It’s finally here! After 15 wild weeks, only two teams per league are left fighting for the ultimate prize: the fantasy football championship. Whether you’re trying to win it all or merely going for the consolation bracket, you’ll probably need to pick up a player or two on the waiver wire. Heading into Week 16, Elijah McGuire and Zach Zenner are two of the top Week 16 running back waiver pickups.
Fantasy Football: Elijah McGuire, Zach Zenner Highlight Week 16 Waiver Claims
With Isaiah Crowell now on the injured reserve, the New York Jets backfield belongs to Elijah McGuire. While he’s not the most efficient runner in the world, McGuire is a safe volume-play in any and all league formats. Over the past two weeks, McGuire recorded a combined 35 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns to go along with six receptions for 52 yards. The Jets clearly like what they have in McGuire, as he’s played in 74% of offensive snaps over the past two weeks.
McGuire faces off against a fairly average Green Bay Packers defense in Week 16. The Packers currently allow the 15th-most fantasy points per game to the running back position, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Football Outsiders ranks Green Bay 29th against the run, and 27th against running backs in the passing game. This defense is susceptible to the running back position, and McGuire should see the field on the majority of snaps. He might not light the world on fire, but he’ll give you solid enough performance.
Every two years or so, Detroit Lions running back Zach Zenner comes out of nowhere and starts seeing serious playing time in the backfield. Following a serious injury to Kerryon Johnson, Zenner is back in the mix and headlined last weeks’ watch list. While he’s not getting the majority of the carries, he’s still performing well while splitting carries.
Over the past two weeks, Zenner recorded 22 carries for 99 yards and two touchdowns. These numbers won’t win your league, but he can give you solid flex production in a pinch. Zenner faces off against a Minnesota Vikings defense in Week 16 which just allowed Kalen Ballage to run for 123 yards and a touchdown. Granted, the majority of that production came on a 75-yard touchdown run, but it shows Minnesota is susceptible to the big play. Even without that play, Ballage still averaged a respectable 4.4 yards per carry. Zenner is a low-floor, high ceiling guy who gets a lot of goal line work and could bust through for a big play. Hopefully you have a better option, but you could certainly do worse.
Adam Gase hates Kenyan Drake. At this point, there’s no way to dispute it. When Frank Gore went down with an ankle injury, Kalen Ballage saw the majority of the carries. Gore never returned to the game and was seen in a walking boot, so it’s safe to assume Kalen Ballage will be the Miami Dolphins’ lead back in Week 16.
Ballage finished Week 15’s game with 12 carries for 123 yards and one touchdown. However, those numbers are inflated by a 75-yard touchdown run. Still, even when taking that run out of the equation, Ballage still averaged 4.4 yards per carry. Adam Gase loves his running back timeshares, so Ballage probably won’t see full workload in Week 16. Still, he performed well when given the chance and should give flex-level production in championship weekend.
Embed from Getty Images