Thursday, January 20, 2022

Fantasy Football Early Week 16 Waiver Wire: Duke Johnson, Jeff Wilson, Craig Reynolds could win your league

Fantasy Football Early Week 16 Waiver Wire: Duke Johnson, Jeff Wilson, Craig Reynolds could win your league

Get an early start in preparation for the second round of your Fantasy playoffs

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You may not even know whether you got a win in Week 15 until Wednesday morning – because all the Fantasy playoffs need is more stress and anxiety. And it’s been a weird Sunday so far, with a lot of unexpected performances and outcomes – like the Lions beating the Cardinals! Who saw that coming?

And who saw Craig Reynolds putting in one of the best rushing performances of the week, rushing for 112 yards on 26 carries as the Lions led pretty much from the beginning. We assumed Reynolds would be the lead RB for the Lions, but going against a matchup like Arizona, it was hard to see him getting this kind of workload – surely, the Cardinals would bury the Lions, who would have to lean on the run. 

Well, in an unpredictable week, the exact opposite happened, and Reynolds looks to have established himself as the lead back for the Lions. This isn’t the best situation for a running back ever, but the Lions have been more competitive than their record suggests, and they probably won’t get blown out against a pretty middling Falcons team next week, so Reynolds could be a top-24 RB for that one.

And, keeping the topic on things we didn’t predict Sunday, how about the Dolphins riding Duke Johnson like a legitimate No. 1 RB, even with Myles Gaskin healthy? Johnson got the start and rushed for 107 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns – career highs across the board – along with one catch for 20 yards in the win over the Jets

I’ll admit, I had Gasin as a top-16 RB in my rankings, but I was a bit worried his role might be limited after he missed the entire week of practice due to COVID. Head coach Brian Flores even hinted that might happen, so maybe we should have listened. Whether that’ll happen next week remains to be seen, but given how good Johnson looked – albeit against a very easy matchup – you figure he has to have earned an expanded role. And, for what it’s worth, Gaskin had a worse game against that same easy matchup, albeit with a short receiving touchdown.

Would you feel great starting either Reynolds or Johnson next week? Certainly not based on what we currently know. And, if Jamaal Williams is back from the COVID list or the Dolphins coaches name Gaskin the starter during the week, neither is likely to have much value. However, at this time of year, you’ve got less competition on the wire if you’re still alive, and we know every-down running backs can be league-winners, so those two will definitely be worth chasing this week. Plus, if we learned anything from Week 15’s COVID situations, having startable depth can save your season.

Here’s who else we’ll be looking to add in Week 16:  

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Week 16 Early Waiver Targets

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