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Week 17. It’s finally … over? Sadly, the NFL regular season is approaching its end. It’s at this point each season we’re painfully reminded just how short the football calendar is.
For most owners, the fantasy season ends Monday night with the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos putting a cap on Week 16. But there are some leagues that continue into Week 17, and obviously daily fantasy will still be going strong. With that in mind, it’s always important to consider any valuable waiver wire pickups.
Below, Andrew lists a handful of receivers to consider adding to your roster or inserting in DFS lineups.
Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Targets
Markus Wheaton - WR, PIT - 49% owned on Fleaflicker
Wheaton, like the rest of the Steelers’ passing offense, was disappointing in Sunday’s road loss to Baltimore. He finished with 41 yards on just three receptions. This snapped a four-game stretch where Wheaton had at least 65 yards or a touchdown in each of them.
The Steelers conclude the regular season on the road against Cleveland, offering Wheaton and company a chance to redeem themselves. The Browns just gave up a pair of touchdowns through the air to Kansas City’s Alex Smith, and still rank just 22nd in pass defense, allowing 253 yards per game. Pittsburgh desperately needs a win to keep its wild-card hopes alive, so expect a motivated Ben Roethlisberger to look early and often to his receivers.
Terrance Williams - WR, DAL - 49% owned on Fleaflicker
Any appeal that Williams might have will be directly tied to Dez Bryant. If Bryant’s foot injury keeps him out of the lineup for the season finale, Williams will enter as Kellen Moore’s de facto No. 1 wide receiver. Williams finished with four catches for 62 yards Sunday against Buffalo with Bryant sidelined, so there is potential for another similar performance.
It’s also worth noting that Williams tallied 63 yards in the Cowboys’ first meeting with Washington back in Week 13. And, perhaps most amazingly, Washington is the only team that’s clinched a specific playoff seed so far, so it could rest starters at some point. Taking a flier on Williams against (potentially) Redskins backups isn’t the worst idea ever.
Nate Washington - WR, HOU - 27% owned on Fleaflicker
Washington isn’t going to pass DeAndre Hopkins on the depth chart anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any value. Washington finished with three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s rout of the Tennessee Titans. The score was Washington’s first since Week 8.
The Texans lead the AFC South but have yet to clinch the division title, so they won’t be in a position to rest players in the regular-season finale at home against Jacksonville. This bodes well for Washington because the Jaguars’ pass defense is, well, simply not very good. An injured Drew Brees shredded the Jaguars for 412 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, so Washington should find plenty of space to operate. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues.
Other Wide Receivers to Consider Adding
Corey Brown - WR, CAR - 5% owned on Fleaflicker
Monitor the status of Ted Ginn Jr., who left Sunday’s loss to Atlanta with a knee injury. If Ginn were to miss the regular-season finale against Tampa Bay, Brown would certainly get a bump in value. Brown finished with three receptions for 39 yards against the Falcons, his third straight game with three catches.
The Panthers are unlikely to be in a position to rest quarterback Cam Newton or any other regulars, given the poor performance in their first loss of the season and the Arizona Cardinals’ continued push for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. As long as Newton is under center, the Panthers will continue to spread the ball on offense.
Marqise Lee - WR, JAC - 6% owned on Fleaflicker
Lee had his best overall game of the season in Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints, finishing with three catches for 26 yards and a touchdown. It’s been a quiet season for Lee as fellow wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns have both put together breakout campaigns, but the touchdown was an encouraging sign.
With running back T.J. Yeldon sidelined and Denard Robinson largely ineffective on the ground, the Jaguars have moved the ball almost exclusively through the air over the last two weeks. That doesn’t figure to change in the final week against Houston, and Jacksonville could give Lee an extra long look with an eye toward 2016.
Dontrelle Inman - WR, SD - 5% owned on Fleaflicker
Inman has certainly looked like a reliable wide receiver over the last two weeks. After catching three passes for 78 yards against Miami, he tallied eight receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown on Christmas Eve against Oakland.
The Chargers draw a difficult road matchup against Denver’s top-ranked pass defense in Week 17, but there’s little reason to think Inman won’t remain Philip Rivers’ top target. That alone gives him value, especially in deeper PPR leagues.