Week 16 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Ace Sanders Worth a Look

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sanders
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sanders
Dec 15 2013 Jacksonville FL USA Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sanders 18 runs the ball past Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd 31 during the first half at EverBank Field Melina Vastola USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Football waiver wire adds for standard scoring leagues:

Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sanders (owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Since week 11, the leading receiver on the Jacksonville Jaguars has been Ace Sanders. He leads the team with 35 targets, 25 receptions and 232 receiving yards during that time. That’s impressive for the rookie, especially considering he’s amidst a two-game slump of only nine targets for five catches, 43 yards and a touchdown. Head coach Gus Bradley announced Monday that he will likely shut down starting wideout Cecil Shorts for the final two games of the season. Sanders should become a target monster for Weeks 16 and 17, and is available in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle (owned in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Eli Manning’s favorite receiver Victor Cruz suffered a concussion and a knee sprain during Week 15’s loss to the Seahawks. The loss was devastating enough without that news. More points were scored on Sunday than in any other day in NFL history; the Giants, meanwhile, were shutout by Seattle. The New York Daily News reported that Cruz may miss the final two games of the season. It would make sense to err on the side of caution for a team already mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Rueben Randle has performed very well this year, catching 37 passes for 571 yards, and leads all Giants with six touchdowns. The second year receiver also returns punts, which adds to his value in select leagues. Expect great things from Randle over the final two weeks. New York will be facing the 16th and 22nd ranked pass defenses.

Buccaneers wide receiver / tight end Tim Wright (owned in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Since Week 12, Tim Wright has ranked third among all tight ends in receptions (19). For the season, Tampa Bay’s tight end has caught 45 passes for 486 yards and four touchdowns. Since week 4, the rookie has averaged four catches for 43.6 yards and 0.4 scores. And he’s turned up the jets more recently. Since week 12, those numbers have improved to a mean of 4.8 receptions for 48.8 yards and 0.5 touchdowns. In Yahoo leagues, Wright holds rare dual eligibility for tight end and wide receiver, making him an even more valuable asset for last-minute lineup decisions. The Buccaneers travel to St. Louis this week to face the NFL’s 27th ranked pass defense.

Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss (owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues)

John Keim of ESPN reported that Washington may consider closing the door on Jordan Reed’s return in 2013. The 6-foot-3 tight end just missed his fourth straight game because of concussion symptoms. There are only two games remaining for the 3-11 Redskins, who are in dead last in the NFC. The Texans, at 2-12, are the only team currently poised for a better draft pick than Washington. Mike Shanahan already made the decision to end the season for quarterback Robert Griffin III. It would stand to reason that the same choice will be made with their rookie standout, who has not played since Week 11. Since the rookie’s departure, Santana Moss has been the second best receiver on the team. During this stretch, the 13 year veteran has been behind only Pierre Garcon in targets (20) and receptions (15). Moss has caught 38 passes for 426 yards and two scores this year. The Cowboys’ 32nd ranked passing defense is next on the calendar. Moss has scorched no team more in his career. He has caught more passes (86) for more yards (1,231) against Dallas than any other secondary.

Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall (owned in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Rashard Mendenhall is a starting running back. Andre Ellington is the backup, change-of-pace back. The rookie may be averaging 5.9 yard per carry to the veteran’s 3.1 yard average, but Mendenhall has averaged 15.5 touches per game this season to Ellington’s pace of 9.8. The starter has also scored eight times this year, when compared with the four total touchdowns by the 24-year old. Mendenhall is still available in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues. On Sunday, he received 22 touches for 78 yards and two scores. If your team is in need of a running back, stop scouring the waiver wire for backups and get this starting rusher on your team. Since week 10, Mendenhall ranks 14th in rushing attempts (95) and first (yes, first) in rushing touchdowns (5). Consider this your engraved invitation. You’re welcome.

Vikings running back Matt Asiata (owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Prior to Week 15, Minnesota backup running back Matt Asiata had four offensive touches to his career resume. On Sunday, he registered 33 touches for 66 yards and three touchdowns. That hat trick of scores was good enough to tie the all-time franchise record for a single game. Not bad for a first NFL start. Head coach Leslie Frazier benched Adrian Peterson (foot) and Toby Gerhart (hamstring) to rest their injuries against Philadelphia. Frazier mentioned that there was concern about Gerhart’s ability to accelerate last week. The coach expects Peterson to be available for Week 16’s game in Cincinnati. Whoever carries the load for Minnesota will clearly get his share of touches. Asiata is worth a speculative pickup in case of any more missed time from the two backs ahead of him.

