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Week 16 Waiver Wire Pickups - All Positions

It's Championship Week, at least for most of you, so every lineup decision is critical. Hopefully, we've been able to help you along the way with some key waiver wire recommendations. Whether you're looking for an injury replacement or playing matchups, there could be a potential league-winner waiting for you to add. Let's do it one more time.

In this weekly waiver wire series, we provide a curated list of fantasy-viable players that are typically owned in less than half of all fantasy leagues, so that you can make an educated decision about who to add or claim that might be available in your league. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all eligible players that could be picked up, nor is it ranked in priority order - that's what our Lightning Round is for! These are also not all strict recommendations to add, simply a list of options. As always, it is up to you, the fantasy owner, to see who's available in your league and make the best-educated decision possible.

Let’s look around the league at the players who may be worth adding or bidding on as we move on to Week 16 of the 2018 NFL season. Be sure to also check out our other waiver wire articles, including FAAB auction bidding recommendations, for even more in-depth analysis an all positions heading into Week 16.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (46% owned)

We saw more of the same from Jackson in Week 15, throwing for an extremely modest 131 yards with one touchdown while making solid gains on the ground with 95 rushing yards. The fact the Ravens earned a much-needed victory and another solid job of leading the team should stave off Joe Flacco for good this season. While concerns over losing playing time are gone, the matchup is not nearly as good in Week 16. The Ravens take to the road to face the 11-3 Chargers, whose defense has been getting better as the year goes on. Jackson owners may need to weigh their options but those who stream this position or have been forced to look for alternatives late in the season won't find better options.

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (25% owned)

Of course Carr couldn't deliver a big game against one of the worst defenses in the league... He seemingly only performs well when not expected to and let down those who took a chance on him in Week 15, as he threw for 263 yards and one touchdown. It wasn't a terrible performance, but we were hoping for more. Carr at least returns home, where he's played much better this season, to face the Broncos. It's not an ideal matchup but he threw for 288 yards in Week 2 at Denver and could produce slightly better numbers this time around.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (23% owned)

Allen's passing numbers continue to be less than exceptional, as he threw for 204 yards against the Lions with one touchdown. That gives him an average of exactly 200 yards per game with a 4/4 TD/INT rate over the last four. His legs barely saved him, as he managed to score on a short touchdown despite a season-low 16 rushing yards.

Sam Darnold, New York Jets (4% owned)

In a home matchup against the Texans, Darnold managed to put up decent numbers after being forced to pass the ball 38 times - the third-highest of his rookie season. He finished with 253 yards and a pair of touchdowns despite facing a top-10 pass defense. With Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell both on IR, the Jets may continue to be a pass-first team out of necessity. Darnold stays at home to face the Packers in Week 16, a matchup that keeps him in the streaming conversation above QBs like Nick Mullens and Ryan Tannehill who face the Bears and Jags respectively.


Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Elijah McGuire, New York Jets (32% owned)

As the lead back in Gotham, McGuire has seen 20+ touches and converted a touchdown in each. There is a definite ceiling in terms of yardage and usage, as he's tallied 154 yards in two starts and has just an average matchup with the Packers. Without a score, McGuire runs the risk of handing fantasy owners a single-digit point total in the championship round. He's still one of the better waiver options at running back this week given his secure role.

Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (28% owned)

Dixon did not take over the starting job as some anticipated and watched Gus the Bus Edwards run for 104 yards on 19 attempts in Week 15. Dixon held his own, running for 48 yards on 11 carries but only caught one pass on a single target for two yards. This is a timeshare for the most part, one in which Dixon may not see enough volume to be a fantasy starter as long as Lamar Jackson is stealing valuable carries. His best hope for value in Week 16 is as a receiver if the Ravens fall down early to the Chargers, making him more of a boom-bust play in PPR leagues.

Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks (19% owned)

If Rashaad Penny remains out with a knee injury, Davis will get more run as he did in Week 15. Davis combined for 84 scrimmage yards and caught eight passes, making for a decent flex play in PPR leagues. The pass volume could easily be there again when the team faces former divisional foe Kansas City in an important clash for both squads. If Penny does play, Davis' value is slightly downgraded and he becomes a bit risky.

Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers (15% owned)

Where has this been all year? As soon as Aaron Jones left with an injured knee, Williams stepped in effectively with 55 rushing yards, 42 receiving yards and a 10-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. All this came against the best defense in the league, mind you, in Soldier Field against the Bears. Early reports indicate it may be a sprained MCL for Jones, which would keep him out the rest of this season. While starting at RB for the Green Bay offense isn't as exciting as it once sounded, Williams is a must-add for anyone still contending and should be started against the Jets.

Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (14% owned)

In a game the Eagles were supposed to lose and lose big, they took it to the Rams on Sunday night. Leading the way was an unexpectedly spry Wendell Smallwood, running for 48 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Josh Adams is still the lead dog in the backfield and Darren Sproles is in the mix on passing downs but it appears there's room for a third back to bring value. Next week's matchup with Houston isn't great for someone in a timeshare but there's enough upside here that you could turn to Smallwood if you miss on Jamaal Williams.

Zach Zenner, Detroit Lions (1% owned)

Zenner is the new Blount. That's the only thing to know about the bruising 220-lb back who has seen a recent surge in carries with Kerryon Johnson out. He's run for 54 and 45 yards the last two weeks with a touchdown in each. Basically, he can get you 10 if he manages to keep his scoring streak alive versus Minnesota next week but will leave you relatively dry if he doesn't reach the end zone. Minnesota has only allowed five rushing touchdowns on the season, second-fewest in the NFL, so chances aren't great.

Kalen Ballage, Miami Dolphins (1% owned)

All he needed was a chance. Forced into action after Frank Gore left early on, Ballage took over to little effect. As soon as the third quarter began, he promptly ripped off a 75-yard touchdown run and finished with 123 yards on the ground. Gore's X-rays came back negative and he's been diagnosed with a sprained foot. After further evaluation, it was determined Monday that he would not play the rest of this season. This thrusts Ballage into a prime spot, although Kenyan Drake is still there to share touches. The matchup is bad too, as the Jaguars come to town. Despite getting embarrassed by Derrick Henry in Week 14, they held Adrian Peterson to 51 yards in Week 15 and still allow the seventh-fewest fantasy points to running backs on the season. Ballage can be added in deeper leagues or as a competitive advantage to prevent a needy opponent from grabbing him, but it's not wise to assume another 100-yard game. Flex him if you're unstable at your last roster spot and/or are looking for a potential boom.

Others to consider: Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders (42% owned); Cordarrelle Patterson, New England Patriots (7% owned); Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs (1% owned)


Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (51% owned)

He remains the top-recommended WR add in this column for a second straight week and for good reason. Keenan Allen's early injury, which was a nice gut punch to owners counting on a big game from him in the playoffs, led to a career day for Williams. He scored three times and capped it off with a game-winning two-point conversion for good measure. A Week 16 tilt with Baltimore may prove to be far tougher than KC, but even if Allen returns, he has shown us how high the ceiling can be in this offense. If Allen is out, Williams becomes a must-start nearly everywhere.

Jordy Nelson, Oakland Raiders (47% owned)

With six receptions and 88 yards against the Bengals, Nelson has now caught at least six passes each of the last three weeks. He's not scoring and probably won't, as he hasn't done so since Week 5, but he could provide PPR owners with a decent floor.

Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (39% owned)

A popular sleeper this past week, Cobb couldn't recreate his Week 1 magic against the Bears. He ended up with a disappointing three receptions for 30 yards, although he was targeted seven times. With Aaron Jones likely out and an easier matchup on deck, this could be the week Cobb provides WR3 value. Be prepared to pivot if any of his nagging injuries crop up again throughout the week in practice.

