Fantasy football can be an extremely fun game to play. It can also be highly frustrating at times. Nothing is more annoying than needing to make a last-minute waiver-wire move because someone in your starting lineup is out for the week.
Sadly, there isn’t much you can do about it. However, I’m going to try and help.
Every week I will have six players you can grab off the waiver wire at the last minute and throw into your lineup. Some will succeed, while others will fail. Unfortunately, that’s how the game of fantasy football is played.
All the players in this article are rostered in under 35% of ESPN leagues.
Mike White (QB – NYJ) vs. Seattle Seahawks (15.5% Rostered)
Zach Wilson has started the past two games for the Jets as White was dealing with a rib injury he suffered in Week 14 against the Buffalo Bills. However, the former Western Kentucky star started the previous three games and played well. In his three starts this season, White has averaged 317.3 passing yards and 17.7 fantasy points per game, scoring 17.5 or more points twice. While he struggled against the Bills, the veteran left the game twice and returned as he was dealing with injuries.
Meanwhile, White has an appealing matchup this week. The Seahawks have surrendered 16.8 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, the 11th-most in the NFL. Furthermore, they have given up two more passing touchdowns in five of their past seven contests, including two straight. Over the past two weeks, quarterbacks have averaged 220.5 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and 20.1 fantasy points per game against Seattle. In a must-win game for the Jets, expect White to have a strong performance.
Chuba Hubbard (RB – CAR) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27.6% Rostered)
When the Panthers traded away Christian McCaffrey, everyone expected the Carolina offense to fall apart. Instead, their running game has been excellent lately. Over the past four games, Hubbard has averaged 68.5 rushing yards per game, totaling 65 or more yards three times. Furthermore, he had his best performance this season last week against the Detroit Lions, rushing for a career-high 125 yards. More importantly, the former Oklahoma State star has been the RB12 over the past three weeks, averaging 12.7 half-point PPR fantasy points per game.
This week he faces a Tampa Bay defense that has held running backs to only 17.4 fantasy points per game this season, the seventh-fewest in the NFL. However, they have struggled lately. Over the past five weeks, running backs have averaged 97.4 rushing yards per game against the Buccaneers, totaling 81 or more yards three times and 130 or more yards twice. More importantly, Tampa Bay gave up a season-high 176 rushing yards to the Carolina backfield in the Week 7 matchup. After rushing for 125 yards last week, including two runs of 30 or more yards, Hubbard has flex appeal for Week 17.
Jonathan Williams (RB – WAS) vs. Cleveland Browns (0.0% Rostered)
Yesterday the Commanders ruled Antonio Gibson out for Sunday’s matchup against the Browns with knee and foot injuries. While Brian Robinson will see an uptick in work, he won’t have a full workload. Last week, Williams scored a season-high 5.1 half-point PPR fantasy points against an elite San Francisco 49ers run defense. More importantly, he has been productive with his touches this season. Williams has only 16 touches this year but has averaged 7.4 yards per touch. Furthermore, he had the highest yards per rushing attempt average on the team (4.3) against the 49ers.
With Gibson out of the lineup, Williams will have an increased workload. More importantly, the matchup this week is excellent. The Browns have surrendered 24.6 fantasy points per game to running backs this season, the third-most in the NFL. They have given up at least one rushing touchdown to the position in 66.7% of the games this season, including two or more scores 33.3% of the time. Furthermore, Cleveland’s run defense has been awful lately, giving up an average of 131.3 rushing yards over the past seven weeks, giving up 120 or more yards in four of those contests. Robinson has top-10 upside against the Browns, while Williams is a potential flex option.
Isaiah Hodgins (WR – NYG) vs. Indianapolis Colts (4.8% Rostered)
The Giants have been linked to Odell Beckham Jr. for months. However, they have found the boost at wide receiver they needed on their roster. Hodgins has played well since joining New York, averaging 9.1 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. Yet, he’s picked up his play lately. Over the past four week games, the former Oregon State receiver has been the WR12, averaging 12.8 fantasy points per contest. He averaged 5.3 receptions on 6.8 targets for 52 receiving yards per game, totaling three receiving touchdowns during that span.
After the Giants lost Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson to season-ending injuries, Hodgins has become a reliable fantasy wide receiver. He has scored 12.9 or more fantasy points in three of the past four games. Meanwhile, the former Oregon State receiver had the best performance of his career last week with eight receptions on 11 targets for 89 receiving yards, a touchdown, and 18.9 fantasy points. This week he faces the Colts, who have given up 208.7 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns, and 42.3 fantasy points per game to wide receivers over their past three contests. Expect Hodgins to keep up his strong play on Sunday.
Rashid Shaheed (WR – NO) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (2.4% Rostered)
In Week 1, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Chris Olave headlined the New Orleans wide receiver room. Unfortunately, the two veterans are out for the year, and Olave missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury. However, Shaheed has been a bright spot for the team. The rookie receiver has averaged 4.3 targets and 10.9 half-point PPR fantasy points per game over the past three contests. Furthermore, the former Weber State receiver has played 53% or more of the snaps in three of the past four games, including a team-high 71% two weeks ago.
While the Saints have a 6-9 record, they still have a shot at making the playoffs. They have won two games in a row and have played well on offense. More importantly, Shaheed has an appealing matchup this week. The Eagles have struggled with injuries in their secondary lately, impacting them on the field. Over the past three weeks, wide receivers have averaged two receiving touchdowns and 32.8 fantasy points per game against the Eagles despite the team facing two sub-par receiving units. Don’t be surprised if Shaheed ends this game with over 13 fantasy points.
Jelani Woods (TE – IND) vs. New York Giants (0.9% Rostered)
Unfortunately, the Colts’ offense has been awful this season, regardless of who is at quarterback. However, one of the few bright spots has been Woods. The rookie tight end has been a part-time player all year but has earned more of a role lately. He has played over 60% of the snaps in two of the four games since returning from an injury. Furthermore, Woods has averaged 4.8 targets and 6.9 half-point PPR fantasy points per game during that span. Meanwhile, Kylen Granson won’t play against the Giants with an ankle injury, creating more snaps and targets for the rookie.
More importantly, the former Virginia star has an excellent matchup this week. New York has surrendered 11.3 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, the sixth-most in the NFL. Furthermore, they have gotten destroyed by tight ends lately. Over the past five games, New York has surrendered 14.6 fantasy points per game and four receiving touchdowns to the position. Last week, T.J. Hockenson made the Giants’ defense look like a high school unit, totaling 109 receiving yards and 29.4 fantasy points. Woods won’t score 29.4 fantasy points but has the potential to end the week as a low-end TE1.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant - which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections - to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much - we've got you covered this fantasy football season.
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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.