Will the Bills give James Cook more runs?

Packers wide receiver Christian Watson suffered a hip injury during the third quarter of Sunday’s win over the Dolphins. This is a concern since Watson has already suffered hamstring and head injuries this season. However, Watson told Ryan Wood of USA Today he isn’t concerned. He will undergo further testing Monday, but for now, fantasy managers need to be proactive instead of reactive.

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

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (55.2%): Gallup has scored 11 or more fantasy points in each of the past three games in which he has totaled seven or more targets. He remains the Cowboys’ No. 2 receiver despite the addition of TY Hilton, and Dallas has an excellent matchup against the Titans in Week 17. Tennessee has allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, making Gallup a solid flex option on a Cowboys offense that 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 past four games and 1.89 fantasy points per target over the past four games. He is a flex option against a Bears defense allowing the fifth most total yards per game over the past three games.

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

Greg Dortch, Arizona Cardinals (3.0%): Dortch had a career-best night as the Cardinals’ primary slot receiver against the Buccaneers in Week 16. With Trace McSorley under 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 earlier in the season. The Falcons’ defense has allowed the ninth most fantasy points per game to 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 has scored 14 or more fantasy points in four of his past six games. Daniel Jones likes to spread the targets around in the Giants’ passing game, so there is no de facto No. 1 receiver. James is on the flex radar against the Colts’ defense in Week 17.

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


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

Quarterbacks

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (53.7%): Against the Panthers on Saturday, Goff put together the best fantasy performance of his road games with 25.7 points. The Lions were down 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 has allowed the eighth most fantasy points to 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 rank ninth in the league with 29.3 rushing attempts, which limits Purdy’s fantasy ceiling. However, he is surrounded by playmakers at every position and is coached by a great offensive mind in Kyle Shanahan. Purdy has scored 14 or more fantasy points in four consecutive games, including one game with over 20 points. He faces a Raiders defense in Week 17 that has allowed the seventh most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

Gardner Minshew, Philadelphia Eagles (27.1%): Some fantasy managers who had Hurts on their roster overlooked 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 set for success. He finished with a solid 22.7 fantasy points against the Cowboys. With the Eagles losing to Dallas, the Eagles could play 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 chance of starting against the Falcons in Week 17 after McSorley’s performance against the Buccaneers. He faces a Falcons defense that has allowed the ninth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Fantasy managers in deeper formats or two-quarterback formats should not overlook him.

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

Running backs

James Cook, Buffalo Bills (46.7%): The Bills’ running game dominated the Bears on Saturday, finishing with 254 rushing yards, their most in a game since 2016. Cook scored 17.8 fantasy points as the weather and game script worked in his favor. He has scored 11 or more fantasy points in three of his past four games. While the Bengals’ defense will pose a greater challenge in Week 17 for the Bills’ running game, Cook will likely continue to see more playing time as Buffalo attempts to lighten Devin Singletary’s workload ahead of the postseason.

Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts (43.3%): The Colts play the Chargers on “Monday Night Football,” and I’m surprised Moss’ roster 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 played 67% of snaps last Saturday against the Vikings. He faces a Chargers defense that has given up the sixth most fantasy points per game to running backs. In Week 17, Moss faces a Giants defense that has given up the third most yards rushing 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 consecutive games. Atlanta was eliminated from playoff contention Sunday, so Allgeier could get an extended look over the final two games of the season. Cordarrelle Patterson will enter his age 32 season in 2023 and might not play a significant role in the team’s future plans. Allgeier leads the Falcons in rushing attempts, rushing yards and rushes of over 20 yards this season.

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

Quick hits: Royce Freeman (0.7%) finished with 17 touches against the Titans on Saturday and has 29 touches over the past two games. He appears to be the leader of the Texans’ backfield by committee. Fantasy managers in deeper formats should consider Freeman as a flex 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 has allowed the fourth most fantasy points per game to running backs this season. Despite Khalil Herbert’s (28%) lackluster 2.3 fantasy 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 flex 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, raising Conklin’s fantasy value. Seattle has allowed the most fantasy points per game to tight ends.

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

Quick hits: Hunter Henry (28.7%) suffered a knee injury against the Bengals and was ruled out at halftime. John 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 given up the third most fantasy points per game to tight ends.

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