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Working the Wire: Week 16

By Josh Tinelli | 12/19/23 |

Each week I’ll provide you with a rundown by position of key waiver wire adds. We’ll evaluate not just breakouts based on past performance, but also who could deliver this week based on a soft matchup. Stats will be provided based on a 12-team PPR league, with players less than 75% (preferably less than 50%) ownership being considered.

Week 16 Byes: N/A


Jake Browning, CIN @ PIT

We can’t deny what Browning has been able to do off the bench for the Bengals. He has three-straight games with multiple touchdowns, making him a legitimate streaming option in Week 16 if you’ve been hit by the injury bug at QB (who hasn’t?).

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield, TB vs JAX

Baker lit up the Packers, throwing for 381-4-0. Up next is a home game against the Jaguars who are in the bottom-10 in yards and TDs allowed to QBs.

Aaron Rodgers, NYJ vs WAS

Rodgers has been linked with possibly returning from his Achilles injury suffered Week 1; he has been designated to return and he’ll have to be activated by Wednesday or he’ll be out for the year. With the Jets being all but eliminated from the playoffs it doesn’t make sense to rush him back, but if he decides to play, he would get a cupcake matchup against the Commanders.

Other QBs to consider: Gardner Minshew IND (@ ATL)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Matthew Stafford, LAR vs WAS: Stafford had another nice game, throwing for 258-2-0 against the lowly Commanders. Up next, he gets a much tougher assignment against the Saints. You likely have better options.

Joe Flacco, CLE vs CHI: Flacco has been announced as the starter for the remainder of the year, and he put together a 374-2-3 line against the Bears in a comeback victory. Up next is a mediocre matchup against the Texans, as they’ve allowed the 7th most yards but fewest passing TDs in the league.

Running Backs

Antonio Gibson, WAS @ NYJ

Gibson has seen more high-value touches with Brian Robinson Jr. being out with a hamstring injury. This week he went 4-15-0 rushing and 5-5-20-0 receiving in a loss to the Rams. Up next is a game against the Jets and their bottom-10 defense against RBs.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC vs LV

CEH has had solid outings the last two games with Isaiah Pacheco sidelined. In Week 15 he went 13-37-0 on the ground and 4-4-64-1 through the air against the Patriots. Up next is a much easier matchup against the Raiders, whom Pacheco gashed for 2 TDs in their Week 12 matchup. If Pacheco can’t go again, fire up CEH with confidence.

Other RBs to consider: Roschon Johnson CHI (vs ARI), Tyler Allgeier ATL (vs IND)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Ty Chandler, MIN @ CIN: Chandler had a massive game as the starter against the Bengals, going 23-132-1 on the ground and 4-3-25-0 through the air. If Alexander Mattison is out again with an ankle injury, Chandler will face another high workload against the Lions.

Zamir White, LV vs LAC: White was strong in relief of the injured Josh Jacobs, rushing for 17-69-1 in a blowout win over the Chargers. He also caught 3 of 4 targets for 16 yards. Up next is another divisional opponent in the Chiefs; if Jacobs is still out, White could be called upon again to carry the load.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Curtis Samuel, WAS @ NYJ

Samuel has strung together three double-digit PPR games in a row, going 9-5-41-2 against the Rams. Up next is a very tough matchup against the Jets, but Samuel has shown the ability to deliver as the WR2 in the Commanders pass-heavy offense.

Josh Palmer, LAC vs BUF

Palmer came off IR to go 4-4-113-1 against the Raiders in their blowout loss on Thursday Night Football. Keenan Allen was out with a heel injury, and if he sits again Palmer should have a fine showing against the Bills as they’ll most likely be coming from behind again.

UPDATE: Parker Washington and Jamal Agnew, JAX @ TB: With Christian Kirk done for the year and Zay Jones looking iffy with a hamstring injury, it's next man up for Jacksonville. Washington is most likely to see a target uptick, as he's had 12 receptions for 100 yards and 2 TDs over the last three games (his first targeted games of the year). Agnew has been in and out of the lineup due to injuries (only 5 games with touches), but went 2-2-70-1 on 10 snaps in Week 15. Both are risky plays but they're going up against a porous Bucs secondary that has allowed at least two WRs to score double-digit PPR points in half of their games, so there is a path to relevance if Jones sits.

Hunter Henry, NE @ DEN

Henry has scored 3 TDs in his last two games, and led the Patriots in all receiving categories in a loss to the Chiefs. Up next is a date against the Broncos, who have allowed the most TDs, 4th-most receptions, and 2nd-most yards to TEs.

Cade Otton, TB vs JAX

Otton has been relatively quiet, but after going 2-2-44-0 in a blowout win over the Packers, he gets a much easier matchup against the Jaguars, who have allowed the 5th-most receptions and 4th-most yards to TEs.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Darius Slayton / Wan’Dale Robinson NYG (@ PHI)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Odell Beckham Jr. BAL @ JAX: OBJ had a dud against the forgiving Jaguars, going 3-1-14-0 (even though he was 3rd on the team in targets). Up next is a tough 49ers defense, but one that has given up the 6th-most receptions to WRs as teams are forced to throw when coming from behind.

Zay Jones, JAX vs BAL: See above.

Isaiah Likely, BAL @ JAX: Likely just keeps producing with Mark Andrews out, going 6-5-70-1 against the Jaguars. Up next is the tough 49ers defense in a potential Super Bowl preview.

Logan Thomas, WAS @ LAR: Thomas had another poor showing against the Rams, catching one pass (3 targets) for 7 yards. Up next is a much tougher game against the Jets where he won’t be a recommended option.

Defense/ Special Teams

Broncos vs NE

The Broncos had a rough day at the office, giving up 42 points to the Lions in a blowout defeat. Prior to that, they had been playing much better on defense, as they’d only allowed 17.9 points per game since the 70 point debacle against the Dolphins. In Week 16 they face the Patriots, who have scored the fewest points in the NFL, and have the 3rd-most INTs and 2nd-most D/ST TDs allowed.

Packers @ CAR

The Packers got 5 sacks and a turnover in a loss against the Buccaneers. Up next is a great matchup against a Carolina offense that has allowed the 4th-most sacks, scored the 4th-fewest points, and is tied for 2nd in defensive TDs allowed.

Texans vs CLE

The Texans got 7 sacks and a turnover while holding the Titans to 10 points in their Week 15 win. Up next is a game against the Browns, who have thrown the most INTs and allowed the 4th-most fumble recoveries, leading the league in turnovers. They’re also tied for 2nd in most D/ST TDs allowed.

Last week’s waiver adds:

Rams vs WAS: The Rams defense struggled a bit against the most forgiving Commanders offense, only generating 1 sack and an INT. Up next is a tougher matchup against the Saints.

Falcons @ CAR: Atlanta only managed 3 sacks and no turnovers, and only holding the Panthers to 9 points wasn’t good enough to get the victory. Up next is a game against the Colts.

Colts vs PIT: The Colts got back into the win column with a 30-13 beatdown of the Steelers. The defense led the way with 4 sacks and 3 turnovers. Up next is another positive matchup against the Falcons.