Week 16: Pickups of the Week
Though he failed to impress last week, Jason Avant deserves the chance to make good on the opportunity to shine. Washington's porous pass defense provides an ideal foil for the recently minted Eagles starting receiver. Forget about the Bengals game and remember instead that the last time Avant faced sub-par coverage (Tampa Bay in Week 14), he lit up the scorecard with seven catches on 12 targets for 133 yards and a touchdown. He's one of few viable receiving options left on barren, late season waiver wires.MyFantasyLeague availability: 0%
Any unowned players you're targeting for this week come with a risk -- and few are more risky than Alshon Jeffery. The rookie had a promising start to the season, notching two TD catches in the first five weeks. Just as he was starting to hit his stride, he broke his hand (while making one of the aforementioned touchdown grabs) and missed four games. He returned to the field briefly in Week 11 -- "briefly" because during that Monday Night return he promptly went about injuring his knee. Three weeks and a little arthroscopic surgery later, Jeffery is again the number two receiving option in Chicago. He gives hopeful owners some homerun potential, tempered by the very real possibility of another injury or disappearance behind ball-hogging Brandon Marshall. Arizona's feeble defense helps mitigate those risks.MyFantasyLeague availability: 70%
Who knows who will be throwing him the ball -- but if you're desperate enough to be scouring the waiver wire this late in the season, who cares? Dexter McCluster inherited a ton of targets courtesy of Dwayne Bowe's departure (injured reserve: broken ribs). He and Jonathan Baldwin will carry the torch through the final games of Kansas City's dismal season. There's been speculation the Chiefs will roll with second year man Ricky Stanzi at QB down the stretch. He can't be much worse than Brady Quinn, and Quinn somehow managed to complete seven of 10 passes to McCluster during a woeful Week 15 passing performance.
Pitta was the man on Sunday, monopolizing QB Joe Flacco's attention to the tune of ten targets, seven completions, 125 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort. He now sits among the top ten tight ends in the league in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. With four scores in the last four weeks he also outstrips all his NFL peers over the last month. New York isn't as weak in TE coverage as Denver, but Pitta is by far the hottest widely available fantasy commodity there is and he remains a viable TE1 option in most leagues.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
Though he shares the field with Brandon Pettigrew, Scheffler has stayed consistently productive this season as a check-down option and reliable third-down outlet. He didn't share the field last week, though he underwhelmed with just three catches for 36 yards on his seven targets. With Pettigrew still ailing, Scheffler may have the opportunity for redemption as the likely lone TE option when the Lions take the field against Atlanta this Saturday. Owners playing TE roulette could do a whole lot worse.