Waiver Wire - Week 16
By Matt Waldman
December 17th, 2012

In some leagues it is worthwhile to consider the fantasy playoffs as a new season. Players who spent much of the year either in a supporting role or on the bench will continue to come to the forefront. It's worthwhile to take a serious look at starting some of these options.

Waiver Wire Adds

Note: All players are ranked in order of preference unless explicitly noted otherwise.

Quarterback Options

Starters in a Pinch

These players are worth bidding 7-10 percent of your money if you need a quarterback due to injuries to a starter or committee option. If Robert Griffin or Jay Cutler miss time, I do not recommend either Jason Campbell, Kirk Cousins, or Rex Grossman as options compared to the players listed below.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks: Wilson scored four touchdowns, three of them touchdown runs on zone reads, in a demolition of the Bills. Wilson began the game 5-of-5 and finished 14-of-23 for 205 yards. The Seahawks quarterback continues to play smart, efficient football in combination with an effective run game and opportunistic defense. Wilson's 92 rushing yards helped him have one of the best days among fantasy quarterbacks in Week 15. The 49ers are next and a difficult draw for Week 16, but if you're desperate for a quarterback, Wilson has evolved into a different player than the one who posted 5.1 fantasy points against San Francisco in Week 7. Since then, Wilson has six, 20-point-plus fantasy totals in seven weeks.

Sam Bradford, Rams: Bradford did all of his damage in garbage time this week, but 377 yards and 3 touchdowns is 377 yards and 3 touchdowns. You don't quibble over the process. Bradford draws the terrible Bucs secondary, which makes him a solid gamble for similar totals. His matchup is better than Wilson's, but his consistency doesn't match the rookie's. If you're a gambler, Wilson has more upside. If you're playing it safe, Bradford is your man.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: If someone in your league dropped Roethlisberger in order to add healthy player to get them into the playoffs, don't hesitate to pull the trigger. The Steelers' quarterback was 22-of-42 for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns in Week 14 and he followed that up in Week 15 with a 24-of-40, 339-yard, 2-touchdown, 1-interception day in a close game with the Cowboys. Roethlisberger looked like his old self pump-faking multiple times, buying time, and zipping the ball down field to his receivers. He connected on a perfectly-thrown 60-yard bomb to Mike Wallace to set up a Jonathan Dwyer one-yard run earlier, bought an insane amount of time in the pocket to find Heath Miller up the right sideline for a 30-yard score. Roethlisberger gets the Bengals next, which isn't a great matchup but still makes him a worthwhile low-end QB1.

Desperation Injury Subs

Bidding 4-6 percent on this passer below should be enough.

Joe Flacco, Ravens: Much of Flacco's 254 yards and 2 touchdowns were generated in garbage time on a 31-yard seam route to Dennis Pitta and then a short flat route that Pitta took up the right sideline with a great display of balance and awareness to break and avoid tackles for a 61-yard touchdown. Otherwise you're looking at a subpar effort. I don't think you have to worry about a 162-yard, 0-touchdown, 1-interception outing next week against the Giants injury-riddled secondary, but Flacco and this Ravens offense is still trying to find its bearings after Cam Cameron got canned last week. He's a desperation play worth a gamble due to some big-play weapons and a banged-up opponent.

Carson Palmer, Raiders: Palmer remains a viable choice for the desperate fantasy owner despite going 18-of-29 for 182 yards and no touchdowns against the Chiefs. Kansas City has a decent pass defense, but is a sieve against the run. The Panthers are up next week and while its defense has a strong pass rush, sacking the Chargers Phillip Rivers six times this weekend, the Raiders aren't as weak up front. Expect Palmer to rebound next week. He has 300-yard, multiple-touchdown upside, which is why I like him for those needing a prayer.

Running Back Options

This is the time of year where one has to stay vigilant about running back depth due to injuries or teams shutting down its stars to give youth a chance to play. This means there will be talented players available on the waiver wire and they have the skills to establish themselves as handcuffs or committee backs down the stretch.

Week-to-Week, Injury Desperation Plays : 5-7 percent of blind bidding budget

These are players with the skills to earning time in the starting lineup with potential for RB2 weeks under the right circumstance. The lower the player is on the list, the less likely they are to see lead-back opportunities unless the team shuts down its starting lineup during the final two weeks of the season.

