Week 16 of the NFL regular season is in the books, and fantasy owners are looking for temporary replacements heading toward their playoff push. We bring you our weekly list of players who might be potential waiver wire busts or who have downside. Some of these players may appear in our waiver wire suggestions, but this list is designed to point out factors that could impact or limit their production.
RB James Starks, Green Bay Packers (16 percent owned)
Green Bay Packers running back James Starks is a popular add due to Eddie Lacy's ankle injury. Lacy was in a boot Monday and said he is rehabbing hard to get back on the field. The rookie sensation has indicated he should be ready Sunday versus the Chicago Bears, so keep an eye on his status. Starks will get the start if Lacy is unable to go, but fullback John Kuhn did vulture a touchdown when he stepped in for the injured Lacy. On the year, Starks has 78 carries for 405 yards and three touchdowns. The Bears are giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs.
QB Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (24 percent owned)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has done reasonably well since taking over for Robert Griffin III in Week 14, but relying on an unproven player in the playoffs is risky. This season, Cousins has thrown for 685 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. Surely you have better options if you have made your fantasy playoffs or championship game. Washington will face the New York Giants in Week 17. They are giving up the 13th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
RB LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots (10 percent owned)
New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount got the start over Stevan Ridley in Week 16 and gashed the Baltimore Ravens defense, rushing for 76 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. It was his most productive game of the year. However, Ridley seems to be climbing out of Bill Belichick's doghouse and he got 15 carries for 54 yards. Expect the running back by committee to continue with no clear choice between Blount and Ridley. The Patriots face the Buffalo Bills in Week 17. They are giving up the ninth-fewest fantasy points to running backs.
WR Nate Washington (23 percent owned)
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Nate Washington really broke out the last two games with 13 receptions on 17 targets for 209 yards and one touchdown. The score against Jacksonville was his first since Week 4. Washington is a risky play at best right now. The Titans need to continue to get rookie Justin Hunter involved in the offense and Washington is unlikely to be back in Tennessee in 2014. The Titans will face the Houston Texans in Week 17. The Texans are giving up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.
RB Edwin Baker, Cleveland Browns (1 percent owned)
Cleveland Browns running back Edwin Baker is seeing significant playing time with Willis McGahee recovering from a concussion and limited options elsewhere. A seventh-round pick by the San Diego Chargers, Baker has rushed 25 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Baker did play 50 snaps in the Week 16 game versus the New York Jets. He could continue to get the bulk of the snaps but it's a situation to monitor as McGahee is healthy. The Browns have been running a bit of a platoon this year. They also face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17 and they are giving up the 12th-fewest fantasy points to running backs