Fantasy Football Week 17 Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: It's gametime for Sony Michel
Sony Michel will look to close out the season strong in Week 17, making him Jamey Eisenberg's Start of the Week.
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For those of you who play your Fantasy leagues into Week 17, we haven't forgotten you. This is an important week with a championship on the line.
The toughest thing about Week 17 is trying to figure out who will play based on the different scenarios for the playoffs, as well as teams deciding to shut down certain guys with nothing on the line. It's a challenge since teams generally don't let us know what their plan is prior to kickoff.
For playoff purposes, it would be a surprise to see the Saints or the Cowboys play most of their main offensive guys, and Teddy Bridgewater has already been named the starter in New Orleans against Carolina. The Saints are locked into the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and Dallas is the No. 4 seed, with no room to improve.
With Drew Brees out, don't expect to see much of Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram or Michael Thomas -- if they play at all. The same goes for Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper. It's a risk to trust those guys in any lineups -- seasonal or daily -- in Week 17.
The Bears and Chargers could also be risky Fantasy options since they may decide to take guys off the field during the game. Chicago needs to beat Minnesota and have the Rams lose to the 49ers in Los Angeles to have a shot at the No. 2 seed in the NFC. The Bears might be cautious with their main guys if they find out the Rams are ahead of the 49ers by halftime, which could mean limited playing time for players like Mitchell Trubisky, Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard. Allen Robinson (ribs) is doubtful and not expected to play against the Vikings.
And the Chargers could be in a similar situation with their players if they find out the Chiefs are ahead of the Raiders by a wide margin. The Chargers need to beat the Broncos this week and have Oakland upset Kansas City on the road to get the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Just be cautious with guys like Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen.
The Panthers also indicated that Christian McCaffrey might not play this week at New Orleans to avoid him getting hurt. And other teams might opt to rest guys who are dealing with injuries, so keep an eye on any possible news prior to Sunday.
This all makes Week 17 risky for Fantasy leagues, but there are players you can lean on, and we're here to help. Good luck if you are still playing for a Fantasy championship this week.
Editor's Note: Projections are provided by SportsLine.com. Projected points are for PPR leagues.
Start of the Week
The Patriots need to beat the Jets in Week 17 (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, available on fuboTV) to lock up the No. 2 seed in the AFC, and Sony Michel might be the catalyst of their offense. While that's strange to say about a team led by Tom Brady, this is where New England is at on offense right now.
Michel was great in Week 16 against Buffalo with 18 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown, and he snapped a three-game slump where he scored seven PPR points or less.
But one of his best games this season came against the Jets in Week 12 when he had 21 carries for 133 yards and a touchdown, as well as two catches for 12 yards on two targets. Michel also has at least 17 PPR points in four of the five home games he's played this season.
The Jets have allowed four running backs in their past six games to score a touchdown. And for the season, there have been eight running backs with at least 15 carries against the Jets, and only one failed to score at least 14 PPR points, which was Frank Gore in Week 9. Michel has at least 17 carries in four of his past five games.
I like Michel as a top-five running back in non-PPR leagues and a top-10 option in PPR this week. But whatever the format, Michel should have a dominant performance in Week 17 against the Jets.
