Fantasy football waiver wire recommendations refer to 12-team league formats, unless specifically stated. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.
Check back for any updates throughout Monday and Tuesday as more injury news becomes available.
Bye weeks: none
Fantasy football waiver wire targets
Priority free agents
1) RB Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Leonard Fournette suffered a hamstring injury and is expected to miss a game or two, which thrusts Jones into a prime situation. The Buccaneers are down Chris Godwin (knee) for the rest of the year, and Mike Evans (hamstring) is iffy this week. Who knows what to expect with Antonio Brown (ankle, suspension ending) … the overall matchup in Week 16 at Carolina isn’t ideal on paper, but Jones is a strong candidate for a TD, and he could even catch a few balls from the backfield with Giovani Bernard also out. The Week 17 trip to the New York Jets is about as tasty as they come, and the Bucs close with a home game vs. Carolina once again.
2) RB Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Mixon (ankle) left last week with an injury, and while nothing is official yet, a FOX Sports medical correspondent suggests we’re talking about up to three weeks without the star back. Perine filled in admirably for him already this year by acting as a complementary option when Mixon wasn’t at full strength, posting 18.3 PPR points vs. Green Bay in Week 5 and 14.5 against Baltimore in Week 7. Cincinnati faces KC in Week 17. Cincinnati heads to Cleveland for the Week 18 finale.
3) WR Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills: He appeared in this spot as a one-week play last week after showing up a few times prior to that throughout recent months, and Davis should be treated as a mainstay at this point. The Bills have Emmanuel Sanders (knee) battling an injury at 34 years old, and Cole Beasley has struggled to consistently matter in fantasy over the last two months. Single coverage opposite Stefon Diggs, combined with a penchant for finding paydirt, makes Davis a must-own commodity. Facing New England and Atlanta over the next two weeks makes him a borderline WR3.
4) WR Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs will be without Chris Godwin (knee) the rest of the way. Mike Evans escaped a significant hamstring injury by the looks of things but still isn’t a lock for Week 16, and Antonio Brown (ankle, suspension) is available to return to the team as of Monday. Rob Gronkowski still exists, but Leonard Fournette is expected to miss some time, which opens up a bunch of targets. Johnson can play inside and outside, and he has Tom Brady’s trust. Tampa has a cake schedule the rest of the way, with a trip to the Carolina Panthers in Week 16, then a visit to the New York Jets, and followed by the home finale vs. Carolina once more. If Evans also is out, look to Scotty Miller as a worthwhile gamble from the wire.
5) RB Duke Johnson, Miami Dolphins: Even though Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed returned in time for Week 15 after being on the COVID list, both of them took a back seat to Johnson. It really could have boiled down to conditioning or their lack of practice time. The veteran journeyman has a hint of staying power after his 22-carry, 107-yard, two-TD performance. Miami is inconsistent about utilizing RBs in the passing game as most short-area work has gone to WR Jaylen Waddle and TE Mike Gesicki. Johnson seeing only one target in Week 15 is mildly concerning for the idea of his role over the rest of the year, and his body of work profiles as anything but the guy we saw run roughshod over the hapless New York Jets. Tread carefully here. The allure of a workhorse back this late in the season may be too great to prevent some owners from overspending, but there’s little confidence that we’ll see Johnson maintain a primary touch-share percentage, and the Dolphins face a brutal Week 16 opponent in New Orleans.
6) RB Craig Reynolds, Detroit Lions: Detroit has no incentive to rush back D’Andre Swift (shoulder), but he should be nearing the expected end of his prognosis. The Lions also have Jamaal Williams, who has missed two games with COVID-19, so there’s no telling if he’ll be 100 percent upon his return. He was activated Monday. At a minimum, it will be worth rostering Reynolds just to see if he has a role with Williams on the field and to potentially block any opponents. Detroit faces an extremely exploitable Atlanta in Week 16 and closes the fantasy season with another cupcake in Seattle.
