10 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets Heading Into Week 16
It all comes down to this. It's Week 16 -- championship week in the vast majority of season-long fantasy football leagues. If you're still alive, you've probably caught some good fortune along the way, but you've made quality moves, too.
You'll need the same mix -- luck and good work -- to get this thing across the line and finish the job in Week 16. With that in mind, here are some waiver-wire moves to make this week.
I'll stick to players rostered on roughly 60% or fewer of Yahoo teams and also list some other viable pickups who may be available in shallower leagues or relevant in only deeper leagues.
Jalen Hurts, Eagles
Roster Percentage: 38%
Jalen Hurts is going to be a league winner in 2020. A week after scoring 19.28 fantasy points in his debut, Hurts blew up for 37.82 points in Week 15, ranking as the week's QB1 heading into the Monday night game.
A good chunk of Hurts' fantasy output in his first start came on the ground as he ran in 18 times for 106 yards. In Week 15, he threw for 383 yards and 3 scores in addition to rushing for 61 yards and another touchdown.
The rushing ability raises both his floor and his ceiling, and he gets a delightful Week 16 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, a team sporting the sixth-worst defense, per our schedule-adjusted metrics. Hurts is a slam-dunk QB1 for that matchup and is easily the top streaming quarterback play.
Tony Pollard, Cowboys
Roster Percentage: 45%
Ezekiel Elliott was a surprise inactive in Week 15, and Tony Pollard took full advantage of his day in the spotlight, turning 12 carries into 69 yards and 2 tuds while adding 6 catches for 63 yards. He handled 12 of 16 running-back carries, and the 6 catches led the team.
Pollard had looked spicy in limited action in recent weeks, and, boy, did he deliver with a full workload. The only hesitation is that Zeke may be back for Week 16, which would put a damper on this whole thing.
But if Elliott sits again, Pollard will be a no-doubt start for championship week, and even if Zeke plays, Pollard may have some flex appeal anyway as Pollard got 13 total touches with Elliott in action in Week 14.
Jeff Wilson, 49ers
Roster Percentage: 56%
Raheem Mostert exited early in Week 15, and it's the latest in a string of injuries for him. Jeff Wilson, who was already seeing decent volume as the number-two back, stepped in and got 20 total opportunities (16 carries and 4 targets). While Wilson mustered only 60 total yards, he did manage a touchdown, and we have to be interested in that kind of volume for any running back.
Wilson played 45% and 48% of the snaps in Weeks 13 and 14, basically working in an even split with Mostert. If Mostert is out for Week 16, Wilson should lead the San Francisco 49ers' backfield, and he'd be a solid start against the Arizona Cardinals.
Le'Veon Bell, Chiefs
Roster Percentage: 53%
Clyde Edwards-Helaire left with an injury in Week 15, thrusting Le'Veon Bell to the top of the depth chart. There's obvious fantasy value in Bell if he's the lead back for the best offense in football, especially with the Kansas City Chiefs likely to score a crap ton of points on the Atlanta Falcons next week. You should pick up Bell.
But don't get too carried away. We saw this backfield sans CEH in Week 13, and Bell played just 51% of the snaps while Darrel Williams was in on 48%. Bell got only 14 total opportunities in that game, so we shouldn't expect him to get a 20-touch gig if Edwards-Helaire sits in Week 16. Plus, the Falcons are actually good against the run, boasting the fifth-best run D by our metrics.
Pick up Bell -- and Williams should be on the radar in deeper leagues, especially PPR formats -- but don't expect him to go nuts in Week 16.
Salvon Ahmed, Dolphins
Roster Percentage: 33%
The Miami Dolphins' backfield has been the walking wounded over the last few weeks, but Salvon Ahmed was the last man standing for Week 15. On a day when Miami ran it 42 times, Ahmed got 23 of the 38 running-back carries and rushed for 122 yards and a score. He chipped in with three targets and one catch for five yards.
Myles Gaskin could return for Week 16, which would muddy up this backfield, but at worst, Ahmed is worth adding in case Gaskin doesn't play.
Emmanuel Sanders, Saints
Roster Percentage: 56%
Michael Thomas will be out Week 16, and Tre'Quan Smith left early with an injury on Sunday, so Emmanuel Sanders is the number-one wideout for the New Orleans Saints. Sanders was targeted just five times in Week 15, but that was the most of any Saints wideout as Drew Brees spread the love. Sanders caught 4 balls for a team-best 76 yards.
Brees started out poorly in his return from injury but improved as the game wore on, and the Saints' passing game is in a great spot in Week 16 as they take on the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota entered Week 15 giving up the third-most half-PPR points per game to wideouts. Sanders is going to be a solid option for title week.
Allen Lazard, Packers
Roster Percentage: 32%
Allen Lazard wasn't on the injury report ahead of Week 15, and his usage reflected that. Lazard played 58 snaps and got 6 targets, both of which were second among the Green Bay Packers' receivers. The six looks tied for Lazard's most since his return in Week 11, and this was the first time in that span he out-snapped Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who had merely one target. Lazard ended up making 4 receptions for 56 yards, with the yardage leading the team on Saturday night.
This is Lazard getting back to the role he had early in the campaign, when he was the Packers' clear number-two wideout from Week 1 to Week 3. In that role, Lazard produced half-PPR outputs of 16.2, 6.0 and 23.4 points before getting hurt.
Lazard should interest us in Week 16 as the Packers host the Tennessee Titans in a game that will feature a high total. Tennessee came into Week 15 allowing the sixth-most half-PPR points per game to wideouts and gave up 307 passing yards to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Lynn Bowden, Dolphins
Roster Percentage: 27%
With Mike Gesicki, DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant all out this past week, the Dolphins went super run heavy against the New England Patriots, with Tua Tagovailoa attempting only 26 passes. But Lynn Bowden Jr. led the team with 7 grabs and 6 targets and has now gotten 16 targets over the past two games. He did, however, generate only 37 yards.
Miami's normal pass-game weapons could be back for next week, which would push Bowden to a minimal role. But if Miami is still short-handed in Week 16, Bowden will be a nice PPR play for the matchup with a Vegas defense that is struggling mightily.
Logan Thomas, Washington
Roster Percentage: 63%
Tight end stinks, so I'm not sure why Logan Thomas is available in nearly 40% of Yahoo leagues. Thomas has seen a massive 31 targets across his last three games, and the switch to Dwayne Haskins didn't slow his roll one bit as Thomas caught 13 of 15 targets for 101 yards in Week 15.
Whether it's Haskins or Alex Smith in Week 16, Thomas is a solid TE1 play in a date with the Carolina Panthers. Carolina came into Week 15 surrendering the 11th-most half-PPR points to tight ends, and they've permitted a touchdown to a tight end in two straight games.
If you need help at tight end, Thomas is a great add.
Roster Percentage: 16%
Cincy has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses, and this game script should set up perfectly for the Texans' D. Deshaun Watson will likely have no trouble moving the ball and scoring points on offense, forcing the Bengals to have to go to the air to keep pace. That'll give Houston plenty of chances to create sacks and turnovers against a bad quarterback (no matter which one starts). That's exactly what we're looking for when streaming defenses.