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Through The Wire - Week 18

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 1/3/22 |

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.

Note: This column will be updated tomorrow at the conclusion of Week 17.


Mac Jones, NE – The impressive rookie had another solid outing in Week 17 in a soft matchup against Jacksonville, completing 22 of 30 passes for 227-3-0 and adding two carries for 12 rushing yards. Jones (20% owned in ESPN leagues) just keeps adding to his resume ahead of the postseason, and that should continue facing the Dolphins in a Week 18 road matchup the Pats will be there to win.

Taysom Hill, NO – Hill (50% owned) had 222-1-0 passing and added 45 rushing yards on 12 carries in Sunday’s 18-10 win over the Panthers. The mobile QB should post even better numbers in Week 18 against the Falcons, when a win could help mean a playoff appearance for the Saints.

Other QBs to consider: Ryan Tannehill (55-60%), Trey Lance (20-25%), Taylor Heinicke (20%)


Carson Wentz, IND – Wentz never real got it going against the Raiders and threw for just 148-1-0 in Sunday’s 23-20 loss, adding three carries for 10 yards. While he's been held to under 200 passing yards in five of his last seven starts, the Week 18 matchup against Jacksonville is a favorable one.

Zach Wilson, NYJ – Wilson completed 18 of 32 passes for 224-1-0 in Sunday’s 28-24 loss to Tampa Bay. He added two rushing attempts for no gain and probably isn’t worth starting vs. the Bills in Week 18.

Running Backs

Rhamondre Stevenson, NE – Stevenson returned from a one-game absence due to COVID-19 and ended up with a big workload following a hamstring injury to Damien Harris, rushing 19 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Jaguars on Sunday. While Harris downplayed the hamstring issue after the game, he could still be rested in the Week 18 finale against the Dolphins and put Stevenson (just 40% owned) into a monster spot for fantasy RB1 production.

Boston Scott, PHI – Scott (25% rostered) finished with 47 rushing yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 20-16 win over Washington, adding 4-39-0. Pending the status of Miles Sanders in Week 18, Scott should maintain a key role in the matchup against the Cowboys.

Jaret Patterson, WAS – Patterson rushed the ball 12 times for 57 yards in Sunday’s 20-16 loss to Philadelphia and helped DFS lineups in all contests, as well as season-long owners still in the mix. He added 5-41-0 and while the return of Antonio Gibson in a Week 18 matchup against the Giants could spoil his utility, Patterson is a name to know heading into 2022.

Ty Johnson, NYJ – Johnson (15% owned) rushed five times for 35 yards and a TD while catching three of four targets for 47 yards in the loss to the Buccaneers. Starting RB Michael Carter left with a concussion in the first half, leaving Johnson and Austin Walter to split carries (since Tevin Coleman is on the reserve/COVID-19 list). Stay tuned for Week 18, as the injury news could help form a better picture of who’ll tote the rock the most against the Bills.

Other RBs to consider: Mike Davis (50%), Devontae Booker (25%), Duke Johnson (5-10%), Brandon Bolden (5%), Le’Veon Bell (5%)


Dare Ogunbowale, JAC – Ogunbowale rushed nine times for 36 yards and caught both his targets for 32 yards and a score during the blowout 50-10 loss to the Patriots.

Rex Burkhead, HOU – The veteran continued to carry the load for Houston, rushing 16 times for 47 yards and adding 6-32-0 receiving in Sunday’s 23-7 loss to the 49ers. He’s carrying a solid floor into Week 18 against the Titans, when his volume could help owners settle their RB3/flex spots.

Darrel Williams/Derrick Gore, KC – Williams rushed 14 times for 88 yards and two touchdowns while catching all three of his targets for 19 yards in the 34-31 loss to the Bengals, while Gore rushed three times for 37 yards and caught his only target for eight yards. If Clyde Edwards-Helaire doesn’t suit up for Week 18 against Denver, Williams should continue to lead the Chiefs backfield into the postseason, where the seeding still hasn’t been determined.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, TB – Vaughn (5% owned) rushed eight times for 31 yards and caught 2-14-0 on Sunday. Vaughn (ribs) helped fill the void left by Ronald Jones, who exited early with an ankle injury. He could play a big role in Week 18.

Cyril Grayson

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Cyril Grayson, TB – Grayson (less than 1% owned) secured six of eight targets for 81 yards and a TD, getting lots of snaps after Antonio Brown took off during the game. With AB slated to be released and the coaching staff and Tom Brady showing their trust in the speedster, Grayson could be in for a significant role in Week 18 against the Panthers.

Braxton Berrios, NYJ – Berrios (about 5% owned and included in my WRs to considers last week) caught 8-65-1 on 12 targets for 65 yards, adding 12 yards and a touchdown on two rushing attempts. While he also lost a fumble, Berrios could see double-digit targets again in Week 18.

Zay Jones, LV – Jones has emerged as a solid WR No. 2 for the Raiders, recording eight receptions on 10 targets for 120 yards in Sunday’s 23-20 win over the Colts. He’s one to watch heading into Week 18 and 2022.

Antoine Wesley, ARI – Wesley (less than 1% rostered) caught four of five targets for 30 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 25-22 win over the Cowboys. A popular red zone target over the past two weeks, Wesley is athletic and should get a handful of looks against the Seahawks in Week 18.

Allen Lazard, GB – Lazard (15-20% owned) hauled in all six of his targets for 72 yards and a TD on Sunday night, establishing himself as a solid and consistent fantasy option lately (with three touchdowns over the last four weeks and three carries for 32 yards over that span). A meaningless Week 18 game could be difficult to handicap, but he should have some chances to make plays.

TE Anthony Firkser, TEN – Firkser had 3-24-1 in Sunday’s 34-3 win over the Dolphins, and he’s one of very few options available at TE for Week 18.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Marquez Callaway (30%), T.Y. Hilton (15%), Cedrick Wilson (5%), Kristian Wilkerson (0%)


K.J. Osborn, MIN – Osborn had three receptions (five targets) for 50 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 37-10 loss to Green Bay.

Isaiah McKenzie, BUF – McKenzie caught just one ball for 6 yards on two targets with the Buffalo WRs nearing full strength.

Byron Pringle, KC – Pringle took a big step back in Week 17 with just 3-35-0 on four targets.

TE Gerald Everett, SEA – Everett had 3-36-0 on five targets in Sunday’s win over Detroit.

Chris Conley, HOU – Week 17 was a total bust for Conley, who was limited in practice all week and questionable to suit up. He had one catch for -2 yards and was targeted twice. He also had a 3-yard carry.