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Ho, ho, ho and a Merry Christmas to you all. This piece is for the select few of you who are either in two-week championships or somehow got talked into doing a league where Week 17 is the sole week for determining titles. I'll avoid the soapbox for now, but the playing-time chaos that will unfold is not what we think about when testing fantasy football skills.

Let's get you as best prepared as we can because we want to start off 2018 on a winning note! If you own Todd Gurley then you're good -- you don't even have to read, or start anyone other than Gurley, for that matter.

Below are my Week 17 waiver wire pickups, or free agents to consider adding to your fantasy football teams. Only you know how aggressive you'll need to be with FAAB given your leaguemates, so use the recommendations as a proportional springboard. I provide information on players that are owned in roughly 35% of Yahoo leagues or less so that you can make an educated decision about who to add to your squad. At this point, feel free to go to for broke with bids, the percentages are simply for comparative reference now.

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Running Backs - Week 17 Waiver Wire

Wayne Gallman (RB, NYG) - 10% owned (20% FAAB in PPR)

Gallman may have only rushed for 18 yards on 10 carries for Big Blue in a terrible 23-0 loss to Arizona in Week 16, but he still did enough to make value for PPR owners thanks to six catches on eight targets for 44 more yards. Orleans Darkwa only touched the ball six times and Shane Vereen was ghosted as Paul Perkins tallied three carries, whereas Gallman has now totaled 24 targets over his last three games!

He hasn’t scored in any of those, yet he’s just so involved in an offense desperate for weapons with a QB who is constantly under pressure and needing to dump it off to his RB. Gallman should continue to be a steady PPR flex option thanks to this floor in Week 17 against Washington.

Mike Gillislee (RB, NE) - 31% owned (20% FAAB)

Gillislee had been a healthy scratch for the past six weeks but rewarded those savvy enough to start him in Week 16 with a touchdown against the Bills. Gilly ended up with just 28 yards and the score on six carries, though he did have a nice 15-yard reception on a screen pass. Rex Burkhead isn’t coming back next week, though James White returning would muddy things a bit. For now, Gillislee remains a solid flex play for Week 17 against a Jets team that could either give New England a fight or completely collapse -- allowing for plenty of ground-and-pound from Mikey G.

Kapri Bibbs (RB, WAS) - 6% owned (18% FAAB)

Unfortunately for Bibbs, Samaje Perine fought through his questionable tag and played in Week 16, albeit ineffectively. Perine would cobble together 74 yards alongside a lost fumble on 20 touches compared to Bibbs’ nine touches for 54 yards. Those of you who math will see that Bibbs’ 6.0 yards per touch outshine Perine’s 3.2 mark.

Normally, this lack of volume would be a death knell, but Perine picked up an Achilles injury in Week 16 and may not be available in Week 17 against the Giants. Banged and bruised, Samaje may sit or be very limited, allowing Bibbs to at least get a 50/50 split against a Giants run defense that has allowed top-10 numbers to RBs.

T.J. Yeldon (RB, JAC) - 11% owned (15% FAAB in PPR)

With Leonard Fournette mysteriously on the sidelines during a red-zone drive, it was Yeldon who punched in a rushing score alongside 13 yards on five totes. It was also Yeldon who corralled a lovely 7-of-10 targets for 64 receiving yards to lift any PPR owners who somehow started him (looking at you, 18-team leagues). With Jacksonville locked into their playoff seed, Fournette may sit or be limited come Week 17’s tilt with the Titans, making Yeldon the most appealing RB on the squad.

Tion Green (RB, DET) - 5% owned (15% FAAB)

Green delivered a solid 43 rushing yards and a touchdown on just seven carries, as he outplayed both Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah in Detroit’s rather embarrassing loss to Cincinnati. Green is certainly the bigger, power back compared to Riddick and Abdullah’s more agile profiles, which was no more apparent than when he went through a Bengal en route to his TD on Sunday.

The Lions are eliminated and may want to see what they’ve got in Green against a Packers squad that is realizing its own mortality, it seems. Just as Latavius Murray was the hammer for Minnesota on Saturday night against Green Bay, Green could fill a similar role and find the end zone again.

 

Wide Receivers - Week 17 Waiver Wire

Chris Godwin (WR, TB) - 1% owned (10% FAAB)

Godwin would end up with 98 yards on three catches, due in large part to his 70-yard catch-and-run on a tearing slant route. The rookie was taking the place of the injured DeSean Jackson, who seems unlikely to return in Week 17 against New Orleans with Tampa Bay not playing for anything. Mike Evans and Cameron Brate are still the leading options in the red zone, but it’s worth noting that Godwin was targeted in pay dirt (though he dropped it). With Evans drawing Marshon Lattimore’s shadow next week, Godwin could be a sneaky-solid play.

Roger Lewis (WR, NYG) - 1% owned (10% FAAB)

Lewis may not inspire anyone to move mountains, but he has seen double-digit targets in each of his last three games and may now be thrust into the leading WR role for the Giants with Sterling Shepard nursing a neck injury and Evan Engram with a rib injury. Of course, that could lead to a steady diet of Josh Norman in Week 17, but ideally, NYG would be wise enough to move Lewis around instead of relying on even less experienced WRs like Kalif Raymond or Hunter Sharp. Targets and volume rule the day, as anyone in 0.5 or full PPR leagues will want to at least block Lewis from desperate opponents should the Giants rest Shepard given his migraine history.

