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 for more analysis. We’ll also have Streaming articles every Tuesday that focuses 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 evening, followed by in-depth updates Tuesday, and continued additions/updates Wednesday.
Hansen’s Top-15 Options
Note: For these rankings, John Hansen leans on players who are available in at least 40-50% of Yahoo leagues and who also saw a favorable development for their fantasy values last week. Some players are better long-term pickups, and some are better for just this week or the short term.
- Marquez Callaway (NO, 26%) — He’s clearly the undisputed #1 WR now.
- Dare Ogunbowale (Jax, 34%) — I Dare you play without him in Week 17 if you need a RB. 15+ touches and paths to solid digits via TDs, catches, or both.
- Jaret Patterson (Was, 25%) — Upgrade him to the #1 spot if Antonio Gibson is out, since his TD and catches in Week 17 were encouraging.
- Kenneth Gainwell (Phi, 11%) — He could be the #1 RB if Boston Scott and Jordan Howard can’t get off Covid list.
- K.J. Osborn (Min, 41%) — Looking great if Kirk Cousins can play, and viable even if Kirk is out.
- Cyril Grayson (TB, 0%) — Tom Brady will want to get as many reps in with AB’s replacement.
- Braxton Berrios (NYJ, 7%) — Berrios balling has been inevitable for weeks now. Just accept it.
- Ke’Shawn Vaughn (TB, 1%) — Insert Le’Veon Bell here if Vaughn can’t play, obviously. But I’d rather take my chances on a banged up Vaughn over a washed up Bell.
- Laquon Treadwell (Jax, 3%) — Your #1 WR for the Jags.
- Cedrick Wilson (Dal, 3%) — Very nice player and should play a lot Week 17.
- Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, 31%) — The likely Week 17 starter with 20+ upside if it turns into a shootout.
- Tyler Huntley (Bal, 22%) — Lamar has a chance to play, so Huntley’s Week 17 is fluid.
- Justin Fields (Chi, 23%) — If he actually practices and is set to play, he’s probably going to be a top-10 QB this week.
- Antoine Wesley (Ari, 0%) — TD dependent, but he’s got 3 TDs the last two weeks.
- Zay Jones (LV, 1%) — Potential would drop if Darren Waller returns but Derek Carr’s clearly feeling it with Jones now.
Taysom Hill (NO, 47%), Derek Carr (LV, 59%), Tua Tagovailoa (Mia, 42%), Matt Ryan (Atl, 45%), Carson Wentz (Ind, 47%)
Trey Lance (SF, 32%) and Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, 31%) — Jimmy G was unable to play in Week 17 because of a torn UCL in his throwing thumb, but the ever-optimistic franchise believes he has a chance to play in Week 18 in a pivotal matchup against the Rams. Jimmy G gives the 49ers their best chance at winning at this stage of his career, but Lance is by far the better option for our little game. Lance showed his fantasy potential for the second time this season, posting 8/31 rushing while completing 16/23 passes for 249 yards (10.8 YPA), two TDs, and one INT for 20.1 FP against the Texans. Jimmy G would be a mid-QB2 option against the Rams if he gets the start this week while Lance would be a fringe QB1 option if Jimmy G is unable to play through his thumb injury.
Tyler Huntley (Bal, 22%) — Lamar Jackson has missed the last three games with an ankle injury and his replacements, Huntley and Josh Johnson, have each played fairly well in his place. Huntley hung 35.9 FP against the Packers in Week 15 before missing Week 16 with COVID, and he struggled a bit in Week 17 with 12.3 FP in a loss to the Rams. All three Ravens’ quarterbacks can use their legs to supplement their fantasy production, and all wisely throw the ball to Mark Andrews, who is imposing his will on defenses and playing at an elite level. Baltimore will close the season against the Steelers this week, and Lamar posted 18.6 FP against them in a loss back in Week 13. They do still have an outside chance to make the playoffs, so Lamar hasn’t been ruled out. He has a chance to play in Week 18, per HC John Harbaugh, so we’ll see what the week has in store. UPDATED: 1/4
Justin Fields (Chi, 23%) — Watching Fields and this offense is pretty painful since Fields often looks like he wished he picked a different career, but he’s producing for fantasy since he’s been running and throwing some nice passes on every 9-10 attempts. He’s been battling through a number of injuries, most notably a rib issue that cost him two games in Weeks 12-13, and an ankle injury that’s kept him out the last two weeks. He’s seen some limited practice time so there’s a chance he could play in the season finale against the Vikings. Matt Nagy is absolutely brutal, but Fields will have to put up with him for one more week, which makes him an even shakier proposition overall. Allen Robinson returned to the lineup last week, and Fields still has Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, and some decent ancillary weapons to give him a chance as a fringe QB1 option.
