Fantasy Football Week 17 Rankings: Final Season Position-by-Position Review

As the great Kenny Loggins might say, “This is it.”

It’s Week 17, which means the end of yearlong fantasy leagues. Months of predraft prep, roster management and waiver-wire work have come down to this. It’s time to set that final lineup and go claim yourself a fantasy championship—or at least win your consolation bracket.

Setting that winning lineup can be difficult in Week 17, though, as a lot of star players aren’t going to suit up. We already know that Teddy Bridgewater is getting the start over Drew Brees for the New Orleans Saints. Odell Beckham Jr. will sit out for the New York Giants.

Though the Dallas Cowboys are locked into the NFC’s No. 4 seed, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said they will play their starters.

“This idea that you have a whole other team, we’re not going to play the starters, we’re going to play the backups, logistically, you can’t do that,” he said Wednesday, Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com.

We’re going to include Cowboys players in our Week 17 rankings, but play them at your own risk. Dallas doesn’t have any reason to keep them in the game for long. Saints players have been left out.

We’ll rank our top flex players—running back, wide receiver and tight end—based on PPR scoring and take a closer look at our favorite matchups of the week.

Running Backs

1. Joe Mixon at Pittsburgh Steelers: 105 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 40 receiving yards, 2 TDs

2. Melvin Gordon at Denver Broncos: 95 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 40 receiving yards, 1 TD

3. Saquon Barkley vs. Dallas Cowboys: 90 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 35 receiving yards, 1 TD

4. Christian McCaffrey at New Orleans Saints: 80 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 40 receiving yards, 1 TD

5. Chris Carson vs. Arizona Cardinals: 130 rushing yards, 1 reception, 10 receiving yards, 1 TD

6. Ezekiel Elliott at New York Giants: 110 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 TD

7. Gus Edwards vs. Cleveland Browns: 110 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 TD

8. Damien Williams vs. Oakland Raiders: 90 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 TD

9. Jaylen Samuels vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 80 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 30 receiving yards, 1 TD

10. Derrick Henry vs. Indianapolis Colts: 140 rushing yards, 1 TD

11. Nick Chubb at Baltimore Ravens: 85 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 25 receiving yards, 1 TD

12. David Johnson at Seattle Seahawks: 85 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 25 receiving yards, 1 TD

13. Jamaal Williams vs. Detroit Lions: 80 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 30 receiving yards, 1 TD

14. Tarik Cohen at Minnesota Vikings: 40 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards, 1 TD

15. Leonard Fournette at Houston Texans: 100 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 15 receiving yards, 1 TD

16. James White vs. New York Jets: 20 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 TD

17. Tevin Coleman at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 60 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 30 receiving yards, 1 TD

18. Sony Michel vs. New York Jets: 120 rushing yards, 1 TD

19. Duke Johnson at Baltimore Ravens: 20 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 70 receiving yards

20. Peyton Barber vs. Atlanta Falcons: 90 rushing yards, 1 TD

21. Adrian Peterson vs. Philadelphia Eagles: 85 rushing yards, 1 TD

22. Doug Martin at Kansas City Chiefs: 80 rushing yards, 1 TD

23. Royce Freeman vs. Los Angeles Charges: 75 yards rushing, 1 TD

24. Jalen Richard at Kansas City Chiefs: 40 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards

25. Jordan Howard at Minnesota Vikings: 60 rushing yards, 1 TD

By: Kristopher Knox

Full List

20 surprising fantasy football predictions for the 2018 season

The NFL season kicks off Thursday, and for fantasy football fans we’ll all see whether we’re the savvy drafters and amateur scouts many of us think we are.

The season never completely plays out like it’s supposed to, and thankfully so. A few surprise stars and busts keeps the season interesting and gives many fantasy owners — the ones who make the right picks on the waiver wire — a shot at the playoffs.

There are several fantasy story lines that could play out in unpredictable ways.

1. James Conner plays a huge role this season.

Sorry, Le’Veon Bell fantasy owners, but you can only play chicken so long before someone finally crashes. Bell still hadn’t sign his franchise tag as of Wednesday, the Steelers are talking about possibly docking his pay even if he does sign, and all signs point to Conner starting Week 1 against the Browns.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this has lasting repercussions. Bell puts himself at further risk for injury with his holdout and the Steelers, weary of this act, have been grooming Conner since the offseason (if not longer) to be Bell’s successor. Maybe that agenda gets put on the front burner and Conner starts eating into Bell’s touches even when does return.

