Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: December 24
Dan Malin brings you his top waiver wire adds for Week 17 of the fantasy football season!
Congratulations to those who have locked up their fantasy championships! And for those who fell just short, then hopefully you come back next year to reach the next level! We know there are still some players that are involved in Week 17. I don’t quite understand why. For example, Lamar Jackson has already been declared OUT for Week 17 by John Harbaugh. Imagine having the league’s MVP as a mid-to-late-round value in your fantasy draft only to not have him starting for your team in Week 17. This is why your league needs to wrap things up in Week 16. Regardless, here are the best waiver targets for this week. Happy Holidays and best of luck! We’ll see you next year!
Daniel Jones (NYG) – Daniel Jones got the start last week and looked impressive against the Washington Redskins. He threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns and will likely start in the finale for the Giants against the Eagles. Now the Eagles will still be competitive, and they boast a decent pass rush. But their secondary is still suspect and sadly, if you’re without Lamar Jackson this week, you’ll likely need to turn to Jones, who is in a decent spot. Don’t let last week’s performance be the expectation for your team. Be happy if he returns 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns without turning it over.
Andy Dalton (CIN) – The Bengals have little to play for and they’ve locked up the top pick in next year’s draft. Ironically enough, they’ll likely take Dalton’s replacement with that pick and it could be Joe Burrow. But Dalton should be able to sling it on Sunday against the Browns. He didn’t perform well a few weeks back against Cleveland, but he’s coming off a big performance last week where he nearly threw for 400 yards against Miami. The Browns are a mess and this is a bit of a swan song for Dalton.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA) – If you need the upside, you know Fitz is your guy. Unfortunately it comes against the Patriots in New England and the Patriots probably aren’t resting anybody. So the defense could still give Fitz… Fits. Yes, the pun was intended, and you’re welcome. In four of his last five games, Fitz has yielded 20 fantasy points in four-point per passing touchdown leagues. The matchup sucks, but he throws it a ton. If New England can build a lead against the Dolphins then there’s always garbage time for Miami. Err on the side of caution and possibly consider Jones or Dalton first.
Case Keenum (WSH) – Dwayne Haskins has been ruled out for Washington’s Week 17 matchup against Dallas. This means Case Keenum will get the start and this may benefit some of Washington’s pass catchers to be honest. Keenum came on in relief last week and completed 16-of-22 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown while adding a rushing touchdown on the ground as well. The road matchup for Washington is a little concerning, but it’s not awful as we’ve seen the Cowboys in a bit of disarray the last few weeks. Keenum should be able to air it out quite a bit if Washington does fall behind.
Marshawn Lynch (SEA) – Beast Mode is back in Seattle and hopefully he’s bringing his Skittles. The Seahawks backfield has been decimated with injuries. They lost Rashaad Penny a few weeks ago and this past week they lost Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise . They literally lost their top three running backs but have brought back a familiar face. Lynch was in Seattle on Monday to meet with the team and get a physical and the team signed him late last night. Seattle also re-signed Robert Turbin , but we know who the real waiver add is in Seattle. The Seahawks have clinched a playoff spot but are playing for the NFC West division Sunday night with hopes for a first-round bye. It’s a tough matchup, but hopefully Lynch can still run over anybody.
Gus Edwards /Justice Hill (BAL) – For the record, Edwards is probably the priority between these two players. The Ravens offense might look a little ugly on Sunday. As noted above, Lamar Jackson will not play and the same goes for Marshal Yanda . Yes, one of the best offensive linemen in the game will be inactive for the season finale and don’t be too surprised if they pull Ronnie Stanley during the game as well. Mark Ingram has a calf strain and won’t play, so naturally it’s a good time to pick up his backups. Edwards saw 12 carries last week, while it was Hill that found the end zone for his first career score. Hill might have some intrigue built around him in deeper PPR leagues since he had three catches as well, but this is a tough matchup against the Steelers who still have playoff hopes.
Benny Snell Jr. (PIT) – James Conner went down with a quad injury in last week’s game against the Jets. The Steelers still somehow have a shot at making the playoffs. So, with that in mind, James Conner will do whatever he can to play in Sunday’s finale against the Ravens. It’s not a great matchup for the run game. But similar to Lamar Jackson , Brandon Williams will not play for the Ravens on Sunday so that weakens the defensive line a little bit for Baltimore. It Conner can’t go then Snell figures to be a lock for 15 carries at minimum, and with Lamar Jackson out, the Ravens offense likely won’t possess the ball as much as they normally do.
Rex Burkhead (NE) – Burkhead has found the end zone in back-to-back weeks despite minimal touches. He’s been incredibly efficient and he’s coming off a game with 77 receiving yards. So that obviously piques our interest. This week the Patriots play Miami and this game script likely features a little more Sony Michel who is coming off a very strong game against Buffalo. However, if New England gets control of the game and appears to be able to lock up a first-round bye in the playoffs then they may turn to Burkhead later on. But as we’ve seen with the New England backfield, nothing is certain.
Ameer Abdullah (MIN) – It seems like every single fantasy analyst in the industry got Boone-doggled last night. The matchup was great, and the entire Vikings offense crapped the bed. The O-line looked awful and Kirk Cousins came up short in primetime yet again. The Vikings have a Wild Card berth locked up, so they still have no benefit to playing Dalvin Cook or Alexander Mattison. But on Monday night Abdullah caught six passes out of the backfield so there’s some upside in PPR formats. Don’t expect Cousins to play the full game, and you should target any other running back listed above over Abdullah. But it’s still worth acknowledging his performance on Monday night as he could get work again on Sunday against the Bears.
