It’s championship week for fantasy football leagues around the world. While anybody who has made it this far in the season clearly has a pretty solid roster, 2021 is a weird year and backups are constantly pushed into action because of COVID-19 breakouts throughout the NFL.
Every fantasy manager fighting for a title this week will need to have contingency plans in place in case one of their top pass-catchers goes down unexpectedly. Here are a few wide receivers widely available on the waiver wire that managers should consider picking up.
Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (19%)
Next up — Chicago Bears
Toney hit the field again this week for the first time in five weeks and immediately made an impact. Despite the rocky QB situation for the Giants, the rookie still came up with four catches for 28 yards. While that’s not a major statline, it’s important to note he got nine targets after not playing since Week 11. That’s more than any other New York pass-catcher. With another week of practice, he’ll only get better chemistry with whatever QB will suit up Sunday and the target number, as well as his catch number, will probably continue to climb.
Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers (4%)
Next up — Minnesota Vikings
Lazard had what was one of his best games of the season on Christmas day against the Cleveland Browns. He caught just two balls but went for 45 yards and a touchdown. He’s not going to be a guy that will get major numbers, but the last few weeks he’s shown that he’s going to contribute. In the last six weeks, he’s had four or more targets in every single one. He’s had five or more targets in three of the last four weeks as well. He’s not a WR1, but he’s a solid option down the lineup or even as a flex player.
Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills (1%)
Next up — Atlanta Falcons
McKenzie is normally just one man in a WR room that’s packed with an immense amount of talent. So he’s not usually going to get a ton of targets or catches. But this week was a bit different, with Cole Beasley and Gabe Davis on the COVID-19 list, McKenzie stepped into a much bigger role and he flourished. Before Week 16 his high-catch mark on the season was just one. But on Sunday against the New England Patriots he caught 11 passes on 12 targets for 125 yards and a score.
Davis will be out again next week and Beasley may be forced to miss the game as well. So McKenzie is sure to get the ball thrown his way a good amount again against the Atlanta Falcons.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers (10%)
Next up — Minnesota Vikings
MVS missed last week’s game against the Cleveland Browns after being placed on the COVID list. It’s unclear if he’ll be good to go this week, but it’s something to monitor closely. If he is cleared to play, he has the potential to have a big game against the Vikings, who give up the most fantasy points to WRs than any other defense in the NFL.
He’s traditionally had boom or bust potential, but he’s been a tad more consistent recently. He’s gotten at least five targets in each of his last four games and has a total of 291 yards and two touchdowns in that span. He’s a solid option to look at against a weak Minnesota defense if he can play this week.