The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 17
This week is what it all comes down to, mostly. Championship week is upon us, and it has to be one of the most complex championship weeks in several years. Some key players helped you get to the championship and are sitting out this week. It is time to bring home those #FootClanTitles, which means you who are locked into the Fantasy Footballers are at an advantage. Thursday, the Ballers got you headed in the right direction with the Starts of the Week. To watch the entire episode on Youtube, see below.
Please read below if you are trying to make these hard decisions to win your league. Andy, Mike, and Jason want to help you. All of us at the Ballers wish to help you get those titles. If you are not part of our community but want to be, please go to jointhefoot.com and become a member of the #FootClan. Now to help you bring in those #FootClanTitles let’s get to the Fantasy Footballers Starts of the Week for Week 17.
Andy’s Starts of the Week
QB- Jared Goff vs. CHI
Lion’s home games have averaged 60.5 total points per game. Goff himself has been a source of fantasy goodness all year. Goff averages 277 yards per game and two and a half passing touchdowns at Ford Field. This game has a 52-point total currently, which is the highest of the week. The Bears’ defense is not great. They rank dead last in expected points per pass attempt. Meanwhile, the offense is good. That means Goff and the Lions will have to keep scoring, which they can do. Just know Goff is going to be a league winner this year.
RB- Leonard Fournette vs. CAR
The Dump Truck could be back in commission this week. Last week, Fournette saw 30 opportunities against the Cardinals. These must-win games show how dependent Brady is on Fournette. The Buccaneers cannot run the ball, but they will try. Fournette is the running back thirteen on the season. If you are deciding between an early-down running back and Fournette, the PPR upside of Fournette makes him much safer.
WR- Allen Lazard vs. MIN
He is running the most routes for the Packers. Now Christian Watson will be either beaten up or out of the game. This week the Packers face the Vikings, who are giving up the most passing yards per game, the second most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, and the second-highest rate of 15-plus-yard pass plays. Lazard is still a serious threat down the field and has seen the eighth most deep targets in the league. Lazard could be a strong start this week if Christian Watson misses this game.
TE- Dawson Knox vs. CIN
Are you ready to feel alive on Monday night? The over/under is the second highest of the week at 49.5 projected points. Dawson Knox has been a top-ten tight end for the last three weeks. Knox has seen 22% of the team’s targets in that span. Josh Allen‘s targets are more valuable than standard quarterback passes. Go into the last game of your fantasy season with some skin in the game, and ride it out with Dawson Knox.
Jason’s Starts of the Week
QB- Trevor Lawrence vs. HOU
Lawrence is on a roll! Add to that, the Jaguars want to continue winning. In the last few weeks, Houston has pushed teams to the brink, and if that continues, the team needs Lawrence to perform. That is something that he should be able to do. He’s been a top-12 quarterback ten times this year. That ranks only behind Mahomes, Allen, Hurts, and Burrow. Since Week 12, Lawrence has been the QB3. Something has switched in the Jacksonville offense. Since their Week 11 bye, the Jaguars are in the top 10 in total yards, expected points per pass attempt, and points since that week. The Jaguars have a 24-point team implied total, and Lawrence will help you win leagues.
RB- Tyler Allgeier vs. ARI
Since coming off the Week 14 bye, Allgeier has been the RB7 and RB12. He has been heating up, and you need to stay in the flames because now he gets the Cardinals. The Arizona defense is dead last in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to running backs. Add in that the Falcons are 3.5-point home favorites. The Falcons want to establish the run, and if they are up, they will run it even more. If you are trying to figure out which running back to go with, Allgeier should deliver on this matchup.
WR- Garrett Wilson vs. SEA
Is Mike White the QB for the Jets? Then it is time to get Garrett Wilson into your lineup. In the three starts of Mike White, he’s averaged 10 targets, 112 receiving yards, and 18 fantasy points per game. The matchup with Seattle is not great, Jason fully recognizes that, but he doesn’t care. Wilson should be a solid WR2 this week, as the Jets must win. Wilson needs to be in your lineup, and he could give you massive returns for that decision.
TE- David Njoku vs. WAS
In three games with Deshaun Watson as the quarterback, Njoku has seen 22% of the targets. That is a quality-sized pie, and the Cleveland passing game has become more abundant. Among tight ends with 40+ receptions, he ranks sixth in yards per route run. Last week Washington was demolished by George Kittle, and now they see another athletic tight end who could put up some serious fantasy production against them. Over the last six weeks, the Commanders’ defense has ranked sixth against quarterbacks, fourth against running backs, and sixth against wide receivers. They rank 21st against the tight end. That is where they get beat, and with Njoku’s target volume and athleticism, he could be a great back-end tight end.
Mike’s Starts of the Week
QB- Justin Fields vs. DET
Mike is chalking up last week’s bum game to the weather and Buffalo’s defense. Remember the last time the Bears played the Lions? Fields went bananas. He was the QB1 on the week, scoring four total touchdowns along with 13 carries for 147 rushing yards. The Detroit home games have hit the over in every game but one, in which 53 points were scored. The matchup with Detroit is so juicy you cannot miss that opportunity. This game should be a back-and-forth, with Fields absorbing all the Chicago production. Most of you would be playing Fields anyways, but Mike wants to give you the confidence bump to play Justin Fields and know that he should deliver for you.
RB- Brian Robinson vs. CLE
The Cleveland defense is one of the actual run-funnel defenses in the NFL. They rank 28th in expected points per rush attempt, 29th in defensive-adjusted line yards, and 30th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to running backs. The Commanders need to win this game, and in Washington wins, Robinson is averaging almost 11 fantasy points per game. Last week he saw three attempts inside the five, and he didn’t get into the end zone. Carson Wentz will be starting, and Antonio Gibson could miss the game. That means they will need Robinson to win this game for them.
WR- Mike Evans vs. CAR
It has to be the time! For the third time in as many weeks, he has been a Start of the Week, and he has not delivered. The variance bouncing the wrong way has kept him in this conversation every week. He has nine end zone targets on the year, and only three have turned into touchdowns. In 2021, Evans had 13 endzone targets and 14 total touchdowns. In 2020, he had 16 endzone targets and 13 touchdowns. So, what has changed this year? The last time the Buccaneers played the Panthers, Evans was hyper-targeted with 15 targets, nine catches, and 96 yards. Yet, he didn’t score. Since Week 3, the Panthers rank 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points to wide receivers. If he can find a way to get into the end zone, he could be a league winner once again.
TE- Cole Kmet vs. DET
Kmet is an excellent paring to go with Justin Fields for your lineup. When the Lions and the Bears played in Week 10, Kmet saw seven targets and went for four catches, 74 yards, and two touchdowns. The fear for Fields is the lack of weapons, but Kmet has been solid for his quarterback lately. Since Week 9, he has had a 26% target share, which is not from a massive pie but still a good number. Detroit is allowing the highest target success rate to tight ends in the NFL. Kmet has a touchdown possibility and should have a decent PPR floor. You can do a lot worse at the tight end for your championship roster.