Each week David Gautieri previews the Top 5 waiver wire adds based on the Consistency model! Follow David on Twitter at @GuruFantasyWrld
If you’re still reading waiver columns in Week 16, congrats to you for making it to the Championship Round! Hopefully, you took the best of my advice & ignored the worst & we can say we made it together! Either way, a special thanks to those of you who have read my columns from start to finish, it was a hell of a year & this one’s to you. My top-5 adds for the Championship Round, Week 16:
What allows a QB to maintain fantasy consistency more than anything? That would be rushing production – and Tua’s starting to produce it. After rushing just twice for 0 yards in his first start, Tua has at least 3 rushing attempts in all six starts since, with 3 rushing TD’s, including 2 rushing TD’s this past week against New England. His passing volume has also risen, as he’s seen 39, 48, & 26 passing attempts his last 3 games after having only 22, 28, 25, & 20 in his first four starts. Most importantly – he faces a reeling Raiders team that just allowed Justin Herbert to go for over 300 yards, 2 passing TD’s, & another rushing TD (on a short week, playing with mostly backups). That makes Tua a top-15 QB play this week with legitimate top-5 upside.
As an NFL fan, it’s been a hell of rollercoaster ride with Baker Mayfield, and the experience has been anything but consistent… Baker burst onto the scene as a rookie & it was so easy to fall in love with him as he resuscitated a franchise that we’d all but written off as six-feet-under. But it was even easier to fall out of love with him last year, as his underperformance (whoever’s fault it may have been) ruined not just our expectations for him, but for other players around him – namely OBJ. It was so easy to pile on the guy, and then when Cleveland got flattened by Baltimore 38-6 in Week 1 to start this season, it was hard not to view it as a confirmation of the “suck.” But ever since throwing for 5 TD’s against Cincinnati in Week 7, it’s like a switch has flipped on, not just for Baker, but for his entire team. Kevin Stefanski has continued to put Mayfield in position to excel, and in the 7 games since that 5TD blow-up, he’s had a 10-1 TD-INT ratio. He’s averaging 308 passing yards per-game over the last month, and no joke, he’s the QB3 overall in that timeframe. If you want to get hung up on the fact that Jared Goff underperformed against the Jets last week, so be it, but statistically speaking, the Jets are the 3rd best matchup for fantasy QB’s, and Baker is piping hot.
I’m not going to make this any more complicated than it needs to be. Here are the fantasy scores for Tony Pollard in games where he’s seen 12+ touches: 21.8, 22.3, 7.5, 6.0, 12.8, & 31.2 – and those two games with 12+ touches where he scored only 7.5 & 6.0, he played only 36% & 37% of the snaps (while an active Zeke put up an additional 27.4 & 12.0 fantasy points), and that 6.0 game was Andy Dalton’s infamous first start this year, Week 6 against Arizona. Simply put, when Tony Pollard has a featured role in the Dallas offense, it equates to almost a near-lock for 20+ PPR points, and as he showed us this past week, the ceiling is the weekly RB1 *overall* even in this dumbed-down version of the Dallas offense. Dude is a stud, plain & simple.
I’m going to stick with the “keep-it-simple-stupid” approach this week… Salvon Ahmed has started 3 games (all with Myles Gaskin inactive). In those 3 games, he’s seen no less than 17 touches & has scored 16.0, 12.4, & 21.7 PPR points. He faces Las Vegas this week, who have allowed the 3rd most fantasy PPG to RB’s this year.
Allen Lazard is averaging 11.3 PPG this year, and that’s including a dud in his first game back from injury. He caught 5 of 6 targets last week. Aaron Rodgers has passed for multiple TD’s in 12/14 games & the Packers finish the fantasy season against a Titans team that has allowed the 7th most fantasy points to WR’s this season.