This week, Brad Evans has identified five intriguing fantasy football players, and a defense, likely to be available on the waiver wire in fantasy leagues.
Teddy Bridgewater (QB) Minnesota Vikings
Touchdown Teddy is primed to live up to his college nickname. The passer, despite little fanfare, has performed admirably this season. He’s hasn’t shook the fantasy world, but he’s routinely delivered strikes to receivers, particularly down the stretch. In his past four contests, he’s completed a remarkable 73 percent of his attempts. Equally impressive, he’s also logged four multi-TD games in his past five. Another unsung performance is on the horizon. Matthew Stafford dropped the ball last week in Chicago, but make no mistake, the Bears remain a pushover on pass defense. On the year, they’ve surrendered 8.12 yards per attempt and 20.9 fantasy points per game in standard Yahoo formats. Bridgewater is your Christmas miracle, Tom Brady owners.
FAAB Bid: $10 ($100 budget)
C.J. Spiller (RB) Buffalo Bills
Widely expected to be an employable RB2 in 12-team and deeper leagues entering the season, Spiller, who missed several weeks with a busted collarbone, understandably played a minimal impact in his return to the lineup Week 16 in Oakland. Seeing just 18 snaps, he touched the ball eight times for 10 yards. However, with the dust kicked off and the rusher motivated to show his wares to potential free-agent suitors, he could thrive in your championship. Buffalo’s opponent, New England, has yielded the fewest fantasy points to RBs since Week 10, but if Denver were to lose in Cincy on Monday, it would clinch home-field throughout the playoffs. That happens and it’s likely Bill Belichick rests his starters. Even if that scenario doesn't play out, Spiller is still a candidate for 70-plus yards and a score on 12-14 touches.
FAAB Bid: $13
Matt Asiata (RB) Minnesota Vikings
He’s the antithesis of "sexy," but, shockingly, Asiata is on track to finish as a top-20 fantasy rusher this season. Because of a limited skill set and unexciting highlight reel, many have kept the Viking at arm’s length. Still, it’s hard to dispute his consistent production. Yes he’s averaged a stomach-churning 3.3 yards per carry, but his steady dose of 15-plus touches per game, many of those at the goal line, and plus-receiving ability designate him a reliable RB2, especially in PPR formats. Blessed with an ultra-friendly home matchup against Chicago, he should be a near lock for 60 or more yards and a touchdown. Available in nearly two-thirds of Yahoo leagues, the terribly underrated Purple Pounder deserves a plug ‘n play.
FAAB Bid: $21
Eddie Royal (WR) San Diego Chargesr
Without Keenan Allen in uniform, the Prince of PPR is a target worth bowing down to. In an expanded role last week in an improbable come-from-behind victory against San Fran, Royal hauled in 10 receptions (on 12 targets) for 94 yards and a touchdown, seeing action on 96.5 percent of San Diego’s snaps. The Chargers, undeniably the biggest winner in the AFC playoff hunt in Week 16, control their own destiny. A win Sunday against Kansas City, and they punch their ticket for the second season. The paper matchup is intimidating. The Chiefs, led by premier corner Sean Smith, have given up the eighth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this year. However, Royal is a slippery underneath weapon who is sure to be a key player in San Diego’s vertical game plan. Another 10-plus targets aren't out of the question, making him a viable WR3 even in 10-team leagues.
Minnesota Vikings Defense/Special Teams
John Randle, Chris Doleman and Joey Browner are no longer striking fear into the hearts of offensive coordinators, but the Vikings, an opportunistic unit this season, have contributed consistent meaningful fantasy stats all year at home. In seven contests at T&F Bank Stadium, they’ve scored at least 10 fantasy points four times. Jimmy Clausen, surprisingly, wasn’t a train wreck in his starting debut with Chicago. However, he won't play in Week 17 due to a concussion as the Bears turn back to turnover-prone Jay Cutler. While Minnesota failed to record a QB take-down when the clubs first clashed in Week 11, the rematch will surely be a different story. Add. Play. Streak your house in title jubilation.
FAAB Bid: $5
ADDITIONAL PICKUPS (If you didn't grab them last week): Alex Smith, KC, QB, Case Keenum, Hou, QB, Devonta Feeman, Atl, RB, Charles Johnson, Min, WR
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