If you are still with me at this point, congrats! The fact that you are competing in a meaningful game in Week 17 means you made it to the end in a season that has spelled doom for even the most meticulously constructed fantasy teams. Hopefully, the roster that has propelled you to this point is still intact for the most part. However, recent COVID outbreaks have shown us there are no guarantees for availability, so it is essential to have a contingency plan for the most important week of the season. Thank you for reading this season and good luck in your championship week matchup!
* Players marked with an asterisk below can also be found in the priority waiver wire adds article referenced at the end. If anyone featured below is at risk of not playing or is relegated to a bench role late in the week, I will do my best to keep you all updated on Twitter (@BrandonMillerFB). All players below are under 65%-rostered as of 12/29/21.
* Jordan Howard (RB, Philadelphia Eagles)
With Miles Sanders likely to miss Week 17 due to a broken bone in his hand, Howard is expected to ascend to the top of the Eagles’ RB depth chart (alongside, to a lesser extent, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell). Although Jalen Hurts will also steal away some rushing work, Howard should function as the early-down and short-yardage banger that they give the most volume to. I like Philly to find the red zone on multiple occasions against the Washington Football Team this week, leading to high-value touches for Howard. Start him as a high-end Flex this week.
* Dare Ogunbowale (RB, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Sure, the Jaguars’ season is in shambles, but after bottoming out by firing their Head Coach and losing James Robinson in recent weeks, it is only up from here, right? Regardless of any misfortunes the team has experienced up to this point, Jacksonville is not just going to forfeit their last two games; these are still professional athletes competing for future opportunities in the league who want to do everything they can to put good film on record. All that is to say Dare Ogunbowale looks like someone who is interested in making the most of his opportunities, turning in a respectable Week 16 stat line of 17 carries for 57 rushing yards and a score along with two catches for 15 yards. It will not be easy to churn out stats on the road against an inspired Patriots defense, but the volume will be there for Ogunbowale to provide Flex-worthy production in Week 17.
RB Streamers (ranked): Rashaad Penny (52% ESPN), D’Onta Foreman, Jordan Howard, Dare Ogunbowale, Rex Burkhead, Boston Scott, Jamaal Williams, Mike Davis, Justin Jackson, Chuba Hubbard, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Devontae Booker, Duke Johnson, Derrick Gore, Mark Ingram II, Ameer Abdullah, Rhamondre Stevenson, Nyheim Hines, Dontrell Hilliard, Tevin Coleman, Latavius Murray.
Russell Gage (WR, Atlanta Falcons)
Although the Falcons offense is a far cry from “a force to be reckoned with,” it has managed to move the ball in recent weeks and Gage has played a big role in doing so for Atlanta’s passing game. Gage returns to this article with volume that has fluctuated since Week 13, pairing two twelve-target efforts (Week 13, Week 15) with a five-target game (Week 16) and a six-target game (Week 14). One constant has been that when the Falcons have needed to pass, Gage is a focal point. I expect the Falcons to fall behind on the road in Buffalo this week, and although the Bills defense has been the stingiest against opposing WRs so far, I feel the volume will lead to a safe floor for Gage as a Flex.
Gabriel Davis (WR, Buffalo Bills)
If you still have the link from above open (defense vs WR), you will see that the WRs on the other side of the Buffalo-Atlanta matchup will have the benefit of facing the Falcons’ fifth-worst defense in terms of fantasy points allowed to WRs. Gabriel Davis was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list under new protocols and will suit up for this weekend’s game against that beatable defense. Prior to missing Week 16, Davis scored in three straight games (four total receiving TDs) and had seven-plus targets (his most of the season) in Weeks 14 and 15. It remains to be seen what Buffalo’s passing game will look like with everyone active, but I will count on Davis to stay hot in the red zone and come through for teams that take a shot on him championship week.
WR Streamers (ranked): Russell Gage, DeVante Parker, Gabriel Davis, A.J. Green, Josh Reynolds, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kendrick Bourne, K.J. Osborn, Allen Lazard, Marvin Jones Jr, Kadarius Toney, Robby Anderson, Marquez Callaway, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Rashod Bateman.
* Gerald Everett (TE, Seattle Seahawks)
Everett returns to this article on a bit of a roll since Week 14, catching four balls and 60-plus yards in each of the last two games. This week he will take on a Lions defense that has seen opposing offenses visit the red zone on multiple occasions each game and has allowed the fourth-most receiving yards to TEs this season. I could not in good conscience recommend any of the names listed behind Everett (below) this week in such a crucial matchup, so stick with the hot hand and hope for the best if you are deciding on a TE streamer.
TE Streamers (ranked): Hunter Henry (53% ESPN), Gerald Everett, Jared Cook, Tyler Conklin, Cole Kmet, Foster Moreau, C.J. Uzomah, Evan Engram, David Njoku, Ricky Seals-Jones, Austin Hooper, Cameron Brate, James O’Shaughnessy, Brevin Jordan, Josiah Deguara.
Accountability is everything, so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Alexander Mattison (RB, Minnesota Vikings): Mattison did not surpass the 20-plus touch threshold that seemed to be in store for him, but he still produced with 13 carries for 41 yards and a score on the ground along with three catches (four targets) for 29 receiving yards. He is a must-start option as long as Dalvin Cook is absent from Minnesota’s lineup.
Rhamondre Stevenson (RB, New England Patriots): Shortly after last week’s article was released, Stevenson was ruled out for Week 16 due to the illness he was dealing with; yet another example of why it is crucial to have roster depth in the postseason.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, Detroit Lions): St. Brown once again saw double-digit target volume, this time hauling in 9-of-11 targets for 91 yards and touchdown along with two carries for 19 rushing yards. He is an easy WR2 start if you have him at your disposal for championship week.
A.J. Green (WR, Arizona Cardinals): It was an all-around odd game for Arizona as their QB led them in rushing and their RB (Chase Edmonds) led them in receiving. Green saw just three targets against the Colts, catching one for 33 yards. He has been prone to these down games and should not be in your lineup this week unless you are desperate.
Cole Kmet (TE, Chicago Bears): Kmet produced “just okay” results, catching four-of-five targets for 49 yards. This is a floor play that you hopefully do not need to rely on for Week 17.
Thank you for being a loyal QB List and Pitcher List reader; have a safe and happy 2022!
(Photo by Pro Sports Images/Imago/Icon Sportswire)