RB Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans: These two were included last week, and Jackson should be the top guy on the list, but Kelley is a decent consolation prize. Early reports said the Chargers would placed running back Austin Ekeler on the COVID-19 list Monday, but when the team landed six players on the reserve, Ekeler wasn’t among them. He still could be added at any time. While he still may play in Week 16, gamers cannot risk it. If Ekeler indeed goes on the list, add these two, particularly Jackson, like your fantasy season depends on utilizing them … because it just might.
Availability: 94% (Jackson) & 99% (Kelley)
FAAB: $38-40 (Jackson) % $9-10 (Kelley)
WR Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions: QB Jared Goff was placed on the COVID reserve list Monday, so it’s unclear if he will play. Presuming he is cleared in time, we’re optimistic about Reynolds’ worth to fantasy lineups.
It’s a little surprising Reynolds isn’t rostered in more leagues right now. He has at least 10.9 PPR points in three of the last four games, scoring twice along the way. As former Los Angeles Rams, he and Goff have an established chemistry, and it’s visible to the untrained eye. Furthermore, the scrappy group from Motown has a feeble defense, which results in more passing. It doesn’t hurt that the Lions face Atlanta in Week 16 — a defense tied for the seventh-most fantasy points per game allowed in PPR. The schedule gets risky beyond this upcoming contest as Detroit heads to Seattle before a Week 18 home stand against Green Bay.
RB Ameer Abdullah, Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Consider the former Viking and Lion as a desperation PPR play in the flex spot vs. a defense that has given up the fourth-most catches on the year. The position struggles to run against Tampa Bay, and it’s common for pass-catching backs to use this as an extension of the ground game. As a result, 11 RBs have at least four catches vs. the Bucs in 2021. Abdullah should become the 12th, regardless of the man at quarterback.
QB Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals: The overall body of work by QBs vs. the Bengals isn’t the driving factor here as much as Lamar Jackson (ankle) managed to produce 25.7 fantasy points in the Week 7 meeting and threw only one TD pass in the process. Huntley is coming off a total of four scores to his credit vs. the Green Bay Packers and could once again draw the start if Jackson’s ankle isn’t ready. Think about Huntley as a No. 2 in superflex or a brazen flier in playoff leagues if you’re without Lamar or have a struggling star, such as Dak Prescott.
TE C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens: Defending the position has been an issue for the Ravens all year, and this unit had no answer for Uzomah in Week 7’s meeting. He scored twice and posted 91 yards on just three grabs. He has done effectively nothing since, highlighting just how volatile he is as a fantasy play. Low-volume, TD-centric upside is the only reason to play him, but there’s hope if the Bengals need to throw more after RB Joe Mixon suffered an ankle injury in Week 15. Only three clubs have given up more TE touchdowns in 2021.
PK Evan McPherson, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens: He has staying power after posting 12 or more fantasy points in four of five games since the Week 10 bye. In Week 7, the rookie was good for 13 fantasy points against the Ravens, and this matchup once again profiles as a favorable day for the young kicker. Ten of the 21 total three-point attempts vs. Baltimore have come in the last five games.
PK Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions: Winter weather won’t be a factor here, and Koo has seen a little bit of an uptick in fantasy rewards over the last two games, averaging 10 points in those contests. He faces the friendliest unit for allowing field goal tries, and the Lions have yielded three-plus attempts in half of their 2021 outings.
Philadelphia Eagles D/ST vs. New York Giants: Regardless of how Philly performs Tuesday night vs. Washington, this defense is a strong contender off the wire vs. Mike Glennon/Jake Fromm. The Eagles should be able to harass this backfield all day long as the Giants have turned it over seven times on the last three games while allowing a pair of sacks in that span.
The following fantasy-relevant players are eligible to return from the Reserve/Injured list and could be on waivers, but inclusion below doesn’t guarantee coming back in the upcoming week. The date when the player was placed on IR is in parentheses.
- TE Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars (11/30)