Fantasy Football Week 17 Waiver Wire: Playoff teams resting starters is biggest issue for lineups

More Week 17: Waiver WireRankings — Start 'Em and Sit 'Em — Cheat Sheet 

For those of you who play your Fantasy leagues into Week 17, you know it's a tricky proposition. The most important thing is trying to figure out who is playing in the final week of the regular season due to playoff implications. 

My colleague Dave Richard broke down all the Week 17 playoff scenarios here. To sum it up, the Eagles (No. 1 seed in the NFC), Jaguars (No. 3 seed in the AFC), Chiefs (No. 4 seed in the AFC) and Rams (no chance at a first-round bye) have nothing to play for this week and could decide to rest players. 

Whether or not their stars don't dress, or just play limited action, is something we might not know until Sunday. But you should prepare for these players to be out because you don't want to be left without a backup plan. 

As you'll read below, I listed all the key players from those four teams who could be out or limited. And we gave you plenty of backup options for Week 17, as well as injury replacements. 

Congratulations to you for making it to your Fantasy championship week, and thank you for sticking with us all season. For the rest of this week, we'll still have our usual columns, video shows and podcasts to help set your lineup, and we'll also focus on plenty of DFS advice as well. 

Week 17 can be fun because of all the backup players who could potentially play and decide your league. But it's also a challenge trying to figure out who is out because of the upcoming NFL playoffs. Good luck.

Quarterbacks

Injuries of note: None

Could be out or see limited action due to playoff implications: Alex Smith, Jared Goff, Blake Bortles and Nick Foles

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Priority list
52%
Tyrod Taylor Buffalo Bills QB
The Bills can still earn a wild card berth with a win against Miami, a Ravens loss or losses by both the Titans and the Chargers. Taylor just scored 24 Fantasy points against the Dolphins in Week 15, and he's scored multiple touchdowns against Miami in three games in a row. In his last two trips to Miami, Taylor has 498 passing yards and four touchdowns and 47 rushing yards and a touchdown. He's scored at least 23 Fantasy points in four of his past five games against the Dolphins.
52%
Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers QB
Garoppolo has proven to be everything the 49ers could have asked for and more since trading for him from the Patriots. He's 4-0 as a starter and continues to improve as a Fantasy quarterback, including a standout performance against the Jaguars in Week 16 with 25 points. He's now scored at least 22 Fantasy points in consecutive games, and he could make it three in a row this week against the Rams. Los Angeles could be resting players for the playoffs, and that would only enhance Garoppolo's value. He's a solid No. 1 Fantasy quarterback this week.
44%
Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens QB
Flacco has the Ravens rolling into the playoffs, and Baltimore will clinch the No. 5 seed in the AFC as a wild card with a win against the Bengals. Flacco has scored at least 20 Fantasy points in four games in a row, and I would trust him as a No. 1 quarterback this week against Cincinnati. The Bengals have allowed three of the past four opposing quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points, and Flacco should take advantage of this matchup with a playoff berth on the line.
37%
Jacoby Brissett Indianapolis Colts QB
This could be Brissett's last start for the Colts if Andrew Luck (shoulder) is healthy for the beginning of the 2018 season, which is what all Fantasy owners hope. But give Brissett credit for his performance in a tough situation, and he has the chance to end his year on a high note against the Texans. He scored 23 Fantasy points against Houston in Week 9, and the Texans allow the third-most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year. Three of the past four opposing quarterbacks have scored at least 20 Fantasy points against Houston, and Brissett is worth using in two-quarterback leagues in Week 17.
6%
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
The Chiefs will likely rest or not play Smith this week given Andy Reid's track record, which should allow Mahomes his first chance at NFL playing time. It will be tough for Fantasy owners to consider playing him at Denver, especially with most of Kansas City's regulars also out or resting, but you never know what could happen in Week 17, especially with Mahomes' upside. He could be the Chiefs starter as early as 2018, and we hope he puts on a show in his NFL debut. He's a low-end No. 2 quarterback in the final week of the year.

Running backs

Injuries of note: Melvin Gordon (ankle), DeMarco Murray (knee), Aaron Jones (knee), James White (ankle), Rex Burkhead (knee), Joe Mixon (ankle), Damien Williams (shoulder) and Travaris Cadet (ankle)

Could be out or see limited action due to playoff implications: Todd Gurley, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette and Jay Ajayi

Add if available in shallow leagues (in this order): Giovani Bernard (69 percent), Derrick Henry (84 percent), Theo Riddick (81 percent), Duke Johnson (80 percent) and Bilal Powell (74 percent)

