Week 17 Fantasy Football Preview

Whether playing DFS or your championship ends this week, some Fantasy players still care about Week 17.

Here’s a preview of each matchup.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

Over/Under: 41.5

Favorite: Cincinnati

There wasn’t much action the first time these teams met in Week 12. Joe Flacco only recorded 234 passing yards, threw one touchdown pass, and he also threw an interception. In terms of targets, tight end Dennis Pitta (5) was Flacco’s favorite player.

He finished the game with a 3-34-0 stat line.

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Breshad Perriman was the only player to catch a touchdown pass for Baltimore the last time these teams met.

The running game was also limited for Baltimore in Week 12.

Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West combined for 97 rushing yards off of a total of 16 carries.

For the Bengals, Andy Dalton completed 26 of 48 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown pass. His lone touchdown went to tight end Tyler Eifert, but Dalton won’t be able to target him n Week 17.

Eifert was placed on IR on Dec. 26 with a back injury.

The Bengals may also decide to rest A.J. Green.

That means  Brandon LaFell, Cody Core, and Tyler Boyd will need to step up. Jeremy Hill only rushed for 21 yards the last time he faced the Ravens, and he’s only rushed for more than 45 yards once since Week 12.

With key starters injured, pass-catching back Rex Burkhead could have more of a role in Week 17.

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The Over/Under of this game suggests there won’t be many reliable Fantasy options on either side.

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans

Over/Under: 40

Favorite: Tennessee

This is the most boring game on the slate, but there are a few reasons Fantasy players will still watch it. He isn’t going to be the quarterback of the future for Houston, but Tom Savage is at least playing a solid role as a game manager.

Since Brock Osweiler has been benched, Savage has not thrown an interception. But, he also hasn’t thrown a touchdown. That means things haven’t improved much for DeAndre Hopkins, who hasn’t caught a touchdown since Week 13.

With the Texans in the playoff hunt, Lamar Miller could be rested. That means Alfred Blue should handle the majority of the workload for the rushing attack.

For the Titans, Matt Cassel should get the start in Week 17 after Marcus Mariota suffered a broken fibula in Week 16.

That will limit the effectiveness of Rishard Matthews and tight end Delanie Walker.

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Keep an eye on DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry this week. Murray has been solid, but he’s losing red-zone rushing attempts to Henry. For next season, I have a feeling Murray will be overdrafted, and Henry will end up being the back who should have been owned.

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Over/Under: 46.5

Favorite: Tampa Bay

Cam Newton was a first-round pick in some 2016 Fantasy Football drafts, but he’s only the 16th-highest scoring quarterback right now. And because he’s facing a defense that has allowed the 15th-most Fantasy points to quarterbacks, I wouldn’t expect a big performance.

Jonathan Stewart should have an easy matchup. The defense for Tampa Bay has allowed the 10th-most Fantasy points to running backs this season.

But he hasn’t rushed for more than 66 yards in three out of his last four games.

As Jameis Winston has attempted more passes in the last two games, he also has five interceptions.

Tight end Cameron Brate was placed on IR with a back injury, so Mike Evans should see the bulk of Winston’s passing attempts.

The rushing attack for Tampa Bay is disorganized right now. Doug Martin was a healthy scratch in Week 16, and he’s not going to play in Week 17. He’ll be 28 in January, and he’s mostly likely on his way out of Tampa Bay.

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As the starter in Week 16, Jacquizz Rodgers turned 15 carries into 63 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

Over/Under: 47

Favorite: Indianapolis Colts

I regretted not starting Blake Bortles after his Week 16 performance, but everything worked out when I started Colin Kaepernick. He had a decent performance in Week 4 against the Colts, with 207 passing yards and two touchdown passes.

Marqise Lee has shown off his athleticism over the last two weeks, scoring a touchdown from a kickoff return in Week 15 and throwing a touchdown pass in Week 16.

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Allen Robinson became Fantasy relevant again with nine receptions and 147 receiving yards in Week 16. But he has a tougher match in Week 17, as the defense for the Colts has allowed the 21st-most Fantasy points to wide receivers.

