2020 Fantasy Football Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 17

Russell Wilson

The best part about fantasy football is winning. The second best part is the draft. However, the draft has come and gone, and fantasy owners struggle with who to start, who to sit, and who to target as a sleeper each week. Thankfully, four of our writers (Mike Fanelli, Joshua Abbe, Mason Thompson, and MJ Hurley) offer up their takes on who fantasy owners should start, sit, and play as a sleeper this week. Be sure to follow all of them on Twitter and reach out with any fantasy football questions you may have. Without further ado, let’s get started.




Tom Brady vs Atlanta Falcons

Over the last two weeks, Brady has been on fire, throwing six touchdowns, averaging 26.7 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he didn’t play the entire second half last week against the Lions after throwing four touchdowns in the first half. In Week 15, Brady scored 23.4 fantasy points and threw for almost 400 yards against the Falcons. If the Falcons win this game, they secure a first-round matchup with the NFC East winner next week, so expect Brady to do everything possible to get the victory. – Mike


Derek Carr at Denver Broncos

Carr has played well over the last four weeks, scoring 23 or more fantasy points in three of those games. The one exception was Week 15 against the Chargers, where he left the game early with a groin injury. In the games he has finished this season, Carr is averaging just under 18 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Broncos have given up just under 20 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. While the Raiders have nothing to play for, Carr is in line for a top-12 finish. – Joshua

Philip Rivers vs Jacksonville Jaguars

The Colts are vying for a playoff spot against Jacksonville this week. This season is the first time in a while Rivers has had anything to play for in Week 17, and it comes against a Jaguars defense that is third-worst against quarterbacks this season. The Colts lost to the Jaguars in Week 1 but have become a far better team since then. – Mason


Justin Herbert vs Kansas City Chiefs

In case Herbert hasn’t already made his case to be your starting quarterback, here are a few extra reasons. Herbert is playing the Chiefs, who have clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC and will be resting the majority of their key starters on offense and defense. With the Chiefs defensive unit already being suspect sometimes, especially against the passing game, Herbert is in line for a huge game. – MJ


Russell Wilson at San Francisco 49ers

Russ must have run out of ingredients in the kitchen because he hasn’t been cooking lately. All jokes aside, Wilson has been a massive letdown over the past five games. During that span, he has thrown more than one touchdown only once. Furthermore, during that span, Wilson is averaging 209 passing yards and 16.5 fantasy points per game. If the Packers get up big on the Bears, Pete Carroll might bench Wilson in the second half as the Seahawks have can’t get the top seed if the Packers win. – Mike

Mitchell Trubisky vs Green Bay Packers

Over the last three weeks, Trubisky has seven total touchdowns compared to two interceptions, averaging 21.4 fantasy points per game. However, Trubisky’s hot play will come to an end this week. The Packers have held quarterbacks to only 16.5 fantasy points per game this season. They have given up only three passing touchdowns over their last four games. In the matchup with the Packers in Week 12, Trubisky completed only 56.5 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions. – Joshua

Jalen Hurts vs Washington Football Team

Hurts brought a spark to the offense in Philadelphia, but it was too little too late, as the Eagles were eliminated following the loss to Dallas last week. While Philadelphia could knock Washington out of the playoffs with a win, Washington’s defense is the third-best against opposing quarterbacks this year. Washington will be fighting for a playoff spot this week, and the defense should be all over Hurts. To make matters worse, Hurts will be without several key players on offense. – Mason

Baker Mayfield vs Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers may be resting some of their starters, but do not confuse the same logic applied to Herbert. One, the Steelers have been playing poorly in the last few weeks and need a big victory to give their team momentum moving into Wild Card Weekend. Secondly, with Mason Rudolph at quarterback and playing the Browns, this will not be a quiet Sunday afternoon game. The Browns need this win to make the playoffs, and the Steelers want to play spoiler. Furthermore, this will be a day focused on Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. – MJ