|22.6 projected points|
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
|Let's take a moment to recognize how good Ryan has been this season as a Fantasy quarterback. He enters Week 17 as the No. 3 Fantasy quarterback behind Patrick Mahomes and Ben Roethlisberger, and he trails Roethlisberger by just three points at 384-381. He's failed to score at least 20 Fantasy points just four times, and he has five games with at least 33 points. One of those was against Tampa Bay in Week 6 when he had 355 passing yards and three touchdowns. In his past five games against the Buccaneers, Ryan is averaging 312.4 passing yards with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. Ryan will end 2018 with a bang this week (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, available on fuboTV).|
|22.8 projected points|
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
|The Rams will lock up the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a win against the 49ers this week, which means Goff will be playing most of the game. And he's due for a big performance after going four games in a row with 18 Fantasy points or less. Only one of those games was at home in Week 15 against the Eagles when he scored just 10 Fantasy points, but he averaged 32.7 Fantasy points in his first six games in Los Angeles this year. He had 20 Fantasy points at San Francisco in Week 7, and the 49ers have allowed four of the past six opposing quarterbacks to score at least 22 points. Goff is a solid starter this week.|
|17.6 projected points|
Nick Foles Philadelphia Eagles QB
|I liked Foles last week when we listed him as a sleeper in this column, and he delivered in a big way with 38 Fantasy points against Houston. He should have the chance to go off again in Week 17 at Washington. While the Redskins will like to play spoiler and keep the Eagles out of the playoffs -- they must win and hope the Vikings lose against the Bears to earn a wild-card berth -- Foles should have success against this defense. Washington allowed three of the past five opposing quarterbacks to score at least 23 Fantasy points, with the two who failed to reach that total being Cody Kessler and the combination of Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert. Foles will be a top-10 Fantasy quarterback again in Week 17.|
|22.4 projected points|
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
|I expected Allen to struggle in Week 16 at New England, and he had his worst game in his past five outings with 13 Fantasy points. He will rebound this week against the Dolphins in a big way. Allen had the best game of his rookie campaign in Week 13 at Miami with 32 Fantasy points when he passed for 231 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, as well as 135 rushing yards. The Dolphins will likely have little interest in playing this game in Week 17 at Buffalo in what could be the final game for coach Adam Gase. In full disclosure, I considered Allen as a potential Start of the Week, and I love the outlook for him in this matchup.|
|17.6 projected points|
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
|Jackson is still looking for his first outstanding Fantasy game, and so far his high is 22 points against Oakland in Week 12. He only has one other game with more than 20 Fantasy points, which was in Week 14 at Kansas City. Still, I like his outlook this week against the Browns in a game the Ravens must win to make the playoffs. With a victory, Baltimore would win the AFC North, and Jackson has been a big reason, going 5-1 as a starter in place of Joe Flacco. I expect the floor for Jackson to be about 18 Fantasy points, with the ceiling his best game ever. He seems like the type of player who rises to the occasion in big spots, and I expect him to thrive in Week 17.|
- Jameis Winston (vs. ATL): The last time Winston played the Falcons was in Week 6, and he was our Start of the Week. He had 37 Fantasy points then, and I'm counting on another strong performance in Week 17, even with the potential of Ryan Griffin playing some for the Buccaneers. Winston scored a combined 20 Fantasy points in the past two games on the road at Baltimore and at Dallas, but he had three games in a row with at least 22 points prior to Week 15 -- all at home. Winston is a low-end starter this week, and hopefully he plays the majority of the game in a plus matchup.
- Kirk Cousins (vs. CHI): Cousins scored 20 Fantasy points at Chicago in Week 11, and the Bears might not play their starters for most of this game since they will likely end up as the No. 3 seed in the NFC. Chicago needs to beat the Vikings in Week 17 but also have the Rams lose to the 49ers in Los Angeles, which isn't likely to happen. The Vikings also need this game to make the playoffs, and a victory against the Bears will lock up the final wild-card spot in the NFC. Cousins needs to deliver, and he should play well at home, especially if the Bears start pulling starters.
- Teddy Bridgewater (vs. CAR): With Sean Payton announcing Friday that Bridgewater will start at quarterback, he becomes an intriguing Fantasy option in a matchup with the Panthers, who could be resting players on defense in a meaningless game. We may still see some Taysom Hill, but I expect Bridgewater to get most of the playing time, making him a great option in daily leagues in Week 17.
- Eli Manning (vs. DAL): The only way you can trust Manning this week is if the Cowboys are going to rest players, which seems likely. Dallas is locked into the No. 4 seed in the NFC and has nothing to play for, so keeping out key players for most of the game makes sense. And even though Manning won't have Odell Beckham (quadriceps) for the fourth game in a row, he should still do well against backups. Manning also has at least 22 Fantasy points in two of the three games without Beckham, and he should be fine relying on Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley.
