Welcome back! If you’re reading this it means you advanced through the opening round of playoffs — or you were so beastly during the regular season you earned a first round bye.
However, maybe you survived injuries to Andy Dalton, Thomas Rawls or T.J. Yeldon and now you need someone to start this week in the most important game of the season — all the jellybeans are just two wins away.
Let our waiver wire list help.
You’ve made it here. It’s no time to stop harvesting from the waiver wire. There are still fate-changing gems to be found. Hopefully you have the waiver priority or free agent bucks to take advantage of them
Players listed are mostly available in at least 60% of Yahoo leagues. In some cases I’ll add a player in the 61%-85% range just because they shouldn’t be so available.
Projected scores/matchups/Las Vegas | Game day weather | Waiver wire
Daily fantasy: Draft Kings values | FanDuel values
Blake Bortles, JAC, 78% — This is one of the higher percentages on the list, but Bortles is a must-start every week considering how poor the Jacksonville defense is.
Tyrod Taylor, BUF, 55% — A threat with his arm and legs. Had a bit of a letdown against the Eagles after back-to-back 3-TD games. He gets back on track against Washington.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ, 47% — Not great matchups for Fitzpatrick in the final two weeks of the fantasy football season, but he’s been so good and has elite receivers. Owners will start worse options this week in the fantasy semifinals.
Johnny Manziel, CLE, 5% — Has 642 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in his last two starts. Manziel gets the unfortunate matchup in Seattle this week, but he’ll be on one of my daily fantasy teams because of his potential.
Kirk Cousins, WAS, 21% — Threw for 300 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. He doesn’t have a great matchup this week against Buffalo, but he’s thrown for 300 yards or more in three of the last five weeks and has eight touchdowns to only two interceptions in that span. And one of the games was against Carolina.
Alex Smith, KC, 32% — It’s another good passing matchup against Baltimore, but if the Chiefs can control the game by running the ball, they will, which limits his upside.
Marcus Mariota, TEN, 45% — Freakish athlete caught a touchdown pass this week, after his lengthy touchdown run last week. The future is bright. I want to recommend him whole-heartedly this week, but he may struggle against New England.
A.J. McCarron, CIN, 1% — There’s a lot of uncertainty here, but he gets a couple nods because of the amount of targets he sent A.J. Green’s way. A.J. to A.J. is how the Bengals win the rest of the way, and how he could help your fantasy team.
Jameis Winston, TB, 47% — Winston’s success this season is largely fueled by his 5-TD game. He doesn’t have a 300-yard game. I wouldn’t trust him in your playoff semifinals against the Rams unless you were desperate.
Brock Osweiler, DEN, 21% — Last week we should have gotten a glimpse at what Osweiler could be. He fizzled. Still, he’s a starting quarterback with Demaryius Thomas and two strong pass-catching options at TE.
Blaine Gabbert, SF, 4% — It’ll be difficult to trust the 49ers after this week and against Cincinnati, but he’s a starting NFL quarterback, which means he may be one of a few options available to you in deep 2-QB leagues.
Matt Schaub, BAL, 2% and Jimmy Clausen, BAL, 0% — We’re not sure who’s starting yet this week. Neither are great options, especially against Kansas City.
Teddy Bridgewater, MIN, 36% — The Vikings don’t put Bridgewater in enough situations to shine like he did in Week 14, 335 yards and a touchdown.
Charlie Whitehurst, IND, 0% — Could start for Matt Hasselbeck and might be a better fresher option. Hasselbeck’s tank appears to be near empty.
T.J. Yates, HOU, 1% — Brian Hoyer was concussed. Any quarterback throwing to DeAndre Hopkins has an opportunity to help fantasy teams.
Tim Hightower, NO, 34% — Stepped in and performed well in Mark Ingram’s spot. Probably the top pickup of the week across the industry.
DuJuan Harris, SEA, 6% and Bryce Brown, SEA, 1% — One of these backs is likely to start in place of the injured Thomas Rawls until Marshawn Lynch is ready. Harris didn’t impress last week.
Darren Sproles, PHI, 50% — Scored a TD and was the most fruitful member of a three-man backfield in Philly.
