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
Wentz, IND – Wentz (40-45% owned)
was 18-for-28 passing for 225-2-0 in Saturday’s 22-16 win in Arizona.
He faces the Raiders in Week 17 and is on the short list of viable
starting QBs owned in fewer than 50% of fantasy leagues.
Editor's Note: Wentz was added to the Covid
list Tuesday afternoon making him unlikely to play in Week 17.
Wilson, NYJ – Wilson completed 14
of 22 passes for 102-1-0 but rushed four times for 91 yards and
a touchdown in Sunday’s 26-21 win over the Jaguars. His rushing
skills will keep him in the conversation ahead of a Week 17 matchup
against the Bucs despite a banged-up receiving corps and weak
Goff, DET – Goff hit the COVID list
later in the week and Tim Boyle got the start for Detroit.
ATL – Ryan completed 18 of 24 passes for 215-1-0 in the
win over the Lions on Sunday. The veteran QB’s fantasy upside
is hurt by his weak receiving corps, but he’ll be forced
to chuck it more in a Week 17 matchup against the Bills.
Ogunbowale, JAC – Ogunbowale stepped
in for the injured James Robinson (torn Achilles) and rushed 17
times for 57 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s 26-21 loss to the
Jets. He added 2-12-0 on four targets and should continue to work
as the Jags’ lead back in Week 17 against the Patriots and Week
18 against the Colts.
Burkhead, HOU – Burkhead rushed
the ball 22 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s
41-29 win over the Chargers, adding two receptions for zero yards.
It was a breakthrough performance for the veteran back who has
made this column a few times this season in “RBs to consider.”
Even if David Johnson remains sidelined for Houston’s Week 17
matchup against San Francisco, Burkhead probably won’t be able
to post numbers like this again.
Gore, KC – Williams (60% owned) ran for 55 yards
on 11 carries and caught three passes for 30 yards on three targets
Sunday, while Gore ran for 43 yards on 12 carries and caught 3-61-0
on three targets. Williams led the Chiefs in rushing yardage in
a game during which starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire left with a
shoulder/collarbone injury that could keep him out of a Week 17
matchup with the Bengals. Stay tuned.
Vaughn, TB – I included Vaughn in
“Others to consider” last week. He rushed seven times for 70 yards
and a touchdown and failed to bring in his only target during
the Buccaneers’ 32-6 win over the Panthers on Sunday. He may have
established himself a solid compliment to RoJo for a Week 17 road
matchup with the Jets.
Jackson, LAC – I recommended adding
Jackson in my Wednesday update after Austin Ekeler hit the COVID
list, and he did not disappoint, rushing 11 times for 64 yards
and two TDs in Sunday’s 41-29 loss to the Texans and adding 8-98-0
on nine targets. Despite the enormous day (and 162 total yards),
Jackson will likely be back to his change-of-pace role if Ekeler
suits up for Week 17’s matchup against the Broncos.
Wilson, SF – Wilson rushed 14 times
for 45 yards and a TD and brought in all three targets for 12
receiving yards in the loss to the Titans on Thursday night. Unfortunately
for Wilson owners, Elijah Mitchell (concussion/knee) has a chance
to get back for Week 17.
Jones, TB – Jones rushed 20 times
for 65 yards and a TD and added 2-16-0 on three targets on Sunday.
With Leonard Fournette on IR (hamstring), Jones was the primary
ball carrier for the Buccaneers and will continue in that role
for a favorable Week 17 road matchup against the Jets.
Johnson, MIA –UPDATE:
Johnson rushed 13 times for 39 yards on MNF in the 20-3 win over
the Saints. Unfortunately, the presence of Phillip Lindsay and
Myles Gaskin renders all three backs as untrustworthy ahead of
a Week 17 matchup with the Titans.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
MIN – I included Osborn (30% owned) in last week’s UPDATE
section after a slow Week 15, but he had a nice Week 16 (5-68-1
on seven targets). We also had some big performances from a few
of the WRs to consider, including Tyler Boyd, Christian Kirk and
Braxton Berrios, so remember to check out that bunch as well – since
it often includes both fringe players and more obvious names who
are a little higher-owned and therefore available only in shallow
McKenzie, BUF – McKenzie (less than
1% owned) caught 11 of 12 targets for 125 yards and a TD in Sunday’s
33-21 win over the Patriots. Gabriel Davis has already been ruled
out for the team’s Week 17 matchup with the Falcons, but fellow
COVID casualty Cole Beasley could be back next week. Either way,
with this performance, McKenzie has shown he can fill that role
and pile up numbers against a weak Atlanta secondary.
Pringle, KC – This one goes in the
annals as one of my darkest fantasy hours. In one of my fantasy
semifinals, I picked up Pringle (1-2% owned) but left him on the
bench in favor of the reinstated Tyreek Hill, Marquise Brown and
Kadarius Toney. Pringle erupted for 6-75-2 on seven targets against
Pittsburgh on Sunday and could have helped clinch me a victory.
He’s on the fantasy radar moving forward and for 2022, but with
Travis Kelce likely back for Week 17's game against the Bengals
and Hill most definitely seeing more field time, Pringle may not
have this opportunity again. Still – he’s probably established
himself as the Chiefs’ WR3 for the final two weeks.
Everett, SEA – Everett hauled in 4-68-1 on five in
Sunday’s 25-24 loss to the Bears but seems to be finally be finding
some chemistry with Russell Wilson as the season winds down (three
touchdowns in the last five games). He’s looking like a low-end
TE1 in a Week 17 matchup with the Lions.
Conley, HOU – Conley recorded 3-60-1
on three targets in Sunday’s 41-29 win over the Chargers. If WR1
Brandin Cooks is unable to clear COVID-19 protocols in time for
Week 17 (@SF), Conley could be in line for another big outing.
Valdes-Scantling, GB – The Packers
placed Valdes-Scantling on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday after
testing positive for the virus, giving Allen Lazard the easiest
path to success via target volume.
Brown, TB – Brown came back from
his suspension and hauled in 10 of 15 targets for 101 yards in
the blowout win over the Panthers on Sunday. Despite the massive
target volume, Brown may see fewer looks in Week 17 on the road
against the Jets if WR1 Mike Evans is available.
St. Brown, DET – St. Brown was 25%
owned heading into Week 16 and caught nine of 11 targets for 91
yards and one TD in the loss to the Falcons. He added 19 rushing
yards on two carries and remains the best WR on the team.
Callaway, NO –UPDATE:
Callaway caught four of five targets for 46 yards during the loss
to Miami, and despite Tre’Quan Smith suffering a chest injury
that would seem to increase his target share, Callaway will be
tough to count on in Week 17 if Ian Book is under center for New
Henry, NE – Henry followed up his huge Week 15 with
a dud against Buffalo (1-9-0 on six targets).