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Priority list
1%
Branden Oliver Los Angeles Chargers RB
Oliver would be a must-start option if Gordon, who is reportedly in a walking boot after last week's game at the Jets, sits out. If Gordon is out, Oliver would see a heavy workload in Week 17 against Oakland in a game the Chargers have to win to have a shot at the playoffs. The Raiders have allowed a running back to score in four games in a row, and I would consider Oliver a top-20 Fantasy running back if he starts.
30%
Mike Gillislee New England Patriots RB
With Burkhead and White hurt in Week 16 against Buffalo, Gillislee saw his first action since Week 8, and he predictably scored a touchdown on six carries for 28 yards and one catch for 15 yards. If Burkhead and White are out again this week against the Jets then Gillislee will share touches with Dion Lewis, which puts him the flex zone. The Jets have allowed four rushing touchdowns in the past three games, and Gillislee is always a threat to find the end zone.
15%
Charcandrick West Kansas City Chiefs RB
Hunt will likely be out or see limited action in Week 17 at Denver, which should allow West to see plenty of work. It's not an easy matchup against the Broncos, who have locked down their past three opponents on the ground with the Jets, Colts and Redskins, but West should still have the chance to be a flex option if Hunt doesn't play, especially in PPR. West had four games last year with at least 13 touches, and he scored at least nine PPR points in two of those outings.
14%
Wayne Gallman New York Giants RB
Gallman has become a standout option in PPR leagues with his performance over the past three games, and he should continue to be involved in the passing game in Week 17, especially with Sterling Shepard (neck) hurt. Gallman has 24 targets over that span with 19 catches for 124 yards. He also led the Giants in carries in Week 16 at Arizona with 10, but he managed just 18 yards. Gallman is worth using as a flex option in standard leagues in Week 17 against the Giants, and he's a low-end starter in PPR.
35%
Kerwynn Williams Arizona Cardinals RB
Williams was able to play in Week 16 against the Giants despite dealing with a quad injury during the week, and he finished with 16 carries for 51 yards and two catches for 14 yards. He has at least 16 touches in four games in a row, but he hasn't scored a touchdown over that span or reached double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. This doesn't seem like a good spot for the Cardinals on the road at Seattle in Week 17 with the Seahawks needing to win for a chance at the playoffs. But Seattle has allowed a running back to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in three games in a row. Williams could be a flex option in standard leagues.
43%
Peyton Barber Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB
Barber was once again the lead back in Week 16 at Carolina even with Doug Martin returning to action, and he had at least 13 touches for the fourth game in a row. He also has five catches in his past two games. Barber only has 14 Fantasy points in his past three outings, but the Saints have allowed a running back to score in four games in a row. Barber is a potential flex option this week.
1%
Alfred Blue Houston Texans RB
Blue has outplayed Lamar Miller over the past two weeks, and he had 16 carries for 108 yards in Week 16 against Pittsburgh. Miller isn't hurt, so he should still get plenty of work in Week 17 at Indianapolis, but Blue has 28 carries in his past two games. Keep an eye on reports out of Houston this week to see if Blue might have passed Miller on the depth chart, as Blue could end up as flex option in deeper leagues against the Colts.
24%
Chris Ivory Jacksonville Jaguars RB
We'll see if Fournette or even T.J. Yeldon plays much in Week 17 against Tennessee. That could put Ivory in a featured role, and he had at least 17 carries in the three games Fournette has missed this year. The last time was Week 15 against Houston, and Ivory struggled with 17 carries for 42 yards and no catches, while failing to score on several goal-line chances. But his workload potential would make him a flex option in standard leagues, and the Titans were just abused by Gurley for 38 Fantasy points in Week 16.
4%
Tion Green Detroit Lions RB
Green has scored in two of his past four games, and he should have the chance for double digits in carries if the Lions are ahead in this matchup against Green Bay in Week 17. I like Riddick as the No. 1 running back for Detroit, but Green can be a flex option in deeper leagues.
1%
Malcolm Brown Los Angeles Rams RB
Brown is worth a look in deeper leagues if the Rams decide to rest Gurley in Week 17. The problem would be other Rams starters will likely be out as well, and the 49ers run defense has been good over the past four games. Brown is only worth a look in deeper leagues if Gurley is out.

Wide receivers

Injuries of note: Sterling Shepard (neck), Jordy Nelson (shoulder), Antonio Brown (calf), Davante Adams (concussion), Marqise Lee (ankle), Chris Hogan (shoulder), Jeremy Maclin (knee), Emmanuel Sanders (foot), DeSean Jackson (ankle), Allen Hurns (ankle), Damiere Byrd (knee) and Tavarres King (concussion)

Could be out or see limited action due to playoff implications: Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor

Add if available in shallow leagues (in this order): Marquise Goodwin (74 percent), Mike Wallace (72 percent), Martavis Bryant (82 percent), Josh Docton (69 percent) and Ted Ginn (81 percent)