Jared Goff (Det, 8%) — Goff (knee) did some work on Tuesday and is “hopeful” he can play in the finale. If he plays, he should have Josh Reynolds with some time removed from the Covid list, where Goff himself was. A lot can go wrong, but Goff’s posted a very solid 18.4 FPG average in his last three games over the last four weeks. He has 7 TDs and 2 INTs in that span. He also put up 244/2 passing with 4/46 rushing in this matchup back in Week 17. Luckily for Goff, the game is IN DETROIT. The Packers should also rest starters in a meaningless game. UPDATED: 1/4
Taylor Heinicke (Was, 23%) — “Hospital Ball” Heinicke hasn’t reached 11+ FP since Week 13 and Kyle Allen is a threat to come into the lineup at any point, but at least Heinie is coming off his best showing in more than a month. He’s also already been confirmed by HC Ron Rivera as the Week 18 starter. He completed 27/36 passes for 247 scoreless yards (6.9 YPA) and one INT in Washington’s loss to the Eagles in Week 17. The Giants are an absolute abomination and Heinicke posted 21.0 FP against them back in Week 2, so there are worse options you can turn to this week.
Mac Jones (NE, 35%) — Mac rebounded from his worst showing of the season in Week 16 with his best fantasy performance of the year against the lowly Jaguars. He completed 22/30 passes for 227 yards (7.6 YPA) and three touchdowns for 22.3 FP in just 48 minutes of action in a 50-10 victory. This is obviously still a run-heavy offense with a stout defense, which often caps Mac’s fantasy upside, and he showed some cracks in Weeks 15-16 with four total INTs against AFC playoff teams (Colts, Bills). Mac has still played at a fairly high level for much of the season, and the offense could be on his shoulders a little more in the season finale if the Patriots decide to give Damien Harris (hamstring) a week off to rest up for the playoffs. It’s not the best matchup against Miami, but the Pats at least should be playing to win for much or all of the game in Week 18.
Davis Mills (Hou, 5%) — One of the bigger surprises of the second half of the season is that Mills, a 2021 third-round pick, has looked more like a first-round pick than some of his contemporaries from this year’s QB class. After an impressive three-game run in Weeks 13-16, Mills came back to earth a bit in Week 17 in a tough matchup against the 49ers. He completed 21/32 passes for 163 yards, one TD, and one INT for just 9.9 FP in Week 17. Even with the sub-par performance, he’s looked calm and confident in the pocket since he regained the starting job in Week 14. Mills is quickly earning himself the starting job in 2022 with a strong finishing kick — the 2022 QB class is looking weak right now. He has the chance to finish strong in a solid matchup against the Titans this week.
Zach Wilson (NYJ, 8%) — Wilson took back the starting job in Week 12 after missing four games for a knee injury, and he remains a major work in progress, but he’s at least shown some upside lately, unlike some of the fading options on this list. He had his best fantasy performance of the season (23.2) in Week 16 thanks to a fluky 52-yard touchdown run. He then had the Jets in a position to knock off the Buccaneers in Week 17 by completing 19/33 passes for 234 yards (7.1 YPA). Wilson has shown some flashes of potential in the second half of the season, and the degree of difficulty has been ramped up without Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Jamison Crowder mostly out of the lineup. But at least Braxton Berrios can’t be stopped. Wilson is still a desperation option in Superflex/two-QB leagues this week against the Bills.
