Add Jaguars’ T.J. Yeldon and Dolphins’ Jakeem Grant for Week 17
It’s an odd week that often provides opportunities for players you wouldn’t think twice about under normal circumstances. Its Week 17, Fantasy Football’s version of The Twilight Zone..
T.J. Yeldon, RB Jacksonville Jaguars
Yeldon has a combined 11 receptions and 12 rushing attempts in his last two games, but with Leonard Fournette banged up and the Jags’ playoff destiny already determined, this is a week we should see a heavier dose of Yeldon. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Yeldon’s Week 17 slash line look something like 15-20 carries, five to eight receptions and 90-120 total yards from scrimmage. Throw in a touchdown or two and you have yourself a huge championship contribution from a player that is probably available on your waiver wire.
Mike Gillislee, RB New England Patriots
All the trends suggest that owners should stay miles away from Gillislee. He didn’t have a carry in Weeks 9-15 and he hadn’t found the end zone since Week 2 prior to his Week 16 score. All that being said, the swashbuckling Fantasy owner can find some light to like if you really, really squint and you are really, really desperate. Rex Burkhead is out, James White missed Week 16 and with only a potential home game in the AFC Championship on the line, it would make sense for the Patriots to be cautious with Dion Lewis, and to some degree, Tom Brady as well. Gillislee’s best talent is at the goal line and it wouldn’t surprise me to see game flow provide an opportunity for a couple of touchdowns.
Giovani Bernard, RB Cincinnati Bengals
Bernard has 96 yards or more from scrimmage in three of his last four games, including back to back touchdown games. In a meaningless game for the Bengals and with Joe Mixon injuring himself in Week 16, Bernard could be the workhorse back against a Ravens defense that is relatively matchup-neutral against running backs. His pass-catching ability creates a high floor while the expectation of at least 15 rushing attempts provides an intriguing ceiling.
Jakeem Grant, WR Miami Dolphins
Grant is the poster boy for a Week 17 Fantasy Championship flier. He is fourth on the Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver depth chart and he has more games with zero receptions than with at least one. But, he has scored a touchdown in two of his last three games, including a season high 107 yards receiving with a touchdown in Week 16. He even has a rushing attempt in back-to-back games. If you’re a Daily Fantasy tournament player Grant certainly is a contrarian, bargain-basement punt play, to say the least.
Bilal Powell, RB New York Jets
In Week 17, Powell faces a New England Patriots defense that has allowed 119 rushing yards per game and ranks second-worst in passing yards allowed to running backs. Powell is part of a crowded committee of running backs in New York, but he has scored a touchdown in three of his last four games, and had a 145-yard rushing day in Week 16.
Eric Ebron, TE Detroit Lions
Ebron is only owned in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues even though he ranks third in tight end scoring over the prior four weeks. Ebron has a touchdown in back-to-back weeks and double-digit Fantasy points in three straight. He has a juicy Week 17 matchup against a Green Bay Packers defense that ranks third-worst against the tight end over the last month. The Lions are playing for pride and that’s not the ideal situation to have your player in. However, Ebron has been too good recently to ignore the trends based on the fear that the Lions are going to mail it in in the season finale.
Duke Johnson Jr, RB Cleveland Browns
Duke is more of a wide receiver than a running back and that has made him an under the radar flex option that nobody talks about. He has scored double-digit Fantasy points in six of his last seven games and he has done it almost entirely with yards from scrimmage and receptions. The Browns are desperate to avoid a winless season and Johnson is their best player. He rarely crosses the goal line with the football, but a significant portion of the Browns’ possessions are put in Johnson’s hands.
Marquise Goodwin, WR San Francisco 49ers
The Jags are an extremely tough matchup and Goodwin suffered the consequences in Week 16. In Week 17, he faces a Los Angeles Rams team that is likely to rest key players in preparation for the playoffs. Goodwin has been Top 5 in targets and Top 10 in wide receiver scoring since Week 13 when Jimmy Garoppolo took over at quarterback.
Rod Smith, RB Dallas Cowboys
Smith has touchdowns in four of his last five games, with 11 receptions in the last three. With the return of Ezekiel Elliott, Smith wouldn’t typically receive the touches or the targets to be relevant, but Week 17 is a different animal when your team has been eliminated from the playoffs. The Cowboys could choose to ease up the workload on Elliott, which would open the door for Smith. Add an increased number of carries to his already relevant role as a pass- catcher and Smith has a chance to be a double-digit contributor in Week 17.
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