Breakdowns

Week 16 Waiver Wire Pickups: Fantasy Semifinals

Week 16 Waiver Wire Pickups

It’s final four time for fantasy leagues. That means most of you won’t need to still be finding players. For the lucky (and skillful) few who are still alive in their leagues, finding an emergency fill-in this week is absolutely crucial (especially with the deluge of players missing time with covid issues.) While this won’t be an extensive list, here are some of the top options that are still widely available

As always, all rostership levels are based on Yahoo leagues. Your mileage may vary depending on your provider and league settings.

Running Backs:

The running back position has been strangely calm, at least early in the week. They’ve been hit far less by covid and injury issues than most other positions, with the notable exception of Leonard Fournette who’s likely to be done for the regular season. Obviously, the clear replacement is Ronald Jones (37% rostered). While I don’t think Rojo steps into Fournette’s role entirely, he should see the bulk of it. Ke’Shawn Vaughn (0%) is the likely number two, but hasn’t played particularly well in limited chances. Most likely, the Bucs will become even more of a pass-first offense than they’ve been so far, but that will be difficult without Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, so somebody will have to tote the rock.

Elsewhere, Craig Reynolds (13%) handled 26 carries and picked up 112 yards for the Lions last week. He needs Jamaal Williams to continue to be sidelined to return any value but is worth picking up if you have an extra roster spot. Jordan Howard (10%) handled 15 carries for the Eagles, mostly coming once they were in control of the game. Frustratingly, his quarterback punched in two one-yard touchdowns, so it wasn’t a great fantasy day for Howard. However, the Eagles should have a positive game script against the Giants this week, making Howard a solid choice if you’re desperate for help at the position.

Quarterbacks

Odds are most fantasy playoff teams don’t need a quarterback at this point in the season. Most of the league’s solid options are healthy, at least early in the week. (Who knows where covid will strike next.) Justin Fields (26%) would be my top choice if you need one though. He’s performed reasonably well the past two games coming off of injury, and his rushing upside helps lift his fantasy floor even when the offense is performing poorly. He’s facing Seattle in Week 16. The Seahawks rank 26th in overall DVOA and 29th against the pass, so the matchup is solid.

Wide Receivers

With Godwin and Evans both missing time (among others), receiver is going to be a position of need for many fantasy playoff teams. KJ Osborn (46%) is a great pickup if you can get him. He only saw three targets in Week 15 without Adam Thielen, but that was in a game where Kirk Cousins threw for less than 100 yards. Minnesota is facing the Rams in Week 16, and will certainly have to pass the ball more. As long as Thielen remains out (which isn’t guaranteed) Osborn is a great play. Amon-Ra St. Brown (31%) is getting WR1 usage for the Lions. He has 35 targets over the past three weeks. He also has a soft matchup with the Falcons in Week 16. Jared Goff is on the Covid list though, which would lower St. Brown’s expectation if Goff can’t make it back in time.

Allen Lazard (9%) could be the Packers’ WR2 on Saturday night. Marquez-Valdez Scantling is currently on the covid list. Lazard scored over 10 (half PPR) points in two of the four games MVS missed earlier in the season. Gabriel Davis (19%) has 15 targets (and three touchdowns) over the past two weeks, with Emmanuel Sanders out. Sanders could come back this week, but I’d bet against it. That makes Davis a strong option.

Tight Ends

There are very little low-owned players at the tight end position I’d feel comfortable playing in Week 16. (Which is unfortunate, because I have Travis Kelce — currently on the covid list — in my home league.) With that said CJ Uzomah (16%) is probably the best option. While he has very little in the way of upside, he’s averaging over five targets per game across the last three. Let’s just hope Kelce tests negative.

Defense and Kickers

As always, Kevin Ivers has you covered if you’re looking to stream a defense in Week 16. If you need a kicker to stream, stop playing in that league #bankickers. If that’s not an option, Kevin has you covered though. Find his Week 16 article here.