2. Alex Smith has better numbers than he did in Kansas City.

I went into his analysis expecting he’d see a significant drop in production because the Chiefs have better talent at every skill position. But there are several factors in Smith’s favor. He’s much more interception averse than Kirk Cousins and may find more consistency with the developing cast of young receivers, which now includes speedster Paul Richardson.

Smith still has an excellent pass-catching back in Chris Thompson to make up for the loss of Kareem Hunt. He has two great tight ends, but he has a history with Vernon Davis going back to their days as 49ers. And several fantasy sites rank the Redskins’ opponents as the second easiest schedule versus quarterbacks.

3. Julio Jones had a down year — by his standards.

Jones put up a single-digit fantasy point totals in 11 of 16 games last year. In 2016 he’d put up monster stats, then crater the next week. He had just three touchdowns last season and six the previous year, so he’s dependent on big yardage totals. Jones has pretty much enjoyed Matt Ryan all to himself, but that figures to change with the Falcons looking to spread to ball around more to backs and tight ends, not to mention Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley.

FANTASY FOOTBALL RANKINGS: Here’s the expert consensus on the top 50 players

Football season is fast approaching and with it, comes fantasy football.

While there’s no foolproof way of drafting your fantasy team, it’s key to get your first few picks right if you hope to compete for your league’s championship at the end of the season.

With the help of Fantasy Pros, we gathered the rankings of 17 experts from The Athletic, Yahoo! Sports, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, Walter Football, and theScore in order to put together a consensus ranking from experts across the sports world.

Running backs are once again the most vital position in the sport, and quarterback looks to be surprisingly deep this year, though the top QBs will likely still get fantasy players their money’s worth.

Take a look below and plan out your strategy for the first few rounds of your upcoming draft.

One thing to know: Todd Gurley had an absolutely unbelievable 2017, accumulating 2,093 total yards and 19 touchdowns. Those numbers would be tough to replicate, but he’s still almost universally the top overall draft pick for fantasy players.

2. Le’Veon Bell — RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Average Rank: 2.3

One thing to know: Le’Veon Bell has been a top-five rusher for two straight seasons since coming back from his 2015 injury. He’s also an important part of the Steelers passing game for PPR players.

Which RB Will Make Your Fantasy Team Better?

Written by Drew Loftis and Jarad Wilk at New York Post.com

The hardest task in a routine fantasy football draft is choosing which running backs to take and when to take them. Post fantasy Madman Drew Loftis and Roto Rage Jarad Wilk debate which of these RBs is the best addition to your roster:

Melvin Gordon vs. Devonta Freeman

Drew: Both these guys go near the turn in the first two rounds. Picking that high, I go with safest guy. There is no one to challenge Gordon in the San Diego backfield. If healthy, he is the go-to guy. Freeman gets the bulk of carries, but Tevin Coleman steals a fair amount. That makes touchdowns more fickle, and it introduces a performance variable that doesn’t exist for Gordon: If Freeman doesn’t perform well, Coleman could get extra work. That factor doesn’t exist for Gordon.

Jarad: Even with Coleman in the picture last season, Freeman ranked second in the league in red-zone touches (62). He also had a team-high 17 targets in the red zone. Freeman also just signed a massive five-year, $41.25 million deal, so he will continue to be the focal point of the Falcons’ rushing attack. Gordon may have no competition, but he also has trouble staying on the field — missed three games last year, two the year before. Last season, Freeman had more yards per carry (4.8 to 3.9), more total touchdowns (13 to 12), more targets (65 to 57), a better catch percentage and more total yards (1,541 to 1,416). Freeman is the way to go.

Leonard Fournette vs. Todd Gurley

Drew: This a what-we-know vs. what-we-don’t-know argument. We know, after last season, Gurley is not QB-proof. In fact, if we go back to his first season — when he produced four consecutive 100-yard games after his first start – he has exactly one 100-yard game and two games with two TDs. Considering one of those two-TD games came in that one 100-yard game, that give you exactly two strong fantasy games in the past 24. We’re not sure what to expect from Fournette, but we will gamble the volume he receives gives a better opportunity to best Gurley’s consistent inefficiency.

Jarad: After a solid rookie campaign, 2016 was a huge disappointment for Gurley after being drafted as a top-five running back. There is, however, reason to be optimistic — he is just 22-years-old, has remained healthy, the O-line is slightly improved and he saw plenty of touches, as well as targets. The Rams also have a new, very young (31) coach who already has said he expects big things from Gurley and a bounce-back is not out of the question. Fournette, though very talented, is also an unknown playing for the Jaguars, who haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2011 and haven’t won more than five games since 2010.

