Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to help your team from week to week while you strive
to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs, and win the
elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While
I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster,
the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll
highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can
help your squad and may still be available in your league. I’ll
also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous
Stafford, DET – Stafford (55-70
percent owned) shrugged off rib and thumb injuries and completed
22 of 32 pass attempts for 252 yards and a TD, adding 12 rushing
yards on two carries in the loss to the Titans. Tampa Bay has
been giving up lots of yardage through the air, so the Week 16
matchup is a favorable one.
Mayfield, CLE – Mayfield threw for
297-2-0 in Sunday’s victory over the Giants, and should continue
his recent string of solid play against the Jets in Week 16. He’s
owned in just 35-50 percent of fantasy leagues, so he might be
available in yours.
Hurts, PHI – Hurts…so good! The
rookie completed just 24 of 44 pass attempts but that went for
338-3-0 and he added 11 carries for 63 rushing yards and a TD
in the 33-26 loss to Arizona. Hurts will start at Dallas in Week
16 and should post monster numbers once again.
Trubisky, CHI – Trubisky filled
more a game manager type of role in Week 15, finishing with 202-1-1
and 34 rushing yards in the victory over the Vikings on Sunday.
He draws a favorable Week 16 matchup against the Jaguars and has
a moderately safe floor in that matchup, if not a huge ceiling.
Ahmed, MIA – Ahmed (30-40 percent
owned) carried the ball a whopping 23 times on Sunday, rushing
for 122 yards and a touchdown in the 22-12 win over the Patriots.
The RB situation in Miami is a weird one, but if Gaskin remains
sidelined against the Raiders, we could see Ahmed serving as the
lead back again.
Pollard, DAL – Pollard got a rare
start with Ezekiel Elliott inactive, and he took full advantage,
rushing for 69 yards and two TDs on 12 carries and adding 6-63-0
on nine targets in the win over the 49ers. If the Cowboys keep
Zeke out over the final two games, Pollard could be in line for
more solid numbers.
Bernard, CIN – Bernard held onto
the ball this week and rushed 25 times for 83 yards and a touchdown,
securing his only target for a 14-yard score in the stunning win
over the Steelers on MNF. The short week could necessitate more
of a committee approach in Week 16, but the Texans don’t offer
much in the way of run defense these days.
BAL – Edwards carried nine times for 42 yards in Week
15 against the Jaguars, adding two receptions for 36 yards. Even
though the Ravens use a committee at RB, Edwards has a consistent
role as the goal line back and in plenty of passing downs, so
he should be a solid flex play in Week 16 against the Giants.
Brown, LAR – With Cam Akers sidelined
(ankle), we could see more Brown (25-35 percent owned) and Darrell
Henderson (60-75 percent owned) in Week 16 vs. the Jets.
LAR – Akers ran the ball 15 times for 63 yards in Week
15 but suffered a high ankle sprain in the surprising loss to
the Jets. He’s out for Week 16, which means we should see more
Henderson and Brown.
Wilson, SF – Wilson had s solid
game (60 yards and a TD) but suffered an ankle injury during the
loss at Dallas. Keep an eye on the injury report as Tevin Coleman
and Jerick McKinnon are the next two up (with Raheem Mostert also
White, NE – White collected just
3 rushing yards on two carries, adding 4-52-0 during Sunday's
22-12 loss to the Dolphins. I’ve given up on the Patriots running
game outside of Damien Harris (questionable for Week 16 against
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Sanders, NO – Sanders hauled in four
of five targets for 76 yards in Sunday’s loss to Kansas City – a
game that also saw an ankle injury to Tre'Quan Smith. Sanders should
be in line for a lot of targets heading into Week 16’s tilt with
Thomas, WAS – I’ve written him up a lot, but he’s still
available in over 30 percent of ESPN leagues, so I’ll do it again.
Thomas is a target monster and caught 13-101-0 on 15 targets in
Washington's loss to Seattle. Expect more of the same regardless
of who’s at QB in Week 16.
Bowden Jr., MIA – Bowden is eligible
at RB and WR in a few formats, and he caught six of the seven
targets that went his way in Week 15 for 37 receiving yards. The
rookie added one carry for 9 yards and stands to play another
significant role in Week 16 against the woeful Raiders.
Mooney, CHI – Mooney has had an
exceptional rookie season and is coming off another solid game
(4-49-1 on five targets; 16-yard rush) in the Bears’ win over
Minnesota. Week 16 offers another favorable matchup against the
Gage, ATL – We really did well with
our WR calls last week, headlined by Gage (30-40 percent owned)
and his 5-68-1 receiving line in the loss to Tampa Bay. He should
be busy against the Chiefs again this week.
Bourne, SF – One of my favorite
things about this column is when my updates feature a slew of
players on the other sites’ waiver wire columns for this week,
not last. Bourne (just 3-5 percent owned) is one guy who’s a popular
add this week, but we had him recommended last week before he
went for 4-86-1 on four targets in the loss to Dallas.
Higgins, CLE – Higgins (25-40 percent
owned) had 4-76-0 on five targets from Mayfield against the Giants
and gets another decent matchup against the previously winless
(now 1-13) Jets in Week 16.
Cook, NO – Cook was the one dud in this section,
hauling in just 2-29-0 on five targets. Brees looked a little
rusty before things picked up in the second half, and the matchup
with Minnesota is a good one.
Hansen, HOU – Hansen recorded just
two receptions on three targets (3-55-1) in Week 15 against the
Colts, but one was for a 38-yard TD. His targets dropped with
Brandin Cooks active, but the absence of Will Fuller means he’ll
still have a few looks come his way in Week 16 vs. the Bengals.