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Week 16 Quarterback Waiver Wire Adds and Pickups


It's Championship week in most fantasy football leagues, and a rough week to be streaming quarterbacks at that. Most of the truly terrible defenses are taking on universally owned quarterbacks, which means slim pickings on waivers.

Philip Rivers against the Ravens and Jared Goff against the Cardinals are the two highly-owned quarterbacks facing tough matchups this week. Owners of either of those quarterbacks may want to consider an alternative.

In standard one-quarterback leagues, the waiver wire is usually pretty rich with talent at the position, unless the league is full of owners that like to hold backup quarterbacks. In two-quarterback leagues, nearly every starter is rostered, and the waiver wire tends to be quite barren for quality arms. That’s why a few quarterbacks owned in 15% of leagues or less are included, so even owners in deep leagues have someone to consider. Ownership is based on Yahoo leagues and is current as of December 16.

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Week 16 Waiver Wire Quarterbacks

Baker Mayfield – CLE vs. Cincinnati Bengals – 60% Owned

Mayfield is right on the 60% threshold normally followed by this article, meaning he’s available in just enough leagues to make him worth writing about. Mayfield has been among the most impressive rookie quarterbacks, looking more polished every week. Mayfield has also benefitted from some soft defenses all season, and he draws another bad secondary in Week 16 against Cincinnati. The Bengals have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. Last time Mayfield faced the Bengals he had his best game as a pro, tossing four touchdown passes with a 143.9 passer rating. Now Mayfield gets to face a reeling Cincinnati defense at home, making him the top waiver wire choice where available.

Lamar Jackson – BAL @ Los Angeles Chargers – 46% Owned

Jackson will face his toughest test as a starter this week against the Chargers. The Chargers have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. Despite the matchup, Jackson has proven to have a solid floor as a starter, having scored at least 16.5 points in every game as a starter. His legs help provide that floor, as Jackson has rushed for at least 67 yards in every game since becoming the starter. On the flipside, Jackson has yet to throw for more than 178 yards in a game, which caps his overall upside. He’s a solid, low-ceiling streaming option, albeit in a tough matchup.

Josh Allen – BUF @ New England – 23% Owned

Buffalo is going to be a massive underdog in this one, which means plenty of 50/50 deep balls and running around the field for Allen, who plays best when allowed to throw caution to the wind. Buffalo will likely be throwing a lot this one, both because of the score and injuries to their top two running backs. New England’s biggest weakness has been their secondary, as they’ve allowed the 10th-most points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. They’ve also allowed the 10th-most passing touchdowns and 11th-most passing yards in the NFL. Allen is rather risky and inefficient, but he’s proven to have massive upside, having averaged 24.29 fantasy points per game over the last four weeks.

 

Deeper League and Two-QB League Options

Sam Darnold – NYJ vs. Green Bay Packers – 4% Owned

Green Bay has been surprisingly good against the pass this season, having allowed the 18th-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. They’ve also allowed the seventh-fewest passing yards in the league this season. Even considering that, Darnold has played much better since returning from injury, averaging 16.37 points per game. That’s not great, but it is better than his previous performance. They also face a Packers team that must travel from Green Bay the week after having been officially eliminated from playoff contention; the Packers also placed two defensive backs on injured reserve heading into Week 14. As long as Darnold avoids Jaire Alexander, he should be able to put up a decent game by two-quarterback league standards.

Josh Johnson – WAS @ Tennessee Titans – 1% Owned

Johnson went seven years and eight NFL teams between pass attempts, but he’s been given a tenth chance with Washington, a team that has also given QB streaming a go since Alex Smith’s injury. He didn’t have an amazing game in Week 15 against Jacksonville, but he’s averaged a hair over 20 points in his two games this season. He’s also rushed for at least 45 yards in both of his games, which gives him a nice safety net to provide at least some points for those in deeper leagues. He takes on Tennessee this week, who have been about as good as Jacksonville against the pass and just shut down the Giants’ passing game sans Odell Beckham Jr. In two-quarterback leagues, Johnson makes for a sneaky play in desperate situations.

More Waiver Wire Analysis


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!