The Must Stash: Week 17

Eli Grabanski looks at some deep sleepers to stash before Week 17's games.

Every week I will list some players who I think if things go their way, will wind up in those waiver articles the following Tuesday. You don’t have to stash all of them – it depends on who you have on your roster, the depth of your benches, the scoring system of your league, etc. But these are guys that should at least be on your radar. 

Stashing players is only something that can occur in deeper leagues with large benches, so to make this information worthwhile, I will only be recommending guys that are rostered in under 20% of leagues on both Yahoo and ESPN, and in many cases, you’ll see percentages in the single digits. If you’re in a league where guys like Rhamondre Stevenson (45.4% on ESPN), Kadarius Toney (41.5% on ESPN), and Elijah Mitchell (85.5% on ESPN) are on the waiver wire, you’re either in a league too shallow for stashing, or you should go pick those guys up right away.

In addition, for those of you in really deep leagues (16+ teams), we will also include some deep cut players that are rostered in less than 3% of leagues on both Yahoo and ESPN in a section at the end to try and give you the best chance of winning your fantasy league. Without further ado, let’s dive in!


Week 16 Review


  • Samaje Perine, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Samaje Perine caught two passes for six receiving yards against the Baltimore Ravens last week. If you have a Week 18 championship, it’s probably not a bad idea to consider rostering Perine in case anything happens to Joe Mixon.
  • Khalil Herbert, RB, Chicago Bears: Khalil Herbert carried the ball twice for 21 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown on the ground, and then caught one pass for seven receiving yards through the air.
  • Josh Reynolds, WR, Detroit Lions: Josh Reynolds caught two passes on seven targets for 36 receiving yards against the Atlanta Falcons last week.
  • Duke Johnson, RB, Miami Dolphins: Duke Johnson carried the ball 13 times for 39 rushing yards against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. It appears that he may be taking on the lead role in Miami, and maybe worth a roster spot.
  • Tyler Huntley, QB, Baltimore Ravens: Tyler Huntley was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list before Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals and did not play. With Lamar Jackson returning soon, Huntley belongs on the waiver wire of most leagues.
  • From the ‘Deep Cuts’ section, Ke’Shawn Vaughn (RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Laquon Treadwell (WR, Jacksonville Jaguars) had strong games that make them worth monitoring.


The Must Stash


Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers (12.4% on ESPN, 19% on Yahoo)


The first spot on the ‘Must Stash’ this week goes to Trey Lance. He’s been one of the most featured players on this list all season, and he may finally have a shot to start this weekend against the Houston Texans with starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo dealing with a thumb injury. We’ve touched on this frequently before with Lance in many of the previous editions of the ‘Must Stash’, but he has a ton of fantasy upside primarily because of his rushing ability. In his 19 game college career, Lance averaged 10.11 carries for 69.74 rushing yards and 0.95 rushing touchdowns per game. He’s also put this rushing upside on display at the NFL level, as he carried the ball 16 times for 89 rushing yards in his one start this season against the Arizona Cardinals. This very well could be Lance’s time to shine, and if you are looking for a potentially high upside fantasy quarterback this late in the season – he’s your guy.


Duke Johnson, RB, Miami Dolphins (7.2% on ESPN, 9% on Yahoo)


We featured Duke Johnson last week, but he is still rostered in under 20% of fantasy leagues. Because of this, we are giving him a shot on the list again this week. We first saw Duke Johnson show signs of fantasy relevance against the New York Jets in Week 15, where he led the backfield with 22 carries, 107 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, one reception, and 20 receiving yards – even with lead back Myles Gaskin making his return from the COVID list. Johnson then proved that he’s not going to be just another one-week wonder that you can forget about by carrying the ball 13 times against the New Orleans Saints. At this point of the year, it’s hard to find guys that can get this kind of workload so if you have room at the end of your bench he’s a solid player to take a shot on.


Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2.4% on ESPN, 3% on Yahoo)


Leonard Fournette is out for the rest of the regular season after landing on the injured reserve earlier this month, the rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers backfield will need to step up for the final two weeks of the regular season if the team wants to have a shot at the #1 seed in the NFC. While Ronald Jones is the guy that will likely take on the bulk of the carries in the next two games, Ke’Shawn Vaughn played well enough last week – taking seven carries for 70 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown – to justify a role in one of the best offenses in the league. If anything were to happen to Jones that would cause him to miss time on the field, Vaughn would become a pretty strong RB play in fantasy leagues. So if you have an open spot on your bench, Vaughn is a fine player to take a shot on at this point of the year in deeper leagues.


Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (10.2% on ESPN, 11% on Yahoo)


With Miles Sanders going down, the rest of the Eagles backfield will get more opportunities in the final two weeks of the regular season. While you should prioritize Boston Scott and Jordan Howard (not eligible for the ‘Must Stash’ since they are rostered in over 20% of Yahoo leagues) ahead of Gainwell, Gainwell still may have some appeal because of his pass-catching abilities. If you are in a deeper PPR league and desperate for a running back that will have a role in the offense, Gainwell is a solid player to take a shot on.


Isaiah McKenzie, WR, Buffalo Bills (5.6% on ESPN, 13% on Yahoo)


Isaiah McKenzie balled out against the New England Patriots last week, putting up a stat line of 11 receptions on 12 targets for 125 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown. While it was only one week and there’s a decent chance that McKenzie ends up being a one-week wonder with Cole Beasley set to return from the COVID-19 list, this kind of performance makes him worth monitoring – especially since he plays in a wide receiver friendly offense with a talented starting quarterback in Josh Allen. Keep an eye on him on the waiver wire this week.

Honorable Mention


Dare Ogunbowale, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (13.1% on ESPN, 27% on Yahoo): Dare Ogunbowale is expected to take over as the Jacksonville Jaguars lead back after James Robinson suffered an Achilles injury last week. With fellow back Carlos Hyde also on injured reserve, Ogunbowale should see a big workload against the New England Patriots.


Gabriel Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills (17.4% on ESPN, 23% on Yahoo): Gabriel Davis has caught at least one touchdown in each of the last three games for the Buffalo Bills, and had an impressive stat line of five receptions on seven targets for 85 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns last week against the New England Patriots. Given his strong play in recent weeks and the way the Bills offense feeds wide receivers, he’s looking like a solid pickup.


Jordan Howard, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (11.7% on ESPN, 22% on Yahoo) & Boston Scott, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (16.8% on ESPN, 25% on Yahoo): As we alluded to in the Kenneth Gainwell section of the ‘Must Stash’, Jordan Howard and Boston Scott are the top candidates to replace Miles Sanders as the primary between the tackles runner for the Philadelphia Eagles. Prioritize them over Gainwell.



Deep Cuts


(Rostered In Less Than 3% Of Leagues)

Both Websites (ESPN and Yahoo)


Laquon Treadwell, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (1.8% on ESPN, 3% on Yahoo): Laquon Treadwell caught four passes on five targets for 54 receiving yards against the New York Jets. It was his fifth consecutive game with 4+ receptions and 50+ receiving yards, and he’s one of the best players rostered in under 3% of fantasy leagues.


Deon Jackson, RB, Indianapolis Colts (0.0% on ESPN, 0% on Yahoo): The Indianapolis Colts have a few players dealing with COVID this week, and on the off-chance that Jonathan Taylor & Marlon Mack aren’t available to play, Jackson should have a nice role in Frank Reich’s offense.


Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts (1.1% on ESPN, 2% on Yahoo): While Marlon Mack is currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list if Jonathan Taylor ends up missing time and Mack gets cleared to play there’s a lot of upside here.


Benny Snell Jr., RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (0.5% on ESPN, 1% on Yahoo): If Najee Harris ends up missing time at any point this year it’s likely that Benny Snell would step into the role as the lead back.


Chad Henne, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (0.1% on ESPN, 0% on Yahoo): If the Chiefs lock up a BYE this weekend, they could opt to roll with their backups next week in Week 18. If this happens, Chad Henne would likely start in place of Patrick Mahomes.


Josh Oliver, TE, Baltimore Ravens (0.0% on ESPN, 0% on Yahoo): The Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman has historically loved to feature the tight end position. If Mark Andrews ended up missing any time, Josh Oliver would have a solid role in the offense.


ESPN/Yahoo Only


Davis Mills, QB, Houston Texans (1.7% on ESPN, 4% on Yahoo): Davis Mills completed 21 passes on 27 passing attempts for 254 passing yards and two passing touchdowns against the Los Angeles Chargers last week. It was his third consecutive solid start, so he may have some streamer appeal against the San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans in the final two weeks.


Derrick Gore, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (1.2% on ESPN, 5% on Yahoo): With Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffering a shoulder injury last week, Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore are likely going to carry the load this upcoming week against the Cincinnati Bengals. In addition, there’s a decent chance the Chiefs can lock up the number one seed in the AFC this weekend which could mean they rest their starters against the Broncos in Week 18 and roll with guys like Gore.



That’s all for Week 17 and this series this year. Thank you all for reading these articles all year – I hope they have been enjoyable to read and helped you be more competitive in your fantasy leagues. As always, feel free to weigh in and mention any players you believe should be on this list and I wish you all the best of luck in your fantasy endeavors in the future.


Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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