While the last few weeks have been about stashing handcuffs and backup options on your bench, it all changes this week. Clear out your bench and block your opponent. Any player that wouldn’t start for your team or help your opponent’s roster can be dropped. Pick up quarterbacks and DSTs with good matchup and make sure your opponent doesn’t have any weak spots that could be helped through waivers. Use your bench to stop your opponent from finding help and you’ll have a leg up on a championship.
Week 16 Waiver Wire Pickups QBs (Streaming Quarterbacks)
Philip Rivers, SD – Yes, Rivers’ ownership is high, but there are many owners hesitant to use Rivers given all of his interceptions of late and lack of elite-scoring games. It’s a testament to Rivers’ potential that he’s averaging 14.6 FPPG despite throwing 11 interceptions in the last five games. Now he faces the Browns, a team allowing the most FPPG to quarterbacks and the highest touchdown to interception ratio in the league (31:8).
Jameis Winston, TB – As with Rivers, you will find plenty of owners worried over Winston during championship week. I’d rather find another option, but if your league is average sized with mainly high-end options taken, Winston is still a strong play against the Saints. The first showdown was a low-scoring affair, but the Saints are back home, and if the Buccaneers want to keep their playoff hopes alive, they need this win. That means matching blow for blow with Winston throwing more than usual. With this matchup, Winston can throw for a good amount of yards and multiple scores.
Matt Barkley, CHI – Here’s hoping you don’t need to dig this deep, but just in case, I’ll touch on why Barkley is far from the worst option in Week 16. He does have two games with over 300 yards passing, multiple touchdowns and at least 15 Fantasy points. In addition, the Bears host the Redskins, and just as with Winston, it’s a favorable matchup against a pass-happy team looking to score plenty.
Week 16 Waiver Wire Pickups RBs
Ty Montgomery, GB – If Montgomery is still available, do whatever it takes to grab him! Spend every penny left in your FAAB and blow your waiver priority. Last week was not a fluke. No, I don’t expect him to rush for 162 yards and two touchdowns again, but the Packers are committed to Montgomery as the lead running back, and you saw firsthand the skills he brings. Montgomery will be inside the Top 20 for running backs, even against the Vikings defense.
Bilal Powell, NYJ – As with Montgomery, fairly obvious mention here, but you’re not picking up anyone that couldn’t start for you this week. Even if Matt Forte sees more work this week, a matchup with the Patriots points to more passing for the Jets. When the Jets are down and going pass heavy, that benefits Powell more than Forte. Powell is a flex running back with upside for more.
Kenneth Dixon, BAL – As expected, the workload moved back to more Terrance West in Week 15, but Dixon still has value. Given his explosiveness and the matchup with a Steelers defense that’s weak to the run, Dixon has flex appeal with a high ceiling.
Dion Lewis, NE – The Patriots backfield has too many options to trust any, especially with Bill Belichick at the helm, but the Jets run defense is strong. That would point to the Patriots employing Lewis more and using LeGarrette Blount a bit more sparingly. This is digging deep, but there is upside here with Lewis’ ability.
Charles Sims, TB – Sims isn’t seeing a ton of work, but in a game where we could have a shootout on our hands, Sims’ ceiling is higher than normal. Additionally, if Doug Martin were to get hurt during the game, Sims would see a huge boost in value.
Handcuffs that need to be owned (if you’re still playing in Week 17): Mike Gillislee, Tim Hightower, DeAngelo Williams, Derrick Henry, Darren McFadden, Robert Turbin, Charcandrick West, Alfred Blue, Jeremy Langford, Alex Collins, Cameron Artis-Payne, DuJuan Harris
Week 16 Waiver Wire Pickups WRs
A.J. Green, CIN – As a reminder, Green nearly returned last week and sounds likely to play this week. If Green is active, you play him. Simple as that.
Robby Anderson, NYJ – Another game, another team-leading performance. Even with Brandon Marshall and Bilal Powell seeing more targets, Anderson led the team in yards and had the only touchdown. There is concern if Ryan Fitzpatrick is back at quarterback, but if Bryce Petty is under center, Anderson is a WR3 given their rapport. If it’s Fitzpatrick, slide Anderson down a bit, but he will still have starter value in most leagues given his recent play.
Taylor Gabriel, ATL – Obviously, Julio Jones returning would put a damper on Gabriel’s value, but even with Jones back, Gabriel still has the explosiveness to do more than most with his opportunities. Aldrick Robinson would be the one more hurt by Jones playing than Gabriel would be, so don’t downgrade him too much and consider him a fringe WR1 if Jones misses Week 16.
Dontrelle Inman and Travis Benjamin, SD – It’s tough to predict which of the three Chargers receivers will have the most upside each week. Each one carries plenty of risk as a result, but they all have WR1 upside playing with Philip Rivers and in a terrific matchup against the Browns. If you’re looking for options in Week 16 and Anderson and Gabriel are gone, Inman and/or Benjamin could be a league winner.
Malcolm Mitchell, NE – Mitchell didn’t do much against the Broncos, but to be fair, no one on the Patriots did, neither has most anyone this season. The Jets are extremely more forgiving, allowing the fifth most FPPG to receivers. Mitchell is that same receiver that had four touchdowns in four games and can get back in the end zone this week.
Week 16 Waiver Wire Pickups TEs
Ryan Griffin, HOU – Tight ends options are sparse at this point. Obviously, this changes to C.J. Fiedorowicz if he returns from injury, but if not, the sleeper play is Griffin. The Texans continue to use their leading tight end heavily each week, and the Bengals allow this third most FPPG to tight ends.