Week 16 Streamers: Defense and Kickers
This is a great time of year for managing a roster because there's no longer a need to hold on to injured players or underperformers. It's easy to neglect the waiver wire, especially since most of the teams that have made it this far are probably pretty set, but it should be the most active period.
Cam Newton kicked off the annual carousel of prominent players getting shut down with their teams out of contention, and there should be plenty more where that came from. We need to be on high alert for any news and rush to the waiver wire if any big names sit out this week. Guys like John Kelly and Mohamed Sanu are worthwhile adds given the role they could step into if their respective stud teammates sit this week.
(Todd Gurley owners may have been saved by Los Angeles' loss last week)
Have those safety guards ready in case something happens to your lineup mainstays.
Last week's picks featured one great option and two failures. Washington dominated Jacksonville, recording six sacks and a pair of turnovers. Defenses facing the Jaguars will continue to be elite picks the rest of the way. Detroit held Buffalo to 14 points, but failed to generate any turnovers. Seattle struggled to slow down San Francisco in an overtime loss, managing just five fantasy points.
No surprises here, as the Dolphins are gifted Jacksonville this week. The Jaguars have allowed four double-digit performances to opposing defenses since Week 11. Opponents have piled up 13 sacks and four turnovers in Cody Kessler's three starts. Miami has been a mediocre unit overall but has excelled in plus matchups and should be in all championship games this weekend.
With Newton sitting, Taylor Heinicke will get the start for Carolina. It's hard to know what to expect from a guy that's thrown five career passes, but I can't imagine Heinicke going off this week. He's got several capable weapons and the Panthers will probably be pretty conservative, yet this feels like a spot where Atlanta can take advantage of an inexperienced signal caller. The Falcons are not a good unit, but they just threw up a D/ST1 performance against Arizona. There's something here if Miami isn't available.
This is a legit defense. The Colts completely locked down Dallas last week and now get an Eli Manning-led offense missing Odell Beckham. And it's at home. A lot to like here and a unit that deserves a lot more love.
Aldrick Rosas let me down for the first time all season, as the Giants were shut out by Tennessee. A regular in this space, Rosas snapped a streak of four consecutive double-digit efforts. My other two picks last week saw one great game and one terrible outing. Jason Myers went just 1-for-3 on extra points, along with a single field goal. Daniel Carlson salvaged the group with three field goals and an extra point, tying for K4 on the week.
Sebastian Janikowski, Seattle Seahawks
Janikowski has missed only one field goal since Week 5, and that was a 51-yarder. He hasn't had a ton of opportunities lately, but this game has the second-highest projected point total on the slate. Seattle shouldn't have any problem moving the ball against Kansas City, and while he'll probably have more extra points than field goals, Janikowski is a safe option this week.
Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers
Gould leads the league in made field goal percentage and San Francisco is dead last in red zone touchdown scoring percentage. That's a nice combination. The Chicago defense is scary, but the game is in San Francisco and the Bears have already locked up a division title, which should keep the 49ers in it.
Daniel Carlson, Oakland Raiders
Carlson's been a perfect 12-for-12 on field goals since Week 9, including three performances of 12 or more fantasy points. That's some healthy upside. The Oakland offense isn't great, but it's capable enough to get Carlson in range a few times. Carlson has knocked down a pair of 50-yarders in the past three weeks, so the Raiders don't even have to get that close.