Fantasy Football

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 17

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system. For your final starting lineup decisions, check my weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.

Quarterbacks -- Start 'Em

Ryan Tannehill at Houston Texans: Tannehill has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in fantasy football, scoring 23-plus fantasy points in three straight games and four of his last five. With a postseason berth on the line, Tannehill is a great option when the Titans face the Texans. Their defense has allowed nearly 21 fantasy points per game to enemy quarterbacks since Week 13.

Carson Wentz at New York Giants: Wentz has scored 18-plus fantasy points in four straight games, and this week's battle against the Giants makes him a nice option. Over the last four weeks, their defense has surrendered 11 touchdown passes and an average of more than 25 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. The Eagles also need to win to clinch the NFC East crown over Dallas.

Start 'Em:Dak Prescott vs. Washington Redskins, Tom Brady vs. Miami Dolphins

Sleepers:Daniel Jones vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Andy Dalton vs. Cleveland Browns

Quarterbacks -- Sit 'Em

Ryan Fitzpatrick at New England Patriots: Fitzpatrick has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in fantasy land, scoring 20-plus fantasy points in four of his last five games. However, he will be tough to trust in traditional leagues versus the Patriots. In seven games at Gillette Stadium, their defense has allowed just five touchdown passes and the fewest points to quarterbacks. Beware the 'Magic.

Philip Rivers at Kansas City Chiefs: Rivers was a bust for fantasy fans a week ago, scoring just 11.2 points in a loss to the Raiders. He's a fade this week, even in superflex leagues, when the Chargers face the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Over the last four weeks, enemy quarterbacks have thrown just two touchdown passes while averaging the fewest fantasy points versus Kansas City's defense.

Sit 'Em:Mitchell Trubisky at Minnesota Vikings, Sam Darnold at Buffalo Bills

Busts:Josh Allen vs. New York Jets, Derek Carr at Denver Broncos

Running Backs -- Start 'Em

Marlon Mack at Jacksonville Jaguars: Mack is coming off a huge game against the Panthers, posting 18.1 fantasy points in Week 16. I'd keep him in your flex spot this week, as the Colts face a Jaguars defense that has allowed eight total touchdowns and nearly 40 fantasy points per game to runners over the last four weeks. That includes an average of 197.5 scrimmage yards a game.

Raheem Mostert at Seattle Seahawks: Mostert hasn't had a ton of fantasy points in recent weeks, but he has scored at least one touchdown in five straight games. He'll remain a nice fantasy flex option when the 49ers face the Seahawks, who have surrendered seven total touchdowns and an average of more than 32 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs over the last four weeks.

Start 'Em:Kenyan Drake at Los Angeles Rams, Miles Sanders at New York Giants

Sleepers:DeAndre Washington at Denver Broncos, Ryquell Armstead vs. Indianapolis Colts

Running Backs -- Sit 'Em

David Montgomery at Minnesota Vikings: Montgomery has been a huge disappointment in the second half of the season, putting up fewer than seven fantasy points in all but one of his last seven games. The rookie needs to remain on the bench in the season finale, as he'll face a Vikings defense that's allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to visiting running backs this season.

Ronald Jones vs. Atlanta Falcons: Jones is coming off a big performance against the Texans, but don't be surprised if he follows it up with a stinker against the Falcons. Their defense has been tough on running backs in recent weeks, allowing a total of two touchdowns and 19.2 fantasy points per game to the position since Week 13. At best, Jones is a risk-reward flex starter in league championships.

Wide Receivers -- Start 'Em

Courtland Sutton vs. Oakland Raiders: Sutton has put up three straight stinkers in the stat sheets, but you have to like this week's AFC West matchup against the Raiders. Their defense has struggled against perimeter receivers this season, allowing 13 touchdowns and the fifth-most fantasy points to the position. Look for Sutton to finish the regular season on a very high statistical note.

Breshad Perriman vs. Atlanta Falcons: Perriman has gone from waiver wire fodder to a near must-start wideout in fantasy leagues. He's put up 16-plus fantasy points in three straight games, including a pair of 100-yard performances, and he's found the end zone four times since Week 14. The Falcons defense can be vulnerable to perimeter receivers, so start Perriman once again.

