Week 17 Waiver Wire


We hope you're enjoying this old content for FREE. You can view more current content marked with a FREE banner, but you'll have to sign up in order to access our other articles and content!

Week 17 Waiver Wire

Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Our favorite players are broken down in Top Targets and the best secondary options are in our Going Deeper sections. We’ll also list any players at the top of each position who are above the 50% threshold — or are household names — and are still widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.

Be sure to check out our weekly Waiver Wire podcast and our Waiver Wire Livestream for more analysis. We’ll also have Streaming articles every Tuesday that will focus on the top quarterbacks, tight ends, and defenses for the upcoming week(s).

Note: The initial Waiver Wire article writeup will be posted every Monday night, followed by in-depth updates Tuesday, and continued additions/updates Wednesday.


Higher-owned Options

Baker Mayfield (Cle, 54%), Kirk Cousins (Min, 56%)

Top Targets

None of note.

Going Deeper

Mitchell Trubisky (Chi, 17%) — The Bears control their playoff destiny with a showdown looming against the Packers, and Trubisky is playing well enough to give this offense a fighting chance. He completed 24/35 passes for 265 yards, two TDs, and one INT against the Jaguars in Week 16, and he added 2/10/1 rushing for 24.6 FP. Trubisky is now 6-2 as a starter this season, and he’s squarely in the mid-QB2 range this week even with a tough matchup with Green Bay looming this week. He did put up a solid 242/3 against them back in Week 12, but he did have 2 INTs. He does continue to make 1-2 bad decisions for a turnover a week, so he has some downside this week.

Philip Rivers (Ind, 40%) — Rivers has been trending down in the last three weeks with Jonathan Taylor commanding touches and scoring touchdowns in recent weeks. He had his worst fantasy performance last week since Week 9 as he completed 22/35 passes for 270 yards and one TD for 12.8 FP against the Steelers. However, the Colts should have plenty of scoring opportunities this week against a Jaguars defense that’s given up 40+ points in consecutive games, so Rivers has a great chance to throw for multiple scores for the sixth time in his last seven games. Just check on his toe and his practice schedule this week; he missed the first day on Wednesday with the lingering injury. UPDATED: 12/30

Derek Carr (LV, 39%) — Carr somewhat surprisingly played in Week 16 just nine days after his severe-looking groin injury against the Chargers. He completed 21/34 passes for 336 yards and one touchdown against the Dolphins, with his big completion coming on a 85-yard strike to Nelson Agholor. Carr also has a smoking hot Darren Waller at his disposal so he’ll be in the mid-QB2 tier this week against a decimated Broncos secondary.

Teddy Bridgewater (Car, 31%) — Bridgewater has just two TD passes in his last four games, but he’s at least supplemented his passing with a little running with four rushing TDs in his last six games. Teddy completed 19/28 passes for 197 yards, one TD, and INT in a victory over the Football Team in Week 16. Bridgewater is a viable QB2 option even in a tough matchup against the Saints this week. He did well in the first meeting, as well.

Andy Dalton (Dal, 13%) — Dalton and the Cowboys offense has found their footing in the last three weeks with 30+ points in three consecutive victories. He completed 22/30 passes for 377 yards, three TDs, and one INT against the Eagles in Week 16, which gives him multiple TD passes in four straight games in the month of December. The Cowboys are fighting for their playoff lives this week, and Dalton will be a mid-QB2 as he draws a tougher matchup against the Giants in NJ.

Drew Lock (Den, 12%) — Lock has fallen below 17 FP in five of his last six games, but he has an outside shot at fantasy relevance this week going against a bad Raiders defense. He completed 24/47 passes for 264 yards (5.6 YPA) and two INTs against the Chargers, but he posted 5/15/1 rushing to post 16.1 FP. Lock is a low-end QB2 option this week only because of this great matchup against the Raiders.

