Who besides me wants to pull their hair out after watching their lineup tank because of studs not coming through on Sunday? On top of that, we have a plethora of injuries and questionable tags to contend with. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year and it is turning into the most stressful time of the year for some of us.
Okay, let’s break this down. There are six NFL teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs. These teams are the Patriots, Jets, and Titans in the AFC and the Panthers, Cardinals, and Commanders in the NFC. The good news is we have a lot to work with from the teams remaining and can grab some great options from the waiver wire to get to the next round. We will have to keep an eye on injury news for some of these guys, but some of them may just be outright locks regardless. Good luck all!
QB Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints – Week 16 @ Los Angeles Rams
Carr is not someone you are going to prioritize over many other options, but with teams knocked out of playoff contention and injuries, you may need him. That is kind of a big statement to swallow as it makes me want to throw up in my mouth, but it just may be the case for some of you.
Carr is facing the Rams this week, who have given up the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season and have been gashed through the air. The Rams’ secondary has allowed eight passing TDs to QBs in the past three contests. Derek has thrown for six TDs in the last three games, and he has an exploitable matchup here against the porous Rams.
RB Zamir White, Las Vegas Raiders – Week 16 @ Kansas City Chiefs
Josh Jacobs missed Thursday night’s game due to a quad injury. That was the first game he missed since the 2021 season, so his injury must be bad for him not to give it a go. With the absence of Jacobs, Zamir White played on 70% of his team’s snaps and ran a route on 59% of QB Aidan O’Connell’s dropbacks. White was able to turn 17 carries and three targets into 85 yards and a TD, earning 17.50 fantasy points.
We will need to keep a close eye on the injury report going into this contest, but White can be a secure RB2 option if he gets that start and Jacobs sits again. This is not going to be as easy a matchup as it was against the Chargers, especially going into Arrowhead Stadium on Christmas Day, but this Raiders team is on some good stuff right now, and the Chiefs not so much. This is going to be an interesting game, and I believe it is going to be a fun one to watch.
WR Noah Browns, Houston Texans – Week 16 vs. Cleveland Browns
Brown showed up in Week 15, catching eight receptions on 11 targets for 81 yards, a TD, and 22.20 fantasy points. He accounted for 32 % of the team’s target share and 46% of air yards. This production was in part due to Nico Collins being out, but let’s not forget Brown had over 150 receiving yards in two games earlier this season, so we know he is capable of this even with Collins healthy.
We will need to keep an eye on the injury status of Collins (and QB C.J. Stroud), but Noah Brown is someone who can have a nice ceiling game in any given week. D.J. Moore just went for 52 yards on four receptions against the Browns in Week 15, and he would have gone for much more had his ankle not been reaggravated or if Justin Fields could throw accurately. If Stroud returns this week, I will give Brown a nice bump up in expected production.
TE Tucker Kraft, Green Bay Packers – Week 16 @ Carolina Panthers
The Packers did not help themselves against the Buccaneers at home at Lambeau Field in Week 15, but Kraft put in his work and did well. Tucker caught four passes for 57 yards and a TD. Since fellow rookie Luke Musgrave went out on IR, Kraft has run a route on 86% of Jordan Love’s dropbacks and has finished as a TE1 in three of four games.
Kraft is a rookie TE, but he is a solid target in the Packers’ passing game. Week 15 marked the second time Kraft has reached the end zone for a TD this season. He has definitely earned the trust of QB Jordan Love and is a very viable option for fantasy managers in Week 16 against a Carolina team that has been eliminated from the playoffs.