In this edition of Win the Waiver Wire, Curtis Patrick shares his top waiver targets for Week 16 in seasonal fantasy football leagues.
If you’re reading this article, you’ve more than likely reached your fantasy league championship. Congratulations! Let’s bring it home with some timely claims on streamers that could make all the difference in your hunt for glory.
Remember, waivers strategy in the playoffs isn’t just about addressing your own team needs. Your squad might look great and you may be tempted to sit back and start the guys that got you this far. Even if that’s your plan, you still need to consider the holes on your opponent’s roster and consider blocking their bids as a defensive play.
*For the purposes of this week’s article, I’ll be using ESPN “percentage rostered” data. To make the most of my time and yours, I only provide analysis for players who are available in around 50% of leagues.
Baker Mayfield (available in 64.9% of leagues)
Streaming against the Jets is almost always a good idea, and Week 16 is no different. They’ve allowed 14 passing TDs over the past five weeks, leading to an average of 26.07 fantasy points per game for opposing QBs.
Streaming against the Jets seems like an even better idea when one of the hottest QBs in the league is in line to face them. Owner of a four-week fantasy QB1 streak, Baker Mayfield is absolutely dealing in Kevin Stefanski’s system right now. He’s the QB4 and number five overall player in fantasy since Week 12, averaging over 28 fantasy points per game over the stretch.
Mayfield has Week 16’s third highest GPS Matchup Rating in one of our new tools from Mike Beers this season. He’s also one of the seven-best plays of the week per our Game Level Similarity Projections App, one of my favorite weekly research tools on our site and one of Dave Caban’s labors of love.
Mayfield’s historical sims scored over 20 fantasy points in 64 percent of sampled games. It’s an insanely good number for a player you can pick up and stream in nearly two-thirds of ESPN leagues this week. There’s no such thing as a lock, but I’m starting Mayfield with confidence where I already own him and will be placing claims where I don’t. In title game strategy, this is a situation where you need to block your opponent from adding him even if you don’t intend to start him.
What about Marcus Mariota?
I’ve been monitoring the groundswell of support for Marcus Mariota as a potential Week 16 streamer. I can’t recommend him in good confidence. If Mayfield isn’t available, you’re probably best suited playing a QB already on your roster.
The former number one draft pick’s 28.1 fantasy points in relief of an injured Derek Carr were exciting in Week 15, but the Chargers weren’t ready for him. The Dolphins will be, just as they’ve been ready for every opposing QB lately. Since Week 12, only Patrick Mahomes scored more than 14.25 fantasy points against Miami. Their defense is allowing the fewest actual points and expected points to QBs in the NFL over that period. Brian Flores’ squad has also forced seven interceptions over the past five weeks.
Cam Newton posted just 38 rushing yards against Miami last week. I fully acknowledge Mariota’s upside if he can repeat his Week 15 success as a runner against the Dolphins, but with everything on the line I don’t have enough trust he will come through for you and thus I can’t recommend this play.
For more potential QB plays, check out Giana Pacinelli’s QB Streaming article.