Fantasy Attack: Week 17

Championship Game today? Ewwwww….

by Lead Fantasy writer Steve Cook | @SteveCook84 |

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I’ll be honest. This whole business of playing Fantasy Football in Week 17 seems a little dirty to me.

It always has. As far back as I can remember, the top teams have rested their top players in the final week of the season heading into the playoffs, like it’s a preseason game where you don’t want anybody to get hurt. The bottom teams are playing out the string and don’t give a rip, as winning games only hurts draft position. Only a few teams care this week, and not many of them can actually help you.

Some leagues still insist on including Week 17 though. ESPN leagues have playoffs where the semi-finals combine Weeks 14-15 while the finals run Week 16-17. League commissioners on other platforms that don’t know better have the championship in Week 17. My very first fantasy championship was in a league that ended in Week 17. My quarterback that week? Jim Sorgi, the long-running backup for the Indianapolis Colts that only played in Week 17 when Peyton Manning got the week off before the playoffs. It was pretty shameful, but that’s what you do when you’re stuck in a league doing that nonsense.

Fantasy leagues that end in Week 17 are indefensible. But hey, if you wanna play DFS this week and try to make some money off your knowledge of backups, more power to you. I’m gonna try & help you the best I can here.

Fave 5
Teddy Bridgewater (4.10 DRAFT projection): If you know me, you know that I’m a University of Louisville guy that loves him some Teddy Bridgewater. The man is one of the finest representatives of my university, and I was so sad when things went south for him in Minnesota the way they did. I’ve been waiting for him to get a second chance, and now that he’s Drew Brees’ backup he can at least play one week a year. You can tell from social media that the Saints love him as much as everybody else that’s played on his teams does. Heck, Drew Brees has his kids doing Teddy’s bike dance.

The only question is: how much does Brees play? He’s already said that Teddy will get “some playing time”, but Brees is in an MVP race and will be looking to get some numbers. Of course, he wouldn’t need to do that if he hadn’t sucked ass the last couple of weeks and sunk his fantasy teams’ chances, but you didn’t hear that from me. Hopefully Teddy gets plenty of time to show why he’s the future of the Saints whenever Drew decides to call it a career.

Ben Roethlisberger (20.10 DRAFT projection): Good Lord, did you see the fantasy points that the Steelers put up last week? Big Ben won me two fantasy championships. On one team I had Antonio Brown with him for the double-dip, with Jaylen Samuels hanging out on the other team for that double-dip. They have to beat up on the Bengals this week to capitalize off of a potential Ravens loss to Cleveland, so expect any Steeler you own to be out there doing things. Except Le’Veon Bell, of course.

Julio Jones (12.60 DRAFT projection): Considering the fact that the Falcons are out of the playoff hunt, and that Jones has injuries to his ribs & a hip, there’s no real reason he should be out there. Except that he needs to hold on to his league lead in receiving yards, and if he sits out he knows damn well that DeAndre Hopkins will pass him. Or maybe even Mike Evans, who gets to play Jones’ sorry Falcons defense. I’m sure there’s a bonus in Jones’ contract for winning that title, along with the pride involved in having the most receiving yards in an NFL season. He’ll be out there.

T.Y. Hilton (14.60 DRAFT projection): Hilton went off for 155 yards & two touchdowns in the Colts’ previous meeting with Tennessee. So as much as we talk about that Titans defense, there are certain things they have no answer for. Sunday Night will be Football Night in Nashville, and the Colts’ passing game will show up when the lights are turned on bright.

C.J. Anderson (7.00 DRAFT projection): Sometimes weird stuff happens at the end of an NFL season. For example, C.J. Anderson’s Week 16. He wasn’t even employed in Week 15, but the Rams picked him up because Todd Gurley was having some issues. Anderson got the start, and went off to the tune of 167 yards and a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals, leading some lucky souls to fantasy titles. It will go down as one of the amazing performances in fantasy football history. Can you expect something similar in Week 17? Maybe? The 49ers aren’t too great, and I see no reason for the Rams to run Gurley out there before the playoffs against a 4-11 team.

Fearful 4
Deshaun Watson (19.60 DRAFT projection): Watson went off on some fools last week, putting up over 40 points in at least one league I had him in. That Eagles/Texans game was some crazy stuff. I don’t like him as much this week against a Jaguars team that will take out some frustration on somebody. As long as they’re not running the ball.

Dalvin Cook (13.70 DRAFT projection): Those of us that drafted Dalvin probably gave up on him before he finally proved why he was picked so high. That’s why he was a late-season pickup on one of my championship teams, and the centerpiece of my 11th place team. As much of a run as he’s been on lately, he’s up against the CHICAGO BEARS DEFENSE in Week 17. And the Bears will be trying in this game because they think they can still get a top 2 seed. You know what that means. Nothing good.

Corey Davis (9.80 DRAFT projection): The Titans have been on quite the roll lately, but it hasn’t involved their top WR. He’s had less than 50 yards in 4 straight games as Tennessee is running all of their offense through Derrick Henry. Expect more of that against Indianapolis.

Saquon Barkley (19.20 DRAFT projection): As awesome as Barkley has been this season, he hasn’t been so much lately. He’s averaging 2.11 yards per carry over the last two games, and only got 10 points against the Cowboys last time out. That tells you how good a season he’s had when you can say he “only got 10 points”. I wouldn’t be expecting much out of him this week though.

3 Sleepers
Sam Darnold (7% Yahoo-owned): The Jets have lost two straight, but their young QB has looked pretty good in those losses. Darnold put up 25 points on the Texans & 32 points on the Packers, and gets the Patriots in Week 17. No reason he can’t be in that range again this week.

Darren Sproles (9% Yahoo-owned): Sproles came back in Week 13, but nobody really noticed until last week. He got 108 scrimmage yards and a touchdown against the Texans in Week 16, and rolls into Washington to play an R team that gets run over pretty regularly.

Jalen Richard (41% Yahoo-owned): The Raiders running back got 95 rushing yards & 10.60 points when he went against Kansas City in Week 13, and the big Chiefs/Raiders re-match is this week. Fresh off of Richard getting his first touchdown last week. Yahoo says that Richard’s style of play better suits the Chiefs matchup than Doug Martin does, and the previous game seems to jibe with that theory. Roll with it.

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