NFL Game Week 17 Fantasy Preview

Sorry guys, a little late this week as I have been away.  A massive thanks to Daniel for these fantastic articles all year! 

With this being the last article of the inaugural NFL season, I just wanted to say thanks. It’s been fun branching out into something different and I wouldn’t have had the chance if it weren’t for Wenin and the SC Talk crew allowing me to, and you guys reading it every week. I hope it’s been as fun an off-season for you as it has for me. But it’s not done just yet. Let’s get into it.

Here. Comes. The PAIN. In a year where injuries reigned supreme, this week is going to be the worst for players being out. With teams wrapping up playoff positions already, many of our biggest stars will be rested in order to be fresh for that Superbowl push. There’s still 3 days until games are played and already some huge names are being touted to miss. Alex Smith won’t be playing. Big Ben and Le’Veon Bell are being rested. As is Todd Gurley. DeAndre Hopkins might miss his first game ever due to an injury. It’s going to be a bloodbath.

And just to make things a little bit tougher, all games are on Monday at either the early slot (4am) or West Coast slot, (7:30am). Good luck.

Oh and the Cowboys got eliminated last week. Good times.

What we learnt

Here’s a few things we learnt this season. Injuries are a bitch and will mean the difference between NFL success and mediocrity. Just ask the Green Bay Packers. They suck without Aaron Rodgers. Same could be said for Dallas and Zeke. And the Browns….well they just suck. 0-16 this weekend? Todd Gurley needs to be in MVP discussions. Even if he doesn’t win, he just needs to be mentioned. The league is in some good hands going forward thanks to a crop of amazing rookies from this year. Hunt, Fournette, Kamara, Cook, Juju, Kupp, Watson etc. They’re all going to be stars. The replay-review system needs to be reviewed. We’re seeing too many lengthy breaks to determine something that blind-Freddy could make a call on. It almost makes me thankful for the NRL video refs. Almost.

Injuries/Suspensions

Each week, I’ll give a brief list of the Fantasy relevant players that appear in the injury reports. You won’t see every player here, just the ones I think may have some Fantasy implications.

