Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 16
The line stops here for many fantasy football leagues. While some still play through the entire season, standard protocol now places the finals in Week 16.
This is where I’m supposed to congratulate those still reading for making the championship. If you’re playing for a title this weekend, kudos. But hey, maybe you’re just trying to get your money back by winning the third-place game or hoping to sidestep an embarrassing last-place punishment. That’s fine too.
Fantasy players and experts continue to debate who should be allowed to make waiver-wire adds during the postseason. Some say only those vying for first place deserve the privilege. If your league has such rules in place, so be it. If not, don’t let anyone deter you from playing for a consolation prize – or even just pride. As Ricky Bobby’s dad famously said, “
If you ain’t first You can be second, you can be third, fourth. Hell, you can be fifth.”
Since this weekend likely represents the final chapter, there’s no reason to hold back on bidding. If your lineup is set beyond a defense, you might as well unload all of your remaining FAAB on a streamer. The highlighted players don’t come with bidding recommendations, but they’re listed in order of preference. Those still playing in Week 17 need not worry; I’ll be back for one more waiver-wire roundup to conclude the season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA): 20% Rostered
Highlighted here on a nearly weekly basis, Fitzpatrick continues to deliver. He’s tallied 20 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games. Since re-assuming the starting role in Week 7, the 37-year-old is averaging more points per game (19.6) than Russell Wilson or Patrick Mahomes. During those nine contests, he’s thrown a whopping 339 passes (37.6 per game) while also scrambling for an additional 200 rushing yards. The opposing Bengals are far more vulnerable to the ground game, but the Dolphins don’t have one. They’ll just need to let Fitzpatrick heave it up on a defense allowing 8.2 yards per pass attempt.
Mitchell Trubisky (CHI): 22% Rostered
Trubisky snapped his multi-touchdown streak at three games and forfeited two picks against Green Bay. Although not the prettiest effort, he still accrued 348 passing and 29 rushing yards in a tough matchup. Kansas City is no longer an opponent to target, but the QB4 since the start of Week 10 can once again stockpile yards while playing catch-up. While he’s more of a QB2, those digging deep for a streamer should use him before turning to a desperation matchup play such as Andy Dalton (at MIA) or Dwayne Haskins (vs. NYG).
Mike Boone (MIN): 2% Rostered
For the second time in three weeks, Dalvin Cook’s day early due to a shoulder injury. This time, Alexander Mattison was also out of action. Next in line, Boone bulldozed into the end zone for two touchdowns and totaled 56 yards on 13 handoffs. Better than the typical third-stringer, he is now averaging 4.5 yards per carry in a limited (32 rushes) limited size.
This could once again prove a waiver-wire tease, as Vikings coach Mike Zimmer expressed optimism for Cook playing Week 16’s NFC North showdown against the Packers. It still, however, wouldn’t be wise to rush Cook back from a recurring injury when they have a two-game lead for a playoff bid and at least one capable backup hungry for an opportunity. If Cook and Mattison are both out, Boone becomes a high-end RB2 against Green Bay’s 24th-ranked rushing defense. A returning Mattison, however, would complicate matters even if Cook sits. Both are worth grabbing just in case. One of these Minnesota backs is likely to swing some championships.
Boston Scott (PHI): 8% Rostered
Despite Week 14’s late heroics, Scott largely took a back seat to Miles Sanders. He didn’t vanish either, notching 65 yards while securing all seven targets. As stated in last week’s column, he’s an intriguing PPR depth piece in the mold of 2015-16 Darren Sproles. The Eagles will fight for the NFC East against the Cowboys, who have ceded 5.8 catches per game to running backs, before closing 2019 with a rematch against the Giants.
Myles Gaskin (MIA): 1% Rostered
Based on the putrid rushing production Miami has seen this season, Gaskin might as well be Barry Sanders after gaining 43 yards on nine carries. He still handled fewer rushes than Patrick Laird, but the duo each recorded 34 snaps. Gaskin also at least showed some semblance of upside with a 27-yard run. You’d still have to be desperate to play any Miami running back. With that said, the seventh-round pick is an enticing deep dart throw against the NFL’s worst rushing defense. Even 10-15 touches could yield some flex appeal.
Breshad Perriman (TB): 10% Rostered
A week after losing Mike Evans to a season-ending hamstring injury, the Buccaneers watched Chris Godwin leave with a similar ailment. Perriman suddenly emerged as the top target for a sizzling, high-volume passing offense, cashing in with 113 yards and three touchdowns. Given six targets in each of the last three games, the ultimate post-hype sleeper now boasts 270 yards and four touchdowns during that short duration. He entered Week 13 with 139 yards and one score.