Why You Should Want Marcus Mariota On Your Fantasy Team

Written by Dan Soden at No Coast Bias.com

I’m going to call my shot right now, if Marcus Mariota plays the full season with a clean bill of health he will land himself in the top-five of fantasy football quarterbacks. Which isn’t that unrealistic, since he was the highest scoring fantasy quarterback from Week 5-Week 12 last year.

While it seems a majority of us out there are jumping on board with Mariota’s draft day counterpart over in Tampa Bay, I’m buying all the stock I can in the young Titan’s QB. The kid is a dual threat averaging 22 rushing yards per game in addition to 5.5% touchdown rate, which could go down this season with an increase in pass plays.

Mariota has averaged 17.7 point per game in standard leagues in his first 27 NFL games, those numbers landed Cowboys’ Dak Prescott in the top 6 last season. Now let’s remove that eyesore Mariota had against New England during his rookie campaign and his average jumps to 18.3 point per game.

Now those numbers were before Tennessee decided to go out and make solid investments in the passing game. Using their first round pick on receiver Corey Davis and their pair of third-round picks on tight end Jonnu Smith and receiver Taywan Taylor. In addition to the rookies the Titans added veteran receiver Eric Decker, whose health could come into question.

I’m far from a detective but when I see a team invest three picks and dip into the free agency pool, I start to put together the notion that they might be looking to open up the passing game. They ran the ball last season at a 47.2% rate which was 5% higher than league average, so they do have the room to throw it more without being so obvious.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Is Josh Gordon Worth It In Fantasy?


Written by Leo Howell at ESPN.com

It’s never too early to draft a fantasy football team, as long as you’re aware of the potential risks and rewards at the time you draft.

While many fantasy footballers will stick to drafting the week before the season kicks off, if you want to play in quite a few leagues or have difficult schedules to maneuver around, sometimes you just have to draft a bit earlier. That means you might have Le’Veon Bell and his possible four-game suspension on your roster as a first overall pick, or you might have the recently reinstated Josh Gordon as a last-round pick.

In our most recent staff mock draft (10-team, 2-QB PPR) — the first since Gordon’s reinstatement became public — it was Eric Karabell who selected the Cleveland wideout, who went in the eighth round. Gordon was Karabell’s fourth wideout selected, and his sixth potential “flex” (running back or wide receiver) option.

“By the time I chose Josh Gordon with pick No. 75, I felt like I had properly handled the portion of my draft in which I focused on securing two of the top 12 quarterbacks (due to the 2-QB league format), reasonable starting running backs who can catch some passes and at least two wide receivers who would really pile on the catches.” Eric said of his pick. “I did that better than I expected I’d be able to, so it became ‘upside time,’ and I felt like Josh Gordon and, three rounds later Arian Foster, were excellent examples of that strategy, so I acted and kind of enjoy the results.”

“After all, if Gordon [and Foster] fail or don’t even get on the field at all, it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s certainly worth the risk. This team has depth. If I had to choose Gordon probably one round earlier to secure him, then I probably wouldn’t have done it.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Drop List: Welcome to the Playoffs

Written by Joey Keys at numberFire

The fantasy playoffs are here for pretty much every fantasy football league, so each roster decision could be the one that ends championship aspirations. Congratulations if you made the playoffs — nobody wants to be watching the next few weeks from their couch.

Fantasy playoff time always reminds me of the greatest day of my life. (This is a half joking statement as this occurred after my wedding, many other significant life events, and the births of not one but two children.)

I finished the season one game out of the playoffs. The opponent that I needed to lose to get in won their Week 13 game by 0.6 points. It was a miserable week, after I found my team on the outside of the playoffs in my home league for the first time seven years.

But the sadness lasted only a few days.

On Thursday morning, I woke up to an early Christmas miracle. A stat correction had been applied, and his team’s defense lost a sack and, therefore, a full point from his team’s score. His win was reversed to a loss. Based on season points for, my team was thrust into the fantasy playoffs.

We all have moments like this that we’ll remember forever from fantasy football, especially in long-time leagues.

This week’s drop list highlights players who could harpoon those title hopes. Frankly, if you were relying on these players for much of the season, it’s a surprise your team is still alive.

As always, these are not all must-drop players, but drop considerations depending on league size and roster construction.