PlayerPosTeamInjuryNFL/Fantasy Status
Adrian PetersonRBArizona CardinalsNeckPlaced on IR
Carson PalmerQBArizona CardinalsArmPlaced on IR
David JohnsonRBArizona CardinalsWristPlaced on IR
Julio JonesWRAtlanta FalconsAnkleQuestionable for Week 17 vs. Carolina
Kelvin BenjaminWRBuffalo BillsKnee – MeniscusQuestionable for Week 17 at Miami
Charles ClayTEBuffalo BillsKneeQuestionable for Week 17 at Miami
Cam NewtonQBCarolina PanthersShoulderQuestionable for Week 17 at Atlanta
Giovani BernardRBCincinnati BengalsAnkleQuestionable for Week 17 at Baltimore
Tyler EifertTECincinnati BengalsBackPlaced on IR
Joe MixonRBCincinnati BengalsAnkleQuestionable for Week 17 at Baltimore
Isaiah CrowellRBCleveland BrownsShoulderQuestionable for Week 17 at Pittsburgh
Dez BryantWRDallas CowboysKneeQuestionable for Week 17 at Philadelphia
Emmanuel SandersWRDenver BroncosAnkleQuestionable for Week 17 vs. Kansas City
Eric EbronTEDetroit LionsKneeQuestionable for Week 17 vs. Green Bay
Aaron JonesRBGreen Bay PackersKnee – MCLDoubtful for Week 17 at Detroit
Davante AdamsWRGreen Bay PackersConcussionQuestionable for Week 17 at Detroit
Clay MatthewsLBGreen Bay PackersHamstringQuestionable for Week 17 at Detroit
Aaron RodgersQBGreen Bay PackersShoulderPlaced on IR
Ty MontgomeryRBGreen Bay PackersWristPlaced on IR
Jordy NelsonWRGreen Bay PackersShoulderQuestionable for Week 17 at Detroit
DeAndre HopkinsWRHouston TexansCalfQuestionable for Week 17 at Indianapolis
Jadeveon ClowneyDLHouston TexansKneeQuestionable for Week 17 at Indianapolis
Deshaun WatsonQBHouston TexansKnee – ACLPlaced on IR
J.J. WattDLHouston TexansLower LegPlaced on IR
Andrew LuckQBIndianapolis ColtsShoulder – LabrumPlaced on IR
Allen HurnsWRJacksonville JaguarsAnkleQuestionable for Week 17 at Tennessee
Allen RobinsonWRJacksonville JaguarsKnee – ACLPlaced on IR
Spencer WareRBKansas City ChiefsKnee – PCLPlaced on IR
Melvin GordonRBLos Angeles ChargersAnkleQuestionable for Week 17 vs. Oakland
Hunter HenryTELos Angeles ChargersAbdomenPlaced on IR
Kyle RudolphTEMinnesota VikingsAnkleQuestionable for Week 17 vs. Chicago
Dalvin CookRBMinnesota VikingsKnee – ACLPlaced on IR
Rob GronkowskiTENew England PatriotsIllnessQuestionable for Week 17 vs. N.Y. Jets
Tom BradyQBNew England PatriotsAchillesQuestionable for Week 17 vs. N.Y. Jets
Rex BurkheadRBNew England PatriotsKneeQuestionable for Week 17 vs. N.Y. Jets
Julian EdelmanWRNew England PatriotsKnee – ACLPlaced on IR
Michael ThomasWRNew Orleans SaintsHamstringQuestionable for Week 17 at Tampa Bay
Evan EngramTENew York GiantsRibsQuestionable for Week 17 vs. Washington
Sterling ShepardWRNew York GiantsNeckQuestionable for Week 17 vs. Washington
Odell BeckhamWRNew York GiantsAnklePlaced on IR
Robby AndersonWRNew York JetsIllnessQuestionable for Week 17 at New England
Matt ForteRBNew York JetsKneeQuestionable for Week 17 at New England
Austin Seferian-JenkinsTENew York JetsFootQuestionable for Week 17 at New England
Jared CookTEOakland RaidersWristQuestionable for Week 17 at L.A. Chargers
Amari CooperWROakland RaidersAnkleQuestionable for Week 17 at L.A. Chargers
Carson WentzQBPhiladelphia EaglesKnee – ACLPlaced on IR
Antonio BrownWRPittsburgh SteelersLower LegOut for Week 17 vs. Cleveland
Earl ThomasDBSeattle SeahawksKneeQuestionable for Week 17 vs. Arizona
Jimmy GrahamTESeattle SeahawksKneeQuestionable for Week 17 vs. Arizona
Bobby WagnerLBSeattle SeahawksHamstringQuestionable for Week 17 vs. Arizona
Kam ChancellorDBSeattle SeahawksNeckPlaced on IR
Richard ShermanDBSeattle SeahawksAchillesPlaced on IR
Marquise GoodwinWRSan Francisco 49ersBackQuestionable for Week 17 at L.A. Rams
Cameron BrateTETampa Bay BuccaneersHipQuestionable for Week 17 vs. New Orleans
DeSean JacksonWRTampa Bay BuccaneersAnkleQuestionable for Week 17 vs. New Orleans
DeMarco MurrayRBTennessee TitansKnee – MCLQuestionable for Week 17 vs. Jacksonville
Jordan ReedTEWashington RedskinsHamstringPlaced on IR
Terrelle PryorWRWashington RedskinsAnklePlaced on IR
Chris ThompsonRBWashington RedskinsLower LegPlaced on IR
Rob KelleyRBWashington RedskinsAnklePlaced on IR

If you’re stressing out about your guy being on here as “Questionable”, don’t. Every man and his dog will wear the Questionable tag at some stage this year. If a player misses a training or has a niggle or anything really, they get deemed as “Questionable”. Here’s what the designations mean:

Questionable – 50/50 chance of playing. The most common of all designations. Even more so than healthy on some weeks

Doubtful – 75 percent chance will not play. Be a bit more concerned. Keep a close eye on reports

OUT – Speaks for itself. Definitely will not play this week.

