Each week of the NFL season, we will identify fantasy football waiver-wire pickups specifically for those of you looking for streaming options in deeper formats (including IDP leagues). These are players available in a majority of ESPN Fantasy leagues (or close) who have enticing matchups in the week ahead that make them worthy of consideration for your lineup.
While you might notice some overlap with Field Yates' pickup column that publishes on Mondays, an important distinction is that the options mentioned in this column are focused solely on this week's matchup and not the players' values for the remainder of the season.
Do you need replacement options for injured players? Or are you looking to block your championship game opponent from picking up a player who might help beat you? A roundtable of fantasy analysts join me to identify some names to consider.
Here are some of our favorites for Week 17:
Prior to last week's struggles against the Steelers' steady pass rush, Rivers had strung together five consecutive outings with multiple passing scores and had tallied at least 17 fantasy points in ESPN standard scoring in seven of the previous nine games. With the Colts incentivized to win in an attempt to make the postseason in a crowded AFC playoff bracket and the Jaguars depleted on defense and headed for the top draft pick next spring, Rivers makes for a solid streaming candidate given Jacksonville has surrendered the third-most fantasy points to passers this season. -Jim McCormick
I'm not sure what else this dude needs to do. Really. I mean, he's averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Not over the past month or this year... for his career (402 carries). He led the Ravens in carries last weekend with 15 against the Giants. While I'm not labeling him the top dog in this backfield, I expect Baltimore to pound the rock plenty against the second- worst run defense in terms of running back yards per carry against (5.1). -Kyle Soppe, ESPN Fantasy researcher
Gallup was one of the big stars of Week 16 (6-121-2, 30.1 fantasy points), posting his best game of the season against the Eagles, but the arrow had been pointing up for quite some time. It took a few weeks to adjust to life without Dak Prescott, but Gallup is averaging 7.6 targets per game over his past eight and has seen an end-zone target in four straight games. Don't look now, but Andy Dalton threw multiple touchdown passes in all four of his December games and has this offense (finally!) functional for fantasy purposes once again. -K.S.
Twelve. That is the number of receivers that have more fantasy points since Week 11 than Agholor. Not included in those 12 names are DK Metcalf, Adam Thielen and Cooper Kupp. Derek Carr is playing at a high level and this Raiders team hung 37 points on the Broncos in their first matchup this season, so there is plenty of upside to chase if you're in a pinch. -K.S.
Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts (2.3% rostered, vs Jaguars)
Consecutive games with over 15 points is a nice trend to take into the season finale, especially with seeding implications on the line and the Jaguars as the opposition. Jacksonville is a bottom-3 defense in terms of completion percentage, yards per completion and touchdown rate -- defensive flaws that give Pascal a shot to return top-30 value at the position in a week where some stars could see their opportunities limited. -K.S.
A breakout is brewing on the Vikings, as Smith Jr. has turned in awesome fantasy performances in two of his past three outings and just netted a career-high nine targets in Week 16. The second-year talent delivered two touchdowns last time against Detroit, signaling real upside for this second meeting. -J.M.
Defense/Special Teams (D/ST)
Dallas Cowboys (21.0% rostered; at Giants)
This one is a bit bold in that this Dallas defense has allowed the most points to opponents in franchise history. And yet, a series of rewarding splash plays in the past few weeks includes seven forced turnovers and a touchdown from this D/ST. Next up are the Giants, a team that has turned the ball over on 12.3% of drives, the 12th-highest rate in the league. -J.M.
Individual Defensive Players (IDP)
With a sack in two of his past three games and a matchup against a backup quarterback for the Rams this week, Golden is in a solid spot to help fantasy managers finish strong. -J.M.
I'm riding with Long Jr. for a second straight week in this spot thanks to his continued strong play and wide availability in ESPN leagues. Tallying 21 tackles and averaging nearly 15 fantasy points on ESPN's IDP scoring key the past two weeks supports strong expectations for the second-year linebacker in Week 17. -J.M.
Donovan Wilson (3.9% rostered; at Giants)
With 33 tackles across his past four appearances and really encouraging sack and turnover rates as a safety for the Cowboys, this matchup against a mistake-prone Giants offense raises Wilson's fantasy ceiling. -J.M.