Stop me if you've heard this one before, but Thursday Night Football was pretty boring.
It could have been worse, actually -- I thought it would be with Joshua Dobbs starting unexpectedly for the Titans, but he ended up being a more viable option than Malik Willis, at least. The fill-in running backs didn't do much, with Hassan Haskins scored just 7.3 PPR points while Malik Davis had just 8.2 points; even Ezekiel Elliott posted a pretty ho-hum 9.7 points despite the Cowboys easy win.
If you started CeeDee Lamb or Dalton Schultz, you go off to a great start; if you started the Cowboys DST or Dak Prescott, you got a decent output, but definitely feel like you could have had a lot more. Either way, from our perspective, it wasn't a great game, but it wasn't a terrible one for most of the players you might have started.
Whether you find yourself in good position coming out of Thursday or you're in a hole -- or you didn't have anyone going and neither did your opponent -- let's make sure you've got an opportunity to bring home that championship this weekend. I have previews for every game on the way, with all of the injury updates you need to know about, plus Start and Sit calls from Dave Richard for every single game. And, the rest of the Fantasy Football Today team's Week 17 preview content is right here:
- Week 17 Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: QB | RB | WR
- Starts, sits and sleepers for every game
- Cheat Sheets: |
- Week 17 Position Previews: QB | RB | WR | TE
- Week 17 Rankings: Jamey | Dave | Heath
- My rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE
Now, here's what you need to know for every game:
🔍Week 17 Game Previews
There's something to watch in every game on the NFL schedule every week, even if you have to squint to see it sometimes. Here's a look ahead at every Week 17 game, with some thoughts and start/sit calls from the FFT team:
All odds are via Caesars Sportsbook. Start and sit calls come from Dave Richard's
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Falcons -3.5; 42 O/U
- Implied totals: Falcons 22.75, Cardinals 19.25
Colt McCoy is back for the Cardinals, which should hopefully get the offense back on track after a pretty ugly showing with Trace McSorley. I'm not expecting this offense to be great, but I'm more excited about starting DeAndre Hopkins with McCoy back, at least. The more interesting question here is what to do with Greg Dortch, who played just 10 snaps overall in Weeks 14 and 15 before catching 10 passes from McSorley last week. He's been terrific when given the opportunity; will he get it again?
Injuries: James Conner (illness) has missed both days of practice, which is a little concerning. He still has a few days to get back to full health, but this is definitely a situation to keep an eye on going into the weekend -- consider picking up Keaontay Ingram just in case Conner is out.
Fantasy Football Today Newsletter
Know What Your Friends Don't
Get tips, advice and news to win your league - all from the FFT podcast team.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Lions -6; 52 O/U
- Implied totals: Lions 29, Bears 23
Justin Fields rushed for 147 yards the last time he faced the Lions, but he suffered a foot injury in Week 16 and had his worst rushing game of the season against the Bills. If he's less than 100%, there's real risk in starting him, given how dependent he is on rushing production. There's real boom-or-bust potential here, and obviously, Chicago's offense goes as Fields goes. This is a boom-or-bust game all around.
Jared Goff -- Start. "Goff has posted at least 25 Fantasy points in three of his past four with his only bad game coming on the road against a strong Jets defense. This is about the exact opposite of that against a beleaguered Bears defense in Detroit. I feel good starting Goff over Tom Brady, Geno Smith and Justin Herbert.":
Injuries: The good news for Fields is that he hasn't even been listed on the practice report so far this week, so it looks like there isn't too much to be concerned about. His absence from the practice report is the biggest story here, but Chase Claypool (knee) was able to work up to a limited practice Thursday, so he could be back. I wouldn't recommend starting Claypool, but he would make Fields a bit more reliable.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Chiefs -12.5; 45 O/U
- Implied totals: Chiefs 28.75, Broncos 16.25
The Broncos had arguably their best offensive game of the season against the Chiefs in Week 14, and maybe they'll get a bit of a dead-cat bounce from the firing of Nathaniel Hackett and keep it competitive. Those are the narratives you would be hoping for, and the Chiefs defense can be thrown on, at least. However, Denver's defense got destroyed by a bad Rams offense last week, so the Broncos will need a much better showing than that to have a chance in this one.