Kirk Cousins at Detroit Lions

When Cousins faced the Lions in Week 9, he had three passing touchdowns and scored just under 21 fantasy points. Since then, he has kept up his strong play. Over the last eight games, Cousins is averaging 21.1 fantasy points per game, scoring at least 17 in every contest. Meanwhile, the Lions have given up 31 or more fantasy points to quarterbacks in four of their last five games. Furthermore, the Lions gave up 15.2 fantasy points to Blaine Gabbert in just the second half last week. With Dalvin Cook out this week, Cousins is in line for a big fantasy performance. – Mike

Cam Newton vs New York Jets

The 2020 season has been one to forget for Newton. He has averaged only 15.9 fantasy points per game and got benched multiple times. However, he should have a big game tomorrow against the Jets. Newton has scored 24 or more fantasy points only three times this season, one of which was against the Jets in Week 9. In that game, Newton threw for 274 yards and had two touchdowns. The Jets are giving up almost 21 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. Furthermore, they have given up 14 passing touchdowns over their last six games. – Joshua

Drew Lock vs Las Vegas Raiders

Lock is in a difficult situation, as he’s fighting for his starting spot next season. He needs to put forth a strong showing this week against a Las Vegas defense that seemingly has nothing to play for following their elimination from playoff contention to the Dolphins. Las Vegas has allowed the ninth-most points to the quarterback position. Lock could be a viable option off the waiver wire if you need a last minute replacement. – Mason

Andy Dalton at New York Giants

Last week, in a must-win game against the Eagles, Dalton showed out with three touchdowns and 377 yards passing in a 37-17 rout of the Eagles. With their season on the line again, Dalton will have his full variety of weapons against the up-and-coming New York defense. Dalton has thrown for at least 200 yards and two touchdowns in five of the Cowboys’ last six games. He is an option for anyone streaming quarterbacks in their championship game. – MJ

Running Backs


Jeff Wilson vs Seattle Seahawks

With Raheem Mostert on injured reserve, Wilson has taken over as the 49ers’ featured running back. Over the last two weeks, Wilson is averaging 19 carries for 121.5 rushing yards and 19.7 fantasy points per game, scoring a touchdown in three straight games. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have given up an average of almost 24 fantasy points per game to running backs. In their Week 8 matchup, the 49ers’ running backs scored 30.1 fantasy points against the Seahawks, and Wilson should have at least 16 tomorrow. – Mike

D’Andre Swift vs Minnesota Vikings

Last week, Swift only scored nine fantasy points against the Buccaneers as the Lions were blown out before halftime and had to give up on the running game. However, in the previous two games, Swift averaged 18.6 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Vikings got destroyed by Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray last week, giving up 71.2 fantasy points to the Saints’ running backs. In the Week 9 matchup, Swift scored 12.7 fantasy points against the Vikings. His floor this week is 15 fantasy points. – Joshua

David Montgomery vs Green Bay Packers

Somehow, the Packers held Derrick Henry in check last week. This week, Montgomery faces Green Bay, and he had over 140 yards and a touchdown in Week 12 when the two teams played. That game kick-started the hot streak that Montgomery is currently on. The Packers are still awful against the run, and the Bears need to turn to Montgomery if they want a chance at making the playoffs. – Mason

Malcolm Brown vs Arizona Cardinals

The Rams will be without the starting quarterback and top two running backs for this game, so expect Brown to have a big role against the Cardinals. In his one game this season as the lead back, Brown produced 79 yards rushing on 18 attempts, one touchdown. Brown is at least a flex option, if not an RB2, this week. – MJ


Josh Jacobs at Denver Broncos

Jacob’s 6.9 fantasy points last week may have cost many of you championships. If it didn’t, you need to bench Jacobs this week. While he scored 29.6 fantasy points in their Week 10 matchup, Jacobs has scored under 13.5 fantasy points in four of five games since. Furthermore, over his last four games, Jacobs is averaging only 14.8 carries and 10.8 fantasy points per game. With the season over and the Raiders out of the playoff mix, don’t be surprised to see Jon Gruden limit Jacobs’ workload in this meaningless game. – Mike

All Carolina Panthers Running Backs vs New Orleans Saints

Both Christian McCaffrey and Mike Davis will miss this game because of injury. That leaves Rodney Smith, Trenton Cannon, and others to carry the load. It’s Week 17, don’t get cute and play some random backup because of the volume narrative. Furthermore, the Saints have given up the fewest fantasy points to running backs this season, giving up 18.4 per game. – Joshua

