Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 16
Crank up Europe’s The Final Countdown because this is it. All those hours you spent reading and researching fantasy football stats and trends instead of filling out your TPS reports paid off. We’ve made it to the final week of a crazy 2018 season and you’re about to play for the championship.
Congratulations on making it this far. This season was not an easy one to project. To have made it to the final week means you excelled at drafting and/or managing your squad all season, so you definitely want to stick to what’s been working.
That includes using the waiver wire, either to add reinforcements to your roster or to block your opponent from beefing up their squad. After all, that’s why we saved some of our imaginary FAAB dollars. Using ownership data from our friends at Yahoo, here are the final waiver wire adds to consider for the 2018 fantasy season.
Josh Allen (BUF) 23% owned (5% FAAB)
Much maligned heading into his rookie season, number seven overall pick Josh Allen has found a non-traditional way to thrive. While he’s made strides as a passer, the vast majority of Allen’s production comes from his legs and the results have been excellent.
Over the past three weeks, Allen has passed for 597 yards and three scores, but he’s run for 335 with another pair of touchdowns. This might come as a surprise to many, but Allen is the overall number one fantasy quarterback over that stretch.
Up next. Allen and the Bills travel to New England to take on a reeling Patriots team that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Athletic quarterbacks, in particular, have done well against New England, who has given up 20-plus rushing yards to five signal-callers. Allen should be in a good position to keep posting productive fantasy numbers, even if they’re in a non-traditional way.
Case Keenum (DEN) 19% owned (2% FAAB)
Hopefully, you’re not streaming quarterbacks in the title game, but if you’ve gotten this far, stick with what’s been working. Keenum had a rough outing in a Week 15 home loss to the Browns that eliminated the Broncos from playoff contention. He tossed a pair of interceptions and barely salvaged another mediocre fantasy outing with a rushing score.
But there’s just something about having a potential championship on the line in the final regular season game of the fantasy season. It’s also a solid matchup for the Broncos, who travel to Oakland to take on a Raiders’ secondary that has surrendered an NFL-high 31 touchdown passes, including a league-worst 12 dating back to Week 11.
Jamaal Williams (GB) 16% owned (50% FAAB)
Aaron Jones was knocked out of Green Bay’s Week 15 loss early with what is believed to be a season-ending knee injury. Williams reclaimed his feature back role and generated 97 yards and a touchdown on 16 touches. Without Jones available, Williams should have a clear path to another heavy dose of touches against the Jets.
While Jones has clearly been the superior player this season, the chance to add a potential RB2 to your roster for the final game of the season can’t be understated. Williams is worth an aggressive bid as a potential RB2/flex play in championship week.
Elijah McGuire (NYJ) 32% owned (40% FAAB)
The other running back in that Packers/Jets tilt is also worth a sizable amount of your remaining FAAB budget. McGuire struggled early against Houston before scoring a second-half touchdown to salvage his day. In all, McGuire received 21 touches against the Texans and should see similar usage against the Packers, who have allowed 413 more total yards to running backs than Houston.
Kalen Ballage (MIA) 1% owned (10% FAAB)
After Frank Gore (foot) exited Week 15, Ballage, not Kenyan Drake, took over as Miami’s main runner and rushed 12 times for 123 yards. The vast majority of that production came on a 75-yard TD jaunt that showed off Ballage’s speed. Gore is now done for the season. Drake only got one rush versus the Vikings and hasn’t surpassed eight attempts since October. Although facing the Jaguars isn’t an ideal matchup, Ballage should lead Miami’s backfield in touches, which makes him a solid waiver add.
Zach Zenner (DET) 1% owned (6% FAAB)
Zenner has led Detroit in carries and rushed for a touchdown in back-to-back games. Kerryon Johnson still has yet to return to the practice field and with Detroit out of postseason consideration, there’s little reason for the Lions to rush Johnson back. Detroit will use a committee to replace Johnson, but Zenner started last week and has been more effective than LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick. Week 16 is a tough matchup for the Lions at home versus Minnesota, but Zenner looks like a good bet for 12-15 touches.
Keith Ford (BUF) 0% owned (5% FAAB)
The Bills were down to their fourth-string running back, Ford, an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M. Against the Lions, Ford generated 53 yards of offense on 15 touches after Marcus Murphy got hurt in the game and LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory were inactive. Chances are that McCoy will return, but Ford is worth a speculative add just in case he’s the last man standing versus the Patriots.
D’Onta Foreman (HOU) 5% owned (1% FAAB)
The Texans are banged up right now, which should lead to Foreman making his 2018 debut in Philadelphia. Lamar Miller suffered an ankle injury against the Jets that could limit his usage, while Alfred Blue plodded his way to an ineffective 0.7 yards per carry figure in relief. There’s a small chance Foreman could get significant touches against the Eagles, so he’s worth a speculative bid for fantasy owners who have a spare roster spot.
Robby Anderson (NYJ) 26% owned (15% FAAB)
Anderson had an excellent showing against the Texans, catching seven-of-11 targets for 96 yards and catching a touchdown in his second straight game. Anderson has thrived in the past two weeks since Sam Darnold returned to the lineup, easily leading the Jets in targets, catches, and yards.
While Darnold remains a limited passer, he has looked better and Anderson should be able to continue his hot streak against a Green Bay secondary that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers in 2018.
Tyrell Williams (LAC) 33% owned (15% FAAB)
Keenan Allen’s hip injury should lead to a more consistent role for Williams, who has been an erratic weekly fantasy option. He’s topped 50 yards and/or scored a touchdown in five games, but also been held under double-digit PPR points nine times. Williams personifies boom-or-bust, but should at least trend more towards the positive side with Allen sidelined. Last week, Williams led the Chargers with 12 targets against the Chiefs, but faces a tough task in Week 16 as the Chargers host Baltimore’s elite secondary.
Robert Foster (BUF) 13% owned (12% FAAB)
Foster has topped 90 receiving yards in four-of-five games and topped triple-digits three times for a limited Buffalo offense. He’s clearly emerged as Josh Allen’s number one target and will be in a really good position to keep the positive momentum going in Week 16 against a Patriots’ secondary that has surrendered a touchdown to the opposing WR1 in their last six games.
DaeSean Hamilton (DEN) 22% owned (9% FAAB)
Since taking over for Emmanuel Sanders as Denver’s slot receiver, Hamilton has caught seven passes in back-to-back games. While he’s averaging less than seven yards per catch, that kind of volume can be useful in larger PPR leagues. The Broncos play will also play in the final game of the fantasy season, traveling to Oakland to face a Raiders secondary that has allowed the most touchdown passes in the NFL. Hamilton is worth a bid for fantasy squads looking for wide receiver depth.
Chris Herndon (NYJ) 12% owned (1% FAAB)
Tight end has been a rough position this season, so there’s a lot of people that have had to stream new, low-end options on a week-to-week basis. Herndon hasn’t scored a touchdown in six games but remains a solid source of targets and catches. He’s recorded multiple grabs and topped 30 yards in five of New York’s past six games. Herndon’s upside is rather limited, but he’s a safe bet to produce double-digit PPR points versus the Packers.
Lee Smith (OAK) 0% owned (1% FAAB)
Smith is on the opposite end of the spectrum as Herndon. Smith is all touchdown or bust. Smith only has one catch in each of Oakland’s past three games, but all three grabs were goal-line touchdowns. If you’re a gambler, Smith is likely to get you a score, or a zero against the Broncos on Monday.