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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 17
12/22/14 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
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 target both offensive and defensive players — sometimes breakout stars that eluded your team’s draft — as well as players who can help your squad that may still be lurking in deeper leagues. I’ll also provide an occasional daily fantasy recommendation, as I’m hopelessly addicted to DFS sites.

Off the Top - Includes my premier recommendations. These are sometimes players available only in more shallow leagues, and occasionally guys who are more ready but are thrust into the fantasy spotlight because of opportunity or exceptional production. Usually, they are available in at least 25 percent of public leagues.

Digging Deeper - Covers the next tier of quality waiver wire specimens, usually players available in a majority of online leagues. There are a lot of gems in this range who can be plucked rather easily. Usually, these players are available in at least 50 percent of public leagues.

Scouring the Barrel - Chronicles the deepest of fantasy adds — and sometimes highlights players being tacked onto fantasy squads who I don’t have much confidence in. Make sure you read the fine print because I don’t always love them. For the most part, you’ll find these players available in about 75-100 percent of fantasy leagues

Each week, I’ll also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous week. It’s the most accurate, comprehensive one-stop waiver-wire column available on the Internet, and it’s only available here at Let’s get to some of the players who could be still out there on the waiver wire and in the free agent pool as you prepare for Week 1!

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.

Note: Each player’s final matchup is listed in parentheses ( ). Since IDP league composition is so varied, I’ll just list defensive players per position and use their Yahoo ownership rates – which due to site ranking anomalies and the high rate of variance in availability, are often much lower than actual ownerships rates.

Note: This column will be updated tomorrow at the conclusion of Week 16.


Off The Top

Eli Manning, NYG (PHI) – Manning is coming off another monster performance and is keeping Giants fans focused on the great future they have in Odell Beckham Jr. He’s a viable option in Week 17 against a vulnerable Philly defense.

Digging Deeper

Teddy Bridgewater (CHI) – I love Bridgewater’s Week 17 matchup and he’s making a bid for major fantasy relevance in 2015. He’s worth a plug-n-play in daily leagues and some deep-league finals.

Scouring The Barrel

Derek Carr, OAK (@DEN) – The Raiders have something in Carr, and they’re likely to come out guns blazing in Week 17 against the Broncos. I’m anticipating a high-scoring game and plenty of passing for Oakland.


Ryan Tannehill, MIA (NYJ) – Tannehill had his best game of the season, passing for 396-4-1 in the OT win over the Vikings. He was the top QB of Week 16 and may have QB1 value next season if he continues to improve. He’s got an outside shot at 4,000 passing yards for this season and 30 total TDs.

Robert Griffin III, WAS (DAL) – RGIII failed to put together any scores and threw for 220-0-1 with just 11 rushing yards. Not what we were looking for to close out the championship game in one of my super-deep IDP leagues where I rolled with him over Kyle Orton and Josh McCown. There’s always next year in dynasty leagues!

Derek Anderson, CAR (@ATL) – Anderson sat with Cam Newton healthy.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Matt Asiata, MIN (CHI) – Asiata is still available in a bunch of leagues, has the lead role with big-time touch volume, and has a decent matchup for Week 17 against the pitiful Bears. What’s not to like?

Digging Deeper

Bernard Pierce, BAL (CLE) Justin Forsett was horrible again in Week 16, so expect Pierce to get a few more carries as the old Browns take on the new Browns in the classic grudge match.

Scouring The Barrel

Jordan Todman, JAC (@HOU) – Todman rushed five times for 71 yards and a TD in the Jaguars’ Week 16 win over the Titans, adding a pair of catches for 5 yards. The speedy back showed excellent burst on his first score of the year and could be in line for a bigger role in Week 17 if Gerhart (ribs) can't play.


Jeremy Hill, CIN (@PIT) – Update coming Tuesday.

Toby Gerhart, JAC (@HOU) – Gerhart ran for 53 yards and a TD on 12 carries Thursday before leaving with a rib injury. He’s questionable this week.

Doug Martin, TB (NO) – Martin got shut down by the Packers, running for just 17 yards on 10 carries. With just 386 rushing yards and one TD this season on 116 carries, he’s possibly the biggest fantasy disappointment among mid-range RBs.

