IDP Waiver Wire - Week 17 Targets
Merry Christmas and welcome to the Week 17 IDP Waiver Wire. I assume congratulations are in order as if you’re reading this you’re likely in your league’s championship game, however, condolences are also merited as you’re in a league that plays its championship in the final week of the NFL season. This is a problem. You really need to have a word with your league commissioner about this, because of the fact that teams that have already secured their spot in the playoffs will likely be resting their star players to keep them healthy and get them rested up for January football.
The Ravens have already announced Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram and Earl Thomas will all sit in Week 17 and they are unlikely to be the only fantasy relevant assets not to play a significant role in this final week of regular season football. For fantasy gamers contesting a championship game to not be able to utilize the players that lead them to said final, is just plain wrong in my opinion. Let alone the fact that depth players and otherwise unknown names can become heroes (ahem Jerome Harrison’s 286 yards and three touchdowns in Week 17, 2009), it does, however, mean that the waiver wire is as important as ever this week, so, here are my recommended pickups and matchups to help you in pursuit of a championship title.
Sean Lee - Dallas Cowboys
With Leighton Vander Esch now on IR due to surgery to fix a nerve issue in his neck, Sean Lee has seen his playing time spike. Last week the former IDP stud played 94.4% of defensive snaps, his only game over 90% all season and Lee turned this into his best fantasy performance of the year, recording 17 total tackles (nine solos) and a tackle for loss. Few players on the waiver wire, if any, will offer the pedigree Lee does, as well as a three-down role, making Lee a high-priority pickup if you’re in need with help at the linebacker position.
Dante Fowler - Los Angeles Rams
It’s rare for me to recommend a pass-rushing OLB as a fantasy linebacker, but Dante Fowler has five sacks over his last four games and will benefit from playing the no.1 matchup for linebackers over the last five weeks (Arizona) in Week 17, which certainly piques my interest. The Cardinals have allowed seven sacks to linebackers over that span and with QB Kyler Murray managing a minor hamstring pull he is unlikely to be his usual mobile self, meaning the sack potential for opposing pass-rusher should increase.
Jermaine Carter - Carolina Panthers
Another injury-based recommendation, Jermaine Carter played 100% of defensive snaps for the Panthers last week with Shaq Thompson shut-down, likely for the year considering their record. The matchup vs the Saints is far from the best (28th) and his box score from last week, just two tackles, isn’t exactly confidence-inspiring either but sometimes fantasy is about opportunity, and Carter will certainly be given that in Week 17. I spoke in the intro about how a relatively unknown player can be a game-winner for you, and perhaps with an every-down role, Carter can be that this week.
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