Fantasy Sleepers for Week 17by Christopher Gallagher January 1, 2021 0 comments
Congratulations to those who captured their league’s championship in one of the most challenging years to date to navigate fantasy football. For those players whose leagues play into the season’s final game, Week 17 offers many obstacles due to teams sitting players for rest with nothing on the line to play for. Back with our last sleepers article to round out the 2020 regular season, in Week 16, our selections struggled as Le’Veon Bell racked seven rushing attempts for only 30 yards. Along with this, both Jordan Akins and Tyler Eifert caught five passes between them in slow days for both players. With moving parts to the NFL playoff picture, leading to many important games in the finale of regular season football, let’s get right into the picks. Happy New Year everyone, here’s to better days ahead.
Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
After announcing early on in the week that both Bell and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes will sit out in Week 17 as Kansas City has already locked up the top spot in the AFC playoffs, play Williams this week against the Chargers. Struggling to slow down opposing run games all year long, Los Angeles has allowed over 124 yards per game to opposing rushers, leading to a 21st ranking in the NFL. Along with this, Anthony Lynn‘s group has also allowed 17.5 fantasy points per game to backs this season, with the team allowing over 300 yards on the ground in their last two games. As the majority of the Chiefs starters are out this week and with backup Chad Henne making his first start of the season, look for Williams to carry a significant load for Andy Reid‘s offense.
Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams
After leading the Rams with 12 carries for 62 yards as the primary option a week ago, rookie Darrell Henderson was placed on the injured reserve list early on in the week with an ankle injury. With Cam Akers likely to remain out, stream Brown in Week 17 as the only healthy back remaining in a must-win game against the Cardinals. A primary passing option in Sean McVay’s offense over his tenure with the Rams, Brown will be in for a large chunk of the team’s touches with Jared Goff, and Cooper Kupp already ruled out with injuries.
A plus matchup for running backs all season long, the Cardinals have allowed over 126 rushing yards per game, along with 37 yards through the air to the position. Currently owned in just 20 percent of all yahoo leagues and 30 percent in ESPN leagues, he is a reliable option for your team’s RB2 spot.
Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts
With eight catches for 143 yards and three touchdowns over his last three games with the Colts, play Pascal in a matchup with the lonely Jaguars. Unable to slow down opposing wideouts over the last half of the season, Jacksonville has allowed nearly 40 fantasy points per game to the position, the eighth-highest mark in the league. In addition to this, the group has also allowed 17 touchdowns to wide receivers this year. With fellow receiver Michael Pittman Jr likely to miss the game with a concussion, look for the 26-year-old to get an increased target share in a must-win game for Indianapolis. A favorite target for quarterback Philip Rivers, he is a solid WR3 this week with WR2 upside.
Irv Smith, Minnesota Vikings
Red hot for the Vikings offense over the last few weeks, Smith has scored three touchdowns over his previous three games on 13 receptions. In addition to this, the University of Alabama alumn has averaged 15 fantasy points per game during that period. Strong against the Lions in their Week 9 matchup, the 22-year-old hauled in two touchdown passes in a Minnesota victory. In tough against the tight end position all year long, Detroit has allowed over five targets per game, leading to 3.7 receptions and 40 receiving yards on average. After allowing a top-eight fantasy tight end in five of their last eight games to close out the year and with Minnesota likely to put in place a more pass-happy script with Dalvin Cook out, play Smith as a TE1.
Keke Coutee, Houston Texans
After catching all five targets for 54 receiving yards in the Texans’ loss to the Bengals in Week 16, play Coutee against the Titans on Sunday. Miserable against the pass all season long, Tennessee has allowed 271.9 yards per game through the air, putting them near the bottom of the league. Along with this, Mike Vrabel‘s group has allowed 27.2 fantasy points per game to wideouts, with over 31.2 given up on average over the last three weeks of the season. With over 50 receiving yards in three of his last four games to go along with two touchdown receptions, the former fourth-round pick has become a favorite target of quarterback Deshaun Watson as the year has gone on and should be in line for WR3 production this week.