Is Deon Jackson or Zack Moss a Waiver Wire Add in Week 16?

The Jeff Saturday era has gone about as well as anyone could’ve expected, as they’ve lost four out of the five games he’s coached. Fantasy football managers are looking to win their leagues over the next two weeks.

With Indianapolis Colts star rusher Jonathan Taylor shelved for the rest of the year with an ankle injury, we’re diving into whether you should add Deon Jackson or Zack Moss off the waiver wire and start them against the Chargers in Week 16.

Deon Jackson or Zack Moss: Who Should You Add From the Waiver Wire?

This was a difficult season for owners of the 1.01 pick in fantasy drafts. Taylor was the best pick on paper due to the alternative option being the more injury-prone Christian McCaffrey. But McCaffrey has put together an RB3-caliber year after being traded to San Francisco, and Taylor is at RB26, averaging 13.3 fantasy points per game.

Sometimes that’s just how it goes. No one knew the Colts’ offensive line would be a shell of itself and how that would render the entire unit useless. The Colts are 4-9-1 with an interim coach after such a disappointing start to the season.

Taylor had been fine for managers since he had seven games with at least 20 carries. Sitting him for the rest of the season is smart, though, as this team needs to focus on finding their future head coach and quarterback. The Colts can bounce back with a respectable 2023 season if they hit on those two picks this offseason.

MORE: Week 16 Fantasy Waiver Wire Targets

Fantasy managers have an opportunity to benefit in the meantime. With three games left, Deon Jackson figures to be the starter, and Moss will handle red zone touches. Jackson’s had mediocre success filling in for Taylor, totaling 11 or more carries four times but scoring only two touchdowns this season.

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Averaging only 3.4 yards per carry, Jackson relies on volume to be effective. He’s topped the 42-yard mark three times but hasn’t scored more than 9.6 fantasy points outside of his Week 6 explosion that brought 18.1 points. He’s a low-end fantasy option when he’s the starter.

But it’s not a guarantee Jackson will again be the primary back in Week 16. Moss took over the bulk of duties for the first time since being acquired from the Bills. He entered Week 15 with only seven carries as a Colt but suddenly saw 24 carries for 81 yards and one target.

Is this split the new normal moving forward for the Colts? Considering the Colts were up 33-0 at halftime and tried nursing their lead, I don’t think the combined 37 carries between Jackson and Moss is sustainable moving forward. But if Moss is the new 1A for the remaining weeks and Jackson is related to a third-down role, that changes who we should value more.

Because the Colts’ offense is such a low-powered attack and hasn’t generated consistent pass-catching opportunities for their backs, Moss is the better waiver wire addition if he’s the functional starter. Based on Week 15, we have to operate with the mindset he’s getting the shot to lead the unit once again in Week 16.

The Chargers have one of the worst run defenses in the league, giving up the sixth-most fantasy points to backs on average. They allow just under 130 rushing yards per game and 1.16 total touchdowns. They’ve given up less than 100 rushing yards only twice since Week 2.

If you’re at this stage of the fantasy season, it’s unlikely you’re in a spot to start Moss or Jackson in Week 16. But if you’re looking to replace Taylor, you can do so with Moss with slightly more confidence than most backups. The Colts will run the ball, and they have the best possible matchup to be successful.

Jackson might be the better option if you think the Colts will be trailing often, but the Chargers haven’t blown a team out other than their 10-point win against Houston in Week 4.

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