Normally, as we head into fantasy football championship week, injuries dictate the top Week 16 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds, and that’s true again this year — at least for one very important situation. Dalvin Cook once again exited early after aggravating his chest/shoulder injury, only this time with Alexander Mattison (ankle) already out, it was Mike Boone who took over. We’re not sure who will start next week, but if it’s Mattison or Boone, either would be worth the top waiver claim. Breshad Perriman, Danny Amendola, Chris Conley, and Anthony Miller are also in the mix depending on your team’s needs.
Our full free agent list is packed with potential streamers at QB, WR, TE, and D/ST because you never know the situations of owners who have made their title game. Every year there are unlikely heroes in Week 16, and this year, it could be O.J. Howard, Myles Gaskin, Steven Sims Jr., Greg Ward, Ryan Fizpatrick, or Kerryon Johnson, among others. You can find the QB, TE, and D/ST streamers at the end of the list. If you need a new kicker or just can’t decide what to get your loved ones for Christmas, you can check out our Week 16 kicker rankings.
This is it in most leagues, so use as many waiver claims as needed to get the guys you need and/or keep the players your opponent needs off their rosters. And as soon if you know your starting lineup by Friday, go ahead and drop any bench player you’re not going to start and grab players your opponent might grab, as the players you drop will be on waivers through Sunday and can’t be played by anyone in most leagues.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 16
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
Mike Boone, RB, Vikings. Boone took over after Dalvin Cook (chest/shoulder) exited early in the second half in Week 15, and he stepped up in a big way with 56 yards and two TDs on 13 carries. Boone was already filling in as Cook’s handcuff with Alexander Mattison (ankle) out, so it’s unclear who will be starting next week if Cook is sidelined. Mattison would be worth a waiver claim over Boone if he’s healthy, but either way, whoever is starting for the Vikings next Monday against the Packers will have major value.
Breshad Perriman, WR, Buccaneers. We were all over Perriman coming into Week 15 because of the absence of Mike Evans (hamstring), and he paid off in a big way with five catches (six targets) for 113 yards and three TDs against the Lions. He caught two of his scores early when Chris Godwin was still in, and he caught another one late after Godwin exited because of a hamstring injury. Regardless of Godwin’s status, Perriman is almost a must-start next Saturday in a favorable matchup against the Texans. If Godwin is out, Perriman should see even more targets.
Anthony Miller, WR, Bears. Miller was one of our favorite preseason sleepers, and it’s taken a while, but he’s finally starting to pay off. He caught a team-high nine passes on a team-high 15 targets for 118 yards and a score against the Packers in Week 15. Over the past five games, Miller has caught 33 passes (52 targets) for 431 yards and two TDs. He’s clearly a big part of the offense, and he’s proven he can produce even in tough matchups. He’s worth a start as a WR3 next week against the Chiefs.
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions. Johnson (knee) hasn’t played since Week 7, but he’s expected to return in Week 16 to face the Broncos. It’s not a great matchup, but Johnson was a solid touchdown producer when healthy, scoring four times in five full games. He was averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, but with an average of 19.2 touches per game, he was getting plenty of chances. He likely won’t see that many touches in his first game back, but the Lions wouldn’t activate him if they weren’t going to use him. If Johnson isn’t activated, then Wes Hills, who scored twice and had 12 touches in Week 15, would be a longshot FLEX.
Chris Conley/Keelan Cole, WRs, Jaguars. Conley found the end zone twice Sunday, grabbing four-of-eight targets for for 49 yards and the pair of scores. Keelan Cole led Jags’ wideouts in yards with 76, grabbing three-of-six targets. Dede Westbrook was mostly a non-factor, catching just two-of-four targets for 14 yards. With DJ Chark (foot) likely out another week, both Conley and Cole are in play in Week 16 against the weak Falcons’ secondary.
For additional waiver/free agent suggestions, including more breakouts and QB, WR, TE, and D/ST streamers, check out our full Week 16 list.