Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Sleepers
Week 17 Sleepers (in priority order)
Jerrel Jernigan, WR, NYG
Last week I forgot to mention Jernigan as a potential breakout player with Victor Cruz. I streamed him in one of my PPR leagues and he killed it so this week I won't let you down again. Jernigan will be playing a suspect Redskins defense which is ranked 22nd in passing defense. I expect that Eli will continue to leverage the short pass routes that Jernigan runs. Last week Jernigan posted a solid game with 6 catches, 80 yards & 1 TD. I expect he will nearly repeat that performance (maybe without a TD). If you are in a PPR league I would make a Jernigan a must add this week.
James Starks, RB, GB
Last week Eddie Lacy injured his ankle in the second half and is 'sore'. It's looking like Lacy will not be practicing much this week. If Lacy does play he more than likely will not be 100% and will be splitting carries with James Starks. Starks filled in for Lacy last week and had 10 carries for 47 yards (4.7 yards/carry) and 1 catch for 23 yards. The Packers are in a must win situation this week and will need to lean on healthy players to secure a playoff spot which is why I think Starks is a nice RB sleeper this week.
Kirk Cousins, QB, WAS
If you are an Alex Smith, Peyton Manning, or Tony Romo QB owner I bet you are looking for some insurance. As I mentioned last week Kirk Cousins is a nice option. Last week Cousins did not play well vs a bad Cowboys defense. However, this week he'll have another decent matchup vs the Giants. If you are seeking a better option than 'Neck Beard' Orton I would recommend Cousins as your first QB pickup option.
Brandon LaFell, WR, CAR
Last week Steve Smith injured his knee in Carolina's game vs New Orleans and did not play a good portion of the game. After evaluation of the injury Smith was diagnosed with a sprained PCL which makes him highly unlikely to play this week. Carolina will be playing a Falcons defense which has struggled all season. I expect that LaFell will see additional looks from Cam Newton. Other players that will get additional looks will be Ted Ginn Jr & Greg Olsen.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, NE
Coming off another week where he started over Stevan Ridley (I bet Ridley's owners hated hearing that), Blount posted 75 yards & 2 TDs. As you will find in the Patriots offense this season its been a roller coaster ride. One week they put up tons of points the next week they barely score one TD. As much as I dislike ranking Blount this low in the sleepers I cannot trust the Patriots offense as its been very inconsistent. This week the Patriots will be facing the Bills who have given up the 10th fewest points to opposing RBs which reduces Blount's value as well. Since he's the 'starter' he's definitely worth a look at minimum but I'm not in love with him this week.
Week 17 Deep Sleepers (in priority order)
Edwin Baker, RB, CLE
Last week Edwin Baker had an incredible game with 17 carries 64 yards, 1 TD and yards receiving. The Browns are hurting at the RB position with numerous injuries and I expect them to continue to get a 'look' at Baker again this week. Cleveland has nothing to play for and will look to give their young players experience this week.
Joseph Fauria, TE, DET
The dancing machine in Detroit got to tease his moves off once again last week. With Brandon Pettigrew dealing with an ankle injury there is a possibility that Pettigrew will not be playing this week again. If that is the case Joseph Fauria will get the start again this week. As we all know the Lions like to pass the ball and Fauria is a big target (6ft 7in) for them in the red zone. If Fauria gets the start he's a nice play this week vs the Vikings who have given up the 2nd most points to opposing TEs.
Jonathan Grimes, RB, HOU
Its been a rough season in Houston. They've lost their coach during the season and quite possibily up to 4 RBs by the end of the season! First Foster, then Tate, then Dennis Johnson, & most recently Deji Karim. The next man up is Jonathan Grimes who will start this week vs the Titans. Currently the Titans defense is ranked 15th in run defense and has given up the 4th most points to opposing RBs in fantasy football. If you are in desperate need of a RB Grimes could be an option to consider.
Ryan Griffin, TE, HOU
The past two weeks Ryan Griffin has had the starting TE position for the Texans and has done fairly well. He's had 11 catches and 128 yards (~6 catches 64 yards/game). Rumors are swirling that the Texans might be starting T.J. Yates this week which will impact Griffin's value in a negative way. In addition to the fact that Owen Daniels and Garret Graham could be back this week. If you are in need of a TE watch this situation closely as there are lot of options for the Texans in the air.
Griff Whalen, WR, IND
The Indianapolis Colts have been very inconsistent with their receiving corps ever since Reggie Wayne went down. As such the Colts have made some personnel changes to the lineup to find their new 'guy'. The past two weeks Griff Whalen has had 11 catches, 125 yards & 1 TD. Last week Whalen lead the team is targets with 8 and looks to be one of their new WR options that will help them in the playoffs. If you are desperate for a WR option Whalen could be a nice sleeper option vs Jacksonville.
Knile Davis, RB, KC
I'm going on a hunch as KC has already clinched a playoff spot. So I expect that this will be one of those teams that 'rests' players after a few offensive snaps. Rumors have it that Davis is sharing first team snaps with Charles this week in practice. If the tea leaves say anything here it means that Charles won't be playing the whole game. So that means Davis will get a chance to make an impact on fantasy teams.
Shonn Greene, RB, TEN
Let's call Shonn Greene what he is...he's a handcuff and TD vulture to Chris Johnson. The past 3 weeks Greene has had 3 TDs but last week he had actually 91 yards rushing vs. a JAX defense. This week the Titans will be facing a Houston defense that is ranked 24th against the rush. I expect that the Titans will continue to give Greene the rock in the red zone and he should have a nice week.
Joe Banyard, RB, MIN
Now I'm getting close to comatose mode as far as how deep I'm going on sleeper recommendations. As we all know Adrian Peterson is not 100% and neither is his backup Toby Gerhart. The Vikings having nothing to play for other than pride so I expect that AP and Gerhart rest this week. The Vikings will be playing a Detroit defense which has given up the 7th least points to opposing RBs which makes Banyard a risky play. This is going off a hunch as there is some time yet before an announcement is made on who plays for the Vikings. At a minimum keep an eye out on the RB situation in Minnesota.
Previously Awesome Players Injury Considerations
With the division title on the line this week its hard for me not to mention that Cobb has been practicing and I bet he's hungry to get on the field. There also is an outside chance that Aaron Rodgers comes back this week. If Rodgers comes back and Cobb is available in your league I would pick him up as a speculative pickup. This week the Packers will be increasing his reps in practice as could be a very intriguing WR option in a must win situation for the team.
Streaming Defense Options (in priority order):
- Miami (vs NYJ)
- Tennessee (vs HOU)
- Indianapolis (vs JAX)
- Pittsburgh (vs CLE)
- Detroit (vs MIN)