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Deep dive: Finding gems on the fantasy waiver wire

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While Michael Fabiano serves up the top waiver-wire options in fantasy football each week, I am here for those who need to dive a little deeper. Depending on your league, you may have no shot at the guys on Fabiano's list. Whether it's because of huge rosters, too many members or a low priority on the waiver wire (because you rule at fantasy), sometimes the top options simply aren't available. With that in mind, here are some deeper waiver-wire targets if you're scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Many of these "deep" waiver pickups have graduated to Fabiano's top-10 in recent weeks, such as Odell Beckham, Jonathan Stewart, Latavius MurrayDonte Moncrief and Kenny Stills. This piece is here to try and help you get ahead of the competition, or find gems in deep leagues. Of course, for each of those successes, I recommend a Chad Henne-type. Welp, you can't win them all. Let's hope we can find a winner in this crop below.

Quarterbacks

 

Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (6.1 percent owned): Bridgewater played one of the best games of his young career last week, albeit against a suspect Jets secondary. He's now thrown multiple touchdown passes in three straight games, and although his Week 15 matchup is tough (at DET), he gets an easier task in Week 16 on the road against Miami. He's not going to single-handedly win you any weeks, but in two-QB or deeper leagues he could be serviceable.

Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.3 percent owned): With the Buccaneers officially eliminated from playoff contention and Josh McCown getting pummeled last week, there are rumors that the Bucs could turn the starting job back over to Glennon to get a better sense of their quarterback situation heading into the offseason. If Glennon starts this weekend against Carolina, he'll have deep sleeper appeal as the Panthers secondary is nothing special, and Glennon has two outstanding receivers (Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson) to chuck the ball to.

Worth keeping an eye on: Blake Bortles (JAC), Geno Smith (NYJ), Jake Locker (TEN)

Running backs

 

Juwan Thompson, Denver Broncos (0.9 percent owned): While C.J. Anderson scored all of the touchdowns for the Broncos on Sunday, it was actually Thompson who led the team in rushing with 63 yards on the day. Anderson injured his ankle, but continued to play after getting it taped up. Thompson is more of a speculative add for now in case Anderson aggravates his ankle or the team decides to let him rest for the playoffs. Thompson could also see some work near the goal line in the coming weeks if you're in desperate need of a flex play.

Dan Herron, Indianapolis Colts (21.7 percent owned): This isn't really a "deep" pick as Herron has been on the waiver wire radar for weeks, but it's worth mentioning that he's still available in almost 80 percent of NFL.com leagues and has a decent matchup next week against the Houston Texans defense, who are middle of the pack when it comes to defending the run.

Marion Grice and Stepfan Taylor, Arizona Cardinals (0.3, 1.6 percent owned): It was kind of surprising to see Kerwynn Williams run away with all of the touches in the Cardinals backfield this past week, but according to head coach Bruce Arians he was the only guy making players say "wow" in practice over the last few weeks. Regardless, while this is largely a backfield to avoid, Grice and Taylor can merit speculative adds in very deep leagues in case the rotation of touches switches. However, I'd advise against picking them up for the most part, even though the waiver wire is so slim right now. Grice does have some appeal as a dynasty league stash, however.

Worth keeping an eye on: Lorenzo Taliaferro (BAL), Robert Turbin (SEA)

Wide receivers

 

Stedman Bailey, St. Louis Rams (1.5 percent owned): Bailey disappointed in Week 14 after back-to-back impressive outings, but that's what happens when Jared Cook inexplicably decides to show up and score two touchdowns. I still like Bailey in the coming weeks, especially in Week 16 against the Giants. He'll have low-end WR3 value from here on out.

Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (7.3 percent owned): Adams was limited to one catch for for six yards Week 14, but had his best game as a pro (six catches, 121 yards) in Week 13 and will continue to be a big part of the Packers offense. The Packers get to take on the Buccaneers in Week 16, which is a nice matchup for Adams. His matchup against the Bills the following week isn't ideal, but if they scheme to take away Jordy Nelson (as teams have been known to do recently), Adams could thrive in a role similar to the one he played against the Patriots.

Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens (0 percent owned): With Torrey Smith battling back from a knee injury still, Aiken has been rising up to help the Ravens offense. He's had over 50 receiving yards in two straight games, and found the end zone on Sunday for just the second time all season. If you own Torrey or are hurting for wideout help, Aiken could be an interesting addition (mostly if Torrey remains sidelined/slowed) with nice matchups on the horizon against Jacksonville and Houston.

Worth keeping an eye on: Nate Washington (TEN), Harry Douglas (ATL), Robert Woods (BUF)

Tight ends

 

Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders (7.9 percent owned): Rivera broke out in the middle of the season, but then broke down, scoring four or less fantasy points in three straight weeks. He had a nice bounce-back game against the 49ers, catching seven passes for 109 yards and one touchdown. If you're in need of a tight end or looking for a frisky flex play, Rivera could be in the mix against the Chiefs this weekend.

Worth keeping an eye on: Just look away, the position is an unmitigated disaster this year

-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy and features writer for NFL.com who celebrated Repeal Day last Friday. If you haven't been celebrating Repeal Day yet, he suggests you get educated and do so. Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar.

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