Tyrell Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (33% owned)

As with Mike Williams, his value for Week 16 mostly hinges upon the health of Keenan Allen. Tyrell didn't provide the highlight-reel plays against Kansas City but he came away with a team-high 12 targets and pulled in six for 71 yards. On a short week, Williams becomes a speculative add for a key matchup with the Ravens.

Robby Anderson, New York Jets (26% owned)

Better late than never. Anderson did nothing, more or less, for fantasy owners all season long until the playoffs came. In the last two weeks, he's compiled 11 receptions, 172 yards, and two touchdowns, finishing as a top-20 WR in each. He could keep the magic going, ssince no other Jets receiver seems to be getting love from Sam Darnold these days and there could be plenty of passing in store against the Packers.

Daesean Hamilton, Denver Broncos (22% owned)

Not only has Hamilton suddenly come alive late in his rookie year, he's outproduced Courtland Sutton the last couple of weeks. Since Emmanuel Sanders went on IR, Hamilton has 14 catches for 93 yards and a touchdown on 21 targets. Sutton, the team's supposed WR1, has seven receptions for 56 yards on 12 targets. Although the Denver offense in general is looking pretty grim these days, both these receivers could be serviceable WR3/4 plays against Oakland in Week 16.

Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns (16% owned)

We saw the good Callaway in Week 15, as he caught five of seven targets for 35 yards and a touchdown. This was a week removed from a goose egg against Carolina where he caught one pass for no yards. Callaway will always be boom or bust as a deep threat with questionable hands and focus in an inconsistent offense. Fortunately, he gets the Bengals in Week 16. He put up 62 yards and a TD against them a couple weeks earlier and seems safer than usual based on matchup.

Robert Foster, Buffalo Bills (13% owned)

If you missed out on Foster last week, don't worry, so did most other fantasy owners. Foster has now gone over 90 yards in four of the last five games, yet remains available in 87% of leagues. It's hard to buy into Buffalo's young receivers but the opportunity is there and they are making the most of it. Foster isn't getting more looks than the other receivers, but he is the one capitalizing on them. A road matchup with the Patriots isn't ideal and neither is starting a rookie WR on a losing team in the fantasy Super Bowl. Still, game script could work in his favor if the Bills find themselves needing to come from behind, especially if they still have no healthy running backs.

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (8% owned)

Those in very deep leagues will need to take some chances and Gallup represents one worth taking. He was shut out in Week 15, just like the Cowboys on the scoreboard. Week 16 will be far different, as the team comes home to face the Buccaneers. He's got one touchdown all year and 81 yards is his season-high, so we know there's a limited ceiling to say the least. If you are picking among the dregs (ownership lower than 15%), Gallup is a preferred standard-league option over busts like Devante Parker, Josh Doctson, and Keelan Cole at this range.

Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (3% owned)

He's an undrafted free agent who is the third receiving option on a team that ranks 21st in passing yards per game. Not a league-winner to be sure. Patrick has led the team in receiving the last two weeks and could provide a modest floor in PPR leagues for those desperate for a fill-in. The fact that Oakland is next on the schedule helps quite a bit.

Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills (1% owned)

It was actually McKenzie who led the team in targets in Week 15, catching six of seven passes thrown his way for 53 yards. He's becoming a dependable slot receiver, even if the big plays and touchdowns aren't there to prop up his fantasy value. The Bills' next opponent, New England, sports a pair of tough cornerbacks. This could force Josh Allen to look to his interior option frequently. McKenzie is a flex possibility in full PPR leagues.

Others worth consideration: Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars (41% owned); Willie Snead, Baltimore Ravens (26% owned); Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (22% owned); Chris Conley, Kansas City Chiefs (13% owned); Aldrick Robinson, Minnesota Vikings (1% owned)


Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers (42% owned)

The Panthers play Monday night, so it's too soon to tell if he is capable of repeating last week's breakout performance. We do know that the schedule is favorable once again as the Panthers are at home against the Falcons. Atlanta isn't one of the worst defending the tight end and they got a key component back when Deion Jones came off IR a couple weeks ago. Still, this could be a shootout and Thomas is one of the few widely available tight ends with an elite quarterback throwing his way.

Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams (19% owned)

The little-used tight end in Sean McVay's offense pulled off a season-high five receptions for 46 yards in a Week 15 loss to the Eagles. Not too inspiring although he did also see a red zone target that could have gone for a score if it were thrown better. Everett is not the best option in Week 16 facing Arizona, who is one of the toughest teams against the TE. Still, given the state of the position, he's got as good a chance to score as anyone else.

Chris Herndon IV, New York Jets (12% owned)

Herndon finished as the second-leading receiver for the Jets in Saturday's loss, catching three passes for 53 yards. He hasn't scored since Week 8, however, and has seen Robby Anderson take over in the red zone. As long as Quincy Enunwa is out, Herndon still has promise for a decent game as long as you don't expect too much.

Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (9% owned)

It was a quiet day for Davis against the Jags, as expected. He caught two passes for 16 yards on a day where the Skins completed 16 passes for 151 yards. He got to watch Jeremy Sprinkle catch a touchdown pass as well. It actually gets worse, as the Titans are tougher against tight ends, not having allowed a touchdown to the position all season long. There aren't many tight ends with the talent or pedigree of Davis available on waivers but the matchup may be too much to overcome.

Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers (4% owned)

54 yards isn't a big game, unless you are 38-year-old Antonio Gates who is simply filling a roster spot while Hunter Henry remains out for the year. That's right, Henry hasn't played all season long, for those keeping score. Those 54 yards represent the second-biggest output of the season by Gates and he could produce something similar if Keenan Allen's hip injury keeps him out in Week 16. There isn't much upside but he is on a prolific offense and could be safer than many of these other TE options.

Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys (1% owned)

On a day where the Cowboys' pass offense was non-existent, Jarwin led the way with 45 yards on four receptions. There's no guarantee he'll be involved enough to produce for fantasy owners, but with 14 targets and 11 receptions the last two weeks, he suddenly seems to be a key part of the Dallas pass attack, for what that's worth. A tasty matchup with the Bucs awaits, making Jarwin far more interesting than we ever guessed at this point of the season.

Others worth consideration: Benjamin Watson, New Orleans Saints (39% owned); Matt LaCosse, Denver Broncos (7% owned)


Defenses - Waiver Wire Options

Tennessee Titans (49% owned)

The Titans are finally playing the kind of game they want, controlling the ball with the run game and employing a defense that clamps down on the other team's ground game. Fresh off a shutout of the Giants in which they held Saquon Barkley to 56 total yards, the Titans will get an even better matchup in Week 16. Tennessee will be at home to face Josh Johnson and the Redskins. While turnovers can't be assumed, as Johnson has done a good job protecting the ball, the point total should be pretty low. In leagues where final scores matter more, you may prefer the Titans this week over some riskier DST groups.

Dallas Cowboys (34% owned)

Since dominating the Saints a couple weeks ago, the Cowboys have fallen back to Earth defensively, giving up 178 yards on the ground in a 23-0 loss in Week 15. They didn't sack Andrew Luck once either. Now, they return home needing a win over the Tampa Bay Bucs. Jameis Winston's propensity to turn the ball over, along with a presumably motivated defensive unit, should make Dallas a solid choice.

Indianapolis Colts (25% owned)

The Colts' easy late-season schedule led to some disappointed DST streamers the last couple of weeks, leading to a questionable decision as they faced Dallas in Week 15. How does a shutout against a Cowboys team that had won five straight games look now? Indy didn't budge on defense, forcing two turnovers and sacking Dak Prescott three times. They now face the Giants, who had been sacked the third-most times heading into Week 15, and may be without Odell Beckham again if they choose to shut him down. The floor is high in this matchup between a playoff contender and a team looking to get this season over with.

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