Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Fantasy Football: NFL Week 17 Lineup Advice, Best Matchups

Published Categorized as NFL

Most fantasy football playoffs are in the finals or semifinals, depending on the size of your league. That means championship-hungry fantasy owners must still make critical start/sit decisions, and SN’s Vinnie Iyer has your back with Week 17 fantasy lineup advice and DFS tips.

NFL Week 17 Fantasy Football Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em: Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, Rhamondre Stevenson and MORE

NFL Week 17 Fantasy Football Start 'Em Sit 'Em: Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, Rhamondre Stevenson and MORE

Also read: Davante Adams’ react to Derek Carr leave Raiders: “The reason why I came here”

Fantasy Football Week 17 Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks

QB must-starts

  1. Justin Fields, Bears (at DET)
  2. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (vs. DEN)
  3. Joe Burrow, Bengals (vs. BUF)
  4. Josh Allen, Bills (at CIN)
  5. Dak Prescott, Cowboys (at TEN)
  6. Kirk Cousins, Vikings (at GB)
  7. Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars (at HOU)
  8. Lamar Jackson, Ravens (if he returns, vs. PIT)

Stronger starts

  • Tom Brady, Buccaneers (vs. CAR).

Brady and the passing game struggled on the road last week, but with the division at stake, he’ll be on point with at least 250 yards and two touchdowns.

  • Brock Purdy, 49ers (at LV).

Purdy does nothing but pass for at least two touchdowns per game, and that will happen again in a favorable matchup in a San Francisco fan-friendly road game.

  • Teddy Bridgewater, Dolphins (at NE).

As the fill-in for a concussed Tua Tagovailoa in a crucial road game against a weak-enough pass defense, he’s set up well with great weapons.

  • Mike White, Jets (at SEA).

He’s back as the starter, and while this spot is difficult to exploit on the road, he can exploit the Seahawks for good production inside.

  • Justin Herbert, Chargers (vs. LAR).

Herbert has gone two games without a touchdown pass, but he is due for at least two in a bounce-back performance against the Rams.

  • Aaron Rodgers, Packers (vs. MIN).

With the playoffs in sight, Rodgers can light up this secondary in a shootout with Kirk Cousins.

  • Jared Goff, Lions (vs. CHI).

Goff has returned home and will play in the NFC North’s other high-scoring game.

  • Gardner Minshew, Eagles (vs. NO).

Minshew will deliver more fine digits at home if he relieves Jalen Hurts (right shoulder) again.

Fantasy Football Week 17 Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks

Weaker starts

  • Geno Smith, Seahawks (vs. NYJ).

The revenge narrative is in play, but he may be missing key weapons again, and the passing game matchup is brutal.

  • Daniel Jones, Giants (vs. IND). 

The Colts still have a strong pass defense and don’t allow much rushing to quarterbacks.

  • Deshaun Watson, Browns (at WAS).

Their offense has been terrible recently, and this appears to be a low-scoring game.

  • Carson Wentz, Commanders (vs. CLE).

With two tricky pass defenses in play, this appears to be a low-scoring game in the elements.

  • Russell Wilson, Broncos (at KC).

Despite the good numbers in the first meeting, he’s a highly volatile choice in this matchup.

  • Sam Darnold, Panthers (at TB).

It may seem like a good idea after last week, but no way.

Fantasy Football Week 17 Start ‘Em: Running backs

RB must-starts

  1. Christian McCaffrey, 49ers (at LV)
  2. Austin Ekeler, Chargers (vs. LAR)
  3. Derrick Henry, Titans (at DAL)
  4. Dalvin Cook, Vikings (at GB)
  5. Saquon Barkley, Giants (vs. IND)
  6. James Conner, Cardinals (at ATL)
  7. Travis Etienne Jr., Jaguars (at HOU)
  8. Cam Akers, Rams (at LAC)
  9. Aaron Jones, Packers (vs. MIN)
  10. Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots (vs. MIA)
  11. Nick Chubb, Browns (at WAS)
  12. Josh Jacobs, Raiders (at SF)
  13. Kenneth Walker III, Seahawks (vs. KC)
  14. Joe Mixon, Bengals (vs. BUF)
  15. David Montgomery, Bears (at DET)
  16. Tony Pollard, Cowboys (if he plays, at TEN)
  17. Alvin Kamara, Saints (at PHI)
  18. Najee Harris, Steelers (at BAL)

Stronger starts

  • D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, Lions (vs. CHI).

As long as Williams (leg) plays, both should be able to get back on track against a defense that is giving up almost everything. The Lions will rely on them to complete drives and close out games.

  • Brian Robinson Jr., Commanders (vs. CLE).

In a favorable situation with questionable quarterback play, Robinson should be the strong lead back.

  • Tyler Allgeier, Falcons (vs. ARI).  

He’s been putting up the volume and production of late, and he’s moved into another good scrimmage spot.

  • Zonovan Knight, Jets (at SEA).

