Week 17 waiver-wire pickups and fantasy targets
This is your last and final stop. It’s fantasy championship week, and there’s a lot of work to be done on a short week. The pickings are extremely thin on the wire, but we do have some potential gold sitting out there.
Players are listed here in order of priority. Keep in mind that some leagues may be more aggressive or conservative in terms of bidding, so know your league tendencies. Regardless of the size of your league, it’s suggested that you work your way down the list and prioritize the top players in your waiver claims for this week.
Note: For the final two weeks of the season, waiver wire recommendations will be for all league sizes.
1. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville – He grades out as our No. 29 quarterback, but currently ranks 13th at the position in fantasy scoring. The magic of fantasy football, or something like that. Regardless of his poor play on the field, Bortles has been a fantasy asset this season. He’s a risky, but viable streamer this week against an Indianapolis Colts team that just gave up three scores to Derek Carr.
1. Alfred Blue, Houston – With Lamar Miller out last week, Blue served as Houston’s lead back, and racked up 25 touches. It wasn’t the most efficient day, but he still tallied 90 scrimmage yards and a score. With Miller looking very iffy for Week 17, Blue could again dominate touches in the Texans’ backfield.
2. Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay – Doug Martin’s surprise healthy scratch thrust Rodgers into the lead back role last week. He responded with a touchdown to go along with 78 scrimmage yards on 17 touches. Martin will be inactive again this week, so expect another healthy workload for Rodgers. The matchup isn’t great, but he’s in the RB2 conversation based on his projected volume.
3. Zach Zenner, Detroit – The second-year man led the Lions backfield with 14 touches in Week 16, and looked decent in the process. He finished with 92 scrimmage yards and two scores, despite a terrible game script for the Lions. Theo Riddick has missed the last three weeks, and is no lock to play against Green Bay on Sunday.
4. Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore – Sunday’s loss to the Steelers eliminated the Ravens from the playoffs, which actually could be a good thing for Dixon. He’s continued to see a larger workload over the second half of the season, and Week 17 could be an audition for next season.
5. Paul Perkins, New York Giants – Speaking of rookies trending up, Paul Perkins posted his best performance of the season in Week 16. Rashad Jennings led the backfield in snaps, but Perkins was clearly the better player. The Giants are expected to rest some of their starters this week, which could mean even more work for the former UCLA Bruin. Better yet, he gets a fantastic matchup against a Washington team that has given up four rushing touchdowns to running backs in the last five weeks.
1. Adam Thielen, Minnesota – Here’s your top add for Week 17. Thielen put an exclamation point on an impressive season with an explosive a 200-yard performance last week. The Vikings are out of playoff contention, but Thielen still offers a lot of upside against a Bears’ secondary that surrendered 236 yards to Washington receivers last week.
2. J.J. Nelson, Arizona – It hasn’t always been pretty, but Nelson has rattled off a solid month of fantasy production with scores in each of his last four games. Over that span, only Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson has more fantasy points among wide receivers.
3. Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati – A.J. Green won’t be back on the field for the Bengals this week, which again positions LaFell as Andy Dalton’s top target. Since Green went down, LaFell has been a top-20 fantasy option. He’s in play this week against the Ravens.
1. Charles Clay, Buffalo – No tight end has more fantasy points than Charles Clay over the last three weeks. It’s certainly not what we would have expected entering this season, but it’s exactly what’s happened. He’s on an absolute tear, with all of his four touchdowns coming over that span. Ride the hot streak with Clay facing the Jets this week.