The first week of the fantasy football playoffs certainly got off to a crazy start as it was simply a wild game in Minnesota on Saturday. At this point, I am not sure there are any adjectives left to describe it, and frustration was felt by all who were playing Jonathan Taylor. The other big story is the shoulder injury to Jalen Hurts, and the drama is not coming to an end as we head into Week 16 of the NFL season. In fact, the fun is just beginning as we enter the second round of the fantasy playoffs so let us take a look at some options that can help on the NFL Waiver Wire. 



Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups Week 16

NFL Waiver Wire Quarterbacks 

Gardner Minshew, Philadelphia Eagles, FAAB Bid: 5%

Following the news that Jalen Hurts is dealing with a sprained shoulder, it would not surprise me to see the Eagles hold their quarterback out for at least one week, but likely more given their performance to this point in 2022. Minshew is slated to step into a fully functional and humming offense with plenty of weapons including A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith which should help make things pretty easy for him in his first start of the season. I would also expect the Eagles to lean on Miles Sanders and the running game, but that should also open things up for Minshew in the passing game, and we should note that he can do some damage on the ground himself. Minshew has had success when given a chance in the past to start, and this is probably the best situation he has been in. 

Zach Wilson, New York Jets, FAAB Bid: 3%

We have to make the decision early with the Jets playing on Thursday, and it looks like Wilson will be back under center once again. As someone who spends their fall being disappointed by the Jets, this does not come lightly but Wilson did throw for 317 yards and two touchdowns. We should note that it came against a less than stellar Detroit secondary but Wilson should have another favorable matchup on Thursday against Jacksonville. 

Malik Willis, Tennessee Titans, FAAB Bid: 2%

With Ryan Tannehill potentially going to miss this week with an ankle injury, that puts the rookie back on our radar, but Willis is best left for the deepest of leagues. In a limited role this past Sunday, Willis picked up 20 passing yards on three passes while carrying the ball one time for eight yards. Willis can do some damage on the ground, and that is where I would expect the majority of his value to come from. 


NFL Waiver Wire Running Backs

Deon Jackson, Indianapolis Colts, FAAB Bid: 10-15%

Talk about a kick to gut seeing Jonathan Taylor going out early in the game of Saturday, but that just means we have to attack Jackson on the waiver wire. Jackson carried the ball 13 times against the Vikings for 55 yards while also adding a touchdown reception on his lone target. When Taylor was sidelined earlier in the season, Jackson had a 10-reception game and while he has shown the ability to churn out yards on the ground, he also adds value in the passing game. 

Royce Freeman, Houston Texans, FAAB Bid: 10%

With Dameon Pierce placed on injured reserve, someone needs to step in Houston’s backfield, and this past week that was Freeman. In what was a surprisingly strong game for the Texans’ offense, Freeman carried the ball 11 times for 51 yards while catching a pass for another five yards. I would look for Freeman to be the lead back once again for Houston this week which puts him on our radars.

Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts, FAAB Bid: 8-13%

In no way are we going to see the same game script from the Colts that we saw against Minnesota, but we cannot ignore the fact that Moss carried the ball 24 times last week. However, Moss was not exactly efficient as he gained 81 yards for his efforts and the large lead Indianapolis jumped out to was the reason for the majority of his workload. That being said, Moss will clearly have a role moving forward.

Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears, FAAB Bid: 3%

Herbert is expected to make his way back to action on Saturday after being activated from Injured Reserve following a hip injury. While David Montgomery and Justin Fields are both real factors on the ground, I would also expect Herbert to reprise his role. In his first 10 games of the season, Herbert picked up 643 rushing yards and four touchdowns and there could be some FLEX value here. 

Marlon Mack, Denver Broncos, FAAB Bid: 2%

While Mack is the clear second option in Denver’s backfield, he has carved out a solid role over the past few weeks for the Broncos. This past Sunday was his best game of the season, and second straight over 10 fantasy points, as he found the end zone for his first touchdown of the year. Mack caught all four of his targets for 26 yards while gaining 37 yards on five carries. 


NFL Waiver Wire Wide Receivers

Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders, FAAB Bid: 5%

The rookie has really picked up momentum over the last two games and it should not be surprising for the first-round pick. Dotson has touchdowns in back-to-back games while catching nine of 15 targets for 159 yards while emerging as a weapon for the Commanders. 

Russell Gage, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, FAAB Bid: 5%

Tampa Bay had a little more of garbage time than we might have otherwise thought on Sunday, but Gage was the clear beneficiary. After having a role early in the season, Gage missed four games and then bounced back to action slowly before slotting into the third receiver role last week with Julio Jones out. The expectation is that Jones will be out once again so that puts Gage on the radar as a strong option. Gage caught eight of his 12 targets for 59 yards and two touchdowns and the volume should be there once again.

Elijah Moore, New York Jets, FAAB Bid: 5%

Moore entered the season with a fair amount of buzz and then things went downhill pretty quickly. The second-year receiver has begun to recover, and that continued this past week as Moore caught four of his seven targets for 51 yards. In his past three weeks, Moore was targeted 23 times and that type of volume will help him continue the momentum he established last year. 

K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings, FAAB Bid: 3%

We do not want to overreact to what we saw in Minnesota on Saturday, but we also should not ignore what we saw out of Osborn. He was targeted 16 times and caught 10 of them for 157 yards while he found the end zone for the second straight week. It was by far the best game of the season for Osborn and while we are not going to get a repeat this week, he projects to be in a solid spot against the Giants this week. 


NFL Waiver Wire Tight Ends

Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints, FAAB Bid: 3%

The two games without any production are sure leave a bad taste in the mouth of fantasy managers, but Johnson did bounce back in a large way this past week. The right end continued his red zone production as he caught two more touchdowns, seven on the season, as part of a four reception, 67 yard after while being targeted six times. Now if he can only repeat the workload this week. 

Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans, FAAB Bid: 3%

A popular DFS option over the past few weeks, Okonkwo should not be ignored in the seasonal format either. This past week he was targeted five times, which gives him 21 targets over the last four weeks, and he caught four passes for 54 yards. Given the state of the tight end position, we cannot overlook the consistent role and workload, and if Malik Willis is in fact under center, I would expect the rookie to look for his tight end. 

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