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Fantasy Forecast

Week 17 Fantasy Football Forecast

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: December 28, 2019, 1:19 pm ET

Welcome to the Fantasy Football Forecast! This week is a lot different than the rest of them. It's less based on stats and more reliant on incentives and news. Tracking the Rotoworld player blurbs are as important as ever this week. As always, hit me up on Twitter @HaydenWinks if you have questions on lineup decision. With Christmas right in the middle of the week, there's a lot less writing in this column than normal.

 

Matchup Charts

Before getting into team-by-team previews, here are five league-wide charts to use as a Week 17 overview:

PaceWeek17

Friendly Fantasy Offenses: Patriots, Saints, Rams, Cowboys, Chiefs, Packers

Unfriendly Fantasy Offenses: Redskins, Dolphins, Lions, Chargers, Ravens, Panthers, Jets

Chart Explainer: The teams projected to score the most points are on the very right side, and the teams who run the most offensive plays per minute are at the top. The most fantasy-friendly teams will be up and to the right, while the ones to primarily avoid are on the bottom left. This chart is probably the most important one in the column. 

 

ChartAveragePlays

Many Projected Plays: Falcons vs. Buccaneers, Dolphins vs. Patriots, Eagles vs. Giants

Few Projected Plays: Raiders vs. Broncos, Redskins vs. Cowboys, Titans vs. Texans

Chart Explainer: The games on the left are expected to have more plays than the games on the right because these offenses snap the ball quicker. The teams on the top are on the road, while the teams on the bottom are at home. Remember not to overreact to this. It matters just a little bit. 

 

PressureWeek17

Minimal Pressure: Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff, Aaron Rodgers

Lots of Pressure: Russell Wilson, Sam Darnold, Case Keenum, Will Grier, Brett Hundley

Chart Explainer: The offenses on the left side are expected to be pressured the most, and the offenses on the right should face minimal pressure. The offenses (blue) are on the bottom, while the defenses they’re playing (red) are on top. Streaming defenses that are expected to generate pressure is smart.

 

SlotCoverageWeek17

Good Slot Matchups: Justin Watson, Kenny Stills, Geronimo Allison, Jarius Wright, Tajae Sharpe, Randall Cobb

Bad Slot Matchups: Golden Tate, Jarvis Landry, Tyler Boyd, Jamison Crowder, Sammy Watkins

Chart Explainer: The defenses on the left allow the most PPR Points per Game to players lined up in the slot. This data includes not just slot receivers but also tight ends and running backs who lined up in the slot. The players listed inside the bar chart are the ones who are expected to play in the slot against these defenses this week.

 

RBAllowedWeek17

Good RB Matchups: Ezekiel Elliott (as a runner and receiver), Aaron Jones (runner and receiver), Alvin Kamara (runner), Marlon Mack (runner), Sony Michel (runner), Nick Chubb (runner), Joe Mixon (runner), Derrick Henry (receiver), Melvin Gordon/Austin Ekeler (receiver), Todd Gurley (receiver), Phillip Lindsay (receiver)

Bad RB Matchups: Patrick Laird (as a runner and receiver), Devonta Freeman (runner and receiver), Christian McCaffrey (runner), Leonard Fournette (runner), Saquon Barkley (runner), Justice Hill (runner), Travis Homer (receiver), James Conner (receiver), Alvin Kamara (receiver), Kenyan Drake (receiver)

Chart Explainer: The defenses on the left allow the most PPR Points per Game to running backs. The numbers inside the bars represent the defensive ranking for PPR Points per Game allowed on defense broken down by receiving (red) and rushing (blue) production. Some teams are worse at defending one over the other but don’t overreact to these matchups.

 

Team-by-Team Previews

Teams are listed in order of their Vegas projected team points. Expect a big Saturday update once injury reports and more news are released.

 

Patriots (30.5 projected points, -16 spread) vs. MIA

Week 17 Incentive: Win for better seeding.

 

Saints (29.75, -13) @ CAR

Week 17 Incentive: Win for better seeding unless they see Green Bay is crushing the Lions at halftime.

 

Cowboys (28.25, -11) vs. WAS

Week 17 Incentive: Win for a chance at playoffs.

Notes: Dak Prescott’s shoulder is a problem right now and may be affecting his deep passing the most. He is one of the few good quarterbacks with a ton to play for this week, but Dak and the rest of the passing offense is more boom-or-bust than normal.

 

Rams (28, -7) vs. ARI

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

Notes: The Rams are more likely to sit starters than other non-playoff teams. There isn’t a single player here with a floor above 0 fantasy points. The matchup does offer a path to upside. Treat everyone as very boom-or-bust until we hear more news.

