• Still playing fantasy football into the final week of the 2018 NFL season? We have a few players you should consider adding off the waiver wire.
By Michael Beller
December 24, 2018

Most fantasy leagues called it a season in Week 16, but never fear, those of you with Week 17 championships. We’ve got you covered right here on SI.com with one final waiver wire of the season. Here’s our look at the players who could help you take home a title.

Running Backs

C.J. Anderson, Rams

Anderson got added just in time for Week 16 by many Todd Gurley owners, but his ownership rate suggests that not everyone bought late last week. That’s a shame considering he was one of the big stars of Week 16, running for 167 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries in the Rams’ 31–9 win over the Cardinals. The Saints locked up the top seed in the NFC in Week 16, and the Rams will almost certainly earn the conference’s other bye. The only way they fall out of the No. 2 seed is if they lose to the 49ers at home and the Bears beat the Vikings in Week 17. Just as they handled the Cardinals without Gurley, so, too, should they be able to take care of the 49ers without their star. If Gurley sits again in Week 17 and the Rams win, he will have had a month off to rest his knee before the Rams play their first playoff game. In other words, bet on seeing plenty of Anderson again next week.

Zach Zenner, Lions

The Lions 2018 season will come to a merciful end in Green Bay next week. Kerryon Johnson will enter ’19 atop Detroit’s depth chart, but it’s entirely possible that Zenner will have a meaningful role in the offense. The Lions should be doing everything possible to get him involved, giving him a chance to show what he could bring to the table next year. Zenner has been the most productive runner for the Lions over the last three weeks, totaling 144 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. That’s an incredibly small sample, but fantasy owners shouldn’t just dismiss his 0.88 points per carry in this three-game window.

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Brian Hill, Falcons

Hill got his first real run of the season in Week 16, and he’s likely to get even more of a shot in Week 17 after the way he played. The second-year back out of Wyoming racked up 115 yards on eight carries, with a long run of 60 yards, in the Falcons’ 24-10 win over the Panthers. Ito Smith is on IR, and while Tevin Coleman remains the lead back in Atlanta, he got just two more touches than Hill in Week 16. The Falcons wrap up their season in Tampa next week.

Darren Sproles, Eagles

Sproles got nine carries and six targets in Week 16, turning all that opportunity into 108 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the Eagles’ 32-30 win over the Texans. Josh Adams carried the ball 11 times for just 21 yards, while Wendell Smallwood got one carry and four targets. Sproles should expect a similar role in the offense next week when the Eagles visit Washington. By time their game kicks off at 4:25 pm ET, they’ll know if a win will get them into the postseason, or just be a nice way to end the year. The Vikings, who currently hold the No. 6 seed in the NFC, play at 1 pm ET, and if they beat the Bears, they will lock up the conference’s final playoff spot. A Bears win—and, remember, the Bears still have an outside shot to get the No. 2 seed and a bye—would keep the Eagles alive.

Kalen Ballage, Dolphins

Ballage turned in a terrible fantasy performance on Sunday, totaling 49 yards from scrimmage on six touches in the Dolphins’ 17-7 loss to the Jaguars. The fact that he got just four carries after seemingly taking over the lead role in Miami’s backfield was a major disappointment, regardless of the bottom-line results. If you’re desperate, he’s a long-range play with the Dolphins rounding out their season in Buffalo.

D’Onta Foreman and Alfred Blue, Texans

The Texans have locked up a playoff spot, but would fall out of first in the AFC South if they lose to the Jaguars in Week 17, no matter which team wins the Colts-Titans game. In other words, expect to see Lamar Miller unless he absolutely cannot play through his ankle injury. Should he sit again, Foreman and Blue would both be in Ballage’s neighborhood of the running back and flex rankings in Week 17. Blue totaled 40 yards from scrimmage on eight touches in the Texans’ 32-30 loss to the Eagles on Sunday, while Foreman lost a yard on seven carries and caught two passes for 28 yards and a touchdown.

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Rex Burkhead, Patriots

Burkhead enjoyed a large role in New England’s offense in the 24-12 win over the Bills in Week 16, getting 13 carries and five targets. He turned those 18 opportunities into 79 yards from scrimmage, giving him the second-most touches and total yards on the team, behind Sony Michel. New England is a win away from earning a bye on the AFC side of the playoff bracket, but it would still be wise to see what Burkhead can bring to the table by giving him plenty of run in Week 17. This is not the New England offense of old, and the team will need every playmaker it can find heading into the playoffs. That could have Burkhead in line for a heavy workload against the Jets in Week 17.

Keith Ford, Bills

Should the Bills decide to shut down LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory, Ford would draw the start against the Dolphins in Week 17. That’s the only scenario in which he’d be on the fantasy radar in the final week of the season. Ford ran for 33 yards on seven carries and caught two passes for 14 yards in the Bills’ 24-12 loss to the Patriots in Week 16.

Wide Receivers

Nelson Agholor, Eagles

Agholor was on the opposite end of an 83-yard touchdown bomb from Nick Foles, carrying him to his best game of the season. Agholor finished the day with five catches for 116 yards and the score in the 32-30 win over the Texans. The Eagles have scored 62 points in Foles’ two starts since taking over for an injured Carson Wentz. Going back to the beginning of the season, when Foles started the first two games of the year, Agholor has 22 catches for 245 yards and two scores in Foles’ four starts, though, to be fair, those first two came with Alshon Jeffery out, as well. Still, Agholor seems to be a better bet with Foles under center, making him an intriguing fantasy add for Week 17.

