Week 16 of the NFL season was full of fantasy football excitement, disappointment, and everything in between. There were also plenty of injuries, and fantasy teams are certainly looking to either find replacements as we approach the fantasy championship. Here are 5 players on the fantasy radar as waiver wire pickups for Week 17 (percentages according to ESPN):
RB James Cook (BUF) – 47% Rostered
Cook has been putting together some solid performances down the stretch. On Sunday, he was a yard short of what would have been his first career 100 rushing yard game. He tacked on a touchdown just for measure, finishing with 17.8 PPR fantasy points. Cook has gotten 10+ in three of his last four games. He is finally starting to become a certified RB2 in Buffalo as a nice complement to Devin Singletary. Cook’s regular workload is FLEX worthy in fantasy, especially if you have other players on your roster dealing with injuries. As we head into Championship Sunday, it would not hurt at all to have Cook rostered. The Bills offense can score a lot of points, and Cook will continue to contribute if given the chance.
RB Chuba Hubbard (CAR) – 26% Rostered
What a day for Chuba Hubbard and the Panthers rushing attack. Carolina ran for a whopping total of 320 yards against an improving Lions run defense. D’Onta Foreman led the team in attempts (21) and yards (165). However, Hubbard ran for a career-high 125 yards on only 12 attempts. 65 of those rushing yards came on Hubbard’s first two carries of the game. The Panthers have a lot to fight for despite a 6-9 record. The NFC South crown can be in their hands, and Hubbard can be a key contributor if the Panthers have playoff aspirations. He is still available in most fantasy leagues, and he should be rostered. He is more of a lower-end FLEX option, but consider him to have RB2 upside if he can find the endzone.
WR Russell Gage (TB) – 22% Rostered
Gage has put together back-to-back fantasy relevant performances. In Week 16, Gage caught eight balls on 12 targets for 59 yards and two touchdowns. On Christmas evening, Gage had five receptions for 65 yards. The Bucs offense can be hard to watch sometimes, but they may be starting to figure it out. Gage is producing while still having to compete with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Julio Jones. This uptick in targets for Gage is certainly encouraging. Brady will keep looking his way in these last two games of the season. Especially if they want to lock up the NFC South. Gage is an interesting fantasy football add if you want to bank on some upside in the championship.
WR Jahan Dotson (WAS) – 30% Rostered
Is Jahan Dotson becoming a league winner? He may be. Against the 49ers, the rookie had six receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown. Washington QB Taylor Heinicke was benched mid-game for veteran Carson Wentz. No matter who is under center, Dotson has great fantasy upside. He is currently sporting a three-game touchdown streak. Hopefully he can continue that and bring home a sweet fantasy championship performance. Dotson is a fun player to watch in general, and he is one of the top waiver wire pickups this week for WRs. He can be started as a WR2, no questions asked.
QB Brock Purdy (SF) – 29% Rostered
This man continues to impress each week. Even though his fantasy numbers may not be immaculate, his level of play in real life has been impressive. Purdy looks like a seasoned pro out there. He has been a streamer these last couple weeks because of some of the QB injuries around the league. Consider Purdy to be a solid streaming option once again, especially against the Las Vegas Raiders, who have the 27th ranked pass defense in the league. Purdy has been utilizing all of his weapons to find success. Deebo Samuel may be returning from injury as well, which bodes well for this Niners offense. Purdy would be a good QB option if you need someone to start.
Honorable Waiver Wire Pickups: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (CLE), RB Tyler Allgeier (ATL), QB Baker Mayfield (LAR), QB Gardner Minshew (PHI)
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