The Waiver Wire “Playoff Edition” – Week 17
Today marks the end of our 4-month journey together as I roll out the last Waiver Wire article of 2016. This year has been a crazy one with injuries, benchings and high drafted players underperforming at an alarming rate. I preach it every year but this year rang truer than most in that the draft is critical and there is no mistaken it’s extreme importance in laying the foundation for a championship team but the waiver wire is where championships are won! Jordan Howard, Jimmy Graham, Davante Adams, Tyrell Williams, Jay Ajayi, Matt Ryan, Cameron Brate, Dak Prescott, Jamison Crowder, Steve Smith Sr., Terrelle Pryor, Zach Miller, Zach Ertz, Colin Kaepernick, Hunter Henry, Tyrod Taylor, James White, Ty Montgomery, Quincy Enunwa, Tim Hightower, Rishard Matthews, Rob Kelley, Adam Thielen, CJ Prosise, Kyle Rudolph, Tyreek Hill, JJ Nelson, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan, and Cameron Meredith are all players that graced our weekly article this season and that were available for pick up in leagues around the world that helped lead so many to a championship run. The waiver wire is where great fantasy players separate themselves from the mere average ones.
Just a quick PSA announcement there will be no football this Thursday Night and there is a handful of teams who have clinched a playoff birth heading into this weekend. Be on the lookout to see if your studs are going to be sitting (Bell in Pittsburgh or Zeke in Dallas) this weekend. This is the major drawback to having a championship in week 17 but if you play in one of these leagues hopefully you had this is mind during the season and are prepared for your stud’s to potentially sit.
For the playoffs, I will give you the best choices at each position (plus bonus’s from time to time). This is ranked in order of who I would target first to third. At the end of the day you control your waiver rankings, so go get the guy you want! Without further hesitation let’s dive right into the final The Waiver Wire article of the year.
- Sam Bradford (ESPN 9% / Yahoo 12%) – This would be Tyrod Taylor’s spot if he wasn’t being benched in favor EJ Manuel but wizard sleeves was very serviceable last week dropping 28 points on the Packers. With Chicago on deck, Bradford might be able to end the season strong in his one and only year in Minnesota. With the emergence of Adam Thielen, Bradford has one of the safer floors this week.
- Blake Bortles (ESPN 53% / Yahoo 57%) – BB was simply brilliant in the Jaguars first week under interim head coach Doug Marrone. Bortles passed for over 320 yards, had a passing touchdown and a receiving one as well. He and ARob finally got hot against a terrible Tennessee Titans secondary and this week he gets the 24th ranked Colts defense who just gave up 21 points to Derek Carr.
- Tom Savage (ESPN 3% / Yahoo 1%) – Ok, Savage looked awful Saturday night in primetime but if anything is going to make a QB feel better it’s seeing the Tennessee Titans on their schedule. The Titans rank 31st in the league and are giving up 271 yards per game. Savage and the rest of the Houston Offense need to use this game to get on the same page before heading into the playoffs.
- Bilal Powell (ESPN 86% / Yahoo 76%) – Matt Forte is all but done and should not dress for the season finally against the Buffalo Bills. Both teams have nothing to play for and I think Powell is once again playing to prove his worth and it couldn’t come against a better opponent. Under Ryan, the Bills are allowing 133 yards per game ranking 4th for most points given up in fantasy this year.
- Darren McFadden (ESPN 4% / Yahoo 5%) – With Zeke likely to sit out week 17 because the Boys have nothing to play for, McFadden should see the lion share of the work against a Philly defense that has gotten worse as the season has gone on. My only concern with McFadden is that the stud o-line that is so great also sits this game out.
- Alex Collins (ESPN 2% / Yahoo 1%) – Let’s face it Thomas Rawls has been a shell of the fantasy running back we all fell in love with last year and if you are like me and started him last week you got boned. Collins looked better, hit the hole faster and was the more effective running back Saturday. With a matchup against the Niners waiting and Rawls injured once again, Collins could win you a championship on his own this weekend. Only reason he isn’t higher is Rawls hasn’t been ruled out yet.
- Jacquizz Rodgers (ESPN 17% / Yahoo 18%) – Doug Martin has already been ruled out for this weekends game against the Panthers so that means the starting duties will shift to Rodgers. This is a straight volume play based on a tough matchup. The last time these two teams played Rodgers did, however, have 101 yards on 30 carries.
- Paul Perkins (ESPN 15% / Yahoo 14%) – With a playoff birth locked up PP could see an increased workload Sunday vs a Redskins defense that has allowed double-digit performances to RB’s every week since wk11.
