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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 16

Updated: Monday, December 21st

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short and/or long term.

With this being Championship Week (in most fantasy leagues), our focus with this week's waiver-wire column will be Week 16.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire. Of course, your league's size and settings could significantly impact whether these players (or better options) are available in your particular league(s).

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 16 (Yahoo! % rostered in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by our preference to add.]

Week 16 Waiver Wire: Quarterbacks

1. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (38%)

There's still one game to go in Week 15, but Hurts is the top-scoring fantasy quarterback of the week heading into Monday Night Football. Hurts completed 24 of 44 pass attempts (only 54.5%) against the Arizona Cardinals, but he threw for 338 yards (7.68 Y/A) and three touchdowns and added 11 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown.

Since becoming the starter in Week 14, only Lamar Jackson has scored more fantasy points than the second-round rookie out of Oklahoma (via Alabama). No quarterback has more rush attempts (29) or rush yards (169) in that two-game span.

With a resistance-free matchup against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16, Hurts will be a viable plug-and-play option off the waiver wire for fantasy owners that made their championship game streaming quarterbacks. No team has allowed a higher TD% than the Cowboys (6.73%) and only five teams have a lower INT% (1.57%) this season.

+ Fantasy Football QB Waiver Wire Rankings

Week 16 Waiver Wire: Running Backs

1. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (45%)

What an impressive performance by Pollard!

With Ezekiel Elliott (calf) ruled out before the game, Pollard seized the opportunity as lead back despite having a difficult matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. Pollard rushed 12 times for 69 yards and two touchdowns and he caught six-of-nine targets (both team highs) for 63 yards.

The second-year back has generally looked more explosive than Elliott this season and his 28.2 (half-PPR) fantasy points is a season-high for the backfield. If Elliott misses another game, Pollard will remain a viable starter against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16 even though it'd be another challenging matchup.

+ Fantasy Football RB Waiver Wire Rankings

Week 16 Waiver Wire: Wide Receivers

1. Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (24%)

Not only was Julio Jones (hamstring) out in Week 15, but it would be reasonable to expect the Falcons to shut him down for the rest of this (lost) season. Of course, that's not something that Jones wants to happen.

With Jones sidelined, Gage had five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gage has a minimum of four catches and 50 yards in four of his past five games. During that span, he has a total of 24 receptions for 293 yards and two (receiving) touchdowns on 42 targets.

As the Falcons get ready to face Patrick Mahomes and the high-powered Chiefs' offense, the matchup for Gage (and Calvin Ridley and Jones, if he returns) is not favorable. Only the Los Angeles Rams are stingier to opposing fantasy wide receivers. That said, Matt Ryan and the Falcons will be forced into catchup mode early and Gage should get in the range of 8-10 targets if Jones is out again.

+ Fantasy Football WR Waiver Wire Rankings

Week 16 Waiver Wire: Tight Ends

1. Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (48%)

More was expected from Hooper in 2020. Even though he wasn't expected to be as productive on a per-game basis as he was with the Atlanta Falcons, his new offense was one that featured tight ends that should have allowed him to perform as a back-end TE1. While Hooper was sidelined in Weeks 7 to 9, his role didn't expand as much as expected following the Odell Beckham season-ending knee injury in Week 7.

In his first four games played following the OBJ injury (Weeks 10-13), Hooper had target shares of 10.53%, 27.78%, 7.41% and 6.45%, respectively. Returning after missing Week 14, Hooper had one of his best games of the season in Week 15 against the New York Giants.

The 26-year-old tight end turned his six targets into five catches for 41 yards, all of which are five-game highs, and a touchdown. His 28.57% target share was a season high.

Hooper gets to play in the same stadium in Week 16 although this week's matchup is considerably better. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season than the New York Jets. Since Week 6, the Jets have allowed six top-10 weekly tight ends.

+ Fantasy Football TE Waiver Wire Rankings

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