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Russell Gage (WR, ATL) - Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 11% of Leagues

ANALYSISI said it last week and I keep saying it now: Russell Gage can be a league-winner hidden in plain sight. Just in case you don’t know, Julio Jones was also out of Atlanta’s last game and given the status of the franchise who knows if they’ll shut him down or let him heal for another extra week. In any case, Jones present or not, Gage has just completed a couple of back-to-back games in which he has reached at least 52 receiving yards or 15.6 fantasy points. That, for someone owned in just 11% of Yahoo leagues, is crazy production.

Gage had a great game against the Bucs in Week 12. He played more snaps than he ever has this season (64), was targeted 10 times and hauled in eight receptions for 76 yards. That could have been a mirage, but far from it. Just this past Sunday against New Orleans Gage went to work again and finished with 52 yards on five receptions (nine targets) adding his first touchdown as a pro while at it. The receptions and yardage numbers are great, and the score was the cherry on top, but the targets are what makes me believe Gage is the real deal going forward and a clear go-to option for Matt Ryan in this offense.

No matter who he shares the field with, Gage is someone you should jump over as soon as you can before next week. The opportunities will be there for Gage and although you might not be confident enough as to play him in one of your WR starting spots you must make him a flex starter going forward, at least this weekend. The Falcons face Carolina and the Panthers rank 24th against opposing WRs. If only for a week, he’s a must-play. I would still keep him in the roster in deeper leagues and make him my weekly starter at the flex spot if there is no one better available (which at this point is hard considering Gage’s heavy role in his team and his high upside).

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