Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 16
We're heading into championship weekend for most leagues and Dan Malin has you covered with the players available on waivers that can help you take home a victory!
Jalen Hurts (PHI) The proof is in the pudding at this point. Hurts is an easy top 12 play at the quarterback position. He is coming off a game against the Cardinals where he threw for over 300 yards, three touchdowns, and found a touchdown on the ground as well. It’s unlikely you’re in need of a quarterback heading into your championship matchup, but Hurts flashed top five upside and has looked like a great fit in this offense. The Eagles have a very friendly matchup against the Cowboys lined up for Week 16. It wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone if Hurts pulled out another huge performance this weekend. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
Baker Mayfield (CLE) Mayfield didn’t smash against the Giants, but he didn’t really need to. The game was comfortably in hand from the outset as the Giants couldn’t do very much on offense and Mayfield had a good enough game with 297 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. He should easily improve those numbers this week against the Jets. Jared Goff couldn’t take advantage of the matchup but the Jets have still allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for multiple touchdowns in five straight games. They also allow the third-most passing yards per game so while the offense didn’t blow the Giants out of the water last week, I think they’ll lay it on the Jets in Week 16. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
If neither Hurts nor Mayfield are available in your league and you don’t have a quarterback you feel great about, you can consider Tua Tagovailoa or Mitchell Trubisky . I haven’t trusted the output of either on a consistent basis, but the matchups are great for both. For Tua, the Raiders have allowed two passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in five straight games and there’s an easy road to about 18-20 fantasy points for the rookie. For Trubisky, the Jaguars have allowed multiple touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in eight straight games and in 11 of 14 games this year. It could easily be a day they turn David Montgomery loose (as has been the case lately), but we’ve started Trubisky in worse spots, so against the Jags he’s very much in play as a streamer.
Tony Pollard (DAL) This is easily the most obvious waiver grab of the week. With Ezekiel Elliott being a last-minute inactive heading into Week 15, Tony Pollard was a hot commodity as a last-minute add off waivers. He turned out a very impressive game with two touchdowns and six receptions. 30+ points in PPR is nothing to scoff at so if Ezekiel Elliott misses Sunday’s game against Philadelphia then Pollard is looking at another opportunity to have a big game. Mike McCarthy did note on Monday that it’s possible Elliott suits up for Sunday’s contest. We have no idea as of right now as teams haven’t even started practicing yet for next week. Pollard’s still very much worth paying for off waivers. FAAB Bid: 25-30%
Salvon Ahmed (MIA) You get a sense that running back will be a tremendous need in April’s draft for Miami as it’s been a revolving door at the position. Everyone in this backfield seems to be getting hurt or being placed on the COVID list, but Salvon Ahmed did return after missing three straight games. He returned great value with 122 yards on 23 carries and he found the end zone. If he’s the top option in the running game in Week 16 he’s in line for a fantastic matchup against the Raiders, who have allowed eight rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs in their last five games. FAAB Bid: 14-16%
Jeff Wilson (SF) He may only be available in shallow formats and to be completely honest I was a little surprised he was even 50% owned in ESPN leagues. But Raheem Mostert ’s ankle woes continue to dog him a bit and he’ll carry a questionable tag into Week 16 against Arizona. The good news for Wilson is that if the 49ers can move the ball down the field they will give him a couple shots to pound it in from the goal line. The downside is the Cardinals don’t typically yield rushing yards to opposing running backs. However, they’ve allowed seven rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs in their last six games. But over that span they’ve only allowed 80 or more rushing yards just twice. There’s at least a chance Wilson leads his team in carries once again next week. FAAB Bid: 14-16%
Darrell Henderson (LAR) Well nobody likes an injury, but with Cam Akers going down, the door has re-opened for Darrell Henderson. If you know me, you know I've been a big Henderson guy when Akers struggled earlier in the year. Henderson's back in play, but so is Malcolm Brown , which gives me a little pause regarding Henderson. I also don't particularly care for the matchup against Seattle as they have been difficult to run on at times. But the opportunity is there for him to have a decent game and find the end zone this week. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
Sony Michel (NE) I’m a Patriots fan and will tell you that I’m just not very fond of the talent level with Sony Michel . But I’m a realist and understand there are touches available to him if Damien Harris misses next Monday’s game against the Bills. Hopefully you aren’t in position where you need to play Michel. With the game being on Monday you might be screwed if you’re without a backup plan in the event Harris can suit up. As always, monitor the practice reports to see how Harris is trending. The Bills are a middle-of-the-road team against running backs, but they did allow Melvin Gordon to score twice last weekend. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Benny Snell (PIT) There is an argument to possibly spend more on Benny Snell than Sony Michel , especially since there’s a real possibility James Conner could suit up in Week 16 against the Colts. We’ve seen Snell step in for Conner on a couple occasions this season and he’s fallen on both ends of the spectrum of being very useful in fantasy or being a waste of a roster space. He was the former Monday night against the Bengals as he put up 19.7 PPR points but he’s not a very consistent backup. FAAB Bid: 10%
Russell Gage (ATL) He’s going to be everybody’s favorite wide receiver to add this week. And of course, his stock only increases if Julio Jones is once again declared inactive. He has 42 targets over his last four games and he’s scored in two of his last three games. The big thing that should catch everyone’s eye will be the fact they play the Chiefs and will likely be chasing points in this matchup so we should feel good about the target share once again if Julio is inactive. FAAB Bid: 14-17%
