Week 16 Waiver Wire: Best Pickups for Playoff Domination

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IDecember 16, 2013

Dec 15, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA: Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) reacts after a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins won 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Week 16 in the fantasy playoffs for most leagues means it's time for the Super Bowl. But with several injuries hampering stars in the NFL, some owners may have to look once again to the waiver wire to win the ultimate prize or simply keep their seasons going.

Whether an owner is searching for another starter to bolster their lineup or looking to replace an injured star, the waiver wire is the only place to look this late in the season. In either case, there is always room for improvement on any team even, but what players like Bobby Rainey and Matt Asiata proved in Week 15 is that not all waiver-wire pickups are created equal.

Here are players at each position who are worth a pickup heading into Week 16 of the fantasy season.

All statistics and owned percentages courtesy of NFL.com fantasy league.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 15:  Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins attempts to pass the ball under pressure from  Chandler Jones #95 of the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris T
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

 

Ryan Tannehill, quarterback, Miami Dolphins (12.6 percent owned)

The second-year quarterback simply out-dueled Tom Brady in Week 15 to earn the Dolphins a huge win and potentially the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoff picture. That's right, a sophomore quarterback beat Tommy Terrific by throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns.

If that's not enough to be worthy of a pickup this week, take into account the fact that Tannehill has put up 20 or more points in three straight weeks and has multiple touchdowns in each game during that stretch. Tannehill also faces a Buffalo Bills defense that may rank sixth in the league in passing yards per game but has allowed 25 touchdowns through the air, 26th most in the league.

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 15:  Jordan Todman #30 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs for yardage during the game against the Buffalo Bills at EverBank Field on December 15, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

 

Jordan Todman, running back, Jacksonville Jaguars (.7 percent owned)

With Maurice Jones-Drew sidelined, Todman was a beast for the Jaguars and for fantasy owners with over 100 yards rushing and 44 yards receiving, totaling 15 fantasy points. But with the possible return of MJD, Todman could very well see a reduced role in Week 16.

But if Jones-Drew owners didn't already pick up Todman ahead of Week 15, it might be time to give him a second look. The third-year running back showed that he can carry the load in Jones-Drew's absence and will have a favorable matchup against the Tennessee Titans, who he rushed for a touchdown against even with Jones-Drew on the field.

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 8: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots celebrates his touchdown in the 3rd quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

 

Julian Edelman, wide receiver, New England Patriots (54.9 percent owned)

OK, the numbers for Edelman are clearly higher than any other player on this list. But with the type of production he has put up over the last four weeks, being owned in less than 55 percent of leagues is still ridiculous.

All Edelman has done over the last four weeks is total double-digit points in every contest and become one of Tom Brady's favorite go-to targets. With a matchup against the 14th-ranked pass defense in Baltimore, Edelman could have another 100-yard game in the absence of Rob Gronkowski, who's out for the season.

Dec 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Timothy Wright (81) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the second half of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

 

Timothy Wright, tight end, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6.7 percent owned)

Whether owners are still recovering from the aforementioned Gronkowski injury or are looking for a tight end to replace a dud who hasn't been producing, Timothy Wright just might be the answer. While he has been up and down all season, Wright has caught touchdowns in his last two games and appears to be a favorite of rookie Mike Glennon in the end zone.

He had a season-high nine targets on Sunday and finished with 82 yards with a touchdown. Wright is owned by only a small percentage of fantasy players and will be facing a St. Louis Rams defense that is allowing 249 passing yards per game, which ranks 22nd in the league and has surrendered 19 touchdowns on the season.