Mark Ingram, Saints: Ingram followed up last weekend's 13 carries for 68 yards with his best game of the season against a good run-stuffing Buccaneers defense, gaining 90 yards on 14 touches, including an 11-yard score where he broke tackles in the second level of the defense to reach the end zone. Ingram is still in danger of losing carries to Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles at any time, but if you have to gamble it's worth noting that Ingram has been the most consistent option of the three in recent weeks when it comes to workload. Ingram seems slated to earn red zone looks and 10-15 touches. The downside is 5-10 touches and no red zone looks. He's a risk play, against the Cowboys, but if he can produce against the Buccaneers run unit then he's worth a shot as a flex.

Alex Green, Packers: Green got the majority of the carries against the Bears, but 35 yards on 13 touches was about half the production from the same workload he had last week against the Lions. Unfortunately for Green, this workload isn't going to help a lot of fantasy owners. The Titans are next so Green should provide flex-production for the desperate.

Joique Bell, Lions: Mikel Leshoure outgained Bell this weekend, but prior to this weekend against the Cardinals, Bell has outgained Leshoure in three consecutive weeks and has looked better doing so. Bell routinely made the first defender miss or found a lane outside for bigger gains. He's also the more consistently used receiver, making a strong play this weekend on a flat route to convert a third down on a throw placed low and in. The Lions face the Falcons in the final week for most fantasy owners, and Bell makes a reliable flex-play with big-play upside due to what he can accomplish in space.

Ben Tate, Texans: Tate is the type of big gamble that can pay off for fantasy owners in Week 16 because if the Texans get an early lead against the Vikings, Tate could see enough carries to earn RB1 production. It's risk because the Texans will be playing for a bye in the playoffs after winning the AFC South this weekend. However, the ability is there and so is the opportunity. If you limped into your championship game, Tate might be that option to take a chance on.

Mike Goodson, Raiders: Another one of these championship gambles is Goodson, who had 89 yards on 13 carries, including a 43-yard gain, which was a far more efficient day than teammate Darren McFadden's 30 carries for 110 yards. Goodson is the better zone runner than McFadden and explosive enough to generate big plays. The Raiders face the Carolina Panthers next week, and this is Goodson's old team. Just like Mike Tolbert got two touchdowns against his old team this weekend, don't be surprised if we see enough opportunities for Goodson that he could be a nice gamble for the desperate that pays off.

Ronnie Brown, Chargers: Ryan Mathews will miss the remainder of the season with a broken clavicle, so Brown will likely earn the majority of touches. However, the Chargers are also known for giving Curtis Brinkley and Jackie Battle the ball enough to keep Brown's upside limited to a flex-play. He's worth having on speed dial as you monitor Mathews in practices this week.

Curtis Brinkley, Chargers: The former Syracuse runner has been hanging around the Chargers as an occasional contributor for the past two years. He had 42 yards on 6 carries against the Panthers. Keep him in mind against the Jets if Ryan Mathews shoulder injury keeps inactive during Week 16.

LaMichael James, 49ers: The rookie from Oregon continues to look like there wasn't much of a transition required from his college football career to a role in the NFL. He ran hard, made defenders miss, and then after then Patriots mounted a 28-point second-half comeback at home, James flipped the field with a long kick return with 6:35 in the game and setup a touchdown pass to retake the league on the next play. James' vision, quickness, agility, and versatility are a boon for the 49ers and if Frank Gore is given a rest or gets hurt, the rookie will likely split time with Anthony Dixon. If you have Week 17 games, James might be one of those guys to consider. Otherwise, he's a big-play gamble in Week 16.

Jackie Battle, Chargers: Battle might be good for a goal line carry or two against the Jets if Ryan Mathews can't play. Even so, he'll be in a three-way split (at best) with Ronnie Brown and Curtis Brinkley.

Late Season Lotto-Week 17: 1 percent

These are players worth considering if you're seeking options that could reap dividends if your league has its championship game in unpredictable Week 17. Only add if you're dropping a defense, a kicker, or untradeable depth at positions that lack the necessary productivity or talent to keep them.

Bernard Pierce, Ravens: He's Ray Rice's handcuff and if the Ravens can make the playoffs, Pierce might see more time down the stretch if Baltimore opts to rest Rice. He has over 70 yards in two games while spelling Rice. Pierce is a powerful back with better speed than many realize. He is making plays as a runner and receiver, which makes him a potential feature back for Week 17 fantasy championships if the Ravens were to sit Rice. Otherwise, he's not worth picking up in Week 16.

