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Wheeler's NFL Week 17 Fantasy Football Rankings

James Conner Week 17 Fantasy Football Rankings

Below you’ll find my Week 17 fantasy football rankings for PPR/Half-PPR leagues. Included are my top-25 QB Rankings, top-50 RB Rankings, top-60 WR Rankings, and top-18 TE Rankings. I actually submit these rankings to two different rankings competitions, one with PPR scoring, the other Half-PPR. They are far more accurate for PPR simply because PPR scoring is less influenced by touchdowns.

When I look into weekly matchups, I only use the past five games of data. Anything that happened six weeks ago is just going to cloud our judgment. We are looking at a completely full slate with bye weeks being over, navigating injuries might prove to be the difference-maker, though.

Quarterback Rankings

During the past five games, the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles have allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Jared Goff, Justin Fields, Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson appear to have the best matchups in Week 17. I am NOT advising you to start Wilson in your championship game, but if you’re desperate, he isn’t the worst option.

Rank  QB Team Opponent
1 Josh Allen BUF @ CIN
2 Justin Fields CHI @ DET
3 Patrick Mahomes II KC vs DEN
4 Joe Burrow CIN vs BUF
5 Dak Prescott DAL @ TEN
6 Justin Herbert LAC vs LAR
7 Jared Goff DET vs CHI
8 Trevor Lawrence JAC @ HOU
9 Kirk Cousins MIN @ GB
10 Aaron Rodgers GB vs MIN
11 Daniel Jones NYG vs IND
12 Gardner Minshew II PHI vs NO
13 Brock Purdy SF @ LV
14 Tom Brady TB vs CAR
15 Mike White NYJ @ SEA
16 Geno Smith SEA vs NYJ
17 Teddy Bridgewater MIA @ NE
18 Deshaun Watson CLE @ WAS
19 Russell Wilson DEN @ KC
20 Mac Jones NE vs MIA
21 Sam Darnold CAR @ TB
22 Carson Wentz WAS vs CLE
23 Tyler Huntley BAL vs PIT
24 Kenny Pickett PIT @ BAL
25 Baker Mayfield LAR @ LAC
26 Andy Dalton NO @ PHI

At first glance, it looks like the Eagles could be a good matchup for Andy Dalton. But quarterbacks have been beating the Eagles by rushing the ball, and I don’t see Dalton running anywhere. Fire up Taysom Hill if you can use him at TE.

Here are the Dallas Cowboys' total weekly points since getting Dak Prescott back from injury: 24, 49, 28, 40, 28, 54, 27, 34, 40. 

Teddy Bridgewater should be starting for an injured Tua Tagovailoa, even if he clears concussion protocol, the NFL needs to protect him from himself. Seems to be an issue with most people these days.

No matter how much I need Jalen Hurts to play this week, I think it's likely they turn to Gardner Minshew once again. Minshew is startable because of the weapons the Eagles have. 

The Colts will be starting Nick Foles at QB against the Giants in Week 17. They aren’t going back to Matt Ryan or to the youngest option in Sam Ehlinger. Foles threw for only 143 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions against the Chargers in Week 16. Interim head coach Jeff Saturday just wants to win, and I guess he thinks Foles is a better option than Ehlinger. Ryan sitting is an organizational business decision.

The Las Vegas Raiders have benched Derek Carr in favor of Jarrett Stidham to finish out the season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Davante Adams decides to quiet quit.

Running Back Rankings

Most analysts look at fantasy points allowed when judging matchups, but for the RB position, I look at yards per carry (YPC) allowed. YPC is generally a misused metric that tells us less about running back efficiency but does give us a good indication of defensive efficiency. 

There are a lot of running backs with good matchups in Week 17. Here are just a few of my favorites: Zonovan Knight and Michael Carter against the Seattle Seahawks, Brian Robinson (or Antonio Gibson) against the Cleveland Browns, Zack Moss against the Giants and D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams facing the Chicago Bears. 