 

Packers (27.75, -12.5) @ DET

Week 17 Incentive: Win for better seeding.

Notes: Aaron Jones and Davante Adams are going to smash. Jones has an elite matchup. Adams will get fed at least 96 yards to reach the 1,000-yard benchmark. 

 

Chiefs (27.75, -9) vs. LAC

Week 17 Incentive: Win for better seeding.

Notes: Spencer Ware went to injured reserve. Damien Williams should see plenty of touches in a game where Kansas City is projected for 3-4 touchdowns. 

 

49ers (25.25, -3.5) @ SEA

Week 17 Incentive: Win for better seeding.

 

Eagles (25, -4.5) @ NYG

Week 17 Incentive: Win to make playoffs.

Notes: Zach Ertz (ribs) is out, so Dallas Goedert is a top-five TE1. Goedert and Greg Ward are expected to be the top two pass-catchers this week... Jordan Howard (stinger) is expected to play but reportedly won't move Miles Sanders off his 1A role. Sanders is an upside RB2.

 

Bucs (24.5, -1) vs. ATL

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

 

Titans (24.5, -3.5) @ HOU

Week 17 Incentive: Win to make playoffs.

Notes: Derrick Henry is practicing in full. He only sat last week because the game literally had no playoff implications. Have confidence here. 

 

Falcons (23.5, +1) @ TB

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

Notes: Julio Jones for all the fantasy points.

 

Colts (23.25, -3.5) @ JAX

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

 

Browns (23, -2.5) @ CIN

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

Notes: Odell Beckham (illness) is questionable. 

 

Broncos (22.25, -3.5) vs. OAK

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

 

Seahawks (21.75, +3.5) vs. SF

Week 17 Incentive: Win for a better seeding… but there’s also a crazy scenario where the Seahawks *could* lose on purpose to improve their playoffs matchups

Notes: The Hawks will “lean on” Travis Homer at running back but Marshawn Lynch is on the team now.

 

Texans (21, +3.5) vs. TEN

Week 17 Incentive: Rest key players if the Chiefs win the early-morning game before Houston kicks off. 

Notes: The coaching staff said they’d play their guys, but incentives spur action. I won’t be surprised if Watson and Hopkins don’t play the entire game. 

 

Cardinals (21, +7) @ LAR

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

Notes: Kyler Murray has a hamstring injury, so Brett Hundley might be starting.

 

Bengals (20.5, +2.5) vs. CLE

Week 17 Incentive: Do whatever. Already clinched the first overall pick. Joe Burrow time.

Notes: Last week, John Ross set a new record for the most air yards (283) in a single game this year.

 

Giants (20.5, +3.5) vs. PHI

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

 

Jaguars (19.75, +3.5) vs. HOU

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

Notes: Leonard Fournette is now doubtful. Ryquell Armstead will likely draw the start.

 

Steelers (19.5, -2) @ BAL

Week 17 Incentive: Win for a chance at playoffs.

Notes: James Conner is on the injury report.

 

Bills (19, -1.5) vs. NYJ

Week 17 Incentive: Rest key starters.

 

Vikings (18.75, -1) vs. CHI

Week 17 Incentive: Rest key starters.

 

Raiders (18.75, +3.5) @ DEN

Week 17 Incentive: Win for a chance at playoffs.

Notes: Josh Jacobs (shoulder, infection) is out. DeAndre Washington will draw another start.

 

Chargers (18.25, +9) @ KC

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

 

Bears (17.75, +1) vs. MIN

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

Notes: GIve me a lot of Bears DEF in DFS tournaments against the Vikings' backups.

 

Jets (17.5, +1.5) @ BUF

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

 

Ravens (17.5, +2) vs. PIT

Week 17 Incentive: Rest key players.

Notes: Many starters will sit, including your 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson. Robert Griffin will be starting. 

 

Redskins (17.25, +11) @ DAL

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

Notes: Terry McLaurin is out. Treat Steven Sims as a volume-based flex play. He's been a target/air yards machine in recent weeks.

 

Panthers (16.75, +13) vs. NO

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

Notes: D.J. Moore (concussion) is out. Curtis Samuel will be the de-facto No. 1 receiver. How many air yards can he tally up this time??? Christian McCaffrey needs 215 yards from scrimmage to tie the single-season record. Carolina will likely be jamming the football into his belly all game long.

 

Lions (15.25, +12.5) vs. GB

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

 

Dolphins (14.5, +16) @ NE

Week 17 Incentive: Eliminated from playoffs. Lose for a better draft slot?

Notes: Myles Gaskin is on injured reserve, so Patrick Laird should see most touches and snaps again.

 

Week 17 Player Motivations