IR – Injured Reserve. Player has basically been shut down for the year due to injury.

PUP – Physically Unable to Perform. We’ve all been here after a big night on the drink, right guys? This one is for long-term injuries sustained in pre-season or early on that aren’t necessarily season-ending (as is my understanding). They’ve got until about week 6 to be upgraded or placed on IR.

Suspended – Also speaks for itself, except this one has a definitive timeline (in most cases).

Start or Sit

You know the drill by now.

STARTS

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo – The Buffalo Bills need to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive, and have the perfect chance to do so with the Miami Dolphins. McCoy has been the Bills offense all season, but this Miami D has allowed 25 passing TD’s this year, so Tyrod has every opportunity to finish 2017 with a bang. Just 2 weeks back, Taylor threw and ran in a TD vs Miami, and should be able to replicate that against a team with nothing to play for.

Also Start: Kirk Cousins vs. Giants, Matt Stafford vs. Packers

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee – Henry had big wraps on him when he first came into the league, but has been primarily a backup to DeMarco Murray. But Murray has a minor MCL tear, meaning the stage is Henry’s. Yes, it’s against the Jags defence, but they have locked up their playoff berth so it doesn’t make sense for them to play all their starters for the entirety of the game. And even with all their starters last weekend, Carlos Hyde and Matt Breida both ran in TD’s when the 49ers upset the Jags. Plus in week 2, Henry had 92 yards and a TD against Jacksonville, showing he can get it done.

Also Start: Carlos Hyde vs. Rams, Alex Collins vs. Bengals

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta – Sanu only had 3 catches and 23 yards vs Carolina in week 9 but he did score a TD that week to boost his score. That game was in Charlotte, so with the home crowd behind him and most of the attention going to Julio (like every week), I can see Sanu matching that game at least. The Panthers have been giving up good scores to multiple WR’s most games over the past 2 months so even if Julio has a big game, there’s plenty of room for Sanu to flourish too.

Also Start: TY Hilton vs. Texans, Marquise Goodwin vs. Rams

Ben Watson, TE, Baltimore – Jeremy Maclin’s injury has opened up a lot of targets for the other Ravens players, and Watson has been taking advantage. He had 9 catches, 114 yards and a TD over the past 2 weeks. The Ravens are another team who need a win to clinch a playoff spot, vs the Bengals who can’t make it. Cincinnati allow over 7 catches and almost 60 yards to the TE position. Watson could be just what you need to steal a fantasy Superbowl win.

Also Start: Jack Doyle vs. Texans, Charles Clay vs. Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings, DST – I’ll finish the defensive starts with one of the best of the season. The Vikings (thanks to Xavier Rhodes) have been shutting down teams all year. They play the Bears this weekend (tick), in their home stadium (tick), and need to win to lock up the second seed in the NFC so won’t be resting starters (tick). Marshall Eriksen would be excited.

Also Start: Seattle Seahawks vs. Cardinals, Denver Broncos vs. Chiefs

SITS

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia – This isn’t a matchup thing, or a skill thing (even though I don’t really rate the guy). It’s a resting thing. With top seed in the NFC already locked up, the Eagles have little reason to play any starters and risk injury. The only reason they’d want to play Foles is to continue to build chemistry as a team heading into playoffs. But with Wentz already gone why would you want to go through that again. If they do play Foles, you can bet it won’t be for long. If you’re looking for a streaming option, it shouldn’t be him.

Also Sit: Derek Carr vs. Chargers, Andy Dalton vs. Ravens

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina – Stewart had one of his worst games of the year in week 9 against Atlanta when he rushed for just 21 yards on 11 carries including 2 lost fumbles. To make matters worse, he’s been super bad over the past 2 games with just 46 yards combined over that stretch. They were games against the Bays – Green and Tampa. Not exactly defensive juggernauts. And not that Atlanta are, but they still have something to fight for here. If the Panthers are going to do any damage it will be through Cam.

