Strong Fantasy streamers for Week 17
I really hope that, unless you’re playing in a total points league or possibly in a league that uses a combined total from Weeks 16 and 17 to decide your champion, that your league is over. Week 17 alone should never decide who wins and who loses your Fantasy leagues; there is just too much that is unknown. By my count, approximately two-thirds of the teams in the NFL have nothing to play for Sunday. They have no incentive to win or to risk injury to players. Throw in that certain players will make “business decisions” and you usually have one of the worst weeks as far as predictions go in the football season. What do I mean by “business decisions?” Well, players who are going to be free agents or secure in their jobs, won’t want to do anything that could possibly see them get hurt going into the offseason. They’re not going to the playoffs, they want to make sure they are either 100 percent healthy to enjoy their offseason, or 100 percent healthy to get paid as much as possible with their new contract. Throw in some coaches that maybe want to take a look at younger players and playoff teams that don’t want to risk injury to their most important players, and you have the week that has the most luck involved.
I’ve listed a handful of players here, but keep in mind information will change as we go along this week. We will find out that certain teams won’t be playing certain players. An example might be the Cowboys: as of right now, they say they will start everyone who is healthy. Well, first I would need to understand your definition of “healthy,” but let’s say later this week we learn that Ezekiel Elliott will sit or only play a series or two. Well, that could make Rod Smith an interesting lottery pick to possibly play. The Cowboys aren’t the only team in this situation; the Saints are also locked into their seed and have nothing to play for. Good luck this week and Happy New Year.
Sam Darnold, New York Jets: While it’s been a little bit of an up-and-down season for Darnold in his rookie year, the Jets look like they have a quarterback that they can build around for the future. This week, he gets a Patriots team that can be thrown on and the Jets would certainly like to see him go into the offseason on a high note.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders: I’m not sure the Raiders will have anything left after beating division rival Denver in what could be their last ever home game in Oakland on Monday Night Football. They are, however, playing the defensively-inept Chiefs, who can almost score at will but give up just as many points.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles: There just does seem to be something about Foles starting in that Eagles’ offense. This week, he gets a Washington team that was just eliminated from the playoffs and just released one of their best players, D.J. Swearinger, because he was unhappy with some of the coaching decisions in their loss to the Titans. Washington looks like a team that can’t wait for the season to end.
Jeff Wilson, San Francisco 49ers: This one is pretty simple: Matt Breida is out for the game with an ankle injury, and the Rams have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. Wilson starts for me here.
Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos: Phillip Lindsay will miss this game, as he has ligament damage in his wrist that will likely require offseason surgery. Freeman doesn’t have the best of matchups here in the Chargers, but he will get a chance to show what he can do in the starting role.
C.J. Anderson, Los Angeles Rams: As of this writing, the Rams are saying that Todd Gurley could play Sunday. The game is meaningless; why would they treat this game as anything more than a preseason game? Sure, Gurley might play a series or two, but it would seem unlikely they keep him out there for anything more than that.
Jordy Nelson, Oakland Raiders: Well, if you’re thinking about starting a fringe Fantasy QB against a certain defense, it goes to reason that you might want to start that team’s best WR as well. It doesn’t hurt any that Nelson had 10 receptions for 97 yards in Week 13 against the Chiefs.
Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles: The return of Foles to the starting job seems to also have returned Agholor to a prominent position in the passing offense. Foles had five reception for 116 yards last week and seems to have the confidence and trust of Foles.
Robert Foster, Buffalo Bills: Foster’s numbers may have looked pedestrian last week, but that was because he dropped what should have been an easy TD and Josh Allen just missed him on what would’ve been another long TD reception. I’ll go back to the well here.
Robby Anderson, New York Jets: I don’t know what was bothering Anderson all season long, but he has certainly woken up over the past two weeks. Maybe it just took him this long to develop that chemistry with Darnold.
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals: Like last week, this just comes down to there isn’t much left of the Bengals’ passing offense. A.J. Green is out for the season, Tyler Boyd is unlikely to play and they have already lost their other two TEs in Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft. It’s Uzomah or bust.
Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams: Everett has 14 reception on 20 targets over his last three games, and if the Rams decide to rest some of their regulars for part or all of this game, those targets and receptions could increase this week.
Chris Herndon, New York Jets: Herndon has come on to be one of the favorite targets for Darnold. Who do young QBs like to throw to? Their big target, over the middle, close to the line of scrimmage. Herndon is that target.
Buffalo Bills: They are playing Miami, a team that has question marks all over the place on offense. This defense is Top 10 in the NFL; it’s the offense that has hurt them this season.
Green Bay Packers: The Lions just don’t have any players left to truly threaten a defense. This is another team that can’t wait for the offseason to start, and if it’s cold in Lambeau on Sunday, that defense isn’t likely going to want to be out there for any length of time.