|16.8 projected points|
Mitchell Trubisky Chicago Bears QB
|I'm not expecting Trubisky to play a full game in Week 17 against the Vikings. And even if he does, he shouldn't be expected to produce at a high level. He scored just 16 Fantasy points against Minnesota at home in Week 11, and the Vikings have held 10 quarterbacks in a row to 16 Fantasy points or less, including Brees, Aaron Rodgers , Tom Brady and Russell Wilson . It's a risk to trust Trubisky even in two-quarterback leagues.|
|14.0 projected points|
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
|Mayfield delivered a huge performance in Week 16 against the Bengals with 30 Fantasy points when he was the Start of the Week. But this game should be a letdown on the road at Baltimore. Keep in mind that prior to facing the Bengals, Mayfield went three games in a row scoring just 15 Fantasy points in each outing against Houston, Carolina and Denver. He also scored 19 Fantasy points against Baltimore at home in Week 5. The Ravens have been on a tear defensively in recent weeks, holding four of the past five opposing quarterbacks to 11 points or less, including Ryan, Winston and Philip Rivers. The one quarterback with success against Baltimore was Mahomes in Kansas City in Week 14. Mayfield is only worth starting in two-quarterback leagues this week since the Ravens will be extra motivated to win this game at home with a playoff berth on the line.|
|14.0 projected points|
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
|Like Brees, Prescott isn't expected to play much in Week 17 at the Giants . The Cowboys have nothing to play for since they are locked into the No. 4 seed in the NFC, and we already have an example of what Dallas will do with Prescott going back to 2016. That season, the Cowboys had already locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC heading into Week 17 at Philadelphia. Prescott played sparingly, completing 4 of 8 passes for 37 yards, before giving way to Tony Romo in his final hurrah, and eventually Mark Sanchez . Prescott is not worth trusting this week in any format.|
|13.4 projected points|
Sam Darnold New York Jets QB
|Darnold has been a star for the past two games and is Packers in Week 16 when we called him a sleeper. But he should struggle this week at New England. While the Patriots allow an average of 20.2 Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks for the season, they only give up an average of 18.1 points per game to quarterbacks at home. Darnold is worth using in two-quarterback leagues this week, but he should struggle compared to his recent performances, especially with the Patriots needing to win this game and lock up the No. 2 seed in the AFC.. He scored 25 Fantasy points in Week 15 against Houston, and he followed that up with 31 points against the|
It wouldn't be a huge surprise to see Brady go off this week. After all, Aaron Rodgers just had a bounce-back game against the Jets in Week 16 with 46 Fantasy points, and Brady had 23 points at the Jets in Week 12. But since then, he's scored 16 Fantasy points or less in three of his past four games. He also lost receiver Josh Gordon (suspension), and the Patriots have been much more committed to the run, especially in the red zone. In Week 16 against Buffalo, Brady scored a season-low seven Fantasy points. I don't think he's done as a standout NFL quarterback, and I'm looking forward to seeing how he performs in the playoffs. But he isn't a must-start guy right now -- he's also the No. 13 Fantasy quarterback for the season prior to Week 17 -- and you don't have to play him against the Jets, even at home. As strange as this sounds, I would rather start Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Nick Foles over Brady in Week 17.
|14.4 projected points|
Damien Williams Kansas City Chiefs RB
|Even with Spencer Ware (hamstring) expected to return this week against the Raiders, I still like Williams as a starting Fantasy running back in all leagues. In the past two games without Ware, Williams has been a star. He has at least 24 PPR points in consecutive outings against the Chargers and Seahawks, and he's actually scored at least 18 PPR points in three games in a row. Williams has the chance for another outstanding performance in Week 17 with the Chiefs looking to lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win over the Raiders, and I still expect him to get the majority of touches over Ware. While it would be great for Ware to be out one more week, don't be afraid to trust Williams in this matchup at home.|
|10.7 projected points|
Doug Martin Oakland Raiders RB
|Martin is coming off his best game of the season in Week 16 against Denver with 21 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown, along with one catch for 9 yards on two targets, and I like him as a No. 2 running back this week in all formats. He's scored a touchdown in four of his past five games, and he had 12 PPR points against the Chiefs in Week 13 with 18 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown, as well as two catches for 6 yards. The Chiefs are No. 3 in Fantasy points allowed to running backs for the season, and a running back has scored against Kansas City in seven of the past eight games.|
