Is it possible that a quarterback who’s started one game all year could not only start this we ek but also lead fantasy football teams to a title? Of course it is. Streamers inevitably have an outsized role in deciding who takes home the big prize in fantasy leagues, and this year, there are more than a few potential starters, including Trey Lance and Boston Scott, who will be among the top Week 17 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. Plenty more players will be targeted after waivers clear around 4-5 a.m. ET on Wednesday mornings in Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
Our full free agent list is packed with a few “normal” pickups, such as Rex Burkhead, Dare Ogunbowale, Jordan Howard, and Isaiah McKenzie, and a bunch of potential one-week wonders. Below, we’ll highlight some of the top streamers who should be available in almost all 10-team leagues and most 12-team leagues, but if you’re looking for even more viable options, you can find them at the end of this list. If you want to really gild the lily one more time in 2021, you can also check out our Week 17 kicker rankings.
The final week of the fantasy football season means there’s no holding back with your waiver claims. Normally, we’d strongly advise against using a claim on a streamer WR or QB, never mind a D/ST or TE, but if that’s what you need, then do what it takes to get them. You might also want to use a waiver claim on a handcuff RB who isn’t even in a guaranteed to start. Again, that’s fine. Protect yourself and block your opponents getting what they need.
Of course, in a week like this, you can’t guard against everything. Even if you try to block your opponent by grabbing the “best” streamer TE, there might be another one who’s just as good and winds up performing better. It’s an inexact science, but take your swings and hope you a hit home run.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 17
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
Boston Scott, RB, Eagles (@ WFT in Week 17). With Miles Sanders (hand) out for Week 17, and Jordan Howard (stinger) dealing with an injury of his own, Scott, who scored in Week 16, could be in line for ample Week 17 carries against Washington. Even if Howard is active, we know Scott can see 10-12 touches and score since Philly isn’t shy about giving him goal-line carries. Scott is a must-add insurance policy who could easily wind up being a difference-making flex.
Trey Lance, QB, 49ers (vs. Texans). Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a right thumb sprain last Thursday and is “questionable” — perhaps even “doubtful” — for Sunday’s game against the Texans. Lance managed almost 15 fantasy points in his lone start this year despite not accounting for any TDs, and when he played the second half in Week 4, he posted over 20 points (though a chunk of that was in garbage time). Either way, his rushing ability gives him a high floor and high ceiling, and in a favorable matchup against Houston, Lance could prove to be a league winner.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Packers (vs. Vikings). MVS is known as a boom-or-bust WR3, but assuming he’s off the reserve/COVID list, he’s much more likely to “boom” in Week 17 against a Vikings defense allowing the most fantasy points to WRs. Valdes-Scantling caught five-of-seven targets for 98 yards and a score last time we saw him on the field, and in Week 11 against Minnesota, he caught four-of-10 targets for 123 yards and a TD.
C.J. Uzomah, TE, Bengals (vs. Chiefs). Uzomah had two monster weeks earlier in the season, but considering he hasn’t had more than 7.6 half-PPR points in a week since his Week 7 blow-up, he’s not the most trustworthy. However, he has been getting a decent amount of targets (23 over his past four games), and the Chiefs entered Week 16 in the top 12 in terms of fantasy points allowed to TEs. It’s not the greatest matchup, nor is Uzomah the safest of options, but if you’re scrounging at TE, you could do a lot worse. Foster Moreau (@ Colts) is a slightly better stream if Darren Waller (knee) remains out.
Chicago Bears D/ST (vs. Giants). The Bears haven’t had multiple takeaways in a game since Week 4, but the Giants are a disaster offensively, turning it over eight times in the past three games and averaging just 11.5 offensive points in their past six contests. It’s tough to feel great about the Bears in general, but they almost can’t miss in this matchup regardless of who starts at QB for New York.
For more waiver/free agent suggestions, including more Week 17 streamers, check out our full Week 17 list.