Start or sit?: Latavius Murray -- Sit. "The Broncos can't be trusted to instantly right their ship just because they fired their coach, especially given the scenario of playing on the road against a productive Chiefs squad. That means Murray might not see the 14-plus touches you'd normally want. I would bench the touchdown-needy back for Isiah Pacheco, James Cook and both Dolphins RBs."
Injuries: Greg Dulcich (hamstring) has been unable to practice so far this week, so it looks like there's a real risk of him being held out. Dulcich would be a low-end TE1 if he plays. Jerry Jeudy (ankle) was limited Thursday after leaving Wednesday's practice, though initial reports indicated it wasn't much of a concern. He's a WR2 if he plays, but you'll want to keep a close eye on that one heading into the weekend just to be sure. Courtland Sutton (hamstring) has also been limited, however after he returned last week, I'm expecting him to play yet again.
Dolphins at Patriots
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Patriots -2.5; 41 O/U
- Implied totals: Patriots 21.75, Dolphins 19.25
Teddy Bridgewater played the majority of the snaps in two games this season, and the Dolphins have scored just 31 points in those two games. Bridgewater has hit on a few big plays, but overall, he has three interceptions and three touchdowns on his 60 pass attempts. He's a downgrade for Miami's offense for sure, even if he's a competent backup. It's a tough matchup, and with the backup QB in, things could get ugly for Miami in a hurry. Both teams are pretty desperate for a win, so there's no risk of starters sitting out here.
Injuries: Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) has already been ruled out, and left tackle Terron Armstead (toe/pec/knee/hip) hasn't practiced this week and looks like he may be out. That's less than ideal for Bridgewater. On the Patriots side, Hunter Henry (knee) has been limited, while DeVante Parker (concussion) and Jonnu Smith (concussion) have both been held out so far.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Giants -6; 38 O/U
- Implied totals: Giants 22, Colts 16
The Colts made the switch to Nick Foles last week and he somehow managed to pull off the incredible feat of looking more washed up than Matt Ryan. Maybe he'll be a bit better in his second start, against an easier opponent, but after what we saw Monday night, it's hard to have any confidence in this offense.
Michael Pittman -- Sit. "The matchup should be conducive for Pittman to pick up some catches and yards, but Pittman himself doesn't do a lot after the catch, and he's rare to score. If you start Pittman, you're banking on his volume to increase from last week. That's possible, but he may max out on six catches for 60 yards. It keeps Pittman squarely in the PPR flex range, and lower than normal. I'd rather start Gabe Davis, Zay Jones and Brandin Cooks in any format.":
Injuries: Neither team has any significant injuries to worry about, but Jelani Woods is a more intriguing TE streamer if Kylen Granson (ankle) and Ashton Dulin (concussion) are out. Both have missed both days of practice so far.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Eagles -5.5; 42 O/U
- Implied totals: Eagles 23.75, Saints 18.25
With Jalen Hurts' status still up in the air, there's a lot about this game that is subject to change as of Thursday night. That includes both starting running backs in addition to Hurts. The Eagles should be able to win relatively easily, as reflected in the line, but this is a hard one to judge from a Fantasy perspective until we have more information.
: That lack of information? I talked to Dave, and he hasn't made his start/sit calls for this one because so much depends on the status of the injured players. Make sure you check out his piece before Sunday for his thoughts.
