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Waiver Wire Wonders – Week 17

Even with only one week of the NFL season to go, the waiver wonders never cease! The pickings are slim, but there are a few stars shining brighter than the others that can guide you to sweet victory in Week 17. A pair get mentioned as solid pickups, with a handful of players after that in the deeper categories. Something for everyone this week!

Solid Pickup

RB Ryan Grant, Green Bay

The Packers continue to lose running backs, with Alex Green joining the ranks of Cedric Benson and James Starks on the sideline. Green was a surprising scratch this week, handing not only the starting job, but the position of only trustworthy back dressed in this week’s game against the Tennessee TItans. Grant responded with more than 100 yards in total offense to go along with two touchdowns. The status of Green will determine how many times Grant will touch the ball in the finale against the Minnesota Vikings, at the very least we expect that Grant will get 60-75 percent of the workload, which is enough to warrant fantasy consideration for those in need at the position.

K Blair Walsh, Minnesota

A week after drilling a trio of kicks from more than 50 yards (on a day where he connected five times in total!), Walsh backed that effort up by connecting three times against the Houston Texans, including once from more than 50 yards. The Vikings will be home the final week of the season, in a must win game against their divisional rival Green Bay Packers. Every point will be crucial, and look for Walsh to continue his hot streak with another strong performance to close out a tremendous rookie season.

On the Radar

RB Montell Owens, Jacksonville

With Maurice Jones-Drew still on the shelf, Owens tabulated more than 100 yards in total offense against the New England Patriots. He is splitting time with Richard Murphy, but a weak Tennessee squad is on the schedule for this upcoming week. The status of Jones-Drew may cut into Owens’ time, but, if he does not play, Owens will have the opportunity to put up another 100 yards of total offense.

WR Jason Avant, Philadelphia

Nick Foles has been using Avant as his checkdown over the middle, so Avant has been racking up the catches of late. He has caught 19 passes in the last four games, including eight for 70 yards this week against the Washington Redskins. Especially in points per reception leagues, Avant is worth considering.

TE Lance Kendricks, St. Louis

What a sight it was to see Kendricks lumbering down the field on his way to an 80-yard touchdown catch and run. That pushed his receiving total to 119 yards on the day, quite a feat for the Rams’ starting tight end. He also found the end zone last week, so we like him as a regular red zone threat. He’s also been consistent, catching at least three passes in each of the last four games. Kendricks can be a help for those in need at the position.

WR Jordan Shipley, Jacksonville

Against the New England Patriots, Shipley led the Jaguars with 82 receiving yards on five catches. The extent of the injury to Cecil Shorts is not known at this time. If Shorts ends up missing the final game, there will be more opportunity for players like Shipley to excel. Look for another solid week from Shipley as the slot receiver in the Jacksonville offense.

Deep and/or Dynasty Only

TE Delanie Walker, San Francisco

Walker has found the end zone in each of the last two games, although this week against the Seattle Seahawks he was on the field in place of the injured Vernon Davis. The extent of Davis’ injury is not known at this time. If Davis misses the season finale, Walker becomes the starter in an offense that has been using the tight end, especially in the red zone.

WR Domenik Hixon, New York Giants

Eli Manning has had an up-and-down season, in part due to the shuffling in and out of the lineup of his wide receiving corps. Hixon racked up most of his fantasy production this year in place of the injured Hakeem Nicks, with last week being no exception. With the game out of reach, Nicks went to the sideline while Hixon finished out the game in his place. He had only three catches for 36 yards, but one of those went for a score. With the Giants finishing things out, look for Nicks to again step aside, which creates an opportunity for Hixon to put in a full game’s worth of stats.

Doug Coutts is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and can be reached at

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