Start 'Em:Jarvis Landry at Cincinnati Bengals, Sterling Shepard vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Sleepers:Greg Ward at New York Giants, Steven Sims at Dallas Cowboys

Wide Receivers -- Sit 'Em

Mike Williams at Kansas City Chiefs: Williams has given fantasy fans double-digit points in three of his last four games (including a pair of touchdowns), but he floundered in a plus matchup last week and is facing a brutal game against the Chiefs next. Perimeter receivers have scored the second-fewest fantasy points against Kansas City, so Williams is better left to the sidelines this week.

Marquise Brown vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brown has been tough to trust in recent weeks, scoring fewer than three fantasy points in three of his last four games. Next up is a date with the Steelers, who have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to perimeter receivers. Baltimore could also decide to rest their starters (Lamar Jackson for sure) in a meaningless game, so Brown is a serious gamble.

Sit 'Em:Robby Anderson at Buffalo Bills, Cooper Kupp vs. Arizona Cardinals

Busts:Odell Beckham Jr. at Cincinnati Bengals, Emmanuel Sanders at Seattle Seahawks

Tight Ends -- Start 'Em

Dallas Goedert at New York Giants: Goedert is coming off a monster performance (9 catches, 91 yards, touchdown, 24.1 fantasy points) against the Cowboys, and he's in line for another big total when the Eagles face the Giants. With Zach Ertz and several wideouts hurt heading into this NFC East battle, Goedert should see a ton of targets in the pass attack from quarterback Carson Wentz.

Start 'Em:Tyler Higbee vs. Arizona Cardinals, Austin Hooper at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sleepers:Jason Witten vs. Washington Redskins, Kaden Smith vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Tight Ends -- Sit 'Em

Mike Gesicki at New England Patriots: Gesicki is coming off scoring a career-high 26.2 fantasy points in a win over the Bengals, and he'll likely be in many fantasy lineups in Week 17 as a result. That could be a bad idea, though, as the Patriots have given up just 10.5 fantasy points per game to the position this season. Tight ends have also averaged just 3.9 catches a game against them in 2019.

Sit 'Em:Vance McDonald at Baltimore Ravens, Jimmy Graham at Detroit Lions

Busts:Mark Andrews vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacob Hollister vs. San Francisco 49ers

Kickers -- Start 'Em

Younghoe Koo at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Koo has put up a pair of stinkers in a row, but he's still a nice option when the Falcons face the Buccaneers. Their defense has allowed 16 field goals and the most fantasy points to visiting kickers, so Koo should produce a nice stat line in a potential barnburner.

Start 'Em:Matt Gay vs. Atlanta Falcons, Nick Folk vs. Miami Dolphins

Sleepers:Austin Seibert at Cincinnati Bengals, Daniel Carlson at Denver Broncos

Kickers -- Sit 'Em

Dan Bailey vs. Chicago Bears: Bailey is a solid option when the matchup is right, but this week's contest against the Bears doesn't fit the bill. Their defense has allowed an average of fewer than six fantasy points per game to kickers in 2019. What's more, the position has converted just 19 field goals.

Sit 'Em:Brandon McManus vs. Oakland Raiders, Jason Sanders at New England Patriots

Busts:Jason Myers vs. San Francisco 49ers, Sam Ficken at Buffalo Bills

Defenses -- Start 'Em

Saints D/ST vs. Carolina Panthers: The Saints defense has a shot to be a major asset in Week 17 championships. That's due to a great matchup against the Panthers and Will Grier. In his first NFL start, the rookie had three interceptions. That helped the Colts D/ST put up a huge 30 fantasy points.

Start 'Em:Patriots D/ST vs. Miami Dolphins, Rams D/ST vs. Arizona Cardinals

Sleepers:Falcons D/ST at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Colts D/ST at Jacksonville Jaguars

Defenses -- Sit 'Em

Bears D/ST at Minnesota Vikings: Chicago's defense has been a massive disappointment, scoring five or fewer fantasy points in six straight games. This unit should be considered waiver wire fodder against Kirk Cousins and the Vikings, who have been a difficult matchup for opposing defenses.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!

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