Deep dive: Boom-or-bust fantasy championship plays

As I wrote in my weekly look at the top waiver-wire options on Sunday night, this should be it. Those of you lucky enough to still be playing fantasy football are staring a championship matchup in the face and looking for every possible edge. With that in mind, I filled my earlier article with potential plug-and-play spot starts, and I'll try to do the same here. These players certainly don't have the same ceiling as others, but are widely available and have the potential for a decent floor or a touchdown in Week 16. For those filling out a roster in deeper leagues (16 to 20 teams), perhaps one of these players can be a nice fill-in. Sorry the list isn't longer, but it is Week 16 after all. There aren't really any stones left unturned.

Deep waiver targets for Week 16:

Matt Barkley, QB, Chicago Bears - 0.4 percent owned
Justin Forsett, RB, Denver Broncos - 50.9 percent owned
Paul Perkins, RB, New York Giants - 6.3 percent owned
Mike Gillislee, RB, Buffalo Bills - 9.6 percent owned
Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns - 71.2 percent owned
Robert Turbin, RB, Indianapolis Colts - 0.3 percent owned
J.J. Nelson, WR, Arizona Cardinals - 3.6 percent owned
Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots - 7.0 percent owned
Aldrick Robinson, WR, Atlanta Falcons - 0.1 percent owned
Seth Roberts, WR, Oakland Raiders - 2.2 percent owned
Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills - 3.7 percent owned
Dion Sims, TE, Miami Dolphins - 0.2 percent owned


Matt Barkley has played better than his stats might indicate, which is why there's reason for optimism when he faces Washington in Chicago next week. Barkley now has Alshon Jeffery back and will face a defense that has allowed Aaron Rodgers and Carson Palmer their second-highest fantasy outings of the season in the last month alone. From Week 11 to Week 14, no team allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks than Washington, too, for what it's worth.

Running backs

Justin Forsett looks like the lead back for the Broncos after out-touching and out-snapping Devontae Booker in Week 15. He's an extremely risky start, but the Chiefs have been gashed by the run in recent weeks. Paul Perkins is averaging 4 yards per carry over the last month compared to just 2.9 for Rashad Jennings and looks like the much better runner. The rookie offers a minimal floor, but in the off chance, he sees an increased workload he could produce. Mike Gillislee has eight carries and five touchdowns inside the 10-yard line since Week 8 compared to 12 and five for LeSean McCoy. He remains a threat to score every week and is likely to get opportunities against the Dolphins.

Duke Johnson saw double-digit touches last week for the first time since Week 8, with seven targets coming his way. That production will be hard to trust with Robert Griffin III still under center, but the Browns are facing a Chargers defense that has allowed the fifth-most receiving yards to running backs (666) on the season. Robert Turbin somehow has more rushing touchdowns than Frank Gore this season. While that's frustrating to read for Gore owners, it could be worth mining for players in deeper leagues. Four of Turbin's six scores have come in the last five weeks.

Wide receivers

J.J. Nelson probably should have been in the main waiver column, but oh well. It's Week 16, cut me some slack. With Michael Floyd out of the picture, Nelson was on the field for 78 percent of the offensive plays in Week 14, his second-highest percentage of the year. He saw a team-high 11 targets and scored one touchdown, though he dropped what should have been a 50-plus yard score as well. He could find space deep against an Earl Thomas-less Seahawks secondary on Saturday. Chris Hogan is the Patriots' top deep threat and his 19.1 yards per catch average ranks second in the league among wideouts with at least 40 targets. The Jets are prone to allowing big-plays in the passing game (both Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills had 50-plus yard touchdown receptions in Week 14 alone). If he and Tom Brady can connect on one deep pass or, fantasy gods willing, two, Hogan could be a fantasy championship hero.

Aldrick Robinosn set a season-high with 111 receiving yards in Sunday's win over the 49ers and could be in line for another solid outing in Week 16 against a suspect Carolina secondary. The Panthers allow just over 180 receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts, and Julio Jones may sit again to get healthy for the playoffs since Tampa Bay lost to the Cowboys. Seth Roberts hasn't scored in awhile. In fact, he hasn't scored in three straight weeks, tying his longest drought of the season. This feels like a Seth Roberts week to me as the Raiders look to exploit a leaky Colts defense. #analysis

Tight ends

Charles Clay has amassed 28 percent of his receiving yards and 100 percent of his receiving touchdowns in the last two weeks. He's played in 13 games. It's worth chasing the production here as he'll be one of Tyrod Taylor's top targets against a Dolphins defense that allows the 11th-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. Speaking of streaks, all four of Dion Sims' touchdowns have come in the last four games. Can he add a fifth against the Bills? Who knows? Tight end has been a disaster this year so why not go out in a blaze of glory with Sims?

-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar

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