James White, NE, 49% — Is the pass-catching back in the Patriots pass-happy offense. He’s not as good as Dion Lewis, but he’s a good PPR option.
Denard Robinson, JAC, 8% — Could start if T.J. Yeldon’s knee keeps him out of this week’s game. He impressed in a relief role last week.
Isaiah Crowell, CLE, 27% — That’s the Crowell we hoped for when we drafted him in the preseason. It’ll be difficult for him to keep it up this week against Kansas City, but he was so good last week, a lot of us are going to have to consider starting him this week.
Shaun Draughn, SF, 66% — Major disappointment last week, but he’s still the only RB play in town and should continue to get a large volume of opportunities.
Matt Jones, WAS, 45% — More explosive than Alfred Morris, but he’s still stuck in the committee. With Chris Thompson out, he’s also the top receiving threat out of the backfield.
Bilal Powell, NYJ, 15% — One of my favorite backup waiver pickups for a few years now, Powell impresses when he gets opportunity, but he’ll need a Chris Ivory injury to really shine.
James Starks, GB, 56% — Starks and Lacy both impressed last week, but Starks was the better of the two. The committee will likely continue, which means Starks will have value, especially in deep leagues with multiple flex spots.
Theo Riddick, DET, 28% — A PPR machine, Riddick was targeted 11 times last week and leads all running backs with 67 receptions.
Charles Sims, TB, 30% — Like Riddick, Sims is a PPR machine, catching six of eight targets for 64 yards last week.
Antonio Andrews, TEN, 44% — After rushing for 58 yards and a touchdown last week, Andrews threw a touchdown pass to Marcus Mariota this week. The Titans may want to get David Cobb more opportunities, but Andrews has to share part of the backfield.
Duke Johnson, CLE, 45% — Rushed for 78 yards behind Isaiah Crowell. I suspect he’ll continue to be a backup. Coming into last week Johnson had been targeted at least four times per game.
Joique Bell, DET, 24% — It’s difficult to trust any part of the Lions backfield, but Bell ran for 50 yards on only 7 carries against the Rams last week and faces the Saints, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs, this week.
Spencer Ware, KC, 59% — I’ll be more excited (about Charcandrick West) if Ware doesn’t play this week. However, if he does play he is the goal line back, and has the upside that comes with that moniker.
Doug Baldwin, SEA, 81% — The best wide receiver on the planet currently is still available in almost one-fifth of fantasy leagues. Check your wire, Ninja.
Willie Snead, NO, 46% — Had his second 100-yard game last week. He’s been targeted at least seven times in seven of his last 10 games.
Tyler Lockett, SEA, 38% — He’s playing second fiddle to Baldwin, sure, but even in tough matchups wide receivers are scoring multiple touchdowns in this offense. Don’t question it. Just get on board until it stops.
Ted Ginn Jr., CAR, 41% — Monster game for Ginn last week. You wonder how long the starters will play each week with nothing to play for, but he’s the kind of player who could catch two long touchdowns before halftime.
Devante Parker, MIA, 44% — An elite talent, but a bit of a disappointment last week. He has 20 targets in three weeks, which means the Dolphins are trying to get him the ball. They face the Chargers next. San Diego hasn’t been a good spot for opposing wide receivers, but if the game turns into a shootout, Parker could have quite a bit of value.
Kamar Aiken, BAL, 56% — Aiken has been a target monster of late — 50 in the last five weeks — and now he gets Kansas City, which has given up the thrid most fantasy point to wide receivers this season.
Marvin Jones, CIN, 55% — Another game, another pile of targets for Jones. He’s going to break out.
Rueben Randle, NYG, 35% — Has five targets in every game but one since week 3 and has six targets in each of the last three games.
Donte Moncrief, IND, 61% — Moncrief is getting piles of targets, maybe Charlie Whitehurst will have better luck connecting with him.
Robert Woods, BUF, 11% — Has 37 targets in the last five games, which include a 100-yard game last week and a touchdown the week before.
Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN, 25% — Has 36 targets in the last six games. He hasn’t converted as many as you’d like, but he had his first 100-yard game two weeks ago and got in the end zone.