Also Sit: LeGarrette Blount vs. Cowboys, Mike Davis vs. Cardinals

Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City – I don’t know if you’re sensing a theme here, but I feel like Tyreek Hill also won’t be playing. Nothing has been said to that effect but Andy Reid has said that Patrick Mahomes will be getting his first career start, meaning Alex Smith is out. So if Smith is being rested, it’s not a stretch to assume that Hill and even Kareem Hunt will also be rested. If they aren’t, they won’t see a huge amount of minutes. And if they do, there’s a debutant throwing to Hill. There’s too many if’s and question marks for my liking.

Also Sit: Sterling Sheperd vs. Redskins, Amari Cooper vs. Chargers

Jason Witten, TE, Dallas – Witten now has 9 games in a row where he hasn’t scored over 10 points. His highest score in that time was 6.8 which consisted of 1 catch for 8 total yards and a TD. Witten’s highest yard total since the Cowboys week 6 bye is 59 yards and he’s scored just 3 TD’s in those 10 games. It’s not impressive reading. The Eagles will likely be sitting a bunch of starters but that just means that Zeke will have room to operate. If you’re in a fantasy Superbowl, now is not the time to be trusting Jason Witten.

Also Sit: Jared Cook vs. Chargers, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz

Los Angeles Rams, DST – The Rams are one of the NFL’s better defensive units, but did you just see what Garropolo and the 49ers did to the league’s BEST defensive unit? San Fran hung 44 points and a 3 point fantasy score on the Jags. Jimmy G is still undefeated in 6 career starts and looking super impressive while doing so. The Rams are already resting Gurley, Goff, Watkins and Aaron Donald, which means a few other guys will also get a seat.

Also Sit:  Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cowboys

Dream Team

I hope you have trades left. You’re going to need them.

Bell, Gurley and Hopkins will be in everyone’s squad by now. There’s a better than good chance that all three are out. I would assume Brady will be in that same boat by the time games kick off on Monday. So what you need are trades and cover.

The best you can do is trade out Bell or Gurley or both perhaps. The RB’s are where you’re going to get your big points from. I’m going with Zeke most likely. But his matchup with the tough Philly defence does concern me. I do like Latavius Murray against Chicago as a cover option.

I don’t have any other advice for you. I have 2 trades left and I’d still be surprised if I managed to get through the weekend without a donut somewhere. Keep a VERY close eye on  the late reports and then, fingers crossed I suppose.

Vice-Captain – There’s the early games and late games this week. 2 time slots so you can VC anyone in the games at 4am and be on the ball for the later switch. Best VC options are Hopkins (if he plays), Brady (if he plays), Thielen, Zeke, Dak. That’s probably all I’d go for to be honest.

Bet of the Week

My bet of the week is that you’re going to get screwed by one of these games. We can put a bet on and hope that all the guys suit up, but’s I’m hesitant to lock anything in this week.

You know what? I’m going to take a run at the Browns with a 7 point head start. No Ben. No Brown. No Bell. Pittsburgh defence isn’t exactly dominant. Worth a shot at $1.87.

The Bills are fighting for a playoff spot. They need a win here (and a few other results to go their way), and have been given a great matchup with the Dolphins. They’re paying $1.74 just to win.

Moneyball tips of the week 

This is hard this week. Shady is my best pick. LeSean McCoy is my guy. As I just mentioned, the Bills need this win and to get there, they’ll lean on their best option to run them into the post season. Shady costs $8,300 but should tear Miami apart.

Latavius Murray is a touch cheaper ($6,700) but has a great matchup with Chicago. He’s cemented himself as the main guy in Minny and should be good value here.

And that’s a wrap. Thanks once again. I’m taking a break for a bit. I’ll see you in a month or so when the NRL starts heating up again.

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WeninRome

Wenin is one of the founding fathers of the NRLSCTalk website who's Tuesday Teams Analysis has been a feature post on the site for close to a decade. He also loves a good steak bet!

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16 Comments on "NFL Game Week 17 Fantasy Preview"

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King4aday04
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King4aday04

Well a final week score of 467 got me into the top 50 (49th). Well done to all who had a successful season and for those that have contributed with articles and help in the forums.

Pegg
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Pegg

Nice one. I managed 51st.