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5 best fantasy football pickups to make before Week 1

5 best fantasy football pickups to make before Week 1

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COSTA MESA, CA – JUNE 16: Jared Cook #87 of the Los Angeles Chargers during mandatory minicamp at the Hoag Performance Center on June 16, 2021 in Costa Mesa, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

With Week 1 of the NFL and fantasy football matchups just days away, there are plenty of  players still available that you shouldn’t let sit too long.

Every year, there are players that blow up in week 1 that didn’t get drafted by anyone in your fantasy league. You then find yourself scrambling to position yourself to claim them on the waiver wire.

A key piece in winning your fantasy league is what I’ve always called the ‘lottery tickets’ — a player you invest so low in that outplays and exceeds expectations.

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Five players to grab before Week 1 in your fantasy leagues

5. Jared Cook, TE, Los Angeles Chargers

Jared Cook signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Chargers in the offseason to fill the void that former Chargers’ and current Patriots’ tight end Hunter Henry left in the offense.

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert found a reliable security blanket in Henry, as Henry enjoyed one of his best years, catching 60-of-93 targets for 613 yards and four touchdowns. For the Chargers and Herbert, that is a lot of production to make up.

Enter Cook, who has been known for a pass-catching tight end throughout his career with notable roles in the offenses of Green Bay, Las Vegas, and New Orleans in the past.

Don’t get me wrong — he’s a 34-year-old tight end and isn’t getting younger. But he will provide the security blanket for Herbert and will fill most of the production left behind by Henry.

NBC’s Peter King called Cook the x-factor for the Chargers in 2021.

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