Thursday, December 4, 2014

Fantasy Football Playoffs: Last Chance at the Waiver Wire

Most standard fantasy leagues have now concluded their regular season. The lucky few who remain will duke it out over the next few weeks. Bragging rights are on the line, and so is a little extra coin in your pocket if you're in the right league. Are you one of the lucky ones to make it through the campaign? If so, congrats on navigating all of the injuries, start/sit decisions, and general disappointments this season. Now the fun begins. Although it may seem like your team is all set, there are still a few intriguing options on the waiver wire that could grab you a few extra points in the coming weeks. With only the best teams squaring off,  that little bump could completely swing playoff momentum. Whether you actually need that extra boost heading into the quarterfinals, or you're simply looking to block an opponent from grabbing a position of need, these guys below may just move the needle in your direction during Week 14 and beyond.

Marion Grice, RB (ARI) and Andre Williams, RB (NYG)

This is a two-for-one package, as both backs are in play due to the health of the players ahead of them. When I say the name Marion Grice, most East Coast sports pundits would say, “who?” The former Arizona State Sun Devil was drafted by the Chargers, released before final cuts, and found himself right back in Arizona after a slew of injuries to their back-field. He’s been backing up Andre Ellington over the past few weeks, but it may be his time to take the reigns. Ellington is dealing with a hip pointer; a painful injury for anyone, let alone a running back who routinely takes hits to the midsection. Ellington won’t practice this week. He's listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Kansas City, but for our money, it's doubtful that he takes the field. The Chiefs have been atrocious against the run, ranking 30th in the league, so the holes will be there for Grice to have a respectable day. At the very least he'll get the lion's share of carries. Even if you don't need to start him, you’ll probably want to block your opponent from taking a flier on the sixth-round pick.

Williams, similar to Grice, is the backup running back on his club. Similar to Ellington in Arizona, Rashad Jennings is no sure bet to suit up for the Giants on Sunday. After returning from a knee ailment in Week 10, Jennings is now saddled with a bad wheel, in the form of an ankle knock. Jennings has said he’s not worried about suiting up on Sunday against a soft Tennessee run defense, but that may just be a tough, prideful football player throwing out a smoke-screen. Jennings hasn’t practiced yet this week either. Williams didn’t have the best tenure when he was handed the starting job when Jennings was out earlier in the year, but his matchup would be too hard to ignore. Scoop him up if someone dropped him.

Donte Moncrief, WR (IND)

It’s been the year of the rookie wide receiver in the NFL, as this outstanding draft-class full of young pass-catchers has already combined to set a number of records. So, why not take a flier on the rookie WR who plays with one of the best QBs in the league? For the first 10 weeks of the season, Moncrief had been buried on the depth chart. Now, with some injuries, poor play, and Father Time cutting the Indy pass-catching corps down to size, Moncrief may be finally getting his shot. In just 231 snaps, he’s seen 31 targets, but has posted a whopping 390 yards. Those numbers speak both to the efficiency, and play-making ability that the Ole Miss product has flashed in limited opportunities. Reggie Wayne is old reliable for Andrew Luck, but he’s looking his age recently at 36. Hakeem Nicks has been a complete bust of a free agent signing, and he's not getting any younger either. For real football purposes, you’d think the Colts would like to get their young receiver’s feet wet before the playoffs. For fantasy purposes, that may mean more targets, catches, yards, and touchdowns for the youngster down the stretch. Besides, it's hard to fail when Andrew Luck is slinging darts your way. Buy, buy, buy!

Bonus offering: Johnny Manziel, QB (CLE)

Unfortunately for football fans across this great land, the Browns announced they’re sticking with embattled quarterback, Brian Hoyer, in Week 14. Realistically, we just think that means we won’t see Johnny Football in the first half of Sunday’s game, but doesn't glue Manziel to the bench like some other media outlets are making it seem. Cleveland is sitting at 7-5 in spite of Hoyer’s play over the last few weeks, so it’s really only a matter of time until we see the former Heisman Trophy winner under center for the Browns again. Savvy owners will pick Manziel up this week, just to throw him on the bench for the stretch run. We’ve seen great fantasy value in running QBs in recent years. Fantasy contribution isn't limited to just the Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kaepernick's of the world, but even limited passers like Tim Tebow and Terrelle Pryor have been clutch adds in recent years. Manziel is a significantly more talented passer than both of those guys, so there’s really no telling what his upside could be if takes over the job. On his first drive against a stout Buffalo defense, Manziel led the Browns to a TD after Hoyer had failed to do so all day. The hype is real, so do us a favor and grab him before it’s too late.

If you're finding yourself smack in the middle of a run to the title, you would be doing yourself a disservice to miss out on all of the SnapCall action coming up as the season winds down. You won't want to miss the big play your star player makes to clinch you this week's match, so be sure to hop on with SnapCall as these games get going! 

Do you happen to be one of those who tanked and missed out on the fantasy playoffs this year? No sweat, SnapCall allows you to join the conversation about the game in real-time, and call the plays for yourself! This is your chance to get back in the game!

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