Waiver Wire Watch: Week 16
Editor’s Note: We’re happy that 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) is back on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He will continue to work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top pickups each week.
Below 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 Yahoo 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.
Cousins has been terrific in home games this season but hasn’t thrown more than one TD pass in any of his six road games. The bad news is that he’s on the road this week. The good news is that he has a favorable matchup against the Eagles, who’ve been charitable to opposing QBs this season, giving up 259.1 passing yards per game and 30 TD passes for the season. In a Week 4 game against the Eagles, Cousins completed 31-of-46 passes for 290 yards, with one TD and no INTs.
Winston hadn’t thrown for 300 yards in a game this season until he took advantage of a pass-heavy game script and threw for 363 yards and two TDs against the Rams in Week 15, with most of the damage coming in the second half as the Buccaneers tried to dig out of a deep hole. Winston has produced 25 TDs this season – 20 passing, five rushing – and gets a reasonably decent matchup this week against the Bears, who have allowed 26 TD passes.
Smith didn’t exactly capitalize on a favorable matchup against the Ravens last week, at least not from a fantasy standpoint. He was efficient in completing 21-of-25 passes but produced only 171 passing yards and one TD. Unfortunately for fantasy owners using Smith on Sunday, the game script wasn’t conducive to big numbers, as the Chiefs led throughout and had little incentive to get pass-happy. Smith gets another favorable matchup this week against the Browns, but his modest total of 15 TD passes in 14 games makes him a less attractive streaming option than some of the other quarterbacks in this week’s edition of Waiver Wire Watch.
Smokin’ Jay has averaged 264.8 passing yards a game since Week 3, he’s thrown two TD passes in each of his last two games, and he draws a favorable Week 16 matchup against a Buccaneers pass defense that somehow managed to make the Rams’ Case Keenum look like a solid NFL quarterback in Week 15. But Cutler will nevertheless be unusable if the hamstring injury that start WR Alshon Jeffery sustained on Sunday keeps him out of action this week.