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Waiver Wire Rankings (Week 17)

Dec 26, 2016


Adam Thielen is one of the hottest receivers heading into Week 17

Adam Thielen is one of the hottest receivers heading into Week 17

It’s here. The final week of the regular season is upon us. After 16 weeks of football, the sport has proved once again that injuries are inevitable. In particular, we wish Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, Tyler Lockett, and Carlos Hyde speedy and full recoveries heading into 2017. Now if your league is still going, week 17 is always an interesting one as some teams may or may not play their stars if they’ve clinched a playoff spot. This is the week the waiver wire can play a bigger role than just a bye week or injury fill-in.

At this point, it’s all about upside for just one game. To help identify which players you should target, we asked our featured experts below to rank the top readily available waiver wire options as well as name the one defense to target for streaming going into the finale. We hope you had a great Christmas and wish you the best on a championship win for the new year.

Please keep in mind, the players ranked below all have under 50% ownership. If you’d like to get more tailored advice, you can always take advantage of our premium waiver wire assistant.

Featured Experts:
Pat FitzmauriceThe Football Girl
Jon CollinsFantasy Sports LR
Kevin HansonEDSFootball
James HatfieldHatty Waiver Wire Guru
Bobby Sylvester – FantasyPros

*Ownership % derived from a consensus of Yahoo & ESPN leagues

Q1. Give us your thoughts on a waiver wire target (or two) you especially like as a pickup.

Adam Thielen’s emergence as an impact wide receiver seems like something out of a fever dream, but, well, here we are. Thielen and Cameron Meredith both seem like good bets for 10 or more targets when the Bears and Vikings meet this week in a glorified exhibition game. I ranked Alex Collins with the expectation that Thomas Rawls will be able to play with a bruised shoulder, but if Rawls is out, Collins could be in for a huge week against the 49ers.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

“I’ve got an eye on Alfred Blue and Alex Collins this week. With lead backs dealing with injury and the playoffs all locked up, Week 17 presents an opportunity for increased workload. In particular, Collins looked sound in Week 16 and draws a matchup against the 49ers who have been a punching bag for fantasy RBs this season. Todd Gurley scored a measely one TD against them this week… that marks the first time since the start of December that a lead back hasn’t scored two or more. All told, the 49ers have allowed 6 RBs to score two or more rushing TDs against them in one game this season, including Seattle’s Christine Michael in Week 3. If he’s starting, opportunity abounds.”
Jon Collins (Fantasy Sports LR)

“With Doug Martin a surprising inactive on Saturday, Jacquizz Rodgers touched the ball 17 times for 78 yards and a touchdown and he’s the RB16 heading into Monday Night Football for Week 17. Coach Dirk Koetter has suggested that it was just a coach’s decision, as opposed to a disciplinary move, to keep Martin inactive. If so, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Martin (2.9 YPC this season) is inactive again in Week 17 and that ‘Quizz gets the majority of early-down work over Charles Sims, who should maintain his change-of-pace role.”
Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball)

“I don’t care that the Bears are playing the Vikings in Week 17, who are falling apart before our eyes mind you, I want Cameron Meredith on my team. Even with Alshon back the previous two weeks, Cameron has 13 and 12 targets and over 100+ yards in each of those games. Finding a player like that is a gift on the waiver wire no matter who they match up against.”
Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Adam Thielen is clearly the WR to pick up in all formats. He has such solid upside he can’t be ignored next week.”
James Hatfield (Hatty Waiver Wire Guru)

Q2. For owners renting a D/ST in Week 17, what readily available option should they target and why?

“Regardless of their motivation level, the Pittsburgh Steelers should rack up some sacks and perhaps an interception or three against Cody Kessler and the Browns.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

“I like the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Browns in Week 17. Cleveland already has their win, and they seem far more likely for a let down then they are to treat it as a momentum builder. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a lot to play for either, but I trust their defense to keep a Browns team that has allowed 8+ points to opposing defenses in 7 straight games in check.”
Jon Collins (Fantasy Sports LR)

Pittsburgh goes up against Cleveland next week. The Browns did well against San Diego but that won’t happen against Pittsburgh; expect Pittsburgh defense to put up solid numbers. Another option is taking Houston against Tennessee who is missing Mariota next week.”
James Hatfield (Hatty Waiver Wire Guru)

“Perhaps bad news in terms of their Week 17 outlook, the Steelers have locked up the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs and will play on Wild Card weekend. Therefore, several starters could remain on the bench. That said, they will host the (now) one-win Browns in Week 17 and face Cody Kessler, who completed 7-of-14 for 128 yards and an interception against them in Week 11. I think they should still play most of this game with a lead and get plenty of opportunities for sacks and interceptions.”
Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball)

“You can make a case any week to pick on Blake Bortles or whoever the Browns are rolling out at quarterback, but this week I want whoever is playing Cam Newton. Cam is on an unprecedented streak of inaccurate passing, perhaps the worst in modern NFL history. Add in that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been one of the best defenses in football over the previous seven weeks and I’m sold that they are the waiver wire add I want to get my hands on.”
Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts all season long for ranking the top readily available waiver options. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and subscribe to our podcast below.

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