Fantasy Football Week 16 Waiver Wire: Can Jamaal Williams and Kalen Ballage win you a championship?
If you survived another wild week, you probably need some help to bring the championship home. Jamey Eisenberg's waiver-wire breakdown will help lead you to victory.
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Week 15 was rough. Consider yourself lucky if you advanced to Week 16 — and hopefully are playing for a Fantasy championship.
No quarterback scored 30 Fantasy points, which is the first time that happened all season in leagues where you get six points for passing touchdowns. And we had some prominent passers put up pathetic performances, including Tom Brady (15 Fantasy points), Aaron Rodgers (12 points), Jared Goff (10 points), Andrew Luck (nine points), Drew Brees (six points) and Cam Newton (four points).
At running back, it was a dismal week for several guys, including Saquon Barkley (nine PPR points), Leonard Fournette (eight PPR points), Phillip Lindsay (eight PPR points), James White (eight PPR points), Sony Michel (five PPR points) and Doug Martin (three PPR points), among others. We also had some prominent injuries with Aaron Jones (knee), Lamar Miller (ankle), Matt Breida (ankle), Frank Gore (foot) and Ito Smith (knee).
Todd Gurley (knee) was also banged up, although he's expected to be fine, as is Miller and Breida. And we're waiting to find out about Melvin Gordon (knee), Austin Ekeler (neck) and James Conner (ankle) potentially coming back for Week 16.
The receivers who struggled at the wrong time included Tyreek Hill (eight PPR points), Amari Cooper (seven PPR points), Jarvis Landry (six PPR points), Adam Thielen (three PPR points) and Josh Gordon (two PPR points), among others. We also had injuries to notable receivers like Keenan Allen (hip), DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) and Tyler Boyd (knee), although Hopkins is expected to be fine.
Allen could play in Week 16, but Boyd is likely done for the season. We're also waiting on the status of Odell Beckham (quadriceps), and hopefully he can return this week.
The tight ends, as usual, were hit or miss with their production, but some of the down performances included Zach Ertz (five PPR points), Rob Gronkowski (four PPR points) and Jared Cook (four PPR points). You're still starting those guys in Week 16, but hopefully they will play better in this crucial week.
Unless your Fantasy league plays into Week 17, this is it — the final week of the season. And your Fantasy championship is likely on the line.
Don't be afraid to trust someone off the waiver wire, especially if they are set up for a big role in a good situation. Guys like Elijah McGuire, Jamaal Williams, Kalen Ballage and Keith Ford could be starting options at running back in Week 16. The same goes for receivers like Robby Anderson, Jordy Nelson and Robert Foster.
We also have streaming options at quarterback, tight end, DST and kicker for you to consider. Remember, it's not about what these players have done prior to Week 16 that matters — only if they can help you win now. Good luck.
Editor's note: For this waiver wire column, we are only looking at players owned in less than 65 percent of CBS Sports leagues. Additionally, there will be no more drop candidates. At this point in the season, you know who is relevant on your roster.
- Injuries of note: Aaron Rodgers (groin), Carson Wentz (back)
- Priority list: Josh Allen (48 percent ownership), Sam Darnold (13 percent), Nick Foles (12 percent), Derek Carr (37 percent)
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
|It will be hard to trust Allen in Week 16 at New England, but it's also hard to ignore his Fantasy production over the past four games. He's averaging 24.5 Fantasy points per game over that span, and clearly his rushing production is the biggest reason why. He has at least seven Fantasy points with just his rushing totals alone in his past four outings, with three rushing touchdowns, as well as three games with at least 99 rushing yards. While that's hard to bank on, some running quarterbacks against New England this season — Deshaun Watson (eight carries for 40 yards), Blake Bortles (six carries for 35 yards) and Mitchell Trubisky (six carries for 81 yards and a touchdown) — have had some success. I don't like Allen in one-quarterback leagues, but I would start him in two-quarterback leagues this week, even on the road.|
Sam Darnold New York Jets QB
|Darnold had his best game of the season in Week 15 against Houston with 24-of-38 passing for 253 yards and two touchdowns, along with 35 rushing yards. He has the chance for a solid encore at home in Week 16 against the Packers, who have nothing to play for and have struggled on defense most of the season, especially on the road. Four of the past five quarterbacks against Green Bay have scored at least 22 Fantasy points, with the lone exception Josh Rosen in Week 13. Darnold is a great streaming option in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues this week.|
Nick Foles Philadelphia Eagles QB
|Foles didn't have a great Fantasy game in Week 15 at the Rams, but he played well, completing 24 of 31 passes for 270 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. He only scored eight Fantasy points, but he could be an option in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues in Week 16 against Houston. The Texans are playing consecutive road games this week, and Darnold just had a solid outing against this defense in Week 15. With Wentz out, Foles could recapture his postseason magic from last year as he tries to get Philadelphia back into the playoffs over the final two games of the season.|
Derek Carr Oakland Raiders QB
|Carr was a letdown in Week 15 at Cincinnati with just 15 Fantasy points, which snapped a two-game streak of him scoring at least 22 points. He should have the chance to rebound at home in Week 16 against the Broncos, who are dealing with multiple injuries in the secondary. Carr has scored at least 22 Fantasy points in two of his past four games at home, and this could be the Raiders last game in Oakland. Denver also has allowed multiple touchdowns in the past two games against Nick Mullens and Baker Mayfield. Carr is a good option in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues.|
- Injuries of note: Leonard Fournette (foot), Aaron Jones (knee), Todd Gurley (knee), Lamar Miller (ankle), James Conner (ankle), Melvin Gordon (knee), LeSean McCoy (hamstring), Austin Ekeler (neck), Spencer Ware (hamstring), Kerryon Johnson (knee), Matt Breida (ankle), Frank Gore (foot), Ito Smith (knee), Rashaad Penny (knee), Chris Ivory (shoulder), Marcus Murphy (elbow)
- Priority list: Elijah McGuire (51 percent ownership), Jamaal Williams (20 percent), Kalen Ballage (3 percent), Keith Ford (0 percent), John Kelly (5 percent), Alfred Blue (8 percent), Mike Davis (39 percent), Zach Zenner (3 percent), Kenneth Dixon (51 percent), Darren Sproles (21 percent)
Elijah McGuire New York Jets RB
|We've been talking up McGuire for weeks, and he's finally delivering with Isaiah Crowell (toe) out for the season. He's scored in consecutive games since Crowell first got hurt in Week 14 at Buffalo, and he has 35 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns, as well as six catches for 52 yards on eight targets over that span. While Trenton Cannon (4 percent) had 10 touches for 37 total yards in Week 15 against Houston, it's clear that McGuire will be the featured running back in Week 16 against the Packers. And Green Bay has allowed a running back to score or gain at least 100 total yards in seven of its past eight games.|
Jamaal Williams Green Bay Packers RB
|With Aaron Jones not expected to play in Week 16 at the Jets, we should see Williams once again in a featured role for the Packers. Williams played well in Week 15 at Chicago after Jones got hurt with 12 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown, as well as four catches for 42 yards on five targets. Williams started the first two games of the season with Jones suspended and struggled, scoring a combined 13 PPR points against Chicago and Minnesota. But he's worth adding and potentially starting against the Jets, who have allowed four touchdowns to running backs in their past five games. Kapri Bibbs (14 percent), who was just signed Monday after being cut by Washington over the weekend, will be the new No. 2 running back in Green Bay behind Williams.|
