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Week 17 Waiver Wire Pickups - Top Adds for Fantasy Football

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This year, Week 17 doesn't mark the end of the NFL regular season. It does signify the championship round in most fantasy football leagues, though. In what can only be deemed typical for 2021, several high-profile players sat out the past weekend due to COVID and wreaked havoc on fantasy lineups. The coming week is sure to have similar surprises in store.

As much as you hate to rely on the waiver wire this late in the season, making the right move will determine countless championships. Just one look at the teams who picked up Justin Jackson or Byron Pringle is convincing enough. The players listed below have potential to make a positive impact in fantasy lineups and are widely available entering the coming week.

All rostered percentages are taken from Yahoo and players are listed in descending order, not in order of priority. Only players who are rostered in approximately 40% or fewer leagues are considered.

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Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles - 16% rostered

Lead back Miles Sanders suffered another injury in Week 16, this time it sounds as if it's a fractured hand that could keep him out the remainder of the regular season. Howard also left the game for a time, resulting in a Boston Scott touchdown, but it was deemed a stinger. Howard would seem to be on track to play next week but he has had his own share of injuries and just returned from a knee issue that kept him out of Weeks 12 & 13. This backfield will be a committee no matter who suits up so Howard isn't the type of player you want to rely on, but there could still be enough opportunity to make him a Flex play if Sanders is out. Howard is averaging 5.2 yards per carry on the year and will face a depleted Washington defense that was just humiliated on national TV.

Rex Burkhead, Houston Texans - 12% rostered

Let's be honest, we all wish we had picked up and started Burkhead for Week 16. Nobody did because he hadn't topped 41 yards on the ground all season and had scored just once. Naturally, he was among the top-scoring RBs of the week in an upset win over the Chargers. A repeat is unlikely when they travel to the Bay to face a San Fran defense that is at least middle of the pack against RBs, not bottom-five like the Chargers. Burkhead is best left as a fill-in if needed for standard leagues since his main appeal this coming week will be touchdown upside.

Jaret Patterson, Washington Football Team - 8% rostered

All week we heard about the state of Antonio Gibson's toe and fears that he might miss the showdown with Dallas with a questionable tag. He started the game and looked fine health-wise, especially on his touchdown reception early on. It was game script that held Gibson to six carries on the night and allowed his rookie backup to lead the team with nine carries and 33 rushing yards on the night. It doesn't speak well of the offense when that's the case but this team is struggling as the year comes to a close. If the team chooses to give their rookies an extended look and rests Gibson in Week 17, then Patterson could benefit. Keep a close eye on beat reports out of D.C. this week.

Derrick Gore, Kansas City Chiefs - 2% rostered

Once again, the 27-year-old undrafted free agent out of Louisiana-Monroe emerges from obscurity to post a meaningful statline. Gore wound up with 104 total yards and led the team with 12 rush attempts in Week 16 as they demolished Pittsburgh. Much of Gore's usage came after Clyde Edwards-Helaire left in the second quarter with a collarbone injury. If MRI results reveal a fracture or something significant enough to sideline CEH, then Gore becomes an intriguing streaming option against the Bengals.

Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1% rostered

Vaughn has been the butt of many jokes in the dynasty community for a while but he still has a path to relevance in fantasy football. He showed that by taking advantage of his limited chances in Week 16, outrushing Ronald Jones 70-65 on 13 fewer carries. It's going to be Jones' backfield the next two weeks but Vaughn is a high-end backup who now looks like a must-add handcuff in case something happens to Jones.

Others to consider: Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (50% rostered); Tevin Coleman, New York Jets (18% rostered); D'Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns (16% rostered); Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles (15% rostered)

 

Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Elijah Moore, New York Jets - 55% rostered

Many redraft owners left Moore on the wire after assuming his season was over. He is set to return from IR (quadriceps) but now needs to clear COVID protocols before being activated for Week 17. There's a good chance that happens, making him a priority stash and streamer. He would immediately become the top target for Zach Wilson, which shouldn't deter you from Moore because he's proven to be QB-proof.

K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings - 34% rostered

Just as Adam Thielen returned from a two-week absence due to a high ankle sprain, he reaggravated it during the Rams game this past weekend. He returned but there is now legitimate concern whether he'll be able to suit up close to full strength in Week 17. Even with Thielen back in the lineup, Osborn had a solid game with five receptions, 68 yards, and a touchdown. He should see similar volume as the Vikings have another tough task when they travel to Lambeau Field in a must-win game against their hated rivals in Green Bay.

Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers - 24% rostered

Following the time-honored tradition of only one receiver between Lazard or Marquez Valdes-Scantling being productive, it was Lazard's turn as MVS was out due to COVID. Lazard only caught two passes for 45 yards but he hauled in his fifth touchdown catch of the season. The upcoming matchup almost begs for him to be started even if Valdes-Scantling returns, as the Vikings have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season.

Josh Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers - 5% rostered

The late-week addition of Mike Williams to the COVID/IR list meant a boost in snaps for Palmer in Week 16. He cashed in with a last-minute touchdown to compile 15 PPR points on the day. Palmer will have similar value in Week 17 because Williams' unvaccinated status should keep him out again. The matchup with Denver is far tougher but he remains a WR4 with upside.

Laquon Treadwell, Jacksonville Jaguars - 4% rostered

For those who haven't been paying close attention to the post-Meyer Jaguars, former first-round pick and castoff from multiple teams Laquon Treadwell is the leading receiver in Duuuval. Technically, Marvin Jones led the team in receiving this past week but coming into Week 16, Treadwell was averaging a team-high 4.5 receptions and 60 yards per game over the past four contests. Jones was averaging 3.5 receptions and 34.5 yards in that span. Like any Jaguar, the touchdown potential isn't high but he's providing a decent floor in full PPR leagues.

Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills - 1% rostered

How about 11 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown against New England? No, this is not Stefon Diggs' statline from Week 16 but slot receiver Isaiah Mckenzie, who only saw significant snaps because both Gabriel Davis and Cole Beasley were out with COVID (shocking). Mckenzie's target share alone makes him a must-add player but his dynamic run-after-catch ability gives him the ability to be so productive. With the Bills returning home to face the Falcons, it would be hard not to immediately insert him into a starting lineup after plucking him off waivers.

Zay Jones, Las Vegas Raiders - 1% rostered

Is Jones the new Renfrow? After a monstrous stretch by Renfrow between Weeks 12-14, he's turned back to Bruce Banner and allowed Jones to take the role as alpha receiver in Vegas. Over the past two games, Renfrow had just three receptions in each for 32 and 40 yards. Jones had six catches in each, for 67 and 50 yards respectively. It doesn't seem as if Darren Waller is ready to return soon with an IT band injury that is taking an unusually long time to heal. Jones hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1 but is a sneaky streamer against a Colts team that has allowed the third-most touchdowns to wide receivers on the season.

Others to consider: Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (37% rostered); Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens (36% rostered); T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (15% rostered); Braxton Berrios, New York Jets (1% rostered)

 

Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks - 36% rostered

Everett has come alive the past two games with 60 and 68 yards respectively on four receptions each game. That output included a touchdown in Week 16, his third in the last five games. With Detroit on the schedule next, Everett could jump into top-10 TE territory.

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears - 27% rostered

Will he score a touchdown this season? I wouldn't count on it, as his 10 red-zone targets on a lackluster passing offense aren't inspiring. Hell, we don't even know who Chicago's starting quarterback will be next week. We do know that Kmet is seeing a steady diet of targets with an average of 7.4 targets per game over the past five games. As long as Allen Robinson remains out, Kmet will be a solid PPR option.

Brevin Jordan, Houston Texans - 1% rostered

Looks like Houston might have something with Davis Mills now that he has some experience. Mills had a nice game even without Brandin Cooks in the lineup for Week 16 due to COVID. He's been finding fellow rookie Brevin Jordan regularly, who tied for the team lead with four receptions and came away with 56 yards.

John Bates, Washington Football Team - 1% rostered

Now that the team is no longer in the playoff hunt, they are taking a harder look at their rookie TE out of Boise State. John Bates scored a touchdown and finished second on the team in receiving yards with 45 on two receptions while Ricky Seals-Jones caught his only target for -4 yards. Bates doesn't have great appeal based on the state of his team offense but he gets a dream matchup for a tight end in Week 17. Philly has allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1% rostered

Instead of a guy like Kmet, who is fairly certain to get receptions and yards but not score, standard-league managers might opt for Brate. He scored his third touchdown of the year in Week 16 but chances are good for another score against the Jets next week. If Mike Evans returns, that would put a dent in those odds, but Tom Brady always likes to target tight ends in the end zone.

