There are two ways to look at playing into Week 17. If your Fantasy league goes to through the final week of the season, then you get the joy of managing your Fantasy team for one more week, likely with a championship on the line. But you also have to figure out who is actually playing in what could be a meaningless game on the field.
This year, you could get lucky based on the playoff scenarios. The Redskins are the only team who have already clinched a playoff spot and know their fate as the No. 4 seed. Everything else with the postseason is still up for grabs, which adds intrigue to this final week of the regular season.
Now, that doesn't mean teams won't be cautious with injured players. For example, the Patriots could opt to keep Julian Edelman (foot) and Danny Amendola (knee) out even though they are trying to lock up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in the AFC. The same goes for Jonathan Stewart (foot) and the Panthers in the NFC.
You also have teams that are eliminated from playoff contention that could keep players out. It would be a surprise to see the Bills play LeSean McCoy (knee), the Bears play Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) or the Cowboys play Dez Bryant (foot), so keep an eye on the injury report with players who have been hurt of late and have nothing to play for this week.
We'll have an abbreviated version of Playing the Waiver Wire this week since there aren't a lot of options available that you don't already know about. But we'll still try and help you find a player or two that could make a difference for your roster if you are setting your lineup for one final time in Week 17.
- Brian Hoyer (35 percent)
- Sam Bradford (47 percent)
- Brock Osweiler (52 percent)
- Johnny Manziel (12 percent)
I hope Hoyer (concussion) is cleared for Week 17 because he would be worth starting in the majority of leagues as a No. 1 Fantasy option. If he's out then Brandon Weeden (2 percent) is a good streaming option against a Jaguars defense that allows 22.5 Fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks. Hoyer scored 29 Fantasy points against Jacksonville in Week 6, and Weeden just had 25 points at Tennessee in Week 16.
Bradford and the Giants should be in a shootout this week, and he's scored at least 19 Fantasy points in each of his past two games. The Giants also have allowed four of their past six opposing quarterbacks to score at least 21 Fantasy points in a standard league.
Osweiler and Manziel are only worth using in desperate situations in two-quarterback leagues. The Chargers are banged up in their secondary, and Osweiler should be around 17 Fantasy points in a standard league. And Manziel would face a bad Steelers secondary this week, and he scored 17 Fantasy points against them in Week 10.
- Bilal Powell (46 percent)
- Cameron Artis-Payne (38 percent)
- Pierre Thomas (3 percent)
- Brandon Bolden (57 percent)
- Mike Gillislee (14 percent)
- DuJuan Harris (2 percent)
If Rashad Jennings (73 percent) is still out there then make him your No. 1 priority off waivers because he's been great for the past three weeks. He should do well again in Week 17 against the Eagles, and we wish the Giants had committed to him as their lead runner for the majority of the season.
Chris Ivory has the chance for a solid game against the Bills in Week 17, but you can't overlook Powell as well. He's scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in four games in a row, and he's been fantastic for PPR owners with at least five catches in each game over that span.
I don't love the matchup for Artis-Payne against Tampa Bay in Week 17, but he should get plenty of work if Jonathan Stewart (foot) remains out since Whittaker won't play. Artis-Payne was good in Week 15 at the Giants with 14 carries for 59 yards and two catches for 34 yards, but he took a step back in Week 16 at Atlanta with five carries for 49 yards and one catch for 7 yards. He should be closer to his Week 15 production and is worth using as a low-end No. 2 running back/flex option for this week unless Stewart is active.
The Redskins should rest their starters in Week 17 with nothing to play for, and that should include Alfred Morris and Matt Jones, who was out in Week 16 with a hip injury. Thomas got more work than Chris Thompson in Week 16 against the Eagles and played well with four carries for 22 yards and seven catches for 67 yards. Thomas would be playing with a lot of reserves at Dallas in Week 17, but the Cowboys have allowed five running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points in the past three games. He's a low-end No. 2 running back/flex option for this week.
The Dolphins have allowed a running back to get at least 90 total yards in 10 games in a row, and Frank Gore just demolished Miami with 95 total yards and two touchdowns in Week 16. I would expect James White to have the best game for the Patriots in Week 17, but don't be surprised if Bolden or even Steven Jackson (5 percent) plays well in this great matchup. Jackson could be a sneaky play since the Patriots gave him seven carries last week at the Jets, although he only had 15 yards in his first game of the season.
I don't love the matchup for Gillislee against the Jets, but he's scored a touchdown in three games in a row and should continue to share time with Karlos Williams if McCoy remains out as expected. He's also rushed for at least 81 yards in back-to-back games, so he can be a potential flex option in Week 17.
Harris did a nice job for the 49ers last week at Detroit with Shaun Draughn (knee) out with 11 carries for 73 yards and one catch for 11 yards, but Draughn could return this week. And the 49ers could activate Mike Davis (hand) this week and give him an extended look, which makes Harris a risky option against the Rams.
- Keshawn Martin (7 percent)
- Anquan Boldin (72 percent)
- Nate Washington (43 percent)
- DeVante Parker (49 percent)
- Dorial Green-Beckham (30 percent)
If the Patriots keep Edelman and Amendola out in Week 17 then Martin could have the chance for a big game. Martin led the Patriots in targets in Week 16 at the Jets with 11 and finished with seven catches for 68 yards. He would be a high-upside No. 3 Fantasy receiver against Miami.
The same goes for Boldin, who has scored at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past six games. He has a good track record against the Rams with at least 90 receiving yards in his past four meetings and three touchdowns over that span. St. Louis also has allowed a receiver to score or gain 100 yards in six games in a row.
Cecil Shorts has missed three games this season, and Washington has scored in all three, including Week 16 at Tennessee when he had three catches for 42 yards on five targets from Weeden. Shorts (groin) isn't expected to play in Week 17, which makes Washington a great option as a No. 3 receiver in all formats against the Jaguars.
Parker will get a boost if the Patriots don't play Devin McCourty (ankle) or Patrick Chung (foot) in Week 17, and Tannehill also has to prove he's healthy. But Parker has played well lately with at least eight Fantasy points in four of his past five games, and the Dolphins should be chasing points against New England. I like Parker as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in this matchup if Tannehill is able to play.
Green-Beckham struggled in Week 16 against Houston with Zach Mettenberger and finished with no catches on three targets, but he should get a boost if Kendall Wright (knee) is out. In the two previous games with Wright hurt, Green-Beckham had 16 targets. He also scored against the Colts in Week 3 and has the chance to be a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in deeper leagues this week.
Injuries: No one of significance
Priority list (Add them in this order):
Ertz has scored a touchdown or gained 90 receiving yards in four games in a row, and he should have the chance for another big game against the Giants in Week 17. New York has allowed nine touchdowns to opposing tight ends, including two in the past two weeks against Greg Olsen and Kyle Rudolph.
Miller gets to face the Lions in Week 17, and Detroit has been miserable against tight ends all season with 12 touchdowns allowed to the position, including two in the past two weeks against Benjamin Watson and McDonald. Miller led the Bears in targets in Week 16 at Tampa Bay with eight and finished with seven catches for 69 yards.
Tye gets to face an Eagles defense that was beat up by Jordan Reed in Week 16 and has allowed four touchdowns to tight ends in the past six games. Tye has scored at least seven Fantasy points in four of his past five games, with two touchdowns over that span.
McDonald has scored at least 12 Fantasy points in three of his past five games. He has been a go-to guy for Blaine Gabbert when healthy, and the Rams have allowed six touchdowns to tight ends this year.
Rams (at SF): 79 percent
Redskins (at DAL): 28 percent
Colts (vs. TEN): 11 percent