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Priority list
31%
Keelan Cole Jacksonville Jaguars WR
I'm not sure how much the Jaguars will play their starters, but you have to take the chance on Cole and Westbrook (55 percent) in case they play a lot. Cole is on fire of late with at least 100 receiving yards or a touchdown in four games in a row, and he would be a must-start receiver in all leagues if he plays all four quarters in Week 17 against Tennessee. Westbrook also would be a solid starting option, and he has at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past four games.
65%
Kelvin Benjamin Buffalo Bills WR
Benjamin is worth adding as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week now that he's healthy, and he should have been credited with a touchdown in Week 16 at New England. He finished the game with five catches for 70 yards on seven targets, and he's scored at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league in two of his past three games.
21%
Kenny Golladay Detroit Lions WR
Golladay had eight targets in Week 16 at Cincinnati, and he should once again be featured in a meaningless game for the Lions in Week 17 against Green Bay. He's still sharing targets with Marvin Jones, Golden Tate and Eric Ebron, but Golladay could easily bookend his season with a touchdown after he scored in Week 1 against Arizona. Golladay is worth a look as a low-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week.
3%
Chris Godwin Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR
With Jackson out in Week 16 at Carolina, Godwin had six targets and finished with three catches for 98 yards. He should again see a hefty amount of targets in Week 17 against New Orleans, and he would be worth a look as a low-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver in three-receiver leagues. If Jackson plays, however, you can ignore Godwin in the majority of leagues.
34%
Corey Davis Tennessee Titans WR
Davis had his best game as a pro in Week 16 against the Rams with six catches for 91 yards on nine targets. It's the third time this season he's had at least nine targets and the second time he's had six catches, but the yards were a new high. We hope the Titans continue to feature Davis, and he could have an easier matchup than anticipated if the Jaguars decide to rest starters on defense.

Tight ends

Injuries of note: Evan Engram (ribs) and Adam Shaheen (chest)

Could be out or see limited action due to playoff implications: Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz

Add if available in shallow leagues (in this order): Vernon Davis (72 percent) and Cameron Brate (70 percent)

* - Add these players in this order, and they are owned in 65 percent of leagues or less on CBS Sports.

Priority list
55%
Eric Ebron Detroit Lions TE
Things have finally clicked for Ebron, and he's playing great coming into Week 17 against Green Bay. He has either 90 receiving yards or a touchdown in three games in a row, and he just had his best game of the season in Week 16 at Cincinnati with five catches for 83 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. He has 26 targets over his past three games, and he should continue to remain a featured part of the offense this week. Ebron has become a must-start Fantasy tight end in all leagues.
12%
Antonio Gates Los Angeles Chargers TE
I expected Gates to be more involved in the offense in Week 16 at the Jets with Hunter Henry (kidney laceration) out, and Gates was better than I anticipated. He had season highs in targets (eight), catches (six) and yards (81), and he scored just his third touchdown of the year. Gates should again see a healthy amount of targets in Week 17 against Oakland, and the Raiders have allowed a tight end to score at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league in three of the past four games.
39%
Charles Clay Buffalo Bills TE
Clay just had five catches for 68 yards on nine targets in Week 15 against Miami, and he has 19 targets in his past two games. He almost scored in Week 16 at New England, and he finished with four catches for 37 yards. The Dolphins allow the second-most Fantasy points to tight ends, and Clay is a top-10 Fantasy option in Week 17 against Miami, which is his former team.
36%
Benjamin Watson Baltimore Ravens TE
Watson has scored a touchdown in two of his past four games, and he has 10 targets for nine catches, 114 yards and a touchdown in his past two outings against Cleveland and Indianapolis. He has a great matchup against the Bengals in Week 17, as Cincinnati has allowed a tight end to score in three games in a row. Watson is also a top-10 tight end this week given the matchup.
3%
Vance McDonald Pittsburgh Steelers TE
McDonald was the lead tight end in Week 16 at Houston with four catches for 52 yards on five targets, and he has a great matchup in Week 17 against the Browns. Cleveland is No. 5 in Fantasy points allowed to tight ends, and McDonald can be considered a sleeper in Week 17.
0%
Rhett Ellison New York Giants TE
Ellison is another sleeper to consider in Week 17 given the matchup with the Redskins, who allow the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Engram is likely out for the Giants in Week 17 at Washington, and Shepard is also banged up. Ellison just had four catches for 60 yards on seven targets in Week 16 at Arizona after Engram got hurt. He's worth starting in deeper leagues.
4%
George Kittle San Francisco 49ers TE
Kittle has led the 49ers' tight ends in targets for the past two games with eight, and he has seven catches for 94 yards and a touchdown over that span. Garrett Celek is also involved, which limits the upside for Kittle, but with the way Garoppolo is playing right now, Kittle is worth a look as a streaming option in Week 17 at the Rams. And Kittle could benefit in a big way if the Rams decide to rest their starters in the final week of the regular season.

DST streamers

  • Redskins (at NYG) - 37 percent 
  • Saints (at TB) - 63 percent 
  • Bills (at MIA) - 40 percent

K streamers

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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