Jermaine Kearse, SEA, 5% — Seattle is handing out multi-touchdown games to all it’s receivers of late. Kearse is the third option, but could provide needed value in deep, multi-flex leagues.
Cecil Shorts, HOU, 14%, and Nate Washington, 21% — We can never be sure which of these guys to recommend each week when both are healthy, but both provide potential value opposite DeAndre Hopkins. It’d be easier if we knew one of them will be favored by T.J. Yates.
Markus Wheaton, PIT, 29% — It’s skewed by his 200-yard game, but Wheaton’s been targeted 26 times and caught 16 for 316 and two touchdowns in the last three games.
Marques Colston, NO, 38% — It’s unlikely he’ll have another two-touchdown game this week, but if Drew Brees and the Saints passing offense is rocking I won’t bet against it either.
Jeremy Butler, BAL, 0% — Purely a speculative play. Caught seven of 10 targets for 70 yards last week. He had 14 targets combined in the previous free weeks. If Clausen starts again, I may consider Butler in my daily fantasy leagues and you could consider him as a what-the-heck play in you flex spot.
Stefon Diggs, MIN, 57% — The star has fallen off Diggs after a few bad weeks in a row. You would hope he’d have a big game if Bridgewater throws for 335, but Patrick Peterson shut him down. The matchup won’t be as tough against Chicago, but Bridgewater may not have to throw as much either. I still like Diggs’ talent.
J.J. Nelson, ARI, 5% — Didn’t catch his only target last week. He’s definitely the fourth wheel on the Cardinals tricycle of stud wide receivers, but the offense is too good and Nelson is one stubbed toe away from an amazing opportunity.
Ben Watson, NO, 66% — Caught seven of 11 targets for 70 yards last week. Has 65 targets in the last eight weeks. That’s some crazy usage. And the Saints are home this week.
Richard Rodgers, GB, 58% — Caught a touchdown last week and is Aaron Rodgers’ most reliable target this season.
Vernon Davis, DEN, 45% and Owen Daniels, DEN, 31% — We never now which tight end from this pairing to play, but they both have upside that could change your fantasy fate this week.
Jacob Tamme, ATL, 36% — Things are looking up for Tamme in the next two weeks, in games that should be uptempo enough for the Falcons to get out of their funk.
Heath Miller, PIT, 29% — Puts up some great PPR fantasy numbers as long as Ben Roethlisberger is on the field.
Kyle Rudolph, MIN, 55% — Has had helpful fantasy performances in three of the last four weeks, including catching six of six passes for 67 yards on Thursday.
Zach Ertz, PHI, 50% — Ertz appears to emerging again as a potential superstar tight end. Sam Bradford looked good last week, thanks in large part to his throws to Ertz. Their encore matchup isn’t quite what you’d hope for against Arizona.
Zach Miller, CHI, 20% — After one catch on one target two weeks ago, Miller got back on track catching five of six targets for 85 yards and a touchdown. He has five touchdowns in the last six weeks.
Austin Seferian Jenkins, TB, 59% — Six targets, three catches, 31 yards in each of the last two weeks. He needs to do a better job of capitalizing on his opportunities.
Will Tye, NYG, 9% — After back-to-back 70-yard games, Tye got into the end zone this weekend. He’s an important part of this pass-heavy Giants offense.
Clive Walford, OAK, 1% and Mychal Rivera, OAK, 1% — Rivera got in the end zone last week but Walford got the lion’s share of targets. He’s caught eight of 12 targets for 100 yards in the last two weeks.
Vance McDonald, SF, 8% — If he can overcome his concussion, McDonald could play a key role in fantasy these next two weeks. McDonald caught 10 of 11 targets for 136 yards and two touchdowns in weeks 11 and 12.
Ryan Griffin, HOU, 2% — A very low-end option, but Griffin has been targeted 24 times in the last five weeks. Over that span he has three games with three or more catches, a 72-yard game and has a touchdown in two games.
Kickers and defenses
Stream kickers and defenses, but don’t waste waiver priority or free agent bucks on them.