Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 17 (Fantasy Football)

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Congratulations on making it to your fantasy football championship if you survived Week 16. There were several “opposite day” games that were nowhere near where they should have been if you looked at their pregame numbers. Let’s hope this week goes smoothly and you can lock up the victory in your leagues.

If you need some help with your lineup before the big game, below is a list of potentially available players to consider targeting in your league(s).

Wide Receivers

Team Player Roster % Matchups
WAS Jahan Dotson 67% CLE / DAL
NYG Isaiah Hodgins 7% IND / @PHI
DAL Michael Gallup 81% @TEN / @WAS
NO Rashid Shaheed 4% @PHI / CAR
NE Jakobi Meyers 49% MIA / @BUF
TB Russell Gage 32% CAR / @ATL
GB Romeo Doubs 51% MIN / DET
ARI Greg Dortch 11% @ATL / @SF
NYG Richie James 37% IND / @PHI
IND Parris Campbell 65% @NYG / HOU
BAL Demarcus Robinson 52% PIT / @CIN

Christian Watson’s hip injury is concerning since he is considered day-to-day. Hopefully, you have a replacement for the deep-threat rookie for Week 17. If not, the options on the waiver wire are slim. If Jahan Dotson is somehow available, he is the number one wide receiver to pick up for the championship. He has scored double-digit fantasy points in half-PPR scoring in all three of his last three games, including a season-high 18.5 in Week 15 against the Giants. The Commanders will take on the Cleveland Browns this week who have allowed three touchdowns on 33 receptions and 409 yards over the last four weeks.

The next option is more widely available. Isaiah Hodgins had his best game of the season last week against the Minnesota Vikings with eight receptions on 11 targets for 89 yards and a touchdown. The Giants are facing the beleaguered Indianapolis Colts at home who are last in the NFL against wide receivers over the last four weeks. They have allowed 53 receptions, 626 yards, and six touchdowns to the position during that time. Hodgins will be splitting work with Darius Slayton, but that didn’t stop him in Week 16 and it shouldn’t be an issue this week.

Running Backs

Team Player Roster % Matchups
LAR Cam Akers 83% @LAC / @SEA
ATL Tyler Allgeier 70% ARI / TB
BUF James Cook 79% @CIN / NE
BAL Gus Edwards 71% PIT / @CIN
IND Deon Jackson 19% @NYG / HOU
IND Zack Moss 12% @NYG / HOU
DEN Marlon Mack 19% @KC / LAC
LAC Joshua Kelley 14% LAR / @DEN
HOU Royce Freeman 0% JAX / @IND
TEN Hassan Haskins 11% DAL / @JAX

I suppose Cam Akers is officially back. He is also the most rostered in sleeper leagues from the Ballers’ waiver wire rankings. His matchup this week is juicy against the Chargers and should be considered a flex option if he is available to snag off of waivers.

More likely, you are looking at Deon Jackson or Zack Moss as potential options if you need help at the running back position. With Jonathan Taylor out for the remainder of the year, the work now falls to these two for the Colts. In their blowout loss to the Chargers, Moss carried the ball, and Jackson was strictly involved in the passing game. Either way, the showings were bad for both players. At least with Moss, you have the volume on the ground, but even that isn’t much to write home about. If you have to rely on Moss, make sure you have a high-upside player to help compensate for the low floor that Moss brings.

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Tight Ends

Team Player Roster % Matchups
JAX Evan Engram 76% @HOU / TEN
NO Taysom Hill 63% @PHI / CAR
LAR Tyler Higbee 75% @LAC / @SEA
CHI Cole Kmet 76% @DET / MIN
SEA Noah Fant 44% NYJ / LAR
NYJ Tyler Conklin 43% @SEA / @MIA

It should go without saying that Evan Engram, Taysom Hill, and evidently now Tyler Higbee should be picked up if they are on your waiver wire. They are 63% rostered and higher, but you never know unless you check.

Aside from those three, Noah Fant and Tyler Conklin are more likely to be available if you need a tight end for Week 17. Out of the two, Fant has a much better matchup facing the New York Jets. Fant’s ceiling isn’t outrageously high, but he can get it done if Geno Smith looks his way in the red zone. The Jets give him the best opportunity for that having allowed 21 receptions on 28 targets for 283 yards and two touchdowns over the last four weeks.

On the other side of the ball in that same matchup is Tyler Conklin. Hopefully, Mike White will be able to return for the Jets and they will move on from the Zack Wilson experiment. The Seahawks are 24th-worst against tight ends over the last four weeks. The problem is that Conklin is not reliable at the position in terms of fantasy scoring. After his big game in Week 8 against New England, Conklin has been all but absent. He scored 6.5 points or fewer since then despite seeing as many as eight targets.

Fant has the better matchup and track record if you need some help this week and Engram, Hill, and Higbee are unavailable.

Team DEF/ST

Team Roster % Matchups
Kansas City Chiefs 46% DEN / @LV
Jacksonville Jaguars 5% @HOU / TEN
Los Angeles Chargers 19% LAR / @DEN
New York Giants 15% IND / @PHI
Arizona Cardinals 25% @ATL / @SF

Quarterbacks

Team Player Roster % Matchups
DET Jared Goff 34% CHI / @GB
JAX Trevor Lawrence 40% @HOU / TEN
SF Brock Purdy 6% @LV / ARI
PHI Gardner Minshew 10% NO / NYG
LAR Baker Mayfield 22% @LAC / @SEA
IND Nick Foles 4% @NYG / HOU

Good luck with your waiver claims!

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