Robert Turbin, Seattle: The rookie running back for the Seahawks continues to play well, including 108 yards on 20 carries in a 58-0 blowout of the Cardinals in Week 14 and another 31 yards in a 50-17 blowout of the Bills in Week 15. Turbin has developed into a decisive, physical runner. If Marshawn Lynch were to miss time, Turbin has enough skill to earn no worse than RB2-caliber production behind a good, young offensive line and a run-based offense that complements a stingy defense that will help keep the run game a viable part of the game plan. Turbin is a perfect luxury stash for fantasy owners with the room to add a player poised to produce if called upon in Week 17.

Wide Receiver Options

Like the quarterback position, there are receivers on this list that fantasy owners can use right away. Only a few have every-week upside and potential to grow into a larger role. The rest are the type of players a fantasy owner can add and drop as necessary.

Priority Additions: 15-25 percent of blind bidding budget

James Jones, Packers: Last week I said that Jones should be a low-end WR3 as long as Jordy Nelson is out. Jones wasn't a WR3, but he was a TD = 3 against the Bears. He caught a stop-fade, a crossing route, and a sideline streak for touchdowns in this game, making him a decided WR1 for Week 15. The Titans will offer enough favorable looks for Jones to be at least a low-end WR3 as long as Nelson is out.

Bench depth w/flex upside: 8-14 percent of blind bidding budget

Rod Streater, Raiders: Streater has three weeks with flex-WR3 production, accumulating 12 catches for 258 yards and a score during that span. He gets the Panthers during Week 16 and because the rest of this receiving corps isn't consistent, Streater is a good gamble. He has good deep speed and made some big plays in two of the last three games, so he's worth consideration.

Brandon Gibson, Rams: Gibson had six catches for 100 yards and a game-winning touchdown on a throw behind coverage in the end zone late in the Week 14 contest and followed up with a 76-yard day against the Vikings, catching 6 balls. Gibson's scores tend to be these plays where he sneaks behind coverage, but this is his first decent stretch of consecutive weeks in several weeks. The Buccaneers defense is bad enough against the pass that Gibson has WR2 upside as a desperation flex.

Riley Cooper, Eagles: Cooper is a lot like Jason Avant, but with more speed and athleticism. He's a physical player who adjusts well to the football and it has shown this month in limited time, scoring three times in the past five weeks. During the past three weeks Cooper has 15 catches for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cooper remains worth a look because he's a more versatile all-around option than Jeremy Maclin, who has only begun to round into form as Nick Foles improves. The Eagles get Washington, and Cooper should have a shot at a good day against a defense that can give up big plays.

Domenik Hixon, Giants: Hixon had three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown against the Saints and followed up with 80 yards on 5 catches against the Falcons, much of it went the game was still a contest. Hixon made some nice plays on seam routes and slants. He's an ideal third receiver in the Giants' offense when healthy enough to play and it looks like he's rounding back into form after a midseason injury. Hixon makes a good flex play against the Ravens. He's a little steadier than the rest of the options on this list despite having less upside.

Only in Larger Leagues

Jason Avant, Eagles: Avant is healthy enough to see the field and he made an immediate impact after missing almost a month. The Eagles receiver has 14 receptions and 256 yards during the past three weeks. Although those totals of decrease each week, Avant is still earning enough opportunities to warrant low-end flex play for the desperate. The Redskins are next and they give up a lot of production to tight ends. Although Avant isn't a tight end, his routes tend to be in the same area, making him a decent gamble.

Harry Douglas, Falcons: Roddy White's knee bothered him enough that the Falcons ran specific plays to work Douglas open. The slot receiver had a nice play on a slant and go where the Falcons used Julio Jones outside to bait the defense into thinking the play was a wide receiver screen. Matt Ryan executed a pump fake and hit Douglas up the left sideline behind Jayron Hosley for a long gain. Douglas also had a nice gain on a crossing route later for box score total of 83 yards on 3 catches. He might be called into further action against the Bears if White's knee doesn't show significant improvement.

Leonard Hankerson, Redskins: Hankerson is a streaky player early in his career, but he had a nice day paired with rookie Kurt Cousins, catching a deep cross off play action behind three defenders for a 54-yard score. He nearly dropped the ball, but did a good job concentrating on the run to rein it in. He later caught a two-yard pass on a backside cross at the goal line off a play action boot. Not much changed with Hankerson's role with Cousins, the plays just worked this week.