|11.1 projected points|
C.J. Anderson Los Angeles Rams RB
|We'll stick with our theme here of trusting the injury replacements at running back, and Anderson will get another start with Todd Gurley (knee) out against the 49ers . Anderson was a hero for many Fantasy owners in Week 16 at Arizona when he replaced an injured Gurley and had 20 carries for 167 yards and a touchdown, as well as one catch for minus-5 yards. The matchup is not as favorable this week against the 49ers, but San Francisco has allowed a running back to score or gain at least 100 total yards in six games in a row. Anderson has top-10 upside once again if Gurley is rested with the Rams heading for the playoffs.|
|15.9 projected points|
Jamaal Williams Green Bay Packers RB
|Williams was a force in place of the injured Aaron Jones (knee) in Week 16 at the Jets with 15 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown, as well as six catches for 61 yards on nine targets. He's now scored at least 19 PPR points in consecutive games when you include his performance in Week 15 at Chicago in the game where Jones got hurt. This won't be an easy matchup against the Lions , who have been tough on opposing running backs since acquiring defensive tackle Damon Harrison from the Giants . But based on Williams' expected workload with around 20 touches, including his involvement in the passing game (he has at least four catches in three of his past four games), he should be considered a starter in all leagues. Playing at Lambeau Field in a game the Packers should win is also a plus for Williams.|
|10.8 projected points|
Marlon Mack Indianapolis Colts RB
|Mack had a solid game in the first meeting with the Titans in Week 11 at home with 16 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown, along with one catch for 8 yards on two targets. He should have the chance for a similar performance in the rematch in a game with huge implications since the winner gets into the playoffs. Mack has scored a touchdown in three games in a row, and the Titans defense is missing a key member of the defensive line with Jurrell Casey (knee) out. Tennessee also has allowed six running backs to either score or gain at least 100 total yards since Week 10, which bodes well for Mack in this matchup.|
- Dwayne Washington (vs. CAR): There's a chance the Saints could give some work to Alvin Kamara or Mark Ingram this week, with most likely Kamara getting an opportunity to score. He's currently tied with Dalton Hilliard for the franchise record for most touchdowns in a season with 18, and it would not be a shock to see him get into the end zone if possible to get that team record. But Washington should get most of the work for the Saints this week, and the Panthers might also rest some guys with nothing to play for, including linebacker Luke Kuechly. I like Washington as a great daily play in Week 17.
- Jeff Wilson (at LAR): Wilson is expected to start with Matt Breida (ankle) out, and he was good the last time he was in this spot. It was Week 14 against Denver, and Wilson had 23 carries for 90 yards, along with one catch for 6 yards on two targets. The Rams will likely make things tough on Wilson on the ground, but he could be needed in the passing game with Dante Pettis (knee) out, as well as potentially Marquise Goodwin (calf). I like Wilson as a starter in all leagues this week given his expected workload.
- Royce Freeman (vs. LAC): Freeman is expected to start with Phillip Lindsay (wrist) out, and hopefully an increased workload will help him end his rookie campaign on a high note. Devontae Booker is also worth a look in deeper PPR leagues, but Freeman should lead Denver in touches. And he scored against the Chargers in Week 11 with seven carries for 23 yards when Lindsay was still the lead running back for the Broncos.
- Darren Sproles (at WAS): Sproles has scored a touchdown in three of the past four games, including in Week 13 against Washington, and he has at least 12 PPR points in two of his past three outings. He's being used in the passing game as well with at least three catches in three games in a row, and Washington is among the league leaders with 86 receptions allowed to running backs.
- Rod Smith (at NYG): There's a good chance Ezekiel Elliott doesn't play this week if the Cowboys' history tells us anything. In Week 17 of the 2016 season, with Dallas locked into the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Cowboys kept Elliott on the bench against the Eagles. It was the right move then, and it should be the same scenario now against the Giants. As such, look for Smith to get an extended workload in this matchup, and the Giants have allowed a running back to score in every game but one. Smith is a great option in daily leagues in Week 17.
