When you're drafting your Fantasy Football team next year, you're probably going to want to target some fun young receivers. Watching what Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson have done when they've been rolling this season has been incredibly fun. They haven't necessarily been consistent (and didn't help you this week), but the high points have made them well worth the Draft Day investment.
However, you'll need to reminder yourself when drafting next year's hot shot rookies that they may not make an immediate impact. You'll probably have to be patient. Getting up to speed in the NFL is tough, and the adjustment process both physically and mentally can take some time.
But the payoff can be worth it, and we're getting another reminder of that with Commanders rookie Jahan Dotson. Dotson actually gave us some flashes of what he is capable of early on, catching four touchdowns in his first four games, but then injuries derailed his season. For a while, it looked like they might permanently derail him – Dotson had just two catches in his first three games back from his injury beginning in Week 10.
However, he found the end zone in Week 13, did so again in Week 15 after a bye week, and made it three in a row Sunday with another solid game against a very tough 49ers defense. Dotson got involved early and often, catching six passes for 76 yards on a team-high nine targets to go with his touchdown, and now has seven touchdowns on just 50 targets for the season – comparable to the much more hyped Christian Watson's production over in Green Bay.
Dotson enters Week 17 on a high and facing a Cleveland defense that hasn't been anything special. Dotson has been pretty big-play and touchdown dependent, so I don't want to say he's a must-start WR – yet. He just might be one next season, though, and for Week 17, I'll probably rank him as a WR3, with plenty of upside to spare.
Here's who else we'll be looking to add heading into Week 17:
IND Indianapolis • #10
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Minshew played a lot better than his line, and his line was plenty good. The two interceptions were hardly his fault – Quez Watkins got his hands on both passes and was just beat to it by a Cowboys defender both times. Otherwise, Minshew was pretty terrific in a tough matchup. Having the kind of elite playmakers the Eagles have certainly helps, just like we expected it to. It's not 100% certain Minshew will start in Week 16 against the Saints, but at this point I'd bet on it – the Eagles still only need to win one of their final two to lock up the No. 1 seed despite Saturday's loss. Doing what he did against the Cowboys should make Minshew a pretty easy top-12 QB in the rankings next week.
James Cook RB
BUF Buffalo • #4
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
We've fallen for it before, so I don't want to make it seem like I'm viewing Cook as a must-start running back or anything. The Bills typically don't run the ball very often. They don't throw to their backs much, and when they do, Devin Singletary still tends to be the first option in most situations. But Cook continues to look very good when given the opportunity to do so, which tends to happen in games where the Bills don't need to throw much. Week 17 against the high-powered Bengals offense may not be one of the situations, but Cook has scored in consecutive games, so he could be in play if you need a running back. However, if you play into Week 18, Cook could be in line for a lot of work against the Patriots – he had 105 total yards on 20 touches the last time the Bills faced the Patriots, and Buffalo could be in position to rest their starters in that one.
NYG N.Y. Giants • #18
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Wide receiver remains a big need for the Giants, but Hodgins and Richie James have helped provide some stability at the position, and they took advantage of an ideal matchup against the Vikings in Week 16. James had one more yard than Hodgins, but Hodgins was the one who found the end zone, the third time in his past four games he's done so. Hodgins has basically been playing every down for the Giants over the past month and has to be in the WR3/4 discussion for Week 17 against the Colts. James is also in that discussion.
CAR Carolina • #30
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
The Lions had been a pretty good run defense over the past few months, but the Panthers had absolutely no trouble gashing them Sunday. Hubbard took a backseat to D'Onta Foreman but was still tremendous, averaging 10.4 yards per carry on his 12 totes. Hubbard has double-digit touches in three of his past four games on a team that is intent on running the ball as much as possible, and though the Buccaneers can be a tough matchup for running backs, their lack of offensive firepower this season means the Panthers should be able to keep it close enough to run it plenty yet again. Hubbard and Foreman combined for 181 yards on 24 carries in Week 7 against them, and Hubbard has played himself into RB3 contention in this offense.
D.J. Chark WR
CAR Carolina • #17
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Last Sunday, ESPN's Mina Kimes tweeted that the Lions "sacrificed" D.J. Chark to Sauce Gardner in Week 15, and that probably helps explain his only bad game in the past month. Chark topped 90 yards for the third time in four games Sunday, leading the Lions with his 108 yards on just five targets. He's been the big-play guy for an offense that consistently moves the ball pretty well, and it's a role that has fit him perfectly. And now he gets to go against a Bears defense in Week 17 that allows the third-highest yards per pass attempt in the league. Teams tend to not have to pass the ball against the Bears, but with Chark's big-play role, that's less of a concern. He's never going to be a guaranteed contributor, but the way he's playing right now and the matchup make him a viable WR3 for the Fantasy championships.
Drake London WR
ATL Atlanta • #5
Age: 21 • Experience: 2 yrs.
London is one player I absolutely cannot wait to draft next season, assuming the Falcons do something to get a competent quarterback this offseason. London has turned his season around over the past three weeks, earning massive target shares and putting up at least 70 yards in each games. His overall numbers for the season aren't likely to be too impressive – he needs 301 yards over the next two games to get to 1,000 yards -- but that doesn't account for the degree of difficulty playing in a super-low volume offense with mediocre-to-bad QB play. London has been incredibly impressive, and I'm going to rank him as a solid WR3 for Week 17 against the Cardinals.