Monday, December 21, 2020

Week 16 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Rankings

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.]

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.

2. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (47%)

Another week, another strong performance by Mayfield. In fact, fantasy managers may be a little disappointed by Sunday night's 20.98-point (top-12) outing after back-to-back top-four weekly performances from Mayfield. Some injuries in the New York Giants' secondary helped make the matchup a little more fantasy-friendly as Mayfield completed 27-of-32 (84.4%) for 297 yards and two touchdowns.

Since Week 12, Mayfield is four-for-four in top-12 performances (provided his QB12 ranking this week holds after MNF). During that four-week span, he has thrown multiple touchdowns every week and averaged 308 passing yards while accounting for 11 touchdowns -- 10 passing and one rushing. Only Buffalo's Josh Allen and Tennessee's Ryan Tannehill have scored more fantasy points over that stretch.

Like Hurts, Mayfield will be a top-12 option in Week 16.

Even though the New York Jets pulled off a stunning upset of Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams to get their first win of the season, they provide Mayfield (and his fantasy managers) with a dream matchup in championship week. Only the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

3. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (13%)

As noted above, the Jaguars have allowed the second-most fantasy points to the position this season and it's Trubisky that gets that matchup in championship week. One mild concern about the matchup for Trubisky as a Week 16 streamer is the fact that David Montgomery has a very favorable matchup himself.

In addition to the potential for it to continue to be the David Montgomery Show, Trubisky's fantasy performances have been a bit uneven over the past month. Since re-taking the reigns as the starter, Trubisky has finished as fantasy's QB6, QB24, QB7 and (currently) QB24, respectively. While he's thrown for no more than 267 yards over that stretch, he has alternated between throwing three and one touchdown(s) in those four starts.

No team has allowed more Y/A to opposing quarterbacks than the Jaguars (8.28) and only the Cowboys have allowed a higher opposing TD% than the Jaguars (6.6%). If it's Trubisky, not Montgomery, that gets the touchdowns in Week 16, it could be another top-10 week for the former No. 2 overall pick.

4. Marcus Mariota, Las Vegas Raiders (1%)

With Derek Carr injuring his groin early on Thursday night, Mariota displayed his dual-threat abilities in relief. The former No. 2 overall pick completed 17-of-28 for 226 yards, a touchdown and an interception while rushing nine times for 88 yards and a score. Heading into Monday Night Football, Mariota is fantasy's QB8 (26.84 points).

Based on the appearance of the injury, it seems unlikely that Carr returns in Week 16 (or perhaps the rest of the season). Unfortunately for fantasy managers chasing the points, Mariota won't get an easy matchup in Week 16 against the Dolphins. The Fins have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

5. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (21%)

Not only was Tagovailoa a rookie quarterback facing Bill Belichick, a recipe for disaster under normal circumstances, but the team was missing many of its top offensive playmakers. Throwing for only 145 passing yards, no touchdowns and an interception, the rookie turned in a Cam Newton-esque performance as he scored two rushing touchdowns and still finished with nearly 20 fantasy points (19.7) despite the lack of passing production.

While Tagovailoa has now scored rushing touchdowns in back-to-back weeks, he had set career highs in passing yards in each of the previous two weeks with 296 against the Cincinnati Bengals and 316 against the Kansas City Chiefs. In Week 16, Tagovailoa gets a top-10 matchup against the Raiders.

+ More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 16:

Note: Week 16 will be our final waiver-wire column of the season, but we will post weekly rankings in Week 17.

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