Monday, December 21, 2020

Week 16 Fantasy Football WR 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).

Because of our self-imposed rule, we won't list New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders below. With Michael Thomas put on IR and out for the rest of the regular season, Sanders (rostered in 56% of Yahoo! leagues) will be in the WR3 range the rest of the way.

Even though Drew Brees struggled returning from his ribs' injury, Sanders had four catches for 76 yards on five targets against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15. The Chiefs have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, but Sanders and the Saints get a more favorable Week 16 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, who have allowed the fifth-most.

With that said, here are some wide receiver 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. 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.

2. Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns (25%)

Higgins had another solid performance in Week 15 as he had four catches for 76 yards on five targets against the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. Higgins now has at least four catches and 68 yards in three consecutive games. Only 12 wide receivers have scored more fantasy points than Higgins over that period.

Perhaps Higgins won't keep his hot streak going (and Jarvis Landry remains the preferred Browns receiver), but the matchup sets Higgins up for another strong outing. The New York Jets have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

3. Keke Coutee, Houston Texans (41%)

More involved this week (seven targets) than last week (three), Coutee had five catches for 53 yards and a score against the Indianapolis Colts. A potential second score (instead of a lost fumble) could have led to an even bigger day, but Coutee is the weekly WR26 heading into Monday Night Football.

For those in deeper leagues, teammate Chad Hansen could be worth a look as well. Although he was targeted only three times, Hansen had two catches for 55 yards and a score and now has three consecutive games with at least 55 receiving yards.

4. Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots (31%)

To the extent that you'd want any part of New England's passing attack, you'd want Meyers. During an earlier stretch of the season, Meyers was producing in spite of the passing offense's overall level of mediocrity.

From Weeks 7 to 10, Meyers had a minimum of four catches, six targets and 58 yards in all four games. During that four-game span, he had 27 receptions for 346 yards on 37 targets. Even without scoring a touchdown, Meyers was the WR12 (half-PPR scoring) during that stretch.

In Week 15 against the Miami Dolphins, Meyers had his second-best receiving performance of the season with seven catches for 111 yards on 10 targets. While he lost a fumble as well, Meyers enters Monday Night Football as fantasy's WR24 on the week.

5. Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers (32%)

Aaron Rodgers is having an MVP-caliber season and leads the NFL in passing touchdowns (40). Since returning from injury in Week 11, Lazard has become a TD-dependent WR3, but he had a five-week high in receptions (five) and yards (56) in Week 15 against the Carolina Panthers.

Meanwhile, the very boom-or-bust Marquez Valdes-Scantling had a goose egg on one target. It was his second zero-catch outing over the past three weeks. With the Tennessee Titans allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing receivers, Lazard has some upside if the the Titans sell out to slow down Davante Adams.

6. Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles (21%)

Reagor set season highs in receptions (five) and targets (eight) in Week 15 against the Arizona Cardinals although the first-round rookie left the game with an ankle injury. With Jalen Hurts giving the Eagles offense some life, Reagor could find himself in the WR3/WR4 mix with a matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

+ 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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