Week 16 Fantasy Waiver Wire: Priority adds for playoff rosters in need of repair
If you're playing in any sort of PPR format, it's well past time for someone to grab Amon-Ra St. Brown. St. Brown got the scoring started for Detroit in Sunday's stunning home win against Arizona St. Brown has seen at least 11 targets in each of the past three weeks and he's basically locked into heavy usage moving forward. D'Andre Swift hasn't played since November and T.J. Hockenson was placed on IR last week following thumb surgery. Fire up St. Brown against Atlanta in the semis, then again at Seattle in Championship Week.
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Plus, the Giants and Jags make it more difficult to fill their vacancies, Joe Burrow’s MVP rise, Trey Lance’s next shot, and more!
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We’ve reached the point in the season when some teams are already looking ahead to their offseason moves—clubs with coaching vacancies can start interviewing candidates today—while an unusually high number of teams are still in the playoff mix and trying to secure bids. This week’s column spans that range, from the contenders, both real and would-be, to those who will get ’em next year to … the Giants and the Jags.
Fantasy Football Week 16: Rankings by position, full positional previews and top-150 overall rankings
Everything you need to get prepared for Week 16Nov 8, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field.
1. The QB market is about to pop. Rookie QB Ian Book’s Monday night start came amid a COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined 22 Saints players, including Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian. But nonetheless, it was clear that the Saints will be among a long list of teams that are searching for a primary option at QB this offseason. That, combined with the cadre of veteran QBs who might be on the move and a weaker draft class at the position than last year’s, means we are just a few weeks away from what could be a very active veteran QB carousel. Last year, the Rams reached agreement on a trade with the Lions for Matthew Stafford at the end of January. That didn’t set off the game of musical chairs many expected last offseason, in part because many teams sought to fill their need in the draft (five QBs were taken in the top 15 picks). This year, though, that might actually come to fruition, with Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield among the names facing uncertain futures with their current teams. And the Texans are still eager to move Deshaun Watson, who has sat out this season and is still facing 22 civil lawsuits and an active criminal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual assault during massage appointments.
Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Watchlist for Week 17: Streaming targets, free agent sleepers include Carson Wentz, Samaje Perine, Robby Anderson
Now's the time for owners to stay ahead on the fantasy football waiver wire and scout potential free agent pickups. Prior to Weeks 16 and 17, it could be smart to add guys like Carson Wentz, Samaje Perine, Robby Anderson as streaming options.The waiver wire is obviously thin at this point, but as injuries mount and concerning matchups arrive, we must prepare for all scenarios. COVID-19 started surging through NFL locker rooms in the lead-up to Week 14 and we're probably going to deal with it in Weeks 16 and 17, so make sure you're adding depth to your roster, even if you think you're fully set.
2. The CDC’s new guidelines could affect the NFL-NFLPA joint COVID-19 protocols. On Monday, the CDC shortened its recommended isolation period from ten to five days for asymptomatic people with COVID-19, followed by five days of wearing a mask around others. The NFL and the players union recently adjusted the protocols to allow asymptomatic, vaccinated people to test out of quarantine as soon as the day following their positive test. Unvaccinated players still must isolate for 10 days after a positive test. It’s possible the CDC’s new guidelines could prompt another change to the protocols, especially with the league intent on completing the 2021 season on schedule despite the Omicron surge. Though keep in mind that these new guidelines apply to people who are infected but asymptomatic, and the new testing cadence in the NFL means less testing for, and thus less detection of, infected asymptomatic vaccinated people. It’s also unclear how the CDC’s recommended five-day period of wearing a mask around others after the shortened isolation period would pair with football activities and games.
Fantasy Football Start 'Em Sit 'Em: Week 17 lineup advice, best matchups, DFS picks
It's time to win a fantasy football championship, and that starts with making the right start 'em, sit 'em decisions. Get Week 17 fantasy lineup advice and NFL DFS tips from SN NFL expert Vinnie Iyer.Obviously, all of the advice below is subject to change, as players can be snatched up by the reserve/COVID list without warning. With the NFL's new protocols in place, more players, such as Gabriel Davis, Mike Williams, and even Carson Wentz, could be available this week, but injuries and other issues figure to leave fantasy owners sweating out more than a few game-time decisions.
3. The AFC is still anyone’s conference. One of the peculiarities of this season has been how many teams still remain in contention, now 16 weeks in. This is particularly true in the AFC. While we now know five of the seven NFC playoff teams already, only one team has clinched a postseason berth in the AFC, the Chiefs. Only two games separate the top of the AFC North (the 9–6 Bengals) from the bottom (the 7–8 Browns). The Dolphins started the year 1–7, but after their seventh straight win Monday night’s victory over the Saints, they currently sit as the No. 7 seed and control their own playoff destiny (though they have two challenging games ahead, against the Titans and the Patriots). And while the Titans have continued to hold the top spot in the AFC South, the Colts have surged back from their 0–3 start to become one of the best teams in the conference. We have spotlighted this at many different points in the season, but it’s wild that with two regular-season games to go, the third-ranked team in the AFC (the 9–6 Bengals) is just two games ahead in the standings of the 13th (the 7–8 Broncos).
