Waleed Ismail usually gets you rolling with your fantasy football waiver wire options each week. But, last night, disaster struck. He’s fine, but a flat tire left him on the side of the road for a couple of hours last night, destroying his best-laid plans. So, here I am, to try to get you the best waiver wire advice that I can possibly get you this morning. Isn’t that a nice little microcosm of the season? Everything gets setup nicely for a great playoff run, and then something unexpected derails your path to the championship. That leaves you to do your best to pick up the pieces and continue forward.
Without further ado, let’s get a look at your fantasy football week seventeen options! Players are listed in my preferred order of pickup by position, based on your needs. Good luck in your fantasy football championships!
Waiver Wire Quarterbacks
Trey Lance, San Francisco (12% rostered)
Jimmy Garoppolo has a UCL tear and a broken thumb in his throwing hand. The 49ers’ quarterback said he would do what he always tries to do, “gut it out.” But, this is what cost Drew Brees six weeks back in 2019. I doubt we see Garoppolo again this year, which means that it’s Trey Lance Time. According to Kyle Shanahan, Trey Lance has had four consecutive great weeks of practice and could be ready to roll this weekend against the Texans. You might remember the Texans from “inexplicably defeating the Chargers” last week, but that had more to do with COVID on the Chargers’ side than anything the Texans did. Lance saw significant snaps twice this year and finished with 41 yards rushing in a half, and 89 yards rushing over the course of a whole game.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (41% rostered)
Tua takes the Tennessee Titans this time. Tennessee allows the tenth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season, including over 300 passing yards to Jimmy Garoppolo, who played half the game with a borked thumb. Tua cratered in week sixteen in a defensive slugfest against the Saints, but that won’t be the case in week seventeen.
Davis Mills, Houston Texans (3% rostered)
Don’t look now, but Davis Mills has 18+ fantasy points in two of the last three weeks while leading the Texans to a 2-1 record over those games. Houston lets him sling the rock, likely because their other options are Rex Burkhead (more on him in a second) and David Johnson. Mills gets a 49ers team that allows the twelfth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season, but who has shut down Matt Ryan and Ryan Tannehill in consecutive weeks. Prior to that, it was three-straight games with multiple touchdowns to quarterbacks. Mills likely has a wobbly start here, but Brandin Cooks’ pending removal from the COVID-19 IR bodes well for Mills’ prospects as the 49ers get brutalized by speedsters.
Also in Consideration:
Tyler Huntley (13%)/Josh Johnson (2%), Baltimore
Waiver Wire Running Backs
Ronald Jones (46% rostered)/Ke’Shawn Vaughn (3% rostered), Tampa Bay
The Buccos’ sudden one-two running back punch gets the worst team in the league at stopping opposing running backs in your fantasy football finals (the Jets!). I can earnestly cosign starting Ronald Jones in your flex spot in your fantasy finals, but starting Ke’Shawn Vaughn gets a bit of trepidation from me. Even if you have no plans on starting RoJo, keep him away from your opponent with some shrewd FAB moves in your fantasy football finals.
Boston Scott (33%)/Jordan Howard (25%), Philadelphia
I would prefer Boston Scott here, mostly because Jordan Howard left the game with a stinger, which is the same thing that cost him about a quarter of the season down the stretch in 2020. It’s also the kind of injury that’s a one-and-done; one bad hit and he’s back out of the game. So, I would prefer Boston Scott in Miles Sanders’ stead this week. Scott played spot-duty for a few weeks this season, and ended with 72 yards on 17 touches with a score against the Giants. He did the same spot duty last year, getting 15 carries and 2 catches in each of week eight and week seventeen, finishing with 79 yards in both games.
Derrick Gore, Kansas City (6% rostered)
First and foremost, make sure that Darrel Williams (64%) isn’t available in your league. While he technically doesn’t qualify for this article, I just want to make sure we cover all of our bases. Gore and Williams get the Bengals this week in CEH’s likely absence due to a collarbone injury. Gore has played more than 15% of snaps three times this season, and in those three games, he averages over 80 yards per game, has caught five balls, and scored two touchdowns.