Kalen Ballage Miami Dolphins RB
|With Gore out, the Dolphins appear ready to give Ballage a big role, ahead of Kenyan Drake. It's a little odd that Drake isn't expected to get the majority of touches, but Ballage took over for Gore in Week 15 at Minnesota and played well. He had 12 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown, as well as one catch for minus-2 yards. I'm still expecting Drake to get a slight bump in his workload, but he's had nine touches or less in three games in a row coming into Week 16. Gore had at least 13 total touches in five of his past six games prior to Week 15, and that's the workload Ballage could get. It's a tough matchup against Jacksonville, but Ballage is worth using as a flex option in Week 16.|
Keith Ford Buffalo Bills RB
|Ford could be the last-man standing for the Bills if McCoy, Ivory and Murphy are out in Week 16 at New England. Ford had 14 carries for 46 yards, along with one catch for 7 yards on one target, in Week 15 against Detroit. It's a good matchup against the Patriots, who have allowed five running backs to either score or gain at least 100 total yards in the past three games. Keep an eye on what happens with McCoy, Ivory and Murphy, but if all three are out, then Ford is worth using as a flex option in Week 16.|
John Kelly Los Angeles Rams RB
|It's worth it to speculate on Kelly just in case the Rams decide to play it safe and rest Gurley in Week 16 at Arizona since he's dealing with a knee injury. As of Monday night, Gurley is expected to play against the Cardinals. But if you play into Week 17, we could see Kelly in a featured role against San Francisco if the Rams have nothing to play for based on their playoff seeding. Justin Davis (shoulder) is also banged up for the Rams, so Kelly could be an intriguing option if Gurley is rested.|
Alfred Blue Houston Texans RB
|Like Kelly with Gurley, you're speculating on Blue just in case Miller is out. Again, Miller is expected to play in Week 16 at Philadelphia, but the Texans could opt to rest him if he's not 100 percent to make sure he's ready for the playoffs. And the same goes with Blue in Week 17 against Jacksonville. Now, we also have the scenario of the Texans finally using D'Onta Foreman (13 percent) if Miller is out, but Foreman has yet to be active coming off last year's Achilles' injury. If Blue does start against the Eagles, he would be a low-end flex option in most leagues.|
Mike Davis Seattle Seahawks RB
|I would put Davis ahead of Kelly and Blue if you need someone for this week — as long as Gurley or Miller are playing. It's also contingent on Penny being out as well. In Week 15 at San Francisco, despite Chris Carson going off (22 carries for 119 yards and a touchdown, along with six catches for 29 yards on six targets), Davis still had a productive game with five carries for 21 yards, as well as eight catches for 63 yards on eight targets. The Seahawks are likely going to be in a high-scoring affair with the Chiefs, and Davis will be vital in the passing game. Kansas City is tied for fifth in the NFL in receptions allowed to running backs with 88, and Davis will be a flex option in PPR.|
Kenneth Dixon Baltimore Ravens RB
|Dixon is playing in tandem with Gus Edwards, who is the better back for the Ravens right now, but he could be needed if Baltimore is chasing points against the Chargers in Week 16. Dixon's best game was Week 14 at Kansas City when the Ravens were trailing at halftime, and he had eight carries for 59 yards and a touchdown, as well as one catch for 21 yards. He had a season-best 11 carries in Week 15 against Tampa Bay, and he finished with 48 yards, as well as one catch for 2 yards on one target. With Ty Montgomery a healthy scratch against the Buccaneers, the Ravens will likely lean on Dixon in the passing game if needed. He's a potential flex option in PPR against the Chargers.|
Zach Zenner Detroit Lions RB
|You don't want to trust a Detroit running back in Week 16, especially with a matchup against Minnesota. But Zenner appears to have taken over as the lead running back for the Lions with Kerryon Johnson out. He's scored in consecutive road games against Arizona and Buffalo, and he has 22 carries for 99 yards, as well as three catches for no yards on four targets over that span. LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick will continue to get touches along with Zenner, which makes this a messy backfield. But in deeper leagues, Zenner could be a flex option, especially since the Vikings have allowed five touchdowns to running backs in their past four games.|
