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Through The Wire - Week 16

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 12/22/20 |

Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs, and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league. I’ll also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous week.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.


Matthew Stafford, DET – Stafford (55-70 percent owned) shrugged off rib and thumb injuries and completed 22 of 32 pass attempts for 252 yards and a TD, adding 12 rushing yards on two carries in the loss to the Titans. Tampa Bay has been giving up lots of yardage through the air, so the Week 16 matchup is a favorable one.

Baker Mayfield, CLE – Mayfield threw for 297-2-0 in Sunday’s victory over the Giants, and should continue his recent string of solid play against the Jets in Week 16. He’s owned in just 35-50 percent of fantasy leagues, so he might be available in yours.

Other QBs to consider: Tua Tagovailoa, Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota


Jalen Hurts, PHI – Hurts…so good! The rookie completed just 24 of 44 pass attempts but that went for 338-3-0 and he added 11 carries for 63 rushing yards and a TD in the 33-26 loss to Arizona. Hurts will start at Dallas in Week 16 and should post monster numbers once again.

Mitchell Trubisky, CHI – Trubisky filled more a game manager type of role in Week 15, finishing with 202-1-1 and 34 rushing yards in the victory over the Vikings on Sunday. He draws a favorable Week 16 matchup against the Jaguars and has a moderately safe floor in that matchup, if not a huge ceiling.

Running Backs

Salvon Ahmed, MIA – Ahmed (30-40 percent owned) carried the ball a whopping 23 times on Sunday, rushing for 122 yards and a touchdown in the 22-12 win over the Patriots. The RB situation in Miami is a weird one, but if Gaskin remains sidelined against the Raiders, we could see Ahmed serving as the lead back again.

Tony Pollard, DAL – Pollard got a rare start with Ezekiel Elliott inactive, and he took full advantage, rushing for 69 yards and two TDs on 12 carries and adding 6-63-0 on nine targets in the win over the 49ers. If the Cowboys keep Zeke out over the final two games, Pollard could be in line for more solid numbers.

Giovani Bernard, CIN – Bernard held onto the ball this week and rushed 25 times for 83 yards and a touchdown, securing his only target for a 14-yard score in the stunning win over the Steelers on MNF. The short week could necessitate more of a committee approach in Week 16, but the Texans don’t offer much in the way of run defense these days.

Gus Edwards, BAL – Edwards carried nine times for 42 yards in Week 15 against the Jaguars, adding two receptions for 36 yards. Even though the Ravens use a committee at RB, Edwards has a consistent role as the goal line back and in plenty of passing downs, so he should be a solid flex play in Week 16 against the Giants.

Malcolm Brown, LAR – With Cam Akers sidelined (ankle), we could see more Brown (25-35 percent owned) and Darrell Henderson (60-75 percent owned) in Week 16 vs. the Jets.

Other RBs to consider: Phillip Lindsay, Ito Smith, Darrel Williams, Tevin Coleman, Devine Ozigbo


Cam Akers, LAR – Akers ran the ball 15 times for 63 yards in Week 15 but suffered a high ankle sprain in the surprising loss to the Jets. He’s out for Week 16, which means we should see more Henderson and Brown.

Jeff Wilson, SF – Wilson had s solid game (60 yards and a TD) but suffered an ankle injury during the loss at Dallas. Keep an eye on the injury report as Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon are the next two up (with Raheem Mostert also questionable).

James White, NE – White collected just 3 rushing yards on two carries, adding 4-52-0 during Sunday's 22-12 loss to the Dolphins. I’ve given up on the Patriots running game outside of Damien Harris (questionable for Week 16 against the Bills).

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Emmanuel Sanders, NO – Sanders hauled in four of five targets for 76 yards in Sunday’s loss to Kansas City – a game that also saw an ankle injury to Tre'Quan Smith. Sanders should be in line for a lot of targets heading into Week 16’s tilt with the Vikings.

TE Logan Thomas, WAS – I’ve written him up a lot, but he’s still available in over 30 percent of ESPN leagues, so I’ll do it again. Thomas is a target monster and caught 13-101-0 on 15 targets in Washington's loss to Seattle. Expect more of the same regardless of who’s at QB in Week 16.

Lynn Bowden Jr., MIA – Bowden is eligible at RB and WR in a few formats, and he caught six of the seven targets that went his way in Week 15 for 37 receiving yards. The rookie added one carry for 9 yards and stands to play another significant role in Week 16 against the woeful Raiders.

Darnell Mooney, CHI – Mooney has had an exceptional rookie season and is coming off another solid game (4-49-1 on five targets; 16-yard rush) in the Bears’ win over Minnesota. Week 16 offers another favorable matchup against the Jags.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Keke Coutee, Zach Pascal, TE Austin Hooper, Mecole Hardman, John Brown. TE Cole Kmet, Tyron Johnson, TE Chris Herndon


Russell Gage, ATL – We really did well with our WR calls last week, headlined by Gage (30-40 percent owned) and his 5-68-1 receiving line in the loss to Tampa Bay. He should be busy against the Chiefs again this week.

Kendrick Bourne, SF – One of my favorite things about this column is when my updates feature a slew of players on the other sites’ waiver wire columns for this week, not last. Bourne (just 3-5 percent owned) is one guy who’s a popular add this week, but we had him recommended last week before he went for 4-86-1 on four targets in the loss to Dallas.

Rashard Higgins, CLE – Higgins (25-40 percent owned) had 4-76-0 on five targets from Mayfield against the Giants and gets another decent matchup against the previously winless (now 1-13) Jets in Week 16.

TE Jared Cook, NO – Cook was the one dud in this section, hauling in just 2-29-0 on five targets. Brees looked a little rusty before things picked up in the second half, and the matchup with Minnesota is a good one.

Chad Hansen, HOU – Hansen recorded just two receptions on three targets (3-55-1) in Week 15 against the Colts, but one was for a 38-yard TD. His targets dropped with Brandin Cooks active, but the absence of Will Fuller means he’ll still have a few looks come his way in Week 16 vs. the Bengals.