Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 17: Expert Advice on Jahan Dotson, Taysom Hill, More
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Jahan Dotson.
No matter how deep your league is, Week 16 offered plenty of injuries and potential breakout performances to make sure your waiver wire has intriguing names on it.
Our fantasy football analysts break down key names you’ll be either bidding on or considering with your top waiver claim.
WR Jahan Dotson, Commanders
Sean Koerner: Dotson has graduated from TD-or-bust WR4 to a must-start WR3.
Over the last three games, he’s averaged a 92% routes run rate and has been targeted on 20% of his routes. Pair that with his 15.1 aDot and high touchdown rate, and you have a WR3 who has a solid floor/ceiling combo.
Whether it’s Carson Wentz or Taylor Heinicke under center probably doesn’t matter. Showcasing why he was a first-round pick, Dotson has posted solid numbers with both quarterbacks.
Samantha Previte: I am once again asking you all to pick up Dotson.
Dotson, Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel each had nice games in the Commanders’ Week 16 loss to the 49ers. Dotson saw a team-high nine targets and caught six of them for 76 yards and a touchdown. McLaurin and Samuel also found the end zone, but combined for 10 targets.
This is Dotson’s third game in a row with at least 14 fantasy points and a touchdown. He missed a big chunk of time earlier in the year, but in the 10 games he has played, Dotson has finished as a top-22 receiver or better in six of them.
He should be considered a WR3 or better the rest of the way with the Browns and Cowboys to finish out the year.
Mike Triplett: This blurb is basically a rehash from last week, but it needs to be repeated since Dotson is still just 23% rostered.
I get it if you’re out of contention for the year, but if the rookie is still somehow available in any dynasty or keeper leagues, stop reading this article right now and grab him.
Dotson provides the perfect combination of talent and opportunity that you’re always hoping to find on the waiver wire. Remember, he was the 16th pick in the draft, and his numbers would be eye-popping if he hadn’t missed five games in the middle of the season due to injury.
He has seven TD catches in just 10 games played – including one in three straight games. He just set a career high with six receptions against a tough 49ers defense and matched a career high with nine targets. He also ran one more route (35-34) than McLaurin for the first time this season.
TEs Taysom Hill and Juwan Johnson, Saints
Koerner: I have considered Hill a must-start TE1 option for quite some time.
Unless you have a sure-fire top-five option, the position itself is low scoring and a weekly crapshoot, so why not tap into the player who has the highest upside? What I mean by that: If there were odds of which tight would have the highest score on a weekly basis, Hill would have top 3-4 odds nearly every time, even if his median projection was in the TE10-14 range.
Johnson remains a TD-dependent TE2, but the waiver wire is pretty lackluster so I consider him and Tyler Conklin to be the top streaming options for the fantasy finals. As always, be sure to check my updated rankings to see who the best available TE is in your league.
Previte: Hill saw no targets in the Saints’ 17-10 win over the Browns and still finished as a top-12 tight end for the fourth time in five games. He rushed nine times for 56 yards and a touchdown and was the TE8 in Week 16.
Johnson was held to one catch for nine yards, though the entire Saints passing attack was ineffective in freezing temperatures. Prior to that, Johnson had scored five touchdowns in five games.
Hill remains one of the high-upside tight end options, and a more reliable one given his consistent usage as a running threat. He will be a TE1 in Weeks 17 and 18 against the Eagles and Panthers — both of which have below-average defenses against the run.
Johnson should bounce back and will also carry some TE1 upside.
Triplett: Johnson remains just as viable as Hill as a potential top-10 TE option. In fact, Johnson might be the better choice at Philly this week in case the Saints fall behind and can’t stay committed to the run game.
Ignore Johnson’s stat line in Cleveland this past week since it was so difficult to throw in extreme weather conditions. Instead, focus on Johnson’s seven TD catches and 21 receptions over his previous seven healthy games played. His role should be even bigger if Chris Olave remains sidelined.
WR Rashid Shaheed, Saints
Koerner: I have been pounding the table for Shaheed for a few weeks now. He has a ton of raw upside and with his playing time so high right now — 87% routes run rate over the last three games — it gives him plenty of chances to make huge plays, which helps raise both his floor and ceiling.
He is a sneaky WR4 despite the tough matchup against the Eagles. Chris Olave suiting up would probably help raise his ceiling as it would prevent Philly’s defense from keying in on Shaheed.
I’d consider starting Shaheed if I were a larger underdog and wanted to tap into his ceiling, which is higher than most WRs in his range.
Triplett: My day job is covering the Saints for NewOrleans.Football, so I’ve been watching Shaheed’s unexpected rise closely as an undrafted rookie kick returner who spent the summer recovering from a torn ACL.
Shaheed’s big-play ability as a downfield burner is enticing in any fantasy format, but he has developed into much more than that – even if Olave returns from injury this week. Shaheed has led the Saints in routes run three times over the past five games (twice with Olave on the field). And his four catches for 41 yards in the extreme weather conditions at Cleveland last week were as impressive as anything else he has done this season, considering the Saints only completed eight total passes on 15 attempts.