Jakeem Grant (WR, MIA) - 0% owned (5% FAAB)

Another big-time speedster, Grant used his wheels to separate on a huge 65-yard touchdown against Kansas City on Sunday. He ended up catching four balls for 107 yards and the score on six total targets, standing as a true WR1 on the week despite being the fourth WR on the depth chart.

Jay Cutler isn’t afraid to throw the deep ball and Grant has now hauled in a long TD in two of Miami’s past three games. A Week 17 spot against Buffalo isn’t ideal -- they’ve held sprinters like Tyreek Hill, T.Y. Hilton and Brandin Cooks to a combined 80 scoreless yards across the past four weeks -- but we know these throws are tough to connect on. Deep-league dart throwers could do worse.

Michael Clark (WR, GB) - 0% owned (5% FAAB)

With Green Bay’s season clearly on course for no playoffs, Davante Adams (concussion) will likely sit out and now Jordy Nelson (shoulder) will probably join him in a beanie instead of a helmet. While Geronimo Allison remains intriguing himself, he would see only three targets (catching one for nine yards) compared to Clark’s nine targets from Brett Hundley.

They were rather errant targets coming from Hundley’s cold hands on that frigid Saturday night, but Clark’s 6’6” frame helps give Brett a big target. Going against Detroit next week in the dome could give Clark a chance to display his talents heading into 2018 for the cheeseheads.

 

Tight Ends - Week 17 Waiver Wire

Antonio Gates (TE, LAC) - 22% owned (25% FAAB)

With Hunter Henry on the IR, Gates popped off against the Jets for a 6-81-1 line, which would make him the No. 1 TE for the championship week pending Monday’s action. He’s been used sparingly so we certainly aren’t worried about conditioning heading into a matchup with Oakland’s shoddy defense to close out the 2017 regular season. Through 14 games, the Raiders D has allowed a tight end to top 70 yards six times and yield the seventh-most fantasy points to the position. Gates is a red-zone favorite of Rivers and will be a TE1 in Week 17.

George Kittle (TE, SF) - 3% owned (5% FAAB)

Kittle caught all three of his Jimmy Garoppolo targets for 42 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against Jacksonville, as we need to recognize this 49ers offense as legitimate. It might be infuriating to yo-yo between Kittle and Garrett Celek, though Kittle is much more athletic and should be used on routes while Celek blocks more (as they did here). Kittle ran a 4.52 40-yard dash compared to Celek’s 4.77 time, though both will have their moments regardless.

San Fran just demolished a Jaguars defense that had hopes for the history books and could end their season on an even higher note with a win over the NFC West-champion Rams in Week 17. The Rams would lose the third seed with a loss and a Saints victory, so there shouldn’t be any giving up here. Kittle could get another chance to shine before the season’s up, and deep-leaguers shouldn’t miss the boat.

Rhett Ellison (RB/TE, NYG) - 0% owned (3% FAAB)

Ellison features a lovely RB/TE hybrid tag on Yahoo, though no one would burn a running back slot on him, it’s still fun. With Evan Engram leaving Week 16’s game early with a rib injury, Ellison ended up with four catches for 60 yards on seven targets against Arizona. The Giants have nothing to play for except pride and stat-padding in Week 17 against Washington, but that could be enough to make Ellison a worthy streamer if Engram cannot go. Washington entered Week 16 having given up the third-most fantasy points to TEs this season and Ellison’s versatility and size could make him their guy toward the red zone.

 

Quarterbacks - Week 17 Streamers

Preferred streamer order (<50% owned guys): Jimmy Garoppolo @LAR (29% owned), Nick Foles vs. DAL (50% owned), Tyrod Taylor @MIA (39% owned), Joe Flacco vs. CIN (21% owned), Jacoby Brissett vs. HOU (13% owned), Jay Cutler vs. BUF (15% owned), T.J. Yates @IND (1% owned), Brett Hundley @DET (8% owned), Andy Dalton @BAL (49% owned).

*Let it be known that Jimmy Garoppolo is basically a demi-god, at the very least, and while I'm sure he will eventually lose a game, I really can't guarantee that it comes before the year 2030. In all seriousness, Jimmy G is playing on a different level right now and I'm not sure if Jacksonville was simply not taking San Fran seriously or what, but the Jags are a defensive unit that just a week ago was on pace to become the first team since the AFL-NFL merger to lead the league in sacks, takeaways and points allowed. They managed one sack and one interception, but allowed a season-high 38 points (we won't count the pick six, of course) as Garoppolo marches toward another likely shootout with the Rams' potent offense in Week 17. He'll be in my top 12 next week as a legit QB1, especially with the run game still very inconsistent.

 

Early Defensive Streaming Candidates

  • WAS (@NYG) - 39% owned
  • HOU (@IND) - 49% owned
  • BUF (@MIA) - 26% owned

 

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Analysis


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!