Week 17 is never a fun one for fantasy football. Teams will likely rest some of their players or change up their rotations. Kansas City has had early reports of doing so now that they have locked in the one-seed and have nothing to play for. There are still plenty of games that are must-wins for teams, especially in the AFC Wild Card race. The Colts need a win and a loss by the following, Tennessee Miami, Baltimore, and Cleveland. That means these teams are also in must-win games. The NFC East will come down to Washington and Dallas, while the Bears, Cardinals, and Rams are all in a battle for wild card spots. The game between the Cardinals and Rams could be with both teams starting backup quarterbacks due to injuries.
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Week 17 Quarterback Rankings
|Jazz Chisholm Jr.
Keeping more of an eye on teams with something to play for and also healthy quarterbacks, the rankings might change as the week goes on. Kyler Murray and Jared Goff now seem in doubt for Week 17, which downgrades the offenses on both sides. Patrick Mahomes might rest as the Chiefs have nothing to play for. Some guys who could creep into the top-ten because of that are Kirk Cousins against the Lions, who have allowed 26.9 points to quarterbacks this season. Ben Roethlisberger faces a Browns defense that has allowed the 7th most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks on the year. As far as solid locks this week, Lamar Jackson gets the Bengals, and the Ravens need a win to secure a playoff spot. He is one of the top arms on the slate.
Tom Brady and Matt Ryan square off again. Both put up above-average scores a few weeks ago. Atlanta allows the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, and the Bucs are allowing the most over the past five weeks. Aaron Rodgers can lock up the one seed with a win and get the Bears, who have allowed the 6th most fantasy points to quarterbacks over the past five weeks, including a game against Rodgers already.
Week 17 Running Backs Rankings
|New York Mets
|Tampa Bay Rays
You couldn’t ask for two better matchups for Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry this week. Houston has allowed the most fantasy points to running backs, and Detroit has allowed the second most. Cook and Henry check-in as top options this week, to nobody’s surprise. Melvin Gordon without Phillip Lindsay is in for a truly featured workload and gets the Raiders, who have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points per game to run backs this season. Gordon should see 18+ touches this week and is in a strong spot. Jonathan Taylor continued his hot second half of the season and now faces the Jaguars, who are bottom-five against the run and have allowed the 4th most fantasy points per game to running backs this season. We will monitor the Saints workload for starters, but Alvin Kamara can tack on a few more touchdowns after six last week. He faces the Panthers, who have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to running backs.
Some middle-tier backs get a bump this week. David Johnson has been on a real roll of late, and he gets the Titans who struggle almost as badly as they do on the defensive side. Tennessee has allowed the 6th most fantasy points per game to running backs this season. D’Andre Swift is in a good spot this week. Minnesota has struggled against the run allowing 26.4 PPR points per game to backs this season.
Week 17 Wide Receivers Rankings
|ESPN Own %
|New York Mets
|Boston Red Sox
Houston and Tennessee stand out this week as Tennessee needs a win, and it doesn’t matter for Houston, given they don’t have their first pick to try and improve anyway. Both of these defenses are also god awful against the pass. Tennessee has allowed the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, and Houston has allowed the 7th most. AJ Brown and Corey Davis will be in a dome and not snowy Lambeau FIeld this week against a bottom-five secondary. On the Houston side, they will be trailing as usual. Tennessee is an easy secondary to target, and while they are not top-ten options this week, Brandin Cooks and Keke Coutee both get a bump. Both Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are in a great spot this week with the Lions allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Jefferson can surpass Anquan Boldin for the all-time rookie record for receiving yards.
The Buccaneers and Falcons game last time out gave the Bucs a lot of volume in the second half in comeback mode. I wouldn’t bank on that again, and Atlanta has been mucking up games, making them a lot lower scoring than anticipated. This is still a good spot for most sides, but the Bucs group of wideouts is still hit or miss after Mike Evans. On the flip side of this game, Calvin Ridley had another 100+ yard game and continues to dominate with Julio Jones. The Buccaneers have allowed 55.1 PPR points per game to wide receivers in the last five weeks.
Week 17 Tight Ends Rankings
|ESPN Own %
|San Francisco Giants
|Boston Red Sox
|San Deigo Padres
We will continue to monitor the Chiefs players and how they handle resting for this week. Travis Kelce would be in a great spot as usual, with the Chargers allowing ten touchdowns to tight ends this season. We can continue to rely on Mark Andrews against the Bengals, who have allowed 15.2 PPR points per game to tight ends. Andrews has been pretty solid down the stretch and should finish the season strong. Both the Falcons and Buccaneers are in the bottom ten in fantasy points allowed to tight ends this season. Rob Gronkowski and Hayden Hurst are both coming off touchdown-scoring weeks and are boom or bust options. While the quarterback situation is still poor in Washington, they face the Eagles, wh have allowed 13.7 PPR points per game to tight ends this season. Logan Thomas is a solid start again.
