2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 17 | Top Pickups, Free-Agent Sleepers, & FAAB Tips

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Week 17 brings make-or-break matchups in many leagues. With your entire season potentially coming down to one week, it’s imperative that you make the best roster decisions to put you over the top.

I’ll help you decide which fantasy football waiver wire pickups you should make that could benefit your fantasy teams for the fantasy playoffs.

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 17 Tips & Notes

  • Fantasy Football Waiver Wire updates are completed Sunday nights, Mondays, and Tuesdays.
  • We generally target players with a roster percentage of lower than 50%, but we’ll make exceptions in urgent cases of priority additions.
  • Free-Agent Acquisition Budget dollar bid prices for Week 17 are based on a season-long budget of $100.
  • Adjust your percentage and scale accordingly for your league’s FAAB structure and your remaining FAAB dollars.
  • Roster % is based on Yahoo! Fantasy leagues information as of 1:00 p.m. ET on Monday, December 27.

2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 17: Top Pickups

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1% rostered)

This could be a risky move for the championship round of the fantasy football playoffs, but hear me out.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn was finally involved in the Buccaneers offense against the third-best defense (Carolina Panthers) against the running back position. He was able to break out a 55-yard run and ended the day with 7 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown.

Vaughn was used as a change of pace back behind Ronald Jones, and he certainly made the most of it.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a very easy matchup in Week 17. The New York Jets have given up the most fantasy points to running backs, and the expectation is that the Buccaneers will have an early lead that will allow them to utilize their running backs in this plus matchup.

I believe Vaughn will get more touches in this game and could be a valuable play in your championship matchup should you need a filler at the running back position.

  • Ke’Shawn Vaughn Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $12

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Gerald Everett, TE, Seattle Seahawks (42% rostered)

Most fantasy players are in constant need of a tight end. Gerald Everett has put up good fantasy numbers recently, logging 60 or more receiving yards in his last two games and scoring a touchdown in three of his last five.

Everett has stepped up as a trustworthy target for Russell Wilson and just caught four of his five targets for 68 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears, despite the fact they have given up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to tight ends.

Everett will have a great matchup in Week 17. The Detroit Lions have given up more than 50 receiving yards to a tight end in six consecutive games, including a 102-yard performance to Kyle Pitts last week.

  • Gerald Everett Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $10
Gerald Everett, TE, Seattle Seahawks

Following a solid week and with a favorable matchup ahead, Gerald Everett has some positive momentum heading into Week 17. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)

Rex Burkhead, RB, Houston Texans (14% rostered)

Rex Burkhead went off against the Los Angeles Chargers, showing the type of production he can give with volume. He had 22 carries for 149 yards and two rushing touchdowns, all of which were season-high marks.

Burkhead has been a decent option at running back for the Houston Texans as of late. He has double-digit carries in five of his last six games. Given the show Burkhead just put on, there’s no reason not to give him another heavy workload in Week 17.

The San Francisco 49ers have given up the 10th-most fantasy points to running backs, including 12 rushing touchdowns to the position this season. If Texans quarterback Davis Mills can keep up his production, the Texans will find success in their run game with Burkhead.

  • Rex Burkhead Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $8

Zay Jones, WR, Las Vegas Raiders (1% rostered)

Need a safe floor wide receiver? Zay Jones has been under-the-radar good in his last two games.

Derek Carr has targeted Jones 37 times in his last five games, and he’s logged six receptions and 50+ receiving yards in back-to-back games. Moreover, he just caught six of his eight targets for 50 yards against the Denver Broncos, who have been a top-10 fantasy defense against wideouts this season.

Jones gets a better matchup in Week 17, as the Indianapolis Colts have given up the 11th-most fantasy points to wide receivers. The majority of those points did come earlier in the season, though Jones will still get enough targets to give him a safe floor for your fantasy team if you need him.

  • Zay Jones Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $6

2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 17: Defense D/ST Streamer Plays

Seattle Seahawks Defense D/ST (50% rostered)

The Seattle Seahawks defense/special teams have been a very consistent fantasy option throughout the season. They have been getting at the quarterback, creating turnovers, and haven’t allowed their opponents to score more than 25 points in their last 10 games.

The Detroit Lions have given up the seventh-most fantasy points to defenses. It’s a great matchup for a great defense. What more could you want from your defense in your championship matchup?

  • Seattle Seahawks Defense D/ST Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $5

Chicago Bears Defense D/ST (16% rostered)

Are the Seahawks already rostered in your league? No problem. The Chicago Bears are rostered in just 16% of fantasy leagues and have a juicy matchup as well.

The Bears have 21 sacks in their last seven games, offering automatic fantasy value just by getting to the quarterback. Additionally, the New York Giants have given up the 11th-most fantasy points to defenses and have allowed 20+ fantasy points in back-to-back games heading into Week 17.

The Chicago Bears D/ST have put up double-digit fantasy points (in most formats) in five of their last seven games.

  • Chicago Bears Defense D/ST Waiver Wire FAAB Bid: $4


Nate Hamilton

Nate Hamilton is a regular contributor to the fantasy football industry. He has produced content for some of the top fantasy football sites including FantasyPros, The Fantasy Footballers, Fantasy Data, FantraxHQ, and currently The Game Day! He is a co-author of Amazon's #1 Best Selling "The Fantasy Football Black Book" with Joe Pisapia. Nate is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA).

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