Injuries: Alvin Kamara (quad) is an interesting one, because he's listed with both his injury as well as a "personal" tag. I've seen nothing to suggest whether he'd be practicing despite the personal issue, so we're completely in the dark right now. If he doesn't play, David Johnson would likely see a bigger role, but I wouldn't start him as anything more than a desperation play. Chris Olave (hamstring) had been limited both days in practice, indicating he has a chance to make his return, and I'd rank him as a low-end WR2 if he plays, even with a tough matchup. On the Eagles side, Jalen Hurts (shoulder) was officially limited Thursday, but I'd still be pretty surprised if he played. I'm more optimistic about Miles Sanders (knee), who also worked his way up to a limited session Thursday. If he is out, Boston Scott would be an interesting RB2/3, with Kenneth Gainwell probably more like an RB3 in PPR, though both will likely be touchdown dependent.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Buccaneers -3; 40.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Buccaneers 21.75, Panthers 18.75
The Panthers beat the Buccaneers back in Week 7 in one of the most surprising outcomes of the season, and they did it the same way they've won pretty much all of their (rare) wins this season -- on the strength of the running game. These are two teams with multiple viable starting options in their backfields, though the Panthers options are a lot more game-script dependent -- the Bucs are going to throw it a lot, to both Leonard Fournette and Rachaad White, pretty much no matter what. The question for the Panthers is if they can once again slow down the Bucs offense and lean on the run. For my part, I'd like to note my skepticism of D.J. Moore's strong play with Sam Darnold -- he's averaging just 5.5 targets per game and almost certainly won't keep scoring 75% of the team's touchdowns or averaging 11.8 yards per target.
D'Onta Foreman -- Start (in non-PPR. "The Panthers are playing well on both sides of the ball, enough to believe in another large workload for Foreman. When he's had a lot of carries, he's usually had good numbers. Expect it to continue, even in a high-stakes road matchup. In non-PPR I'd start Foreman over Leonard Fournette, Brian Robinson and Aaron Jones, but in PPR Foreman is ahead of Robinson plus Rachaad White, Zonovan Knight and Devin Singletary.":
Injuries: There aren't any injuries we're keeping an eye on from this one at this point.
Browns at Commanders
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Commanders -2; 40 O/U
- Implied totals: Commanders 21, Browns 19
In basically every conceivable metric you want to use, Deshaun Watson has been significantly worse than Jacoby Brissett so far this season. The chances of a QB change here are extremely slim, so the Browns will just need Watson to show some life heading into next season. The Commanders, on the other hand, already made the QB change, going back to Carson Wentz after benching Taylor Heinicke last week. I'm pretty mixed on that decision, but it definitely makes Terry McLaurin a bit riskier to start -- he has a 15% target share from Wentz this season compared to a 27% mark with Heinicke. I'm still probably starting McLaurin, but it's with a bit more hesitation.
Nick Chubb -- Possible Bust. "Sit Chubb?! It's a dangerous proposition considering just how good of a back he is and the usage he gets. But Cleveland's offense has seemingly gotten worse since Watson took over and their playcalling near the goal line is especially troubling. Have no fear in non-PPR with Chubb -- there just aren't enough backs with his ceiling out there to sit him for. But in full PPR, Chubb fits in as a low-end No. 2 running back given his lack of targets, tough matchup and overall inefficiency since December started.":
Injuries: Antonio Gibson (knee/foot) looks like there is real risk he'll have to sit out as a result of this injury. I don't think that would impact Brian Robinson's usage too much, but he could see a couple of additional carries against a bad Browns run defense. Robinson is pretty touchdown dependent, but this could be a good opportunity for him to be something more than that, with what should be healthy volume in a good matchup. He's a fringe RB2/3.
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Jaguars -4; 43.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Jaguars 23.75, Texans 19.75
The Jaguars don't have nothing to play for in this one, but they don't have a lot to play for. Their primary path to the playoffs still runs through the AFC South and their Week 18 showdown with the Titans -- whoever wins that one will be locked into a playoff spot. The Jaguars do have a path to the playoffs even without winning the South, but if they get up big early in this one, I wouldn't be surprised to see Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne being given the opportunity to rest some lingering injuries.
