December 28, 2021

WEEK 17 LOS PEEKUPS, CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK. READY TO BE A CAMPEON?

Familia, if you’re reading this, felicidades! You’re in the title game. Salud, pat yourself on the back, but your work is not done. Time to finish the job. There are still players to pick up to either add depth with COVID still running rampant through the NFL, to plug into your lineup or to block your opponent from using them against you. This is no time to let up. You only get so many chances at a title!

With 11 rushing attempts in each of his last 3 starts, Taysom Hill is very much the dual-threat QB that the Saints need against a Carolina defense that just lots its best defender to the COVID list.

I’ve seen how the waiver wire can tilt a championship. Title week 2018, I was in the championship in one of my most competitive leagues, and the Rams announced that Todd Gurley was going to miss that week’s game. C.J. Anderson was picked up off the street to play. My opponent had more FAAB dollars, and put it all on Anderson. What did he do? Anderson had 20 carries for 167 yards and a TD. I needed an otherworldly 14 catches, 185 yards and 2 TDs from Antonio Brown to make up for that surprise pickup to eek out a win in a shootout.

That’s one of many reminders about the importance of the waiver wire, even though in Week 17 it may look like the bottom of a big pot of tamales after all the familia has left Christmas dinner. This week, we have some players for you to pick up. 

Every move this week should be made with an eye toward what your final roster should be. There are players listed here who could blow up and save your week. Or that of your opponent. Really, there are only at most 4 teams that are making moves this week, including the teams that are going for consolation prizes. So grab your players and check back her for some Adentro y Afuera recommendations. For now, let’s get to LOS PEEKUPS. As always, the players are rostered in no more than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Salud!

STREAMING QUARTERBACKS OF THE WEEK

TREY LANCE vs HOU
12%
His last rush attempt was Week 11, and his last pass was Week 5. This is purely for his rushing upside. Back in his Week 5 start against the Cardinals, Lance ran 16 times for 89 yards. What’s working for him is that he can drop short passes like he did with Deebo Samuel in Week 4, when Samuel caught 8 balls for 156 yards and 2 TDs. Houston is #11 in Fantasy PPG allowed to the QB, giving up 221.8 passing yards per game.

TAYSOM HILL vs CAR
42%

Remember him? The Saints surely would have liked to have Hill against the Dolphins on Monday Night Football, especially after watching Ian Book get dropped 8 times and picked off twice. We’re not expecting him to come in and be prime Drew Brees, but there’s only one way to go from Ian Book. Hill has rushed exactly 11 times in his 3 starts, and we should expect at least that much against a Carolina defense that’s down one of its best defenders (Brian Burns). The Panthers haven’t seen a running QB like Hill since Jalen Hurts in Week 5. All Hurts did was rush 9 times for 30 yards and 2 TDs.

TYLER HUNTLEY vs LAR13%
This move is on the hopes that Huntley clears the COVID IR in time to start. And that Lamar Jackson remains out (likely). With 118 rushing yards and 2 TDs in his 2 starts, Huntley has that Konami Code in spades. The Rams will put up points against that bad Ravens secondary, so if Huntley the offense will ride on his arm and legs.

RUNNING BACK

DARE OGUNBOWALE @ NE
2%
Pour one out for James Robinson. Hope you have the same quick rehab and recovery as Cam Akers, who was just activated off the IR almost exactly 5 months after his own Achilles tear. Ogunbowale saw 19 touches after Robinson was hurt, so he’s likely to get plenty of volume in what should be a tough matchup. The Patriots have allowed 100-yard performances to Jonathan Taylor, D’Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard since Week 12.

JORDAN HOWARD @ WAS
17%
First he needs to get better from a stinger that he sustained last week. With Miles Sanders out, he has a chance for a nice share of the workload, after he had 11 touches for 56 yards last week. He’ll likely share some carries with the next guy. Two weeks ago Howard rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries against WFT.

BOSTON SCOTT @ WAS
15%
And if there’s no Howard, Scott is the next man up. He had 12 carries for 41 yards in relief last week. We’ve seen how run-heavy the Eagles have been the back half of the season, and how they rushed for 238 yards as a team against WFT a couple weeks ago.

REX BURKHEAD @ SF
14%
Full disclosure, I dropped Burkhead for Tyler Johnson last week. I was actually pretty set at RB, and could have used the WR depth, so the move was made. Thankfully, it didn’t blow up in my face. In my defense, Burkhead hadn’t surpassed 41 yards all season, in spite of good usage. With David Johnson on the COVID list, this could be another heavy volume week for Burkhead. The only warning is that the 49ers have allowed 75.4 rushing yards per game since Week 12. So start him at your peril knowing he’s likely had his best game of the season.

WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END

MARQUEZ VALDES-SCANTLING vs MIN
40%
The hope is MVS clears the COVID protocols, because he has a great matchup against a Vikings defense that he torched for 4-10-123-1. That included a 75-yard bomb in the closing minutes to send the game to OT. The Vikings are #28 against the WR position, and allowing 263.2 passing yards a game. They’ve also given up 9 passing TDs since Week 12, tied for 4th in the league.

ISAIAH MCKENZIE vs ATL
2%
The 11-12-125-1 blowup against the Patriots was the type of game that was even beyond any fantasy player’s wildest dreams with Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis out. Well, Beasley and Davis are out again, and it’s an even better matchup against an Atlanta defense that just got stuck with 9-11-91-1 by Amon-ra St. Brown. 

JOSH PALMER vs DEN
5%

Twice of late Palmer has been elevated to WR2 on the Chargers, and he answered with 5-7-66-1 against the Giants in Week 14 and 5-6-43-1 this past week against the Texans. He’s a talented rookie, who will not get the primary DB attention from the Broncos. That will go to Keenan Allen. Look no further than Week 15, when Tyler Boyd went for 5-6-96-1 against the Broncos. Palmer could be giving us a preview of things to come if Williams leaves in free agency.

GERALD EVERETT vs DET
43%
With 5 targets last week, Everett had just as many as D.K. Metcalf and 1 fewer than Tyler Lockett. Now he’s going against a Detroit defense that’s #31against the TE and allowing 88.8 receiving yards to the position. If you don’t have one of the top TEs, Everett is a good fallback.

DEFENSIVE STREAMER OF THE WEEK
STEELERS vs CLE
40%
The Browns are a possibility here, too. They’re rostered at the same number as the Steelers. Both have pass rushes that should be in the opposing backfields throughout Monday Night Football. The Steelers D has been coming to play at home, and should feed off an electric crowd fueled by an AFC North showdown with playoff implications. Just 2 weeks ago, the Steelers devoured the Titans with 4 sacks, 1 interception and 3 fumble recoveries at Heinz Field

SOURCES: PFF / Pro-Football-Reference / Fantasy Pros / Football Guys / Lineups.com