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Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to help your team from week to week while you strive
to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the
elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While
I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster,
the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll
highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can
help your squad and may still be available in your league.
If Todd Gurley (knee) sits again, we could
see another healthy dose of C.J. Anderson in Week 17.
Winston, TB – Winston (50-80 percent owned) had just
336-1-0 and lost two fumbles in Week 16, but that was against
Dallas. He’s got a much better matchup in Week 17 facing the Falcons,
who should have a difficult time covering Mike Evans and the other
Mullens, SF – Mullens had a bad Week 16 with 241-0-1,
but he could pile up some yardage and a couple scores in Week
17 against the Rams. He’s a mid-tier QB2 with some upside.
Carr, OAK – I’ll update accordingly (on Wednesday since
tomorrow is Christmas) after the Monday night game, but Carr is
worth considering in a favorable matchup with Kansas City in Week
17. I’d say he’s playing for Jon Gruden’s confidence, but the
stubborn Gruden has already lavished praise upon him this season
despite his inconsistent play.
UPDATE: Carr threw for 167-0-0
in the Raiders' Week 16 victory over the Broncos, and Gruden still
Mariota, TEN – A stinger suffered in Week 16 (110-0-0,
7 rushing yards in less than a half of play) could keep Mariota
out of the Titans final game against the Colts. He’s really not
an option even if he plays.
Darnold, NYJ – Darnold threw for 341-3-0, his best
fantasy performance of his rookie season, and he’ll close out
the season against the Patriots.
Allen, BUF – Allen turned in a bit of a stinker in
the season’s penultimate game, throwing for 217-1-2 and rushing
for 30 yards in the loss to New England. He’s got a generally
favorable matchup versus the Dolphins in Week 17.
Foles, PHI – Foles exploded for 471-4-1 with a lost
fumble in Week 16, keeping the Eagles alive with a victory over
the Texans. Foles was the top passer for Week 16 and led a few
folks to fantasy titles with his monster game.
Anderson, LAR – Since the Rams could hold Todd Gurley
(knee) out in the season finale, Anderson (167 rushing yards,
TD in Week 16) would be an RB1 against the 49ers. He’s available
in plenty of leagues (about 60-90 percent) since he was acquired
late in the week and Gurley’s Week 16 status had yet to be determined.
UPDATE: Gurley remained sidelined Wednesday and is likely a game-time
decision for Week 17 as he was in Week 16.
Hill, ATL – Hill (0-1 percent owned) rushed eight times
for 115 yards, including a monster 60-yard run on Sunday in the
win over Carolina. Tevin Coleman injured his groin in Week 16,
so Hill could see a heavy workload in the season finale. He and
Anderson are the top ads for Week 17 RBs.
UPDATE: Coleman sat out Wednesday, and Hill is shaping up to
be the only viable RB for Atlanta in Week 17. Giddyup.
Williams, KC – Spencer Ware was out once again and
Williams ran 13 times for 103 yards in Week 16 against the Seahawks
for his first-career 100-yard game, adding 7-37-1 in the loss.
He’s a must-play in all formats for Week 17 unless Ware is back
Zenner, DET – Zenner (5-10 percent owned) rushed for
45 yards (2-22-0 receiving) in Sunday's 27-9 loss to the Vikings,
splitting time with LeGarrette Blount. He also caught two passes
for 22 yards in the loss. Zenner has a favorable matchup against
Green Bay in Week 17.
Williams, GB – Wow! Williams was a pleasant surprise
in Week 16, rushing for 95 yards and a score and adding 6-61-0
receiving for his best game of the year. He’s a great play in
Week 17 facing the Lions as well.
Blue, HOU – Blue rushed for just 14 yards on four carries
and added 4-26-0 in the loss to Philly in Week 16, as D’Onta Foreman
actually received more carries (7) despite totaling negative-1
yard. Foreman was the more productive fantasy back, however, as
he added 2-28-1 receiving. The Texans Week 17 running game is
shaping up to be a cloudy committee of general confusion, except
for Deshaun Watson, who rushed for two scores on Sunday.
UPDATE: Lamar Miller is trending in the right direction, as he
was limited on Wednesday. If his ankle is up to it, Miller will
get the Jaguars in Week 17 and Blue will likely be relegated to
change-of-pace and some passing down work alongside Foreman and
Sproles, Eagles – Sproles had an excellent Week 16
with 32 rushing yards on nine carries and 3-76-1 receiving, while
Smallwood remained a secondary option with 4-24-0 and just one
carry for 3 yards. Sproles could be a viable flex for Week 17,
but Smallwood is off the fantasy radar.
Ford, BUF – Ford rushed for 33 yards on seven carries
and added 2-14-0 receiving, even with LeSean McCoy starting. McCoy
ran for just 9 yards on six carries, hauling in 3-10-0 on three
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Rudolph, MIN – Rudolph is available in about 20 percent
of leagues, and he was probably dropped from a bunch of teams
heading into the fantasy playoffs where he was a low-end TE1.
His huge Week 16 (9-122-2 on nine targets) isn’t likely to be
repeated but it’s a sign he’s getting more looks in the new offense
after tallying just 11 targets his previous three weeks.
Shepard, NYG – Shepard (65-80 percent owned) tallied
6-113-0 on seven targets in Week 16 and gets a Cowboys team in
Week 17 that has already clinched the division. With Odell Beckham
likely to sit out again, he’s a solid WR2.
UPDATE: Shepard was limited on Wednesday and should be considered
a risky start with the Giants playing for nothing in Week 17 –
but there’s still upside if the injury isn’t a big
deal by the end of the week.
UPDATE: ESB sat out Wednesday’s practice with a concussion,
so he can probably be removed from fantasy consideration for Week
Crowder, WAS – Washington doesn’t have much going on
at the WR position, but Crowder did haul in 5-78-0 from Johnson
in Week 16 and he’s likely to want to end 2018 on a good note.
Crowder has seen 22 targets over the past four weeks and is a
decent WR3 play facing the Eagles in the season finale.
Williams, LAC – Williams practically disappeared in
Week 17, catching one pass for 7 yards and adding a 4-yard rush
in the loss to Baltimore.
Foster, BUF – Foster posted 4-52-0 in the Week 17 loss
to New England. He’s a fine WR3/flex play in Week 17 against Miami.
Anderson, NYJ – Anderson had another stellar fantasy
performance with 9-140-1 in the 44-38 loss to Green Bay on Sunday.
He’s a viable WR3 facing the Pats in Week 17.
Ross, CIN – Ross had just one catch for 3 yards, but
it was a TD, which salvaged an otherwise forgettable day. The
target volume just isn’t there for Ross, who drops a lot
of passes and has only managed 20 receptions for 209 yards this
season (even though that included 7 TDs).