Although your roster may be set, it’s always smart to block the other players in your league from getting a top player off waivers and it’s even ideal to stash a defense in hopes of making the championship game — which we also highlighted below.
WEEK 16 WAIVER WIRE PICKUPS
The next two matchups are listed and plus-matchups are in bold
First Check: Buccaneers DST (69%), Broncos DST (69%)
- LA Chargers – at IND, vs LAR – (24%)
- Tennessee Titans – vs HOU, vs DAL – (48%)
- Cleveland Browns – vs NO, at WAS – (26%)
- Cincinnati Bengals – at NE, vs BUF – (29%)
- Las Vegas Raiders – at PIT, vs SF – (25%)
- New York Giants – at MIN, vs IND – (11%)
- Detroit Lions – at CAR, vs CHI – (4%)
The injury to Jonathan Taylor is devastating news for fantasy owners, leaving Zack Moss as the guy to pick up in the Colts backfield. Acquired from a trade with the Bills, Moss stepped in and played 67% of the team’s snaps last game and finished with 24 carries for 81 yards. Surprisingly, it appears he’ll take over the lead-back role instead of Deon Jackson in this offense.
While Moss saw more usage with Taylor out, Deon Jackson was still a big part of the offense and could offer more value in PPR leagues. He caught his lone reception for a touchdown, but also carried the ball 13 times for 55 yards. In his lone start earlier in the year, Jackson caught 10 balls from Matt Ryan. He could get up to 50% of the team’s touches moving forward.
With two touchdowns last week, Juwan Johnson continued his red zone dominance, scoring five touchdowns in his last four games and seven in his last six. The snap share of 51% is a bit concerning but with six targets, that’s an encouraging sign that he’s Andy Dalton’s No. 2 pass-catcher right now.
Similar to Fant above, Marquise Goodwin should benefit from an increased target share in the wake of Lockett’s injury. He finished Week 15 with five targets and now a matchup with the Chiefs should force a more pass-heavy script for Seattle. Goodwin is the ultimate boom-or-bust option on this list.
Now healthy and returning to his pre-injury form, Jahan Dotson is playing 80% of snaps while catching touchdowns in back-to-back games. Seemingly now ahead of Curtis Samuel, the Commanders’ rookie is showing why he was taken in the first round this year. If you’re in need of a desperation streamer, Dotson could be your guy.
The injury to Tyler Lockett opens up a massive slice of the Seahawks’ aerial pie. One of the most significant benefactors will be tight end Noah Fant. He has touchdowns in two of his last three games and should see increased usage moving forward as Geno Smith needs another pass-catcher to step up.
This will hinge on the availability of both Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins, as both have missed the last two weeks of action. Chris Moore has seen 20 targets in those games and the Texans’ offense has woken up from the dead.
If you’re in the QB market with Jalen Hurts’ fantasy season likely over, consider Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy who actually looks very good for the Niners. It helps to have George Kittle, Christian McCaffrey, and Brandon Aiyuk to make plays for you, but Purdy has looked steady and comfortable running the offense in San Francisco. Purdy gets plus matchups against the Commanders and Raiders to close out the season.
Jalen Hurts’ shoulder injury is just horrific to his fantasy managers, but it could lead to the return of the ‘stache with Gardner Minshew under center. The Eagles are in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed, but they still need to win games and Minshew has shown before he can do that. He has elite weapons in AJ Brown and Devonta Smith at his disposal so he’ll be given every chance to go out and produce against the Cowboys and Saints.
Russell Gage is another desperation receiver flier. In place of Julio Jones, he posted an 8-59-2 line on 12 targets as Tom Brady’s WR3. The free agent was brought in to be a big addition but has been hurt or blocked out of the starting lineup for most of the year. He is a solid “WR handcuff” and could be a true streamer if Chris Godwin or Mike Evans go down with an injury.