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Last-Minute Waiver Wire Pickups & Injury Replacement Options: Week 16 (2022)

Last-Minute Waiver Wire Pickups & Injury Replacement Options: Week 16 (2022)

Fantasy football can be an extremely fun game to play. It can also be highly frustrating at times. Nothing is more annoying than needing to make a last-minute waiver-wire move because someone in your starting lineup is out for the week.

Sadly, there isn’t much you can do about it. However, I’m going to try and help.

Every week I will have six players you can grab off the waiver wire at the last minute and throw into your lineup. Some will succeed, while others will fail. Unfortunately, that’s how the game of fantasy football is played.

All the players in this article are rostered in under 35% of ESPN leagues.

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Last-Minute Waiver Wire Pickups Week 16

Gardner Minshew (QB – PHI) vs. Dallas Cowboys: 16.9% Rostered

After suffering a sprained throwing should last week against the Chicago Bears, Jalen Hurts won’t play this week. Furthermore, the Eagles lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs with one more win this season. If they win this week against the Cowboys, fantasy players shouldn’t expect Hurts to play next week against the New Orleans Saints. The good news is that Minshew is a capable replacement.

Last year, Minshew started the Week 13 matchup against the New York Jets for an injured Hurts. He completed 80% of his passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns, scoring 18.8 fantasy points in the win. Furthermore, the veteran backup quarterback has averaged 16.9 fantasy points per game in his 25 career starts.

Dallas has one of the best defenses in the NFL. They have held quarterbacks to only 13.7 fantasy points per game this season, the sixth-fewest in the league. However, the Cowboys have lost several players in the secondary lately, impacting their play. Over the past seven games, Dallas has surrendered 16.4 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Furthermore, they have allowed quarterbacks to average 1.9 passing touchdowns per game during that span, giving up two or more passing scores in 57.1% of those games.

Last week, Trevor Lawrence had 318 passing yards, four touchdowns, and 26.8 fantasy points against the Cowboys. Minshew should have no trouble totaling 17 or more fantasy points in this NFC East showdown.

Zack Moss (RB – IND) vs. Los Angeles Chargers: 31.7% Rostered

My condolences to fantasy players who lost their first-round playoff matchup last week because of the Jonathan Taylor injury. If you were lucky enough to advance, Moss is the Indianapolis running back you want on your roster. The veteran has barely played since the midseason trade, totaling only seven touches in the four games before last week. However, Moss led the team in rushing attempts (24), rushing yards (81), and snaps played (53) against the Minnesota Vikings. Deon Jackson had 10.1 half-point PPR fantasy points compared to 8.1 for Moss. The former did have a touchdown though. More importantly, this week’s matchup favors Moss.

The Chargers have surrendered 24.1 fantasy points per game to running backs this season, the fourth-most in the NFL. They have also given up 1,795 rushing yards to the position, the second-most in the league this season. Furthermore, Los Angeles has allowed opposing running backs to total 110 or more rushing yards in 10 of their past 12 contests, averaging 136.1 rushing yards per game during that span. Since Jeff Saturday has taken over as head coach, the Colts have been one of the most run-heavy offenses in the NFL. Don’t expect that to change with Taylor out for the year. Moss has low-end RB2 value in Week 16.

Jaylen Warren (RB – PIT) vs. Las Vegas Raiders: 8.7% Rostered

Over the past five weeks, Najee Harris has started to look like the star running back from a year ago. The former Alabama superstar has averaged 66 rushing yards, one touchdown, and 14.5 half-point PPR fantasy points per game during that span. However, Warren has also carved out a role in the Pittsburgh backfield. The rookie running back has averaged 49.4 scrimmage yards and 7.2 fantasy points per game over his past five healthy games, scoring nine or more fantasy points in 60% of those contests. Last week, Warren had a season-high 11 rushing attempts and 11.4 fantasy points in the win over the Carolina Panthers.

This week the Pittsburgh backfield has an excellent matchup against the Raiders. Las Vegas has given up 23.6 fantasy points per game to running backs this season, the fifth-most in the NFL. Furthermore, they have surrendered 16 touchdowns to the position this year, the fourth-most in the league. Over the past four weeks, the Raiders have allowed running backs to average 138 scrimmage yards and 1.3 touchdowns per game while giving up 30 or more fantasy points to the position twice. This matchup is all about honoring Franco Harris and The Immaculate Reception. After his recent passing, expect the Steelers to honor him with a run-heavy game plan on Saturday night.

DJ Chark Jr. (WR – DET) vs. Carolina Panthers: 30.1% Rostered

Last week Chark was a fantasy bust, catching only one of two targets for 18 yards and scoring 2.3 half-point PPR fantasy points. Fantasy players should have benched the veteran receiver, given the matchup against the New York Jets. However, the former LSU star averaged 5.5 receptions on 6.5 targets for 96 receiving yards and 15.4 fantasy points per game over his previous two contests. Furthermore, Chark has seen 20 targets over the past four weeks, the third-most on the team behind Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift. More importantly, the veteran receiver has an appealing matchup on Saturday afternoon.

Despite their 5-9 record, the Panthers are only one game out of first place in the awful NFC South division. Their defense played well to begin the year but has struggled lately. Carolina has surrendered 28.9 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the 11th-most in the NFL. However, they have been awful the past few weeks. Over the past five contests, wide receivers have averaged 161 receiving yards, 1.2 receiving touchdowns, and 30.2 fantasy points per game against the Panthers. Furthermore, they have given up 390 receiving yards, three touchdowns, and 73.9 fantasy points to the position over the past two weeks. After his poor performance last week, Chark is an excellent flex option against Carolina.

Jahan Dotson (WR – WAS) vs. San Francisco 49ers: 28.9% Rostered

Dotson has had an up-and-down rookie season. The former Penn State star is the WR54 for the year, averaging 8.3 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. However, he missed four games earlier this season with a hamstring injury. Before getting hurt, Dotson averaged a receiving touchdown and 11.6 fantasy points per game, scoring 11.8 or more fantasy points in 75% of those contests. He saw only four targets in the first three games back from the injury. Yet, the rookie has been on fire lately. Over the past two games, Dotson has averaged 7.5 targets and 16.2 fantasy points per game, scoring a touchdown in both contests.

Meanwhile, the young receiver has a solid matchup in Week 16. The 49ers arguably have the best defense in the NFL. However, their secondary has struggled lately. Over the past five contests, San Francisco has surrendered 186 receiving yards and 30.1 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, giving up three receiving touchdowns during that span. The Commanders are seven-point underdogs this week, according to DraftKings. Therefore fantasy players should expect them to be chasing points most of the second half, creating plenty of opportunities for Dotson to score fantasy points.

Trey McBride (TE – ARI) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2.8% Rostered

Unfortunately, the Cardinals have become one of the most injured teams in the NFL over the past few weeks. They are down to their third-string quarterback, with Kyler Murray (torn ACL) and Colt McCoy (concussion) unable to play on Christmas. Sadly, Zach Ertz suffered a torn ACL in Week 10 and will miss the rest of the year. Since the veteran got hurt, McBride has taken over as the starting tight end. Over the past four contests, the rookie has averaged 4.5 targets and four half-point PPR fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he had his best performance this season last week, totaling 55 receiving yards and 7.5 fantasy points against the Denver Broncos.

More importantly, the former Colorado State star tight end has an excellent matchup this week. The Buccaneers have surrendered 11.3 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, the seventh-most in the NFL. Furthermore, Tampa Bay has allowed tight ends to score seven receiving touchdowns this year, the six-most in the league. Over the past four weeks, tight ends have averaged 40.8 receiving yards and 11.3 fantasy points per game against the Buccaneers, scoring three touchdowns during that span. While Trace McSorley will make his first start of the year, expect the young quarterback to lean on the tight end against a struggling Tampa Bay defense.

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If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.

Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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