Sit/Start Week 17: Reviewing All Fantasy Relevant Players In Every Single Game

Fantasy Football Sit or Start recommendations for every player in Week 17 of the season

Game Info

Kickoff: Sunday, January 2nd at 1:00 PM ET

Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN

Betting Odds: TEN -3.5, 40 total via Oddsshark

Network: CBS


Miami Dolphins



Tua Tagovailoa (Sit, QB2)


While the Tennessee Titans defense has allowed the tenth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the year, much of that damage came early on in 2021. Since Week 6 when Josh Allen lit them up for nearly 30 fantasy points, the Titans have allowed no more than 22 points to an individual quarterback, including three straight weeks of 15 or fewer fantasy points allowed. The competition has been lackluster over the past three games for sure (Trevor Lawrence, Ben Roethlisberger, and Jimmy Garoppolo), but this defense is playing better than they were early on.

Tua Tagovailoa has been a steady presence at quarterback when in the lineup this year, but his upside is limited. Tagovailoa has just one performance inside the top 10 of his position all year when he was the QB1 in Week 7 against the Falcons, and has been a top-12 quarterback in just 4 of 11 weeks on the season. Tennessee is stronger against the run and has forced teams to throw the ball, which should ensure solid volume for Tagovailoa. But even with plenty of games recently topping 30 passing attempts, Tagovailoa hasn’t thrown for 300 yards since Week 6. With limited rushing upside, Tagvailoa is just a safe QB2 in super-flex leagues.


Running Backs

Duke Johnson Jr. (Sit), Myles Gaskin (Sit), Phillip Lindsay (Sit)


Miami devolved into a dreaded three-man committee last week, as Duke Johnson Jr. received 35% of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps, with 31% going to Myles Gaskin and Phillip Lindsay soaking up the remaining 29%. It would be hard to trust anyone in this committee with your season on the line, as Johnson couldn’t carry over the momentum of his 22 carry, 107-yard day from the week prior. Johnson was forced into the lead role due to injuries and Miami’s COVID-19 outbreak in Week 15 and he totaled 58% of the Dolphins’ snaps, but the rest of the backfield’s return to health likely puts an end to those bell-cow hopes.

Gaskin has been the only running back in Miami that has consistently topped a 50% snap share this year and had last played at a 64% rate before he was limited in his Week 15 return from the COVID-IR. It was enough of a crack to allow Johnson to earn a role and a three-man committee to develop, and Gaskin has likely missed his chance at his own bell-cow role having failed to reach 100 yards rushing in a game all season. Even Gaskin’s once dependable passing game role has dried up, as he’s failed to hit 20 receiving yards in a single game since Week 9.

Lindsay should form the end of this committee and against a Titans defense allowing the fewest PPR points to opposing running backs, the second-fewest rushing yards, and the fourth-fewest yards per attempt on the season, you’ll need a touchdown from any of these backs to reach flex status.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Jaylen Waddle (Start, WR1), DeVante Parker (WR3), Albert Wilson (Sit), Mike Gesicki (Start)


Tennessee is giving up most of their fantasy points to wide receivers in 2021, allowing the second-most PPR points to opposing wideouts. Coming in at WR13 on a point per game basis on the season, Jaylen Waddle has become a rock-solid weekly option, consistently racking up double-digit targets numbers along with eight or more receptions per game.  You can argue about whether Waddle is a low-end WR1 or more of a high-end WR2, as he’s topped 100 yards receiving just once on the year, but his PPR pass-catching role is as reliable as they come. In a year full of dud performances from good wide receivers, I appreciate Waddle’s consistency (double-digit PPR points in 8 of his last 9 games), making him a back-end WR1.

With Albert Wilson and his 58% snap-share out with COVID-19 last week, some might have seen a big game coming from DeVante Parker, who had been consistent when on the field this year. Unfortunately, Parker saw a healthy dose of Marshon Lattimore and received zero targets on his 46 snaps. Game script and matchup certainly worked against Parker last week, and prior to his disappearing act, Parker had scored between 8 and 18 PPR points in each of his seven previous games. He’s a low-end WR3 with upside for those of you who can stomach it, but he’s not surpassing Waddle anytime soon, and in a game with an over/under of just 40, you likely have better options in the championship round. And for as for Wilson, even if he does return from the COVID-IR this week, he would be no more than a desperation flex in deep leagues.

