Last Minute Fantasy Football Free Agent Pick Ups For Week 17
Value Can Be Found In Free Agency
It's Friday afternoon, less than 48 hours from when most NFL games kick off for Week 17. If you're still competing in your fantasy football league, it's because you made your league's championship. Congratulations; making it this far is no easy task.
If you're competing in Week 17, hopefully you have a lineup set that you're confident in. But if for any reason you need to hit the free agent pool -- let's say you're nervous about starting Jamaal Charles because there is a strong chance he sits out most of the game or worried about starting Calvin Johnson for the very same reason -- in the hours leading up to your matchup, there are plenty of guys out there who can still help your fantasy team.
Perhaps you are already familiar with the waiver wire and were one of the lucky ones who snatched up Nick Foles or Zac Stacy somewhere along the way. Even if that's not the case you can never be immune to dipping your toe in the free agent pool.
In the following slideshow I identify a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and defense that are available in at least 50 percent of fantasy football leagues who can save a desperate owner in Week 17. If your team is decimated with injuries or if you need to replace a struggling player facing a tough matchup, these are the guys you should turn to in relief.
Good luck in Week 17!
5. Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill, QB Miami Dolphins
Tannehill is coming off of his worst start of the season, but this week he faces a New York Jets team that he lit up to the tune of 331 passing yards back in Week 13. The Jets are one of the best teams against the run, allowing just 3.3 yards per carry, but they're 20th in the NFL against the pass, allowing 7.3 yards per attempt. Last week was only the second game all season where Tannehill had fewer than 10 fantasy points, and I expect him to bounce back nicely against a team he scored 21 fantasy points against four weeks ago. Tannehill is available in 82 percent of ESPN leagues and in 67 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
4. Jonathan Grimes
Jonathan Grimes, RB Houston Texans
With Dennis Johnson expected to be out this week with an injured hip, Jonathan Grimes is slated to start when the Texans take on the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have allowed the 4th most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, and they have allowed a whopping 18 rushing touchdowns. Grimes is available in 99 percent of ESPN leagues and in 99 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
3. Cordarrelle Patterson
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Minnesota Vikings
Patterson is an electric talent, and recently his skills have translated to fantasy success. Patterson has scored double digit fantasy points in three straight games, and he has scored at least eight fantasy points in five of his last seven games. The Vikings take on the Detroit Lions this week who have nothing to play for and are giving up the third most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Patterson is definitely worth your consideration and he's available in 90 percent of ESPN leagues and in 55 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
2. Joseph Fauria
Joseph Fauria, TE Detroit Lions
Fauria played on 73 percent of the Lions' offensive snaps in Week 16; he hadn't been in on more than 40 percent of the offensive snaps in any prior game this season. Brandon Pettigrew is dealing with an ankle injury, and if he has to sit out the season finale it should be another busy day for the rookie. Fauria has been an asset in the red-zone this season -- seven of his 15 catches have been touchdowns -- and the Minnesota Vikings have allowed the second most (13) touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season. Fauria could be a sneaky play for those looking for a tight end this week, and he's available in 94 percent of ESPN leagues and in 93 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
1. Miami Dolphins D/ST
Miami Dolphins Defense and Special Teams
The Atlanta Falcons scored just five fantasy points when they hosted the New York Jets back in Week 5. Outside of the Falcons, though, every defense that has hosted Geno Smith and the Jets this season has scored at least 15 fantasy points. The Jets' offense is bad, but they take it to a whole new level of terrible when they go on the road. When the Dolphins played the Jets in Week 13 they held New York to just three points, forced three turnovers and scored 14 fantasy points. I expect similar levels of success this week, and the Dolphins' defense is available in 68 percent of ESPN leagues and in 66 percent of Yahoo! leagues.