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Through The Wire - Week 17

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 12/29/20 |

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. I’ll also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous week.

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


Kirk Cousins, MIN – Not many fantasy leagues are still going, but if you need a free agent QB for Week 17, Cousins (35-50 percent owned) looks like one of the best bets. He’s facing an eminently vulnerable Lions defense and he’s thrown multiple TD passes in seven of his last eight games.

Alex Smith, WAS – Smith should be ready to go in Week 17 in a must-win game (since the Cowboys or Giants will go to the playoffs if they lose), and the Eagles secondary just got shredded by Andy Dalton. He’s a desperation QB2 play if he’s healthy enough to suit up, but a viable option nonetheless.

Other QBs to consider: Mitchell Trubisky, Philip Rivers, Derek Carr


Matthew Stafford, DET – Stafford is nursing an ankle injury after the loss to Tampa Bay when he left in the first half, and there’s no reason to make the veteran QB (questionable for Sunday) play an insignificant game.

Baker Mayfield, CLE – Woof. Mayfield was terrible on Sunday, completing just 28 of 53 passes for 285-0-0 and fumbling three times, losing two – and the game to the New York Jets. A Week 17 game with the Steelers doesn’t seem like a get-right spot to close out the season.

AJ Dillon

Running Backs

AJ Dillon, GB – Dillon (just 3-5 percent owned) took charge and rushed 21 times for 124 yards and two scores in Sunday’s beatdown of the Titans. He probably won’t go that crazy in Week 17, but the matchup portends another big workload if the Packers try to keep Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams (quad, inactive in Week 16) fresh.

Darrel Williams, KC – Williams took advantage of the opportunity and finished with 46 rushing yards on 10 carries and 4-27-0 on six targets Sunday. With rookie sensation Clyde Edwards-Helaire expected to sit along with a few other starters for the regular-season finale against the Chargers, Williams’ workload will depend on Andy Reid and his plans for the postseason. He could get a bunch of touches.

Samaje Perine, CIN – Perine carried 13 times for 95 rushing yards and two TDs in Week 16 against the Texans, adding 4-41-0. He’s firmly on the radar for Week 17.

Other RBs to consider: J.J. Taylor, Ito Smith


Salvon Ahmed, MIA – Gaskin was back in action and Ahmed took a back seat with just 2 rushing yards on six carries and 1-1-0 receiving. Unless the starter suffers a setback, he’ll be relegated to a bench role.

Tony Pollard, DAL – Zeke got the start and Michael Gallup was the big hitter. Pollard carried the ball nine times for 12 yards wasn’t a huge factor in the passing game.

Giovani Bernard, CIN – A solid game from Gio, even if Perine shined as well. Bernard finished with 16 carries for 65 yards and 7-66-0 receiving against the Texans.

Gus Edwards, BAL – Edwards (25-30 percent owned) handled a decent-sized workload on Sunday with 15 carries for 85 rushing yards and 2-37-0 in the win over the Giants. He’ll see plenty of action in Week 17’s divisional clash vs. the Bengals.

Malcolm Brown, LAR – Brown didn’t do much on Sunday, but he’s in line for a possible start in Week 17 with Darrell Henderson on the shelf and Cam Akers still nursing a high ankle sprain.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Sterling Shepard, NYG – Shepard reeled in 9-77-1 on 12 during Sunday’s 27-13 loss to the Ravens and looks ready to face off against the Cowboys for the first time this season, as he was on IR when they last met in October. He’s a high-upside option in the Giants offense in a must-win game.

Michael Gallup, DAL – Gallup went nuts on Sunday, catching 6-121-2 on eight targets in the monster win over the Eagles. I don’t expect another two-TD game but he’s a solid fantasy option for Week 17.

TE Irv Smith, MIN – Smith blew up for 6-53-2 on nine targets in Week 16 and remains a low-end TE1 heading into the season finale against the pitiful Lions.

Nelson Agholor, OAK – Agholor is on a hot streak. He hauled in five of six targets for 155 yards and a huge TD during Saturday’s 26-25 loss to the Dolphins and seems like a new player in 2020.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Keke Coutee, Tim Patrick, Jalen Reagor, Laviska Shenault


Emmanuel Sanders, NO – Sanders had 4-83-0 and a 12-yard carry in the Saints’ 52-33 win over the Vikings on Friday. The veteran WR faces the Panthers in Week 17.

TE Logan Thomas, WAS – Thomas had 7-63-0 on 12 targets in Week 16 against the Panthers, despite Dwayne Haskins. He could finish the season with a solid performance in Week 17 against the Eagles, especially if Smith is under center.

Lynn Bowden Jr., MIA – Bowden had a pair of catches for 8 yards (and an 8-yard carry) during Saturday’s 26-25 win over the Raiders. With Gaskin and the WRs back he’s not really relevant.

Darnell Mooney, CHI – Mooney hauled in 4-29-0 and mixed in a 2-yard rush in the win over the Jaguars on Sunday, but doesn’t have as much upside against the Packers in Week 17.