If Godwin joins and Evans on the sideline, Perriman is going to see more than six targets from Jameis Winston, who leads the NFL in passing yards and attempts. Tampa Bay concludes the season against Houston and Atlanta, who respectively rank 28th and 23rd in passing defense. Although he shouldn’t be expected to carry investors to another playoff victory, Perriman is also far from a one-week wonder. He’s this week’s top add at any position.
Anthony Miller (CHI): 26% Rostered
How in the world is Miller still available in three-fourths of Yahoo and ESPN leagues? He’s collected 33 catches and 431 receiving yards over the last five games while finding the end zone in back-to-back weeks. Sunday’s 15 targets give him 52 during this window, more than scrubs such as Davante Adams (51) and DeAndre Hopkins (49). Sure, he was inconsistent to start the season, but five straight stellar weeks makes him no worse than a WR3 during the closing weeks.
Chris Conley (JAC): 21% Rostered
With D.J. Chark out of commission, Conley snagged a pair of touchdowns in Sunday’s 20-16 win over the Raiders. Far from useless with Jacksonville at full strength, he’s now averaging 6.75 targets and 54.75 yards per game since Week 6’s goose egg. That’s important to note, as Chark is making progress toward a Week 16 return. If Chark doesn’t play, Conley is at least a high-quality WR4 against a suspect Atlanta secondary.
Greg Ward (PHI): 3% Rostered
For the second straight week, he Eagles salvaged a late victory over a feeble NFC East foe behind a late offensive spark. Scott saved them humiliation against the Giants, and Ward stepped up as their only wide receiver to record a single catch in Week 15’s win over Washington. As one of Philadelphia’s only healthy wideouts remaining, the undrafted free agent caught seven of nine targets — the same amount thrown his way in Week 14 — for 61 yards and the game-winning touchdown. He’s taken a perilous road to the NFL, but Ward should remain a pivotal part of Philadelphia’s offense with Alshon Jeffery out for the season.
Danny Amendola (DET): 21% Rostered
At least one person is enjoying the David Blough era. Amendola has seen 29 targets in the third-string quarterback’s three starts. It didn’t amount to any production, however, until he torched Tampa Bay for 102 yards. Although he’s yet to reach pay dirt since Week 1, the slot receiver has drawn a red-zone target in consecutive contests. With Detroit closing the season against Denver and Green Bay, Amendola is merely worth a look in deeper PPR leagues.
Before proceeding to these options, check to see if any of the following players — listed in order of preference — are still available: Tyler Higbee (45% rostered), Jacob Hollister (53%), O.J. Howard (46%), Dallas Goedert (52%), Noah Fant (32%)
Jonnu Smith (TEN): 10% Rostered
Just the TE16 since Delanie Walker went down with a season-ankle injury, Smith hasn’t shown enough consistency to trust. He went two weeks without a single receiving yard before submitting a touchdown in Week 14 and 117 yards — bolstered by a 57-yard run — last Sunday. The 24-year-old might be on the cusp of TE1 status if not for those two duds. Instead, he’s a borderline top-15 choice for Week 16’s fairly difficult matchup against the Saints.
Cameron Brate (TB): 4% Rostered
O.J. Howard could make a major difference as a top-10 tight end if Godwin joins Evans on the shelf. To a lesser extent, so could Brate, who saw seven targets in Week 15’s win over Detroit. Although far from a touchdown machine this season, he could draw red-zone attention and garner his fourth score if Winston is without both of his star wideouts. Consider him more of a TE2 flier in deeper leagues.
Indianapolis Colts: 40% Rostered
I’m bending the eligibility rules here since the Colts were only rostered in 30% of Yahoo leagues before getting dismantled by Drew Brees on Monday night’s game. Since their Week 7 bye, they’ve notched at least seven fantasy points in every bout except road clashes at Houston and New Orleans. After throwing 12 picks in his last eight games, Kyle Allen will make way for Will Grier. While the rookie is more of a mystery in his first career start, he still must navigate an offensive line that has surrendered 51 sacks this season. The Colts remain a top streaming option despite Brees’ passing clinic.
Denver Broncos: 24% Rostered
In four games since their Week 10 bye, the Broncos have procured five interceptions, four fumble recoveries, and 15 sacks. They’ve allowed just 18.5 points per game at home this season. Denver goes from facing Mahomes to Blough, who’s on the hook for five picks and nine sacks in three starts.
Kansas City Chiefs: 30% Rostered
This contradicts the Trubisky recommendation, but Kansas City’s defense has delivered double-digit fantasy points in each of the last four games. It has achieved double-digit sacks 10 times this season and jumped to 11th in passing defense. It’s possible Trubisky gets his points via junk-time volume while the Chiefs churn some sacks and takeaways into another fruitful performance.