Standard ESPN League Finds
Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams (owned in 50.4 percent of ESPN.com leagues). I'm breaking my rule of only mentioning players owned in fewer than half of ESPN leagues, but only barely. And Amendola could be worth it. His injured heel was finally healthy in Week 15, and he produced six grabs for 58 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion against the Minnesota Vikings. Sam Bradford's results (35-of-55 for 377 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT) were mostly the result of a blowout, and it's worth noting that Brandon Gibson had eight targets (Amendola had 12). But Amendola is the only guy you could legitimately feel good about using in your fantasy finals, especially in a PPR league. The Rams play the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary in Week 16.
Jackie Battle, RB, San Diego Chargers (12.8 percent). Ryan Mathews broke his right collarbone in the preseason and broke his left collarbone in Week 15. He's out for the year. It's unclear who'll benefit most. Ronnie Brown (6.7 percent) has been the Chargers' third-down back for most of this season, but he missed Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers because of an injured hamstring. Curtis Brinkley (0.1 percent) actually led the team in touches Sunday after Mathews' injury, with nine. But my initial guess is that Battle will be the team's early-down back in Week 16 against the New York Jets. He's a banger (and not much else), and the other two guys are better catching the ball in space. You'd have to be really desperate to start any of these guys in a fantasy title game. But I do think Battle would be your best desperation play.
Danny Woodhead, RB, New England Patriots (28.2 percent). Whether or not you consider Woodhead a Week 16 fantasy option depends on whether you think Bill Belichick is about to lower the boom on Stevan Ridley for his two fumbles (one of which was lost) Sunday night. Ridley had only one more touch after his second bobble against the San Francisco 49ers, and Woody had nine after that point, and two of them went for short TDs. Now, it should also be noted that the Pats were way behind throughout the second half and Woodhead is often the team's RB of choice in such circumstances. But it also wouldn't be beyond Belichick to make a sudden switch. (Shane Vereen would also be in the mix, but remember he also lost a fumble Sunday.) The Pats could be sitting on a lead against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16, which would seem to be a Ridley specialty. But we're not going to get a clear picture from New England about its plans. Anyway, Woodhead producing another fantasy-relevant day wouldn't be a total shock.
Mike Goodson, RB, Oakland Raiders (2.7 percent). Darren McFadden had a steady and productive Week 15 against the Kansas City Chiefs, but it was Goodson who looked electric in his backup role: He had 89 yards on 13 carries and had a 20-plus-yard scamper called back because of a penalty. The sledding probably won't be so smooth for the Raiders' offense Sunday against the Panthers, and I'm not telling you Goodson is startable in any fantasy finals. But DMC is a mighty fragile guy; if I'm putting him on my roster for these final two games of the season, I'd make sure to back him up with Goodson.
Other solid waiver adds, about whom I've written in previous weeks: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks (27.3 percent); Nick Foles, QB, Eagles (4.9 percent); Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Steelers (47.4 percent); Montell Owens, RB, Jaguars (11.0 percent); Joique Bell, RB, Lions (33.8 percent); Alex Green, RB, Packers (29.5 percent); Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons, RB (25.8 percent); Josh Gordon, WR, Browns (46.2 percent); Brandon Gibson, WR, Rams (13.2 percent); Golden Tate, WR, Seahawks (17.8 percent); Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens (29.8 percent); Dallas Clark, TE, Buccaneers (25.3 percent); Tony Scheffler, TE, Lions (1.4 percent).
Deeper League Finds
Dexter McCluster, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (6.2 percent). I'm pretty much forgetting the idea that second-year man Jon Baldwin is going to step in and be a serviceable outside receiver in Dwayne Bowe's absence. And Steve Breaston can't even get on the field. Instead, the guy who benefited in last week's humiliating shutout loss to the Raiders was McCluster, who had seven catches on 10 targets for 59 yards. Clearly not a deep threat and a potential weapon only in PPR leagues, McCluster had only two targets in his previous two games when Bowe was in the lineup. The Chiefs play a middling Indianapolis Colts defense in Week 16.
Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns (14.0 percent). I'd still rather own Josh Gordon (see the "other" waiver adds about whom I've written in previous weeks), but I have to admit that Little has solidified his role as Cleveland's possession receiver in his past three games. In that span, he has 21 targets (compared with 28 for Gordon). Most importantly, his hands problems haven't surfaced lately. Brandon Weeden is a tough man to trust after a crummy Week 15 performance versus the Washington Redskins, but, in a PPR league, I can see an argument that Little and his 60-yard average the past few weeks could be of some use, although the Browns face a difficult Denver Broncos defense in Week 16.
Ryan Grant, RB, Green Bay Packers (0.7 percent). Alex Green saw the most work out of the Packers' backfield Sunday, with 13 carries, but Grant had his workload increase from just one tote in Week 14 to eight versus the Chicago Bears. However, he lost a fumble when Green Bay had an 11-point lead, temporarily breathing life back into the Monsters of the Midway, but, late in the game, Green appeared shaken up and Grant did get four more carries. DuJuan Harris (0.1 percent) is also involved, and he ripped off a 21-yard carry on the first play of the second half. I probably will have Green ranked highest among these RBs, but Grant probably will make the top 50, not least because the Tennessee Titans come to Lambeau in Week 16.
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Washington Redskins (38.9 percent). Hankerson was a fluke star against the Browns last week, catching only two passes, each of which went for a TD. Pierre Garcon is obviously the only Skins WR you'd feel comfortable using in your fantasy playoffs. I expect to see Bobby Three Sticks (aka Robert Griffin III) back in the lineup for a double-bonus matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16, and the truth is that he doesn't use Hankerson nearly as much with Garcon back in the lineup. But the deep-league pickings are slim. Hankerson might be just about the best you'll find.
Braylon Edwards, WR, New York Jets (3.3 percent). Yuck. Oh, yuck. Anyone catching passes from Mark Sanchez (or Tim Tebow or Greg McElroy) doesn't deserve a place on your roster. But in fairness, I should mention that Edwards shed his "questionable" tag for Monday night's game and served as the Jets' clear No. 1 wideout. That and a few bucks will get you a latte, but it's the truth. Edwards is comfortable as a Jet, and although I'd be shocked if anything superproductive came from this reunion, I'm honor-bound to at least mention the current arrangement in Gotham.
Zach Miller, TE, Seattle Seahawks (1.1 percent). You probably don't want Miller. You'll see four or five better fill-in TEs in the "other" options I've written about in previous weeks. But it's true that, as the Seahawks have exploded for 50-plus points in each of their past two games, Miller has partaken, scoring a red zone TD in each game. He has only one game of more than three catches all season, and Russell Wilson has exceeded 27 attempts in a contest only three times. This is not a high-value situation. But if your league is super deep, be aware of Miller.
Other solid waiver adds for deep-leaguers, about whom I've written in previous weeks: Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins (2.2 percent); Sam Bradford, QB, Rams (38.2 percent); Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins (9.5 percent); Brandon Weeden, QB, Browns (9.0 percent); Chad Henne, QB, Jaguars (5.8 percent); Jake Locker, QB, Titans (7.4 percent); Mike Tolbert, RB, Panthers (12.0 percent); Bilal Powell, RB, Jets (7.2 percent); Rod Streater, WR, Raiders (2.0 percent); Jason Avant, WR, Eagles (1.3 percent); Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears (5.6 percent); Chris Givens, WR, Rams (12.7 percent); Donnie Avery, WR, Colts (15.9 percent); Santana Moss, WR, Redskins (38.2 percent); Joe Morgan, WR, Saints (0.1 percent); Dwayne Harris, WR, Cowboys (0.2 percent); Brandon Myers, TE, Raiders (32.4 percent); Ben Watson, TE, Browns (3.5 percent); Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jaguars (16.4 percent); Dwayne Allen, TE, Colts (2.2 percent); Jeff Cumberland, TE, Jets (0.1 percent).