Note: He should absolutely be on dynasty and keeper radars, in addition to deep and daily lineups for the rest of this year.
RB Gus Edwards, Ravens
Koerner: Edwards was efficient on 11 rush attempts as he rushed for 99 yards on the ground in Week 16. However, it was a run-heavy game script against Atlanta and he is clearly behind J.K. Dobbins on the depth chart. I’d rather add Zack Moss, who is the clear lead back for the Colts right now.
Previte: Edwards had his best game since his season debut (Week 7) in the Ravens’ win over the Falcons. He rushed 11 times for 99 yards and saw a nearly identical snap count as Dobbins, who was held to just 12 carries for 59 yards — his worst game since returning from injury.
This backfield has been a headache all season. For now, Edwards appears to be the hot hand, though both could end up quelled against the Steelers this week, whose defense ranks top six in rush DVOA.
Triplett: There are four decent RB options widely available on this week’s waiver wire — Tyler Allgeier, James Cook, Chuba Hubbard and Edwards. Unfortunately, all four are stuck in timeshares. My top choices are the rookies Cook and Allgeier because of their upside and increased roles over the past month.
Cook had a career-high 99 rushing yards in Week 16 and scored his second TD in two weeks, though he still finished with fewer fantasy points than teammate Devin Singletary. Cook’s share of the offense has remained steady since his Week 13 breakout with 32, 24, 28 and 26 offensive snaps in the past four games.
Meanwhile, Allgeier just set career highs with 42 offensive snaps and 18 carries as he continues to take on a bigger share of his backfield split with Cordarrelle Patterson. This week, he should face a favorable game script against the Cardinals.
WRs Richie James and Isaiah Hodgins, Giants
Koerner: Daniel Jones took advantage of a porous Vikings defense and threw for 334 yards, which was only the second time this season the Giants had 300-plus passing yards. They now face a Colts defense that has allowed the eighth-fewest points to opposing WRs; it’s likely going to result in a game script that will be much more run heavy.
Hodgins is a fairly safe WR4 option. He has averaged a 91% routes run rate over his last four games and has seen six-plus targets and scored a touchdown in three of his last four.
James is a low-end WR4 in PPR formats as he now has at least four receptions in four of the five games since replacing Wan’Dale Robinson in the slot. He is a nice high-floor option if you are a pretty big favorite in your championship match and just need a handful of fantasy points out of your flex.
Previte: Both Hodgins and James shined in the Giants’ heartbreaking loss to the Vikings. Hodgins caught 8-of-11 targets for 89 yards and a touchdown, while James caught 8-of-12 for 80 yards.
Hodgins was claimed off waivers by the Giants in November and his role has been on the rise ever since. He has three touchdowns and three top-24 finishes in the last four weeks.
James has also been steadily producing and has finished as a top-24 receiver or better in four of the last six games.
The Giants’ passing attack has been put together with spit and glue absent any true alpha receiver. That said, it appears that Hodgins and James could both be emerging as late-season breakout candidates.
WR Greg Dortch, Cardinals
Koerner: Dortch is coming off a massive game in which he delivered a 10/98/0 receiving line and also chipped in 3/25/0 on the ground. He might be a nice option in DFS contests this week, but I’m not sure you can trust him outside of the deepest leagues for the fantasy football finals.
DeAndre Hopkins only caught one pass for 4 yards on 10 targets. That’s unlikely to happen again and was one of the factors that led to Dortch’s huge day. There are plenty of available WRs who are easier to trust in a must-win situation.
Previte: Dortch exploded in the Cardinals’ 19-16 loss to the Buccaneers. Logging season highs in almost every category, he caught 10-of-11 targets for 98 yards, with three rushes for 25 yards.
Marquise Brown was held to just three catches on six targets for 57 yards and DeAndre Hopkins was a complete dud and caught 1-of-10 for four yards.
Dortch appears to have the best chemistry with third-string quarterback Trace McSorely, who could be the starter the rest of the way.
The Cardinals next face the Falcons, whose defense has been atrocious against the pass all year. They rank 30th in pass DVOA and have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Dortch could be a deep-league dart throw in this spicy matchup.
QB Mike White, Jets
Koerner: White and Brock Purdy appear to be the top quarterback streaming options this week.
White has the widest range of outcomes, so I would consider him if you are more of an underdog and want to chase ceiling. I’ve always considered White to be a massive upgrade for the rest of the Jets offense rather than a QB1 option in fantasy. He doesn’t offer any rushing upside, which hurts his value.
However, with this week being such a poor one for streaming QBs, I still consider him to be one of the top options.
Previte: White sat out the last two games due to a rib injury he suffered against the Bills. In his absence, the Jets looked downright awful with Zach Wilson, who was booed by the home crowd on Sunday and subsequently benched again.
The Jets only managed to put up three points against a hapless Jaguars defense that ranks last in pass DVOA and struggled against a below-average Lions defense in the week prior.
White, who was named the team’s Week 17 starter after being cleared on Monday, will face the Seahawks and Dolphins — and their below-average pass defenses — to finish out the season. He should be considered a high-end QB2.
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