Will Bills give James Cook more run?

TECHNOLOGY
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Packers wide receiver Christian Watson suffered a hip injury during the third quarter of Sunday’s victory over the Dolphins. That’s a concern, as Watson has already suffered hamstring and head injuries this season. However, Watson told USA Today’s Ryan Wood that he’s not worried. It will undergo further testing on Monday, but for now, fantasy techs need to be proactive rather than reactive.

Romeo Doubs (14.6%) has taken on Watson’s role in passing situations this season and should be prioritized by fantasy coaches who have Watson on their teams. The Packers face a Vikings defense that has allowed wide receivers second-most fantasy points per game.

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (55.2%): Gallup has scored 11 or more fantasy points in each of the last three games in which he has totaled seven or more targets. He remains the Cowboys’ second wide receiver despite the addition of TY Hilton, and Dallas has an outstanding start against the Titans in Week 17. Tennessee has allowed more fantasy points for wide receivers this season, making Gallup a solid flex option in an O The Cowboys’ offense has averaged 406.7 total yards per game over the past three games.

DJ Chark, Detroit Lions (30.9%): Chark has scored 14 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games and 1.89 fantasy points per target in his last four games. He is a flexible option against the Bears defense, allowing for the fifth-highest total yards per game over the last three games.

Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders (30.2%): Dotson has six or more targets and has scored 16 or more fantasy points in three consecutive games. He’s on the flexible radar whether Taylor Heinicke or Carson Wentz is under center. While Dotson doesn’t have a favorable matchup in Week 17 against the Browns, the rookie wide receiver is able to exceed expectations.

Greg Dortch, Arizona Cardinals (3.0%): Dortch had a career-best night as the Cardinals’ leading receiver against the Buccaneers in Week 16. With Trace McSorley at center, Dortch led Arizona in targets (11), receptions (10) and receiving yards (98) against the Buccaneers. He scored 13 or more fantasy points in three consecutive games while playing in the slot early in the season. The Falcons’ defense allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game for wide receivers, making the Cardinals a viable option in deeper formats.

Richie James, New York Giants (2.3%): James led the Giants in targets (12) and receiving yards (90) against the Dolphins on Saturday. He scored 14 or more fantasy points in four of his last six games. Daniel Jones likes to spread out the targets in the Giants’ passing game, so there’s no real No. 1 receiver. James is on the flexible radar against the Colts defense in Week 17.

Quick hits: Fantasy managers might also consider Dario Slayton (47.6%)🇧🇷 Slayton has surpassed 60 receiving yards seven times this season. Chase Claypool (49.1%) Will be the Bears’ No. 1 wide receiver if he returns from injury against the Lions in Week 17. Treylon Burks (43.7%) is not in the best position with Malik Willis at center, but faces a Cowboys defense that has allowed wide receivers fourth most fantasy points per game.


Let’s take a look at our recommended Week 17 ESPN Fantasy waiver thread on the other skill positions.

defenders

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (53.7%): Against the Panthers on Saturday, Goff posted a fantasy-best performance of his away games with 25.7 points. The Lions trailed 24-7 in the first half, forcing them to rely heavily on the passing game, especially after Jamaal Williams left early with a leg injury. Goff faces a Bears defense in Week 17 that allowed eighth most fantasy points by quarterbacks. He averaged 21.2 fantasy points at home, and with Jalen Hurts questionable for Week 17 with a sprained right shoulder, Goff is a priority for fantasy football managers.

Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers (28.3%): The 49ers are ninth in the league with 29.3 rushing attempts, which caps Purdy’s fantasy ceiling. However, he is surrounded by star players at every position and is coached by a great offensive mind in Kyle Shanahan. Purdy scored 14 or more fantasy points in four straight games, including a 20+ point game. He faces a Raiders defense in Week 17 that allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game for quarterbacks.

Gardner Minshew, Philadelphia Eagles (27.1%): Some fantasy managers who had Hurts on their roster ignored Minshew against the Cowboys on Saturday. With wide receivers AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith and one of the best offensive lines in the league, Minshew was poised for success. He finished with a solid 22.7 fantasy points against the Cowboys. With the Eagles down to Dallas, the Eagles could play the Hurts against the Saints in Week 17 if he’s healthy. Keep an eye on his status.

