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

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2021

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

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    Michael Hickey/Getty Images

    Going into Week 17, fantasy football managers will have to dip deep into the waiver wire or free-agent pool for high-end pickups.

    With teams placing several players on the reserve/COVID-19 list over the past few weeks, managers may not have a clear outlook of a club's lineup until hours before kickoff. As a result, keep multiple contingency plans in place in case a key contributor doesn't pass COVID-19 protocols in time for game day.

    For the upcoming week, we'll focus on streamers and speculative pickups with great upside.

    Among the selections below, a running back will list atop the adds list because of his expanded role following an injury. In recent weeks, an underrated tight end has become a viable target in his team's passing attack. Managers can use him for a solid boost in the flex spot. 

    We listed players who are available in 60 percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

Top Breakout Candidates and Pickups for Week 17

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    Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

    Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers vs. Houston Texans (38 percent rostered)

    Boston Scott, RB, Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team (15 percent rostered)

    Rex Burkhead, RB, Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers (13 percent rostered)

    Dare Ogunbowale, RB, JacksonvilleJaguars at New England Patriots (0 percent rostered)

    Isaiah McKenzie, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. Atlanta Falcons (1 percent rostered)

    Zay Jones, WR, Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (1 percent rostered)

    Gerald Everett, TE, Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions (42 percent rostered)

    Foster Moreau, TE, Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (22 percent rostered)

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    Jimmy Garoppolo had a disappointing showing against the Tennessee Titans Thursday, throwing for 322 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Nonetheless, managers should expect a bounce-back performance in a matchup with the Houston Texans' middling pass defense. 

    Going into Week 16, the Texans ranked 14th in passing yards allowed leaguewide. With a healthy pass-catching group that includes George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, Garoppolo may have some success against Houston's defense. 

    Though the Texans upset the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, their pass defense still gave up 336 yards to quarterback Justin Herbert, who didn't have two of his top three targets in wideout Mike Williams (reserve/COVID-19 list) and running back Austin Ekeler (reserve/COVID-19 list). 

    In two of his last four outings, Garoppolo has thrown for multiple touchdowns. In all of those contests, he's recorded 235-plus passing yards. Still an efficient signal-caller, completing 68 percent of his attempts, Garoppolo has streamer appeal in Week 17.

Dare Ogunbowale, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    The Jacksonville Jaguars lost their lead running back for the remainder of the season. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, James Robinson tore his Achilles Sunday.

    In Robinson's absence, Dare Ogunbowale recorded 17 rush attempts for 57 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 15 yards.

    Going forward, Ogunbowale will probably handle the lion's share of the rushing workload, so managers can at least bank on his touch volume, which bodes well for a matchup with the New England Patriots. 

    Despite all the praise for the Patriots defense this season, they ranked 24th against ground attacks going into Week 16. In two of the last four weeks, New England has surrendered 226-plus rushing yards. 

    Ogunbowale will have an opportunity to break out against the Patriots' bottom-tier run defense. He's a sneaky flex player for the upcoming week.

Gerald Everett, TE, Seattle Seahawks

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    Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

    Over the last two weeks, Gerald Everett has become a decent target in the Seattle Seahawks' passing game. He's hauled in eight of his nine targets for 128 yards and a touchdown in that stretch.

    On Sunday against the Chicago Bears, with wideout Tyler Lockett back in action after a one-game absence (reserve/COVID-19 list), Everett caught four passes for a team-leading 68 yards and a touchdown.

    Next week, Everett will face the Detroit Lions, who ranked 25th in passing yards allowed heading into Week 16. The unit gave up six receptions for 102 yards to Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts Sunday.

    If Everett continues to command a steady number of targets, he can post solid numbers against the Lions' generous pass defense. He's a TE2 or a flex option with some upside next week.

Fantasy Tip: Pick Up RB Boston Scott as Speculative Add

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    Running backs Miles Sanders (hand) and Jordan Howard (stinger) exited Sunday's game because of injuries, which allowed Boston Scott to finish in the lead role out of the Philadelphia Eagles backfield.

    Scott logged a team-leading 12 rushes for 41 yards and a touchdown against the New York Giants. He'll continue to handle a decent workload ahead of rookie fifth-rounder Kenneth Gainwell (one catch for six yards) if Sanders and Howard miss time. 

    Next week, the Eagles will play the Washington Football Team, who allowed 238 rushing yards in the last meeting between these teams in Week 15. Managers should start the Eagles' top two ball-carriers for the upcoming matchup. 

    In a complementary role, Scott could post RB2-worthy fantasy numbers if he's in line for 10-12 touches. With only nine receptions for 44 yards this season, he's a more appealing option for non-point per reception leagues.

          

    Fantasy scoring and points allowed provided by FantasyPros.

    Maurice Moton is an NFL and Fantasy Football columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @MoeMoton. 

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