Waiver Wire Madness: Week 17
December 22, 2014 | Jeff
Welcome to wild and wacky Week 17. For the brave souls venturing into the final week of the regular season, we wish you good luck in your championship matches. Before we get into the final batch of waiver pickups for this season, I would just like to remind everyone that adding players to block the needs of your opponent is equally as important as adding players to help your own team, especially when titles are on the line. Keep that in mind as you scroll through the waiver wire one last time. Let’s get crackin’!
If you’re playing in Week 17 and are in the market for a quarterback to stream, the best little-owned option on your waiver wire is likely Teddy Bridgewater (Owned: 11% Yahoo, 6% ESPN), who has been on a nice little roll over the last three weeks. Bridgewater is averaging 294.3 passing yards per game over the those three weeks and draws a gravy matchup with Chicago in Week 17. If you’re going to throw all your Christmas eggs in one basket, make it Teddy’s.
Before we get into the running backs on the wire this week, please make sure options like Jonathan Stewart (Owned: 61% Yahoo, 68% ESPN), Andre Williams (Owned: 64% Yahoo, 46% ESPN), and Latavius Murray (Owned: 56% Yahoo, 30% ESPN) are owned. If not, you know what to do.
Devonta Freeman (Owned: 7% Yahoo, 2% ESPN) is an option worth looking at this week with Steven Jackson suffering a quad injury in Week 16. Freeman (24 snaps) and Jacquizz Rodgers (31 snaps) shared time on Sunday after Jackson’s departure, but Freeman was far more effective with his touches. Freeman tallied 84 total yards on just eight touches, which will hopefully lead to an expanded Week 17 role if Jackson sits out. This is a speculative grab at the moment but could be profitable when Sunday rolls around.
One more option for Week 17 is Branden Oliver (Owned: 35% Yahoo, 15% ESPN), who has done a decent job filling in for the injured Ryan Mathews this season. If Mathews misses Week 17 as well, Oliver could contribute to fantasy teams in need of running back help. Over the last two weeks, Oliver has averaged 16 touches and 75.5 total yards per game which would make him flex-worthy if Mathews is out again.
Eddie Royal (Owned: 21% Yahoo, 10% ESPN) has been a waiver wire warrior over the last couple years and turned in another solid effort in Week 16 with Keenan Allen out due to injury. Royal snagged 10 of 12 targets for 94 yards and a score on Sunday and will be worth an add if Allen sits out again.
Just like Eddie Royal above, Danny Amendola (Owned: 8% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) is a worthwhile option if the depth chart falls his way again this week. With Julian Edelman out in Week 16, Amendola caught eight of 11 Tom Brady targets for 63 yards and could fill-in for PPR league teams this week if Edelman is out again.
Two more little-owned options to look at are Albert Wilson (Owned: 0% Yahoo, 0% ESPN) and Dontrelle Inman (Owned: 0% Yahoo, 0% ESPN). Both come with a fair amount of risk, as Wilson plays with Alex Smith (who is allergic to wide receivers) and Inman’s Week 16 outburst was likely a product of San Diego throwing at a high clip to comeback against San Francisco. Despite the risk, both of these players are worth a look if you’re a deep league owner with flex issues as the season wraps up.
Charles Clay (Owned: 47% Yahoo, 4% ESPN) had a big Week 16, hauling in six of 10 targets for 114 yards. This was Clay’s best performance of the season, and he has a chance to finish with another strong effort in Week 17 against the New York Jets, who are allowing the 4th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2014. If you’re looking for a tight end to stream, this could be your guy.
Luke Willson (Owned: 1% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) had himself a monster game on Sunday Night Football, with 139 yards and two scores. Despite the huge game, Willson is a bit too risky for my liking, so look elsewhere for Week 17 help.