Ted Ginn, Saints

Ginn returned in Week 16 after spending the balance of the season on IR with a knee injury, and he did so in grand fashion, catching five of eight targets for 74 yards in the Saints’ 31-28 win over the Steelers. He made one of the biggest plays of the game, hauling in a 25-yard pass from Drew Brees on a 3rd-and-20 with the Saints trailing by four points and fewer than two minutes remaining. The Saints clinched home-field advantage on the NFC side of the bracket with the win, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see many of the regulars get Week 17 off, or play only sparingly. Ginn, however, should get plenty of work since he has played in just five games this season. The Saints will put a bow on their regular season by hosting the Panthers on Sunday.

DaeSean Hamilton, Broncos

Hamilton racked up 12 targets in the Broncos’ 17-16 loss to the Browns last week, catching seven of them for 46 yards. Those aren’t huge numbers, but it’s impossible to ignore the volume Hamilton has received the last two weeks. He has 21 targets in his last two games and has pulled down 14 of them for 93 yards and a touchdown. What’s more, he got those 12 targets against Cleveland even with Coutland Sutton active, both literally and figuratively—the first-round pick got six targets, catching five of them for 42 yards. Hamitlon has the look of a WR4 going into Denver’s Monday night matchup with the Raiders in Oakland.

Tim Patrick, Broncos

Patrick was second to Hamilton in targets for the Broncos in last week’s loss to the Browns, catching five of eight looks from Case Keenum for a team-high 65 yards. He, too, has come on strong the last two weeks, hauling in 12 of 18 targets for 150 yards. Like Hamilton, Patrick will likely project as a WR4 in Week 16.

Zay Jones, Bills

Jones had another productive game in Week 16, catching five of nine targets for 67 yards and a touchdown in the Bills’ 24-12 loss to the Patriots. Jones has quietly put together a strong second half this year, racking up 21 catches for 260 yards and four touchdowns in his last six games. Those may not be huge numbers, but consider that he has amassed them playing with Josh Allen and Matt Barkley, and that the Bills have averaged 21.8 points per game in that span, and his output becomes much more impressive. Jones will likely find himself on 2019 sleeper lists, but, before we get there, he’ll be WR4-type play against the Dolphins in Week 17.

Robert Foster, Bills

The Patriots held Foster mostly in check, but he wasn’t completely quiet, catching four of seven targets for 52 yards. Over his last six games, he has 21 receptions for 490 yards and two touchdowns. Like his teammate Jones, he’s a WR4 for Week 17.

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Tight Ends

Ian Thomas, Panthers

Thomas delivered in Week 16, catching four passes for 48 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers’ 24-10 loss to the Falcons. Thomas has had at least four catches and 46 yards in three of the four games since Greg Olsen suffered a season-ending foot injury, and Sunday’s touchdown was the first one of his career. He’ll again be a low-end TE1 when the Panthers visit the Saints to wrap up their season.

Chris Herndon, Jets

Herndon had a big game in Week 16, catching six of seven targets for 82 yards and a touchdown in the Jets’ 44-38 loss to the Packers. The rookie out of Miami is up to 38 receptions for 494 yards and four touchdowns on 53 targets this season. Over the last two weeks, games which just happen to be two of Sam Darnold’s best of the year, Herndon has caught nine balls for 135 yards and a score. Like Thomas, he’s a low-end TE1 in Week 17.

C.J. Uzomah, Bengals

Uzomah led the Bengals in all relevant receiving categories in their 26-18 loss to the Browns, totaling four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown on five targets. He has had at least five targets in five of his last six games, catching 22 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown in that span. The Bengals end their season with a trip to Pittsburgh in Week 17.


Sam Darnold, Jets

Darnold had the best game of his rookie season in Week 16, throwing for 341 yards, 9.74 yards per attempt and three touchdowns against zero interceptions in the Jets’ 44-38 overtime loss to the Packers. Since returning from injury in Week 14, Darnold has racked up 764 yards, 7.88 YPA, six scores and one pick. Add in his modest rushing numbers, and he’s averaging 19.49 fantasy points per game in standard-scoring leagues. For sake of comparison, that’s more than Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson have put up over the full season. The Jets end their year with a trip to New England, and while the Patriots are still playing for a first-round bye, this is a fine matchup for Darnold. Consider him one of the top streaming quarterbacks in Week 17.

Nick Foles, Eagles

I guess it’s time to stop doubting Foles whenever he relieves an injured Carson Wentz after Week 14, huh? Foles put together a gem in Week 16, piling up 471 yards, 9.61 YPA and four touchdowns in a 32-30 win over the Texans that kept the Eagles’ playoff hopes alive. Foles did throw a pick, but it was the only mistake he made in one of the best performances we’ve seen from a quarterback this season. Foles carried four of his pass-catchers to useful fantasy games, with Nelson Agholor (five catches, 116 yards, one touchdown), Zach Ertz (12-110-2), Alshon Jeffery (3-82) and Darren Sproles (3-76-1) all coming through for fantasy owners. The Eagles need a win and some help to have the opportunity to defend their Super Bowl crown, and chances are it will be Foles who has to get them there, even though they have yet to rule out Wentz for the rest of the season. The Eagles visit Washington in Week 17.

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