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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 17
12/28/15; Updated: 12/29/15 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 highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

It’s Week 17, and while many of you already have your championships decided, a host of leagues will still be playing for keeps during the NFL’s final regular season installment.

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

Johnny Manziel

Manziel topped the 100-yd rushing mark, but he'll need to find the endzone as a passer to hit value.


Sam Bradford, PHI – If you need a final week plug-in with some upside, consider the humble Bradford, who’s available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and has a good matchup against the Giants. Bradford accumulated 380 passing yards in garbage time on Saturday night and Chip Kelly probably wants to run in the neighborhood of 100 plays from scrimmage in the regular season finale.

Johnny Manziel, CLE – The Steelers can’t get in the playoffs unless they win and the Jets lose, so my gut tells me they’ll come out firing against the Browns. This leaves Manziel with enormous upside playing catch-up, as it’s likely they’ll abandon the run and do some throwing of their own. It’s one of the best positional matchups of the week and Manziel is a dynamic (108 rushing yards last week) if inconsistent performer (13-for-32 for 136-0-1 passing – same week!) capable of scoring some fantasy points. If Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t available, there just aren’t a lot of QBs to trust in Week 17.

UPDATE: Manziel may be involved in yet another drinking incident, this time on Christmas Eve. Mike Pettine hasn’t ruled out benching him for Week 17, and it’s obvious that Manziel either wants out of Cleveland or has a serious drinking problem if this is how he’s going to carry himself.

Brian Hoyer HOU – UPDATE: Hoyer is probably getting cleared (concussion) to play this week, and he’s got an excellent matchup versus the Jaguars. He’s a Top 10 QB for Week 17.

Teddy Bridgewater, MIN – Per his normal output, Bridgewater saves his best games for the worst matchups, and vice versa. He finished with just 168-1-0 and 12 rushing yards against the Giants.

Brock Osweiler, DEN – Update coming Tuesday.

UPDATE: Osweiler has been named the starter for Week 17 after a comeback win over Cincinnati on Monday night. He wasn’t incredibly sharp but made a few big-time throws and is a better fit in the running offense. Peyton Manning is himself involved in a semi-scandal, as a report surfaced (one that was then retraced by the source, but not the journalist) of HGH being delivered to his home, allegedly for his wife. Regardless, it appears that Osweiler has earned the confidence of his coaches and the Broncos will ride him through the playoffs.

Blaine Gabbert, SF – Gabbert had 225-2-0 and a lost fumble at Detroit. He’s not on the fantasy radar for Week 17.

Ryan Tannehill, MIA – Tannehill had another bad week and faces the Patriots in Week 17. I don’t trust him at all anymore, though he could rack up some numbers playing from behind.

Running Backs

Charles Sims, TB – Sims had four carries for 45 yards and 3-72-1 in the loss to Chicago. Not a huge volume of touches, but Sims seems to make the most of his limited opportunities. He should get a decent amount of work in Week 17 at Carolina, and could see 6-8 targets as the main passing down back.

Donald Brown, SD – The matchup isn’t great for Week 17, but Brown had 14 carries on Thursday night (17 rushing yards and 3-33-0 receiving) and could handle goal line carries again this week. There’s not too many decent backs on the waiver wire at this point, but Brown could punch one in for the Bolts.

Ka’Deem Carey, CHI – Carey was used around the goaline, notching both rushing and receiving TDs on just eight total touches. He’s a deep-league flex with minimal upside, but could see more work in the finale at Detroit.

Theo Riddick, DET – UPDATE: I keep coming back to Riddick, who’s one of the best PPR options in relation to his value in standard leagues. He had seven carries for 20 yards but 7-63-0 receiving against the 49ers. Jump on him if he’s still out there.

RB Updates

Rashad Jennings, NYG – Jennings totaled 74 rushing yards and 2-62-0 receiving on Sunday night and remains the go-to back for the Giants.

Mike Gillislee, BUF – Gillislee had 91 rushing yards and a TD on just nine carries and added 2-16-0 receiving. He and Karlos Williams are in a firm timeshare.

Karlos Williams, BUF – Williams finished with 76 rushing yards on 17 carries and added 2-21-0 but lost a fumble. The Jets defense represents a tough matchup for both backs.

Christine Michael, SEA – If you trusted C-Mike in Week 16, you haven’t been paying attention.

Steven Jackson, NE – Jackson received just seven carries (15 yards) in his Pats’ debut but should be more involved in Week 17.

Cameron Artis-Payne Artis-Payne disappointed with only five carries (albeit for 49 rushing yards) and 1-7-0 receiving, but it wasn’t his fault, since the Panthers didn’t really give him much work. Stay tuned to the status of Jonathan Stewart for more insight into how this plays out on Week 17.

UPDATE: Stewart may practice on Wednesday but is not guaranteed to take the field in Week 17. Artis-Payne makes the most sense for the bulk of touches.

Jerick McKinnon, MIN – Despite an active AD, McKinnon finished as the third-best fantasy back on Week 16 with 89 rushing yards, two TDs and 2-8-0 receiving. He’s worth a look at flex in Week 17.

Bilal Powell, NYJ – Powell had 56 rushing yards and 5-34-0 receiving. He didn’t find paydirt but looks like a solid RB3 or low-end RB2 for Week 17 in Buffalo.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Dontrelle Inman, SD – The Chargers depleted WR corps has vaulted Inman (just 5-10 percent owned) into relevance this season, and his Week 16 performance (8-82-1 on 13 targets) represented his best game of 2015.

Pierre Garcon, WAS – Garcon (owned in 65 percent of fantasy leagues) is coming off a solid game (7-80-1 on 12 targets) and should be owned in all formats and deployed in Week 17.

Kenny Britt, STL – Britt had 3-49-1 in the win over Seattle and could get more targets in Week 17 at San Francisco.

Harry Douglas, TEN – Douglas had 6-79-0 with a lost fumble on 12 targets in Week 16, and could be worth adding in deeper formats.

Keshawn Martin, NE – UPDATE: I’m willing to give Martin another shot, and he’s just valuable enough for you to find on the occasional waiver wire – and good enough for the Pats to target in Week 17.

TE Vance McDonald, SF – McDonald’s 5-61-1 was a welcome fantasy line for those who took a shot on him when he garnered the starting role, but he’s still owned in just 5 percent of fantasy leagues and has a decent matchup in Week 17 against a tough Rams defense that’s somewhat vulnerable to opposing TEs.

WR/TE Updates

Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN – Three targets, zero catches in Week 16. Brilliant.

Rueben Randle, NYG – Randle salvaged what would have been a horrible day with a 72-yard TD, giving him 2-80-1 on the day. He wasn’t in sync with Eli Manning and represents a limited-upside play in Week 17.

Adam Humphries, TB – Humphries had just 1-0-0 on two targets as Winston looked more toward Mike Evans, his RBs and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins on Sunday.

Jaelen Strong, HOU – Despite the absence of Cecil Shorts and little reason to give work to veteran Nate Washington, Strong had just 2-18-0 on five targets. Why not play with your new, younger toys on Christmas weekend?

TE Zach Ertz, PHI – Ertz had another monster PPR day, racking up 13-122-0 with a lost fumble on 17 targets. That’s 30 targets in his past two weeks.

TE Tyler Kroft, CIN – Update coming Tuesday.

UPDATE: Kroft hauled in four of six targets from AJ McCarron for 46 yards in the OT loss to Denver, but failed to find paydirt. He’ll probably grab another start before Eifert is activated in the postseason.