Week 16 Waiver Wire: Deep Finds Who Will Help Fantasy Owners in Final Matchups

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIDecember 20, 2012

Nov.25, 2012;  Miami, FL, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate (81) during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Most fantasy football leagues are in their Super Bowl week, and for those unfortunate owners who have a hole in their roster, there is no need to worry.

Whether an ill-timed injury, a string of poor performances or any other factor has caused a loss of faith in a starter, there are still options on the waiver wire—even in the deepest leagues. 

A single strategic move could be the difference between glory and an offseason spent wondering what could have been.

Here are the free agents to target in deep leagues.

Note: Fantasy stats courtesy of ESPN.com


Brandon Gibson, WR, St. Louis Rams

Desperation is a powerful motivating factor, and it will cause the Rams to play well this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

St. Louis’ playoff hopes are hanging by a thread, and a loss this weekend will shut the door on any chance of extending the season.

In the past two weeks, Sam Bradford has targeted Gibson 17 times and he has 12 catches. Even if he wasn’t playing well, he would still be worth adding as the Bucs have allowed more passing yards than any team in the NFL.

Gibson is owned in just 13.7 percent of ESPN leagues, and there is no player so widely available who is worth taking more than the Rams wideout this week.


Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets 

For the first time in five games, Powell did not receive double-digit carries last week. However, this does not mean the Jets have given up on him.

New York’s five turnovers derailed its game plan. If the team had taken better care of the ball, Powell would have received another decent workload.

With Greg McElroy now the starter against the San Diego Chargers, Tony Sparano will look to execute a conservative strategy that features plenty of running plays. 

While San Diego has played decently against the run, the team is out of the playoffs and will likely lack motivation and discipline. Powell will get his points this week, and he is owned in only 6.6 percent of ESPN leagues.


Golden Tate, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Tate would be a risky play considering the Seahawks are taking on the San Francisco 49ers, but he still has a chance to perform at a high level.

If Seattle loses, it may find itself with the same record as a number of NFC teams vying for a wild-card spot. The team’s future will then be left up to tiebreakers, and this is a scenario it certainly wishes to avoid.

With the 12th man and plenty of momentum from recent blowout victories behind it, Seattle is in an ideal position to have success against the Niners.

While Marshawn Lynch will be the focal point of the offense, Russell Wilson will need to make big plays in this game, and Tate—who is owned in 17.6 percent of ESPN leagues—will be his target when he needs a crucial reception.