Marquise Brown (BAL) It’s more likely than not that he’s unavailable on your league’s waiver wire but it’s worth looking into. After an incredibly slow start where he probably burned more managers than aided, he’s now found the end zone in three of his last four games, and he has 29 targets over that span as well. He’s peaking at the right time and should see another seven or eight targets in Week 16 against the Giants, who might be without James Bradberry for this game due to COVID protocols, but I have a sneaky suspicion he’ll be active against Baltimore. FAAB Bid: 12-15%
Rashard Higgins (CLE) Wash. Rinse. Repeat. He didn’t find the end zone for a third straight week and the targets were down a bit, but he made the most of the opportunity that was presented to him. Against the Giants he caught four-of-five targets for 76 yards. It was a bit of a slow and sloppy game that left many people wishing the Cowboys weren’t flexed out of Sunday Night Football. But all in all his involvement is tried and true with the Browns desperate for pass catchers. He has a great chance at finding the end zone on Sunday against the Jets who have allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over their last seven games. FAAB Bid: 12-13%
Emmanuel Sanders (NO) We get Friday Night Football in 2020, which means that this is the first season in the history of the NFL we’ve had a game on each individual day of the week. This game will be played Christmas night and it might fall victim to NBA basketball. But it’s an okay matchup for Sanders. I actually like the projected volume more for Gage, Brown, and Higgins. But Sanders will still get his share with Michael Thomas likely to miss the next two games. The Vikings have allowed an opposing wide receiver to score in five straight games. Hopefully Drew Brees doesn’t suck out of the gate like he did this past week. FAAB Bid: 10%
Jakobi Meyers (NE) Here’s a player I would not want to rely on for my fantasy football championship, but he is coming off a seven-catch, 111-yard performance against the Dolphins last week. Assuming New England falls behind, it’s likely they’ll have to throw more. Cam Newton hasn’t looked great airing it out this year, but Meyers has had some really nice games. But he’s far from consistent. And what’s stopping Damiere Byrd from being Newton’s favorite target this week? I like the potential script for Meyers, but he’s not a player you start with a ton of confidence. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Logan Thomas (WFT) His ownership has just barely crossed that 50% threshold in ESPN leagues, and for the love of God, just go pick him up. I understand fewer teams are making waiver claims because more teams are out of contention. But he’s a top six player at the position and his ownership is too low. With Dwayne Haskins under center he received 15 targets and he caught 13 of them. He now has 31 targets over his last three games. It doesn’t matter who is playing quarterback for this team, they know to get Logan Thomas involved. FAAB Bid: 15-18%
Austin Hooper (CLE) If Thomas isn’t available then Hooper is a fine streamer this week. He lacks consistency, but he’s scored in two of his last three games and he had six targets on Sunday. Perhaps you’re mostly buying into the matchup against the Jets, who are the worst team in the league at defending the tight end position. Over their last five games they’ve allowed seven touchdowns to opposing tight ends. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Jordan Reed (SF) The Cardinals are no longer the laughing stock of the league in terms of defenses facing tight ends. They’ve only allowed three tight ends to score on them all season long so this isn’t necessarily an easy spot to stream Reed. However, he’s averaging five targets per game over his last five outings and he’s scored in two of his last three games. It’s not a lock by any means, but he’s involved in the offense as long as he’s healthy. If Thomas or Hooper are available they’re much easier players to stream this week, but with Reed you’re hoping he somehow finds the end zone. FAAB Bid: 5-6%
Dalton Schultz (DAL) This is probably more of a longshot recommendation, but I’ve got a good feeling Schultz finds the end zone on Sunday. We’ve seen Jalen Hurts breathe new life into Philly’s offense so there’s a chance the Cowboys could be chasing points in this game. The Eagles defense has allowed opposing tight ends to catch five passes in three straight games with at least 50 receiving yards in each contest. If Michael Gallup does miss this game due to a hip injury he sustained last week then this could help Schultz get a little more involved. FAAB Bid: 4-5%
There aren’t many great streaming options available this week. Hopefully you stashed the Browns to stream the last two weeks of the season but keep an eye out and see if they’re available in your league as well as the Bears. Those two may have the best matchups to target in regard to streaming.
Washington Football Team – They were held without a sack last week against Seattle and they only forced one turnover. It was a down performance against a good team. But they will host the Panthers Sunday afternoon and I’m expecting the sacks to be abundant. If Christian McCaffrey somehow suits up this week then I may be off this recommendation a bit. But we thought CMC would play the last two weeks as well and that hasn’t been the case.
Kansas City Chiefs – It’s not without risk and the Falcons will certainly be rewarded with garbage time to make up points on offense. But it’ll be cold, windy, and possibly a little wet on Sunday. It’s hard to predict the exact weather conditions, but it won’t be what Matt Ryan and the Dirty Birds are used to competing in. The Chiefs don’t generate as many sacks as I would like, but it’s possible this week against a pretty weak offensive line that has allowed Ryan to be sacked 17 times in his last five games. But we can rely on Kansas City to force turnovers, something Matt Ryan is quite familiar with in 2020.
Arizona Cardinals – This is a defense that has quietly been playing much better. They have 21 sacks over their last five games, including 14 of those over their last two. They haven’t bled a ton of points, but in ESPN standard scoring formats they’ve returned seven or more points in three of their last four games. This will be a home game for Arizona but keep in mind this has also been the home for San Francisco this month as well. I’m sensing they’ll be able to get three or four sacks on Saturday and can return seven-to-eight points for fantasy teams looking to stream a defense.