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NFL Draft

Fantasy Football Week 17 Rookie Stock Watch

  • The Draft Network
  • December 30, 2020
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As the end of the 2020 regular season schedule gets closer and closer, and rookies making a major impact is no longer surprising, but expected. With no preseason games to get acclimated to the game speed of professional football, the first several weeks of the regular season served as a pseudo-preseason for the incoming class. Now, we’re rolling toward the playoff push, and every game, every performance, every rookie matters.

Each Wednesday, The Draft Network, in conjunction with Panini, will be taking a close look at three rookies whose stock is on the rise in fantasy football. After Week 16, the spotlight shines brightly on two receivers who have been on this list before and a brand new running back.

WR CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

This season has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Lamb. He got off to a pretty hot start when Dallas’ offense was rolling with Dak Prescott. He stayed hot in the immediate aftermath until Dalton got hurt and the Cowboys’ QB situation spiraled out of control. Lamb has been hot and cold since Dalton’s return, but he’s been pretty productive over the last two weeks—including an 84 total yard, two-touchdown performance in Week 16. He has touchdowns in two straight games, and his late-season surge will make him a hot mid-round commodity in fantasy drafts next season. Lamb finished as a WR1 this week with 23.4 fantasy points. 

RB A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers

Dillon finally got to show the football world what he was capable of on a snowy night in Green Bay. Dillon set career highs across the board with 21 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ blowout of the Titans on Sunday Night Football, finishing as a top-six fantasy running back in the process. Dillon ran with purpose, force, and most importantly, success. His fantasy stock is on the rise entering Week 17 as the Packers may choose not to play their starters for all four quarters. Any work that Aaron Jones doesn’t receive will go to Dillon, who proved he’s more than capable of providing a backfield spark. 

WR Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars

Shenault’s inclusion on this list is two-fold. His immediate fantasy stock is up after scoring 15.8 fantasy points in Week 16 and finishing as a WR2—he’s averaging more than 13 fantasy points per game over the last four weeks despite erratic quarterback play. His long-term stock is rising rapidly because the Jaguars locked in the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, presumably Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, on Sunday. Lawrence’s addition to this team will do wonders for the entire roster, but particularly Jacksonville’s pass-catchers. Shenault proved he can be a difference-maker in his rookie season and stayed relatively healthy (compared to college). He’s a player to watch in 2021 fantasy drafts.

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