Breakdowns

Week 17 Waiver Wire Pickups: Championship Edition

With the finals upon us, let’s take a quick look at some players who could fill in in case of emergency. For most championship teams, your rosters should be fairly set. However, It’s always good to have some depth in case of late-week covid of injury news. Obviously, the “future value” of players is out the window this week, so we’ll be strictly looking at options who can provide some points in Week 17.

As always, all rostership levels are based on Yahoo leagues. Your mileage may vary depending on your provider and league settings.

Running Backs:

Dare Ogunbbowale (2%) is the big prize this week. Jaguars starting running back James Robinson tore his Achilles and is done for the season. Ogunbowale got 17 carries in relief last week and an additional two catches. Ogunbowale had been a serviceable passing-down back in the past, so he should hold some extra value this week in what’s likely to be a negative game script against the Patriots. He’s priority one this week — even if you don’t need him. Picking him up to prevent your opponent from getting him if possible is important.

Jordan Howard (17%) seems to have a shot to play this week in relief of Miles Sanders (who’s out with a broken hand). Philadelphia is still in playoff contention, so they’re likely to use Howard if he’s at all available. If we get news that Howard is out too, both Boston Scott (15%) and Kenneth Gainwell (11%) have some fringe value as well. The Eagles are the league’s run-heaviest team, so they can support reasonable roles for two backs this week against Washington.

 Quarterbacks

We really, really shouldn’t need a quarterback in the championship round. However, it looks like it will be Trey Lance (12%) time in San Francisco. Lance has been pretty bad as a starter so far but hasn’t had a chance in a while. The rookie has hopefully improved since then. He also draws a solid matchup against the Texans. That’s obviously a boost to his projections this week, though he’s still hard to feel good about.

Wide Receivers

Wide receiver is where things get interesting. There’s a ton of players out there with a shot at a big game, though most of them are boom or bust options at a notoriously high variance position. Marquez Valdez-Scantling (40%), Robby Anderson (37%), Rashod Bateman (37%) and KJ Osborn ( 34%) all certainly fit that bill, with various caveats. MVS is my favorite, though he’s yet to clear Covid protocols. Anderson and Bateman both have been held hostage by bad quarterbacking as of late. If Sam Darnold gets the start in Carolina, or Lamar Jackson returns for the Ravens, they’re both in play. Osborn needs Adam Thielen to miss another game. That doesn’t seem likely, since Thielen returned last week after re-injuring his ankle — but stranger things have happened. If you’re desperate for receiver help and can’t wait until news breaks, MVS would be my first choice (assuming all of the aforementioned players are available.) He needs the least to go right here.

On the (much) lower-rostered side of things, Tavon Austin (0%) is intriguing this week. He handled three carries from the backfield with James Robinson out, and will likely see that number increase with a full week to prepare at the position. He drew an additional seven targets, making him an (extremely) poor man’s Deebo Samuel for the matchup with New England. That’s about the worst possible matchup for a gadget player — which is unfortunate — but there are paths to a high-volume game here.

Tight Ends

tight end is (as always) a wasteland. If you don’t have a solid option this week — good luck. If you’re desperate though, Mo Allie-Cox (2%) is in line for an additional role this week. He saw four targets last week with Jack Doyle injured, and it looks like he’ll be the Colts’ primary tight end in Week 17. “Colts tight end” hasn’t been a great option in the Carson Wentz era, but it’s better than being in a timeshare.

Defense and Kickers

As always, Kevin Ivers has you covered if you’re looking to stream a defense in Week 16. If you need a kicker to stream, stop playing in that league #bankickers. If that’s not an option, Kevin has you covered though. Find his Week 17 article here. (Ed-Link not available yet)