Week 17 Waiver Wire: Breakout Pickups, Targets and Tips for Fantasy Football

Richard Janvrin@@RichardJanvrinFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2017

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 17:  Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on after they defeated the Tennessee Titans 25-23 in an NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

"On the 16th week of fantasy football, my league gave to me, a hard-fought championship victory."

By now, that's probably the song you're singing. Sure, we still have two games on Christmas Day, but I'm sure there are a fair amount of leagues where it's already been decided.

And hey, what better gift can you get on Christmas then a fantasy championship?

With that said, there are still those people who play through Week 17. While it's something I'll never figure out, hey, have at it!

The stress down the stretch is more than enough, never mind the volatility in Week 17, people!

Regardless, we're here to help.

Read below to find out who to pick up for Week 17!

Have a Merry Christmas.


1. Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts (13.40 PTS, 13% own)

2. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (21.98 PTS, 29% own)

3. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (12.34 PTS, 39% own)


Running Backs

1. Kapri Bibbs, Washington Redskins (7.40 PTS, 6% own)

2. Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers (15.20 PTS, 4% own)

3. Mike Gillislee, New England Patriots (11.30 PTS, 31% own)

4. Tion Green, Detroit Lions (10.30 PTS, 5% own)


Wide Receivers

1. Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins (14.10 PTS, 36% own)

2. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12.80 PTS, 1% own)

3. Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars (11.40 PTS, 46% own)

4. Kendall Wright, Chicago Bears (6.70 PTS, 11% own)


Tight Ends

1. Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (12.20 PTS, 48% own)

2. Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers (20.10 PTS, 22% own)

3. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (13.20 PTS, 3% own)

All scoring reflects PPR formats. All qualifying waiver pickups must have 50 percent or less ownership in Yahoo leagues.

Players to Watch

Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 23: Quarterback Jacoby Brissett #7 of the Indianapolis Colts drops back in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 23, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Brissett being on the list may be a bit unexpected, but he has to good of a matchup to pass up in Week 17.

Guess who? The Houston Texans.

At the time of this, the Texans have yet to play on MNF, but still, they've been bad against opposing quarterbacks.

Through Week 15, the Texans give up nearly 20 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

In Week 16, they host the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, so that number as a good chance to go up.

In their last matchup, Brissett launched over 300 yards passing and two touchdowns—his second highest fantasy output in 2017.

Brissett is an excellent streaming option if you need a last-minute starter.

Tion Green, RB, Detroit Lions

Gary Landers/Associated Press

The Lions backfield has been a mess all season long, but over the past few weeks, a guy by the name of Tion Green has popped up here and there.

After being eliminated from playoff contention in Week 16, the Lions will likely allow Green to get even more work than his seven carries in Week 16.

On those seven carries, Green went for 43 yards and a score.

He's clearly put some life into a mediocre backfield—maybe Week 17 will be another audition for a greater role in 2018.

Green is a solid flex play in Week 17 against the Green Bay Packers.

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 24:  Chris Godwin #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball against the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streete
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Week 17 status of wide receiver DeSean Jackson is unknown, but the way this Bucs season has gone, they're better off playing the younger guys and getting them reps in the regular season finale.

That's where Godwin enters.

Without DJax in Week 16, Godwin saw six targets. On those six targets, he caught three of them for 98 yards.

Going up against an even weaker Atlanta Falcons defense, Godwin will have a better shot at over-performing in Week 17.

In Week 16 Godwin almost had a touchdown, too.

In PPR leagues, Godwin is a fringe WR2—he should get his fair share of work should DJax sit this one out.

Antonio Gates, TE, Los Angeles Chargers

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 24:  Antonio Gates #85 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after scoring a first half touchdown reception against the New York Jets in an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on December 24, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (
Ed Mulholland/Getty Images

Unless the Chargers back into the postseason, Week 17 could very well be tight end Antonio Gates' final game of his NFL career.

He's up there in age, after all.

In Week 16 without fellow tight end Hunter Henry, Gates not only caught a touchdown, but he caught six of eight targets for 81 yards, too.

Going up against the Raiders, Gates will take on a defense that, through Week 15, ranked 23rd in DVOA against tight ends.

In what could be his final game of his career, you better believe quarterback Philip Rivers will give him the rub here.

Gates should have a nice send-off if the Chargers miss out on postseason action.

Scoring stats and ownership stats via Yahoo and current as of Sunday, Dec. 17. Statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference and Football Outsiders.