Week 16 waiver wire advice.
The parameters and assumptions of this weekly waiver wire advice column can be found in the preseason introduction.
Our advice this week is pared down to focus on teams that have a meaningful matchup in Week 16. In other words, you’re in your league’s championship game, or maybe the third-place game. These players are listed in the order we prefer them, but depending on your league and roster, your mileage may vary. Hit the comments for specific questions.
I can’t stress enough that there are very few guys that I’d be willing to drop into my starting lineup in Week 16. So this week, I asked for some help. Thanks to Brian Malone, Shawn Siegele, John Lapinski, Giana Paccinelli, Matt Wispe, and Dave Caban for helping me rank the following players.
Week 16 Waiver Wire Advice
Availability refers to the percentage of ESPN leagues in which the player is available. Matchup rank comes from the Buy Low Machine and lower numbers represent better values.
Martavis Bryant and JuJu Smith-Schuster should see an uptick in work with Antonio Brown on the shelf. In last week’s tilt against the Patriots, both got six targets, but Smith-Schuster had the much bigger game. Bryant is more readily available, however. Both are strong starting candidates for Week 16, but in our poll, more chose Smith-Schuster.
Robert Woods is my personal favorite here. Unlike Bryant, he’s had a strong season overall. And his matchup is the week’s third best. Not only does Woods have a higher floor than Bryant or Smith-Schuster, he’s got a ridiculously good ceiling, according to the GLSP App.
Quarterback is maybe the safest position to stream, and Case Keenum makes an excellent option. He’s produced more than 17 fantasy points (ESPN scoring) in seven straight games and has a ceiling over 20 points in one of the week’s better matchups.
Sterling Shepard is available in just under a third of leagues and has earned over 20 percent of his team’s air yards when active. The matchup is middle of the road, but the volume should be there.
Jimmy Garoppolo checks in as our second priority at the QB position and sixth overall. He’s had a nice run, but I’m less sanguine than my fellow scribes. The matchup is poor on paper, and his track record is short.
Marquise Goodwin is our fourth-rated wide receiver. There’s no denying his recent run of success, and he should get plenty of opportunities again in Week 16. But the Jaguars surrender the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers in the NFL. Goodwin is most effective on deep targets, but that happens to be where the Jaguars are the most effective on defense.
I differ from my peers in that I’d much rather use Woods, either of the Pittsburgh WRs, or one of the Jaguars WRs.
C.J. Anderson hasn’t had a great season, but he’s had 15 or more carries in three straight games and has a top-10 RB matchup this week. His median and high projections are definitely confidence inspiring.
Blake Bortles is our next start-worthy QB target. For the record, I ranked him first overall. He’s gone over 20 points in three of his last four games and has a top-five QB matchup for the week.
A 20-point mean projection is nothing to sneeze at.
Nick Foles tied with Bortles in our staff poll, and he also makes a good starting option for your championship matchups. He’s got the fourth-best matchup and a raft of good offensive weapons around him.
Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole also deserve starting consideration. Their matchup is the week’s sixth best, and both have been productive even with Marqise Lee in the lineup. In a game that Lee will likely miss, both Westbrook and Cole should get enough volume to be relevant. Cole is currently the NFL leader in yards per reception, so there’s definitely some big play potential there. Westbrook has been more frequently targeted and has a higher percentage of team air yards, however.
Randall Cobb received a lower average vote than Westbrook but was chosen by more analysts overall. He definitely had a nice game last week, but his matchup is poor.
Theo Riddick has a decent matchup and has become Detroit’s starting RB in all but name.
Ben Watson and Charles Clay were the only tight ends that made our list. Watson has the better matchup and better set of projections.