Kenyan Drake at Los Angeles Rams

Since returning from an injury, Drake has been mainly touchdown-dependent. Since Week 11, he has scored six touchdowns. This week, Drake plays a Rams defense that will need to carry the team against an Arizona offense fighting for a playoff birth. He will once again be touchdown-dependent this week. – Mason

Boston Scott vs Washington Football Team

Miles Sanders will be out of the action this week, but do not fall into the temptation to start Scott. Hurts has taken over as the new starter in Philadelphia, and with that comes fewer touches for the running backs. Add in the stout defense in Washington, and Scott will have little room and little opportunity to run on Sunday night. – MJ


Ty Johnson at New England Patriots

After winning back-to-back games, the Jets are looking to make it three in a row against the Patriots tomorrow. However, they will be down a couple of running backs, as Frank Gore and La’Mical Perine will miss the game. The next man up is Johnson, and he played well when he had the chance this season. In the games that Johnson had nine or more touches, he is averaging 18.6 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Patriots have struggled to stop running backs over their last five games, giving up four rushing touchdowns and an average of 136.6 rushing yards per game to the position. With Gore and Perine out, Johnson should finish the week as an RB2. – Mike

Wayne Gallman vs Dallas Cowboys

Gallman has struggled the last two weeks, scoring a total of 10.2 fantasy points. However, he scored double-digit fantasy points in seven straight games from Week 7 to Week 14. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have given up an average of almost 25 fantasy points per game to running backs. They have given up seven rushing touchdowns to running backs over their last six games. In a win or go home game, look for Gallman to break out of his slump against a struggling Cowboys run defense. – Joshua

Alexander Mattison at Detroit Lions

Mattison struggled the last time he was inserted in the main role when Cook was injured. With Cook not playing this week due to a family emergency, Mattison is once again in line for a big workload against the Lions. Detroit is the second-worst team against opposing running backs, and Mattison could prove to be a league winner this week. – Mason

Gus Edwards at Cincinnati Bengals

Although J.K. Dobbins has emerged as the lead running back in Baltimore, Edwards has consistently received valuable touches, especially around the goal line. With at least 10 touches in each of the last five games, Edwards has become a viable flex option. – MJ

Wide Receivers


A.J. Brown at Houston Texans

Last week, Brown scored only 8.3 fantasy points against the Packers despite seeing eight targets. Most of his struggles came because of the weather and the matchup. Neither will be a factor this week as he faces the Texans in a dome. The Texans have had no answer for wide receivers this season, giving up over 40 fantasy points per game to the position. Furthermore, they have given up an average of 1.4 touchdowns per game to wide receivers this season. When Brown faced the Texans in Week 6, he scored 22.8 fantasy points. In a win and make the playoffs situation, expect Brown to have another monster performance. – Mike

Chris Godwin vs Atlanta Falcons

Last week, everyone scored for the Buccaneers, as they destroyed the Lions. This season has been one of ups and downs for Godwin as he has dealt with multiple injuries. However, over his last six games, Godwin has scored 13.5 or more in five of them, averaging 14.8 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Falcons have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, giving up almost 43 per game. In his matchup against the Falcons two weeks ago, Godwin scored 13.6 fantasy points. – Joshua

Jerry Jeudy vs Las Vegas Raiders

Jeudy struggled with drops last week and needs a get-right week against the Raiders for his confidence. Thankfully, the Las Vegas secondary hasn’t been the best this year, and he could have a monster game. Jeudy had four catches for 68 yards in the first game these two teams played and should have a better day this week. – Mason

Robert Woods vs Arizona Cardinals

Even without his normal starting quarterback, Woods belongs in your lineup this week with Cooper Kupp on the Covid-19 list. Woods’ best games this season have come when Kupp receives fewer targets, which spells success for Woods in Los Angeles’ must-win matchup. – MJ


Jamison Crowder at New England Patriots

Over the last four weeks, Crowder is averaging seven targets and 16.6 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he is averaging 7.6 targets per game this season. However, expect him to struggle tomorrow against the Patriots, as they are holding wide receivers to only 33.8 fantasy points per game. While the Patriots got embarrassed by Stefon Diggs last week, Crowder isn’t anywhere near the same level of talent as Diggs. In their Week 9 matchup, Crowder had only two targets and 26 receiving yards, so expect a quiet game from the slot receiver. – Mike

