In Week 17, we combine the Waiver Wire and Start / Sit Article into one article, because most leagues do not have Week 17 Championship Games. The reason this became a popular trend in fantasy football was that prior to 2010, any NFL team could play any other NFL team in Week 17, which meant that many of the teams had wrapped up both playoff spots and their playoff seed. The result was a glorified Week 4 of the preseason, with many teams resting key players for the playoffs. When you combined that with eliminated teams resting their key star players, Week 17 did not offer a good Championship Game atmosphere, because many of the best players in fantasy football were not playing that week.
That has improved since 2010, when the NFL went to all divisional games for the last week of the season. Because those games are guaranteed to be conference games and because the NFL can position them at times where teams will not know if the team they need to win or lose has done that yet, it has created more quality matchups that impacted seeding and playoff qualification. The problem is that teams can still end up knowing their fate before Week 17; the change has just reduced the number of meaningless games. The positive change has not been enough for many leagues to make the change to having their Championship Week in Week 16 instead of Week 17.
If you are one of those fantasy owners that need help for Week 17, the Maniax is always there to help you win your league. We just do not write separate articles for Start / Sit and Waiver Wire and we do not go into as much depth with our options. If you need a question answered, just leave it in the comment section and we will be more than happy to answer that for you. We hope everyone had a Happy Holiday Season and hope everyone has a Great New Years.
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo – I do not know why he has remained on the waiver wire; he has been a great player in the last month of the season. In one of my leagues, his weekly point total has risen from 9.52 to 16.06 to 21.14 to 24.98. The 49ers do not have anything to play for this week, but that has not stopped them from playing well the past month. Garoppolo is a borderline QB1 this week.
Green Bay Packers QB Brett Hundley – For some reason, his QB rating is almost 100.00 on the road and hovers around 50.00 at home, so his past games show that he will play well in Detroit and Detroit has not been a very strong fantasy offense down the stretch. I would search for other options, otherwise Hundley could be worth a gamble for a desperate fantasy owner.
Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard – Bernard had a monster week for the people that owned him, tallying 116 yards rushing, 52 yards receiving and a touchdown against a bad Detroit Lions D. The Ravens are a tougher matchup, but if he earns the start again, he could have some flex value in Week 17.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Charcandrick West – Fantasy Owners that have RB Kareem Hunt will need to pick up West, because the Chiefs are locked into the fourth seed and they have no reason to play their key players. Hunt has had 28, 31 and 33 touches the last three weeks, so I could see the Chiefs giving him Week 17 off and resting him for the playoffs. That could make West a viable Week 17 option.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Keelan Cole – Cole has posted back-to-back 100 yards games and the Tennessee Titans D is terrible. I could see the Jaguars resting some players in Week 17, because they are locked into the third seed. They also have only a 53-man roster, someone is going to have to play at wide receiver and Cole has been their best target the last two weeks.
Los Angeles Chargers WR Tyrell Williams – He has been the beneficiary of TE Hunter Henry going down for the season, but he has not done much since his 132 yards and one touchdown against Washington. Kansas City held him to 31 yards receiving and the New York Jets held him to 50 yards receiving. Oakland is a good matchup for him, he could offer boom / bust WR4 value for the fantasy playoffs.
Los Angeles Chargers TE Antonio Gates – Gates has also benefited from Henry going down with an injury. He has scored a touchdown in back-to-back weeks and he had his best games of the year with six receptions for 81 yards and one touchdown against the Jets last week. He will be a great streaming option against the Oakland Raiders.
Start of the Week
Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford – The Lions do not have anything to play for this week, but they could do something they have not done since 1991. By beating the Green Bay Packers in Week 9, they have a chance for the season sweep. Because the Packers had a home winning streak that went from 1992 to 2015, the Packers were never swept in those years. When they did lose at home in 2015, the Packers won in Detroit later that year on the The Miracle in Motown.
Green Bay has not been good against fantasy quarterbacks. Headed into Week 16, they were allowing the seventh most points to fantasy quarterbacks. Minnesota Vikings QB Case Keenum did not have a great fantasy game in Green Bay, but the weather was really cold and the Packers offense was so terrible, they only threw the ball 25 times for 139 yards. I expect the Lions to throw the ball a lot on Sunday and for Stafford to have QB1 value in the final game of the 2017 season.
Players to Start
Miami Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake – Drake was a massive disappointment in Week 16, he had only 57 yards rushing. A big problem was he had only 13 carries, as QB Jay Cutler threw the ball 38 times. Drake had 113 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown the last time he faced the Buffalo Bills in Week 15. The Dolphins have been a better home team this year; Drake should have RB1 value in Week 17.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton – The last time Hilton played the Texans, he had five receptions for 175 yards and two touchdowns, which was by far his best game of the season. He needs only 48 yards to register his fifth straight 1,000-yard season. I think they will feed him the ball early and often and he could be a WR2 with monster upside.
Washington TE Vernon Davis – He has scored a touchdown in two of his previous three games and he draws a matchup against the New York Giants 32nd ranked tight end defense. Davis is a fantastic streaming option in Week 17.
Sit of the Week
Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr – His nightmare season will come to an end, a season in which he had MVP hopes and Super Bowl dreams. Instead the Raiders are eliminated from postseason consideration and Carr has been a major disappointment. Headed into the game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Carr had just 3,113 yards passing, 20 passing touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He did not do much to improve on those totals, going 15 for 29 with 140 yards, one touchdown and two picks.
The last time he played the Chargers, he had just 171 yards passing with one touchdown and two picks. The Chargers are the sixth ranked fantasy quarterback defense and they have a lot to play for this week. While they do not control their own destiny, they cannot make the playoffs without a win. I would sit Carr this week, he is in a bad matchup and he has nothing to play for this week.
Players to Sit
Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard – Some of you will not be able to sit Howard, you will just not have enough viable options other than him to make that move. He also was not terrible the last time he played the Vikings, rushing 19 times for 76 yards. The Vikings allow the fewest points to fantasy backs, they are at home and must play their starters to earn a bye. If you have other options that are viable, I would play them. Howard is a boom / bust RB2 on the road.
Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green – Green has not been a strong player down the stretch. He has gone six straight games failing to top 100-yards receiving and he has three straight games with no touchdowns. The Ravens are without CB Jimmy Smith, so Green could do better than the five receptions for 74 yards he had in the opener. It’s a bad spot for Green. They have nothing to play for, the Ravens need the game to make the playoffs, they have a good secondary and Green is not playing dominant football. Some of you will not have enough viable options to sit Green, but if you do have good options, Green is not a must-start this week.
Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph – I could see the Vikings either resting Rudolph this week or severely limiting his time on the field. He only had one target against the Green Bay Packers and that was for a six-yard reception. The Chicago Bears are allowing the seventh fewest points to fantasy tight ends, I think Rudolph is a boom / bust TE2 that may not even be active on Sunday.