The Fantasy Hipsters are back one more time this season with their 2017 awards or whatever, and off-the-beaten path answers to some of your fantasy football mailbag questions. In this space, Matt Harmon and Matt Franciscovich (Franchise) have given you a mix players to add, overlooked weekly plays and in-depth stats all layered with the type of unique, off-the-mainstream tone you can only expect from these two well-groomed hipsters all season long. But since it's Week 17 and only your out-of-touch neighbor just joined a casual league in Week 2 this year, he's still playing fantasy football for some unforsaken reason. So we're changing it up this week. Deal with it.
HARMON: Malcolm Brown is a good call but everyone is talking about him. I see all the mainstream fantasy analysts penning pretty words about his positive Week 17 outlook. So, I won't waste your time. Honestly, if the Steelers sit their stars (that includes Le'Veon Bell, I guess), would anyone be surprised if Stevan Ridley had a big game against the Browns? I was stunned to look up from my spiced Christmas stout on the 25th and discover he was on their roster.
FRANCHISE: Not surprised, but we're on the same page here. Malcolm Brown is such a mainstream, lazy pick. If you actually paid attention, you'd know that the 49ers have allowed just over 60 rush yards per game to running backs since Jimmy Garoppolo took over. And I'm in on Stevan Ridley too. It's the perfect prep game to get the former Patriots' running back some reps ahead of a potential revenge game in the AFC Championship. Put it in permanent quill ink: The Fantasy Hipsters are in on Stevan Ridley in Week 17.
FRANCHISE: A few running backs I really liked from the 2017 draft class were Jamaal Williams and D'Onta Foreman. They both had opportunities this past season, but next year is shaping up even better. Both will likely be in committees in Green Bay and Houston respectively, but I'm totally down to see how they can improve in Year 2. Also, can we please make 2018 the official #FreeDerrickHenry year? I mean, how washed is DeMarco Murray at this point? I feel like the Henry hype is going to be out of control, and I'm here for all of it.
HARMON: I mean, staying pretty safe there with Henry, because everyone knows he's a breakout candidate, but I like the Foreman call. He could go overlooked among the really good crop of rookie backs we saw this year. As for me, I'm excited to get back some of the injured players we lost this year. There was only about 100 of them. Allen Robinson? My guy. Remember him? I'm ready to see him play again in 2018.
FRANCHISE: Not trying to brag or anything, but I snagged A-Rob off waivers in Week 15 of a keeper league. I'm with you. Plus, I mean, Jags, amirite? OK, NEXT.
HARMON: Jenyes is right along the hipster mindset here. Call me a prisoner of the moment, but I'm going to say Garoppolo. He's looked special and his weekly fantasy finishes have gone up each week despite not throwing many touchdowns. And think about both who his supporting cast is and that he's still less than two months into learning Kyle Shanahan's offense. I know everyone is camping out waiting for ticket's to the Sean McVay show, but Shanahan is still one of the best offensive minds in the NFL to me. Everything looks organic peach(y) for Jimmy G in 2018.
FRANCHISE: Maybe it's this holiday season, I don't know. But we've got some chemistry going on here again. I mean, why on this beautiful Earth (please do your part to fight climate change) would you start Matthew Stafford this week? I'm in with Jimmy G in what could be a shockingly high-scoring game. Plus, you'd have to think the 49ers would want him to get in as many reps as possible before the offseason. Stafford's been banged up for weeks and might not finish in a game that doesn't matter ... and a super-organic segue into our next inquiry:
FRANCHISE: Call me crazy (I'm used to it) but how about this: Don't keep a quarterback at all. I've tried this myself with guys like Andrew Luck and Marcus Mariota in the last few seasons and got burned worse than over-roasted Starbucks coffee beans. Gross. Seriously though, QBs are a dime-a-dozen, and you're better off keeping a running back or wideout. But if I had to choose, I'd honestly side with Jimmy G here. Brady is going to be 41-years-old next year! He's old as hell. I want no part of that. Give me the young gunslinger all day.
HARMON: We finally come to a fork in the road of our mail satchel journey here. I agree, keeping a quarterback probably isn't the move for the reasons you laid out. However, I'll disagree in that if I have to keep one of them (don't put me in a box) I'll roll with the vintage veteran. Look, even at his best, and I know we think he will be great, Jimmy Garoppolo is highly unlikely to post the near QB1 overall numbers week-in-week-out like Tom Brady does. It hurts to take the mainstream player, but Brady is so old he's basically an antique at this point. So, in some way, it's still on brand.