Case Keenum (Cle, 0%) — Baker Mayfield has been shut down for the finale, so it’ll be the veteran Keenan starting. Keenum’s numbers are mediocre this year, but he at least hasn’t thrown an INT on 48 attempts, which could help him get to a respectable 14-15 FP this week. The one factor that could help is Cincy resting starters, since they are locked into playing in the first round of the playoffs. Keenum has a good OL and running game and enough in the passing game to contribute in Week 18. UPDATED: 1/4
Ben Roethlisberger (Pit, 30%) — Big Ben was trending in the right direction with three performances of 19+ FP in Weeks 11-14, but the Steelers’ offense has hit the skids in the last three weeks against the Titans, Chiefs, and Browns. Big Ben is averaging a putrid 4.4 YPA in these last three games, and he’s at only 8.4 FPG. Big Ben wants to end his final season with some respectable showing against the Ravens, and he does have a chance to come up with a 1 point game vs. depleted Ravens secondary. UPDATED: 1/4
Drew Lock (Den, 2%) — Teddy Bridgewater suffered a scary concussion in Week 15, which required him to be carted off the field. Lock has been the next man up in this run-heavy offense, and he’s coming off a 15.9 FP performance against the Chargers in Week 17. Lock has plenty of passing weapons at his disposal, but he averaged 6.6 YPA with 23 TDs and 18 INTs over 18 career starts in 2019-20. They will usually lean heavily on their running game so he’ll be a low-end option in two-QB/Superflex leagues while he’s starting for Bridgewater for one final week against the Chiefs. There is a speck of upside since he isn’t shy about throwing downfield, and their running game hasn’t been good at all, which could force them to the air, but there’s always downside with Lock.
Trevor Lawrence (Jax, 26%) — The first overall pick from last spring’s draft has struggled mightily for most of the season, and his struggles have continued even with Urban Meyer getting kicked to the curb. He’s now finished with fewer than 14 FP in nine of his last 10 games, and he has just two touchdown passes in his last nine contests. YIKES. It’s so bad right now that Laquon Treadwell has been the team’s best receiver for the last five weeks. He can’t be trusted in lineups in the season finale against the Colts, whom he had 10.8 FP against back in Week 10.
Rhamondre Stevenson (NE, 58%), D’Onta Foreman (Ten, 61%), Jamaal Williams (Det, 56%), Chuba Hubbard (Car, 58%), Mike Davis (Atl, 50%), Justin Jackson (LAC, 52%), Nyheim Hines (Ind, 50%)
Rex Burkhead (Hou, 30%) — Chasing fantasy production in this Houston backfield has been a mostly fruitless endeavor this season, but Burkhead has been the closest thing to a fantasy-relevant option since Houston’s Week 10 bye. He erupted for 28.9 FP in Week 16 against the Chargers, and he backed it up with 16/47 rushing and 6/32 receiving in a tough matchup against the 49ers in Week 17. He’s the RB6 over the last two weeks. Rex Burhead, league winner! Houston’s coaching staff trusts Burkhead the most to play next to Davis Mills, and the Texans’ offense actually has some juice with the rookie quarterback improving every week. Burkhead has some low-end RB2 appeal against the Titans this week, especially if David Johnson (COVID, quad) is unable to play in Week 18 and especially if the Titans pull starters with their playoff seeding locked.
Dare Ogunbowale (Jax, 34%) — James Robinson’s rollercoaster season came to an end in an unfortunate fashion when he tore his Achilles in the first quarter of Week 16 against the Jets. Passing back Ogunbowale is the last man standing in this backfield with Carlos Hyde landing on the injured reserve two weeks ago with a concussion. It wasn’t pretty but he got home for anyone who plug-and-played him in Week 17. He finished with 9/36 rushing and 2/32/1 receiving on a 65% snap share in a 40-point loss to the Patriots and was the RB22 for the week as of Monday morning. The Jaguars’ offense has been one of the league’s worst and they have a tough final matchup against the Colts remaining, so don’t get your hopes up too much. But at least Ogunbowale is going to see a healthy number of touches and he came through with a decent workload in Week 17. He’ll need more touches to get it done unless he scores again, but he’s capable of bringing in 3-4 balls for sure.
Jaret Patterson (Was, 25%) — Patterson stepped into the lead role in Week 17 with Antonio Gibson landing on the COVID list and missing their showdown with the Eagles. The UDFA rookie out of Buffalo stepped up and delivered 12/57/1 rushing and 5/41 receiving for 20.8 FP on a 62% snap share against Philadelphia. The rest of the snaps went to Wendell Smallwood (25%), and Jonathan Williams (13%), but Patterson scored and came up big in the passing game, so he had both RB roles. Patterson would be a viable RB2 option against the lowly Giants if Gibson is unable to get off the COVID list this week. Gibson has also been dealing with several injuries, notably his lingering shin injury and the newer hip issue. TFT could opt to shut Gibson down, which would be the prudent thing to do. Of course, it’s TFT, and they usually do everything wrong.