Alex Smith (Was, 5%) — Smith will return to the lineup this week after the organization took an extra precautious approach last week and held him out against the Panthers. Washington released Dwayne Haskins on Dec. 28, which signaled that Smith will be ready to play against a decimated Eagles secondary this week. Philly has allowed four straight quarterbacks to post 20+ FP against them, including Andy Dalton’s 27.6 performance (377/3 passing) in Week 16. Smith’s been slow to return with his calf injury, so make sure he’s working late in the week and check his projections/ranking before using himm. UPDATED: 12/30

CJ Beathard (SF, 1%) — The 49ers activated Jimmy Garoppolo on Dec. 22, but he wasn’t ready to play last week and won’t play this week. Beathard played well in Week 16. He completed 13/22 passes for 182 yards and three TDs and he added 3/18 rushing in their upset victory over the Cardinals in Week 16. Beathard, who will give you 1-2 points with his legs (or more), is a low-end QB2 in a matchup against an improving Seahawks defense this week. He will not have Brandon Aiyuk, which does hurt. UPDATED: 12/30

Daniel Jones (NYG, 24%) — The Giants have a beatable matchup with the Cowboys this week, which makes Jones viable as a low-end QB2. He’s only a desperation option in Week 17 since he’s run for three yards in his last two games because of hamstring and ankle injuries, but there’s a chance he’ll be moving a little better this week after making it all the way through Week 16 against the Ravens.

Running Backs

Higher-owned Options

Jeff Wilson (SF, 60%), Zack Moss (Buf, 54%), Latavius Murray (NO, 62%)

Top Targets

Malcolm Brown (LAR, 19%) — The Rams went from having three viable RBs just two weeks ago to having only a healthy Brown in their backfield for their Week 17 matchup with the Cardinals. Cam Akers missed Week 16 with a high-ankle injury and Henderson suffered a similar injury to Akers with his own high-ankle injury against the Seahawks. Henderson is on IR, and we’ll see about Akers, who has a chance to play. But most likely, Brown will be the bell cow back in the Rams backfield this week with just Xavier Jones behind him so he has a path to be a high-end RB2 this week with 20+ touches. Arizona got run all over last week by Jeff Wilson and the 49er and they give up 5.2 YPC to RBs the last four weeks, so it’s a solid spot. There is a chance Brown will be joined by Cam Akers in the lineup this week, so check our projections all week for both players for the latest. UPDATED: 12/30

Going Deeper

Gus Edwards (Bal, 40%) — The Ravens have made Mark Ingram (who is ill this week) a healthy scratch the last two weeks, which has paved the way for J.K. Dobbins and Edwards to dominate the work in the backfield. He’s totaled 24/127 rushing and 4/73 receiving for 25.0 FP in the last two weeks since Ingram has been a healthy scratch. He played a solid 50% of the snaps in Week 16. Edwards should be good for double-digit touches once again this week with the Ravens’ offense starting to peak in the final weeks of the season. The Ravens will be big road favorites against the Bengals so he should get a healthy serving of carries this week as a fringe RB2/3 option.

Dare Ogunbowale (Jax, 8%) — James Robinson has been dealing with a knee injury in recent weeks before he left their Week 15 blowout loss early with an ankle issue. He is out again in the finale against the Colts. We learned last week that Ogunbowale, who played a healthy 71% of the snaps in Week 16, is well ahead of Devine Ozigbo. Ogunbowale flashed for sure and posted 14/71 rushing and 3/7 receiving on five targets against the Bears while Ozigbo mustered just 1/1 rushing and 1/3 receiving. Ogunbowale would be fringe RB2/3 against the Colts this week if Robinson misses once again this week. UPDATED: 12/30

Ty Johnson (NYJ, 16%) — La’Mical Perine is on the covid list, so we’ll assume he’s out. Frank Gore is on IR, which leaves the versatile Johnson with a large role along with early-down plodder Josh Adams. They also have a practice squad RB who could also get a call up. Johnson is the guy to have and by a wide margin. Perine only outsnaped Johnson 19-to-18 in Week 16, so Johnson was still playing a lot. He’s a threat for 15+ opportunities and 12+ FP in Week 17. UPDATED: 12/30

Darwin Thompson (KC, 0%) — The Chiefs have nothing to play for in Week 17 after wrapping up the top seed in the AFC playoffs with their victory over the Falcons last week. HC Andy Reid will likely look to rest his top remaining RBs in Le’Veon Bell and Darrel Williams, which means Thompson should see the most work of his young career against the Chargers this week. Playing any Chiefs players is a major gamble this week, but Thompson should have a path to double-digit touches this week if you’re desperate for RB help.