Darren Sproles Philadelphia Eagles RB
|Sproles' two-game scoring streak ended in Week 15 at the Rams, but he still was involved with three carries for 30 yards, as well as three catches for 16 yards on four targets. It's a crowded backfield with Sproles, Josh Adams and Wendell Smallwood all sharing touches, and Smallwood (19 percent) scored two touchdowns against the Rams. I still like Sproles as a low-end flex option in PPR, and he now has six catches for 50 yards and a touchdown on seven targets in his past two outings against the Cowboys and Rams on the road.|
- Injuries of note: DeAndre Hopkins (ankle), Odell Beckham (quadriceps), Keenan Allen (hip), Tyler Boyd (knee), DeSean Jackson (thumb), Sammy Watkins (foot), Keke Coutee (hamstring), Randall Cobb (concussion), Cole Beasley (foot), Quincy Enunwa (ankle), Bruce Ellington (hamstring)
- Priority list: Robby Anderson (26 percent ownership), Jordy Nelson (59 percent), Robert Foster (7 percent), Josh Reynolds (64 percent), DaeSean Hamilton (23 percent), Antonio Callaway (20 percent)
Robby Anderson New York Jets WR
|My colleague Heath Cummings was all over Anderson having a great game in Week 15 against Houston, and he finished with seven catches for 96 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. He now has seven targets in three games in a row, and he's been a solid Fantasy option the past two weeks against the Bills and Texans with 11 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 18 targets. Darnold is leaning on Anderson as we hoped to see all season, and he should be considered a No. 2 receiver in all leagues in Week 16 against the Packers. Green Bay is playing consecutive road games after losing at Chicago in Week 15, and the Packers have allowed six touchdowns to receivers in the past five weeks.|
Jordy Nelson Oakland Raiders WR
|Nelson has turned things around in the past three weeks, and he's become a viable Fantasy option in all leagues. He has 26 targets for 22 catches and 233 yards, and he's scored at least 14 PPR points in two of his past three outings. This week, he's facing a Broncos secondary that is decimated by injuries, and seven receivers have scored at least 12 PPR points against Denver in the past five games, with seven touchdowns allowed to the position over that span. I like Nelson as a low-end starting receiver in all leagues in Week 16.|
Robert Foster Buffalo Bills WR
|Foster has quietly been on a tear since Week 10, and he's worth using as at least a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all leagues in Week 16 at New England. In his past five games, Foster has at least 13 PPR points in four of them, including three games with more than 100 receiving yards, as well as two touchdowns. He has 13 targets in his past two games against the Jets and Lions, and he finished with 11 catches for 212 yards and a touchdown in those outings. Zay Jones (29 percent) is also worth a look in deeper leagues since he has 24 targets in his past three games, but he's been quiet in his past two outings with a combined seven PPR points. In their past five games, six receivers have scored at least 11 PPR points against the Patriots, which bodes well for Foster and potentially Jones in this matchup.|
Josh Reynolds Los Angeles Rams WR
|Reynolds just missed out on a monster game in Week 15 against the Eagles when he fell short of the goal line by 1 yard in the second half. Still, he had a season-high 12 targets to go with five catches for 70 yards. He has at least seven targets in three of his past four games, and he should continue to be a vital part of the Rams' passing attack. Even with Jared Goff struggling heading into Week 16 at the Cardinals, and with Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Gurley still dominating touches, I still like Reynolds as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week in most leagues.|
DaeSean Hamilton Denver Broncos WR
|In PPR leagues, Hamilton could be considered a must-start option in Week 16 at Oakland given his production over the past two games. In the first two games without Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles), Hamilton has 21 targets for 14 catches, 93 yards and one touchdown. He's scored at least 11 PPR points in each game over that span, and he should continue to be a favorite target for Case Keenum against the Raiders. While Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick (3 percent) will also be involved, I like Hamilton the best in PPR given his role in the slot. And in the past five games, Oakland has allowed eight touchdowns to opposing receivers.|