Louis Murphy, Panthers: Murphy had two big-play targets in Week 14 that could have resulted in touchdowns if the throws were better. One was play action pass deep and Murphy easily beat his defender up the left sideline, but the pass was overthrown by a large margin. Later, Murphy caught a corner route at the right boundary of the end zone, but the pass was a little wide of target and Murphy could only get one foot inbounds. Murphy should continue to see big-play targets against his former team the Raiders, making him worth a desperation start in large leagues.

Tight End Options

Priorities 6-12 Percent of blind bidding budget

Starters in a pinch

Dennis Pitta, Ravens: Pitta has been productive for two weeks. He snared five catches for 46 yards and a touchdown in Week 14 and followed that with 125 yards and 2 touchdowns on 7 catches, most of them in garbage time against the Broncos. Despite the timing, the effort was great. He made a diving catch on a seam route breaking a little to the post, rolling into the end zone after laying out for the ball. Later, he took a short flat route to the right sideline, lowered his shoulder through a wrap, stayed inbounds, spun inside the oncoming defender and outran three defenders for a 61-yard touchdown. Pitta has been up and down the past month while New York isn't an easy fantasy matchup, the Ravens tight end is earning enough targets to consider as a TE1 if playing the waiver wire for tight ends.

Brent Celek, Eagles: Celek has been cleared to play next week after a sustaining a concussion two weeks ago. With the Redskins on the schedule, he's worth a serious look if you need a tight end due to the matchup and improved play from Nick Foles.

Week-to-Week or Lotto Tix1-3 percent of blind bidding budget

Dallas Clark, Buccaneers: Clark had eight catches for 42 yards and got open for what would have been a long touchdown if Josh Freeman didn't underthrow the ball by five yards and give the trailing safety a chance to make the interception. His 12 targets tied Vincent Jackson for the team lead against the Saints. The Rams are ahead and this bodes well for those in need of a gamble during the fantasy playoffs. He's a better option for PPR leagues than standard formats.

Jermichael Finley, Packers: Finley may be leaving Green Bay at the end of the year, but he managed 61 yards against the Bears and the Titans defense should offer another opportunity to make strong impression for scouts watching him at year's end. With Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson still on the mend to varying degrees, Finley could have a better chance to see quality targets. Finley is a bigger gamble than Clark, Pitta, and Celek, but his upside might be just as strong.

Antonio Gates, Chargers: Gates scored a touchdown on a nine-yard pass 58 seconds into the fourth quarter and finished the day with 31 yards on 4 catches. It was his best fantasy total since Week 6 and his second-best day all year. He's nothing more than a flex-gamble against the Jets.

Scott Chandler, Bills: Chandler made the most of a soft spot in the schedule against the Rams to catch five passes for 71 yards, but it was Lee Smith who got the red zone work Smith's second short yardage touchdown in three weeks. Chandler followed up with a five-catch, 58-yard day against the Seahawks, which means the Dolphins should be a good opportunity for him to provide low-end flex production with TE1 upside if he gets a red zone target.

Tony Scheffler, Lions: He's often targeted on intermediate corner routes or scramble plays up the sideline for bigger gains as well as red zone work, which makes him a reasonable gamble against the likes of the Falcons. He had seven targets against the Cardinals this weekend, which was second-most among Lions receivers. Monitor Brandon Pettigrew's progress from an ankle injury that made him inactive this weekend before taking a gamble.

Dwayne Allen, Colts: Allen has been an oft-mentioned option in this report during the season and it's because he continues to flash just enough productivity to consider as a desperation option with some red zone upside. Allen scored this weekend against the Texans, catching two passes for 36 yards, scoring on an eight-yard catch late in the third quarter. Allen continues to earn more time than Coby Fleener on a consistent basis, but still not generating enough catches to consider as anything more than a gamble against the Chiefs pass defense.

Kicker Options

Steven Hauschka, Seahawks: The Seahawks offense has been on a tear thanks to Russell Wilson and the defense has been opportunistic with these early leads. Hauschka has 30 points in the past two weeks. The 49ers defense will probably cut that total in half next weekend, but it still makes Hauschka worth a look.

Graham Gano, Panthers: The Panthers offense has heated up and the Raiders are next on the schedule. Gano is 4-of-4 in field goal attempts during the past two weeks and was 4-of-4 with PATs this weekend. He's a desperation addition, but worth considering due to the Panthers's recent performances and the Raiders ahead.

Kai Forbath, Redskins: The Redskins passing offense continues to perform well enough to keep Forbath in consideration when renting a kicker. Last week he was 3-of-3 with 2 PATs. This weekend he was 5-of-5 with 1 PAT. The Eagles defense is playing much better, but they are still vulnerable enough for Forbath to be a factor.

