Pick ‘Em Up: Week 16 Fantasy Football Waiver Claims

We did it. You did it. CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK! The fantasy football season can be a grind (and 2020 certainly did not help matters) but we have made it to the finale. I’m gonna be honest, it’s the last waiver article of the season — I have no good intro material left and you’re not here to read it anyway. Here are my top waiver-wire pickups for Week 16, all available in (around) 50% or more of Yahoo fantasy leagues. It’s your last chance, so PICK ‘EM UP!

Quarterbacks

Jalen Hurts (61% Available)
There isn’t much bad to be said about Jalen Hurts after his 2nd start. He got it done more with his arm than his legs this time around and had the best fantasy week of any QB. Now that he’s beaten up on New Orleans and Arizona, Dallas is going to feel like a walk in the park for Week 16. There are not many QBs that I’d start over Hurts to win my championship.

Baker Mayfield (53% Available)
Not exactly sure what Baker needs to do for more managers to add him but, after his last month, there is no reason for him to be available in so many leagues. Over his last four games, he is averaging over 300 yards per game and has thrown 10 touchdown passes. He is the QB2 during that stretch. Oh, did I mention he has the Jets in Week 16? If you aren’t starting Patrick Mahomes or Jalen Hurts in your championship, you should probably be starting Baker Mayfield.

Running Backs

Tony Pollard (55% Available)
Waiver-wire RBs are rough this week and the best guy available may not even start next week. Adding Pollard is a bet against Ezekiel Elliott. If Zeke plays, Pollard is a backend RB3 at best. However, if Zeke misses a 2nd straight game, we could see a repeat from Pollard. He went for 130 total yards and two touchdowns against SF and should be able to put up similar numbers in what will be a shootout with Philadelphia. Add Pollard everywhere you can and watch that injury report.

Gus Edwards (56% Available)
Gus disappointed in Week 15 but his 78 total yards were far from a dud. Mark Ingram was a healthy scratch for the game after playing just two snaps in Week 14. Edwards is firmly behind JK Dobbins for touches but gets another good matchup in Week 16 when Baltimore faces the New York Giants. He is not the safest play, but of any RB available on waivers, he has the best chance to score a touchdown.

Zack Moss (49% Available)
Moss just barely breaks my 50% rule but he is still worth looking for on waivers. He has rushed for 40+ yards in three of his last four games and is averaging almost 50 yards per game during that span. You need to be desperate to play him in Week 16 but a matchup with New England opens up his chances to score a touchdown. He is a risky RB3, but there aren’t many better options available in this many leagues.

Late Monday Addition: Gio Bernard (48% Available)
Bernard just torched the Pittsburgh defense for almost 100 total yards and two TDs and gets to face Houston in Week 16. The Texans give up the 2nd most fantasy points to RBs on the season. Assuming there is no news of a Joe Mixon return this week, Bernard may be the best waiver-wire RBs to play in Week 16.

Wide Receivers

Keke Coutee (59% Available)
As long as Brandin Cooks plays and Coutee can be the WR2, he is a viable fantasy option. Coutee has scored three touchdowns in the last five games and has 218 receiving yards over his last three games. All three of those games were against tougher opponents than the Cincinnati Bengals. Coutee should again see great volume against a #2 CB and is a solid start for the final game of your fantasy season.

Darnell Mooney (90% Available)
Mooney is basically a lesser version of Coutee. He benefits from being the 2nd option to Allen Robinson. Defenses have to account for ARob every time he is on the field and Mooney has managed to score at least eight fantasy points in each of his last four games, scoring a touchdown in the last two. He gets to face Jacksonville in Week 16 and, while Robinson should feast in this revenge game, there should be plenty of scraps left over for Mooney.

Michael Gallup (58% Available)
Gallup is a gamble but he has benefited from the return of Andy Dalton. Over the last seven games, Gallup has been targeted at least five times in every game. He has managed to score 10+ fantasy points in just four of those games and only scored two touchdowns, so the risk is real. Philadelphia’s secondary is banged up, so there is some upside and this has all the makings of a high-scoring affair.

Rashard Higgins (75% Available)
As Baker has gotten better, Higgins has also improved. In the same four games that you should have been playing Mayfield, Higgins is averaging 13 fantasy points and has scored 11+ three of those games. He is the WR19 over the last month and, like his QB, gets to play the Jets in Week 16.

Jalen Reagor (79% Available)
The gamble on Reagor is two-fold. He left the Week 16 matchup with an injury, though he should be ready to play in Week 16. The other issue is that his QB is just as likely to run as he is to throw the ball to him. As I’ve mentioned a few times before, the Week 16 Philadelphia @ Dallas game should be a shootout, and Reagor is looking like Hurts’ favorite deep-ball threat. The Jalen-Jalen connection is real and Reagor is a high-risk/high-reward WR3 this week.

Tight Ends

Austin Hooper (52% Available)
Not sure how much more I need to explain after hyping Mayfield and Higgins but the long and short is this: it’s the Jets. They are bad against TEs and Hooper has been pretty involved lately, posting 15 fantasy points and scoring a touchdown in Week 15.

Jordan Akins (96% Available)
Akins has stepped up in the absence of Will Fuller and finally made the most of his targets last week against Indy, catching five balls for 50 yards. The Colts are one of the best defenses against TEs and the Bengals, Houston’s Week 16 opponent, are one of the worst. Much like any TE not named Waller or Kelce, Akins could score next to nothing, but his ceiling is very high in this great matchup.

Zach Ertz (48% Available)
Much like Hooper, for all the reason you want Hurts and Reagor, you want Ertz. His injuries and subpar early performance have caused his rostership to plummet, but Week 16 might be the time to take the gamble. He was targeted seven times in Week 16, catching just two balls for 69 yards. That was against Arizona, a team very good against TEs. Dallas is not.