Updated Fantasy Football Week 17 Rankings, Sleepers, DraftKings Picks
This is for you insane people. This is for the crazies. This is for the numbskulls still playing in Week 17… well, it's a tad for the Daily Fantasy players too… but you of those playing in Week 17, letting potential early exits or rested players swing the balance of your matchup (and add more risk/luck than we already have to the title game) are plain nuts.
Nevertheless, I am a neat guy and just a love machine…
well, okay, I'm just pretty awesome, not so much the other part. There are only a handful of teams to worry about, so I'll look more to plain "streaming" upside for the final week.
As a reminder, these waiver wire players and sleepers are good for DFS too. If you want $25 free from DraftKings sign up and play before the season is over (or even get ready for baseball)!
Week 17 Waiver Wire Pickups: QBs
Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ – I'm not sure how his ownership dropped before Week 16, but if his 25.1 points (Yahoo!) weren't enough to convince you of his worth, a nice matchup with the Bills finishes off the season. Kellen Moore was the first quarterback not to score at least 14.1 points against the Bills, and Fitz had 20.7 in the first meeting.
Johnny Manziel, CLE – Maybe Fitzpatrick is gone (this should be the case anyway) and you're running the risk of Kirk Cousins sitting or exiting early or the same for Russell Wilson. If so, there aren't many attractive options around 50 percent owned or less. Here's Johnny!
Assuming he plays, that is.
Seriously Johnny, just stop partying for 17 weeks out of the year. The Steelers pass defense is among the worst in the league, and as seen last week, Manziel has the wheels to put up points on the ground. Update: Well, Johnny is out... for a concussion. Sure, sure Browns. A concussion...
Week 17 Waiver Wire Pickups: RBs
James White, NE – He's still under 60 percent owned, and that's not just a ton of dead teams as seen with Karlos Williams' ownership (below). I gritted my teeth as I said it last week, but yes, you can actually trust a Patriots running back just as we did with Dion Lewis earlier this year.
Donald Brown, SD – Another tough matchup, but the Chargers clearly like Brown as the lead option, and he looks better than Melvin Gordon ever did.
Mike Gillislee, BUF – Karlos Williams is above 70 percent owned, and rightfully so, but don't forget about Gillislee, who is still under 10. Even in a tough matchup, Gillislee is going to see his chances with how run heavy the Bills like to be, and as with similar running backs, he can do a lot of damage on just a handful of touches.
Week 17 Waiver Wire Pickups: WRs
Kamar Aiken, BAL – He's likely gone, but that's why we're pausing for a minute in celebration of Aiken finally topping 60-percent ownership. I don't know what to say, I'm just so... ahhh...!
Willie Snead, NO – Sometimes, I really don't like you guys. Snead, unlike Aiken, still hasn't topped 60 percent. Why? No, really… someone tell me why! Snead has at least 75 yards in each of the last three games, and Drew Brees is on fire to finish out the season.
Rueben Randle, NYG – Yes, Odell Beckham returns, but thankfully, the Giants face the Eagles. Randle has a touchdown in three straight games and four of the last five with an average of 11.5 points. If you have receiver concerns with the potential early exits, Randle has upside again this week.
Keshawn Martin, NE – The Patriots could bench everyone early with a lead and not force back Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola at all, or they could play everyone the full game. Who knows? It's the Patriots. If Edelman and Amendola sit again, Martin is a risk/reward play.
DeVante Parker, MIA – This hinges on Rishard Matthews being out, as his being on the field makes Parker much riskier. Even with Matthews out there, Parker still has deep-league upside though.
Week 17 Waiver Wire Pickups: TEs
Zach Ertz, PHI – Even without my saying anything, Ertz's ownership will top 60 percent this week. Posting 200 yards and a touchdown in the last two games will do that. The Giants are among the worst in the league against tight ends.
Zach Miller, CHI – The Lions are right up there with the Giants at stopping tight ends (well, at not stopping them). Miller will see plenty of targets even if Alshon Jeffery returns.
Week 17 Sleepers: QB
Matthew Stafford, DET – The Bears are allowing 22.4 FPPG to quarterbacks, but that's not even the full picture. They were fairly good through the first half but have allowed 27.3, 26.3, 35.3 and 23.8 the last four games. To who? Blaine Gabbert, Kirk Cousins, Teddy Bridgewater and Jameis Winston. Yea. Plus, Stafford had 40.0 with 405 yards and four TDs the first time.
Week 17 Sleepers: RB
James White, NE – Remember that Danny Woodhead "What the heck is happening; he's on my bench?!" game two weeks ago?
That was against the Dolphins. Those Phins give up the second most FPPG to running backs with a league high eight receiving TDs allowed.
Someone for the Skins – If Matt Jones starts, he would be the choice, but if he's out again, Pierre Thomas becomes an interesting home run play. The Redskins clearly like him more than Chris Thompson at this point, and the Cowboys can't stop the run. After all, Karlos Williams and Mike Gillislee just totaled 169 rushing yards, 37 receiving and two touchdowns.
Week 17 Sleepers: WR
Travis Benjamin, CLE – He's been as quiet as they get over the last four games, but Benjamin still has the big-play ability and improvisation for when things go wrong. He also has seven catches for 113 yards against the Steelers the first time. And yes, that was with Manziel at quarterback. (See: update with Manziel. Not as big of a Benjamin fan now.)
Marvin Jones, CIN – He had seven targets, three catches and 33 yards against a far superior defense in Week 16 (Broncos). You can expect a better per target result against the third-most forgiving defense against receivers. Jones is another player with a great first-time matchup this season, as he had a 5/94/1 line for 15.4 points.
Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN – Yes, he had a goose egg, but he did have one called back and narrowly missed a touchdown. The Texans are actually quite good against the pass, the Colts, notsomuch. This is as risky as it gets, but if you need another home run play, DGB is it.
Week 17 Sleepers: TE
Ertz and Miller – See the waiver section. That's about it. Maybe you can risk Jacob Tamme against the Saints, but he's done nothing since Week 12 and barely did much against the Saints the first time.
Week 17 Blind Spot Players
In case you're new to this, the Fantasy Blind Spot refers to players that 1) have been performing well but haven't had a breakout game or big enough numbers to get Fantasy players talking, and/or 2) are in a price range of other more popular option, and/or 3) have frustrated with disappointing performances but have a great matchup to finally break through. These are the players you want to target in tournaments, such as Millionaire Makers. You want a contrarian lineup, and there are few better ways to build one than by grabbing some Fantasy Blind Spot players.
DraftKings Week 17 Lineup Sleepers: QB
Eli Manning $5,600 – So far, we have 10 quarterbacks who have thrown for three or more touchdowns in at least five games (Tom Brady and Carson Palmer only ones to do it six times). Of those, only four have thrown for four-plus touchdowns in three games. Blake Bortles, Cam Newton and Manning are the only three with games of five-plus TDs from that group – one each for Bortles, three for Newton. The Eagles have allowed five games with three-plus touchdown passes since Week 9 and is one of five teams with three or more games of four TDs allowed. Can you smell the upside?
DraftKings Week 17 Lineup Sleepers: RB
Rashad Jennings $3,700 – This isn't a Giants-fanboy piece, don't worry. The Giants are simply using Jennings, as they should have all year… as their best running back. Jennings has 12.2, 19.7 and 15.6 points over the last three games. Jennings is more of a cash game than GPP play, but at this price, you can load up with three studs at receiver, as he returns three times his cost.
Darren McFadden $4,900 – There will be plenty of action on Tim Hightower, and I find McFadden's price a tad disrespectful. He has double-digit points in all but one game since Week 5 with two 20-plus point games mixed in there. The Redskins have held one team's lead running back under 12 points since Week 5, and that was Jennings funny enough, when the Giants were still trying to use 17 running backs in Week 12.
DraftKings Week 17 Lineup Sleepers: WR
Eric Decker $6,500 – Know how many games Decker has with a touchdown? Just look at his season total… yep, 11. He has three games without a score, but with the yardage included, Decker has never failed to hit double-digit points this year. Both Brandon Marshall and Decker have great matchups with the Bills secondary, Decker had 6/85/1 last time and is $1,400 less than his teammate.
Nate Washington $3,600 – In Washington's three games without Cecil Shorts playing, he had 16 catches, 243 yards and four TDs with at least one in each game. Brian Hoyer is back too, which gives Washington a high ceiling at a dirt-cheap price.
DraftKings Week 17 Lineup Sleepers: TE
Zach Ertz $3,600 – It's likely that the majority is on one of the two Zach's this week, and that's just fine given their prices and upside. Of the two, give me Ertz, as he's cheaper and as much as Miller should see a ton of targets with no Alshon Jeffery, it might not be too hard to stop that entire offense with a tight end as the lead option. The Giants allow the second most FPPG to tight ends with Greg Olsen and wait for it...
Kyle Rudolph both finding the end zone in the last two games. Yep, Kyle Rudolph for the first time since Week 11.
FanDuel Week 17 Lineup Sleepers: QB
Brian Hoyer $6,900 – Remember when people were winning tournaments with Hoyer? He had three straight games of 20-plus points against the Colts, Jaguars and Dolphins earlier this year. What do you know; he had the Jaguars at home this week. If you want to pivot off Manning and stay low, go Hoyer.
FanDuel Week 17 Lineup Sleepers: RB
Latavius Murray $6,100 – Murray wasn't your typical stud college running back and some say he's still learning how to be a true NFL level running back. You can see it when watching the games, as there are some nuances he still needs to learn. That said, he is still very talented and able to put up a big score any given week (see: last week). The Chiefs did just let Isaiah Crowell run for 88 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries too.
DeMarco Murray $5,900 – This is a pure boom/bust play, but hear me out.
Chip Kelly's firing may seem weird before the end of the season unless you think about it this way: Should Murray be playing somewhere else next year, can Jordan Matthews handle the outside, is Sam Bradford worth resigning, etc.? The Giants are terrible on defense, and if Murray gets 20 touches, he will torch them.
FanDuel Week 17 Lineup Sleepers: WR
Doug Baldwin, SEA $7,400 – C'mon Jake! The guy has 11 TDs in five games. Yes reader, but many will fade Baldwin due to the increasing price, worry that "he can't keep it up" and the matchup. However, it's that last point that's best. The matchup would have been worrisome when Tyrann Mathieu was playing. Now, Baldwin will see a lot of Jerraud Powers, who is much worse in coverage, as Baldwin works out the slot quite often – more so than Tyler Lockett, as most would expect. I'm paying up for Baldwin if I can find a way.
FanDuel Week 17 Lineup Sleepers: TE
Ben Watson $5,300 – Big risk after last week and with Drew Brees on the road, but if you want to avoid the masses buying Ertz and Miller, Watson still has the upside to put up 20-plus points any week, especially if the Falcons focus all of the attention on Brandin Cooks and/or Willie Snead.
Week 17 Rankings | Week 17 Flex Rankings
Photo Credit: Mike Morbeck
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