It’s been a fall from grace for Mike Gesicki, who racked up four TE7 or better finishes in five weeks from Week 3 to Week 7. Since that hot streak, however, Gesicki has scored double-digit PPR points in just 3 of 8 games and has just two TE12 or better performances over that span. His target share hasn’t been the issue, as Week 15 was his season-high at 32% and Week 13 ranked second best at 27%. But Gesicki hasn’t scored since Week 7, and very few tight ends can overcome an eight-week scoring drought and remain elite. Gesicki is seeing red zone targets, with the fifth-most among tight ends over the past six weeks, but he’s not seeing targets at the goal line, with just one target inside the five-yard line over the past six weeks. Tennessee has been strong against tight ends this year, holding George Kittle to two catches for 21 yards last week, Pat Friermuth to four catches for 37 yards the week prior, and in Week 7 held Travis Kelce to 65 yards on 12 targets. Gesicki is still a below-average starting option due to the lack of options at the position, but hopefully, you’ve found a better option over the course of the season.


Tennessee Titans



Ryan Tannehill (Sit, QB2)


Getting A.J. Brown back from injury is certainly exciting for Ryan Tannehill‘s fantasy prospects, but a tough matchup in Week 17 means we should temper expectations. While the Dolphins defense has certainly benefitted from playing lousy competition recently (Ian Book, Zach Wilson, Mike Glennon, Cam Newton, and Joe Flacco are the last five QBs they have faced), Miami is playing with confidence and bringing the heat with heavy blitzing. Even with Brown returning from injury last week and catching 11 balls for 145 yards and a touchdown, Tannehill still finished as just the QB17 with only 209 yards passing. With the majority of the Tennessee receiving corps (outside of Brown) currently sitting on the COID-19 reserve list, it’s hard to see Tannehill, who hasn’t finished higher than QB7 in any week this season, break out against this Dolphins pass defense. Miami has allowed the twelfth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on the year, making Tannehill a QB2 in super-flex this week.


Running Backs

D’Onta Foreman (Flex), Dontrell Hilliard (Sit), Jeremy McNichols (sit)


Speaking of three-man running back committees, welcome to the post-Derrick Henry Titans! Since Henry went down in Week 8, the Titans have given 50% or more of the snaps to a running back just twice, when Dontrell Hilliard played at 63% and 51% in Weeks 11 and 12. And since those two games, Jeremy McNichols is the only running back to top even 40% of the snaps, when he played on 42% last week.

D’Onta Foreman remains the most fantasy-relevant of the bunch, as he gets fed carries on the limited snaps that he’s in the game, and he’s scored a touchdown in two of the past three games. With limited passing game work and fewer than 40% of the offensive snaps, Foreman’s ceiling and floor is lacking, and he faces a Dolphins defense allowing the seventh-fewest PPR points to the running back position. Foreman is a flex option due to injuries and COVID-19 issues across the league, but I’d rather play a comparable wide receiver in PPR leagues. If COVID-19 takes out more options at the position, he could sneak into back-end RB2 status, but I’m still looking for better options.

For Hilliard and McNichols, the premium passing game role just hasn’t amounted to much in this offense. Hilliard did see an 18.8% target share back in Week 15, but could only muster 10 yards on four receptions. And despite leading the team in snaps last week, McNichols produced just 31 rushing yards on 7 attempts and did not catch a pass. If all of the passing game work was combined between Hilliard and McNichols we might have a reason to be interested, but neither is worth a start with all three options healthy.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

A.J. Brown (WR1), Julio Jones (Sit), Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (Sit), Geoff Swaim (Sit)


A.J. Brown already took over the team’s entire passing game in his return from injury last week, posting a ridiculous 53% target share on his way to 145 of Tannehill’s 209 yards through the air. Normally we would expect some regression there, but with Julio Jones, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and Cody Hollister all currently on the COVID-19 reserve list, there’s not much left in Tennessee. Dez Fitzpatrick or Racey McMath could be the next options, but you aren’t starting any of them in a championship game anyway. Brown has a shot at another massive target share and draws a Dolphins team that has been exploitable by opposing wide receivers at times. Brown is a must-start WR1.

Jones hasn’t recorded 10 PPR points since Week 2, and he hasn’t played 50% of the snaps since Week 9. He can’t be trusted this week even if he makes it off the COID-19 reserve list. Westbrook-Ikhine could be mildly interesting if Jones were to miss and he was to be activated, racking up a 29% target share in Week 12 and a 22% target share in Week 15. But the production just hasn’t been there outside of one week, and Westbrook-Ikhine can remain on waivers. Geoff Swaim has been leading the way in playing time at tight end, but even a decimated receiving corps wouldn’t be enough to put him on the fantasy radar.



-Erik Smith (@truebest on Reddit, @ErikSmithQBL on Twitter)

One response to “Sit/Start Week 17: Reviewing All Fantasy Relevant Players In Every Single Game”

  1. Travis says:

    Curious if you take weather into account (GB vs. Minnesota)?

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