Scouring the waiver wire can be a daunting and time-consuming task due to the sheer amount of talent that is usually available in a league each and every week. The purpose of this article is to identify players who should be put on watch lists so that fantasy owners can be proactive and aware of potential free agent gems over the course of the 2018 fantasy playoffs. Keep in mind that the names listed below are owned in a small percentage of leagues, but nonetheless offer statistical upside and therefore warrant our attention. The Week 15 edition of this article included names like Kenneth Dixon and Ian Thomas. Now, let’s look ahead to Week 16 and players to watch for.
Tyler Conklin (0% Owned)
Whenever an offensive coordinator is fired like John DeFilippo, it is crucial to see how players are featured the following week on a team. Prior to Week 15, Tyler Conklin had 3 receptions for 24 yards receiving in his rookie campaign. He managed to emerge against the Miami Dolphins with 2 catches for 53 yards, and his output should now be monitored closely for the remainder of the 2018 season. Conklin is a former fifth-round pick out of Central Michigan with a 71st percentile SPARQ score, so he could have a bright future in the NFL if the Minnesota Vikings elect to move on from Kyle Rudolph after this season. Conklin scored 11 touchdowns in his collegiate career, with at least 35 receptions for 500 yards in each of his last two seasons. He is a recommended player to stash in dynasty but is not yet on the redraft landscape.
Nick Foles (13% Owned)
Last year’s Super Bowl MVP appears to once again be on the fantasy radar after he led the Philadelphia Eagles to an upset victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 15. During the contest, Nick Foles threw for 270 scoreless yards with one interception. His passing line was not spectacular, but he did complete 24 of 31 attempts in what was an efficient performance. Foles is expected to start over an ailing Carson Wentz in Week 16 against the Houston Texans and should be rostered in two-quarterback or Superflex leagues. In his previous two games as a starter in 2018, Foles offered a mixed bag of results. In Week 1 he had 117 yards passing with one interception and no touchdowns but then bounced back in Week 2 with 334 yards through the air and one touchdown. The 29-year-old journeyman is far from a superstar but nonetheless belongs in the streaming conversation for the fantasy finals.
Kalen Ballage (35% Owned)
Prior to last week, Kalen Ballage had a mere 8 carries on his NFL resume. The former fourth-round pick out of Arizona State showcased his dynamic skill set against the Minnesota Vikings after a foot injury forced Frank Gore out of the contest for Miami. In his absence, the 22-year-old rookie posted a 12-123-1 rushing line against a top-fifteen defensive unit in terms of fantasy points allowed. His trip to the end zone came in the form of a 75-yard rushing score. This was a rather interesting accomplishment, as Kenyan Drake was expected to see more work with Gore sidelined. However, Drake saw one rushing attempt in the entire game. Ballage now deserves to be added where available and perhaps even started in Super Bowl matchups for the fantasy playoffs. As I mentioned in an offseason sleeper article, Kalen owns a rare combination of rushing and receiving skills and should be on the radar of savvy owners heading into next season.
Elijah McGuire (56% Owned)
In two consecutive weeks, Elijah McGuire has proven to be a solid RB2 with upside for far more production. He ranks as the PPR RB14 since Week 14 with rushing lines of 17-60-1 and 18-42-1. The NFL sophomore has also accrued 6 receptions for 52 yards out of the backfield over that span as well, which further elevates his ceiling in PPR formats. Albeit a small sample size, McGuire has earned 41 touches on offense for the New York Jets over the past two weeks. Now that Isaiah Crowell has been placed on injured reserve with foot and toe injuries, McGuire figures to offer one of the safer workloads among running backs for the remainder of the regular season. Be sure to roster him where available and start him with confidence in an RB2 or flex spot this week against the Green Bay Packers.
Jamaal Williams (75% Owned)
Given that fact that Aaron Jones was recently placed on injured reserve, Jamaal Williams is a rather obvious choice to be featured in this article. The BYU product delivered for fantasy owners in Week 15 to the tune of 12 carries for 55 yards rushing and one touchdown. He even added 4 receptions for 42 yards receiving in Green Bay’s aerial attack. While Williams is an inferior talent and fantasy asset to Jones beyond this season, he will undoubtedly belong in the RB1 conversation for Week 16 of the fantasy playoffs against the New York Jets.