Knile Davis, KC (SD) – Jamaal Charles got most of the work and the Steelers did an excellent job containing the Chiefs running game. Davis (11 total yards on three touches in Week 16) probably won’t have much of a role Sunday unless the Chiefs decide to sit Charles.

Carlos Hyde, SF (ARI) – Hyde was inactive (ankle) and Frank Gore (concussion) had one of his best games this season in the loss to San Diego. Go figure.

Chris Polk, PHI (@NYG) – Polk (ankle) didn’t get a touch against the Redskins on Saturday but remains a TD vulture possibility in Week 17.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

Malcom Floyd, SD (@KC) – Floyd caught 4-50-1 on 10 targets in Week 16 against the 49ers, and should continue to see plenty of action with Keenan Allen out. Plug him in as a viable WR2.

Digging Deeper

Charles Johnson, MIN (CHI) – Have you noticed I really like this matchup for the Vikings offense? Johnson tweaked his hammy but still finished with 3-38-0 in a tough matchup versus Miami. As long as he’s starting next week, he makes an excellent plug-n-play versus the Bears.

Eddie Royal, SD (@KC) – Now this is an Eddie Royal game. You know how I can tell? Because there’s an obvious WR to start (Floyd) and Royal will likely secure 2-3 TD passes when nobody’s looking. Seriously, though – he’s a really interesting and cheap DFS option this week.

Scouring The Barrel

Marqise Lee, JAC (@HOU) – The Texans are coming off a nice win against the Ravens and can still get into the playoffs if both the Ravens and Chargers lose, but Lee (4-65-0 on Thursday) looks like the real deal and could dominate the Houston secondary if he gets consistent targets. He’s worth a look in deep leagues and DFS.


Eric Decker, NYJ (@MIA) – Despite a huge Week 15 and some early targets in Week 16, Decker finished with just 2-21-0 against the Pats. The Jets are brutal.

Jarvis Landry, MIA (NYJ) – Landry had his worst game since Week 8 but still managed 8-31-0 on nine targets, coughing up a crucial fumble but immediately getting looks and bouncing back with a couple nice catches. He’s going to be a mid-range WR2 with upside heading into next year’s drafts.

TE Owen Daniels, BAL (CLE) – Daniels was targeted six times by Joe Flacco but hauled in just one catch for 7 yards – a product of some poor passing by the veteran QB. He’s not a great option in Week 17.

James Jones, OAK (@DEN) – Jones saw five targets Sunday and had just one catch, but it was a 3-yard TD. The guy is a red zone beast with upside next week facing Denver.

Nate Washington, TEN (IND) – The Titans started Charlie Whitehurst and got some of their weapons back, so Washington wasn’t much of a factor (2-18-0) in the loss to Jacksonville.

Devin Hester, ATL (CAR) – With Julio Jones and Roddy White both active, Hester just had 2-25-0 on three targets. He probably won’t be a factor in Week 17 facing the Panthers.



LB Miles Burris, OAK (@DEN) – The Broncos are now a running team and Burris is the Raiders best tackler right now. He’s not a consistent option, but Burris posts some big stat lines once in a while and this is a favorable matchup.

Defensive Backs

DB Malcolm Jenkins, PHI (@NYG) – Jenkins is a playmaker facing the division rival Giants, who have been throwing quite a bit (and predictably so) to Odell Beckham. Look for the veteran safety to hone in on a telegraphed Manning pass and make some big plays in the secondary.

Defensive Lineman

DL Jared Allen, CHI (@MIN) – Allen has integrity, so he’s not going to phone it in against his old team. I’m banking on a handful of tackles and sack out of the veteran pass rusher this week in Minnesota.


Devon Kennard, NYG (PHI) – Kennard had four solos in the win over St. Louis. He’s someone to keep on the IDP radar in 2015.

Patrick Chung, NE (BUF) – Chung had six total tackles Sunday but failed to collect any junk points. He’s a risk/reward DB3 for Week 17.

Chandler Jones, NE (BUF) – Jones managed five total tackles but didn’t get to Geno Smith – surprising considering the favorable matchup. He’s a Top 5 IDP DL heading into 2015.