So here we are – the last week of the NFL season and for the lucky lot of us, the Fantasy Finals. The rule of thumb in the fantasy playoffs is to always ‘start your studs.’ I certainly cannot disagree with that. You have to trust the guys that got you this far. There are a quite a few difficult matchups this week and there are not many studs left on waivers, but there a few waiver claims that could help you lift the title.
**All owning percetange is based off of ESPN Standard Leagues**
Johnny Manziel – Cleveland Browns – Owned in 2.0% of leagues
He had a rough game through the air last week against Kansas City, but he still managed to do damage on the ground piling up over a 100 yards on eleven carries. He faces off against a Pittsburgh secondary that he torched 372 yards and score in Week 10. You may have your doubts, but even in a must-win situation a quarterback playing against the Steelers secondary is good news for fantasy. In two-quarterback leagues he’s worth taking a look at.
Isaiah Crowell – Cleveland Browns – Owned in 36.3% of leagues
He’s got a tough matchup against a solid Steelers run defense, but you can’t ignore his numbers over the last three weeks. Since he’s breakout against San Francisco Crowell has compiled 256 yards on 45 carries with three scores; not to mention he’s averaging 5.6 yards be carry. His point total this week may be touchdown dependent, but his current hot streak shouldn’t be ignored.
Donald Brown – San Diego Chargers – Owned in 12.2% of leagues
Brown is a volume-for-value addition. He had a dismal 17 yards on 14 carries last week against Oakland, but with Melvin Gordon out for the season he will be the Chargers’ lead back in their season finale against Denver. Similar to Crowell his fantasy points will very likely hinge on touchdowns this week.
Dontrelle Inman – San Diego Chargers – Owned in 6.4% of leagues
He’s established himself as the go-to receiver in what has been an injury-plagued season for the Chargers’ offense. Despite a very tough match up against Denver’s secondary the plus side is Inman is the number one target on a pass-first offense. Considering he’s on a hot streak – 11 catches, 160 yards, and a score – over the last two games and Denver’s defense has given up 246 yards and 3 touchdowns to number one receivers (AJ Green and Antonio Brown), Inman could be a Week 17 surprise.
Kenny Britt – St. Louis Rams – Owned in 1.8% of leagues
I like Britt simply as a touchdown threat against a weak San Francisco secondary. For leagues that offer bonus points for big-plays, he is certainly worth a flex play. After all, he is the Rams main deep threat.
Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles – Owned in 57% of leagues
I know Ertz isn’t exactly a waiver wire wonder with his owning percentage, but if he is available in your league snag him. He’s one of Bradford’s favorite targets and he is playing against the porous New York Giants secondary. I like his chances for a Week 17 explosion.
Tough Matchups to Consider in Week 17
Mike Evans vs. Josh Norman
Evans typically worthy of a WR1 spot, but this week’s matchup against Norman and the Panthers defense may have you reconsidering your options. If you have the depth to bench him, I’d recommend it.
Sammy Watkins vs. Darrelle Revis
The Jets are coming off a big win and Revis has been lights out must of this season. A few number one guys (i.e. DeAndre Hopkins) have been able to blow up Revis’ coverage this year, but examples like that have been few and far between.
San Francisco’s Runningback Situation
With Shaun Draughn’s nagging injury and a stable of so-so backups it will be tough to see what the 49ers do against the Rams in their season finale. It is likely they’ll use a committee approach to see which backs they’ll look at keeping for next season. This is exceedingly the case if Draughn sits, so do not buy the DuJaun Harris’ hype quite yet. I’d avoid 49ers RBs this week.
Good luck this week!!