Analysis

Fantasy Football: Week 17 Waiver Wire Adds, Drops and More

Welcome to the fantasy championship! The Week 17 waiver wire surprisingly has some gems that could help you secure the league title, earn some consolation prizes or even avoid a league punishment.

You’ll also see most of the data I reference runs back eight weeks. Many stats can be inflated from early-season performances, and as we all know, things change in the NFL. We’ll have plenty of updated fantasy content throughout the week, including players you can get rid of ahead of Week 17.

It’s also geared toward PPR leagues unless otherwise noted. All players included are available in 40% or more of leagues, per FantasyPros’ rostership data. All stats are credited to TruMedia unless stated otherwise.

Quarterbacks

Unless Gardner Minshew starts again, Brock Purdy is the best quarterback to stream.

  • He’s rostered in 32.7% of leagues.
  • I’ve mentioned Purdy in each of the last two waiver columns, so I won’t pile on much new reasoning here.
  • Purdy has 15+ fantasy points in each of his last three games.
  • He’s thrown two touchdowns in each game since Week 13.
  • In Week 17, the 49ers face the Raiders, who have allowed the fourth-most yards passing since Week 9.
  • Las Vegas has also caught just two interceptions, tied for the lowest mark in that span.

You don’t need to keep Tom Brady on your roster.

  • He’s rostered in 89% of leagues.
  • Brady has had a consistent range of approximately 10-18 fantasy points since Week 6.
  • He’s QB17 in points per game since Week 9 and since Week 13.
  • Brady has two interceptions in each of his last three games.
  • He and Derek Carr have seven interceptions in their last four games, the most in that span.
  • Brady also has the fourth-fewest yards per attempt in that span, ahead of only Desmond Ridder, Colt McCoy and Trace McSorley.
  • So yeah, Brady has not been playing well.
  • His only upside lies in passing volume, which – as I just pointed out – is not getting the job done.
  • Unless you have no other quarterback to start or your league somehow extends into Week 18, Brady is simply a waste of a spot.

Running Backs

Tyler Allgeier is the top running back to add, if available.

  • He’s rostered in 44.1% of leagues.
  • Last week, I touted Allgeier as a top waiver pickup after he scored 22.6 fantasy points.
  • This week, he scored 15.7 fantasy points without a score.
  • He ran 17+ times in each of those games, but he caught four of his five targets in Week 16 for 43 yards.
  • Allgeier led Atlanta in all running situations.
  • The Falcons face the Commanders in Week 17, who have allowed the third-most yards rushing to running backs since Week 9.

Chuba Hubbard is worth a pickup.

  • He’s rostered in 32.2% of leagues.
  • Hubbard and D’Onta Foreman split snaps, though Foreman saw nine more carries than Hubbard.
  • Carolina was also playing in a positive game script.
  • The Panthers are tied for the fifth-most rush attempts since Week 9.
  • He isn’t someone you can confidently start, though the Panthers’ commitment to the ground game makes Hubbard a hot option if Foreman were to get hurt or lose touches.

Wide Receivers

Jahan Dotson is still the top waiver pickup of the week.

  • He’s rostered in 26.4% of leagues.
  • He’s held this crown two weeks in a row.
  • Once again, Dotson was the Commanders’ WR2
  • In Week 16, he caught six of his nine targets for 76 yards and a touchdown.
  • He’s scored in each of the last three games.
  • He also has 16+ fantasy points in each of those games.
  • Dotson is a player to get into lineups moving forward, regardless of his matchup.

Why is Richie James this available?

  • He’s rostered in 9.6% of leagues.
  • James has 13+ fantasy points in four of his last six games.
  • Week 16 was the first time he reached those points without a touchdown.
  • James saw a season-high 12 targets – and he caught eight – for 90 yards receiving.
  • But the Vikings have allowed the second-most yards passing since Week 9.
  • The Giants face the Colts in Week 17, who have allowed the seventh-fewest in that span.
  • A silver lining is that Indianapolis is tied for the fourth-most receiving touchdowns allowed since Week 9.
  • James is a high-upside, low-floor flex play in Week 17.