D.J. Chark and Gabe Davis.": Zay Jones -- Sit. "Unless the Jaguars defense falls apart and the Texans find a way to put up some points, the worry is that the Jaguars won't need a huge game from Jones in order to walk away with a win. Also, the game is pretty much meaningless for Jacksonville -- its easiest path to the playoffs is winning over Tennessee next week. So who knows how aggressive the Jaguars will get? I'd rather start Brandin Cooks,
Injuries: Trevor Lawrence (toe) was limited Thursday as he continues to manage this injury, but I don't think there's any risk of him sitting out at this point.
- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
- Line: 49ers -10; 41.5 O/U
- Implied totals: 49ers 25.75, Raiders 15.75
The main storyline here is the benching of Derek Carr, and what that will mean for the Raiders offense. Jarrett Stidham is making his first NFL start, and while it's possible he's a hidden gem who can at least keep the Raiders offense afloat, that seems pretty unlikely to me. I'm not immediately sitting Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams, but I'm definitely a bit more wary of both -- especially if the Raiders go down big, because I could certainly see them opting to rest their starters with nothing to play for this season.
Brandon Aiyuk -- Flex starters. "Of course there's potential for Aiyuk to have a monster game -- he's due and the Raiders should provide a bunch of opportunities for the Niners to dunk on them. But there's also a chance he comes up a little lean, just as he has in most of his games with Purdy. I'd chance it with him over Jahan Dotson, Darius Slayton, Adam Thielen and Courtland Sutton.":
Injuries: Deebo Samuel (knee/ankle) got in a limited practice Thursday for the first time since suffering the injury. I'd be surprised if he played this week, and I would probably view him as a pretty risky start even if he does. The only other injury we're monitoring on either side at this point is Christian McCaffrey (knee), though he's been on the injury report five weeks in a row without any notable limitations come game day. He is, obviously, a must-start Fantasy option.
Jets at Seahawks
- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
- Line: Jets -1.5; 42.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Jets 22, Seahawks 20.5
The Jets have demoted Zach Wilson all the way back to the No. 3 spot on the depth chart with Mike White cleared to return from his rib injury. There's some risk of an aggravation of that injury, but White looks like a pretty solid streaming option with over 120 pass attempts in his three starts this season (one of which he left early with that injury). The Seahawks are vulnerable on defense, but the key for White might be whether the Seahawks offense can score enough on the Jets to force him into passing situations because I don't expect him to be terribly efficient.
Injuries: Tyler Lockett (hand) got a limited practice in Thursday, a sign he has a chance to return after missing just one week with a broken finger. He's a risk even if he does play because of the potential for re-injury -- or that he might just be used as a decoy -- but if he plays, I'll have a hard time ranking him lower than the WR2 range. Kenneth Walker (ankle) got up to a limited practice Thursday, so I'm expecting him to play; ditto for Noah Fant (knee), though he's obviously a fringier option than Walker.
- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
- Line: Packers -3.5; 48 O/U
- Implied totals: Packers 25.75, Vikings 22.25
The Packers control their own playoff destiny, so any risk of sitting starters out is probably out of the discussion until next week if they lose. They have everything to play for in this one, so I'm expecting a banged up Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones to play -- Christian Watson is very much up in the air entering Friday's practice, however.
AJ Dillon -- Start. "Dillon is still susceptible to getting beat out statistically by Aaron Jones, but he's been playing as much or more than Jones lately, and he's got the goal-line gig locked up. If you start Dillon, you're counting on him finding the end zone and adding at least 60 yards with it. In what should be a high-scoring game against Minnesota, that's definitely possible (if not beatable). Dillon will be in my lineup as a No. 2 running back ahead of Najee Harris, JK Dobbins and D'Onta Foreman.":
Injuries: Christian Watson (hip) has yet to practice this week, though coach Matt LaFleur did express optimism about Watson's chances of practicing before he sat out Thursday's session. Hopefully, his absence is more of a precaution, but at this point it looks like there's real risk of Watson sitting out. The same doesn't seem true of Aaron Rodgers (knee) or Aaron Jones (knee/ankle), both of whom were limited Thursday.
