Waiver Wire Pickups Week 16
The first round of the fantasy football playoffs is over and, if you’re like me, you have some regrets. I actually started Matt Ryan in one of my leagues. I was out with my wife doing Hallmarky Christmas things, so I wasn’t watching the game, but every now and then I would check the score. When it was 33-0, I was sure I was a genius for starting Ryan and figured he must have over 20 points at halftime. I had forgotten a lesson I learned long ago; Matt Ryan will always let you down…ALWAYS.
There are no league winner-types on the wire this week, but there are some players who have the potential to outperform the field. Keep in mind, I’m only listing players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo or ESPN leagues. There are most likely some rosterable players on the waiver wire in your league who are more than 50% owned. I advise you to use our rankings, along with this article, to ensure you’re getting the very best option available.
San Francisco 49ers- FAAB Bid $10 | 20% Yahoo, 23% ESPN
As we say here in the south, Brock has been purdy good. (I’ll see myself out now.) In his three games, Purdy has thrown for six touchdowns, completed 69% of his passes and leads the NFL in QB rating at 113. He’s averaging 17.8 fantasy points per game, which isn’t spectacular, but he’s proven to be consistent with a safe floor. I have no problem starting Purdy the next two weeks against the Commanders and Raiders.
Detroit Lions- FAAB Bid $8 | 48% ESPN
If you’re in a Yahoo league, chances are Goff is already rostered, but he’s available in 52% of ESPN leagues. Since week 10, he is fourth in passing yards, has nine touchdown passes with no interceptions, completed almost 68% of his passes and has a QB rating of 104. While he isn’t putting up mega-fantasy points each week, he’s evolved into a low-end QB-1 and is a fine start against Carolina next week and Chicago in week 17.
New York Jets- FAAB Bid $5 | 21% Yahoo, 16% ESPN
It’s unlikely White will be available to play this week, but if he is, he has an excellent matchup against Jacksonville and would be an excellent spot start. The Jets also have a nice matchup against Seattle in week 17, so White is worth a stash even if he can’t go Thursday night.
Minimum Bid QB to Consider
- Zack Wilson, New York Jets
Atlanta Falcons- FAAB Bid $15 | 37% Yahoo, 34% ESPN
Allgeier has been a constant name on our waiver wire article this season and paid off nicely for his fantasy owner against the Saints. He rushed 17 times for 139 and a touchdown against a pretty good Saints defense. It was his third consecutive game with double-digit carries. Allgeier is not likely to overtake Cordarrelle Patterson as the lead back, but his usage provides a safe floor for RB-needy teams.
Zach Moss / Deon Jackson
Indianapolis Colts- FAAB Bid $12 / $10 | 2% Yahoo, 1% ESPN / 7% Yahoo, 12% ESPN
With Jonathan Taylor likely for the remainder of the fantasy playoffs, one or both of these players will be the starter. In Taylor’s previous missed games, Jackson was the main beneficiary, but Moss carried the ball 24 times to Jackson’s 13 in Sunday’s loss to Minnesota. The Colts have been more run-heavy since Jeff Saturday took over and they have plus matchups for running backs the next two weeks. My personal preference would be to get Moss, but if you can get Jackson at a discount, I would take that, too.
Minimum Bid RB to Consider
- Jordan Mason, San Francisco 49ers
- Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
- Royce Freeman, Houston Texans
Houston Texans- FAAB Bid $8 | 19% Yahoo, 16% ESPN
Over the last two games, Moore has 20 targets and 166 receiving yards. More impressively, he has 39.2% of Houston’s targets in those games. Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins have missed those games and their status for week 16 is uncertain. If one, or both, is out, Moore is a decent flex option in a good matchup for wide receivers against Tennessee.
Jacksonville Jaguars- FAAB Bid $7 | 30% ESPN
Before managing just one catch in a tough matchup against the Jets, Chark had 11 catches for 192 yards and three touchdowns the previous two weeks. The Lions have games against the Panthers and Bears coming up, so he should get back on track. Chark’s volume in a pass-heavy offense makes him a safe start.
Tennessee Titans- FAAB Bid $7 | 49% Yahoo, 46% ESPN
Burks should be back this week and makes for intriguing, high-upside play against the Texans. His boom/bust potential makes him a risky start, but if you’re a big underdog in your playoff game, Burks has the potential to be a game changer. He’s averaging over 17 yards per catch over his last three games. Those yards are going to pay off with touchdowns at some point and you’ll want him on your team when they do.
Minimum Bid WR to Consider
- Richie James, New York Giants
- Darius Slayton, New York Giants
- Elijah Moore, New York Jets
- K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings
New Orleans Saints- FAAB Bid $5 | 20% Yahoo, 15% ESPN
Tight End is pretty much a dart throw each week, so if you’re streaming the position, I like to go for upside and few possess as much as Johnson does. He has seven touchdowns in his last seven games and is TE-3 in points per game since week 10. He also gives you a pretty decent floor, which negates the risk a bit.
New Orleans Saints- FAAB Bid $4 | 47% Yahoo, 44% ESPN
This one is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re looking for a desperation play at tight end, Hill is the ultimate boom/bust candidate. He has double-digits fantasy points in four games this year, including a high of 34 points in week five. Hill has only seven receptions this year, but is still the TE-10, overall. No tight end other than Travis Kelce has a higher ceiling than Hill. You’re going to have to weigh the risk/reward with this one, but Hill at least deserves some consideration in a must-win situation.
Minimum Bid TE to Consider
- Tyler Conklin, New York Jets
- Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans
Doug Burrell is a lifelong NFL fan and has been playing fantasy football for over 25 years. He specializes in auction drafts and has been ranked in the top 1% of Yahoo owners since 2014. He enjoys breaking down advanced statistics and complicated game theory into easy, actionable steps that even novice players can use to gain an edge over the competition.
Doug is a veteran, an avid runner, and works as a copywriter. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and three dogs. You can reach him on Twitter @dougwburrell.