Isaiah Hodgins is a high-upside waiver pickup.

  • He’s rostered in 1.5% of leagues.
  • James’ teammate has also been playing impressively well lately.
  • In three of his last four games, Hodgins has a touchdown, 6+ targets and 15+ fantasy points.
  • Everything I just said about the Giants’ matchup against the Colts obviously applies to Hodgins, too.

Rashid Shaheed shouldn’t be left on waivers.

  • He’s rostered in 5.2% of leagues.
  • He’s not a super-high priority, since Chris Olave could be back in Week 17.
  • Shaheed did lead New Orleans in targets, catches and yards receiving.
  • His fantasy production over the last four games: 7.9, 11.5, 18.5 and 8.1 fantasy points.
  • Since Week 9, the Saints have averaged 30.6 pass attempts per game, which is the ninth-fewest rate in that span.
  • Still, Shaheed’s explosiveness and role in the Saints’ offense warrants a roster spot, especially if Olave isn’t 100% healthy in Week 17.

You don’t need to add Trenton Irwin.

  • He’s rostered in fewer than 1% of leagues.
  • Irwin was fourth among Bengals wideouts in snaps and routes run.
  • He was tied with Tyler Boyd and Samaje Perine with four targets, the fourth-most on the team.
  • He just happened to score twice.
  • Irwin is simply a touchdown-dependent depth piece who would only have reliable fantasy value if Cincinnati lost a top wide receiver. 

Greg Dortch is worth a flier.

  • He’s rostered in 2.5% of leagues.
  • In Week 11 and Week 16, Dortch caught at least 9 balls on at least 10 targets and scored at least 19.3 fantasy points.
  • In between those weeks, Dortch saw no targets in two games played.
  • Needless to say, he’s had a spotty season.
  • With Trace McSorley under center, Dortch ran more routes and played more snaps – only by a little – than Marquise Brown.
  • He also led all Cardinals with 11 targets.
  • If Dortch keeps his role in the slot, he could be a sneaky flex play in Week 17 against Atlanta.
  • The Falcons are in the bottom-seven of yards receiving allowed to slot receivers both on the left side of the field and on the right side.

Tight Ends

Tyler Higbee could be a TE1 in Week 17.

  • He’s rostered in 68.6% of leagues.
  • Higbee finished Week 16 with a monster performance: 30.4 fantasy points, two touchdowns, 11 targets, 9 catches and 94 yards receiving.
  • He was the only Ram to see more than four targets.
  • Higbee could easily become Los Angeles’ top receiver in Weeks 17 and 18.
  • Still, it’s just his third game of double-digit fantasy points since Week 5.
  • Higbee’s potential usage raises his ceiling to where he’s worth a dart throw into lineups in Week 17.
  • The Chargers have allowed tight ends to score the 17th-most fantasy points against them…
  • …though they’ve held tight ends from the Falcons, 49ers, Dolphins, Cardinals and Raiders to score 14.7 fantasy points combined across five of their last seven games.

If Taysom Hill is available, pick him up and start him.

  • He’s rostered in 50% of leagues.
  • Hill has 10+ fantasy points in each of the last three games.
  • He has 16 carries over the last two games, which includes a rushing touchdown in Week 16.
  • Only Baltimore has had a higher rush play percentage over the last three games.
  • Hill may be stifled against Philadelphia’s run defense next week, but few tight ends have the upside Hill does.
  • He’s the safest dart throw among a position of dart throws in fantasy.

Please don’t pick up Shane Zylstra.

  • He’s rostered in no leagues.
  • I guarantee you that changes in Week 17.
  • He scored 25.6 fantasy points and caught five of six targets for three touchdowns.
  • He had six total targets all season.
  • I’m not spending any more time on this, just don’t waste any waiver capital on him.

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