Waiver Wire Watch: Week 16
Editor’s Note: We’re happy to announce the arrival of 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly), who will work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top waiver wire pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 16. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer ESPN leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
* Players with an asterisk next to their name were mentioned in last week’s Waiver Wire Watch.
Owned in only 50.2 percent of ESPN leagues, Dalton has a scrumptious Week 16 matchup against a Minnesota defense that has given up the most fantasy points in the league to opposing quarterbacks. As of Monday afternoon, Dalton’s 27 TD passes were good for a fifth-place tie in that category with Matthew Stafford, and Dalton ranked ninth in the league in passing yardage (3,649). This is a highly recommended matchup play for Week 16.
Making his first start of the season after the controversial benching of Robert Griffin III, Cousins torched a bad Atlanta defense for 381 yards and three TDs (though he also threw a pair of interceptions). He now draws a home matchup against a beleaguered Dallas defense that allowed the Packers to score five TDs in five second-half possessions Sunday, with Green Bay backup Matt Flynn throwing four second-half TD passes. The matchup makes Cousins a terrific option this week. Even fantasy owners with solid QB situations might consider adding Cousins and trotting him out as a starter this week.
Fitzpatrick had an eventful day for the Titans on Sunday, completing 36-of-58 passes for 402 yards, with four TDs and two INTs. Fitz has totaled 13 TDs (11 passing, two rushing) over his last six games and draws a favorable matchup against a Jacksonville defense that has given up 27 TD passes this year.
It’s been fun to watch Tannehill develop this season. The second-year QB was brilliant Sunday in Miami’s 24-20 win over New England, completing 25-of-37 passes for 312 yards and three TDs, with no interceptions. He also engineered a game-winning fourth-quarter drive that culminated in a 14-yard TD pass to Marcus Thigpen with just over a minute left in regulation. Tannehill has thrown three TD passes in two consecutive games and has turned in three 300-yard games in his last four outings. However, his matchup with the Bills this week isn’t especially appealing. Tannehill threw three TD passes against Buffalo back in Week 7, but his 194 passing yards that day marked his second-lowest total of the season.