Breshad Perriman /Justin Watson (TB) – Arguably the two best wide receiver additions off waivers last week are still fairly available across most formats. For the second week in a row, Perriman topped 100 receiving yards on seven catches, while Watson found the end zone. Both were pretty useful in PPR formats last week. They’ll have a home game against the Falcons to close out the 2019 campaign. It could be a high scoring affair with both teams out of the playoffs and nothing to play for aside from pride. It could still be a pretty fun matchup.
Diontae Johnson (PIT) – Johnson has been surprisingly reliable as a pass-catcher for the Steelers. Now he’s a little touchdown dependent, but you can make the argument he can provide value even if he doesn’t score. He has 24 targets over the last three weeks with at least five catches in each of those games. He’s topped 22 fantasy points twice in that span and in both those games he found the end zone. We’ve mentioned how the Ravens are resting their starters and Earl Thomas will be one of them. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Baltimore backups in the secondary coming out of halftime so there’s some intrigue with Johnson this week.
Steven Sims Jr. (WSH) – Sims is always such a Wild Card because of the fact he’s on the Redskins, but as mentioned above Case Keenum will be the starting quarterback on Sunday. Regardless of who has been under center, Sims has been getting targets. Sims has 21 targets in his last two games with 28 targets in his last three games. The yardage upside may be minimal, but he’s found the end zone three times in his last two games. Assuming the Redskins fall behind, Sims should be involved in Sunday’s passing game alongside Terry McLaurin .
Greg Ward (PHI) – I really like Greg Ward especially with Zach Ertz getting hurt last week. The Eagles still need a win on Sunday to truly lock in an NFC East title, but they’ve got a good shot at doing so even if Ertz doesn’t play. Coming into Week 16, Ward had back-to-back games with nine targets. This past Sunday he only had five but turned them into 71 receiving yards on four receptions. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is an okay add in deeper leagues, but he’s dealing with a foot injury so definitely prioritize Ward.
Allen Lazard (GB) – This is a high risk, high reward addition. Lazard has been slowly gaining traction as a favorite target for Aaron Rodgers . The Packers are basically the New England Patriots of the NFC. They’ve won ugly games and haven’t been clicking on all cylinders on offense and are somehow in position to get a first-round bye. But Lazard has slowly and quietly become a favorite target for Aaron Rodgers . On Monday night he had five catches on nine targets for 45 yards and he gets a matchup against the Lions next week where Davante Adams should get the Darius Slay treatment. Earlier this year, Lazard caught four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown against Detroit. Green Bay still isn’t locked into that first-round bye, so they’ve got something to play for on Sunday.
Tyler Higbee (LAR) – For whatever reason, Higbee is still under 50% owned in ESPN leagues. Everybody over yonder is apparently sleeping under a rock. In his last four games he’s recorded at least seven receptions and 100 receiving yards in each contest. He’s been arguably TE1 over the last month. Even with Gerald Everett returning to action last week, Higbee was still the guy. And he’s even emerged as Jared Goff ’s second-favorite receiving option and you can make a damn good argument that he’s Goff’s first look every drop back. He hasn’t scored since Week 13, but he has 36 targets over his last three games. The Rams close out the season against the Cardinals in Week 17 and oddly enough that was the last time Higbee found the end zone and the Cardinals are atrocious against opposing tight ends. Higbee is a must add for Week 17 if you haven’t done so already.
Dallas Goedert (PHI) – Goedert’s teammate, Zach Ertz , suffered a fractured rib on Sunday. Ertz played through the injury, but he was largely useless to the Eagles. Goedert stepped up and became the primary target for Carson Wentz . Goedert brought in nine catches on 12 targets for 91 yards and a touchdown. With the Eagles still in need of clinching the NFC East to make the playoffs, Goedert figures to be heavily involved in Week 17 against the Giants.
Jonnu Smith (TEN) – Smith is a pretty interesting grab in deeper leagues. He’s been able to contribute the last three weeks with touchdowns in two of his last three games and a fluky 57-yard run in the other game he didn’t score. Coincidentally enough that fluky run came against the Texans just two weeks ago and that’s who the Titans play this weekend. Now he likely won’t break another big run, but he did catch all five of his targets last time out against Houston for 60 yards. That seems repeatable this time around as well.
Kansas City Chiefs (vs. LAC) – The Chiefs are still playing with the hopes of locking up a first-round bye. Kansas City will be scoreboard-watching Sunday as the Patriots play at the exact same time. But the Chiefs will host the Chargers and the last time these two teams met, the Chiefs sacked Phillip Rivers twice and picked him off four times. The Chiefs D/ST has actually returned at least eight fantasy points in five straight games and currently it’s supposed to be cold and have some light snow on Sunday. It’s only Tuesday so this could change, but Arrowhead is already difficult enough to play in. It could be a rough finale for Rivers and Co. against a Chiefs defense that has been playing pretty well lately.
Green Bay Packers (at DET) – I prefer the Chiefs a little bit more, but the Packers still look like they can provide a decent floor. They’ve returned at least nine fantasy points in four straight games while holding each opposing offense to 15 or fewer points. Over that four-game stretch they have 12 sacks and eight forced turnovers. It doesn’t matter who is under center for the Lions this week, they should be in trouble.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. ATL) – I know I hyped up the Bucs/Falcons game earlier and said this could be a shootout, but I still do love what the Bucs defense has done lately. In four of their last five games they’ve posted double-digit fantasy points with three D/ST touchdowns in that span. So the ceiling is quite high. They’ve forced 12 turnovers in their last five games with 19 sacks in that span as well. The front office invested heavily in this defense in the draft and it’s paying off as the season closes. The last time these two teams met, the Bucs forced six sacks and two turnovers while holding the Falcons offense to 22 points. Both teams have nothing to lose this time around so that’s the only concern pertaining to a shootout.