Kenneth Gainwell (Phi, 11%) — Boston Scott and Jordan Howard were placed on the COVID list on Monday, and Miles Sanders is not expected to play Week 18, so Gainwell could be in line for a large workload. He played fewer than 10 snaps in Week 17 and ran only a handful of routes, but if he’s the guy, he’s a possible RB2 or even better if they play their O-Line starters. It’s not the best matchup against Dallas, but the Cowboys could also rest some guys in a non-high-stakes finale for them. They do also have Kerryon Johnson on the practice squad along with Jason Huntley, but we’d have to think Gainwell will get the most play.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn (TB, 1%) and Le’Veon Bell (TB, 4%) — Ronald Jones was Tampa Bay’s new lead runner with Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard both on the injured reserve, and second-year RB Vaughn had been elevated into the passing-back/change-of-pace role. In true RoJo fashion, he burned everyone who used him in the fantasy finals in a prime spot against the Jets, leaving the contest early with an ankle injury. Bell actually led the backfield with a 35% snap share, but he turned in just 3/5 rushing and 3/30 receiving while Vaughn finished with 8/31 rushing and 2/14 receiving on a 32% snap share. Vaughn’s snaps would have been higher, but he suffered a hip injury, which is why they turned to Bell. If healthy enough to practice and place, Vaughn would be the 1A option and Bell would be the 1B option in this backfield if RoJo is unable to play against the Panthers in the season finale. Vaughn broke off a 55-yard touchdown run on his way to 13.0 FP against Carolina in Week 16.
Boston Scott (Phi, 31%) and Jordan Howard (Phi, 25%) — Scott and Howard were placed on the COVID list on Monday 1/2/22, so this backfield may be unsettled all the up to gameday this weekend. You may need some luck if you’re to successfully navigate this Eagles’ backfield on a week-to-week basis with four backs in the mix and injuries galore, including new injuries in Week 16 to Miles Sanders (hand) and Howard (stinger). Sanders missed Week 17 with a broken hand, but he wasn’t placed on the IR, so his injury isn’t long-term. Sanders isn’t expected to play in Week 18, though, as he prepares for the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. Howard ended up playing through his injury against Washington in Week 17, but he took a backseat to Scott who finished with 14/47/2 rushing and 4/39 receiving — Howard finished with 11/26 rushing. This backfield has produced plenty of rushing production since they dedicated themselves to running the rock starting in Week 8, and HC Nick Sirianni has remained committed to rotating his backs. Scott has been the basic Sanders replacement with Howard remaining in his role. Of course, Kenneth Gainwell will factor in the mix in passing situations. The Eagles will end the season with a showdown with the Cowboys this week, and Sanders’ health will dictate if Scott is a viable fantasy plug-and-play option once again.
Tevin Coleman (NYJ, 17%) — Nobody wants to start this guy, but Coleman was actually 15th in RB carries in his last four games (he missed Week 14), so they clearly value his experience in this backfield on early downs. He played only 19 snaps in Week 16 but he got a carry on 14 of them, and he also has six targets in his last four games. Coleman landed on the COVID list and missed last week, but he could be needed this week with Michael Carter suffering a concussion in Week 17. The Jets are hoping Carter can play in the finale, but if not they would roll with a combination of Austin Walter and Ty Johnson if both Carter and Coleman are unable to play against the Bills.
Duke Johnson (Mia, 8%) — Dookie is the top option in Miami’s backfield (58% of the snaps in Week 17) but this is still very much a committee. He’s shown some fresh legs in recent weeks and he led the Dolphins with 7/49 rushing and 2/16 receiving on three targets in a lopsided loss to the Titans in Week 17. HC Brian Flores will be choosing between Johnson, Myles Gaskin, and Phillip Lindsay in the season finale against the Patriots, and if we had to pick one RB in this backfield, it has to be Johnson over Gaskin.
Dontrell Hilliard (Ten, 28%) — Hilliard is the second-option in Tennessee’s committee backfield, but he’s popped up with 16+ FP in three of his last six games. He finished with 8/145/1 rushing and he caught all three of his targets for 33 yards in Week 17. The Titans have a date with Houston to finish the season, and he posted 16.2 FP against the Texans back in Week 11.