- Jerick McKinnon (ESPN 49% / Yahoo 51%) – Mckinnon has been very serviceable as of late averaging over 4 yards per carry over the past three games. If you want a safe floor McKinnon is your man and this week against a Bears defense that has given up 7 rushing touchdowns over the past two weeks, McKinnon might finally find the end zone which he hasn’t done since week 4.
- Adam Thielen (ESPN 25% / Yahoo 29%) – Is the #1 receiver in Minnesota and it’s not even close. If you take out the game against Indy in which he was hurt, Thielen is averaging over 85 yards per game and just dropped 202 yards & 2 touchdowns on 15 targets against the Packers. The matchup isn’t the easiest but at home, the Vikings will most likely look to be going out with a bang.
- Brandon Lafell (ESPN 20% / Yahoo 25%) – Lafell has definitely benefited from the absence of AJ Green and last week against Houston posted his best performance of the season 10/6/130/1. If AJ sits again Lafell is in line to have another potential big game as he faces a Ravens secondary who have given up the 9th most fantasy points to wideouts this year.
- JJ Nelson (ESPN 11% / Yahoo 26%) – JJ has been a beast the past two weeks posting 18/8/170/2 and has scored a touchdown in 4 straight games! LA is up next and the clear #2 WR could be in for another big day.
- Cameron Meredith (ESPN 30% / Yahoo 42%) – Meredith is on fire right now seeing no less than 8 targets over the past 3 games and has topped 100 yards in the past two games and scored a touchdown in 2 of the last 3 games. The Vikings just got lit up by Jordy Nelson who did a lot of his work out of the slot which is where Mr. Meredith is playing. I like his chances to end the year on a high note!
- Charles Clay (ESPN 17% / Yahoo 18%) – Has been a beast over the past three games and looks to continue his touchdown streak against the hopeless New York Jets this weekend. The Jets have given up the 30 passing touchdowns so far this year and are on a high alert to get blown out for the third straight game. Clay is your clear #1 TE pick up this week!
- C.J. Fiedorowicz (ESPN 44% / Yahoo 34%) – As of right now the Houston starters are slated to play the entire game this weekend and it couldn’t be a better matchup for the Texans pass catchers. Fidorfarts Should once again give you a nice floor as the Titans are giving up 52 yards a game to the tight end. Let’s hope for a touchdown as well!
- Jesse James (ESPN 7% / Yahoo 8%) – Ladarius Green is sorely going to be ruled out this week so he can get ready for the playoffs, so that leave Jesse James to face the awful but one win Cleveland Browns Sunday. I like James to get you 30 and touchdown this week and even more if Big Ben plays a half.
- Buffalo Bills (ESPN 72% / Yahoo 64%) – They are playing the Jets and Fitzpatrick is the quarterback! Fire up the Bills!
- Pittsburgh Stellers (ESPN 38% / Yahoo 42%) – They face the Browns at home. No better way to get ready for the playoffs.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ESPN 11% / Yahoo 14%) – In a must-win situation the Buccaneers need to throw everything they have at a very turnover prone Panthers offense. Just back in week 5, Tampa Bay had 2 picks and 2 fumble recoveries against the Panthers.
- Jason Myers (ESPN 2% / Yahoo 4%) – Myers is on fire right now posting scores of 13/10/17 over his past three games. This week the colts are on deck and they are giving up the 6th most fantasy points to kickers. I like Myers to continue with the hot hand and end the year on a high.
- Dan Carpenter (ESPN 5% /Yahoo 4%) – The Bills are playing the worst team in the league right now the Jets. Enough said.
- Chris Boswell (ESPN 10% / Yahoo 46%) – The Browns are on deck and with most of the starters sitting this game out the offense should have to rely on Boswell more than usual to bail them out when their offensive zone drives stall out. I like Boswell to crack double digits this weekend.
Well there you have it week 17 of The Waiver Wire Playoff Edition is in the books. I want to thank all of you for stopping by TFFGurus.com all season long to read The Waiver Wire and all are other articles. This marks the end of the 2016 fantasy football season for yours truly and I am going to take a well-deserved break! Best of luck to all our week 17 warriors in their championship matchups and keep your eyes out for new offseason content from us as the 2017 season inches closer. I will see you all next year and remember to send us all your lineup & offseason questions on Twitter @TFFGurus, @DaFantasyFather, @TheFantasyBoys, and @DecoyLife. Or if you want to go old school shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our Facebook page called The Fantasy Football Gurus. We’re here to help you, and if you need more Guru help, be sure to listen to our weekly podcasts by checking out Trophy Time on Google Play, Stitcher Radio, and iTunes.