“Only the strong will survive.” It’s a saying that has been relevant since the beginning of time. It certainly rings true in fantasy football as well. If you have a championship matchup looming this week, well, congratulations on managing to assemble and maintain a strong team! One more win in Week 17 and you will be bringing home the gold.

With the stakes at an all-time high, managers must be careful not to panic. In many cases, riding with the horses that brought you to the dance is the best path. However, some teams may need some tweaks or answered prayers to win their fantasy football championship. Even if your team is sitting pretty, it still might be worth blocking your opponent from being able to make an advantageous add for themselves.

More often than not, injuries are the cause of some crazy champ week outcomes. Over the years, there have been some shocking names who have taken on prominent roles late in the season and swung the outcome of fantasy football championship matchups. While none of the players in this article can come close to matching the legend that was Zach Zenner (look him up, kids), each has a compelling case as a savvy waiver wire add ahead of your championship matchup.

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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Adds For Championship Week

Player ownership percentages for fantasy football waiver wire adds reflect those in ESPN leagues

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Current ownership: 28.6%

Who could’ve seen this coming? Once a first-round pick of the Chiefs, Clyde Edwards-Helaire has done very little with a bevy of opportunities to serve as the team’s top running back. While he has taken on the third-string role for the majority of the 2023 season, it appears that Edwards-Helaire might be Kansas City’s only RB left standing in Week 17.

Despite the draft capital that the Chiefs invested in Edwards-Helaire, it has been a former seventh-round pick in Isiah Pacheco who has been leading the team’s backfield. Pacheco made his return on Christmas from a previous injury only to sustain a concussion. With only six days until the Chiefs’ Week 17 matchup, the prospects of him clearing the protocol aren’t great.

On top of Pacheco’s injury, Kansas City also placed second-string back Jerick McKinnon on IR before Monday’s loss. As a result, Edwards-Helaire is suddenly poised to start at running back for the Chiefs with fantasy football championships on the line. With La’Mical Perine the only other healthy back on the depth chart, CEH should have little competition for touches against an inconsistent Cincinnati Bengals defense.

K.J. Osborn, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Current ownership: 22.5%

There’s a real case to be made that the Vikings have been the most snake-bitten team when it comes to injuries this season. Somehow, the team has overcome them all to still have a slim chance of reaching the NFL Playoffs. That said, the latest casualties could prove to be quite impactful as far as fantasy football championship matchups are concerned.

On Sunday, not one but two of the Vikings’ top pass-catchers sustained injuries that appear to be significant enough to keep them sidelined in Week 17. Rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison exited the game early on with what has been diagnosed as an ankle sprain. He is officially considered week-to-week as of early Tuesday afternoon. Later on, star tight end T.J. Hockenson also suffered a knee injury. Reports indicate that the team is expecting him to miss some time.

As a result of these injuries, the door has potentially swung wide open for receiver K.J. Osborn to make an impact as the top option aside from Justin Jefferson. The University at Buffalo product tallied five receptions for 95 yards and a score this past week. The Green Bay Packers’ defense is no great shakes, and the Vikings need to win if they are to have any chance of making the playoffs. The circumstances could result in Osborn being an unlikely fantasy championship hero as well.

Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Tennessee Titans

Current ownership: 30.9%

The last of our three savvy fantasy football waiver wire adds for championship week is not a player who is set to see his role directly impacted by injury. But hey, this is the tight end position after all. Sometimes, there’s a lot to be said for even-keeled production, especially in a year where even Travis Kelce is falling well short of expectations. Coming off his best performance of the season, the Titans’ Chigoziem Okonkwo just might prove impactful in Week 17 fantasy matchups.

For the most part, Okonkwo has failed to produce the kind of point totals viable to be considered a winning fantasy football asset in 2023. In Week 16, that was not the case. Okonkwo had his best output of the season to date with six catches for 63 yards and a score. That was good enough for him to finish as the TE2 in PPR scoring. What’s even more encouraging is the fact that since Week 12, he has seen six targets in three of five games and had five in another one of those contests.

The Titans will clash with the Houston Texans for the second time in three weeks on Sunday. Okonkwo only saw a trio of targets in the first meeting, but he caught each of them. With the Texans allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing TEs, the second-year pro has a chance to be a sneaky difference-maker with fantasy football championships on the line.

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Henry’s passion for sports dates all the way back to childhood and has ultimately led to a full-fledged career as an analyst and content creator. After getting his start penning fantasy football articles, he forrayed into the betting side of the business in early 2019. His love for sports and statistics proved to be an ideal match with the dedicated research and strategy that handicapping requires. Henry currently specializes in betting analysis and picks for college football, college basketball and NASCAR. He counts the NFL, the WNBA, and NBA player props as additional leagues/markets of interest. Henry graduated from SUNY Buffalo in 2021 with a Communication Studies degree and a Psychology minor. A native of the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York, he and his pup, Harold, have since relocated to Laramie, Wyoming. Thanks to his professional goals within the sports betting industry, there has been a whole lot of steam on the odds for a move to Las Vegas in 2023! Most of Henry’s free time is spent on outdoor adventures, playing chess, snowboarding, or reading a good book. He is also a competitive powerlifter and aspires to qualify for the USAPL Nationals meet within the next 2-3 years.

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