The Waiver Wire pick ups for week 16 were really good with Danny Amendola, Jimmy Graham, Andre Caldwell and Tim Tebow; while had a big dud with Mike Sims-Walker, who lost to Rex Grossman and the Redskins to basically forfeit any chance at making the playoffs. Here comes week 17, it is the most hated week of them all in terms of fantasy football. So, to start out the article I am going to make a list of which teams have clinched and have the chance to sit their players and which teams either need to play for seeding, or are yet to clinch a playoff berth. Anytime you hear about championships played in week 17, people constantly are against it; but for you fantasy owners that do have a big championship in week 17 [I have 3 of them, I understand], here are your waiver wire pick ups for week 17… let’s go out there and win a championship people [a lot more players than usual due to injuries + clinching byes].
Updated Injuries and Resting Players:
Hakeem Nicks- DOUBTFUL with broken toe
David Garrard- DOUBTFUL with surgery on middle finger on right hand
Maurice Jones-Drew- DOUBTFUL; he needs surgery on his knee, report says he has not gone on IR because he is waiting to see if team makes the playoffs; would be "tremendous miracle" if he was not OUT for Sunday
Michael Vick- OUT with rest
Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles [check status of LeSean McCoy, possible good pick up for Jerome Harrison; Michael Vick has now been ruled OUT for Sunday versus the Cowboys, so Kevin Kolb should get the start there] all have clinched playoff spots, but neither of them has clinched home field advantage; so they all have something to play for.
St. Louis Rams play the Seattle Seahawks [Charlie Whitehurst] for the right to clinch their division and host a playoff game; both teams have something to play for.
Green Bay Packers, New York Giants [Hakeem Nicks now listed as DOUBTFUL for Sunday with a broken toe] and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all can clinch playoff berths with different scenarios, but they all have something to play for.
Teams that are eliminated from playoff contention-
Washington Redskins- Rex Grossman and Ryan Torain
Detroit Lions- Shaun Hill and Jahvid Best/Maurice Morris
San Francisco 49ers [New Head Coach]- Troy Smith/Alex Smith and Brian Westbrook [I think has distinct advantage over Anthony Dixon]
Arizona Cardinals- John Skelton and Beanie Wells/Tim Hightower [Week 16: Beanie 11 carries, Hightower 6 carries]
Dallas Cowboys- Stephen McGee/Jon Kitna [looks to be leaning on McGee with injury to Kitna] and Felix Jones/Tashard Choice/Marion Barber [Felix getting bulk of carries and starting]
Carolina Panthers- Jimmy Clausen and Jonathan Stewart [will be Clausen last start before the Panthers are on the clock for April’s NFL Draft]
New England Patriots have both clinched their division and have been earned home field advantage for the playoffs; they have nothing to play for this week at home versus the Dolphins. Possibly expect Brian Hoyer to replace Tom Brady at some point in this game and possible limited carries and touches for Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, Wes Welker and Deion Branch.
Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets have both clinched playoff berths and have nothing to play for because they cannot move up or down in terms of seeding. Keep updated all week on the status of Matt Cassel, Jamal Charles/Thomas Jones and Dwayne Bowe for Kansas City and for the Jets keep an eye on Mark Sanchez, LaDanian Tomlinson and Santonio Holmes.
Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have both clinched playoff berths, but both can also win their respective divisions, which would give one of these teams the number two seed and the other one, the number five seed. Both teams will play all of their starters and expect the same amount of targets and touches for all studs.
Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars have neither clinched playoff berths, but both will play all of their starters with the opportunity to make the playoffs with a few different scenarios. What you are watching for here is the status of Maurice Jones-Drew [reportedly listed as OUT with his knee injury], if he does not go again this week; Rashad Jennings remains a very good option. David Garrard is now listed as DOUBTFUL for Sunday due to surgery on his right middle finger, so if this is someone you are relying on, you will have to look in some other places [Shaun Hill, Tim Tebow, Joe Webb or Kevin Kolb most likely].
