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Waiver Wired
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Waiver Wire: Week 16

by Raymond Summerlin
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to the 16th edition of Waiver Wired for the 2017 season. With the final week of the fantasy season – for most players – here, this column will focus exclusively on the present. To that end, the watch list has been replaced by a look at some desperations plays for anyone who managed to get this far in the playoffs with a hole in the lineup. For those poor souls forced to play in Week 17, there is a section looking at some widely-available players with good matchups in the final week.

As a reminder, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and deep cuts are players owned in five percent or fewer of leagues.

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The Drop List

At this point it is simple. If they are not starting, they can be cut.  

Blake Bortles owned in 54 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 streaming option if available.
1. Nick Foles
2. Joe Flacco

Running Backs
1. Kerwynn Williams
2. Mike Davis
3. Peyton Barber
4. Tion Green

Wide Receivers
Martavis Bryant owned in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 3 receiver if available.
1. Dede Westbrook
2. Mike Wallace
3. Keelan Cole
4. Will Fuller
5. Kendall Wright

Tight Ends
1. Eric Ebron
2. Charles Clay
3. Ricky Seals-Jones

Defense/Special Teams

1. Carolina Panthers
2. Chicago Bears
3. Washington Redskins

1. Dan Bailey
2. Phil Dawson
3. Josh Lambo

1. Nick Foles, Eagles – Owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
In leagues where Blake Bortles is already owned, this is a bad week for streamers with usual top options like Tyrod Taylor and Jimmy Garoppolo in tough spots. That leaves quarterback-needy teams with a choice between upside and safety. Foles, as well as some of the quarterbacks listed in the desperation section, represents that upside after throwing for four touchdowns against the Giants in his first start of the season. The matchup with the Raiders this week is tougher – Oakland has quietly shut down passers over the last month – but the weapons at his disposal give Foles a chance at multiple scores and big games every week.

2. Joe Flacco, Ravens – Owned in 18 percent of Yahoo leagues
Flacco disappointingly only threw for one score against the Browns, but he now has three solid passing games in a row. More importantly, he gets to face a Colts defense which was just shredded by Brock Osweiler of all people. Flacco has not shown any upside this season, but he is the safe option.

Week 17: Tyrod Taylor finishes the season with another game against the Dolphins…Jacoby Brissett had a tough run through the playoffs, but he finishes up in a great spot at home against the Texans.

Desperation Station: Tyrod Taylor would seem like a sure-fire streaming option coming off a good performance against the Dolphins, but following a three-touchdown debut against them in 2015, Tyrod has thrown for exactly one touchdown in his last four games against the Patriots. He has had some rushing success in those games, making him the best of this bunch…Despite a 434-yard, three-touchdown explosion against the Eagles, it is difficult to jump in head first with Manning because he had failed to throw for more than 275 yards in eight consecutive games before Sunday with one or fewer touchdowns in five of those games. Arizona has also been stingy against passers as of late…Jimmy Garoppolo has been outstanding since taking over the starting job, but he is not the caliber of fantasy option to use against the Jaguars except in desperate situations…Mitchell Trubisky has never thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game, but against the Browns is a good place to start. He also has 585 yards passing total in his last two games and has flashed some rushing upside this season…Nothing sticks out as good about his matchup and he is coming off a dreadful game, but DeShone Kizer has the rushing upside to create QB1 performances out of nothing.

1. Kerwynn Williams, Cardinals – Owned in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues
Williams left the Washington game early, so this is under the assumption he is healthy enough to play – if he is not, Elijhaa Penny would be third behind Peyton Barber. Despite leaving early, Williams saw another 17 carries and is averaging 18 over the last three games. In a good matchup, that kind of volume makes him a back-end RB2.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Mike Davis, Seahawks – Owned in 48 percent of Yahoo leagues
It is tough to put much blame for what happened against the Rams at Davis’ feet, but he has yet to really flash much upside, and the matchup against the Cowboys is not the best when Sean Lee is healthy. Davis is still a top-36 running back, but my excitement has cooled considerably.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

3. Peyton Barber, Bucs – Owned in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues
After Doug Martin was a healthy scratch on Monday night, there is no longer much concern about Barber’s workload, but he does have a terrible matchup this week against the Panthers, who have given up the third-fewest points to running backs this season. That moves him down the list, but he is still worth using in most leagues.   
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

4. Tion Green, Lions – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
There has not been any concrete news on Theo Riddick, but coach Jim Caldwell did not sound optimistic in his press conference Monday. Even worse, Riddick is dealing with an injury to his wrist, the same issue which cost him the final five games of last season and most of the offseason program following surgery. Even with Ameer Abdullah active, Green was the back of choice after Riddick left, although the fact he has not been targeted even once in three games makes it unlikely he is given a three-down role. Even so, he will be the best of the desperation options if Riddick is out.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Week 17: Wayne Gallman’s usage continues to grow, and he gets a good matchup with Washington…If Aaron Jones’ role continues to expand, he could be worth a look in a great matchup against the Lions.  