After two down games with Zach Wilson, Knight should be more active against a struggling run defense.

  • Zack Moss, Colts (at NYG).

Over Deon Jackson, Moss is getting the majority of the key early-down power work, and that’s where the Giants are vulnerable.

Fantasy Football Week 17 Sit ‘Em: Running backs

Weaker starts

  • Miles Sanders, Eagles (vs. NO) 
Elliott has been outstanding in terms of scoring, but the Titans simply do not allow rushing touchdowns.
  • Latavius Murray, Broncos (at KC)
The Chiefs have tightened their defense against weaker running games, and Denver qualifies on the road in bad game script.

  • JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards, Ravens (vs. PIT)

The Steelers have stifled the run in recent games against the Panthers and Raiders.

  • Devin Singletary and James Cook, Bills (at CIN) 
The Bengals’ run defense remains strong, so Josh Allen will need to throw lot to beat Joe Burrow.
  • Eagles’ Miles Sanders (vs. NO)

After his fumbling issues and limited production over the last two weeks, he’s become difficult to trust, and this matchup isn’t looking good.

  • Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys (at TEN)
Elliott has been outstanding in terms of scoring, but the Titans simply do not allow rushing touchdowns.
  • Latavius Murray, Broncos (at KC)

The Chiefs have tightened their defense against weaker running games, and Denver qualifies on the road in a bad game script.

  • JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards, Ravens (vs. PIT)

The Steelers have stifled the run in recent games against the Panthers and Raiders.

  • Devin Singletary and James Cook, Bills (at CIN)

The Bengals’ interior run defense remains strong, so Josh Allen will need to throw a lot.

  • D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard, Panthers (at TB)
The rollercoaster ride continues as Tampa Bay focuses on stopping the run, similar to what Pittsburgh did against Carolina in Week 15.
  • Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr., Dolphins (at NE)
The touches between both are difficult to discern, and the Patriots have a strong run defense.
  • Antonio Gibson, Commanders (vs. CLE)

With Robinson’s growing prominence, he has faded into obscurity.

Fantasy Football Week 17 Start ‘Em: Wide receivers

WR must-starts

  1. Justin Jefferson, Vikings (at GB)
  2. Tyreek Hill, Dolphins (at NE)
  3. Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals (vs. BUF)
  4. A.J. Brown, Eagles (vs. NO)
  5. CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys (at TEN)
  6. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions (vs. CHI)
  7. Stefon Diggs, Bills (at CIN)
  8. Davante Adams, Raiders (vs. SF)
  9. Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins (at NE)
  10. DK Metcalf, Seahawks (vs. NYJ)
  11. Keenan Allen, Chargers (vs. LAR)
  12. Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (vs. CAR)
  13. DeVonta Smith, Eagles (vs. NO)
  14. Tee Higgins, Bengals (vs. BUF)
  15. Christian Kirk, Jaguars (at HOU)
  16. DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals (at ATL)
  17. Garrett Wilson, Jets (at SEA)
  18. Terry McLaurin, Commanders (vs. CLE)
  19. Mike Williams, Chargers (vs. LAR)
  20. Jerry Jeudy, Broncos (at KC)
  21. Mike Evans, Buccaneers (vs. CAR)
  22. Gabe Davis, Bills (at CIN)

Stronger starts

  • George Pickens, Steelers (at BAL)

George Pickens, Steelers (at BAL). With Kenny Pickett back, he’s the more appealing option against this secondary, which will most likely be missing Marcus Peters (calf) again.

  • Adam Thielen, Vikings (at GB)

Adam Thielen, Vikings (at GB). He appears to be a safe bet to score in this matchup.

  • Greg Dortch, Cardinals (at ATL)

Dortch will remain active as a short-area receiver off DeAndre Hopkins regardless of who the quarterback is.

  • Hunter Renfrow, Raiders (vs. SF)

He should be a volume-based slot play with a lot of short passes against tough coverage outside.

  • Michael Gallup, Cowboys (at TEN)

Gallup scored last week to get back into the game, and the Titans have trouble covering him outside.

  • Jahan Dotson, Commanders (vs. CLE)

When he is healthy, he excels with either QB.

  • D.J. Moore, Panthers (vs. TB)
He’s been reheated with Sam Darnold as their clear No. and can be preoccupied with shorter routes and red-zone work.
  • Amari Cooper, Browns (at WAS)

Deshaun Watson’s confidence has returned, and he can work well inside-out in this matchup.

  • Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers (at LV)

Outside, the Raiders’ cornerbacks are unable to contain him.

  • Courtland Sutton, Broncos (at KC)

Sutton missed the first meeting between these teams, and the Chiefs will struggle with him in the same way they did with DK Metcalf last week.

  • Allen Lazard, Packers (vs. MIN)

Christian Watson (hip) is not looking good, and Lazard should be reheated in a crucial game.

Fantasy Football Week 17 Sit ‘Em: Wide receivers

Weaker starts

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chiefs (vs. DEN)

With their RBs and Travis Kelce dominating most of the production, it’s difficult to trust the Chiefs’ wideouts.