Antonio Callaway Cleveland Browns WR
|Callaway has either 80 receiving yards or a touchdown in three of his past four games, including Week 12 at Cincinnati when he had four catches for 62 yards and a score on five targets. Baker Mayfield is leaning on Callaway with at least five targets in three of his past four outings, and he can be considered a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week against the Bengals at home. A receiver has scored at least 14 PPR points against Cincinnati in each of the past four games.|
- Injuries of note: Jordan Reed (foot)
- Priority list: Chris Herndon (63 percent ownership), Gerald Everett (23 percent), Ian Thomas (48 percent), Blake Jarwin (1 percent), Matt LaCosse (7 percent)
Chris Herndon New York Jets TE
|Herndon has gone six games in a row without scoring a touchdown, but he's essentially the No. 2 receiver in this offense behind Anderson. And similar to Darnold, McGuire and Anderson, Herndon is facing a Packers defense that has nothing to play for in this game on the road. Green Bay has allowed a tight end to score in two of the past five games, including Trey Burton in Week 15. And two tight ends in the past four games against the Packers — Kyle Rudolph in Week 12 and Burton last week — have scored 13 PPR points. Herndon is a low-end starting option in all leagues in Week 16.|
Gerald Everett Los Angeles Rams TE
|Everett showed flashes of being a solid Fantasy option in Week 15 against the Eagles. He had five catches for 46 yards on seven targets, and he could have scored a touchdown on an errant throw from Goff, although it appeared like Everett might have turned the wrong way on his route. Also, he needs to know when to get out of bounds during clock management situations. He now has seven targets in consecutive games, and he's worth a look in deeper leagues in Week 16 at Arizona. While the Cardinals haven't allowed a tight end to score since Week 11, Jimmy Graham did have eight catches for 50 yards on 11 targets against them in Week 13. And Austin Hooper dropped a touchdown against Arizona last week. Everett should have the chance for about eight PPR points this week if he gets another seven targets from Goff.|
Ian Thomas Carolina Panthers TE
|Thomas was terrible in Week 15 against New Orleans with just two catches for 14 yards on four targets, but everyone not named Christian McCaffrey struggled against the Saints. Still, I'm going back to Thomas this week. New Orleans is great at defending tight ends, and Thomas should rebound in Week 16 against the Falcons. He came into Week 15 with 14 catches for 123 yards on 16 targets in his previous two games, and he should be considered a low-end starting option in PPR.|
Blake Jarwin Dallas Cowboys TE
|Jarwin has become the No. 3 receiving option in Dallas behind Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott, especially with Beasley hurt. He has seven targets in each of the past two games against Philadelphia and Indianapolis, and he's converted them into 11 catches for 101 yards, which is good for a combined 20 PPR points over that span. This week, he's facing a Tampa Bay defense that has struggled with tight ends most of the season. There have been 13 tight ends with at least four targets against the Buccaneers this year, and 11 have scored at least eight PPR points. If Jarwin continues to be involved in the offense and can score at least eight PPR points, that would put him in the mix as a low-end starter in Week 16.|
Matt LaCosse Denver Broncos TE
|LaCosse is worth a flier in deeper leagues given the matchup with the Raiders. Oakland leads the NFL in Fantasy points allowed to tight ends, and LaCosse is coming off a game where he was featured in Week 15 against Cleveland. He had a season-high six targets against the Browns and finished with four catches for 43 yards. In Week 2 against the Raiders, Keenum leaned on his tight ends, which were Jake Butt and Jeff Heuerman at the time, for six catches for 58 yards on nine targets. LaCosse will hopefully get a healthy amount of targets again this week, and he's a low-end starter in deeper leagues.|
- Dolphins (29 percent) vs. JAC
- Browns (26 percent) vs. CIN
- Colts (31 percent) vs. NYG
- Falcons (43 percent) at CAR
- Cowboys (58 percent) vs. TB
- Jake Elliott (51 percent) vs. HOU
- Dan Bailey (40 percent) at DET
- Matt Bryant (64 percent) at CAR
- Cody Parkey (23 percent) at SF
So who should you sit and start? And what shocking running back could win you Week 16? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking RB finishes in the top 15 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.
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