Rank  RB Team Opponent
1 Christian McCaffrey SF @ LV
2 Austin Ekeler LAC vs LAR
3 Saquon Barkley NYG vs IND
4 James Conner ARI @ ATL
5 Rhamondre Stevenson NE vs MIA
6 Travis Etienne Jr. JAC @ HOU
7 Dalvin Cook MIN @ GB
8 Nick Chubb CLE @ WAS
9 Joe Mixon CIN vs BUF
10 Ezekiel Elliott DAL @ TEN
11 Josh Jacobs LV vs SF
12 Alvin Kamara NO @ PHI
13 Kenneth Walker III SEA vs NYJ
14 Jerick McKinnon KC vs DEN
15 David Montgomery CHI @ DET
16 D'Andre Swift DET vs CHI
17 Tyler Allgeier ATL vs ARI
18 Cam Akers LAR @ LAC
19 Brian Robinson Jr. WAS vs CLE
20 Miles Sanders PHI vs NO
21 Aaron Jones GB vs MIN
22 Najee Harris PIT @ BAL
23 James Cook BUF @ CIN
24 Leonard Fournette TB vs CAR
25 Jamaal Williams DET vs CHI
26 Zonovan Knight NYJ @ SEA
27 Zack Moss IND @ NYG
28 J.K. Dobbins BAL vs PIT
29 Isiah Pacheco KC vs DEN
30 AJ Dillon GB vs MIN
31 D'Onta Foreman CAR @ TB
32 Devin Singletary BUF @ CIN
33 Raheem Mostert MIA @ NE
34 Michael Carter NYJ @ SEA
35 Rachaad White TB vs CAR
36 Latavius Murray DEN @ KC
37 Cordarrelle Patterson ATL vs ARI
38 Royce Freeman HOU vs JAC
39 Antonio Gibson WAS vs CLE
40 Jeff Wilson Jr. MIA @ NE
41 Chuba Hubbard CAR @ TB
42 Hassan Haskins TEN vs DAL
43 Julius Chestnut TEN vs DAL
44 Samaje Perine CIN vs BUF
45 Khalil Herbert CHI @ DET
46 Gus Edwards BAL vs PIT
47 Kareem Hunt CLE @ WAS
48 Joshua Kelley LAC vs LAR
49 Deon Jackson IND @ NYG
50 Kenneth Gainwell PHI vs NO
51 Chase Edmonds DEN @ KC
52 Jaylen Warren PIT @ BAL
53 Derrick Henry TEN vs DAL

Here are all of James Conner's fantasy PPR finishes since returning from injury: RB19, RB2, RB15, RB4, RB6, RB12.

Austin Ekeler appeared to be hurt on the final play of the game in Week 16. Now, he’s listed on the injury report (knee) for the first time since Week 9. The Chargers just clinched the playoffs, and I need him in championship week.

Falcons RB Tyler Allgeier has been emerging as the primary RB with Caleb Huntley (Achilles) out for the season and the decline of Cordarrelle Patterson. He has tallied more than 115 total yards in each of the past two weeks against some solid defenses. Last week, he played in 59% of the snaps, had 22 touches, 117 total yds and a 15.1% target share. He should be considered a solid start as your RB2 against a porous Arizona run defense.

If Titans RB Derrick Henry misses Week 16, Julius Chestnut and Hassan Haskins will probably split touches and are not worth starting if you have another decent option.

Leonard Fournette rushed 20 times for 72 rushing yards and caught nine passes on 10 targets for 90 receiving yards and 162 yards of total offense in Week 16. He then proceeded to tweet about how he did it while nursing a Lisfranc injury (the tweet has since been deleted). I expect we see more Rachaad White in a must-win game for the division title. 

Wide Receiver

I examine a few different statistics when trying to find good or bad wide receiver matchups, but receiving yards allowed per game is the most correlated with fantasy points allowed to the WR position. The Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers, New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts are all within the top eight in each category. 

Rank  WR Team Opponent
1 Justin Jefferson MIN @ GB
2 Stefon Diggs BUF @ CIN
3 Ja'Marr Chase CIN vs BUF
4 CeeDee Lamb DAL @ TEN
5 Tyreek Hill MIA @ NE
6 Amon-Ra St. Brown DET vs CHI
7 A.J. Brown PHI vs NO
8 Tee Higgins CIN vs BUF
9 Keenan Allen LAC vs LAR
10 DK Metcalf SEA vs NYJ
11 Garrett Wilson NYJ @ SEA
12 DeVonta Smith PHI vs NO
13 Mike Williams LAC vs LAR
14 Davante Adams LV vs SF
15 Chris Godwin TB vs CAR
16 Jaylen Waddle MIA @ NE
17 Jerry Jeudy DEN @ KC
18 DeAndre Hopkins ARI @ ATL
19 Terry McLaurin WAS vs CLE
20 Mike Evans TB vs CAR
21 DJ Moore CAR @ TB
22 Amari Cooper CLE @ WAS
23 Christian Kirk JAC @ HOU
24 Brandon Aiyuk SF @ LV
25 JuJu Smith-Schuster KC vs DEN
26 Michael Pittman Jr. IND @ NYG
27 Drake London ATL vs ARI
28 Chris Olave NO @ PHI
29 Allen Lazard GB vs MIN
30 Zay Jones JAC @ HOU
31 Gabe Davis BUF @ CIN
32 Diontae Johnson PIT @ BAL
33 DJ Chark Jr. DET vs CHI
34 Jakobi Meyers NE vs MIA
35 Marquise Brown ARI @ ATL
36 Jahan Dotson WAS vs CLE
37 Courtland Sutton DEN @ KC
38 Darius Slayton NYG vs IND
39 George Pickens PIT @ BAL
40 Brandin Cooks HOU vs JAC
41 Donovan Peoples-Jones CLE @ WAS
42 Michael Gallup DAL @ TEN
43 Adam Thielen MIN @ GB
44 Curtis Samuel WAS vs CLE
45 Isaiah Hodgins NYG vs IND
46 Richie James Jr. NYG vs IND
47 K.J. Osborn MIN @ GB
48 Rashid Shaheed NO @ PHI
49 Chris Moore HOU vs JAC
50 Romeo Doubs GB vs MIN
51 Russell Gage TB vs CAR
52 Joshua Palmer LAC vs LAR
53 Mack Hollins LV vs SF
54 Tyler Boyd CIN vs BUF
55 Van Jefferson LAR @ LAC
56 Elijah Moore NYJ @ SEA
57 Parris Campbell IND @ NYG
58 Marquez Valdes-Scantling KC vs DEN
59 Treylon Burks TEN vs DAL
60 Christian Watson GB vs MIN
61 Tutu Atwell LAR @ LAC

