Fantasy Football Week 16: Top Waiver Pickups to Win Playoffs

Joseph SchmidtContributor IIIDecember 18, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 02: Greg McElroy #14 of the New York Jets scrambles with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals on December 2, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Jets defeated the Arizona Cardinals 7-6.(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

This late in the game, key injuries to players like Robert Griffin III and Ahmad Bradshaw has left owners scrambling for replacements in the midst of the playoffs.

Though its slim pickings out there on the waiver wires, we’ve been keeping tabs on certain players who might be suitable backups for lost causes. With only two weeks left, look for these players to be potential fantasy sleepers:


Greg McElroy (quarterback) and Braylon Edwards (wide receiver) of the New York Jets

It’s hard to get confident about the New York Jets right now, but they’ve finally benched Mark Sanchez and are allowing Greg McElroy to start under center (per the team's Twitter feed).

And if you forced yourself to sit through Monday’s contest between the Jets and the Tennessee Titans, you might have noticed familiar face Braylon Edwards on the sidelines.

McElroy and Edwards are both decent picks for the coming week as the Jets are facing the questionable San Diego Chargers.

Edwards had one of his best years with the Jets despite playing with Mark Sanchez. And though he and Sanchez had a bit of that old spark on Monday, it’s McElroy who'll be taking the snaps on Sunday

This is the first action McElroy has seen since he relieved Mark Sanchez in Week 13 against the Cardinals, completing 5-of-7 passes for 29 yards and the game-winning touchdown.

Expect McElroy to take advantage of the best target the Jets have had since Santonio Holmes was injured.

Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals (RB)

If he’s available, GET HIM NOW.

Beanie has been his team’s most reliable option in the red zone since he’s returned, scoring five touchdowns in his last four games.

Although he hasn’t had a good game on the ground, Wells is getting into the end zone.

The Bears have been struggling as of late, but they still rank among the league’s best in stopping the rush. However, Chicago has still allowed RBs to score, and that’s been Beanie’s bread and butter upon his return.

He’s owned in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues and 63 percent of ESPN leagues, so he might yet be available.

If you are lucky enough to get him, expect him to play the role of TD vulture, best for a Flex spot.


Donnie Avery, Indianapolis Colts (WR)

Avery might be the definition of inconsistency this season.

As a part of Andrew Luck’s pass-heavy offense, Avery has come up big in games, including a 91-yard and two-touchdown performance in the Colts’ comeback victory over the Lions in Week 13.

Since that game, however, Avery has not paid off like owners would hope.

Heading into Week 16, Avery is available in 71 percent of Yahoo leagues and and 84.1 percent of ESPN leagues.

Did we mention the Colts will be playing the paltry Kansas City Chiefs this week? Oh, so NOW you’re listening...

The Chiefs are just about at league average against the pass, but they can’t seem to keep opponents from scoring.

Donnie Avery will cement himself as one of Luck’s favorite targets with a dominating performance over the Chief’s secondary. With Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers’ attention set on Reggie Wayne, expect Avery to flourish.