitches. Which would explain why the slugging percentage against his fastball jumped from .482 in 2022 to .632 in 2023.

When hitters know a pitcher is tipping, they often start hunting fastballs. Also, his strikeout percentage went down last year and his walks went way up. He had 2 more walks per nine innings in 2023 than he had in 2021.

Part of that could be him aiming for corners and refusing to give in to hitters because his fastball wasn't performing up to expectations.

His WHIP in 2023 really jumped off the page as well. He finished with a WHIP over 1.4. While his career WHIP is 1.143. That's a huge difference.

Back to the big picture

Until last season, Urquidy never finished with an ERA over 3.95. He recorded a 5.29 ERA last year. So when we factor in his shoulder injury that cost him three months of the season, and the fact he was tipping pitches, we believe he's in store for a bounce-back season.

And the Astros are going to need him, especially with Justin Verlander and JP France possibly not being available for the start of the season.

What will the rotation look like early on?

The Astros haven't ruled Verlander out yet, so he could be ready to go. But if not, and we base this off what we saw last season. The rotation will likely include Valdez, Javier, Brown, Urquidy, Ronel Blanco, and Brandon Bielak.

Don't miss the video above for the full discussion!

Catch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) with Charlie Pallilo, Brandon Strange, and Josh Jordan every Monday on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel.

We'll continue to drop videos throughout the week!


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