Desperation Station: Giovani Bernard remains on standby if Joe Mixon cannot get cleared this week, although that seems unlikely. It is the same story for Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon in Jacksonville…Aaron Jones saw his role expand and did well with the extra work, but he still played just 37 percent of the snaps. In a terrible matchup anyway, that is not enough to make him a real streaming option…Buck Allen was given 13 carries against Cleveland, but almost all of them came in garbage time. Still, there could be a lot of that against the Colts this week, and he continues to get red-zone work. There are worse dart throws…This is very clearly C.J. Anderson’s backfield, but Devontae Booker has at least 11 touches in back-to-back games…J.D. McKissic is averaging five targets over his last six games, and the Cowboys have given up the most catches to running backs this season…It would be tough to bet on, but Mike Gillislee could make a sudden return to fantasy relevance with Rex Burkhead likely sidelined this week. At the very least he should be active.

Deep Cuts: If he had a better matchup, Wayne Gallman would have gotten serious consideration for the must-add list after out-snapping Orleans Darkwa again, but going to Arizona is a tall task…Operating under the assumption Kerwynn Williams is healthy, Elijhaa Penny is not worth a look except in the deepest of touchdown-only leagues, but that would change if Williams is forced to sit. Elsewhere in the Cardinals’ backfield, D.J. Foster quietly saw nine targets against Washington…It was almost certainly because of the blowout, but Alfred Blue played as many snaps as Lamar Miller…It is tough to get excited about a player in a three-way timeshare in the Jets’ backfield, but Elijah McGuire is coming off a good game and it makes sense for New York to see what he can do.

1. Dede Westbrook, Jaguars – Owned in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues
Westbrook seeing two targets in a game Marqise Lee left early and Blake Bortles dominated was a disappointment, but I will chalk it up as a fluke. Westbrook still played more snaps and ran more routes than Keelan Cole, and he has been a bigger part of the offense for several games. With Lee likely to sit out a good matchup against the 49ers, Westbrook is in the WR2 conversation.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Mike Wallace, Ravens – Owned in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues
Wallace had already established himself as a quality fantasy option over the last month, and now it looks like Jeremy Maclin is going to miss time with a knee injury. With the Colts on deck, Wallace will be worth using in all leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

3. Keelan Cole, Jaguars – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
Cole had never had that kind of game (7/186/1), but he came into Sunday with two touchdowns in as many weeks and has seen fairly consistent targets since the bye. With Marqise Lee likely out for the rest of the regular season and Allen Hurns MIA with an ankle injury, it looks like Cole will be the No. 2 option in a good matchup against the 49ers. That is enough to give him FLEX value in most leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. Will Fuller, Texans – Owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
It has not amounted to much, but Fuller has seen five targets in back-to-back games since returning from injury. The Steelers are not an ideal matchup and T.J. Yates is not an ideal quarterback to put faith in, but Fuller is at least getting the work and obviously has big-play upside. That makes him a better risk than most in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

5. Kendall Wright, Bears – Owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
Wright has fallen off the face of the earth after a big target game already this season, so it was tough to get too excited about his 10 for 107 performance against the Bengals. He saw another 13 looks against the Lions on Saturday, however, and now has 24 in the last two games. With the Browns up next, Wright looks like at worst a floor play in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Week 17: Kenny Golladay’s snap share continues to grow, and he finishes up the season in a great spot against the Packers…Dede Westbrook finishes up with the Titans…Josh Doctson will get to face the Giants again in the season finale.

Desperation Station: It sounds like Keenan Allen will be able to play through his back injury, but Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin suddenly become very interesting in a great matchup against the Jets if not…Kenny Golladay is not getting the targets to be a real option, but he is playing the snaps, is enough of a big play threat, and has a good enough matchup against the crumbling Bengals to be a dart-throw option…Seth Roberts is the next best option behind Michael Crabtree, but this is not a passing game to dig deep on…Eric Decker has built some momentum as of late, but the matchup with the Rams is tough. Neither he nor Corey Davis is an inspiring option…DeShone Kizer is not good enough and the targets have not been consistent enough to really trust Corey ColemanJohn Brown may return this week and has a pretty good matchup, but it is Larry Fitzgerald or no one in Arizona.