CeeDee Lamb should have a great game Thursday night. Michael Gallup is certainly worth consideration in deeper leagues. He should see roughly six or seven targets at a high average depth against a weak Tennessee defense.

Tyreek Hill totaled 337 receiving yards in the two games started by Bridgewater where he had more than 20 attempts. The only issue seems to be Bridgewater doesn’t target receivers in the end zone.

The Green Bay WRs, Allen Lazard and Romeo Doubs should have a big day against the Vikings, with Christian Watson (hip) highly questionable to play. 

Even in a prime matchup against Detroit, there aren’t any Chicago Bears wide receivers I would recommend playing in any format. 

The Texans have allowed one WR1 (top-12) performance this year, and it came back in Week 1 (Michael Pittman Jr.). I doubt the Jaguars wide receivers will break this streak, but Christian Kirk and Zay Jones have been surprising most people this season. 

Jerry Jeudy has averaged 19.1 PPR points per game over his last six full games.

Tight End

During the past six weeks, you looked smart starting a TE against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans. Travis Kelce should dominate, as usual. Dalton Schultz is a solid start and Jordan Akins, Trey McBride, Hunter Henry or Jonnu Smith could be nice streaming options.  

Rank  TE Team Opponent
1 Travis Kelce KC vs DEN
2 George Kittle SF @ LV
3 T.J. Hockenson MIN @ GB
4 Dalton Schultz DAL @ TEN
5 Evan Engram JAC @ HOU
6 Dallas Goedert PHI vs NO
7 Taysom Hill NO @ PHI
8 Pat Freiermuth PIT @ BAL
9 Tyler Higbee LAR @ LAC
10 Mark Andrews BAL vs PIT
11 Cole Kmet CHI @ DET
12 David Njoku CLE @ WAS
13 Dawson Knox BUF @ CIN
14 Darren Waller LV vs SF
15 Juwan Johnson NO @ PHI
16 Greg Dulcich DEN @ KC
17 Gerald Everett LAC vs LAR
18 Logan Thomas WAS vs CLE
19 Noah Fant SEA vs NYJ
20 Jordan Akins HOU vs JAC
21 Tyler Conklin NYJ @ SEA
22 Robert Tonyan GB vs MIN
23 Cade Otton TB vs CAR
24 Daniel Bellinger NYG vs IND
25 Mike Gesicki MIA @ NE
26 Chigoziem Okonkwo TEN vs DAL
27 Hayden Hurst CIN vs BUF
28 Trey McBride ARI @ ATL
29 Jelani Woods IND @ NYG
30 Hunter Henry NE vs MIA

Mark Andrews has only scored 26.7 PPR points (under 7 per game) during his last four games, including only 3.7 PPR points when the Ravens faced Pittsburgh just a few weeks ago. 

Evan Engram has been the top TE during the past four weeks, averaging more than 20 PPR points per game with a minimum of 14 PPR ppg. In Week 17, he faces a Houston defense that has been stingy against WRs but average against TEs, allowing 12.0 PPR points per game during the past four weeks.

Cole Kmet is the Bears' best receiving option in a prime TE matchup in Detroit. 

Mike Gesicki is a sneaky DFS GPP play in Week 17, with Bridgewater getting the start. More than 25% of Gesicki’s targets and two of his four touchdowns came in the two weeks Bridgewater started.

Week 17 Adjustments

Not every team has the incentives to put forth their full effort in Week 17.

  • Tennessee can only clinch a playoff berth with a win in Week 18. They could rest players like Henry
  • Jacksonville clinches with a Week 18 win, and their wild card odds only increase 8% with a win in Week 17
  • Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo, Kansas City and Cincinnati are all playing for the top seed in their conference, so they will likely be playing their starters. But Dallas is sitting Pollard, given their matchup and depth at the position
  • Minnesota and San Francisco have clinched a playoff berth but have no first-seed odds, so if Philadelphia wins at 1:00 p.m. EST, they could rest their starters or just play a half

When examining these rankings, consider I am really only looking at positional ranks, not flex or overall rankings. When it comes to who you start in the flex, a lot will depend on your specific league rules and roster construction. If players are ranked within three spots of each other, the difference between them is negligible.

Good luck this week.

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