Teams that are eliminated from playoff contention-
San Diego Chargers- Phillip Rivers and Ryan Matthews/Darren Sproles [Matthews has advantage here with recent injury to Mike Tolbert]
Miami Dolphins- Chad Henne and Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams
Oakland Raiders- Jason Campbell and Michael Bush/Darren McFadden [early reports have McFadden questionable, and Oakland could rest him with nothing to play for]
Tennessee Titans- Kerry Collins and Chris Johnson
Houston Texans- Matt Schaub and Arian Foster
Cleveland Browns- Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis
Denver Broncos- Tim Tebow and Knowshon Moreno/Correll Buckhalter [Moreno was banged up last week, check on status against San Diego this week]
Buffalo Bills- Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson/C.J. Spiller [Fred Jackson should get a bulk of the carries, but check status later in the week]
Cincinnati Bengals- Carson Palmer and Cedric Benson/Bernard Scott [could definitely share carries this week, check on injury status to both backs by Sunday]
Here is a list of some back ups that could come in handy:
Jay Cutler- Todd Collins
Mark Sanchez- Mark Brunell
Matt Ryan- Chris Redman
Joe Webb- Brett Favre [if Favre cannot go, Patrick Ramsey]
Drew Brees- Chase Daniel
Matt Cassel- Brodie Croyle
David Garrard- Trent Edwards then Todd Bouman
Michael Vick- Kevin Kolb
Michael Turner- Jason Snelling
Matt Forte- Chester Taylor
Andre Johnson- Jacoby Jones
Waiver Wire: Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets- With LaDanian Tomlinson possibly resting up for the playoffs, I think this is my top waiver wire pick up based on the match up with Buffalo and the style of football the Jets will play in a game that does not mean anything to them.
Waiver Wire: Joe Webb, QB, Minnesota Vikings- Depending on what happens on Tuesday Night Football, Joe Webb is a great option for people that have him as a “WR/QB” in some leagues it’s a good option in fantasy standards. If he does not start and Brett Favre goes in week 16 or 17, make sure you have a replacement for him.
Waiver Wire: Mike Thomas, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars- All season long I have been picking the wide receivers that play against Houston, I will not change that just because it is week 17. Mike Thomas has been good in the second half of the season and I think he will see a good amount of targets against this poor secondary. UDPATE: David Garrard now listed as DOUBTFUL for Sunday, which really hurts the status of Mike Thomas, Mike Sims-Walker and Mercedes Lewis.
Waiver Wire: Atlanta Falcons, Defense- Cannot deny the good match up against Carolina and they just lost at home in week 16 versus the Saints. This is a must win in terms of seeding and home field advantage for them and I see their defense stepping up big time in this one.
Waiver Wire: Jerome Harrison, RB, Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles might decide to rest LeSean McCoy due to injury and a multitude of options in terms of seeding, Jerome Harrison was a fantasy savior in the playoffs last year and I think he has the ability to show that potential again this year in week 17.
Waiver Wire: Mario Manningham, WR, New York Giants- I am sure this guy is owned in a good percentage of leagues, but Eli Manning has been looking for him every week and they are playing the week Washington Redskins secondary and the Giants will be out for blood after two very poor performances in the past few weeks. UPDATE: great pick up now due to injury to Hakeem Nicks with a broke toe [listed as DOUBTFUL for Sunday].
Waiver Wire: Blair White, WR, Indianapolis Colts- With Austin Collie on IR for the rest of the season, Blair White steps in as Peyton Manning’s new slot target and that receiver, whoever it is, always produces for the Colts and this week will be no different against the Tennessee Titans. White caught a TD last week and I see that trend continuing in a must win game for the Colts.
Waiver Wire: Michael Bush, RB, Oakland Raiders- Like I said earlier, with Darren McFadden hurt at the moment wait and see if Oakland decides to sit him or limit his carries against a Chiefs team that has nothing to play for and have already clinched. Bush had 2 TD in week 15 versus the Broncos, so there is a good chance he can extend that success.
Waiver Wire: Emmanual Sanders, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers- He has caught 11 passes for 132 yards in his past two games and it really seems Roethlisberger is looking for him on a more constant basis than in the past. He seems to have slid right into the number 3 receiver for the Steelers and is being targeted multiple times per drive.
Like I said, a lot more information than usual this week, but since it is the last week before the playoffs I thought I would give you as much information as possible to help win you your championship this week. If your league already ended in week 16, hope I helped this season and very much look forward to week 1 next season.