Anthony McFarland (Pit, 3%) — The Steelers are locked into the second or the third seed in the AFC playoffs after their victory over the Colts in Week 16. HC Mike Tomlin revealed on 12/29 that the Steelers will elect to rest its key starters this week with minimal benefits to be gained this season between the two seeds (no bye week/no home-crowd advantage). They could use this week as an opportunity to scout the rookie McFarland as a feature back if the organization does in fact decide to rest their starters against the Browns. McFarland is on the injury report this week, though, so check our projections all week, UPDATED: 12/30

A.J. Dillon (GB, 8%) — Aaron Jones took a hit to his hip early in the second quarter in Week 16, which ended up limiting his snaps the rest of the game. Jones ended up with only 12 touches for 108 total yards against the Titans as he ceded 22 touches to the second-round pick Dillon, who turned his opportunities into 129/2 scrimmage on 58% of the snaps. There’s a good chance Jones shows up on the injury report this week, but he’ll likely try to play against the Bears with the Packers looking to lock up the NFC’s top seed. We also need to see about Jamaal Williams’ status with his quad injury after he failed to practice last week. Dillon projects to have some sort of role in this backfield in Week 17, and he would be a high-end RB2 if Jones and Williams miss this week. Jones’ owners would be wise to handcuff their stud RB with Dillon this week. Williams, though, was limited in practice early in the week, which is a good sign he’ll play. That does put Dillon’s potential in serious question. UPDATED: 12/30

Sony Michel (NE, 19%) — Damien Harris missed Weeks 15-16 with an ankle injury, which opened the door for Michel’s first major action since Week 3. He posted 10/74 rushing and he caught his only target for eight yards against the Dolphins while playing on 42% of the snaps in Week 15. In Week 16, he played only 19 snaps or 38%, but did get a decent 10/69 rushing, and he’s actually looked good lately. Michel would be a viable but uninspiring RB3 option against the Jets this week if Harris misses once again. UPDATED: 12/29

Samaje Perine (Cin, 2%) — Chasing Perine’s production from Week 16 will probably be a fool’s errand this week against the Ravens, but we feel obligated to mention him after his huge performance against a terrible Texans defense. He posted 13/95/2 rushing and 4/41 receiving for 29.6 FP. Giovani Bernard is still the top option in this backfield but Perine, who played a solid 38% of the snaps in Week 16 (if felt like more) has a chance to get double-digit touches this week for those who are truly desperate this week.

Wide Receivers

Higher-owned Options

Emmanuel Sanders (NO, 61%), Nelson Agholor (LV, 51%), Curtis Samuel (Car, 60%), Mike Williams (LAC, 63%), Christian Kirk (Ari, 55%), Keke Coutee (Hou, 45%)

Top Targets

Michael Gallup (Dal, 44%) — Gallup is heating up over the last month with four touchdowns in his last four games after going for 6/121/2 receiving on eight targets against the Eagles in Week 16. Gallup’s connection with Andy Dalton is heating up heading into Week 17, and he could get a little extra love this week if James Bradberry gives extra attention to Amari Cooper so Gallup is back in the low-end WR3 conversation.

Sterling Shepard (NYG, 44%) — Shepard has a pulse again with Daniel Jones back in the lineup after posting 9/77/1 receiving on 12 targets in their blowout loss to the Ravens in Week 16. Shepard has 6+ catches and 10+ FP in each of his last six full games with Jones in the lineup. You can play him with some confidence as a high-end WR3 in the season finale in a beautiful matchup against the Cowboys. He’s the #1 receiver here for Big Blue.

