If you are still searching for players with rising value in Week 17, then you are most likely playing for your league championship this week. Unfortunately, there are inherent complications that exist when leagues determine their champion in the final week of the NFL regular season. Some teams might only allow their starters to perform in an abbreviated portion of their games, or could relegate them to the role of bystanders during their entire contests. That in turn would force you to sit starters that you have relied upon throughout the season. But if your roster requires alterations at the wide receiver position, there are three options that could fill your lineup void. This trio was utilized in less than 50% of all lineups during Week 16. Yet they have captured a sizable number of targets in their most recent games.
WR Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
In Weeks 11-13, Maclin only received 12 targets, and was limited to eight catches for 93 yards. As a result, many owners have been reluctant to start him. But in the past three games, Maclin has been targeted 36 times, while leading the team in that category during each of those contests. He has responded by amassing 21 receptions for 293 yards and two touchdowns. That includes the 116 yards that he produced last Sunday. He should remain Philadelphia’s primary option in this week’s season finale, and can be employed in all lineups as a high end WR3.
WR Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
He was only targeted 12 times in Weeks 12-13. But quarterback Chad Henne has thrown 35 passes to Blackmon in the past three games, including 12 in Week 16. Blackmon has capitalized by amassing 19 receptions for 229 yards, and a touchdown. And he should be the most targeted Jaguar this week, since Cecil Shorts will be sidelined with a concussion issue. Plus, he will match up against a Tennessee pass defense that ranks just 26th overall, and allowed Green Bay to accumulate 343 yards and three touchdowns last Sunday. All of which makes Blackmon an outstanding WR3 candidate on Sunday.
WR Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Even though he has been the Buccaneers’ WR2 throughout the season, he has been targeted significantly in the past four weeks. Quarterback Josh Freeman has thrown 43 passes to Williams, including a mammoth 17 in Week 16. Williams has taken advantage of the increased opportunities by accumulating 20 catches for 306 yards and three TDs during that span. That includes a season high seven receptions, and a career best 132 yards last Sunday. Owners should start him as a WR3 this week, when he faces an Atlanta team that might rest a sizable number of starters.