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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.
After showing some signs of life against
Tennessee, Blake Borltes is a vialbe option against the Colts.
Bortles, JAC – He’s in a prime matchup versus the Colts,
and there’s no reason to think he’ll hold back. Bortles is actually
one of the top options this week given the logistics of Week 17.
UPDATE: The Jaguars aren’t
tanking and neither are the Colts, so expect a high-scoring game
featuring a couple of teams playing for pride… and stats.
Siemian, DEN – He has trouble throwing the ball downfield,
but given the horrendous status of the running game and the fact
that the Broncos have nothing left to lose, he might air it out
looking for DeMaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
UPDATE: The Broncos are now considering Paxton Lynch to start
Week 17, so you’ll have to check the updates as we approach
Taylor, BUF – Taylor came through for fantasy owners
who gave him a shot in Week 16 with his best fantasy performance
of 2016, rushing for 60 yards and throwing for 329-3-0 in the
OT loss to Miami. He’s worth starting in Week 17 at the Jets.
UPDATE: Taylor will sit and EJ Manuel will start as the Bills
don’t want to risk injury to Taylor and be on the hook for
the remainder of his contract. The Jets offer an intriguing matchup
but Manuel will be difficult to trust as anything more than a
Flacco, BAL – Flacco had 262-1-1 against Pittsburgh
but failed to come away with a win – eliminating the Ravens from
playoff contention. He’s a low-end QB2 facing the Bengals in Week
Savage, HOU – The Texans were typically boring on Christmas
night, with Savage contributing a pedestrian 176-0-0 and 11 rushing
yards in a playoff-clinching win over Cincinnati. The plan for
Week 17 is undetermined, though I’d expect Savage to start and
get him more game reps before the playoffs.
UPDATE: The Texans will apparently stick with Savage in Week
17, which is good news for DeAndre Hopkins owners.
Blue, HOU –UPDATE:
Blue had a solid day against the Bengals and looks to be the lead
back heading into Week 17, when Lamar Miller is not expected to
play. Get Blue active as an RB2.
Dixon, BAL – Dixon has the most talent in the Ravens
backfield and should get the most looks in Week 17. With the exception
of his matador blitz pickups, Dixon is a complete back with a
physical style that bodes for the most upside in this committee.
Henry, TEN – He’s not readily available in many leagues,
but Henry should be used more frequently in a tough matchup with
Houston in Week 17. He’s also a great pickup for keeper leagues.
Rodgers, ATL –UPDATE:
Rodgers had a productive few games when he was healthy, and he
usurped control of the Bucs starting RB role with Doug Martin
a healthy inactive in Week 16. It looks like the Bucs will roll
with Rodgers once again in the season finale.
Collins, SEA –UPDATE:
Collins could get a huge workload if Thomas Rawls (bruised shoulder)
sits in Week 17 against the Niners. Collins is not a very talented
or versatile back, but he might be the only viable option for
Seattle – who may choose to rest Rawls and get him healthy before
Zenner, DET –UPDATE: The Cowboys defensive line
yielded huge chunks of yardage to Zenner on Monday night, but
the second-year back looked decent running the ball. He finished
with 12 carries for 67 yards and two rushing TDs, as well as 2-25-0
receiving, and would get a similar workload against the Packers
in a must-win game if Theo Riddick were forced to sit again.
Lewis, NE – Lewis disappointed in Week 16, rushing
for 52 yards on 16 carries and catching just one pass for five
yards on his lone target. He’s still a viable RB3 option with
Perkins, NYG – Perkins rushed for 68 yards on 15 carries
and caught 1-9-0 on two targets from Eli Manning. He’s yet to
find the end zone in his rookie season.
UPDATE: There’s a good chance the Giants get Perkins the
ball a lot in Week 17, with nothing to gain and nothing really
to lose. I’m betting on over 20 touches, and Washington
is a good matchup for them to see what he’s capable of in
a lead role.
Forsett, DEN – Forsett rushed five times for 11 yards
and a TD in the Broncos Week 16 loss to the Chiefs. He’s not involved
in the passing game and will be an RB3 next week in a division
matchup against the Raiders.
McFadden, DAL –UPDATE: McFadden looked okay with 14
carries (49 rushing yards) against the Lions and could get another
10-15 carries in Week 17.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Thielen, MIN – Thielen’s 12-202-2 was the best performance
of any WR in Week 16, and he’ll be a top pickup this week for
leagues that are still cranking. Get him active.
Nelson, ARI – Nelson continues to impress in the Michael
Floyd role, hauling in another 3-132-1 in the win over Seattle.
He’s a boom-or-bust type of player who relies on the big play,
but he’s got the requisite talent to be fantasy relevant in 2017.
Clay, BUF – Clay exploded for 8-85-2 in Week 16, and
makes sense as a low-end TE1 in the final week. He’s on the same
page as Taylor, who’s also a good option against the Jets.
Lockett, SEA – Lockett was involved early but broke
his leg in Week 16 – ending his season. It’s a shame, because
he was starting to click with Russell Wilson.
Griffin, HOU – C.J. Fiedorowicz was active and Griffin
put up a goose egg.
UPDATE: C.J. is the better play in Week 17, when he should get
a handful of targets.
Thompson, CHI – Thompson came through with 3-34-1 in
the loss to Washington in Week 16, and is less of a reliable option
facing the Vikings in the final regular season game.
LaFell, CIN – With Green sitting, LaFell had another
monster game, hauling in 6-130-1 the loss to Houston. He’s an
underrated veteran receiver with lots of upside when he gets a
UPDATE: Both A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert will be out again in
Week 17, so it could once again be the LaFell show. He’s
worth considering as a WR2.
Robinson, ATL – Julio Jones was active, so Aldrick
saw limited snaps and caught just 1-15-0 on his lone target.
Anderson, NYJ – Anderson failed to record a catch on
three targets in Week 16. Yuck.