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Fantasy football last-minute pickups for Week 17: Three quarterbacks who could win your week

Taysom Hill could be back under center in Week 17 and is an option for those needing a high-floor, high-ceiling quarterback. Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

As we reach the championship round of the fantasy football playoffs and COVID-19 throws a new level of uncertainty at us, working the waiver wire for every potential point can mean the difference between going home with the championship trophy, and just going home. The pickups listed below are 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 lineups for championship weekend.

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. At this point, that's all that really matters, isn't it?

Quarterback

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints vs. Panthers (47.9% rostered)

After Ian Book's performance in the Monday Night Football game against the Dolphins, with a short-handed Saints roster due to COVID-19 protocols, it's evident that Hill needs to take over at quarterback against the Panthers. He should be able to clear the protocols before the match and if he does, he is a high-floor, high-ceiling streaming option due to his dual threat ability. In Weeks 13-15, Hill averaged 19 fantasy points per game. With his rushing ability, he should be able to meet or exceed that number even against a Panthers defense that has allowed quarterbacks 15.5 points per game.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears vs. Giants (20.7%)

Fields was inactive in Week 16 because of an ankle injury, but itis likely that he will play against the Giants in Week 17. Like Hill, his dual-threat ability makes him an attractive streaming option at home against a Giants defense that has allowed Jalen Hurts (two games), Dak Prescott, Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa to average 20 points per game over the last five weeks. The two games Fields played in Weeks 14 and 15 showcased both his passing and rushing skills, and he averaged 17.7 points.

Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers vs. Texans (16.2%)

Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a thumb injury early in the 49ers' loss to the Titans last Thursday night, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. His status in Week 17 against the Houston Texans is unclear. As with Hill and Fields (notice a theme here? ), Lance should be able to capitalize on his dual-threat abilities against a Texans defense that allows 101 points per game on average to all positions. The stars are aligning when you also factor in Shanahan's comments on Lance: "This last month of Trey has been his best consecutive four weeks of practice since we've had him. He's had a number of good days and he's had some bad days, like most guys do, but as far as his consistency, I feel this last month has been his best."

Running back

Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks vs. Lions (56.4%)

Penny rushed for 135 yards last week, second-most in his career. It is surprising that only 14.5% of ESPN leagues started him against the Bears as he finished with 19.5 points. With the Lions defense ranking 24th in run stop win rate and allowing the seventh most points per game to running backs (26.4), Penny should at least be deployed as a flex option.

Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles at Football Team (19.9%)

Because of a broken hand suffered against the Giants last week, Miles Sanders will not play in Week 17 against Washington. Coaches are optimistic Jordan Howard will be able to play this week despite suffering a stinger. Scott, who excels as a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield, can be used as a flex option against Washington, as the Eagles offensive line ranks second in run block win rate and should provide opportunities for success on the ground for both Scott and Hurts.

Wide receiver

Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers at Saints (46.2%)

Anderson had his second-best receiving game of the season against the Buccaneers last week. With 18 targets and 183 receiving air yards over the past two games, he ranks second on the Panthers behind DJ Moore, who has 22 targets and 229 receiving air yards. With Moore facing off against New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore, Anderson could exceed expectations as a streamer in deeper formats against a Saints team that allows 36 points per game to wide receivers.

Tight end

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears vs. Giants (37.6%)

Kmet continues to be a solid streamer at the tight end position. Despite catching 24 passes for 243 yards and averaging 9.7 points over the last five games, Kmet has yet to score a touchdown. According to Mike Clay's (E+) opportunity-adjusted touchdowns metric, he should have three by this point. If he does scores one against the Giants, Kmet's contributions would be even more valuable for fantasy managers with championship aspirations.

Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks vs. Lions (19.4%)

Everett faces a Lions' defense that gives up the 10th-most points per game (14) to tight ends. During his last five games, Everett has scored three touchdowns, and in the past two weeks he's accumulated eight receptions for 128 yards and one of those touchdowns.

Defense/special teams

Chicago Bears at Giants (22.6%)

This week, the Bears are a solid streaming option against the Giants, who have an average total yardage of 303.5 while scoring 16.5 points per game, ranking them 30th in both categories. This season, New York has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to their opponent's defense, and over the last three games the offense has managed to become worse, averaging only 270 total yards.

Kicker

Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles at Football Team (16.3%)

Since Week 8, Elliott has averaged 11.4 points per game and has even had three games with 16 or more points over that span of time. Washington allows the 10th-most points per game (8) to kickers. A word of warning, though; rain and winds of up to 19 mph are forecast for the District of Columbia this Sunday. It's worth monitoring. If the forecast doesn't change then you should consider Colts kicker Mike Badgley, who is rostered in only 6% of ESPN leagues, plays in a dome and has scored eight or more points in seven out of 10 games.

Individual Defensive Players (IDP)

Defensive Line

Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs at Bengals (5.3%)

Against a Bengals offensive line that ranks 30th in pass block win rate and 15th in run block win rate, Jones is a solid streamer. There'll be plenty of tackle and sack opportunities for him in what will likely be a fast-paced high-scoring game.

Linebacker

Kevin Minter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jets (1.4%)

Last week, as Lavonte David was placed on injured reserve, Minter filled the void left by him, and he exceeded expectations. In Week 16, he recorded five total tackles and a sack while playing 70% of the Buccaneers defensive snaps. Miner could have played more snaps, but Tampa Bay pulled its starters after amassing a commanding lead.

Defensive Back

M.J. Stewart Jr., Cleveland Browns at Steelers (1.4%)

Over the last two weeks, Stewart has collected 21 tackles filling in for Troy Hill at nickel corner. Once again, he's on the streaming radar as Hill and John Johnson III could miss this week's game.