|13.0 projected points|
Ezekiel Elliott Dallas Cowboys RB
|The Cowboys are locked into the No. 4 seed in the NFC and have nothing to play for in Week 17, so Elliott will likely not play based on what happened with Dallas the last time the team was in this spot. In 2016, with the Cowboys having locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC prior to Week 17, they rested Elliott against the Eagles. Should the same thing happen this week, Rod Smith should be considered a sleeper against the Giants.|
|5.9 projected points|
Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints RB
|I would be surprised if Ingram played much this week because the Saints have already locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Now, Alvin Kamara might play a little bit against the Panthers since he needs one touchdown to break Dalton Hilliard's single-season team record of 18, but even Kamara could be risky since the Saints want to make sure everyone is healthy heading into the playoffs, especially with Teddy Bridgewater already getting the start in place of Drew Brees. A sneaky sleeper could be Dwayne Washington if he gets a heavy workload in place of Ingram and possibly Kamara against the Panthers, who could also be resting linebacker Luke Kuechly with nothing on the line.|
|8.5 projected points|
Jordan Howard Chicago Bears RB
|Howard has turned things around of late with either 80 total yards or a touchdown in four games in a row, and he's scored at least 11 PPR points in three consecutive outings. He had 18 carries for 63 yards, as well as one catch for 2 yards on one target, in Week 11 against Minnesota. But I would expect Howard's touches to be limited this week based on the playoff scenarios for Chicago. The Bears need to beat the Vikings this week and get help from the 49ers to beat the Rams in Los Angeles, which isn't likely to happen. As such, coach Matt Nagy might limit the touches for Howard and Tarik Cohen, which makes them both risky in Week 17.|
|11.2 projected points|
Adrian Peterson Washington Redskins RB
|Peterson had a quality outing in Week 16 at Tennessee with 26 carries for 119 yards, as well as one catch for 8 yards on two targets. That put him over 1,000 rushing yards for the season, which is a tremendous accomplishment at 33. But milestones aside, I'm not willing to trust Peterson this week. Only once this season has he posted consecutive games with double digits in PPR, which were in Week 7 and 8. And he hasn't scored a touchdown three games in a row. Now, Peterson had a 90-yard touchdown run against the Eagles in Week 13, but he managed just 8 yards on eight carries otherwise in that game. It's been a great year for Peterson, and he was a pleasant surprise. But I don't expect him to have a solid outing in Week 17 against this defense.|
You can probably tell by the projected points that McCaffrey is not expected to play in Week 17 against the Saints. The Panthers have nothing to play for, and coach Ron Rivera is taking the right approach to avoid getting McCaffrey hurt. "What we have to do is we have to be smart with these guys going forward," Rivera said in a news conference this week. "You go into Week 17 obviously trying to win. But at the same time, we have to be smart. We have to be realistic. Be honest." Now, he hasn't said McCaffrey won't play, but it's clear the Panthers don't want to risk his health, especially with Cam Newton (shoulder) already out. If McCaffrey is done for the year, he finishes with the most receptions to running backs in NFL history with 106, and he also rushed for more than 1,000 yards. It was a tremendous breakout campaign for McCaffrey in 2018.
|13.9 projected points|
Kenny Golladay Detroit Lions WR
|I expected Golladay to struggle against Minnesota in Week 16, and he did with six catches for 58 yards despite a whopping 15 targets. But that was a tough matchup. That's not the case against the Packers this week, and Golladay had four catches for 98 yards and a touchdown against Green Bay on nine targets in Week 5. The Packers are No. 5 in Fantasy points allowed to receivers and tied for third in touchdowns allowed to the position with 20. Golladay has the chance to finish as a top 10 Fantasy receiver in Week 17 (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, available on fuboTV).|
|11.4 projected points|
Doug Baldwin Seattle Seahawks WR
|It would have been nice to have the Baldwin we're seeing over the past few games show up all year. Obviously, health was a big factor for how the season started for Baldwin, but he has at least 18 PPR points in three of his past five outings, including two in a row with at least 23 points. In those two games against the 49ers and Chiefs, Baldwin has 11 catches for 203 yards and three touchdowns on 18 targets, and he should finish the season strong against Arizona at home. In his past two games against the Cardinals in Seattle, Baldwin has 17 catches for 261 yards and three touchdowns.|
|10.9 projected points|
Jordy Nelson Oakland Raiders WR
|Nelson is closing the season strong, and he has at least 14 PPR points in three of his past four games. Over that span, he has 29 catches for 308 yards on 36 targets, and he's stepped up in a big way for Derek Carr. One of those games was against the Chiefs in Week 13 with 10 catches for 97 yards on 11 targets, and Kansas City continues to struggle in the secondary. In their past four games, the Chiefs have allowed six receivers to either score or gain at least 95 total yards, and Nelson should be considered a No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all formats.|
|13.2 projected points|
Adam Humphries Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR
|I was surprised to see Humphries is the No. 24 PPR receiver heading into Week 17, and he's done an amazing job since he entered the season as the No. 4 receiver for Tampa Bay behind Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin. He's scored at least 15 PPR points in five of his past eight games, and he just had 10 catches for 79 yards on 12 targets in Week 16 at Dallas. Jackson (foot) is likely out in Week 17 against the Falcons, and Humphries had three catches for 82 yards on four targets at Atlanta in Week 6. Godwin could also be a low-end starter with Jackson out, but I like Humphries as the second-best Fantasy option for the Buccaneers in this matchup behind Evans.|
|12.6 projected points|
Sterling Shepard New York Giants WR
|Shepard just had six catches for 113 yards on seven targets in Week 16 at Indianapolis, and he should build on that performance in Week 17 with Odell Beckham (quadriceps) out again. Shepard has at least six targets in five games in a row, including 16 targets in his past two outings, and he has either a touchdown or at least 100 receiving yards in two of the past three games without Beckham. The Cowboys might rest some of their starters on defense, which should help Shepard, and he's a low-end starting option in all formats this week.|
- Zay Jones (vs. MIA): Jones had two touchdowns at Miami in Week 13 with four catches for 67 yards on nine targets. He has at least nine targets in four of his past six games, and he's scored at least 17 PPR points in three of those outings. Robert Foster should also be considered a sleeper this week against the Dolphins.
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling (vs. DET): Valdes-Scantling was back as a productive Fantasy option again in Week 16 at the Jets with five catches for 75 yards on nine targets. He should be involved once again with Randall Cobb and Equanimeous St. Brown both dealing with concussion issues. Valdes-Scantling had a solid game against the Lions in Week 5 with seven catches for 68 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets, and I like him as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver with upside in this matchup at home.
- DaeSean Hamilton (vs. LAC): Hamilton continues to be the most productive receiver for the Broncos since Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) went down prior to Week 14. In the past three games, Hamilton has at least 11 PPR points in three games in a row, with two touchdowns over that span. He has 30 targets in those three outings and 20 catches, and he should continue to soak up targets from Case Keenum in this matchup with the Chargers.
- DeAndre Carter (vs. JAC): Demaryius Thomas (Achilles) is out, and we don't know the status for Keke Coutee (hamstring) in Week 17 against the Jaguars. That could lead to Carter getting a big role, and he just had six catches for 61 yards on seven targets in Week 16 at the Eagles. Carter would be a better option in PPR, but this is now twice in the past four games that he has six catches and six-plus targets.
- Kendrick Bourne (at LAR): Dante Pettis (knee) is out, and Marquise Goodwin (calf) could also miss Week 17. That should leave Bourne in a spot to get a significant number of targets against the Rams. He just had four catches for 73 yards on five targets in Week 16 against Chicago, and he has five games this year with at least five targets. In those five outings, he has three with at least 10 PPR points, and he's worth a flier in deeper leagues based on this opportunity.
|9.0 projected points|
Amari Cooper Dallas Cowboys WR
|Like we said about Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott , this is a good week to avoid the main Cowboys offensive stars because they will likely rest for the playoffs since they are locked into the No. 4 seed in the NFC. We don't expect Cooper to play a full game, and he's struggled when his targets have been down. He has three games with Dallas with fewer than eight targets, and he's scored a combined 20 PPR points over that span. The Cowboys should be smart and keep Prescott, Elliott and Cooper on the bench this week.|
|10.9 projected points|
Corey Davis Tennessee Titans WR
|Davis is struggling heading into Week 17, and he will likely have Blaine Gabbert as his starting quarterback with Marcus Mariota (elbow) hurt. In his past three games, with Derrick Henry dominating the offense on the ground, Davis has a combined 17 PPR points. And in Week 2, when Mariota was out with an elbow injury against Houston, Davis had just five catches for 55 yards on seven targets. Even though the Titans have to win this game to make the playoffs, the only Tennessee player I would start this week is Henry.|
|10.6 projected points|
Jarvis Landry Cleveland Browns WR
|There's no reason to trust Landry this week on the road at Baltimore. He's scored one receiving touchdown in his past eight games, and he only has one game with more than 60 receiving yards over that span. In his past two games against Denver (without standout cornerback Chris Harris) and Cincinnati, Landry has combined for seven catches for 84 yards and no touchdowns on 16 targets. The Ravens come into this game allowing the third-fewest Fantasy points to opposing receivers, and they are tied with Minnesota for the second-fewest touchdowns to receivers with just nine, trailing only Jacksonville (seven). Landry had five catches for 69 yards on 11 targets against Baltimore in Week 5, and I would consider that his ceiling this week given his recent level of production.|
|12.2 projected points|
D.J. Moore Carolina Panthers WR
|Kyle Allen will start for the Panthers this week with Cam Newton (shoulder) and Taylor Heinicke (elbow) out, and it will be tough to trust any of Carolina's weapons, even with the Saints likely resting guys on defense. We don't expect Christian McCaffrey to play because of rest, and Moore was bad in Week 16 against Atlanta in the first game without Newton. He had two catches for 19 yards on seven targets, and he was outplayed by Curtis Samuel , who had seven catches for 41 yards on 13 targets. I'd take my chances with Samuel in deeper leagues, but Moore is someone I would try to avoid.|
Thomas enters Week 17 just 23 yards shy of Joe Horn's franchise record of 1,399 receiving yards, and I would imagine Sean Payton gives Thomas the chance to get that mark. But he likely won't play a full game, especially with Teddy Bridgewater expected to start for Drew Brees, and that's the risk for trusting him this week in any Fantasy leagues. Now, keep in mind, one catch for a touchdown could make Thomas a successful Fantasy option, but he also could play one drive before hitting the bench. New Orleans is looking ahead to the playoffs, and the Saints want to make sure Thomas is 100 percent when the games matter most. Week 17 isn't that time.
|11.5 projected points|
Evan Engram New York Giants TE
|Engram thrives when Odell Beckham (quadriceps) is out, and he's been great in the past three games. Without Beckham, Engram has three games in a row with at least 75 receiving yards, including the past two with at least 15 PPR points. He was great against Dallas in Week 2 with seven catches for 67 yards and a touchdown on seven targets, and the Cowboys might rest some guys on defense with their playoff spot locked up in Week 17.|
|8.9 projected points|
Vance McDonald Pittsburgh Steelers TE
|I expected McDonald to struggle in Week 16 at New Orleans, and he finished with one catch for 49 yards on four targets. But he should bounce back this week against the Bengals. Cincinnati is third in Fantasy points allowed to tight ends and tied for first in touchdowns allowed to the position with 10. McDonald had seven catches for 68 yards on eight targets against the Bengals in Week 6, and another game with double digits in PPR scoring should happen for McDonald this week.|
|11.3 projected points|
Chris Herndon New York Jets TE
|Herndon is coming off his best game of the season in Week 16 against Green Bay with six catches for 82 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. It's one of five games he's had this season with double digits in PPR, including Week 12 against the Patriots when he had seven catches for 57 yards on eight targets. New England has allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends this season, and Herndon should get plenty of targets with Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and Jermaine Kearse (Achilles) banged up.|
- C.J. Uzomah (at PIT): Uzomah had four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown on five targets in Week 16 at Cleveland in the first game after Tyler Boyd (knee) got hurt. And Uzomah had six catches for 54 yards on seven targets against the Steelers in Week 6.
- Gerald Everett (vs. SF): Everett has at least eight PPR points in his past two games heading into Week 17 against San Francisco. He's also scored a touchdown in two of his past three home games.
- Cameron Brate (vs. ATL): Brate scored against the Falcons in Week 6 with one catch for 15 yards on one target. He hasn't scored in his past two games against Baltimore and Dallas, but he did score three touchdowns in his past three home games prior to facing the Ravens in Week 15.
|9.0 projected points|
Ian Thomas Carolina Panthers TE
|Thomas played well in Week 16 against Atlanta with four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown on five targets, and he's now scored at least 14 PPR points in two of his past three games. The one game where he failed to reach that total was Week 15 against New Orleans when he was held to two catches for 14 yards on four targets. Kyle Allen will start for the Panthers this week with Cam Newton (shoulder) and Taylor Heinicke (elbow) out, and I'm nervous about Thomas in this matchup. He's a low-end starting option at best in deeper leagues.|
|5.7 projected points|
Trey Burton Chicago Bears TE
|Burton has played better of late with nine catches for 66 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets in his past two games against Green Bay and San Francisco. But he still has just one touchdown in his past seven outings, and he was held to one catch for 9 yards on one target in Week 11 against the Vikings. He also might not play a full game if the Bears decide to rest any players based on the playoffs and what's happening with the Rams against the 49ers, and I'm hesitant to trust Burton in most leagues this week.|
|4.5 projected points|
Benjamin Watson New Orleans Saints TE
|Like most of the Saints, I'm leery of Watson playing a full game this week against the Panthers, and we could see New Orleans lean on Dan Arnold in Week 17. Watson also has gone seven games in a row without a touchdown, and he's scored five PPR points or less in each game over that span.|
Kudos to you if you started Rudolph in Week 16 against the Lions. He was a star with 33 PPR points thanks to nine catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets. But some of that is fluky since he caught a 44-yard Hail Mary to end the first half. And this was the first time he's found the end zone since Week 3 and just the second time he's scored more than six PPR points since Week 9. Included in that stretch was a matchup with the Bears in Week 11 when he had two catches for 13 yards on five targets, and I expect a letdown game for Rudolph in Week 17 after what happened last week.
Eagles (at WAS) – 12.3 projected points
The best game the Eagles DST had since Week 6 was in Week 13 against Washington when they had an interception, three sacks and allowed just 13 points. The Redskins have scored 16 points or less in four games in a row, they have allowed 27 sacks since Week 9 and a DST has scored against Washington in two of the past three games. This is a great week to trust the Eagles DST.
- Chiefs (vs. OAK): The Chiefs are going to sack Derek Carr in this game. It's just a matter of how many times. They got him three times in Week 13 at Oakland, and Kansas City is tied with Minnesota for the most sacks in the NFL this year with 50. The Chiefs DST also averages 11.4 Fantasy points per game at home.
- Saints (vs. CAR): Even though the Saints might be resting some players on defense since they are locked into the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Panthers could be without Christian McCaffrey, who might sit out in a meaningless game. Kyle Allen is also starting for the injured Taylor Heinicke (elbow), who was playing for the injured Cam Newton (shoulder). New Orleans had four sacks at Carolina in Week 15 while allowing nine points, and the Panthers have 12 interceptions since Week 10.
- Bills (vs. MIA): The Dolphins have scored a combined 24 points in the past two games and have allowed 20 sacks in their past four outings. Miami is averaging just 17.1 points per game on the road, and it's hard to imagine the Dolphins having much interest in playing at Buffalo in late December in a meaningless game.
Jaguars (at HOU) – 9.3 projected points
The Jaguars DST scored five Fantasy points against Houston in Week 7 with just one sack and no turnovers. And in five of the past six road games, the Jaguars DST has scored five Fantasy points or less. While the Texans have allowed at least four sacks in each of the past five games, they have just one turnover over that span. And they have scored at least 23 points in five of their past six outings.
Crosby is back to being a standout Fantasy kicker with his performance in the past three games. He has eight field goals over that span with seven extra points and one kick of at least 50 yards. The Packers offense also came to life in Week 16 at the Jets with 44 points, and Crosby made three field goals and three extra points. He should have revenge on his mind this week since he missed four field goals in a horrific Week 5 performance at Detroit in Week 5. I'm counting on Crosby to deliver in this matchup at home.
- Dan Bailey (vs. CHI): Bailey has been a solid Fantasy kicker in his past two games against Miami and Detroit with four field goals and eight extra points, and I expect him to stay hot against the Bears this week at home. Chicago might be resting players during this game, and Minnesota's offense should put up points, with Bailey getting several chances to score.
- Matt Bryant (at TB): Bryant had two field goals and four extra points against Tampa Bay in Week 6, including one kick of 57 yards. He's made 11-of-12 field goals in his past five games overall with the Buccaneers, including all 16 extra points, and I expect the Falcons offense to be explosive this week, giving Bryant plenty of scoring opportunities.
- Jake Elliott (at WAS): In his past two games, Elliott has five field goals in seven tries, as well as five extra points in six attempts. He also made a 51-yard field goal in Week 15 at the Rams, and he hit a 35-yard game-winning field goal against Houston in Week 16. He's rolling now, and he also made two field goals and two extra points against Washington in Week 13.
The Cowboys could be resting players this week since they are locked into the No. 4 seed in the NFC, including Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper. Maher also scored no points at Indianapolis in Week 15 in Dallas' last road game, and he missed a field goal in that outing. This isn't a good week to trust the Cowboys' main weapons, including Maher.
So who should you sit and start? And what shocking quarterback could win you Week 17? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.
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