Week 17 Kicker Rankings
|We knew this was going to be the pick for years. Trevor Lawrence is an accurate and polished quarterback already. He is coming off a strong college career and is expected to be a franchise quarterback for the next 15 years.
|New York Jets
|There will be a few who like Justin Fields or Trey Lance more than Wilson, but Wilson has a lot to offer. He can make the unorthodox throws and has great footwork. The accuracy and strength is also there. Landing in NY is a better spot now that Adam Gase is gone.
|San Francisco 49ers (from MIA via HOU)
|North Dakota State
|The 49ers might have had a huge smoke screen as they pass on Mac Jones and take Trey Lance. The former NDSU QB has mobility and a power arm. With SF's weapons and coaching, this is a great fit. Given the trade package they gave up, Lance is going to be worth it just based on the ceiling.
|Atlanta was in love with Kyle Pitts all offseason and they landed their man. They also passed on trading up. He is an elite tight end prospect who can be the next Travis Kelce. He falls to a good team that can move the ball, especially with Arthur Smith coming in. He could skip the usual year one tight end production limitations.
|Chase will link back up with his college quarterback. The Bengals get a true WR1 for Burrow. Chase has elite hands and is also a guy who can make plays at all levels of the field.
|Miami Dolphins (from PHI)
|Miami passes on Penei Sewell here, where they will be hoping they can address the line a bit later on. Instead they link up with Jaylen Waddle, who played with Tua at Alabama. So once again we have a former college duo now in the NFL. Waddle is high end wideout who will help Miami in various ways.
|Detroit might not have been expecting Penei Sewell, but after Miami and Cincinnati passed, they snagged one of the best offensive lineman prospects of all-time. Detroit had plenty of needs, but establishing a core for the future was important and Sewell was a great pick.
|This was where we saw a real shock, as Carolina took Jaycee Horn, who wasn't expected to go until mid to late first round. Carolina apparently liked the aggressive and pressing style that he brings. Hard to call out Carolina when they have been money with their defensive picks of late.
|Patrick Surtain II
|While I think Patrick Surtain is a top corner in the draft, it wasn't a clear need for Denver. Justin Fields and Micah Parsons were still on the board, and sticking with Lock/Bridgewater over Fields could be a very big blunder. Denver is a team that has a good core, it's just Fields would have taken it to the next level while Surtain doesn't move the needle.
|Philadelphia Eagles (from DAL)
|The Eagles traded up with a division rival to get Devonta Smith, who is the third receiver off the board. Smith gives the Eagles a much-needed playmaker, given their receiver core is very bland.
|Chicago Bears (from NYG)
|Chicago did not make the same mistake as the last few drafts, as they made a terrific decision to trade up and get Justin Fields. After constantly missing on their franchise quarterback, this could finally be the one. The offense will get an upgrade from Day 1.
|Dallas Cowboys (from PHI via SF)
|Dallas saw two cornerbacks go ahead of them, which was likely going to be their pick. Instead they traded back and took the best defensive prospect on the board. Parsons will give them a much needed playmaker on the defensive side.
|Los Angeles Chargers
|This was a chalky pick for a lot of mock drafts, and as expected Rashawn Slater fell to the Chargers. He is a top tackle prospect who will start day one and after all the offseason moves to address the offensive line, Justin Herbert will be well protected.
|New York Jets (from MIN)
|The Jets made a terrific move to trade up and grab the versatile lineman out of USC. Alijah Vera-Tucker can play various positions on the line but he will be best used as a guard. He will fit perfectly if Salah carries over a similar scheme for the run game.
|New England Patriots
|Mac Jones might be viewed as the guy in New England, but for me he was a late first or second round quarterback at best. However, there was no guarantee he'd be there by the time the Patriots next pick. The upside is capped for him, but New England could make it work.
|This was a bit of a shocker but Zaven Collins is a very good linebacker who will help the Cardinals offense. Arizona lost Reddick this offseason and Collins comes in to fill that hole. Sure it is a little high, but I like it for Arizona.
