Welcome to the Week 16 waiver wire! I think congratulations are in order for most of you. If you are still playing this time of year, you are either in a bowl game, or at worst a semifinal game. That’s obviously outstanding news, but it also represents a logistical change as far as free agency is concerned. For one, you are now competing against a single team for pickups, so you are very likely to get a top option and you also have no need for long-term depth as only this week matters. Lastly, and most importantly, you probably have a team filled with studs — that’s why you are still alive. Having a great squad can lead to over confidence, so don’t fall into that trap. You need to be proactive this week whether you need players or not. Remember, any player you do not add is there for your opponent. So, if you are all set with your starting lineup, you should scout your opponent and isolate their biggest need and go after the free agent who best fills that need. Be proactive and leave no stone unturned.
I will be posting my usual expanded waiver wire over at Rotobahn this afternoon. It’s free, so head on over if you play in a deep format or are looking for some defensive teams to stream in Week 16.
As always, the ownership percentages are listed for each player. These rates of ownership are based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your particular league, and you’ll need to do the legwork on that.
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Mark Sanchez, Eagles — 55 percent
He’s a good bet to bounce back against Washington, who are very beatable through the air. Sanchez is not a desirable play, but he’s probably the best thing you can pluck off of the average waiver wire for Week 16.
Eli Manning, Giants — 61 percent
He’s the best guy out there on a lot of waiver wires, but he has a tough matchup at St. Louis this week. The good news is the Giants seem to have rallied around head coach Tom Coughlin and their exciting rookie receiver Odell Beckham. Manning will get you serviceable stats, but the Rams should take the big game off the table.
Kyle Orton, Bills – 13 percent
They have a good road matchup and they are riding high after their stunning win over the Packers in Buffalo last week. This is a road matchup, but it’s at Oakland and that should provide Orton with ample point-scoring opportunity. He’s a good pickup if you are in a jam.
Joseph Randle, Cowboys — 11 percent
I’m putting this one up top for emphasis. First for DeMarco Murray owners, Randle is absolutely a must-add due to Murray’s hand injury, which required surgery and should keep him out of Week 16. Of course, if you do not own Murray, you’ll still want to add him even if it’s just to keep him away from your competition.
Carlos Hyde, 49ers — 35 percent
Frank Gore could miss this week with a concussion, so Hyde is a potential stud as long as he is healthy himself, as Hyde suffered knee and back injuries in the same game last week. He’s potentially the most valuable pickup out there, but there is the risk that he sits out. Hyde is a must-add for Gore owners and should be pursued by all for his upside when the 49ers host San Diego this weekend.
Toby Gerhart, Jaguars – 33 percent
He may not be a sexy name and he was just decent last week against the Ravens. Having said that, Gerhart faces a very beatable Titans run defense in Week 16 and that makes Gerhart a very tempting play, especially in larger formats. If you are hurting at running back this week, Gerhart is very much worthy of consideration.
Dan Herron, Colts — 61 percent
He has a solid matchup at Dallas this week and he’s been consistently productive since Ahmad Bradshaw went down. I like him as a RB2 this week especially in PPR formats.
Latavius Murray, Raiders – 56 percent
He’s a legit RB2 option this week if you need him, but he lacks big upside because of his matchup against the surging Bills defense. Murray is a solid option, but not spectacular.
Andre Williams, Giants — 59 percent
Like Murray, Williams will be a solid option, but his matchup with a stingy Rams defense limits his upside potential for this week. Starter Rashad Jennings re-injured his ankle in Week 15 and is a good bet to be out for Week 16. If you had planned on starting Jennings this week, you may want to add Williams.
Doug Martin, Buccaneers — 51 percent
Martin showed some of his old running ability in Week 15 and he has a decent matchup with Green Bay in Week 16. Martin has RB2 appeal, especially in larger standard scoring leagues.
Martavis Bryant, Steelers — 64 percent
Do you need an upside play for Week 16? Bryant is certainly that. While he can be limited to just a few catches, he can also score multiple times on a given week and not just as a red zone weapon. Bryant is an outstanding deep threat due to his size/speed combination. So again, if it’s upside you seek, this is probably the guy.
Jarvis Landry, Dolphins — 45 percent
If you read my pre-draft scouting report on Landry, you know how much we like him as a player. Over the last nine weeks, Landry has been a consistent WR3 option, especially in PPR formats. While Landry has primarily been used in the slot, he’s also been a very strong red zone threat and that gives him WR3 value in 12-team standard leagues. His matchup in Week 16 with the Vikings is nothing to fear.
Nate Washington, Titans — 5 percent
He was one of our sleepers last week and he posted a 100-yard game against the Jets. This week Washington gets a mediocre Jaguars pass defense, so he’s certainly a viable high-volume option if you need him.
Stedman Bailey, Rams — 14 percent
He’s got a Week 16 matchup with the Giants and that makes him an appealing WR3 option, especially in PPR formats. Bailey has been a productive option over the last five weeks with only one poor outing. He can help you this week if you need him.
Charles Johnson, Vikings — 32 percent
He posted solid numbers in a very tough Week 15 matchup and he’s got another tough matchup in Miami this week. That said, Johnson is the receiver to own in Minnesota right now and he’s a good bet for WR3 production in 12-team leagues.
Dwayne Allen, Colts — 65 percent
He got back into the end zone in Week 15 and he should continue to improve as his ankle gets closer to 100 percent. I like him as a TE1 option this week when the Colts travel to play the Cowboys.
Owen Daniels, Ravens — 39 percent
He was active last week and that should continue in Week 16 when the Ravens travel to Houston to face Daniels’ old team. If you need a tight end this week, Daniels is a very good waiver wire add.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings – 51 percent
I pumped this guy for a few weeks to mediocre results. In Week 15 I shied away and, of course, Rudolph stepped up and got involved the way we thought he would all along. He finished with seven catches for 69 yards at Detroit and he gets another very tough matchup at Miami in Week 16, so he’s a low-end TE1 option, but still quite viable.