Mike Williams at Kansas City Chiefs

Even with Keenan Allen out this week, Williams belongs on your bench. He is averaging only 9.3 fantasy points per game this season, scoring under 9.5 fantasy points in five straight games. Furthermore, Williams has scored under 11 fantasy points in all but four games this season. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have held wide receivers to under 31 fantasy points per game this season, giving up only two touchdowns to the position over the last three weeks. In the Week 2 matchup against the Chiefs, Williams had only 3.4 fantasy points. Expect another quiet game out of Williams tomorrow. – Joshua

Allen Robinson vs Green Bay Packers

Yes, Robinson is a top fantasy performer. Yes, he had eight catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns against Green Bay the first time the two played. If you remember, most of his production came in garbage time when the Packers didn’t have most of their defensive starters in, including Jaire Alexander. In a must-win game for both teams, Robinson could struggle as he is on Alexander’s island. – Mason

Robby Anderson vs New Orleans Saints

After a strong start to the season, Anderson has cooled off recently. He has struggled to find the end zone this season, scoring only three times. Although his 90 catches and 1,000 receiving yards are impressive, there is little reason to expect his fortunes will change against one of the league’s top defenses. The Saints are playing for the top seed in the NFC and will not go easy on Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers’ offense. – MJ


Keke Coutee vs Tennessee Titans

Since Randall Cobb went on injured reserve and Will Fuller got suspended, Coutee has stepped up for the Texans. Over his last four games, Coutee is averaging 14.1 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Titans have been unable to slow down wide receivers this season, giving up an average of just under 44 fantasy points per game to the position. Furthermore, they have given up 50.5 or more fantasy points in six of their last 12 games, including 58.2 to the Packers’ wide receivers last week. Expect Brandin Cooks and Coutee to have big fantasy outings tomorrow. – Mike

Jakobi Meyers vs New York Jets

The Patriots’ offense has been a disaster this season. However, the lone bright spot has been Meyers. He is averaging just under 10 fantasy points per game this season and is in line for a big game tomorrow against the Jets. They have given up an average of 39 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, giving up 16 touchdowns to the position. Furthermore, Meyers had a career-high 12 catches on 14 targets for 169 yards and 28.9 fantasy points against the Jets in their Week 9 matchup. – Joshua

Gabriel Davis vs Miami Dolphins

Davis has shown flashes in his rookie year for Buffalo. With Cole Beasley out and John Brown returning from injured reserve and likely in a limited role to get him back to full strength for the playoffs, Davis could be in for the most snaps of his young career against Miami. He has had four or more targets in every game since Week 12 and should be around that total again this week in an expanded role. – Mason

T.Y. Hilton vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Hilton has averaged more than 10 yards per target in each of his last six games and has earned Rivers’ trust. When the Colts have won, Hilton has played a critical role. In a must-win game, expect the offensive gameplan to include plenty of targets for Hilton. He is a must-start WR2 this week against an awful Jaguars defense. – MJ

Tight Ends


Mike Gesicki at Buffalo Bills

Despite an up and down season, Gesicki is the TE7 on the year, averaging 10.7 fantasy points per game. He has over 50 receiving yards in three straight games, averaging 18.9 fantasy points per game over that span. Furthermore, Gesicki has five or more targets in six straight games. Meanwhile, the Bills have been unable to slow down tight ends, giving up 14.6 fantasy points per game to the position. In their Week 2 matchup, Gesicki had a season-high 130 yards and 27 fantasy points. While he won’t put up those numbers again this week, expect a top-five finish from Gesicki. – Mike

Mark Andrews at Cincinnati Bengals

Andrews has played his best football of the season over his last five games, averaging 15.5 fantasy points per game. He has at least five targets in each of those games, averaging 7.2 per game. Meanwhile, the Bengals have given up 15 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, giving up 16.5 or more in three of their last five games. Andrews has scored 12.5 or more fantasy points in 62 percent of his games this season. He is in a position to finish the week as the top-scoring tight end. – Joshua