Ameer Abdullah (Ten, 2%) — Rookie Chubba Hubbard had a good game in Week 17, but Abdullah still had 48% of the snaps and 10 touches, including 4/31 receiving on four targets. Over the last four weeks, he’s the RB38 and has more points than Cordarrelle Patterson (and also Hubbard).
Elijah Moore (NYJ, 52%), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB, 47%), A.J. Green (Ar, 62%), Marvin Jones (Jax, 51%), DeVante Parker (Mia, 58%)
Marquez Callaway (NO, 26%) — Callaway has clearly emerged as the top receiver in New Orleans over the last three weeks with 4+ catches in each of those games. He finished with 6/97 receiving on a season-high 10 targets against the Panthers, which gives him six catches and 95+ yards in two straight games playing with Taysom Hill. It’s difficult to put complete faith in anyone in this Saints’ passing attack, but Callaway has earned some trust with his recent play. Callaway posted 3/25/1 receiving against the Falcons, this week’s opponent, back in Week 9. He will see a lot of shutdown CB AJ Terrell, but he can avoid him at times, too.
K.J. Osborn (Min, 41%) — Adam Thielen tried to play through his high-ankle injury in Week 16, which kept him out of the lineup in Weeks 14-15, but he was in and mostly out of the lineup in their loss to the Rams. Osborn stepped up behind him and finished with 5/68/1 receiving on seven targets (18% share) for 17.8 FP. Osborn has now posted 14+ FP in three of the four games since Thielen initially suffered the injury in Week 13, and he’ll be a solid plug-and-play WR3 option if Thielen is unable to play in the final two games (@GB, Chi) of the season. Obviously, it would be ideal for Osborn to have Kirk Cousins back at QB, so we’ll see if he can come off the COVID list for Week 18.
Cyril Grayson (TB, 0%) — Antonio Brown’s playing career likely came to an end when he stormed off the field at MetLife Stadium bare-chested in the third quarter after being benched by Bruce Arians. Grayson, a former All-American sprinter at LSU, stepped into a bigger role and he delivered the game-winning, 33-yard touchdown on Tampa’s final drive of the game. He finished 6/81/1 receiving on eight targets (16% share) against the Jets, which gives him a pair of 81-yard games in the last two weeks — he had 3/81 receiving in Week 16 against this week’s opponent in Carolina. The Buccaneers will be without Brown and Chris Godwin (ACL, IR) for the rest of the season, and Mike Evans is playing through a hamstring injury so Grayson has the chance to stay active for Brady this week. HC Bruce Arians said Monday they will play to win with their starters, and you know the GOAT wants to get reps with Grayson.
Gabriel Davis (Buf, 25%) — Davis returned to the lineup in Week 17 after missing a game for COVID, and he finished second in receiving behind Stefon Diggs. He caught all three of his targets for 40 yards in their victory over the Falcons with Josh Allen completing just 11/26 passes for 120 yards and three INTs. Emmanuel Sanders sat out last week with a knee injury but he could return this week to muddle this receiving corps behind Diggs, but Sanders seems to be on the decline with Davis ascending. Davis has been the second-best option in this passing attack ever since he went for 3/105 receiving against this week’s opponent, the Jets, in Week 10, and he scored four TDs in a three-game span in Weeks 13-15.
Rashod Bateman (Bal, 36%) — The Ravens are giving Bateman (83% of the snaps Week 17) the chance to be a full-time player with Sammy Watkins (20%) moving to the bench in recent weeks. Bateman posted only one catch for five yards on two targets in Week 15, but he’s been otherwise active with 12+ FP in three of his last four games. He finished with 7/58 receiving on a team-high 10 targets (31% share) in a loss to the Rams in Week 17. Bateman didn’t have a catch on one target in his previous meeting with the Steelers in Week 13, but he’s clicked with all three Ravens QBs in just the last 4-5 weeks.
Braxton Berrios (NYJ, 7%) — Berrios has been fantasy’s WR16 the last four weeks, and he basically won’t be denied. He’s on the radar when Jamison Crowder (calf) and/or Elijah Moore (quad, IR) are unable to play, which could be the case once again in the season finale against the Bills. He’s coming off a monster game with 8/65/1 receiving on 12 targets against the Buccaneers in Week 17, and he added 2/12/1 rushing for 26.7 FP. Berrios very quietly has double-digit FP in four straight games heading into the season finale.
