Merry Christmas FANation! Week 16 is almost in the books and while most of you are wrapping up your leagues’ championship game, some of you will be playing it in Week 17. This one is for you. So sit back, relax and pretend you’re taking photos of your kids unwrapping presents and get your edge for Week 17!
Robby Anderson WR, NYJ – At first glance, the numbers don’t appear to be all that exciting but he’s battled the Broncos elite corners, Marshon Lattimore of the Saints and Casey Hayward of the Chargers in the last three contests. The targets are there with 25 over that three game span, showing that quarterback Bryce Petty loves to get him the ball. In a Week 17 matchup they’ll get the Patriots who just gave up 281 yards through the air to Tyrod Taylor of the Bills while also giving up three, 35+ yard pass plays to Bills receivers. The opportunities for Anderson will be endless in this matchup, especially in a game that the Jets should be losing big, and quick.
Jimmy Garoppolo QB, SF – The 49ers have found their guy at the quarterback position. Garoppolo and the 49ers just put up 44 points against the best defense we’ve seen in the last ten years. Tom Brady’s former backup and protégé is now 4-0 since the trade to San Francisco and is already proving to be a leader and a star. Week 17 brings in a Rams team who just gave up 23 points and 275 yards passing to Marcus Mariota and the Titans. In Week 3, the two teams met for their first matchup of the season and Brian Hoyer, yes Brian Hoyer went for 332 yards and three total touchdowns. This matchup should be very intriguing as these two teams should be battling for the division for many years to come.
Russell Wilson QB, SEA – Wilson salvaged an awful day through the air by coming up with two touchdown passes to put on top of his 93 passing yards. The Seahawks need Atlanta to lose next week to the Panthers to get into the playoffs but they also need to handle their own business as well by beating the Cardinals in Week 17. The stakes alone should put Wilson into attack mode and force him to lay it all on the line as he’s done so many times before. Those games from Wilson are the types of games that will win you a fantasy championship. Push your chips to the center of the table on Russell Wilson and expect 300 total yards and three touchdowns. He’s played in a playoff game every year of his career, we don’t expect him to be okay with that changing this year.
Devonta Freeman RB, ATL – This is a back that needs volume to be effective and the Falcons, for whatever reason are intent on getting Tevin Coleman in there as much as possible despite his 2.8 yards per carry over his last three games. Freeman had eleven carries in Week 16 for 36 yards and in his last matchup with the Panthers, who they meet again in Week 17, he also had 11 carries for a total of 46 yards. The Falcons are trying to play mismatch when they have a bruiser in Freeman and it has hurt them against the Saints this season scoring 33 points in two games and seventeen in their first game against Carolina.
Jordan Howard RB, CHI – Howard has been hit or miss this season and now have to go to Minnesota, a team that gives up the least fantasy points per game to opposing running backs in ESPN standard leagues. It’s going to be very hard to expect a decent performance out of him in Week 17, especially with Minnesota still fighting for that number one seed. Expect Minnesota to force Trubisky to try and beat them through the air leading to turnovers, an unbalanced offense and a rough day for Jordan Howard.
Mike Evans WR, TB – If you haven’t heard of Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore then you’re not playing fantasy football. Lattimore is special and he is frustrating every opponents’ number one receiver and could win defensive rookie of the year. Earlier in the season, when the Bucs were much healthier as a team, Lattimore held Evans to one catch for 13 yards on six targets. Now, with all of the injuries to the offense of the Bucs, he may even have help over the top as they can hone in on one of their few healthy players in Mike Evans. It’s been a frustrating year for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Sunday could make matters worse.
Stock to Watch
Dion Lewis RB, NE – Lewis went nuts against a bad Buffalo run defense to a tune of 24 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown while also adding five receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown reception. If Rex Burkhead misses Week 17, Lewis could run wild again as he’s gained all of the coaching staffs’ trust. In Week 6 against the same Jets team he’ll be facing in Week 17, with only 11 touches in the game, he still managed to gain 52 yards and added a rushing score and will now get a chance to have a full workload to get New England a number one seed in the AFC.
Jamaal Williams RB, GB – Green Bay absolutely can not trust quarterback Brett Hundley to lead them to victory and they should want to see what they have in Jamaal Williams for 2018 by letting him be the main recipient of touches in Week 17. Week 17’s opponent is the Lions who just allowed Bengals running back Gio Bernard to gain 168 yards on thirty total touches a touchdown. There is nothing else to play for in Green Bay outside of seeing what they have for next year and with a matchup against a terrible Detroit Lions run defense, Williams could have a career day.