If you have Andrew Luck or T.Y. Hilton, they are both in your lineup.

Donte Moncrief is undergoing an MRI, so don’t expect him to play in Week 17.

Last time against Jacksonville, running back Frank Gore rushed for 68 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. He also caught five passes for 27 yards.

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Over/Under: 44.5

Favorite: New England

New England won’t rest their starters, so expect more of the usual from Tom Brady and company.

Julian Edelman has averaged 6.8 receptions and 84.2 receiving yards per game since Week 12, but he hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since Week 11. Running back LeGarrette Blount should still be in your lineup.

There’s only been three games this year in which he hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown.

The Dolphins could just rest Jay Ajayi, and starting backup quarterback Matt Moore has limited appeal.

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

Over/Under: 41

Favorite: Minnesota

Sam Bradford has only averaged 259.1 passing yards for the 2016 season, but he’s averaged 321.66 passing yards from Weeks 14-16. Some Fantasy players will automatically assume this will be an easy matchup, but the Bears have only allowed the 21st-most Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

Adam Thielen will be a popular play in DFS leagues this week after his monster Week 16 performance. The 26-year old wide receiver posted a 12-202-2 stat line.

You don’t want to chase results, but Thielen and Bradford seemed to have formed a strong rapport over the last few weeks. Thielen caught seven passes for 86 yards in Week 13, and he also caught four passes for 101 receiving yards in Week 14.

For Chicago, the players to watch are running back Jordan Howard and wide receiver Cameron Meredith.

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From Weeks 8-16, Howard has been the sixth-highest scoring running back. But the Vikings have allowed the fifth-fewest Fantasy points to running backs this season, so this will be one of Howard’s toughest matchups.

He could be a second-round pick in 2017 Fantasy Football drafts.

Meredith has averaged eight receptions and 103.66 receiving yards from Weeks 14-16. But like Howard, he also has a tough matchup. The defense for the Vikings has allowed the third-fewest Fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets

Over/Under: 42

Favorite: Buffalo

The Bills are sitting Tyrod Taylor, so this game is all about LeSean McCoy.

With E.J. Manuel as the starter, this could also be bullish for Sammy Watkins. Manuel isn’t mobile, so he will have to target his receivers to move the ball.

Ryan Fitzpatrick will start in Week 17 for the Jets.

That is all.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

Over/Under: 43

Favorite: Dallas

If Dallas gets an early lead, its hard to imagine the starters staying on the field. Dak Prescott should play most of the game, but Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant could get a few extra breathers if the game can be won easily.

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Darren McFadden gave Zeke a rest in Week 16, and McFadden turned 14 carries into 49 rushing yards.

Hopefully you have another quarterback to start other than Carson Wentz for Week 17. He’s been very sporadic over this season, and he hasn’t thrown more than one touchdown pass in a game since Week 11.

Dallas has allowed the third-fewest Fantasy points per game to running backs this season, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for running back production as well.

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

Over/Under: 43.5

Favorite: Pittsburgh

Fresh off their one-game win streak, the Cleveland Browns are hoping to build on that streak in Week 17 against the Steelers.

Isaiah Crowell came through big for Fantasy owners in Week 16, scoring two rushing touchdowns. But in Week 11 against the Steelers, he only rushed for 10 yards.

The quarterback situation is too unstable to trust Terrelle Pryor right now.

The Steelers potentially resting Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown in Week 17 provides DFS players with some interesting new options to target in Week 17. For the rushing attack, DeAngelo Williams or Fitzgerald Toussaint would get the start.

For the passing attack, Eli Rodgers and tight end Jesse James would most likely benefit the most with Brown out of the lineup.

However, I would target the starting running back for the Steelers in Week 17 more than the receivers. This season, Cleveland has allowed the second-most Fantasy points per game to running backs.

But Cleveland has only allowed the 19th-most Fantasy points per game to wide receivers. And with Landry Jones potentially starting in Week 17, I wouldn’t be too excited for his receivers.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Over/Under: 56

Favorite: Atlanta

Love the Over/Under.