Laquon Treadwell (Jax, 3%) — You know it’s been a weird fantasy season when Treadwell has worked his way into fantasy relevance. He’s now posted six consecutive games with 4+ catches and 50+ receiving yards after catching all six of his targets (22% share) for 87 yards in a loss to the Patriots in Week 17. Treadwell isn’t the most trustworthy fantasy option since he has a long history of failure and he’s playing in one of the league’s worst offenses, but he deserves to be on the radar for stringing together six solid performances in a row.
Donovan Peoples-Jones (Cle, 13%) — DPJ has been hampered by a groin injury for much of the last two months, but he’s looked rejuvenated coming out of their Week 13 bye. He had 6+ targets in three straight games coming out of Week 16, which he finished with just a five-yard catch on six targets against the Packers. He had only five targets in Week 17, but he turned them into a decent 3/79 with a nice 39-yard catch-and-run play. He may get a boost at QB with Baker Mayfield shut down and Case Keenum starting in the finale, and DPJ’s led their WRs with 87-90% of the snaps the last two weeks. UPDATED: 1/4
Cedrick Wilson (Dal, 3%) — Michael Gallup tore his ACL in Dallas’ Week 17 loss to the Cardinals, and Wilson was the next man up in three-WR sets just like he was at the beginning of the season when Gallup missed seven games in Weeks 2-9. Wilson caught all six of his targets for 35 yards and a touchdown and he added a 31-yard pass for 18.7 FP. Wilson reached double-digit FP just twice when Gallup missed time earlier this season so he’s hardly a must-own option, but he has a chance to get you 8-12 FP with a solid role against the Eagles this week. Dallas may play backup Cooper Rush for a quarter or two or more, but Rush has looked good this year, and he and Wilson have a rapport from practice.
Allen Lazard (GB, 24%) — Lazard and MVS have been alternating big games lately, but Lazard is the WR14 the last four weeks with 16/215/3 on 22 targets after he caught all six of his targets in Week 17 for 79 yards with a TD, so he’s the safer play. MVS was added to the COVID list on Dec. 21 and put up only 1 catch for 3 yards on one target (he did play 65% of the snaps). Lazard is capable of going off at any time with Aaron Rodgers playing at an extremely high level, and the Packers are expected to play their starters at least some in Week 18. Rest assured, Lazard would be ranked higher if we didn’t have some playing time concerns.
Antoine Wesley (Ari, 0%) — Owned in 0% of Yahoo! leagues, all this guy has done is put up WR2 numbers the last two weeks. He’s the WR24 in that span with 6/59/3 on nine targets. He’s basically TD-dependent, but the guy is scoring and looking good on the outside and in the red zone.
Zay Jones (LV, 1%) — Jones has been trending up in recent weeks with Darren Waller (knee) out of the lineup and with Bryan Edwards mostly disappointing. Jones has posted 5+ catches in five of his last six games, including three consecutive performances with 11+ FP after posting a season-high 8/120 receiving on 10 targets against the Colts in Week 17. Jones will lose some of his appeal if Waller is able to return for their matchup with the Chargers this week, and that may be the case per reports on Monday. But even if Waller is in the mix, he’s been out for over a month and Jones has certainly played well enough to be considered in deeper formats.
Kristian Wilkerson (NE, 0%) and Kendrick Bourne (NE, 26%) — The Patriots elevated Wilkerson from their practice squad to play over N’Keal Harry in Week 17, who the team made a healthy scratch against the Jaguars. The move paid off with Wilkerson posting 4/42/2 receiving on a team-high eight targets in New England’s 40-point victory. Bourne chipped in with 5/76 receiving on six targets with Nelson Agholor missing a second game with a concussion. Both Wilkerson and Bourne could be viable low-end options if Agholor is unable to play against the Dolphins in the season finale so keep an eye on his status this week.
Pat Freiermuth (Pit, 52%), Gerald Everett (Sea, 51%), Jared Cook (LAC, 52%)
Cole Kmet (Chi, 31%) — Kmet had been trending in the right direction since Week 6 with 3+ catches in 10 of his last 11 games, but he’s yet to find the end zone this season, which has capped his upside. He managed just 3/25 receiving on five targets in a victory over the Giants in Week 17. Jimmy Graham has vultured three touchdowns in the last six weeks. Kmet has become a trusted weapon in the middle of the field for whoever is at quarterback for the Bears, and he’ll remain a high-floor, low-ceiling option in PPR formats against the Vikings this week.