Matt Ryan, Quarterback, Atlanta Falcons

Yahoo Ownership: 92%
ESPN Ownership: 89%

Matt Ryan has been a consistent top-12 fantasy option for much of his career. He’s had two of the best wide receivers in the game, Roddy White and Julio Jones, and a Hall-of-Fame tight end, Tony Gonzalez, as elite passing game options.

Now, Gonzalez retired and White has slowed down, leaving just Jones as one of the lone reliable targets in Atlanta.

After starting the season 5-0, the Falcons find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture. Costly mistakes in the red zone has plagued Ryan’s season, and he currently sits outside the top 25 quarterbacks in fantasy points per game in standard scoring leagues. He’s on pace to throw the fewest touchdown passes since his 2009 campaign when he missed two games with an injury.

Most troubling for Ryan, though, is his upcoming schedule, where he faces the Carolina Panthers’ elite defense twice in the next three weeks. Based on our metrics, heading into Week 13, Carolina had the second best Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP), or pass defense, in the league.

Although quarterback options are dwindling, there’s likely a quarterback with a friendlier schedule and higher upside to navigate your team into the fantasy playoffs.

To continue reading this article, click here

Week 10 Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

Written by Kelsey Smelser at Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 10 is here and we’re in the homestretch for our season long fantasy leagues. Each week I will be taking a look at some players with favorable matchups that are start-worthy and others with not-so-favorable matchups that you should keep on the bench. If you are a daily fantasy player, some of these starts could be great values. Be sure to check back often for updatedplayer rankings and weekly waiver wire targets.

Start ‘Em

Joe Flacco (QB, Baltimore Ravens) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Steve Smith or no, Flacco has a decent matchup in what could be a back and forth matchup offensively versus the Jags. Jacksonville is giving up the eighth most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Joe Cool has been quietly effective in 2015 and look for the trend to continue in Week 10.

Kirk Cousins (QB, Washington Redskins) vs. New Orleans Saints

Really? Start Kirk Cousins? Yep. Sure, he’s not a top tier QB. He’s not flashy. But, he’s a streaming delight going into his Week 10 matchup versus the Saints. The Saints are giving up the most points to QBs by a relatively wide margin. Other middle of the road quarterbacks like Mariota, Bradford, and Winston have looked like stars versus the Saints. It’s as ideal as it gets for Cousins this week.

Blake Bortles (QB, Jacksonville Jaguars) at Baltimore

That’s right. I’m saying start both quarterbacks in this matchup. It has the makings of a slugfest. The Ravens are giving up the second most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Look for Bortles and the Robinson/Hurns combo to have a good week.

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Week 9 Waiver Wire Targets


Written by Kelsey Smelser at Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 9 is here and we’re entering the homestretch in many season long fantasy leagues. With big injuries to big names such as Matt Forte, Steve Smith, and Le’Veon Bell, there are roster moves to be made. Here’s a look at players to target on the Week 9 Waiver Wire.

Jameis Winston (QB, Tampa Bay Bucs)

Need a fill in on a bye week or help at quarterback? Look no further than the rookie in Tampa. Winston has put up three solid weeks in a row without a turnover. The matchup for Week 9 will be a good one as the Bucs face a Giants defense that is giving up the seventh most fantasy points to opposing QBs.

DeAngelo Williams (RB, Pittsburgh Steelers)

The obvious top target for this week will be DeAngelo Williams. The Steelers lost Le’Veon Bell for the season, and that means Williams becomes a must own and must start going forward. He’s likely owned as a Bell handcuff in most leagues, but he is a must add if he’s available.

Jeremy Langford (RB, Chicago Bears)

Matt Forte suffered a knee injury in Week 8 and his timetable is uncertain, so that means it’s next man up for the Bears. Many have thought rookie Jeremy Langford is the future in Chicago, and now will be the time to find out if that’s the case. Langford is going to be a must add going into Week 9.

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Week 6 Player Rankings (Standard, PPR, & IDP)

Written by Kelsey Smelser at Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 6 is here and it’s time to look at player rankings. Teams on bye this week are the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, and Tampa Bay Bucs. Myself along with all of the other FantasyPros Experts have compiled our fantasy player rankings for Week 5. Check out my Standard, PPR, and IDP rankings and check out how they line up against the Expert Consensus. Player rankings are updated weekly all season long.

In Week 4 I was ranked 53rd among all experts for standard rankings with 53.8% accuracy. For IDP rankings I ranked 5th with an accuracy of 57.8%.

To check out the rankings, click here.