Noah Fant vs Las Vegas Raiders

Fant has posted impressive numbers over the last month of the season. He has another chance to perform highly against a weak Las Vegas defense that has allowed five touchdowns to tight ends this season, which is in the bottom-third in the league. The Denver offense is looking to leave on a high note, which includes getting Fant more involved. – Mason

Cole Kmet vs Green Bay Packers

Kmet has taken over as the TE1 in Chicago, earning the start in four of the last five games. During that span, Kmet has at least six targets in four of those games. In a much more athletic-based offense behind Mitchell Trubisky, Kmet is the favored tight end option over Jimmy Graham. Between the coverage issues at linebacker for the Packers and the tight end position, Kmet is a viable streaming option this week. – MJ


Zach Ertz vs Washington Football Team

Even with Dallas Goedert out this week with a calf injury, Ertz belongs on the waiver wire. He is averaging only 7.3 fantasy points per game this season. Ertz has scored under 11 fantasy points in all but one game this season. Meanwhile, Washington has done a good job stopping tight ends recently. Over their last seven games, Washington has held tight ends to one touchdown and seven fantasy points per game. The Eagles have nothing to play for, so don’t be surprised if Ertz plays a season-low in snaps. – Mike

Austin Hooper vs Pittsburgh Steelers

With most of the Browns’ wide receivers on the Covid-19 list last week, Hooper had a season-high 15 targets against the Jets. However, despite the great matchup, Hooper only caught seven of them for 71 yards and didn’t score a touchdown. This week he faces a Steelers defense that has held tight ends to only 8.6 fantasy points per game this season. Furthermore, they have given up only two touchdowns to the position this year. Hooper belongs on the waiver wire. – Joshua

Jimmy Graham vs Green Bay Packers

Graham has put together a fantastic season for Chicago. Unfortunately, he has had a decrease in snaps to get Kmet more involved. Graham saved fantasy players last week with two touchdowns, but Graham isn’t a recommended play this week. He only had three catches for 32 yards against the Packers the first time the two played, and Green Bay has only allowed five tight ends to post over 50 yards this season. – Mason

T.J. Hockenson vs Minnesota Vikings

The Lions’ quarterback situation is up in the air, as Matthew Stafford is dealing with an ankle injury. Regardless of who plays, Hockenson belongs on your bench. Hockenson has seen his seem limited targets the last two weeks and will see plenty of Harrison Smith this week. As good as Hockenson has been this season, look elsewhere this week. – MJ


Hayden Hurst at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With Julio Jones out of the lineup the last two weeks, Hurst has picked up his play, averaging 13.9 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, over the past two weeks, Hurst has nine catches on 10 targets for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have given up an average of almost 14 fantasy points per game to tight ends. They have given up 11 or more fantasy points to the position in 73 percent of their games this season. In his Week 15 matchup against the Buccaneers, Hurst had five targets, scored a touchdown, and had 12.1 fantasy points. Expect another double-digit performance out of Hurst this week. – Mike

Tyler Higbee vs Arizona Cardinals

The Rams will be without Jared Goff, Darrell Henderson, and Kupp this week in a must-win game against the Cardinals. John Wolford will make his first career start, and Woods will have a tough matchup with Patrick Peterson. So, where do young quarterbacks turn to? Their tight ends. Over the last four weeks, Higbee is averaging just under five targets and 10.5 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have given up an average of 14.6 fantasy points per game to tight ends over their last four games. Higbee is a sneaky good streaming option this week. – Joshua

Dawson Knox vs Miami Dolphins

Knox has been a favorite in this segment as we have awaited his breakout, which finally seems to be happening. He has 19 targets over the last four weeks, which he has turned into 13 catches and two touchdowns. With Beasley out, Knox is ready for more opportunities against the Dolphins and is a streaming option. – Mason

David Njoku vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Normally, you would avoid starting tight ends against the Steelers this season. However, with Austin Hooper struggling at times this season, combined with other issues at wide receivers, Njoku could be in line for a productive fantasy week. For fantasy owners in deeper leagues, Njoku could be a target this week as a streamer. – MJ

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