Welcome to the 2023 season. We all begin the season with optimism for our players and a (mostly) healthy roster. But to win, you have to make moves that keep you ahead of the game. That’s what this weekly post is all about. Here, I’ll be looking at lightly rostered players who could benefit you this season. Here are some players to look for in Week 16. All roster percentages are courtesy of the NFL.
This is the final push for the fantasy season. It should be the semi-finals for most leagues, meaning the decisions take on extra weight. Below are a few players who have gotten more time and opportunity that could be helpful in scoring in a pinch. This will be the last Deep Dives for the 2023 season as we’re near the end, and the players worth considering for a roster spot are nearly all gone on the wire. Best of luck on your finals quest!
Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns
Roster Percentage: 10
About: Flacco is the starter for the Browns, a team that is 9-5 and holding the top Wild Card spot. He has good receivers in Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore, and tight end David Njoku, and he’s been slinging it. There were a few turnovers Sunday, but also some good throws and long touchdowns. You could do worse in a Superflex spot.
Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals
Roster Percentage: 33.6
About: Browning, too, was thrust into a starting role due to injury. He’s won three straight with the Bengals, who now sit at 8-6 and are in a great position to also make the playoffs. Better yet, he’s thrown for 275 yards or more in each of those games. A team with Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Ja’Marr Chase isn’t hurting for passing options, which makes Browning also an interesting Superflex option.
Easton Stick, Los Angeles Chargers
Roster Percentage: .3
About: The Chargers got destroyed on Thursday night, but in the garbage time, Stick was able to toss three touchdowns in his first start. These final three games will be an audition for everyone on the Chargers’ roster now that Brandon Staley is gone, and Stick is unafraid to sling it. He’s the lowest of the three options for me, but there are worse options. If you lost Herbert, you might not have much of a choice.
Isaiah Spiller, Los Angeles Chargers
Roster Percentage: 0
About: Spiller was a hot name entering the 2022 NFL Draft, but he slipped all the way to the Fourth Round. His landing spot with the Chargers seemed appealing, but a lackluster rookie year had him on the waiver wire plenty. It’s a lost season for the Chargers, who are now looking to the future. With Austin Ekeler struggling and Joshua Kelley not the answer, unsurprisingly they’ve been looking at Spiller. He had a team-high 16 carries on Thursday night. He’s worth a stash for the future as well.
Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings
Roster Percentage: 27.9
About: Cam Akers is done for the year, and Alexander Mattison is ailing. He missed Week 15, and that allowed Chandler to thrive. He rushed 23 times for 132 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings are fighting for a playoff spot and will need all the weapons they can get. Chandler has shown some pop before this season, and he looked good on Saturday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get some more run down the stretch this season.
Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs
Roster Percentage: 25.6
About: The Chiefs backfield is a bit of a mess. Isaih Pacheco is the best of the backfield, but he’s ailing. In fact, he had shoulder surgery last week. He might be back to practice this week, but it’s no lock. And even when he returns, we could see limitations. That’s not ideal down the stretch. The Chiefs are using both Clyde Edwards-Helaire and McKinnon in his stead, but it’s McKinnon I like for the most pop potential. We saw it down the stretch last year, and we saw it Sunday as he caught a touchdown and threw for a touchdown. He’s a nice home run stash for the playoff run.
Trey Sermon, Indianapolis Colts
Roster Percentage: 0
About: The Colts are hurting in the backfield. Jonathan Taylor has missed the last three weeks following thumb surgery, and on Saturday, Zack Moss was injured and forced from the game. Sermon is the next man up. He had 17 carries for 88 yards in the contest. He’s also likely the most available on the waiver wire. If you’re hurting at running back, he should be your top target this week.
Noah Brown, Houston Texans
Roster Percentage: 21.4
About: Finally, back from injury, Brown picked up where he left off. He had a massive day in Week 15 as the Texans held on to beat the Titans. The Texans are 8-6, fighting for a playoff spot. Nico Collins is banged up and Tank Dell is done for the year. Brown has flashed and shown good production and chemistry. He’s another essential pick-up if he’s still on the waiver wire in your league.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.