Rashard Higgins (Cle, 23%) — It took a little bit of time after Odell Beckham’s season-ending injury, but Higgins has clearly emerged as the top perimeter WR for a scorching hot Baker Mayfield. Unfortunately, Higgins landed on the COVID-19 list as a high-risk close contact to bring his momentum to a halt in Week 16. Barring a positive test, Higgins should return this week for a matchup with the Steelers in Week 17. He has 68+ yards and 11+ FP in three straight games as the #2 option behind Jarvis Landry. Higgins will be a low-end WR3 option this week, and it helps that Mayfield has attempted 32+ passes in four straight games after failing to hit that mark in six straight games in Weeks 6-12. It’s a must-win for the Browns, so they may take to the air against their stingy run defense by design or necessity. Pittsburgh may also rest some guys or will at least have less motivation than usual. He’s expected to come off the covid list on Thursday. UPDATED: 12/30

Going Deeper

A.J. Green (Cin, 37%) — He’s been good for 10+ FP in three straight with two 7-target games in his last three, including 4/64 on 7 looks in Week 16. Brandon Allen gives this passing game a real chance and the Ravens have given up a ton of catches per game to WRs the last four weeks and in the second half of the season. If Tyler Boyd is out again, that would help.

Josh Reynolds (Cin, 6%) — With Cooper Kupp landing on the Covid list on 12/29, they will need the veteran Reynolds to take on a larger role with rookie Van Jefferson also moving up a notch in the pecking order. Reynolds has been quiet for much of December, but he did have 10 targets and 6/65 last week with 1 rushing attempt for 6. From Weeks 3-12, Reynolds had between 4-10 targets a game, so he was pretty active for the Rams for most of this season. Kupp is out, so Reynolds will see the field a lot, but without Jared Goff at QB, keep in mind. UPDATED: 12/29

James Washington (Pit, 5%) — The Steelers are locked into the second or the third seed in the AFC playoffs after their victory over the Colts in Week 16. Pittsburgh will elect to rest its key starters this week with no extra benefits to be gained this season between the two seeds (bye week or a crowd advantage). The Steelers’ starters could use some rest since they haven’t had any uninterrupted period of rest this season with their “bye week” getting moved up to Week 4 because of Tennessee’s COVID-19 outbreak. Washington and Ray Ray McCloud could operate as the team’s top receivers against the Browns. UPDATED: 12/29

{Laviska Shenault (Jax, 16%) — Shenault is trending back in the right direction as he heads toward his first off-season as a prop. He’s posted 9+ FP in four straight games after recording 5/48/1 receiving on seven targets against the Bears in Week 16 with a healthy 87% of the snaps. The rookie has 5+ catches in the three straight games but he hasn’t topped 50+ receiving yards in any of those contests. The Jaguars don’t have an easy matchup against the Colts this week, but at least Collin Johnson (hamstring) may be out of the picture once again this week.

{Zach Pascal|WR|IND}} (Ind, 5%) — Rookie Michael Pittman has been awfully quiet for the last month, which has given Pascal a chance to emerge a bit in the last two weeks. He’s seen exactly six targets in each of his last two games, which he’s turned into 8/163/3 receiving against the Texans and the Steelers. The Colts get a great matchup with a Jaguars defense that’s given up 40+ points in consecutive games so there’s a chance Pascal can keep his scoring streak alive. Pittman is still questionable with a concussion, and if he’s out, Pascal would be a great Week 17 play, UPDATED: 12/30

Byron Pringle (KC, 0%) and Gehrig Dieter (KC, 0%) — The Chiefs have nothing to play for in Week 17 after wrapping up the top seed in the AFC playoffs with their victory over the Falcons last week. HC Andy Reid will likely look to rest his top WRs in Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson this week, which means Pringle and Dieter should be the top receiving options for backup QB Chad Henne. Playing any Chiefs players is a major gamble this week, but Pringle and Dieter should get some targets this week if you’re desperate for WR help.

