The Must Stash: Week 16

Eli Grabanski looks at some deep sleepers to stash before Week 16's games.

Every week I will list some players who I think if things go their way, will wind up in those waiver articles the following Tuesday. You don’t have to stash all of them – it depends on who you have on your roster, the depth of your benches, the scoring system of your league, etc. But these are guys that should at least be on your radar. 

Stashing players is only something that can occur in deeper leagues with large benches, so to make this information worthwhile, I will only be recommending guys that are rostered in under 20% of leagues on both Yahoo and ESPN, and in many cases, you’ll see percentages in the single digits. If you’re in a league where guys like Rhamondre Stevenson (45.4% on ESPN), Kadarius Toney (41.5% on ESPN), and Elijah Mitchell (85.5% on ESPN) are on the waiver wire, you’re either in a league too shallow for stashing, or you should go pick those guys up right away.

In addition, for those of you in really deep leagues (16+ teams), we will also include some deep cut players that are rostered in less than 3% of leagues on both Yahoo and ESPN in a section at the end to try and give you the best chance of winning your fantasy league. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

 

Week 15 Review

 

  • Samaje Perine, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Mixon suffered an ankle injury in Week 15 and his status for Week 16 is up in the air. Because of this, Samaje Perine is a must roster player this week and a successful ‘Must Stash’ if you picked him up last week.
  • Ronald Jones II, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Leonard Fournette is on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the regular season, which means that Ronald Jones II is the lead back on one of the most talented offensive teams in the league.
  • Malcolm Brown, RB, Miami Dolphins: This was a case of identifying the right situation, but the wrong player as Malcolm Brown didn’t play in Week 15 and newly signed Duke Johnson had a big game with two touchdowns. Feel free to drop Brown if you are rostering him.
  • Laquon Treadwell, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Laquon Treadwell caught six passes on nine targets for 57 receiving yards against the Houston Texans last week. It was his fourth straight game with four or more receptions and 50+ receiving yards, and he is worth an end of the bench roster spot.
  • Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance didn’t start in Week 15, but remains one of the most valuable QB handcuffs in the league with his rushing upside. Feel free to leave him on waivers at the moment, but if anything happens to Jimmy Garoppolo he’s a must-have pickup.
  • From the ‘Deep Cuts’ section, Duke Johnson (RB, Miami Dolphins) and Craig Reynolds (RB, Detroit Lions) had big days this past week. Duke Johnson had 22 carries, 107 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, one reception, and 20 receiving yards against the New York Jets. Craig Reynolds carried the ball 26 times for 112 rushing yards and caught one pass for five receiving yards against the Arizona Cardinals.

 

The Must Stash

 

Khalil Herbert, RB, Chicago Bears (15.3% on ESPN, 15% on Yahoo)

 

If you have read this article series all year, you are probably getting sick of seeing Khalil Herbert‘s name on the ‘Must Stash’. But there’s a good reason for it. As we’ve said a lot in the recent weeks of this series, the importance of rostering solid running back handcuffs has increased now that we are in the fantasy playoffs – especially with the recent wave of positive COVID tests that have hit the NFL. When David Montgomery was out with an injury earlier this season, Herbert had four consecutive weeks with at least 18 carries and 70 rushing yards (Weeks 5-8). Because of this, we know that if David Montgomery were to miss one of the final games of the season, Herbert would be positioned to be a strong RB2. With the Chicago Bears’ schedule featuring games against the Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, and the Minnesota Vikings to close out the season, Herbert becomes a must-have if you have David Montgomery on your fantasy team and a strong bench lottery ticket if you don’t.

 

Josh Reynolds, WR, Detroit Lions (4.3% on ESPN, 13% on Yahoo)

 

Josh Reynolds‘s journey has been an interesting one this year. He began the year with the Tennessee Titans but was disappointing as he only had 10 receptions on 13 targets for 90 receiving yards before being cut in November. However, since joining the Detroit Lions, Josh Reynolds has been playing at a FLEX caliber level and it’s time that he’s rewarded for it with an appearance on the ‘Must Stash’. Between weeks 12-15, Reynolds totaled 16 receptions on 26 targets for 259 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns and boasted an impressive per-game average in this stretch of four receptions, 6.5 targets, 64.75 receiving yards, 0.5 receiving touchdowns. The Lions have been in desperate need of playmakers all year, and now that Reynolds has emerged as a reliable option they could utilize him even more down the stretch. If you are desperate for a wide receiver that can contribute, take a look at Reynolds.

 

Duke Johnson, RB, Miami Dolphins (4.3% on ESPN, 9% on Yahoo)

 

Last week we went with Malcolm Brown for the Must Stash, but this week we feature a different Miami Dolphins running back on the list – Duke Johnson. Against the New York Jets in Week 15, Duke Johnson led the backfield with 22 carries, 107 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, one reception, and 20 receiving yards. His performance was especially notable because he did this despite Myles Gaskin making his return from the COVID list. While he could just be another one-week wonder that only got the workload he did because Gaskin was limited, there’s enough here to consider taking a shot on Johnson for the late-season stretch.