Deep Cuts: Two red-zone touchdowns was a surprising way for Damiere Byrd to show up on the fantasy radar. That said, he is a big-play threat who seems to have a role…Cole is a player worth taking a shot on, but Jaydon Mickens, who made four of his five career receptions last week and played clearly behind Cole and Westbrook, is a bridge too far…Geronimo Allison would be much more interesting if the Packers were not playing the Vikings…Adam Humphries finished second on the team in targets Monday night. If DeSean Jackson is forced to miss this week, he could be a PPR option…Eli Rogers should see more targets with Antonio Brown sidelined, but JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant are the receivers to target…Denver might just be an offense to avoid, but Cody Latimer made some noise after Emmanuel Sanders went down last Thursday night…Tavarres King got the touchdowns, but Roger Lewis got the targets, 10 of them, and did not leave the game injured. If betting on a tertiary Giants pass catcher, Lewis is the option.

1. Eric Ebron, Lions – Owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
Ebron was a plug-your-nose option last week, but he delivered with a touchdown and now has 18 targets in the last two games. More importantly, he gets a Bengals defense which is absolutely imploding. With his newfound volume, Ebron is a top-12 option this week.

2. Charles Clay, Bills – Owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
It is tough to really value Clay because he has been extremely low-upside since returning from injury, but the Bills are thin at receiver, and Clay is coming off a nine-target game. This is not a great matchup against the Patriots, a team he caught three passes for just 20 yards against in Week 13, but he should be a good option if he is back to his pre-injury target share, which appeared to be the case in Week 15.  

3. Ricky Seals-Jones, Cardinals – Owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues
Seals-Jones did not see his role grow as much as expected with Jermaine Gresham out and has now disappointed in three straight games following his breakout. Normally that would relegate a player to the watch list, but RSJ still saw six targets against Washington and gets a great matchup against the Giants on Sunday. In a week with a lot of questionable options, he at least carries some upside.  

Week 17: We will have to see where Clay is by this point, but he always seems to show up against the Dolphins, his former team.

Desperation Station: Antonio Gates stands to get more work with Hunter Henry likely to sit this week, but he has not shown anything this season to suggest he can put up a big game even in a good matchup. He did get into the end zone last week, and he will have to do the same to return any kind of fantasy value against the Jets…Coming off back-to-back good games, Garrett Celek would be a much better option if he did not have to face the Jaguars this week…Going up against Cleveland, Adam Shaheen will be interesting if he plays, but his health and role are an unknown at this point…Tyler Kroft has a great matchup against the Lions, but he also has just 61 receiving yards total in his last six games and plays on a team in free fall. He is about as touchdown-or-bust as they come…If not for the NFL’s terrible catch rule, James would have saved his fantasy day with a touchdown, but he predictably took a big step back from his career game in Week 14. Like Kroft, he is not going to give you much without a touchdown…Ben Watson has topped 45 yards twice this season. Both performances came against the Browns. He has another good matchup this week against the Colts, but he is just a touchdown-or-bust dart throw…It is impossible to know the extent of O.J. Howard’s injury at this point in the week, and his matchup against the Panthers is not terribly exciting…No one gets rich chasing Richard Rodgers points, especially against the Vikings with Aaron Rodgers not a lock to start.


1. Carolina Panthers – Owned in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues
This is a bit of a cheat, but there are not many great options on the wire. The Panthers should be one at home against a Bucs team which has a penchant for turning the ball over.

2. Chicago Bears – Owned in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues
Play the defense playing the Browns has been a profitable strategy all season, and the Bears have gotten after the quarterback well.

3. Washington Redskins – Owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues
It looks like Paxton Lynch is going to start this game, and even if he does not, Washington will get to face Brock Osweiler. That is the definition of a win-win situation.

Week 17:
The Bills are probably the best low-owned option with another matchup against the Dolphins, but this will be a tough week for streamers.  

1. Dan Bailey, Cowboys – Owned in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues
A good matchup at home for one of the best kickers in the game who got back on track last week? Yes, please.

2. Phil Dawson, Cardinals – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
Dawson has attempted 10 kicks in the last two games and at least four in three of his last four. The Giants have faced the fifth-most kicks this season.

3. Josh Lambo, Jaguars – Owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
Lambo has been a solid kicker since taking over in Jacksonville, and he gets a good matchup against the 49ers.

Week 17:
Dustin Hopkins is back and will be a great option against the Giants…Graham Gano finishes up the season in Atlanta, meaning he gets a nice matchup indoors. 

Raymond Summerlin
Raymond Summerlin is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter at @RMSummerlin.