Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em for Week 17
There are no more chapters to be written, as we are now out of words. Attrition be damned, we have reached Week 17, where only the hardest of hardened Fantasy Football players call it Championship Week.
The final Sunday of the regular season does offer a host of games that require full participation, but there will be some teams (we’re looking at you, Cowboys) who could choose to rest their starters in order to embark upon the Road to Atlanta. Not to worry, though: I’ve had your back the previous 16 weeks and will bust through walls one last time to guide you toward who to start and who to sit.
It’s been my pleasure to do so this season. I’m off on hiatus after this, so Happy New Year and good luck on Sunday.
START: Evan Engram, TE, Giants: Big Blue’s top receiving target has 17 catches for 239 yards in his last three games and has at least 66 receiving yards in his last four. With the Cowboys likely to sit out several starters, Engram should see the middle of the field as a fertile playground. He’s a strong TE1 in PPR formats and is well overdue for a visit to the end zone, something he hasn’t seen since Week 7.
SIT: Jared Goff, QB, Rams: That loving feeling is gone, gone, gone with Goff, who has thrown just two touchdowns in the four games since his magnum opus against the Chiefs in Week 11. The turnovers are starting to pile up as well, making him too risky to roll out even against a 49ers defense that has allowed 31 touchdown passes while recording a mere two (it’s not a typo) interceptions.
START: Damien Williams, RB, Chiefs: With five touchdowns in his last three games, Williams has an iron grip on the K.C. ground attack and should end the regular season in dominant fashion against a Raiders defense that is 30th against the run. Williams has also caught 17 of his 18 targets over the past three games, making him a potential monster of an RB1.
SIT: Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks: After catching just one touchdown in the first 11 weeks, Baldwin has hauled in four in his last three games and comes off his first 100-yard outing in last week’s win over the Chiefs. The good times will come to an end as he’ll see more of Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson than he cares to. Arizona’s pass defense has been the bright spot of an otherwise dismal season, as the Cards are sixth in fewest receiving yards and fourth in fewest yards per catch. There is also a chance Baldwin does not play a full game.
START: Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens: Not even the presence of Kenneth Dixon could slow down Edwards, who finished with 92 yards on 14 carries in last week’s win over the Chargers. Since being installed into the lineup in Week 11, Edwards has averaged 96.3 yards per game and should remain in that range against a Browns defense that is 23rd in Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game to opposing running backs. The lack of scoring and inactivity in the passing game are turn-offs, but Edwards offers more than enough to play him as an RB2.
SIT: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys: At most, Elliott might get a carry or two just to keep up appearances, but there’s little chance he sees much action since Dallas is locked into the NFC’s fourth seed and will host a playoff game next weekend. It will be a heavy dose of Rod Smith sprinkled with an occasional touch from Darius Jackson in the regular season finale at the Giants.
START: Nick Foles, QB, Eagles: Take away his tepid Week One (117 yards) and Foles has averaged a staggering 358.3 passing yards in his last three starts. With their season on the line, expect Foles to have unrestricted freedom to air it out against the Redskins, who have been a middle of the pack pass defense for much of the season while allowing 24 passing touchdowns.
SIT: Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings: His Fantasy owners must feel like he checked out this month, as Thielen has just 187 yards and a touchdown in four games this month. The Bears are 10th in fewest receiving yards allowed and held him to just 66 yards on seven receptions in a Week 11 victory over the Vikes. The historic numbers Thielen put up earlier in the season are a distant memory.
START: Robby Anderson, WR, Jets: He and Sam Darnold have established a solid rapport in the last three weeks, as Anderson has pulled in 20 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. There’s a good chance for him to use the regular season finale as a springboard to a bigger 2019 when the Jets take on a Patriots defense that has been scorched for 29 touchdown passes and just over 4,000 receiving yards.
SIT: Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns: The Cleveland gunslinger has put up better than expected Fantasy numbers, but anyone starting Mayfield against the Ravens is on a fool’s errand. While did throw for 342 yards and a touchdown in the Week Five win over Baltimore, don’t expect a repeat performance at the expense of a defense that allows the second-fewest FFPG to opposing quarterbacks.