Each week, we highlight six recommended fantasy pickups plus a team defense available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. It's CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK, people. Let's go get those rings...
Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9%)
If you happened to face Perriman in the fantasy semifinals this weekend ... well, good luck in your upcoming third-place matchup.
Perriman was simply uncontainable on Sunday, torching Detroit for 113 yards and three receiving scores. Whatever he and Jameis Winston wanted, they got. That pair absolutely shamed the Lions. Have a look:
3️⃣ ➡️ 1️⃣9️⃣
For the third time today, Jameis hits Breshad for a score! pic.twitter.com/4sMnK0QP6m
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 15, 2019
Winston has thrown for an absurd 914 yards and eight touchdowns over the past two weeks. So that's insane. Mike Evans is out for the season and both Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller suffered hamstring injuries on Sunday, yet Winston was undeterred. Perriman is a size/speed combo receiver who's thriving in Tampa. He's reached at least 70 yards in each of his last three games and he won't lack opportunities in the weeks ahead. Add aggressively. He's the priority pickup if you'd rostered Godwin, who isn't likely to play in Week 16. The Bucs face a user-friendly Houston pass defense on Saturday.
FAAB bid: Again: It won't carry over to 2020. SPEND IT, NOW. Let's go $31 of a $100 budget.
Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears (26%)
Miller saw a team-high 15 targets on Sunday in Chicago's loss at Lambeau, catching nine balls for 118 yards and a short score.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 15, 2019
Over Miller's last five games, he's feasted: 52 targets, 33 REC, 431 yards, 2 TD. He's reached triple-digit yardage in two of his last three and he's made house calls in back-to-back games. Miller made plenty of fantasy noise as a rookie, reaching the end zone seven times on just 33 catches, but he was little more than an afterthought in the opening weeks this year. After the bye, however, he's reemerged as a volume receiver. He deserves a long look in any sort of PPR format.
FAAB bid: $15
Greg Ward, Philadelphia Eagles (1%)
Ward's journey to the NFL was long and complicated, involving collegiate seasons as a QB, a memorable Peach Bowl performance, various camp cuts, practice squad stints and a visit to the AAF. On Sunday, he caught the go-ahead score in Philly's win against Washington:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 15, 2019
He's simply a great story and an excellent football player. Ward has been targeted 18 times in the Eagles' last two games, snagging 11 catches for 94 yards. Injuries have made a mess of Philadelphia's receiving corps, creating an opportunity for Ward. He was actually the only wideout to catch a pass from Carson Wentz on Sunday; tight ends and running backs caught everything else. Ward is a reasonable add for desperate deep-leaguers.
FAAB bid: $7
Other notable WR/TE options: Chris Conley (spiked twice on Sunday, with D.J. Chark unavailable), Danny Amendola (PPR machine has drawn 29 targets over his last three games), Kenny Stills (he made the most of his three targets at Tennessee, producing a pair of house calls), James Washington and Diontae Johnson (the QB play hasn't been good enough to make either a must-start, but both possess serious big-play potential), Justin Watson (because he's one of the few healthy receivers on a team averaging 39.9 pass attempts per game), O.J. Howard (the Bucs have no choice but to throw to him now that everyone else is hurting), Jonnu Smith (he caught all five of his targets for 60 on Sunday, adding an impressive/explosive 57-yard carry).
Mike Boone and Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (2% and 39%)
We've already had the Dalvin Cook fire-drill once this season, and we're doing it again this week. Cook exited Sunday's game with a shoulder injury and was unable to return. It's believed to be a new issue, not an aggravation of the previous problem, and we don't yet have a solid recovery timeline. Mike Zimmer has downplayed the severity of the issue, for whatever that’s worth, but the team was quick to rule out their featured back at L.A.