 

Samaje Perine, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (9.2% on ESPN, 14% on Yahoo)

 

We’ve tried to avoid featuring players in back to back weeks on the Must Stash since they get a bit of a recap already in the weekly review section of the article, but given we are in the fantasy playoff stretch and Perine is rostered in under 20% of fantasy leagues even after a game where Joe Mixon had an injury scare, it felt important to include him once again. Many clear handcuffs are rostered at this point, but for whatever reason Cincinnati Bengals running back Samaje Perine is still sitting at under 20% rostered. We’ve seen head coach Zac Taylor lean towards the bell-cow approach with his backup running backs in the past with Giovani Bernard and with Perine as the primary backup to Mixon right now, he would have a ton of upside if Mixon missed time with an injury or COVID.

 

Tyler Huntley, QB, Baltimore Ravens (9.2% on ESPN, 16% on Yahoo)

 

Tyler Huntley was the biggest surprise of Week 15, as he completed 28 passes on 40 passing attempts for 215 passing yards and two passing touchdowns through the air and added 13 carries for 73 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns on the ground against a pretty strong Green Bay Packers defense. He will move back to the bench in the near future once Lamar Jackson is ready to make his return, but as long as Jackson is sidelined with an ankle injury Huntley should be a capable fantasy starter with his dual-threat ability.

Honorable Mention

 

Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (12.3% on ESPN, 43% on Yahoo):  If you can still pick up Justin Jackson (available in 87.7% of ESPN leagues), you should get on that because there’s a strong chance that Austin Ekeler misses Sunday’s game and will only see his rostered percentage increase as the week goes on. Prioritize him over all the other players on the ‘Must Stash’.

 

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3.9% on ESPN, 6% on Yahoo): Le’Veon Bell has bounced around the league in recent years and has recently landed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Leonard Fournette’s injury. While he looked pretty washed in Baltimore, the potential opportunity in Tampa Bay at the very least makes him a player to monitor.

 

Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams (3.9% on ESPN, 6% on Yahoo): In a slightly surprising move, Cam Akers was designated for return from the injured reserve. While he’s unlikely to get many carries this year coming off a torn Achilles, his talent makes him worth monitoring (note: he should definitely be picked up in keeper and dynasty leagues already).

 


Deep Cuts

 

(Rostered In Less Than 3% Of Leagues)

Both Websites (ESPN and Yahoo)

 

Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (0.6% on ESPN, 1% on Yahoo): With Austin Ekeler in COVID protocols, there’s a good chance that he’ll miss Sunday’s game and the rest of the Chargers backs will need to step up. One of these backs with an opportunity to step up will be the team’s 2020 fourth-round pick, Joshua Kelley.

 

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (1.1% on ESPN, 2% on Yahoo): Laquon Treadwell caught six passes on nine targets for 57 receiving yards against the Houston Texans last week and had his fourth straight game with 4+ receptions and 50+ receiving yards. He’s emerging as one of the best players rostered in under 3% of fantasy leagues.

 

Larry Rountree III, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (0.4% on ESPN, 1% on Yahoo): With Austin Ekeler in COVID protocols, there’s a good chance that he’ll miss Sunday’s game and the rest of the Chargers backs will need to step up. Rookie Larry Rountree III is one of the players that should see more opportunities if Ekeler is out.

 

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.4% on ESPN, 1% on Yahoo): Leonard Fournette is out for the rest of the regular season and that means the rest of the Buccaneers backfield will need to step up to the plate. While Ronald Jones will be the primary beneficiary, Ke’Shawn Vaughn could also see a decent workload in the complementary role.

 

Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts (1.1% on ESPN, 2% on Yahoo): Marlon Mack has been a healthy scratch in each of the last six weeks, but it’s handcuff season and in the event that Jonathan Taylor misses time, he would have a good shot of leapfrogging Deon Jackson on the depth chart and receiving a majority of the work on the ground.

 

Scotty Miller, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.3% on ESPN, 1% on Yahoo): Chris Godwin is out and on injured reserve. Mike Evans pulled his hamstring and is questionable for Week 16’s game. Because of this, some of the other Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receivers will need to step up – such as Scotty Miller.

 

Benny Snell Jr., RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (0.5% on ESPN, 1% on Yahoo): It’s handcuff season with the fantasy playoffs here and if Najee Harris ends up missing time at any point this year it’s likely that Benny Snell would step into the role as the lead back.

 

Josh Oliver, TE, Baltimore Ravens (0.0% on ESPN, 0% on Yahoo): The Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman has historically loved to feature the tight end position. If Mark Andrews ended up missing any time, Josh Oliver would have a solid role in the offense.

 

ESPN/Yahoo Only

 

Tyler Johnson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1.8% on ESPN, 6% on Yahoo): With Chris Godwin out for the rest of the regular season and Mike Evans banged up, some of the other Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideouts will need to step up to close out the year. Tyler Johnson has flashed talent in the past and could have some value catching passes from Tom Brady.

 

That’s it for Week 16. Feel free to weigh in and mention any players you believe should be on this list.

 

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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