There’s not much to say on this matchup because you’re starting the studs of both teams.

New York Giants at Washington Redskins

Over/Under: 44

Favorite: Washington

When this team faced off in Week 3, Eli Manning completed 25 of his 38 passes and recorded 350 passing yards. But he only threw one touchdown and paired that with two interceptions.

And with a playoff spot locked, Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. could see limited action in Week 17.

The timeshare at the running back position with Rashad Jennings and Paul Perkins could continue, so neither is a recommended option.

If you’re still nervous about starting him, DeSean Jackson needs to be in your lineup at this point. He’s had a 100-yard performance in four of his last five starts.

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Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

Over/Under: 41

Favorite: Arizona

The receiving core is tricky to figure out now. J.J. Nelson has scored a touchdown every week since Week 13, but he has two games in that time frame where he’s only caught one pass.

Larry Fitzgerald has averaged six receptions per game since Week 13, but he hasn’t caught a touchdown since Week 5.

That’s partially because the passing attack is now just a compliment to the skill set of running back David Johnson.

There’s nothing to like about the Rams in this matchup. Todd Gurley will face a defense allowing the fewest Fantasy points to running backs in 2016.

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos

Over/Under: 40.5

Favorite: Denver

This game might have had a higher Over/Under if Derek Carr could start, but he’s out with a broken leg. Matt McGloin will get the start, and he will have to face a Denver defense that has allowed the fewest Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

Without Carr and against a tough defense, it will be hard to trust Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper this week.

The Broncos aren’t going to make the playoffs, so Paxton Lynch may get the start to gain more experience.

Oakland allows the fifth-most Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, so we will see if the rookie can take advantage of that fact.

Devontae Booker and Justin Forsett will split carries. Neither back should be started.

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers

Over/Under: 44.5

Favorite: Kansas City

Tight end Travis Kelce has five 100-yard performances in his last six games. If you start anyone outside of Kelce on the Chiefs, Jeremy Maclin should bounce back from a rough performance against the Broncos.

Spencer Ware could get the start on Sunday. But the Chiefs may limit him to keep him fresh for the playoffs.

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If you want to roll the dice, wide receiver Tyreek Hill has scored a touchdown in three straight games. I wouldn’t want to rely on him heavily next season as of right now, but he’s going to be one of my top targets in MFL10s.

For the Chargers, Backup Kenneth Farrow was placed on injury reserve with a shoulder injury. Melvin Gordon may be activated, but Ronnie Hillman should record the bulk of the carries.

Surprisingly, the Chiefs are allowing the eight-most Fantasy points per game to wide receivers. That’s good news for Tyrell Williams, who has five touchdown receptions in his last seven performances.

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

Over/Under: 43

Favorite: Seattle Seahawks

The biggest value to watch here for DFS players is at the running back position. Thomas Rawls could sit in Week 17, which means rookie Alex Collins is the next man up.

Collins is still unproven because he hasn’t recorded more than seven carries in a game this season, but the 49ers have allowed the most Fantasy points per game to running backs. Seattle still has plenty to play for in this game, so don’t expect them to take it easy.

For the San Francisco 49ers, there’s no one worth starting. I’ve personally started Colin Kaepernick over the last several weeks, but he’s not finishing with the amount of rushing yards that would make me even consider starting him in Week 17.

He hasn’t rushed for more than 23 yards since Week 12.

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

Over/Under: 49.5

Favorite: Green Bay Packers

You’re starting Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson. You can also throw Davante Adams in the mix.

But Ty Montgomery isn’t a clear-cut-choice. If you started him in Week 15, he had a monster performance with 162 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. But if you started him in Week 16, he let you down.

He only rushed for 23 yards and caught four passes for 17 yards.

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If Theo Riddick sits for Lions, Zach Zenner could be in for another decent Fantasy performance. He turned 12 carries into 67 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in Week 16.

But the Packers have allowed the ninth-fewest Fantasy points to running backs this season, so keep that in mind.

If you have any questions about Week 17 or are already looking at the 2017 Fantasy Football season and have questions, hit me up on Twitter. If you need a more detailed response, feel free to send me an email.

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