Waiver Wire Drops

Quarterbacks

Philip Rivers, Chargers: Rivers failed to hook up with his receivers against the Panthers after a decent day against the Steelers. The Jets are next, but Rivers' inconsistency makes him a player I'd stay away from in Week 16.

Andy Dalton, Bengals: The Bengals passing game has deteriorated since the loss of Mohammad Sanu and Andrew Hawkins knee injury. Although Hawkins has been back for a couple of weeks, Jermaine Gresham is also playing through a bad hamstring. The Bengals face the Steelers next. Although Dalton might be capable of a 300-yard, multiple-score day, I wouldn't bet on it.

Chad Henne, Jaguars: Henne was able to find Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts, including what should have been a 20-yard touchdown to Blackmon if not for an illegal substitution by lineman Guy Whimper that wiped out the score. The Jaguars get the Patriots, which isn't a bad matchup but you have to be pretty desperate to be thinking about him and rather exhaust the adds list above before keeping Henne or adding him.

Running Backs

Bryce Brown, Eagles: LeSean McCoy is scheduled to return against the Redskins and Brown has faltered the past two weeks, continuing to fumble the ball and get hemmed in on outside runs that aren't working anymore. Brown is a great talent who still needs to mature. He's droppable this week if McCoy does return.

Ronnie Hillman, Broncos: Knowshon Moreno's knee injury must have knocked some sense into his head, because he's running like the Athens version of Moreno rather than whatever got into him in Denver. Meanwhile Hillman's promise has been reduced to minor role. The Broncos have won the division but still are jockeying for playoff matchups, so don't expect Hillman to see extended time next weekend. He's droppable.

Ryan Grant, Packers: Alex Green continues to see most of the carries and Grant fumbled on one of his this weekend against the Bears. Even when the Packers jump ahead, they throw the ball. Dump Grant to the curb for Week 16.

DuJuan Harris, Packers: Harris is a former starter at Troy where he was a shifty, spread back with a low center of gravity and penchant for an elusive, stop-start style and underrated power. The Jaguars signed him as a free agent and he made the team in 2011 only to be released in 2012. After a four-day stint with the Steelers this summer, the Packers added Harris in October. Last week I said that I was skeptical he'll continue to earn 7-10 carries like he did in Week 14. He did nothing this weekend. Drop him.

Justin Forsett, Texans: Ben Tate is back, Arian Foster carried the ball 27 times, and the Texans are still jockeying for home field advantage in Week 16. Tate is a better gamble than Forsett so drop the former Cal star.

Isaac Redman, Steelers: Redman is second banana to Jonathan Dwyer and the Steelers running game has not been a productive fantasy option for the past four weeks. He also was helped off the field after a tough run up the left sideline against the Cowboys in the fourth quarter. Even if he's healthy enough for the Bengals, he's not worth the gamble.

RB Drops in Deeper Leagues

I can see gambling with these three backs if in need of a flex, but if based on matchups they are droppable in most formats.

Mike Tolbert, Panthers: Tolbert scored two touchdowns against his old team and might get another chance to earn red zone looks against his old division rival the Raiders in Week 16. However, Cam Newton still tends to vulture goal line opportunities and Tolbert hasn't been consistent in the red area in terms of opportunities or production. He's a gamble at best for Week 16.

Montell Owens, Jaguars: Owens is one of those players worth keeping in deeper leagues because he ran well this weekend, but simply didn't get enough opportunities to really thrive. The Patriots are tougher against the run so only keep him if you're desperate for a flex.

Chris Wells, Cardinals: The Cardinals can't throw and teams dare them to do so by stopping the run. I said last week that Wells might be worth a gamble as a flex against Detroit and he made good with three rushing touchdowns and 67 total yards. All three touchdowns were at or inside the five yard line and two came after interceptions that put the ball in the red zone. I don't expect a performance remotely this good against Chicago. If you're desperate, Wells is skilled enough to perform as a flex and the Cardinals pass defense is good enough to force Cutler into mistakes that Matt Stafford made this weekend. Otherwise, drop him for a position of need.

Wide Receivers

Randy Moss, 49ers: Moss continues to see a slow growth of meaningful targets with Colin Kaepernick under center. He had two good receptions that resulted in intermediate gains in Week 14 and then scored on a pretty pass and catch in the first quarter against the Patriots. The 49ers get the Seahawks next and Moss will probably be used in the slot to avoid Anthony Sherman. I mentioned last week that Moss might be a nice surprise against New England if desperate enough to gamble, but I'm more skeptical about using him against the Seahawks. I'd drop him for a player likely to earn more targets in Week 16.

