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Welcome to the Week 17 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2021 season. With Championship Week finally upon us, we’ll pass on prioritizing stashes altogether and focus on winning the most important matchup of the season. We’ll also discuss injury and COVID situations to monitor ahead of Sunday.
The Drop List
Shed weight like you're going to the beach. If you have two viable starting tight ends, for example, but your opponent is already stacked at that spot, it's in your best interest to separate from whichever player isn't making the cut in order to block your opponent from picking up someone of need. This week's 'Drop List' is truly a case-by-case scenario since it varies depending on your matchup. If a player on your bench isn't starting, though, consider him on the outside looking in.
Overall Top 5
Deep League Top 5
For those looking to roster the best available player(s) regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus players’ actual positions for both recreational and deep league (FFPC, NFFC, 20-player rosters, etc.) formats, the latter which have far fewer viable players available with every passing week. These are listed in the precise order I would prioritize waiver claims in those leagues ahead of Week 16. Adjust accordingly for what you need on your roster to win this week and over the course of the fantasy playoffs.
End-of-Roster Top 10
The time has come to stop rostering backups to our own starters and, rather, target reserves with the most potential opportunity if a door or two randomly opened. That’s why the above list was carefully assembled to highlight league-winners (available in a majority of leagues) in the event the player ahead of them misses any time. Presumed snaps, carries, targets, and the play-calling each are tied to have been factored in. They’re chronologically listed in the precise order I would stash them for Week 18, though managers should obviously feel free to adjust accordingly.
Darrel Williams rostered in 61 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 RB add if available.
Philadelphia D/ST rostered in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 D/ST add if available.
Chargers D/ST rostered in 69 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 D/ST add if available.
Miami D/ST rostered in 63 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 3 D/ST add if available.
1. Chicago Bears
2. Carolina Panthers
3. Seattle Seahawks
4. Las Vegas Raiders
1. Trey Lance, 49ers — Lance has recorded a carry on 25.8% of his snaps this year, far more than Cam Newton (18.4%), Lamar Jackson (16.4%), or Taysom Hill (15.2%). Friendly reminder that he was a stone-walled 4th-and-goal sneak away from finishing as the overall QB11 in Week 5.
2. Taysom Hill, Saints — Averaged 11 carries per game in three starts prior to being slapped on New Orleans' COVID list. This is where I would rank Hill if he clears protocols.
3. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins — Tagovailoa's 75% completion rate across his last five starts gifts him a risk-averse floor since he refuses to take chances deep.
4. Tyler Huntley, Ravens — This is where I would prioritize Huntley if he clears COVID protocols and Lamar Jackson (ankle) is yet again ruled out.
5. Nick Foles, Bears — The Giants have permitted 28 points per game over the last month and are the only team that has failed to register a single interception in that time.
1. Jordan Howard, Eagles — Howard suffered a stinger behind Miles Sanders (broken hand, out) on Sunday, which allowed Boston Scott to come off the bench and play 22 snaps to Kenneth Gainwell's two. Whomever starts between Howard and Scott (in that order) should be viewed as the priority among running backs.
3. Dare Ogunbowale, Jaguars – Even with Nathan Cottrell active behind him, Ogunbowale logged 82% of Jacksonville's snaps in place of James Robinson (torn Achilles'), out-carrying Tavon Austin 17-3 the rest of the way against New York.
4. Rex Burkhead, Texans – Season-highs in carries (22) and touches (24) without David Johnson (COVID) on Sunday.
5. Derrick Gore, Chiefs – Averaged 5.5 carries behind Darrel Williams (rostered in 61% of Yahoo leagues) in four games without Clyde Edwards-Helaire (collarbone) earlier this year. Should not be started unless you're absolutely desperate for 3-6 carries.
4. Rashod Bateman, Ravens – Has run a route on 91 of Baltimore's 97 dropbacks the past two weeks.
1. Gerald Everett, Seahawks — 5.4 targets per game out of Seattle's bye.
3. Cole Kmet, Bears — 7.4 targets per game across his last five starts. Kmet is merely a high-floor option without a ceiling since he won't score a touchdown while perpetually being replaced inside the red zone by Jimmy Graham.
1. Chicago Bears – Have you watched Mike Glennon play football?
2. Carolina Panthers – This is where I would rank the Panthers if Ian Book were starting again.
3. Seattle Seahawks – Jared Goff.
4. Las Vegas Raiders – Colts could be without 4-of-5 starting o-linemen including Quenton Nelson.
Only a fool wouldn’t pass the ball to Michael Jordan in his prime, so it only makes sense that I pull each week’s kicker streamers from Denny Carter’s column and #adjust them accordingly. For in-depth analysis, you can read his entire piece here: