Matt Hicks, Staff Writer
Kirk Cousins vs NYG: Start
Cousins has quietly risen to QB 6 on the season, due in part to a resurgence from his mid-season slump in Weeks 15 and 16. In the last two weeks, Cousins is 37-63 for 495 yards, 5 TD, 1 Int. He’s a must-start against the Giants, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Davis Webb vs WAS: Sit
Although Webb is active for Week 17, Giants head coach Steve Spagnuolo has come out and said that there is no plan to intentionally work Webb into the game. We’re going to have to wait until next season to see if Davis Webb can make it to fantasy relevancy.
Jacoby Brissett vs HOU: Start
Brissett is a great streaming option this week vs. Houston, who has allowed the 3rd most points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks in 2017. Since Week 15, Brissett is 33-63 for 373 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int. He’s also rushed the ball 8 times for 26 yards and 1 touchdown. His high upside, and safe floor make him a great a stream this week.
Jared Goff vs SF: Sit
It was confirmed earlier this week that Goff will not play in the Rams’ Week 17 season finale.
Tom Brady vs NYJ: Sit
Brady continued to struggle in Week 16, throwing for just 224 yards on 28 total throws (his lowest total attempts this season). He also had 2 TDs, 1 Int. Look for the Pats to ease off the gas if they get off to an early lead in this game. In deeper leagues, this combination could burn you.
Alex Smith vs DEN: Sit
The Chiefs have chosen to rest Smith in Week 17, as their playoff seeding is locked into place.
Patrick Mahomes vs DEN: Sit
I’ve never been a Mahomes fan; crediting his college success to overinflated stats in a miserable defensive conference (the Big 12). He’s got a lot of hype surrounding a solid preseason, however, the Broncos are not approaching Week 17 like their 3rd stringers would approach the preseason. Denver has allowed just 206 yards/game and 1.5 touchdowns/game to opposing quarterbacks in 2017.
Lamar Miller vs IND: Sit
Since Week 15 Miller has 19 carries, Alfred Blue has 28. It was clear in the Pittsburgh game last week that Miller is being intentionally phased out of the Houston offense. Miller has just 87 yards over his last two weeks, and hasn’t found the end zone since Week 12.
Wayne Gallman vs WAS: Start
The Giants have shown a late season commitment to seeing what their rookie back can do. Since Week 14, Gallman has 30 carries for 116 yards (3.8 yards/carry) and has caught 19 of his 24 targets (79%). If you’re looking for a flex option in PPR leagues, Gallman is a great option in Week 17.
Ezekiel Elliot vs PHI: Start
Early this week, it appeared that Dallas was going to bench their starters; more recently it’s come out, through the coaching staff and Zeke himself, that Elliot will get the start. That’s enough to make him worth playing.
Todd Gurley vs SF: Sit
Rams coaching staff confirmed earlier this week that Gurley will sit for Week 17.
Alex Collins vs CIN: Start
Collins has 6 games of at least 15 carries in his last 8 games. In those 8 games, he’s averaging 67 yards per game and has 5 touchdowns. Collins will be leading a motivated Ravens offense in a must-win vs a beaten down Bengals team that has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.
Latavius Murray & Jerick McKinnon vs CHI: Sit
Chicago has allowed just 8 touchdowns to opposing running backs this season, and the 7th least fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. I don’t like either guy, in a game where the Vikings could easily take their foot off the gas. If you’re going to take one, take Murray who has 41 carries since Week 15 over McKinnon, who saw just 9 total carries and targets in Week 16.
Jamaal Williams vs DET: Start
Williams is the lone relevant back this week for the Packers, making him a sneaky flex play. He’s struggled the last two weeks; rushing for just 88 yards and no touchdowns on 25 carries. Those two games, however, were against the Panthers (3rd least fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs) and the Vikings (least fantasy points allowed). Detroit has allowed the 2nd most to opposing running backs this season; look for Williams to use his volume and match-up to make him a solid flex play.
Derrick Henry vs JAX: Sit
I mentioned earlier this week that Henry is a great trade target for dynasty owners. I stand by that, but this won’t be the game where he breaks out. He’s playing against a Jaguars defense that hasn’t expressed any desire to ease up in Week 17. Look for his value to take a hit after a tough performance this week, making him an even more desirable trade target.
Jordan Howard vs MIN: Sit
Howard has just 44 yards on 22 carries in Week 16 (2 yards/carry), and was saved by his two goal line touchdowns. In Week 17, he faces the Vikings who have allowed just 7 touchdowns to opposing running backs this season. In deeper leagues, avoid Howard.
Jamison Crowder vs NYG: Start
Crowder, like Cousins, has seen a resurgence in Weeks 15 and 16, catching 9 of his 11 targets for 102 yards and a touchdown in each game. The Giants have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing wideouts over the last 4 weeks; making Crowder a high-end WR2 option this week.
Dede Westbrook vs TEN: Sit
Its clear that Cole (24 targets since Week 15) has become the more favorable option for Bortles, compared to Westbrook, who’s seen just 9 targets over that same span. Westbrook has just 1 touchdown this season, limiting his upside, and the Jaguars could easily change their game script to be run heavy if they get out to an early lead.
Marquise Goodwin vs LAR: Start
Goodwin had a tough Week 16 against Jacksonville, but we all saw that coming. Look for his numbers to reflect his performance in Weeks 12-15; 28 catches on 39 targets for 397 yards. Goodwin surely hasn’t given up on his season, looking to prove he can be a top wide receiver for a San Francisco team that is going to be spending a lot on free agents this off-season.
Davante Parker & Jarvis Landry vs BUF : Sit
Buffalo has allowed 4th least fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season; due in large part to only allowing 7 touchdowns. In shallow PPR leagues, you can play these two; as they’re still going to get their receptions. However, in deeper leagues, their upside is severely limited if they can’t find the end zone.
T.Y. Hilton vs HOU: Start
Hilton is facing the Texans, who have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. In his last two games, Hilton has seen 19 targets; which is equal to the total targets he saw from Weeks 10-14 combined. He’s turned those targets in 11 receptions for 141 yards. His recent performance, and match-up make him a WR 2 option this week.
Amari Cooper vs LAC: Sit
As a self-proclaimed Amari Cooper truther myself, I can confidently say: this is a trap. Amari got his big play touchdown in Week 16, but saw just 4 total targets. The Chargers have a lot more to play for in Week 17 and I expect them to shutdown the frustrated Oakland offense.
Golden Tate vs GB: Start
Tate has been a flex headache in deeper leagues this season. He’s facing off against the Packers this week, who have allowed 6th most points to opposing wideouts this season. When Tate played the Packers in Week 9, he caught 7 of his 9 targets for 113 yards. He’s worth a start in deeper leagues.
Josh Gordon vs PIT: Start
Gordon was a letdown in Week 16, catching just 2 of his 8 targets in a mess of a game for Kizer in snowy Chicago. Despite his poor performance, Gordon was targeted 8 times; to make 36 total targets in his 4 games since returning from suspension. If New England is up handily at halftime, the Steelers could back-off their starters, giving Gordon great second half upside in this game.
Vernon Davis vs NYG: Start
Davis is a boom/bust play, but in Week 17 he very well could be a boom. He’s coming off a 2 reception, 42 yard, and 1 touchdown game. He faces the Giants, who have allowed 945 yards and 13 touchdowns to opposing tight ends in 2017.
Eric Ebron vs GB: Start
I was hype on Ebron last week, and he proved me right. Go back to him in Week 17, as he faces a Packers defense that’s allowed 19 receptions, 235 yards, and 2 touchdowns to opposing tight ends since Week 13. Since Week 13, Ebron has caught 24 of his 30 targets for 248 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
Antonio Gates vs OAK: Start
I expected Gates to have a big Week 16, and I was right; he caught 6 of his 8 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown. I see no reason why Gates won’t play just as big of a role in a Week 17 must-win; which very well could be the last game of his career if he doesn’t come through.
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