The Waiver Wizard Week 17 2023

By Evan Tarracciano
Evan Tarracciano

First and foremost – before we dive into the “meat” of the article, let me start off by saying a very Happy Holiday season to all of our readers. It has been my privilege to deliver you waiver-wire content over the past several seasons, and I sincerely hope that at least in some small way my musings and recommendations have made a difference to your outcomes. I couldn’t ask for a better staff to work with over at Football Diehards – we are a very close knit group, and I really do think that we stand toe-to-toe with anyone else in the industry.

With all that said, Week 16 is officially behind us, thank goodness. If you’ve managed to make it this far in your leagues, kudos to you. It not only takes a small amount of good fortune to navigate through injuries and bye weeks, but a keen mind to adjust rosters ahead of the curve and grab players before they are snatched up otherwise. Fingers crossed that you were fortunate to dodge several star-players who fell flat on their faces yet again, and that you found Amari Cooper on your team, rather than across the scoreboard.

In the final week it makes little sense to over-tinker with things too much – outside of a few players that I’ll cover below, I would recommend staying the course of action with who carried you thus far, rather than overhauling things entirely, barring injury. A few injuries will lead to action being taken, but as of the time of writing this, no catastrophic blows have been dealt. Fingers crossed that continues.


Joe Flacco (13 percent rostered) – This is the point where we are forced to acknowledge that Flacco is worth starting in the championship game for teams who have a fringe-QB1, or were perhaps leaning on Trevor Lawrence or Justin Herbert to carry them through. For the fourth straight game, Flacco attempted more than 40 passes, threw for multiple touchdowns, and will finish as a top-7 option. Cleveland has zero faith in their running attack at the moment, and with Flacco’s uncanny knack for hitting Amari Cooper and David Njoku in stride, the team is perfectly comfortable allowing him to stay back and pass each snap. Flacco has completed over 63 percent of his passes each of the past two weeks, and helped Cooper set a franchise record against the Houston Texans, with 265 receiving yards. He faces his first true above-average defense in Week 17 against the New York Jets, but volume alone will prop him up to be a serviceable starter that is widely available in most leagues.



Chris Rodriguez Jr (1 percent rostered) – With Brian Robinson sitting for the second week in a row, Rodriguez was anticipated to step into the short-yardage and perhaps goal-line situation role, with Antonio Gibson being utilized as the receiving threat. A massive 27-7 hole at halftime forced Washington to change up their offensive philosophy, allowing Rodriguez to see double-digit carries for the second week in a row. On 11 total touches, he accumulated 65 scrimmage yards and two scores, looking every bit the downhill thumper. Despite a heroic effort to make the game competitive, Washington ended up losing yet again, lowering their season record to a dismal 4-11. In the midst of a lost season and attempting to evaluate the depths of their roster, it makes all the sense in the world for the team to continue to feature Rodriguez over Robinson and Gibson, allowing the Commanders to get a good feel for their sixth-round selection from Kentucky. Should he get the start, Rodriguez would fall into the mid-range RB2 discussion, and is widely available to claim.



Demarcus Robinson (3 percent rostered) – At this point, consider me sold on Robinson. He has managed to completely supplant Tutu Atwell in the passing attack, and a point could be argued for him to be third in-line for targets over Tyler Higbee, just behind Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua. I had spoken at length about Robinson in the last article that I put out, claiming “Fool me once, fool me twice..” – there was no third or fourth time. It is easy to eyeroll and dismiss Robinson as nothing more than a flash in the pan for an offense that enjoys to pass the ball, but if you look back at his career (since 2017) – Robinson has never been a full-time player in a secure role. A WR3 is as best as he has climbed the depth chart, unable to separate himself from the former Tyreek Hill/MVS grouping in Kansas City. Robinson doesn’t possess one particular athletic trait, be it size, speed or otherwise that separates him from everyone else. He has has a solid pair of hands and the trust of Matthew Stafford to make big plays when it counts. I’m fine trotting him out there as a WR3 in deeper formats, should the need arise.

Romeo Doubs (40 percent rostered) – Doubs comes in just under our threshold of rostership, but I’m confident that he will be added in a bevy of leagues entering the final weekend. Green Bay is absolutely decimated at the receiver position currently – Christian Watson is likely to be out yet again while nursing a hamstring injury, rookie Jayden Reed is dealing with turf toe and has yet to practice at all of late, and fellow freshman Dontayvion Wicks left Sunday’s game with a chest injury that he suffered while tumbling into the end zone with a touchdown catch against Carolina. Doubs, simply put, is the last man standing until someone else returns. Jordan Love has to throw the ball to SOMEONE, making Doubs the de-facto player to add on a team fighting for its playoff lives.



Juwan Johnson (19 percent rostered) – After missing Weeks 3-7 and playing second-fiddle to Taysom Hill much of the year, New Orleans finally remembered that Johnson exists the last two weeks, in his resurgence to TE1 territory. With 9 targets and multiple touchdowns during that span, he makes for a fantastic grab for Fantasy managers dealing with injuries at the position, such as the one T.J. Hockenson sustained. Minnesota squares off against Tampa Bay in Week 17, and despite the Bucs success against Jacksonville this past weekend, this isn’t a defense that has be shaking in my boots. Johnson is a low-end streamable option for a team desperate to secure the NFC South title.