Colt McCoy, Arizona Cardinals (1.2%): McCoy has a strong starting chance against the Falcons in Week 17 following McSorley’s performance against the Buccaneers. He faces a Falcons defense that has allowed ninth-most fantasy points per game for quarterbacks. Fantasy managers in deeper formats or two halfback formats shouldn’t ignore it.

Fast strike: Russell Wilson (40.8%) had a career-worst performance on Sunday with three interceptions and a QBR Total of 3.6. Prior to Sunday, Wilson had never posted a QBR below 10. However, you should still consider starting Wilson against the Chiefs in Week 17 if he’s really in trouble. Kansas City’s defense allowed fourth most fantasy points per game for quarterbacks. Mac Jones (9.7%) finished with 17.5 fantasy points against the Bengals, his second-highest total of the season, and faces a Week 17 Dolphins defense that gave up second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

Runners

James Cook, Buffalo Bills (46.7%): The Bills’ rushing game dominated the Bears on Saturday, finishing with 254 rushing yards, the most in a game since 2016. Cook scored a fantasy 17.8 points as the weather and game script worked in his favor. He scored 11 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games. While the Bengals’ defense poses a greater challenge in Week 17 to the Bills’ continued play, Cook will likely continue to get more playing time as Buffalo tries to lighten Devin Singletary’s pre-postseason workload.

Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts (43.3%): The Colts play the Chargers on “Monday Night Football” and I’m surprised Moss’s lineup percentage isn’t higher. Moss and Deon Jackson rotated at running back and filled the void left by Jonathan Taylor, and Moss rushed for 81 yards on 24 attempts and threw 67% of his snaps last Saturday against the Vikings. He faces a Chargers defense that has conceded sixth most fantasy points per game to running backs. In Week 17, Moss faces a Giants defense that has given up third-most rushing yards per game over the past three weeks.

Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons (39.2%): Allgeier has surpassed 100 total yards and 15 or more fantasy points in back-to-back games. Atlanta was knocked out of playoff contention on Sunday, so Allgeier could take a look at the final two games of the season. Cordarrelle Patterson will enter her 32nd season in 2023 and may not play a significant role in the team’s future plans. Allgeier leads the Falcons in rushing attempts, rushing yards and 20+ yard rushes this season.

Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (26.3%): The Panthers’ running game eviscerated the Lions’ defense on Saturday. Carolina became the first team with at least 250 passing yards and 300 rushing yards in a game since the 49ers did it in 2012. Hubbard finished with 125 rushing yards on 12 attempts to start the game for the Panthers. Hubbard and D’Onta Foreman continue to share snaps and touches in the Carolina backfield, but Hubbard is on the flexible radar going into Week 17 against the Buccaneers. Hubbard finished with a fantasy 15.3 points against Tampa Bay in Week 7 earlier this season.

Fast strikes: Royce Freeman (0.7%) finished with 17 touches against the Titans on Saturday and has 29 touches over the last two games. He appears to be the Texans’ backfield leader by committee. Fantasy managers in deeper formats should consider Freeman as a flexible option against the Jaguars in Week 17. After Jamaal Williams suffered a leg injury on Saturday, Justin Jackson (1.1%) could be on the flex radar against the Bears. Chicago allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game for running backs this season. Despite Khalil Herbert (28%) With a lackluster fantasy 2.3 points against the Bills on Saturday, he is in a great position to bounce back against a Lions defense that struggled to stop the run last week. Gus Edwards (30.6%) had a season-high 99 rushing yards on 11 attempts against the Falcons on Saturday, and the Ravens’ poor passing game this season makes Edwards a flexible option for Week 17 against the Steelers.

tight ends

Tyler Conklin, New York Jets (36.3%): Conklin finished second on the team in receiving yards (34) behind Michael Carter’s 44. Mike White was announced as the starter for Week 17 against the Seahawks, increasing Conklin’s fantasy value. Seattle allowed the most fantasy points per game for tight finishes.

Jordan Akins, Houston Texans (0.8%): Akins has at least five goals in three of his last five games. He scored 11 or more fantasy points in two of those games. Akins has a solid Week 17 matchup against a Jaguars defense that allowed ninth-most fantasy points per game for tight finishes this season.

Fast Strikes: Hunter Henry (28.7%) suffered a knee injury against the Bengals and was ruled out at halftime. Jonnu Smith (1.0%) suffered a head injury in the second half and was unable to return. With Henry and Smith both questionable for Sunday against the Dolphins, fantasy managers should prioritize whoever is active against a Dolphins defense that has conceded third most fantasy points per game to close ends.

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