{Gabriel Davis (Buf, 9%) — At this point, with little to play for, the Bills may opt to keep John Brown out of action until the playoffs. We shall see, though, because Cole Beasley is hurt and likely out. Davis could be the main guy if the Bills decided to rest their starters in Week 17 with Buffalo locked into the second or the third seed. This is a situation to monitor this week and it could be one to avoid altogether if the Bills are unclear about their intentions for Week 17, but the rookie Davis makes the most sense as a play, if there is one. UPDATED: 12/29

{Russell Gage|WR|ATL}} (Atl, 38%) — Julio Jones has been dealing with a hamstring injury for most of the season and it’s looking like he won’t suit up again this season. Gage had a three-game run with 15+ FP with Julio out of the lineup in Weeks 13-15 before he came up small with 4/23 receiving on five targets against the Chiefs in Week 16. Gage is still averaging 7.8 targets per game over his last six contests if you’re looking for an active WR4 with a solid floor for PPR formats against the Buccaneers this week.

Jakobi Meyers (NE, 31%) — Meyers has been the top option for Cam Newton since the middle of the season as he’s reached 45+ receiving yards in 8 of his last 10, including Week 16, when he put up 4/45 on 6 targets. Meyers is tough to completely trust as WR4 since he’s anchored to Cam, who will apparently start again in the finale. But at least he gets a good matchup with the Jets in the season finale. If Cam’s awful, he may get pulled for Jared Stidham, at least, as he did in Week 16. Stidham wasn’t any better, but there’s some hope not being 10% tied to Cam. UPDATED: 12/29

Cam Sims (Was, 1%) — Terry McLaurin will do everything he can to play after they gave him a week to rest an ankle injury that’s been hindering him for the last month. Sims would be on the radar again in the season finale if McLaurin isn’t quite ready to play against the Eagles. Sims led Washington’s WRs with nine targets (19.1% share) in Week 16 with 100% of the snaps against the Panthers, which he turned 3/63 receiving. Alex Smith (calf) will likely return next week to help this passing attack, but Sims is only a dart-throw option if McLaurin rests again.

Lynn Bowden (Mia, 23%) — Bowden has dual eligibility as a WR/RB on Yahoo, and he was a viable fantasy option in Weeks 13-15 before flopping in Week 16 with just 2/8 receiving with an eight-yard carry. He did play on 92% of the snaps and Jakeem Grant picked up a high-ankle injury in Week 16, which will keep him out of the season finale. DeVante Parker (hamstring) has also struggled to get back on the field, giving Bowden some hope for a bounce-back performance against the Bills in Week 17 if you’re looking for a floor play in deeper PPR formats. They do have Issiah Ford in the mix in the slot, though, and he had 4/37 on 5 targets last week.

Tight Ends

Higher-owned Options

Austin Hooper (Cle, 61%), Hayden Hurst (Atl, 62%), Tyler Higbee (LAR, 51%)

Top Targets

Irv Smith (Min, 15%) — Smith will once again be a streaming option this week with Kyle Rudolph (foot, IR) unable to play in Week 17. It’s a beautiful matchup against the Lions, who just gave up two TDs to Rob Gronkowski. ISJ posted 6/53/2 receiving on nine targets against the Saints last week, which gives him three TDs in his last three games and he dropped an easy fourth TD in that span. Tyler Conklin has also been pretty involved during Rudolph’s absence, but Irv loves the red zone action this year, and he’s actually tied for sixth in the league at TE with 5 TDs. UPDATED: 12/29

Zach Ertz (Phi, 54%) — Ertz is back on the radar this week after Dallas Goedert picked up a calf injury last week and he never returned to the game. Ertz has seen seven targets in each of his last two games, and he’s turned those looking into 5/102 receiving against the Cardinals and the Cowboys. The Eagles have nothing to play for against the Football Team in the season finale so there’s a chance the Eagles let Goedert rest, which gives Ertz a low-end TE1 path in PPR formats.

Going Deeper

Jordan Akins (Hou, 4%) — Akins is impossible to trust since he’s mostly failed to deliver with increased opportunities since Will Fuller went down for the season with his suspension. He’s finally delivered on his targets in the last two weeks with 9/89 receiving on 10 targets against the Colts and the Bengals. Akins has a chance to keep his momentum going in a good matchup with the Titans in Week 17.

