(Image credit: Patrick Olde Loohuis/ USA Today Sports)
By: Jett Rosenstein
We have finally arrived at week 17 of the NFL season and for many, this is also fantasy football championship weekend. All of the work that has been done to get to this point will pay off for many. Whether you were a top seed that has had the best team all year or an underdog that pulled off the unthinkable, I will make sure you are prepared to bring home a title this weekend. Let’s roll!
RB Rashaad Penny (SEA)
Back in 2018, Rashaad Penny was touted as one of the next best things at the RB position. While he hasn’t lived up to his first-round draft status, in the past several games he has been on a tear. In 2 of his last 3 games, he has racked up 20+ PPR points, 15+ carries, and 100+ yards. He has taken a firm grasp of what was for most of the year, a questionable backfield. This week, he has a matchup against a Lions defense that is allowing the 7th most points per game to opposing RBs. He may have hurt you in the past, but he is about to make up for all of that here in Week 17.
RB Devin Singletary (BUF)
Just like the Seahawks, the Buffalo Bills have had little production from their backfield for much of the season. However, Devin Singletary has stepped it up the last few games. He has 15+ PPR points in each of the last 3 games. He is also being targeted more through the air. He is now the featured back on an explosive Bills offense. This week, he faces off against a Falcons defense that is allowing the 9th most points to opposing RBs per game. Look for the Bills to get out to a comfortable lead and let Singletary take over.
WR Brandin Cooks (HOU)
Brandin Cooks has become one of the more consistent WRs in fantasy no matter who his QB is. He is seemingly putting together an under-the-radar top 20 finish this year once again. He is also 55 yards away from his 6th 1000-yard season in 8 years in the NFL. After missing last week due to COVID, Cooks is back and has a nice matchup. He is playing a 49ers defense that is giving up the 9th most points to opposing WRs. Davis Mills has exceeded expectations this year and will rely heavily on his #1 wideout.
RB Saquon Barkley (NYG)
They say never to sit your studs and while Saquon has had some fantastic games over the course of his career, he is very hard to trust at this point in the season. He is currently the RB32 and sharing a workload with his counterpart Devontae Booker. He is also part of a dreadful Giants offense. This week, Barkley faces off against a Bears defense that is in the middle of the pack against opposing RBs but should be able to slow down this putrid offense. I think it’s time to put the name-value aside and let Barkley ride the bench here in championship weekend.
RB Cordarrelle Patterson (ATL)
While he is the #1 waiver wire pickup of the year, Cordarrelle Patterson has lost a step as the season has gone on. While he is the RB8 on the season, he has back-to-back games under 10 PPR points. He is not handling as big of a workload as he was earlier on in the year. He faces off against a Bills defense that is vulnerable to the run at times, but they are still allowing the 11th fewest points to opposing RBs. Patterson was probably a big part of you getting to this point, but you should consider finding a replacement.
WR Marquise Brown (BAL)
Marquise Brown is another one of those guys who has slowed down as of late. While he is still the WR15 in PPR formats, he has been the WR32 since week 10 and hasn’t found the endzone since week 7. This week, Brown faces off a Rams defense and that means he will be getting a Jalen Ramsey shadowing appearance. Regardless of who the Ravens start at QB for this week, Brown has become really hard to trust especially with how well Mark Andrews has been playing as of late.
DEFENSIVE STREAMS (owned in less than 70% of Yahoo fantasy leagues)
1. Chicago Bears vs New York Giants (41% owned)
The Chicago Bears are currently the number 23 defense in fantasy and at times, they have been nowhere near a desirable option. However, with how much of a mess the Giants have been on offense throughout the past few games, they are a great start this week. Whether it’s Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm or a combination of both, look for this Bears defense to feast on a Giants offense that is allowing the 8th most points per game to opposing defenses.
2. Miami Dolphins vs Tennessee Titans (59% owned)
Throughout this 7 game winning streak, the Dolphins defense has been on fire and while they haven’t played great teams, they are still a great option this week against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans offense just isn’t the same without Derrick Henry leading the way. With how great the Dolphins defense has been down the stretch, it has propelled them to the number 3 defense in fantasy and you should roll them out once again this week.
3. Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Football Team (60% owned)
For those that took a chance on the Eagles defense last week against the Giants, you were probably ecstatic about the outcome. This same Eagles defense gets a nice matchup against a Washington team that just got dismantled by the Cowboys. While the Eagles don’t have as good of a defense as the Cowboys, there will be plenty of opportunities for points as Washington is giving up the 3rd most points to opposing defenses. They have guided you through the fantasy playoffs and will get the job done once again in championship weekend.
One week after Tee Higgins scored 43 PPR points and carried many teams to championship weekend, I believe there will be another WR this week that plays that same role and carries fantasy managers to the top. Tyreek Hill will be that guy. Time and time again, we see Hill have monster games right after a bad game. He has the ability to win or lose you a week. But, this week, he will help win some championships as I believe he will bounce back from his subpar performance from last week and put up 40-plus PPR points. I expect the Chiefs to be in the middle of a shootout against the Bengals leaving plenty of opportunities for Hill to touch the ball and go crazy. If there is anyone in the NFL that can put up a huge game, I put all my faith in Tyreek Hill. I mean, he already did it once this year back in Week 4. Why not once more?