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NFL Week 17 Fantasy Football IDP Waiver Wire Targets

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) throws the ball while Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Bud Dupree (48) defends in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s fantasy football championship week, and because COVID and injuries keep trying to throw a wrench into our plans for first place, the waiver wire is as important as ever for IDP managers.

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There were plenty of COVID-related inactives last week, and those tend to last longer than one full game, so this week’s waiver-wire targets will mostly focus on injury-related replacements.

NAMES THAT BEAR REPEATING

To avoid repeating arguments for players previously mentioned in this piece, I'll list anyone who is still relevant who I have mentioned in the past three weeks with a link to that article and information.

DI Greg Gaines, DAL (Week 14)
EDGE Uchenna Nwosu, LAC (Week 14)
DI Chris Wormley, PIT (Week 14)
EDGE Randy Gregory, DAL (Week 15)
DI Roy Robertson-Harris, JAX (Week 15)
EDGE Lorenzo Carter, NYG (Week 16)
LB Divine Deablo, LV (Week 14)
LB Christian Kirksey, HST (Week 14)
LB Germaine Pratt, CIN (Week 14)
LB Neville Hewitt, HST (Week 15)
LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, DET (Week 16)
LB Markus Bailey, CIN (Week 16)
LB Jonas Griffith, DEN (Week 16)
LB Garret Wallow, HST (Week 16)
LB Zach Cunningham, TEN (Week 16)
S Ryan Neal, SEA (Week 14)
S Khari Willis, IND (Week 14)
S Trey Marshall, LAC (Week 15)
S Will Harris, DET (Week 15)
S Jaylinn Hawkins, ATL (Week 15)
S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, NO (Week 16)

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DEFENSIVE LINE

EDGE BUD DUPREE, TENNESSEE TITANS

Dupree should start next week even though he’s missed chunks of games this season, as he was signed to start on the edge and should be able to contribute in that regard in Week 17.

Dupree has managed a sack in back-to-back games while his workload has increased since returning from injury, as he missed the three games before Week 15. Dupree played 63% of Tennessee's defensive snaps in Week 16 and managed a sack and four tackles against the San Francisco 49ers. With a full 10 days to get healthier, his snap share should increase even further in Week 17, where he’ll face the Miami Dolphins‘ 32nd-ranked pass-blocking unit in the NFL . 

DI NATHAN SHEPHERD, NEW YORK JETS

It’s always difficult to find viable defensive tackle options in-season, especially late in the year, but with Quinnen Williams dealing with a shoulder injury and COVID, Shepherd could have another shot to start in Week 17. Shepherd played the largest snap share of his season (85%) this past week, and as a result, he had his best pass-rush performance of the season. Shepherd managed four pressures and a QB hit while earning a 76.5 pass-rush grade and a 75.0 overall grade. 

Considering how much Williams has struggled these past few weeks, as noted in last week’s start/sit article, Shepherd could be an IDP asset in these final weeks if the Jets decide to shut down the former third overall pick for the year.

Nathan Shepherd vs. Quinnen Williams as a starter in December 2021:
Jets DT Games started Pressures Sacks Pass-rush grade
Nathan Shepherd 1 4 0 76.5
Quinnen Williams 3 2 0 55.5

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