John Bates (Was, 1%) — Washington had already elevated Bates above Ricky Seals-Jones in recent weeks, and the fourth-round pick is the last man standing at the position after RSJ suffered a concussion in a collision with a cameraman in Week 17. Bates finished with 3/35 receiving on four targets against the Eagles. He’s yet to see more than four targets in a game this season, but he’s trending in the right direction with an excellent role so he’s got a chance going against the lowly Giants in the season finale.
Tyler Conklin (Min, 39%) — Adam Thielen tried to play through his high-ankle injury in Week 16, which kept him out of the lineup in Weeks 14-15, but he was in and mostly out of the lineup in their loss to the Rams. Conklin took on a bigger role in the passing game with Thielen ailing, posting 4/44 receiving on five targets (13% share) in defeat. Conklin then had one of the better Week 17 TE performances with 5/47 receiving on 9 targets in the freezing cold in GB. He’ll be a low-end TE1 in the finale against the Bears, which is in Minnesota with no weather concerns.
Cameron Brate (TB, 0%) — Brate is actually the TE12 Weeks 16-17 with only 4/16 receiving on 4/16 on 7 targets, but he’s scored in each of the last two games. The Bucs aren’t expected to rest starters, but they could certainly pull back from Rob Gronkowski’s usage, which would help Brate. You’re counting on a TD, but that’s not a bad bet at this point.
Robbie Gould (SF, 29%) - Gould has attempted three field goals in two of his last four games and in four of his last seven outings. Half of his 18 field goals made this season and all three misses have been from the bonus range. While he only had one field goal against the Rams back in Week 10, it was a 50-yarder in a blowout win.
Dustin Hopkins (LAC, 22%) - Hopkins continues to convert on two or more field goals in a game. He has done this in four of his last five games and in 11 of his 16 outings this season. Hopkins is playing in Las Vegas for the first time this year and the winner of this game makes the postseason. This game has a playoff spot on the line, so the NFL flexed it to the national Sunday night spotlight.
Lirim Hajrullahu (Car, 0%) - Last week of the season and many teams are playing for the future. Thus, offensive scoring is going to be weird in season finales as teams use this game to evaluate talent. With that in mind, we are reaching deep into the waiver bag to dig out Hajrullahu. He has attempted two field goals in each of his games with Carolina and the Panthers are facing one of the better defenses in the league. On the downside here, Hajrullahu has not hit a bonus range field goal this season.
Colts (Ind, 62%), Saints (NO, 77%), Packers (GB, 62%)
Titans (Ten, 42%) — The Titans have 12 sacks in their last four games, including 4 last week against the Dolphins while holding them to just 3 points. Tennessee’s D has held their last four opponents under 20 points. They also have 7 INTs in their last four games. They’ve turned a corner since their Week 13 bye and now get one of the easiest matchups of the week. After hanging 30+ on the Jaguars and Chargers in back-to-back weeks, the Houston showed some signs of life…and then they faced a decent defense in San Francisco and barely registered a pulse with just 7 points.
Bears (Chi, 48%) — The Bears held the hapless Giants to just 3 points last week, racking up 4 sacks. They’ve been getting their sacks even without Khalil Mack, including notching 4 sacks against their Week 18 opponent the Vikings just a few weeks ago. They held Kirk Cousins and Co. to 17 points. Given all the turmoil in the land of Skol, including whether or not Cousins can make it off the COVID list for this game, Chicago’s D is primed to do some damage.
Football Team (Was, 25%) — It doesn’t seem to matter who the defense is as long as they’re playing the Giants. But despite their record, Washington’s D is still racking up sacks. Only Tampa Bay has held them sackless since Week Three. They sacked Dak Prescott 7 times in their two meetings and Jalen Hurts 3 times last week. Those are mobile QBs with good O-lines. Mike Glennon is not mobile. Nor does he have a good O-line. Nor can the Giants score points. They haven’t scored more than 10 points in each of their last three games and have been the #1 opponent for DSTs for the last eight weeks and #7 for the season.