Others to consider: Foster Moreau, Las Vegas Raiders (22% rostered)

 

Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints - 41% rostered

We'll have to see if Hill clears COVID protocols in time for Week 17. If so, you've got a running quarterback with the type of floor you want in championship week. Hill hasn't been good as a passer since taking over as the starter this year, completing 55.7% of his passes with a 2-5 TD-INT rate. It doesn't matter - he's still finished as a top-five fantasy QB in two of the last three games due to his rushing production.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers - 38% rostered

This could go either way. Garoppolo put up 322 yards and a touchdown on Thursday night but was a bad real-life performance as he also threw two picks and was off throughout the second half in a blown game vs Tennessee. Now, the Niners are facing an uphill battle to make the playoffs and have to pull out a win against Houston. That may not be as easy as it sounds considering the Texans just thumped the Chargers and somehow scored 41 in Week 16. It's a great matchup on paper but trusting Garoppolo with you fantasy fortunes may require some small sacrifices to the fantasy gods.

Others to consider: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (41% rostered)

 

Team Defense (D/ST) - Waiver Wire Options to Pickup

Indianapolis Colts Defense - 55% rostered

A high-end defense that was dropped due to a poor Week 16 matchup, Indy is in a far better spot when they return home to take on the Raiders this coming week. As it stands, Indy is fifth in interceptions and have only allowed 33 total points in their current three-game winning streak as they move toward the postseason. The Raiders are still in contention and will fight tooth and nail to get a win, so this could be a close game but not a high-scoring one. The 17 points that Vegas put up against Denver is their highest total in the past four games. Since their Week 8 bye, they are averaging 17 points per game and have only gone over that mark once.

Chicago Bears Defense - 16% rostered

The Bears were blanked in the turnover department in Week 16 and sacked Russell Wilson just twice. No worries, they return home to face the Giants in Week 17. The duo of Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon combined for 118 passing yards and two interceptions, leading the team to a total of 192 yards. They only have 12 forced turnovers on the season, so if you're seeking high upside in that category, look elsewhere. If you need a safe option where limiting points scored matter, Chicago makes for the perfect streaming option.



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Kev Mahserejian (@RotoSurgeon) is joined by FTN Fantasy's Vlad Sedler (@RotoGut) to discuss 10 Bold Predictions for the 2022 fantasy football season. Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel SiriusXM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, Saturdays from 3-5 PM, and Sundays from 3-5 PM. You can also find new... Read More


matthew stafford fantasy football rankings NFL injury news DFS lineup picks

Is Matthew Stafford Injured for Fantasy Football? Will He Play In NFL Week 1?

It was a remarkable debut season for Matthew Stafford in 2021 with the Los Angeles Rams. After being traded to the Rams from the Detroit Lions, Stafford would lead Los Angeles to their first Super Bowl victory since the 1999 season. Entering the 2022 campaign, there are lofty expectations for the reigning champions and the... Read More


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Is Kenny Pickett Going to Start for the Steelers? Where Should I Draft Kenny Pickett?

Pittsburgh product Kenny Pickett was the only quarterback selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, finding his way to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 20 overall. The team certainly wasted no time finding someone it hopes can be its new franchise quarterback following veteran Ben Roethlisberger's retirement at the end of the... Read More


Alec Pierce - NFL Rookies Fantasy Football Rankings Draft Sleepers

Is Alec Pierce The Colts WR2? Where Should I Draft Alec Pierce?

Wide receiver Alec Pierce saw his stock grow significantly in the days leading up to the NFL Draft. Fans and analysts alike took greater notice of the Cincinnati prospect's aggressiveness, physicality, and strong playmaking skills. On Day 2 of the draft, the Indianapolis Colts pulled the trigger, making Pierce their second-round pick. Heading into 2022,... Read More


Treylon Burks - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers

NFL Rookies Most Likely to Make Fantasy Football Impacts (And Those Who Won't)

With the popularity of dynasty leagues growing and the fantasy impact of the last few rookie classes, fantasy managers seem to be flocking to NFL newbies at far higher rates than before. Our expectations increased, oftentimes to unrealistic levels. Guys like Ja’Marr Chase and Najee Harris have spoiled us. They were also drafted into picture-perfect... Read More


Allen Lazard - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Is Allen Lazard The Packers WR1? Where Should I Draft Lazard for Fantasy Football?

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard jumped to the top of the team's chart after losing Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling this offseason. The 26-year-old signed his second-round tender in June and is expected to be Aaron Rodgers' top target in 2022. He finished with career highs in receptions (40), receiving yards (513), and... Read More


Travis Etienne Jr. fantasy football rankings draft sleepers running backs

Will James Robinson or Travis Etienne Be The RB1 For The Jaguars?

With James Robinson suffering a torn Achilles deep into last season, it quickly became the expectation that a healthy Travis Etienne would be the Jaguars' RB1 this year. Miraculously, Robinson avoided entering training camp on the PUP list and is already taking some reps with the first-team offense. If he continues to progress and sees... Read More


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