  • Zay Jones, Jaguars (at HOU)

The Texans’ zone defense will limit the downfield passing game, making this more of a Christian Kirk game.

He might get a tough matchup against Marlon Humphrey.

  • Marquise Brown, Cardinals (at ATL)

Without Kyler Murray, the downfield passing game is gone.

  • Donovan Peoples-Jones, Browns (at WAS)

Cooper was feeling it with Deshaun Watson, but now he seems safer.

  • Giants’ Darius Slayton (vs. IND)

Richie James and Isaiah Hodgins are performing better, and this matchup isn’t ideal.

  • Patriots Jakobi Meyers (vs. MIA)

Who knows what New England’s wideouts will bring after Kendrick Bourne was the man last week?

  • Texans, Brandin Cooks (vs. JAX)

I’m not feeling it with him or Chris Moore anymore.

  • Chargers’ Josh Palmer (vs. LAR)

With Mike Williams and Keenan Allen back, he’s not getting the targets.

  • Tyler Boyd of the Bengals (vs. BUF)

He is not

MORE: Cowboys-Titans Injury Report for Week 17: Is Tony Pollard, Derrick Henry READY on Thursday night?

Fantasy Football Week 17 Start ‘Em: Tight ends

TE must-starts

  1. Travis Kelce, Chiefs (vs. DEN)
  2. George Kittle, 49ers (at LV)
  3. T.J. Hockenson, Vikings (at GB)
  4. Evan Engram, Jaguars (at HOU)
  5. Mark Andrews, Ravens (vs. PIT)
  6. Dallas Goedert, Eagles (vs. NO)
  7. Pat Freiermuth, Steelers (at BAL)
  8. Darren Waller, Raiders (vs. SF)

Stronger starts

  • Bills, Dawson Knox (at CIN)

He’s getting key looks from Josh Allen and scoring.

  • Cowboys’ Dalton Schultz (at TEN)

This matchup is far too good for him to pass up.

  • Saints, Taysom Hill (at PHI)

He remains effective in his hybrid rushing role.

  • Bears Cole Kmet (at DET)

He did a lot of damage to them earlier.

  • Jets’ Tyler Conklin (at SEA)

He gets the cheat code matchup vs. the Seahawks with Mike White back.

  • Cade Otton, Buccaneers (vs. CAR)

Otton put up good digits in the first meeting, and they’ll lean on him more.

Fantasy Football Week 17 Sit ‘Em: Tight ends

Weaker starts

  • Browns’ David Njoku (at WAS)

Last week, he struggled in a bad matchup, and he’ll be an afterthought this week.

  • Rams’ Tyler Higbee (at LAC)

Don’t chase Baker Mayfield’s scoring surge of the last two weeks.

  • Denver Broncos’ Greg Dulcich (at KC)

He has a hamstring injury and is difficult to trust even when healthy.

  • Seahawks’ Noah Fant (vs. NYJ)

He’s hot when it’s coldest, but you’re taking a chance on a TD.

  • Chargers’ Gerald Everett (vs. LAC)

He’s not involved enough, and now Donald Parham Jr. is.

  • Juwan Johnson, Saints (at PHI)

He’s not getting the TD this week.

Fantasy Football Week 17 Start ‘Em: Defenses

Defense must-starts

  1. 49ers (vs. LV)
  2. Cowboys (at TEN)
  3. Eagles (vs. NO)
  4. Ravens (vs. PIT)
  5. Chiefs (vs. DEN)
  6. Patriots (vs. MIA)
  7. Buccaneers (vs. CAR)
  8. Jaguars (at HOU)

Stronger starts

  • Giants (vs. IND) (vs. IND). The Colts appear to be worse with Nick Foles.
  • Jets (at SEA) (at SEA). The Seahawks have recently been more generous with sacks and turnovers.
  • Chargers (vs. LAR) (vs. LAR). Sean McVay will also try to stymie Brandon Staley, but this defense is playing exceptionally well.
  • Commanders (vs. CLE) (vs. CLE). The Browns are becoming careless with the ball.
  • Steelers (at BAL). They’ll keep it ugly and low-scoring, too.
  • Cardinals (at ATL). They can go after a rookie QB hoping to finish strong with the retiring J.J. Watt.
  • Lions (vs. CHI). There’s some potential for a huge mistake.

Fantasy Football Week 17 Sit ‘Em: Defenses

Weaker starts

  • Bills (at CIN). You can’t come here against Joe Burrow.
  • Bengals (vs. BUF). You can’t go against Josh Allen here.
  • Dolphins (at NE). They are not performing well.
  • Rams (at LAC). They calm down against Justin Herbert.
  • Packers (vs. MIN). Don’t go after Miami’s points.
  • Panthers (at TB).  At home, the GOAT will perform better.
  • Seahawks (vs. NYJ). Not against non-Zach Wilson
Categorized as NFL