Whoooo! It’s Week 16. Championship week. Whether you are in your league’s super big game or just trying to fend off the embarrassment of a last-place finish, this is a big week.
The bad news going into Week 16 is that Week 15 had a lot of great defense, which means many of our top players had bad weeks. The good news is that if you survived and need a little help it can still be found on the waiver wires. If you look at the top performances in Week 15 you’ll notice that many of those top performers are players who are available in most leagues. There are definitely still good players available on the waiver wires for any owners still needing to patch up their lineup. You may have to have a high waiver claim number for a good quarterback and tight end but there are quite a few options at running back and wide receivers still. All in all, it is shaping up to be a very interesting Week 16.
If you have needs we’ll be looking into answers for your team. So, let’s get started, and, as usual, let’s start with quarterbacks.
Marcus Mariota is an interesting name on the waiver wires who has owners talking in Week 16. He is available in 84 percent of leagues but has been terrible lately. The thing with Mariota is he is inconsistent as evidenced by his last two terrible outings. Some owners are questioning as to whether this is a sneaky week to play him as he has the ability to put up big numbers and this would be a great week for that to happen. Coming off two bad weeks in a row, going up against a reeling Washington team might be the perfect time for him to have a good game. Do not overthink this, and do not even think about risking Mariota in Week 16. Besides only compiling 88 yards and no touchdowns last week, Mariota finds himself quarterbacking a team that has a red hot running back and is going all in on its run-first scheme. With Tennessee’s ball control offense and a passing game that is nonexistent, it is safe to say to stay away from Mariota.
On the other hand, Josh Allen, for some crazy reason, is still available in 70 percent of leagues.
If you are looking for help at the quarterback position, this is the player you must grab off of waivers. Once again he was average in his passing game throwing for 204 yards and one touchdown, but once again he ran in a touchdown, giving his owners six extra points. That is the point with Allen. He is not going to give you the most passing yards. He is going to give you adequate yards with a touchdown or two but he is going to tack on a bunch of running and typically a ground touchdown as well. Allen has given his owners three ground touchdowns in his last four weeks. If you need help at the quarterback position Week 16 looks good as he faces New England, which puts him as a potential QB1 again.
Derek Carr is also available in 86 percent of leagues.
Carr is a solid fantasy quarterback if you need help at quarterback. Last week at Cincinnati he threw for 263 yards and a touchdown. In Week 16 he faces Denver, which is another fairly good matchup. Lots of people believe it is not a good matchup, mainly because of a guy named Von Miller, but if you look at the numbers you would see that five of the last six weeks opposing quarterbacks have scored 19 points or more against Denver in standard leagues. That is hardly anything of which to be scared. Carr could be the sneaky pick up of the week.
When it comes to running backs, Elijah McGuire has been solid lately. He is available in 67 percent of leagues and had 18 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown with three catches for 29 yards as well last Saturday. He is the lead back right now and is getting a lot of use, so it would stand to reason that owners should grab him off of waivers if he is available, right?
Wrong. On second thought McGuire has been getting the lion’s share of touches but has failed to do anything with them. If it wasn’t for the 2-yard garbage time touchdown he would have had a really bad week. It looks like there will be more of that in the future as the New York Jets go up against Green Bay in Week 16. You don’t want to be chasing touchdowns in the championship week so I would advise staying away from McGuire.
Jamaal Williams looked great for Green Bay on Sunday.
Williams ran for 55 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 42 yards as well on Sunday. He is available in 99 percent of leagues and faces the New York Jets in Week 16. Aaron Jones was injured on Sunday, which led Williams to more carries than he would normally get. He did well with the opportunity, and if given the chance, should do the same against the Jets. Williams could actually help out most teams in Week 16 if Jones can not play. He is a must pick up.
Miami’s Kalen Ballage is available in 99 percent of leagues also.
After the almost indestructible Frank Gore went down to injury, Ballage took advantage of the rare opportunity to fill in for the tank and ran for 123 yards and a touchdown. Going up against Jacksonville is not the monumental task one would have thought it was going to be at the beginning of the season, but it is no walk in the park either. Ballage could give you good numbers but you would have to be willing to risk a stinker in Week 16 which is not optimal, but he is a decent option if you are desperate.