Rams running back Benny Cunningham (owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Since week five, Zac Stacy is behind only fellow rookie Eddie Lacy in rush attempts. He has averaged over 20 carries per contest over this stretch. Week 14 was his worst effort of the season, when he ran for just 25 yards on 14 attempts (1.8 yards per attempt). In Week 15’s surprise win over New Orleans, Stacy suffered a minor hip injury on the team’s opening drive. Stacy said “[the medical staff] fixed it up for me and I went back out there. I’m a competitor. I want to get back on the field as much as I can, to help this team and this organization be successful.” Backup Benny Cunningham filled in for Stacy in week 12, running 13 times for 109 yards and a score. Keep an eye on Stacy’s progress this week. Should the starter miss any time, Cunningham would have obvious value as a plug-and-play.

Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (owned in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Tyler Eifert has caught 38 passes for 439 yards and two touchdowns this year. Fellow tight end Jermaine Gresham has accounted for 43 receptions, 412 yards and three scores. Cincinnati suffered a litany of injuries in their loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football. Among those, Gresham hurt his hip in the third quarter and never returned. In the game, Eifert caught three passes for 33 yards. He also scored on a pass from the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter, while Gresham was sidelined. If Gresham is unable to suit up against Minnesota’s 30th ranked pass defense this Sunday, there will be more targets for Andy Dalton to spread around.

Packers tight end Andrew Quarless (owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Andrew Quarless earned a more significant role in the Packers offense this year, following the departure of Jermichael Finley. The injured starter last played in week seven against Cleveland. A lot has happened since week eight, including a carousel of quarterbacks that Green Bay fans are not accustomed to. Matt Flynn has recently stepped up, having started three games in a row for the Pack. From weeks eight through 12, Quarless averaged 2.5 receptions for 20.5 yards and no scores. Since Flynn’s elevation to the starting lineup, the tight end’s numbers have risen to 4.3 catches for 46.3 yards and 0.7 touchdowns per game. Aaron Rodgers may return this week, but he also thought that was going to happen last week. Whether Quarless would do better with Flynn or Rodgers remains unknown. But with Finely and Randall Cobb out of the picture, the tight end’s value will remain significant on the NFL’s seventh best passing offense.

Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings (owned in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues)

The quarterback makes all the difference in Minnesota. Remember the days of Brett Favre and the NFC Championship that changed the league’s overtime rules? Well, try to stay focused on recent history. The Vikings welcomed the NFC East-leading Eagles to town on Sunday, and most expected a blowout. But the majority probably would have bet their money on the 8-5 team than the 3-9-1 squad. Well, they were all wrong. Matt Cassel led his team to victory by throwing for 382 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. And that was a team with no Adrian Peterson and no Toby Gerhart. Matt Asiata was the starting running back who scorched Philadelphia for three touchdowns. Along the way, Greg Jennings recorded his best game as a Viking, catching 11 passes for 163 yards and a score. The current quarterback has had a distinct effect on the eight year veteran receiver. In the five games in which Cassel has thrown 20 passes or more, Jennings has averaged 6.4 receptions for 84 yards and 0.8 trips to pay dirt. During the other eight games of 2013, the 5-foot-11 wideout has made only 3.4 catches for 39.1 yards and no scores on average. Cassel will probably keep his starting job, and 40 percent of you can add his best receiver to your fantasy playoff lineup.


Players still relevant from previous weeks include Montee Ball, Jordan Todman, Nick Foles, Keenan Allen, Andre Ellington, Shane Vereen, Michael Hoomanawanui, Kirk Cousins, Emmanuel Sanders, Charles Clay, Rishard Matthews, Julian Edelman, Rashad Jennings, Andre Brown, Donald Brown, Bobby Rainey, Chris Ogbonnaya, Dennis Pitta, Matt McGloin, and more. Catch some waives from past weeks (week 15week 14week 13week 12week 11week 10week 9week 8week 7week 6, and week 5).

Stats and data courtesy of pro-football-reference.com and footballguys.com.

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Dave Major
Senior Fantasy Analyst for @XNSports. While not wasting immeasurable time as a stand-up comic in New York, Dave Major can be found watching three football games at once and telling people how to live their fantasy lives. If you're out of ideas, use your one phone call on !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');