|Las Vegas Raiders
|Las Vegas definitely needed help at offensive line, but they went ahead and drafted Alex Leatherwood ahead of Christian Darrisaw. This is what keeps it from moving into the B range. Like Leatherwood, but there was a better option on the table.
|When you have plenty of draft capital, you can take chances on someone who has immense upside. That is what Miami did with Jaelan Phillips. He has a lot of potential, but an injury history that could keep him from reaching it.
|Washington Football Team
|Washington adds another quality and NFL ready player to their defense, which is already excellent. Davis is one of the top linebackers in the draft, and Washington made that pick to get their guy.
|New York Giants (from CHI)
|At first I was a bit harsh on this pick because it wasn't the player the Giants needed and also the team Toney did not need. But after some thought, the Giants took a special player when it comes to athleticism and I like taking that chance to turn him into something special. Its just I have little faith in New York doing so.
|There were two glaring needs for the Colts and one was an EDGE player and th eother was a tackle. They passed on Darrisaw to take Kwity Paye, who has a very high ceiling but needs some development. Indy will look to try and get their pass rusher for the future here.
|Caleb Farley was widely viewed as CB1 or CB2 in this draft based on talent but his injury history is a big concern. At 22 though, Titans took the risk and I am all for it given their secondary needs a shutdown corner badly.
|Minnesota Vikings (from New York Jets)
|Minnesota was able to trade back and still get the guy they were going to draft at 14. Tremendous mvoe for them to acquire a major need and then more draft capital which they could use to trade up.
|I would have gone offensive line here first and dealt with running back later. They needed a true back, and Harris certainly is that, but we gotta hope Pittsburgh is able to land offensive line players later on.
|Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR)
|This pick makes zero sense for me, especially after Urban Meyer said he plans on using Travis Etienne as a third-down back. Using the 25th overall pick on a third-down back is just a boneheaded move.
|Greg Newsome II
|This wasn't the spot I expected Greg Newsome to land, but Cleveland gets a great corner to add to a loaded secondary. Good luck passing against this group next season.
|Rashod Bateman is exactly what the Ravens needed. Bateman is an above average route runner and also is a strong possession receiver who can move after the catch. The offense just got scarier.
|New Orleans Saints
|The Saints had a few needs and addressed one with Payton Turner, who will enjoy playing on the opposite side of Cameron Jordan. Turner is one of the solid EDGE players in this draft.
|Green Bay Packers
|I am lower on Eric Stokes than most. Another corner was a need so this wasn't the issue, but I just like Tyson Campbell and Asante Samuel Jr more.
|Here is hoping the Bills can get the most out of an EDGE player that was considered at one point to be a top-15 pick. Buffalo desperately needs a playmaking player and Rousseau could bring that.
|Baltimore Ravens (from KC)
|Baltimore passed on multiple tackles here which scares me a little but they took the athletic freak out of Penn State in hopes they can do what they usually do, which is turn them into an elite outside player. Oweh has all the athleticism to get to that mark, and Baltimore is the team to get him there.
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Joe Tyron feels like a big reach here, but hard to argue with the Bucs who have drafted well defensively. Tampa is essentially adding depth here so not much to argue about.
Kickers against the Broncos continue to be an easy bet, as they have allowed 10.1 fantasy points per game this season. Daniel Carlson has been money all season and should end the season on a high note. This game has an over/under of 50, and Carlson is a strong option this week. Rodrigo Blankenship is a guy I like as well this week. He faces the Jaguars, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to kickers this season. With their defense in shambles, we should see plenty of chances for the Colts offense to move the ball. Justin Tucker is in a great spot with the Ravens implied total near 30 and the Bengals allowing 8.9 fantasy points per game to kickers this season. Harrison Butker, Ryan Succop, and Younghoe Koo are a few others.
Week 17 Defense Rankings
Kicking it off with Baltimore, hard not to like them this week as 11.5 point favorites against the Bengals. Baltimore needs to win to make sure they are in the playoffs, and this is certainly not a bad matchup to end the year on. Cincinnati has allowed the 7th most fantasy points per game to defenses this season. While Cincinnati’s offense moved the ball against Houston, every offense has. They have one of the lowest implied totals on the slate. The Rams would get a major bump on Kyler Murray’s defensive side, and you can give the Cardinals a bump as well if Jared Goff is truly out. Both of these defenses playing backup quarterbacks would get a projection boost. As mentioned above, the Colts need a win this week and are two-touchdown favorites against the Jaguars in a must-win game. Jacksonville’s offense continues to struggle, and we also continue to see Mike Glennon under center. Without James Robinson, they don’t have much to offer.
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