Dan Arnold (Ari, 2%) — Arnold is obviously a low-end option, but he does have four touchdowns in his last six games as he heads into a matchup against the Rams. He disappointed a bit with just 3/25 receiving on five targets against the 49ers in Week 16, but he just missed a long reception on a shot play, which would’ve given him double-digit FP. Arnold is a big-play threat in the middle of the field and Murray is looking for him in the red zone as well, so he’s a threat to turn his few looks into 7+ FP as he has in five of his last eight games.

Stephen Anderson (LAC, 0%) — Donald Parham was the popular DFS play for the Chargers with Hunter Henry landing on the COVID-19 list last week, but it was the former Texan Anderson who finished second in targets against the Broncos. Anderson posted 4/48 receiving on six targets (18.2% share) while Parham finished with 2/47 on three targets. There’s a good chance we’ve seen the last of Henry this season so Anderson could be worth a dart throw in a good matchup against the Raiders this week.

Chris Herndon (NYJ, 12%) — Herndon lost all confidence in himself after missing all of his second season, but he’s finally starting to show glimpses of his rookie form from back in 2018. Herndon scored his second TD of the season against the Browns on his way to 4/34/1 receiving on four targets. He’s now posted 7+ FP in consecutive games if you’re looking for some help on the low end in a matchup with the Patriots this week.

Place Kickers

Higher-owned Options

Justin Tucker (Bal, 99%) Wil Lutz (NO, 93%)

Top Targets

Jason Sanders (Mia, 80%) - Sanders converted on four field-goal attempts in Week 16. It marked the fourth time this year he has nailed four or more field goals in a game. Sanders has multiple field goals in seven of his last eight games and in ten of his fifteen outings this year. With a playoff game on the line against division rival Buffalo, Sanders could make it eleven times he has converted multiple field goals in a game.

Jason Myers (Sea, 65%) - In his first five games of 2020, Myers converted on just two field goals. Since Week 6, he has converted on multiple field goals in six of his eight outings. Playing San Francisco indoors in Arizona should help him in the season finale. Keep in mind, Myers has not missed on 22 attempts this year and 20 attempts in his last ten games.

Daniel Carlson (LV, 56%) - Carlson has converted multiple field goals in all but three of his fifteen games this year. He has multiple field goals converted in three straight outings. In his first outing against the Broncos back in Week 10, Carlson nailed three field goals (one from 52 yards) and four extra points. The only negative could be the weather in the Mile High City.

Going Deeper

Dan Bailey (Min, 31%) - Bailey has missed too many field goals and extra points lately (four of each in his last four games combined). Thus, he is a risky play. Still, we would be remiss if we did not point out that Bailey has attempted multiple field goals in five of his last seven games and in eight of his fifteen outings this year. The missed field goals and extra points are a main reason most fantasy owners will shy away from him, but he could attempt two or even three field goals in the season finale.

Sam Ficken (NYJ, 0%) - What are we doing with the Jets [place kicker on the waiver wire list? Well, consider this. Ficken has attempted multiple field goals in back-to-back games. As long as the weather is not a factor in Foxboro this week, Ficken could extend his multiple field goal streak to three consecutive outings.

Defense/Special Teams

Higher-owned Options

Buccaneers (TB, 51%)

Top Targets

Patriots (NE, 45%) — Look, it’s been exciting watching the Jets stun the opposition two weeks in a row, and we’re not saying they can’t win again this week. This is just a reminder that the Jets still managed just 23 points on offense and needed a lot of luck two weeks in a row to do even that. It’s rare the Jets cross the 20-point margin, and it’s rare that Bill Belichick’s defense gives up back-breaking points. The Patriots are also snagging more than an INT per game, and are less likely to be fooled by the trick plays they embarrassed Cleveland with. Despite their two-game win streak, the Jets are still a great target for D streamers.

Going Deeper

Football Team (Was, 41%) — It doesn’t seem to matter who their QB is, this defense comes to play every week. They racked up another 4 sacks last week (and an INT and FR) while allowing just 14 points. They now have 48 sacks on the season and have allowed fewer than 20 points nine times. They’ll close their season out with the most-sacked team in the NFL. The pedestrian Dallas defense just sacked Jalen Hurts 3 times (he’s been sacked 9 times in two games) and allowed just 17 points.