Fantasy Football Week 17 Waiver Wire: Jahan Dotson Leads Championship-Winning Pickups

Alex KayContributor IDecember 27, 2022

Fantasy Football Week 17 Waiver Wire: Jahan Dotson Leads Championship-Winning Pickups

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    Washington Commanders wide receiver Jahan Dotson (1) celebrates during an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, December 12, 2022 in Landover. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)
    AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.

    The 2022 fantasy football campaign is nearly over, but managers fortunate enough to still be competing for a title heading into Week 17 will want to peruse the waiver wire one final time.

    There is a surprising amount of startable talent to be found right now, with at least one quality option at each major position who could serve as a plug-and-play option in the championship round.

    If you are dealing with injuries to one or more of your key pieces or simply aren't satisfied with the production of some of your starters, here's a look at some free-agent pickups who could shake things up in the finals.

    All suggestions are rostered in 50 percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues. Fantasy point rankings and statistics are courtesy of FantasyPros.

Gardner Minshew, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (27 Percent Rostered)

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    ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 24: Gardner Minshew #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)
    Sam Hodde/Getty Images

    DraftKings DFS Value: $5,500

    The Philadelphia Eagles may have been forced to go without MVP candidate quarterback Jalen Hurts (SC joint sprain) in Week 16, but they still managed to score 34 points with Gardner Minshew leading the way.

    Minshew is one of the top backups in the league and clearly has his coaching staff's trust after he was tasked with throwing 40 times in his first significant action of the season. The 26-year-old completed 60 percent of those attempts for 355 yards and two touchdowns in a single-digit road loss to the division rival Dallas Cowboys.

    While Minshew was responsible for a pair of interceptions, he also ran for a touchdown and finished with the fifth-most fantasy points at his position heading into Monday Night Football.

    The few managers who rolled the dice on Minshew in Week 16 were rewarded in a big way. Those on the fence regarding the fourth-year veteran's fantasy potential should now be swayed, but it's worth noting that Minshew isn't a shoo-in to start in Week 17.

    With their defeat opening the doors for the Cowboys to usurp them in both the NFC East standings and as the conference's No. 1 overall seed, the Eagles could soon press their starter back into service.

    NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Hurts is pushing to play against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Minshew's fantasy managers will want to monitor the situation closely and have a contingency plan in case Hurts returns as Philly's starter after a one-game absence.

Tyler Allgeier, RB, Atlanta Falcons (49 Percent Rostered)

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 04: Atlanta Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier (25) runs during the Sunday afternoon NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 4th, 2022 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.   (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    DraftKings DFS Value: $5,300

    Tyler Allgeier's explosive Week 15 performance doesn't appear to be a fluke. The rookie is taking on a larger role and will have plenty of opportunities to shine in the final weeks.

    While the Atlanta Falcons running back couldn't repeat his 22.6 PPR-point outing—ranking as the eighth-highest scorer at the position—he did record a respectable 15.7 points against the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas Eve.

    His usage increased as well, as Allgeier followed up his breakout 17-carry performance with 18 totes on Saturday.

    Although he only racked up 74 rushing yards this week, the 22-year-old was on the field for a career-high 42 offensive snaps.

    He was also more involved in the passing game than he's ever been before, amassing four catches on five receptions for 43 yards.

    With a beatable Arizona Cardinals defense on tap in Week 17—the unit has allowed the sixth-most scores on the ground (17) this year—fantasy managers can trust Allgeier to play a solid RB2 role for their teams.

Jahan Dotson, WR, Washington Commanders (23 Percent Rostered)

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    SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 24: Jahan Dotson #1 of the Washington Commanders makes a touchdown catch during the second quarter in the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
    Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    DraftKings DFS Value: $4,600

    Jahan Dotson has become one of the more improbable league-winning pickups for the few who have inserted the talented young wideout into their fantasy lineups during the playoffs.

    Although most managers gave up on the rookie when he hit a midseason slump following a strong first month, he's reemerged a valuable contributor at a critical time.

    Dotson began his current hot streak in Week 13 when he posted his first double-digit fantasy performance since the start of October. He stayed hot after Washington's Week 14 bye, scoring a career-high 20.5 PPR points after he breeched the 100-yard receiving mark for the first time.

    The 22-year-old remained consistent this past weekend, piling up another 19.6 points after he racked up six catches for 76 yards on a season-high nine targets. He also found the end zone for the third consecutive contest.

    Dotson has been fantasy's seventh-highest scoring wideout during the first two weeks of the playoffs and could help his managers clinch a championship with another strong showing in Week 17.

    While the Cleveland Browns boast a tough passing defense, Dotson has become a matchup-proof play who deserves to be in lineups.

Isaiah Hodgins, WR, New York Giants (2 Percent Rostered)

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 24: Isaiah Hodgins #18 of the New York Giants warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
    Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

    DraftKings DFS Value: $4,500

    The New York Giants have found some stability in their injury-ravaged receiving corps thanks to the emergence of Isaiah Hodgins, who rapidly ascended Big Blue's depth chart after he was claimed off waivers in early November.

    He drew his first start in his second game with the team in Week 11 and has been consistent weapon for the club since.

    The big 6'4", 210-pound wideout has earned the trust of quarterback Daniel Jones, who has leaned on him to move the chains and score points.

    After he notched a touchdown in Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings, Hodgins has now scored in three of the last four games. He had his best performance as a professional in the contest as well, securing eight of his career-high 11 targets for 89 yards.

    Hodgins should only continue to improve as he becomes more comfortable in New York's system. Along with running back Saquon Barkley and fellow receiver Richie James, he is one of the few reliable pass-catchers the G-Men have left.

    All three of those players saw double-digit targets in Week 16, while Darius Slayton and tight end Daniel Bellinger only combined for eight looks.

    Hodgins will be a great flex option for his projected volume alone in a Week 17 showdown against a beatable Indianapolis Colts secondary.

Shane Zylstra, TE, Detroit Lions (0 Percent Rostered)

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    CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 24: Shane Zylstra #84 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after catching a pass for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
    Eakin Howard/Getty Images

    DraftKings DFS Value: $2,800

    Despite running a high-powered passing offense, the Detroit Lions hadn't seen much production from the tight end position since they traded T.J. Hockenson in November.

    That changed on Christmas Eve when Shane Zylstra had a breakout game against the Carolina Panthers. Although it came in a losing effort, the second-year tight end put himself on the map by hauling in five of his six targets for 26 yards and three touchdowns. It was the fourth-highest PPR scoring performance for the position in Week 16.

    While Zylstra has been a little-used option because of the presence of standout wideouts such as Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark, he appears to be earning a larger role in the final weeks of 2022.

    Managers should be cautious, however, as Zylstra only had six targets all season prior to Week 16. He never had more than two catches or 18 yards in a game prior and had only scored one career touchdown before his explosive showing against the Panthers.

    Zylstra is still worth picking up in dynasty formats and in deep leagues where tight end talent is at an extreme premium. He's proved himself capable of filling Detroit's void at the position and could be a decent championship-round dart throw if he's able to tally more scores in Week 17.

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