In Cook's absence, preseason legend Mike Boone piled up 56 yards and two TDs on 13 carries. Check the cut-back ability and power from Boone on his first score:
If Boone gets anything close to a full workload in Week 16 against Green Bay, he'll have a shot at a top-10 positional finish. Minnesota is playing at home on Monday night, facing a Packers defense that's allowed 4.6 YPC and 14 rushing scores on the season. Green Bay has allowed seven backs to top 100 scrimmage yards so far this year, including Cook.
Unfortunately, we may not have any clarity regarding the availability of various Vikings running backs until later in the week. Cook's understudy all season has been Mattison, but he was unavailable on Sunday due to an ankle issue that kept him from practicing mid-week. Mattison has been excellent in a limited role this season, averaging 4.6 YPC, catching 10 balls on 12 targets and producing the occasional highlight:
— NFL (@NFL) December 8, 2019
If Mattison returns to practice in any capacity, we have to assume he'll have a role on Monday against the Pack. Thus, the waiver claims get complicated. Boone is the healthiest Minnesota back as of this writing, so he's the primary target.
FAAB bid: Whatever is left in the old FAAB account.
Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles (8%)
Scott was a revelation on Monday night in Week 14 against the Giants, gaining 128 total yards and scoring on a short-yardage plunge. He produced another 65 scrimmage yards on Sunday at Washington, catching all seven of his targets. Scott has delivered 13 receptions over his last two games, so he's very much on the radar for the PPR community. If Jordan Howard can't return from his shoulder injury for the upcoming matchup with Dallas, Scott will again enter the flex conversation.
FAAB bid: $6
Additional RBs deserving attention: Patrick Laird (here's hoping you don't need to rely on any Miami backs in Week 16), Kerryon Johnson (he's eligible to return from IR this week and he's been practicing without issues), Rex Burkhead (he's not much more than a deep-league desperation heave, but he did break the plane on Sunday and handle six touches), Gus Edwards (it's easy to imagine him closing out the upcoming win at Cleveland, facing an exceedingly generous run defense).
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (25%)
If you've never experienced the terrifying uncertainty of starting Fitz in a must-win playoff matchup, consider doing so in Week 16. It should go without saying that he's a risk to cough up the football multiple times in any given week, regardless of opponent. But Fitz can also deliver useful fantasy totals when presented with a favorable matchup -- and next week's home game against Cincinnati definitely qualifies as such. The Bengals allow 8.2 Y/A, ranking next-to-last in the NFL in sacks (23) and interceptions (7).
Fitzpatrick has thrown multiple TD passes in three of his last four games, turning DeVante Parker into a must-start fantasy asset along the way. The pair connected for two scores on Sunday, including this gem:
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 15, 2019
Fitz is a good bet to produce 250-plus yards and 2-3 scores in title week. If you've streamed your way to the finals, give him a long look.
FAAB bid: $9
Also addable: Gardner Minshew II (the people's quarterback travels to Atlanta this week to face a dreadful pass D), Mitchell Trubisky (it's never a clinic with Mitch, but he's topped 300 yards in two of three and should be playing catch-up against KC on SNF), Drew Lock (he's potentially usable in superflex formats, with Detroit on deck).
Denver Broncos (23%)
Denver's D ranks twelfth in the league in total yards allowed (337.4 YPG) and tenth in points (20.3), plus this group has delivered nine sacks and six takeaways over its last three games. So this unit is legit; we aren't simply adding the Broncos for matchup reasons.
That said, Denver's upcoming matchup is pretty damn good. The Broncos host Detroit in Week 16, which means a visit from turnover-prone passer David Blough. In three games at the controls of the Lions' offense, Blough has tossed five picks while completing only 57.9 percent of his throws. He's been a gift to opposing defenses. Start Denver with confidence in your fantasy season's final week.
FAAB bid: $2
Other streamable D/STs: Indianapolis Colts (playing on a short week, but hosting a team that’s doing a little experimenting at QB), NY Giants (traveling to Washington to face a rookie passer).