The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 17
The Fantasy Footballers focused on Week 17 Starts of the Week on Thursday’s show. Andy, Mike, and Jason selected players at each position and stated why they chose them as starts. Below is a summary of who each of the guys picked. If you haven’t listened to the podcast yet, you can find it here. Also, give JoinTheFoot.com a visit as it delivers a ton of extra resources exclusively for #FootClan members.
QB: Jalen Hurts @ WAS
The Eagles have something on the line in this game, with playoffs in their sight. Hurts’ performance this season has made Andy eat his words to some degree in terms of criticism. Andy has seen Hurts get better this year, believing he could be the future. With the way Washington has looked over the last six weeks, Andy considers Hurts a safe play for Week 17. Hurts is a talent on his feet, and he could run it in for a touchdown this week.
RB: Ronald Jones @ NYJ
RoJo is Andy’s selection to start at running back this week. If Andy had to predict any running back to score a touchdown this week, he would select Jones. Jones takes on a New York Jets defense that looks like the worst rushing defense ever. Andy says that if you have Jones on your roster, plug him into your flex spot. The guys have Jones ranked as the consensus sixth-ranked RB for the week. When Jones got his starting opportunity against the Panthers last week, filling in for the injured Leonard Fournette, Jones saw his third touchdown in the previous six games. He should see scoring opportunities again in this matchup.
WR: Odell Beckham Jr. @ BAL
Did you see what kind of damage Tee Higgins did last week? Beckham should be able to do that kind of thing in Week 17. The Rams wideout is attached to Matthew Stafford, Jason’s Start at quarterback. Cooper Kupp will have a big game this week, but that’s not a surprise. Beckham should find himself back in the end zone as he will be even more involved in the offense this week.
TE: Rob Gronkowski @ NYJ
Tom Brady throws to the players he trusts, and Gronk has been one of those players for quite some time. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Leonard Fournette are all out, so Brady will continue to do what he does best — get the ball to Gronk. This start is a high upside play, and Andy states he thinks Gronkowski could see a couple of touchdowns. Go with what works.
QB: Matthew Stafford @ BAL
To say Baltimore is depleted is an understatement. The secondary does not exist, and injury has taken hold of this roster. The Ravens gave up a 50 point game to Joe Burrow last week. Jason looks to start Stafford and Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr., and Van Jefferson in an excellent spot for fantasy points. Jason does not think Baltimore has the personnel to fix their problem. Stafford may have had a three-interception game in his last outing, but Jason believes this will be a game where he shows a three-touchdown game is more the norm.
RB: Rashaad Penny vs. DET
This week, Jason selected Penny taking on the Detroit Lions as his running back Start of the Week. Alex Collins is still a limited participant in practice. Penny has been a great running back, but his issue has been with injury. When given the opportunity, he makes the most of it. In two of the last three weeks, Penny has been a top-10 RB. Detroit is the 30th ranked run defense, bleeding points to the RB position. When Penny has 12 or more carries, he has put up 16, 18, 26, 26, and 20 fantasy points. This first-round pick was drafted to be great, and he looks to take advantage of the opportunity in his game against the Lions.
WR: Antonio Brown @ NYJ
In Brown’s first game back in action, he saw 79-percent of the snaps. He additionally received 79-percent of the wide receiver targets, an outrageous feat. Tom Brady will get the ball to the players he knows he can trust, and with Chris Godwin out for the season, Brady relies on Brown to do it all. Brown has three top-10 finishes and four as a WR2 or better, and he has only seen action in six games. Look for Brady to continue to pepper Brown with targets.
TE: Dawson Knox vs. ATL
Andy believes Gronk could see a couple of scores, but Jason is backing Knox as a TE who will catch touchdowns in Week 17. Jason loves that Knox is tied to quarterback Josh Allen. He also believes Knox will win out in the red zone, and Allen will make sure to feed him the ball. While the wide receiver group recovered from Covid-19, Knox did an excellent job as a reliable target for Allen. This week should be a powerful week for Knox.
QB: Trey Lance vs. HOU
It’s Trey Lance time! Houston has not looked to be a plus matchup for quarterbacks, but Tua Tagovailoa, Mike White, Carson Wentz, and Trevor Lawrence are the WBs they have shut down. Justin Herbert‘s game against Houston was not what you would have hoped for, but he still ended up being a top-10 play in fantasy. Russell Wilson also put up top-10 numbers when he faced Houston. In Lance’s only start this season against Arizona, the quarterback had 16 carries. He can do damage on the ground via his legs. Lance additionally has weapons in fully healthy Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle.
RB: AJ Dillon vs. MIN
Weather projections for this game have it as a cold one, and often games will turn to the ground when it gets cold. As of late, Dillon has been shelling out RB3 numbers. Aaron Rodgers could toss three touchdowns in the first half, leading the Packers to turn to their run game in the second half. Mike believes the Packers will turn to Dillon to punish Minnesota as they often turn to the big man when running out the clock. With single-digit temperatures at the start of the game, look for Dillon to put up a big performance as a stand-in Yeti/block of ice.
WR: DeVonta Smith vs. WAS
It looked like Washington was figuring things out for a bit, but they are back in a plus matchup for wide receivers. In three straight weeks, Washington has allowed top-12 production to wide receivers. Look for Smith to have a great contest against a team allowing wideouts to shine. Smith’s floor may be very low, but Mike is confident that this matchup will equate to an excellent game for the Eagles, not only on the ground but through the air. Plug Smith in as your flex.
TE: Foster Moreau vs. IND
The Texans are the only team that has not put up top-12 tight end production over the last eight weeks versus Indianapolis. Houston doesn’t have a go-to tight end (Mike points out that Brevin Jordan could turn into something for the Texans, and I wanted to mention that here since I’m a Jordan fan). Moreau has seen back-to-back 60-yard games and looks to continue putting up stats in his matchup against Indy. Mike says if you’re in a position where you need to stream tight end this week, Moreau is the player for you.