Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 17 championships

Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 17 championships

Fantasy Football Lineup Management

Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 17 championships

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The championship week in fantasy football has finally arrived, and managers will likely be stressing all weekend trying to figure out their optimal lineups in Week 17.

While there are fantasy managers on the outside looking in, we still can use these start/sits as a way to find an edge in DFS or prop betting during a week where the majority of championships are taking place.

Doing start/sit articles can be a little challenging. The players featured on the list below should not be taken as “must starts” or “must sits.” Instead, these are more suggestions on what we believe managers should do with fringe players heading into the weekend. The choice is ultimately up to the manager.

Just because a player is listed as a “start” doesn’t mean he should be put in the lineup over the secure, bona fide studs. Vice versa for the “sits.” If there’s no better option on the waiver wire or the bench, a manager shouldn’t automatically sit the player. That’s why these can be tricky waters to navigate.

You also can check out our start and sit bench list for Week 17:

Sit: TE Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 Opponent: vs. San Francisco 49ers

There may not be a whole lot of managers starting Waller in the championship, but he should be avoided this week. The Raiders benched starting quarterback Derek Carr, who will be away from the team as a result for the final two weeks. That means Waller has to compete for targets with Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow in an offense led by Jarrett Stidham. He also has to do so against a vaunted 49ers defense that has allowed the 12th-fewest PPR points per game to the position over the last five weeks.

Start: TE Tyler Conklin, New York Jets

Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 Opponent: at Seattle Seahawks

Considering the news that Mike White will be the starting quarterback in Week 17, we can have a little more faith in the Jets offense. Not a ton of faith, but more than what we had with Zach Wilson. In the three games White started (Weeks 12-14), Conklin had respectable target shares of 11%, 13% and 18%. That’s not great usage, but it’s certainly workable. On top of that, the matchup against the Seahawks is fantastic for tight ends. They’ve allowed the ninth-most PPR points per game over the last five weeks while allowing the second-most yards and PPR points per game to the position over the entire season.

Sit: WR Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts

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Week 17 Opponent: at New York Giants

It’s incredibly difficult to trust Pittman Jr. and the Colts offense. Even though he’s top-10 in receptions this season, Pittman Jr. has suffered from a career-low 9.4 yards per reception mostly due to the quarterback issues. Nick Foles remains the starter, and he’s likely to struggle against a Giants defense that should get pressure with ease. With seasons on the line, it doesn’t make sense to trust an offense that has been one of the biggest disappointments of the entire 2022 campaign.

Start: WR Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 Opponent: vs. Minnesota Vikings

Lazard finds himself in a solid spot to produce some big numbers this week. As one of our sleepers of the week, Lazard has reached double-digit PPR points four times in his last seven games. Also during that span, he’s recorded at least a 21% target share in five of those games. This week, he gets to take on a Vikings defense that has allowed the most receptions and PPR points per game to the position while allowing the second-most receiving yards over the last five weeks. There’s also a chance Christian Watson is either limited or out due to an injury, so Lazard is in a good spot for this week.

Sit: RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 Opponent: vs. San Francisco 49ers

Can you really sit Jacobs, the RB2 on the season, with the championship on the line? Probably not. Jacobs more than likely helped carry you to the championship if you survived his paltry Week 16 outing. But even if you can’t sit Jacobs this week with Jarrett Stidham starting, at least temper expectations and bake in a bit more upside to your lineup construction. While Jacobs has defied all odds this season, the 49ers are a brutal matchup for running backs. They haven’t allowed a single running back to go over 60 rushing yards in a game this season and haven’t allowed a touchdown in their last five games. Jacobs has been elite this season, so managers likely are keeping him in their lineups, but this isn’t a matchup to be excited about.

Start: RB Brian Robinson, Washington Commanders

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Week 17 Opponent: vs. Cleveland Browns

The rookie running back hasn’t been very efficient this season, averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. However, he will be in the backfield all by himself with Antonio Gibson being ruled out for the matchup. Robinson has averaged 20.2 opportunities (carries and targets) per game over his last six games while the Browns have allowed the 12th-most PPR points per game to running backs in their last three games. The volume and matchup should give Robinson an RB2 floor with RB1 upside if he finds the end zone.

Sit: QB Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 Opponent: vs. New York Jets

While Smith has been one of the inspiring storylines from the 2022 season, it may not be best to trust him in the fantasy championships this week. He has put up streaming numbers in his last two games, posting a QB18 and QB15 finish, respectively, but there’s upside elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Jets defense hasn’t allowed multiple passing touchdowns in a game since Week 2 and have only done so twice on the season as a whole.

Start: QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 Opponent: vs. Minnesota Vikings

Rodgers hasn’t finished as a QB1 since Week 10 and has done so only twice on the entire season. But he’s in a solid spot against the Vikings at home in Week 17. Over the last five weeks, the Vikings have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, which includes the most passing yards during that span. They’ve allowed at least 17.5 points in four of their last five games with the only time they didn’t coming against Matt Ryan and the putrid Colts offense. Rodgers should be able to get it done in a crucial matchup at home.

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