Each week, you can try to predict the perfect fantasy lineup on NFL.com for a chance to win $1 million. Never played before? Don't worry, it's super simple and completely free. All you have to do is select who you think will be the highest scoring player at each position in a given week. Easy. And it gets better. Each week I'll collect the perfect lineup from each of our fantasy experts to try and help guide you all to the $1 million prize. Haven't joined NFL Perfect Challenge yet or bothered to play? Don't worry, you can get started in just a few seconds RIGHT HERE.
Below are the Perfect Challenge picks for Week 17 from Marcas Grant, Matt Franciscovich, Alex Gelhar and myself, Matt Harmon.
One of the key points to Perfect Challenge, and all fantasy in general, this week will be correctly identifying which games feature teams that won't rest their starters. To be fair, this year has far fewer teams with their seeding up in the air heading in to Week 17 than usual. For the most part, all of Marcas' picks should qualify. Jordan Reed would be the one that does worry me. Washington is locked into the fourth seed, and cannot improve their seeding. It's quite possible they rest players, and Jordan Reed is a prime candidate to sit. Reed is not only their best offensive weapon, but also a player with a long injury history.
Ben Roethlisberger absolutely tanked for fantasy owners last week, scoring fewer than three fantasy points as his team lost to Baltimore. Franchise expects them to play their best football against Cleveland this week, and they'll need to if they want any slim chance of making the playoffs. Several times this season, the unique stack of Ben, DeAngelo Williams and Antonio Brown came through for one-week fantasy gamers. Julio Jones going against a New Orleans secondary that was torched by No. 1 receivers all season, and just let up a 90-yard touchdown to Allen Robinson, is appealing. The Panthers have to win to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs, so a scenario where Greg Olsen sits will only occur if the Panthers get up to another early lead.
Adrian Peterson and the Vikings can bump the Packers out of the top spot in the division on Sunday. He makes an ideal candidate for the game this week, considering the Packers leaky run defense of late and the likelihood he plays the entire game. Oh, and he's legendarily good at football, that helps. Zach Ertz has 30 targets over the last two games, and is playing sound football. The Giants allow the second most yards to tight ends this year, with 1,108. Cam Newton makes me a little nervous if the Panthers build a big lead and rest him with 16-0 off the table, but then again if they do get that lead, Newton will be the one to build it.
Todd Gurley was in all but one of our perfect challenge lineups. If you're daring enough to play in Week 17, some of the best games to pick from are when two bad teams with nothing to play for square off. Those matchups can create high point totals, and offensive players can frequently find success. Gurley is a strong example from the 49ers and Rams game. Blake Bortles going against the Texans, who still need to win to secure the division that they have all but wrapped up, is another. Odell Beckham was another popular pick in his game coming off suspension. He's set to have one last big game of the season against a banged up Eagles secondary that bled yards to No. 1 receivers all season. With Alshon Jeffery on IR, Zach Miller is primed to pace the Bears in receiving again.
Anyway, that's how we're rolling for Week 17. We aren't in this for ourselves though. We are men of the people. We want you to use our picks to make your own perfect lineup and come away with the $1 million prize. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for NFL Perfect Challenge and prove that you're indeed smarter than all of us. We will gladly celebrate with you if and when you take home that grand prize. Please keep us posted.