Rams at Chargers
- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
- Line: Chargers -6.5; 43 O/U
- Implied totals: Chargers 24.75, Rams 18.25
The Rams have, rather improbably, gone 2-1 in Baker Mayfield's starts, and he played legitimately well in Week 16 -- albeit against a Broncos defense that looked like they may have finally given up on their soon-to-be-fired head coach. The Chargers don't have a ton to play for in this game after locking up a playoff spot last week, but I'd still be pretty surprised if they found a way to lose this one. The Rams feel like a house of cards to me.
: Justin Herbert - Possible Bust. "Herbert's lack of touchdowns has Fantasy managers queasy to trust him. Week 12 against a leaky Arizona pass defense is the last time he completed multiple touchdown passes. Shoot, he's thrown one end-zone target in each of his past two games. Obviously, he has the upside to put up a strong stat line, but concerns about his protection and the game script are nerve-racking. Nonetheless, his upside is greater than Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and, for this week, Geno Smith, so he qualifies as a starter ahead of them. Just keep expectations mild."
Injuries: Austin Ekeler (knee) has been limited both days in practice so far. Hopefully it's nothing to be concerned about, but consider picking Joshua Kelley up just in case. I would probably rank Kelley as a top-15 RB if Ekeler did end up sitting out.
Steelers at Ravens
- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET
- Line: Ravens -2.5; 35 O/U
- Implied totals: Ravens 18.75, Steelers 16.25
The Ravens managed to beat the Steelers a few weeks ago, but it was a pretty weird game -- Tyler Huntley and Kenny Pickett both left with injuries, for one. There were some decent performances for Fantasy, but ultimately just 30 points between the two teams. We're not expecting much more in this one, and I'm not sure there's a single must-start Fantasy option among these two teams -- though at least they do have something to play for in this one, with the Steelers having more at stake as they fight to win that final wild-card spot.
Mark Andrews -- Sit. "If you've made it this far in your Fantasy season with Mark Andrews, congratulations. You've managed to overcome an improbable obstacle when you should have had a massive advantage in your lineup. But Andrews has a tough matchup ahead with a quarterback who's struggled to complete passes to him in a rivalry where the Ravens have consistently struggled to score points. If there was ever a time to sit Andrews, this is it. I'd rather start Noah Fant, David Njoku and Dawson Knox in PPR.":
Injuries: Lamar Jackson (knee) has missed 11 straight practice sessions as he continues to deal with his lingering injury, and at this point we're not expecting him to play.
Bills at Bengals
- Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
- Line: Bills -1; 49.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Bills 25.25, Bengals 24.25
They saved the best game on the schedule for last, and if you're like me and you don't do well with waiting, the number of high-profile Fantasy players in this one will cause you a lot of anxiety. Both teams feature high-powered offenses and pretty strong defenses, but we think the former will win out over the latter in this one, hence the relatively high over/under. Hopefully, that's exactly what we'll get. I don't really have a lot of analysis for this one, because you mostly know who to start here -- Devin Singletary and Gabe Davis are really the only fringe options, and for what it's worth, I'm starting both Packers RBs over Singletary in one league.
: Gabe Davis -- Flex starter. "No doubt, starting Davis is a risk, but I like how he's been seeing downfield targets lately, and I definitely like how the matchup should shake out for him. I wouldn't go nuts with the expectations, but any receiver with modest upside (Brandin Cooks, Zay Jones, Michael Pittman, Courtland Sutton, the Giants WRs) are easy sits for Davis."
Injuries: Stefon Diggs (illness) didn't practice Thursday to kick off the week, which is a bit concerning. But not enough that I'm actively making plans to replace him -- hopefully we'll know his status well before Sunday's lineup locks.