Week 17 Fantasy Football Care/Don't Care: Give Rodgers the MVP
If Tom Brady hadn’t slipped to end the season, had Matthew Stafford not piled up picks in bunches or some dark horse really got hot we’d be having a different conversation. MVP often goes to the best quarterback from the best team. Rodgers has been as eclectic if not more so this year than he was in his delightful 2020 MVP season. David Bakhtiari, Z’Darius Smith, Jaire Alexander … those names would be atop any ranking of Green Bay’s talent pool and they’ve barely made an impact (if at all) this year. And why has Green Bay been able to weather storms while not losing an ounce of steam? They have the MVP on their roster. This might be the year he ends it with a Super Bowl run.
4. The new head coach interview rule didn’t spur an early Black Monday, so far. Today is the first day that teams with a head coach vacancy can begin to interview candidates, which only applies to two clubs at the moment: the Jaguars and Raiders. (Consent is required from the team where the candidate is currently employed.) There will no doubt be other head-coaching vacancies heading into 2022, with Matt Nagy and Vic Fangio among those with the hottest seats. But despite speculation otherwise, this two-week bonus interview period hasn’t yet spurred teams that are expected to make a change to make those moves early in order to get a jump on the process.
5. Joe Burrow should at least be in the MVP conversation. Gary Gramling mentioned on The MMQB Podcast his surprise over the Cincinnati QB not being listed among the MVP favorites you could place a bet on (to be clear, no one here is betting). That has since changed, after Burrow’s 525-yard, four-TD performance Sunday that was fueled in part by Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s comment that he wasn’t ready to give Burrow a gold jacket just yet. But Burrow has flown oddly under the radar for much of this season. He’s had a handful of off games—losses to the Bears and Browns, plus the game against the Chargers in which he dislocated his pinkie. But he’s also elevated his team into a contender despite shaky play on the offensive line and being just one year removed from a season-ending ACL tear, with other knee damage. The fact that he’s in play for Comeback Player of the Year and should be an MVP finalist speaks to how impressive his season has been. He’ll have a chance to boost his résumé in this week’s AFC showdown between the Chiefs and Bengals, a Week 17 game that we would not have circled on our calendars in August but now can’t wait to watch.
NFL execs give three interesting trade destinations for Russell Wilson this offseason
Russell Wilson trade speculation will once again follow the Seattle Seahawks into the offseason. NFL execs have some ideas of where he could fit. Will Russell Wilson play his final game with the Seahawks in Week 18? The trade speculation isn't going away as Seattle's season nears anWill Russell Wilson play his final game with the Seahawks in Week 18?
6. We may get another look at Trey Lance before season’s end. This year’s rookie QB class has largely had a bumpy ride. Mac Jones has had far and away the best season of the group, while Trevor Lawrence has navigated the chaos in Jacksonville and Zach Wilson and Justin Fields have endured tough seasons. Meanwhile, Lance hasn’t seen the field much, making one spot start in October when Jimmy Garoppolo was out with injury—a shaky outing—and he hasn’t thrown a pass in a game since. But Garoppolo’s right thumb injury has the potential to sideline him this week against the Texans, meaning that we, and the 49ers, may have another chance to see Lance play this season. Kyle Shanahan said Lance is coming off his best month of practice since the 49ers drafted him No. 3 overall, and while a Week 17 game for a team still in line to secure a playoff bid is not the best time to test the waters with a young quarterback, the 49ers may get a chance to see if Lance can translate that practice success to a game. And given the juncture of the season, they need him to do so.
7. The Giants and Jags are making it harder to fill their vacancies. The Giants reportedly plan to bring back Joe Judge in 2022, with GM Dave Gettleman widely expected to move on. And the Jaguars, who already fired Urban Meyer, reportedly will retain GM Trent Baalke. Landing a top head coach or GM candidate can often depend on having a situation those top candidates want to go to, and keeping incumbents in prominent roles can often be a deterrent. If Gettleman does indeed step down, the Giants will either be limited to internal GM candidates and those who have a rapport with Judge, or the new GM will come into the job with Judge already on notice. Neither of those situations is ideal. As for the Jaguars, the Meyer experiment was such a disaster that it’s hard to understand why the organization would not want to start fresh across the board. The team’s priority should be creating the best possible environment for Trevor Lawrence, from the coach developing him to the GM building the team around him. The team has failed to do so over the last year, and keeping in place a GM who played a role in the mess seems like it would only stymie Jacksonville’s ability to move forward and complicate their coaching search.
More NFL Coverage:
• The Bengals Are Built for Postseason Success
• How the Patriots Have Pushed the Bills to Get Better
• How Many NFL Coach Jobs Will Come Open Before the Season Ends?
Old Florida Keys bridge reopens to pedestrians, bicyclists .
MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — A segment of a 110-year-old Florida Keys bridge is reopening to pedestrians and bicyclists on Wednesday following a $44 million restoration project. Rehabilitation construction on the oft-photographed 2.2-mile (3.5-km) span of the Old Seven Mile Bridge began in late 2017. “What made the project challenging was that it is a historic bridge, and we had to restore the bridge to the same aesthetic fabric as the original,” said project manager Tony Sabbag, a Florida Department of Transportation contractor. © Provided by Associated Press In this Monday, Jan.