Fantasy football waiver wire: Carr driving fantasy playoff lineups

Derek Carr is playing his best during the fantasy football playoffs. Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy football championship week is here! You can count on me to help you determine which players you should prioritize on waivers to help your team win. There were plenty of highs and lows in Week 16, and unfortunately there was another wave of injuries.

Some of the biggest names to go down happen to be at the wide receiver position with DJ Moore, Jaylen Waddle, Jordan Addison and Dontayvion Wicks all suffering injuries. If you have any of these players, then Romeo Doubs (rostered in 40.7% of ESPN leagues) should be your top priority on the waiver wire. He leads the Packers in receiving yards this season. Over the past 10 games, he's averaged 5.2 targets and 10.7 fantasy points per game. Doubs finished with five targets and 18.0 fantasy points in Week 16 against the Panthers. Doubs is going to be busy against the Vikings in Week 17 with Christian Watson, Jayden Reed and Wicks dealing with injuries.

In addition to Doubs, Noah Brown, Derek Carr, Zamir White and Clyde Edwards-Helaire highlight my top adds of the week.

Wide Receivers

Noah Brown, Houston Texans (42.3%): In the last two games, Brown has accumulated 18 targets. In Week 17, the Texans will face the Titans again. Brown scored 22.2 fantasy points against Tennessee in Week 15. Despite Nico Collins' return, Brown continued to play an active role in the passing game for the Texans. Also, there is a chance that quarterback C.J. Stroud will be back under center this week. Three of the four games in which Brown had six or more targets this season, he scored 22 or more fantasy points. The Titans defense have given up the sixth most fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers (26.5%): He's acted as the Chargers' No. 1 receiver over the last two weeks with Keenan Allen inactive due to a foot injury. Palmer has scored 10 or more fantasy points in consecutive games. Palmer is on the flex radar, especially for managers in deeper formats, regardless of whether Allen returns against the Broncos in Week 17.

Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints (24.3%): A fantasy football dictionary should have a picture of Shaheed under "boom or bust." However, Shaheed can provide you with a week-winning performance if he goes boom like he did against the Rams in Week 16 with 18.4 fantasy points. You should consider that when making lineup decisions if you need upside. The Buccaneers' defense gives up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. His average depth of target is 19.0 yards this season, which is impressive considering he has only 56 total targets.

Quick Hits

  • With Matthew Stafford playing so well right now, it shouldn't be surprising that Demarcus Robinson (2.3%) has scored 13 or more fantasy points in four consecutive games. Robinson, who appears to have supplanted Tutu Atwell in the receiver rotation, has averaged 6.0 targets per game over that time frame. He faces a Giants defense in Week 17 that's given up the 11th-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

  • In two of his past three games, Demario Douglas (29.6%) has accumulated eight or more targets and scored 11 or more fantasy points. He and Hunter Henry will continue to be actively involved in the Patriots' passing game. This week, he's on the flex radar against the Bills.

  • K.J. Osborn (22.5%) finished Week 16's game against the Lions with seven targets and 20.5 fantasy points. Due to injuries to Addison and Hockenson, Osborn should have a larger role in the passing game against the Packers in Week 17.


Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals (41.2%): Mullens finished with 13.4 fantasy points in Week 16 against the Steelers after being pressured on 15 of his 43 dropbacks. With only a four-man rush, Pittsburgh was able to accomplish this feat. Browning had scored 18 or more fantasy points in each of his previous three games. Browning should bounce back with better protection against the Chiefs in Week 17 with Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd as his top three receivers.

Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints (22.4%): Carr's fantasy performances have been up and down all season, despite the Saints ranking eighth in pass attempts per game. With two consecutive games of 20 or more fantasy points, the veteran quarterback saved his best performances for the fantasy playoffs. With Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed as his top two receivers, Carr should have success against a Buccaneers' defense that gives up the eighth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

Nick Mullens, Minnesota Vikings (12.5%): Mullens has scored 17.1 and 16.5 fantasy points in his last two starts. The interceptions have negatively impacted his fantasy value, but there are some positives as well. Mullens has had 30 or more pass attempts and 300 or more passing yards in consecutive games. It's bad news for the Vikings that Jordan Addison (ankle) and T.J. Hockenson (knee) are injured, but Mullens still has Justin Jefferson and K.J. Osborn to throw to on Sunday night at home against the Packers. The Green Bay defense has allowed 300 passing yards per game over the last three games, the fourth most in the league.

Quick Hit

  • Bryce Young (9.2%) had his best fantasy performance (22.2) against the Packers in Week 16. Now, the rookie faces a Jaguars defense in Week 17 that gives up the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. In deeper superflex formats, don't overlook Young.

Running Backs

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans (41.4%): Spears has scored 12 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games. Over that time period, he's averaged 14.2 touches per game. Since the Titans are unlikely to bring back Derrick Henry next year and are out of postseason contention, Spears should remain an active contributor in the backfield. Against the Texans in Week 17, he's receiving enough touches to be on the flex radar.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs (28.2%): After missing Week 14 and Week 15 due to a shoulder injury, Isiah Pacheco left Monday's game against the Raiders with a concussion. In Weeks 14 and 15, Edwards-Helaire had 13 and 17 touches, respectively. It's also worth mentioning that Jerick McKinnon is on injured reserve due to a groin injury. If Pacheco cannot clear the league's concussion protocol, Edwards-Helaire could have a heavy workload against the Bengals.

Zamir White, Las Vegas Raiders (10.9%): Josh Jacobs was questionable with a quad injury and an illness leading up to Monday's game against the Chiefs and was ruled out for his second consecutive game. In two straight games, White has had 20 or more touches and scored 14 or more fantasy points. Considering the Raiders are on the edge of the playoffs, it remains to be seen whether Jacobs, who will be a free agent in 2024, will be available for Week 17 of the regular season. White will face a Colts defense in Week 17 that gives up the third-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

Quick Hits

  • Predicting the distribution of touches in the Falcons backfield is a fool's errand. However, fantasy managers in deeper leagues shouldn't overlook Tyler Allgeier (37.0%). Over the past five games, he's averaged 10.4 touches per game. Allgeier faces a Bears defense that's given up the 10th-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

  • Khalil Herbert (48.6%) finished with 20 touches and 19.1 fantasy points against the Cardinals in Week 16 with D'Onta Foreman out due to a personal matter. Assuming Foreman returns, we won't know how the Bears will distribute snaps and touches, but Herbert should be stashed if Foreman is unavailable again.

Tight ends

Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans (30.9%): It's not for the faint of heart to rely on a Titans pass catcher during the fantasy playoffs, but let me explain: Okonkwo has had six or more targets in three of his past four games. He's also averaged 11.0 fantasy points per game over that time frame. This season, the Texans have given up the sixth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers (26.0%): In three straight games, Everett has had at least eight targets and scored 9.0 or more fantasy points. Even with backup Easton Stick at quarterback, he's in a great spot against the Broncos. Denver's defense has given up the most fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Quick Hits

  • Hunter Henry (18.9%) missed Week 16's game against the Broncos due to a knee injury. In each of his past two games, he has scored 19.0 fantasy points. Against the Bills in Week 17, Henry should be busy, assuming he returns.

  • In three consecutive games, Tucker Kraft (8.0%) has had four or more targets and scored 10 or more fantasy points. In light of all of the wide receiver injuries, Kraft should continue to play an active role in the Packers' passing game. Fantasy managers should be aware that Luke Musgrave's 21-day practice window opened last week. Consider other tight end options if he's active.