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals: The Cardinals receiver had 4 catches for 22 yards. He hasn't exceeded 30 yards in three weeks. Drop him and put this season out of his misery. Charles Tillman of the Bears is a physical corner capable of holding his own against Calvin Johnson. Without a good quarterback, Fitzgerald doesn't stand much of a chance for good fantasy production in Week 16.

Donnie Avery, Colts: Avery is a boom-bust play with a somewhat difficult Chiefs matchup. He has struggled in recent weeks, earning 68 yards on 6 catches during the past two games. T.Y. Hilton remains the better option.

Kris Durham, Lions: Durham had one catch for 14 yards against the Bears and while he may do better against Atlanta, the former Seahawks draft pick isn't gelling with his former UGA roommate Matt Stafford. Patience isn't a virtue in Week 16 so drop him.

Andrew Hawkins, Bengals: Hawkins returned from a knee injury to post 47 yards on 5 targets against the Chargers in Week 14, but only managed a carry for nine yards in Week 15 against the Eagles. The Steelers are next and Hawkins only had two catches for 17 yards in the previous matchup. He has big-play upside, but this passing game is struggling across the board. When A.J. Green is having sub-par efforts, it's time to drop Hawkins for someone else in Week 16.

Greg Little, Browns: Last Week I said that Josh Gordon is the clear-cut primary option to Brandon Weeden and even if Little has a nice game against the Redskins, his best game this year was a 69-yard effort two weeks ago. Little had 5 catches for 74 yards against Washington, but I still don't see the upside when the vertical threats are Gordon and Travis Benjamin. Denver is next and I doubt Cleveland's receivers will match up well.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders: He's an inconsistent option who can't seem to make the catch on a good throw or run the correct route from on target to the next. The Panthers are ahead and it makes Heyward-Bey a viable option to consider as a flex in deeper leagues, but I'm not recommending him. Start at your own risk.

Stephen Hill, Jets: Hill suffered a knee injury and missed this week. Give him up already.

Percy Harvin, Vikings: Ankle surgery and placed on IR.

Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs: Rib injury and placed on IR.

Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers: Mike Wallace redeemed himself last week with 11 targets and followed up with four catches for 95 yards against the Cowboys. The Bengals are next and Sanders is resuming his role as the Steelers' version of a flex-play. Not flex-worthy for fantasy owners though.

Michael Spurlock, Buccaneers: Spurlock was with the Jaguars until this month, but he made a nice transition to the Chargers' receiver-needy squad, catching all seven of his targets for 64 yards and providing a reliable underneath presence and run after the catch skill in Week 14. He did nothing in Week 15 and I wouldn't be patient with him if you need a Week 16 flex.

Jordan Shipley, Jaguars: Shipley looked like he had a future in Cincinnati after his rookie year, but he got hurt, and watched Andrew Hawkins take the job. Shipley found a role in Jacksonville in Week 14 with Cecil Shorts out and Michael Spurlock sent packing, catching five passes for 55 yards against the Jets. He's strictly an underneath option with some PPR upside, but limited big-play potential. Shorts is back, Shipley can be dropped.

Davone Bess, Dolphins: Bess missed this weekend with a back injury. He might be back against the Bills so monitor before dropping if you need a flex. Even so, there may be better options so shop around.

Tight Ends

These three tight ends are probably worth keeping unless you can add the first 3-5 players on the list above if the matchup is more favorable.

Brandon Myers, Raiders: After a 14-catch, 130-yard, 1-score game three weeks ago, he has 3 catches for 22 yards in Weeks 14-15 combined. He might rebound against Carolina, but there are better options out there.

Vernon Davis, 49ers: Davis had a catch for 10 yards, but two of his targets were wide-open routes in the end zone where Colin Kaepernick didn't use the right pass to target his tight end. This is where the young quarterback needs to improve most pass selection. Once he does, Davis could thrive. However, at this point Davis is struggling mightily and little of it has to do with him as much as it is his rapport with the young quarterback. Drop him.

Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars: Lewis had 12 catches for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns during the past four weeks prior to Weeks 14-15 where he's had 4 catches for 12 yards. The Jaguars face the Patriots next and all bets are off. The inconsistency is too maddening even with a decent matchup.

Clay Harbor, Eagles: Brent Celek should be back this weekend after getting cleared by doctors to play.

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to waldman@footballguys.com.

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