Rex Burkhead, Houston (13% rostered)
The fantasy darling of week sixteen, Rex Burkhead left Evan Silva with palpitations, as his boy came through for him. Burkhead stomped the Chargers last week to the tune of 149 total yards and two touchdowns. This week he gets an average matchup against the 49ers, who allow the fourteenth-fewest fantasy points to running backs. They hold power backs in check, but speedsters line Jeremy McNichols (7/31 last week) can do a lot of damage on very few touches. Burkhead should have an RB2 week this week.
Craig Reynolds, Detroit (20% rostered)
If D’Andre Swift doesn’t make it back this week, then Craig Reynolds should have a big week this week. While it didn’t come through against the Falcons, he had good games against Denver and Arizona, while getting goal-line opportunities for Detroit. They take on the Seahawks this week, who allow the second-most fantasy points to running backs on the season, and who have nothing left to play for.
Dare Ogunbowale, Jacksonville (2% rostered)
Dare Ogunbowale has the easiest road to touches this week. For the worst team in the league. Against Bill Belichick. Who is angry at the Bills crushing them last week. I’m not too bullish on Dare Ogunbowale, but if you need a guy who will get a bunch of touches, Ogunbowale is your best bet… unless Ryquell Armstead’s victory tour over COVID-19 continues. I don’t feel great about getting Ogunbowale onto your fantasy team, especially for a Jags team playing out the string.
Also in Consideration:
Cam Akers (12%)/Jake Funk (1%) (Sony Michel COVID insurance)
Waiver Wire Wide Receivers
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit (35% rostered)
Amon-Ra St. Brown is still out there in two-thirds of leagues, but if you’re playing for your fantasy football finals, chances are you already have him. If you don’t, go out and get Sun God. He has 46 targets in his last four games, and his floor in that timeframe was 11.3 half-PPR fantasy points. The Seahawks aren’t a great matchup, but high-volume receivers can torch them. Honestly, I don’t care who anyone is playing if they get 11 targets.
Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo (0% rostered)
With Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis both on the COVID-19 IR and looking like they won’t get activated before the game on Sunday, then McKenzie makes for an intriguing waiver wire pick-up. McKenzie had 12 targets in their absence last week, which he turned into 11 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. The man has an incredible opportunity for a follow-up this week against the Falcons.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (43%)/Allen Lazard (17%), Green Bay
I prefer MVS to Allen Lazard, but he’s currently on the COVID-19 IR, so I guess we have to go with Lazard. Lazard played well in MVS’ stead last week, scoring a nimble touchdown while totaling 45 yards on five targets. This marks his second double-digit HPPR day in the last three weeks, and Green Bay gets Minnesota this week. The Vikings are the next up on the Aaron Rodgers NFC North turbostomp departing tour, and they give up the most fantasy points to wide receivers on the season.
Also in Consideration:
Byron Pringle (7%), Kansas City; K.J. Osborn (14%), Minnesota, Josh Palmer (9%), L.A. Chargers; Braxton Berrios (3%), N.Y. Jets
Tight End Waiver Wire Targets
Gerald Everett, Seattle (25% rostered)
Everett has gone for at least 4/60 in two-straight games and has four catches in four of his last five catches going into this one. Last week, he cashed in the score to get his third double-digit fantasy game in HPPR since the Seahawks’ week nine bye. This week, the Seahawks take on the Lions in what should be a shootout. He leads all tight ends in targets inside the five-yard line in the last five weeks, meaning he has a great shot at another touchdown this weekend.
Foster Moreau, Las Vegas (22% rostered)
Moreau is useless if Darren Waller plays, but I’m not bullish that happens. Moreau faceplanted in his first game filling in for Waller at KC, but he’s totaled 18.7 fantasy points over the last two weeks without a touchdown, notching a 7/65 game and a 4/67 game. This week, he gets the Colts, who allow the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends and who gave up two touchdowns to Hunter Henry in week fifteen and 8/54 to Zach Ertz last week.
Cole Kmet, Chicago (33% rostered)
Cole Kmet isn’t my favorite pick-up this week, but the man is going to get a bunch of targets. He has 11, 7, 5, 9, and 5 over the last five weeks, which is when he started to take over in earnest for the Bears. Unfortunately, Jimmy Graham is the touchdown-receiver of choice in Chicago (for some unknown reason), so that means that Kmet has limited upside. He has a neutral matchup against the Giants this week.
Also in Consideration:
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati (23%); John Bates, Washington (1%)