Kickoff: Sunday, January 3rd at 8:20 PM ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Betting Odds: PHI -10, 42 total via Oddsshark
Washington Football Team
Alex Smith (Sit), Taylor Heinicke (Sit)
Taylor Heinicke was inserted into the lineup last week and didn’t look overwhelmed. Heinicke will start should Alex Smith be unable to return from a calf injury. The WFT is fighting for a playoff spot and they will win the division should they win on Sunday Night Football. However, this is a matchup fantasy managers should avoid. A young QB or a veteran coming off injury are both risky bets.
Antonio Gibson (Start, RB2), J.D. McKissic (Start, RB2)
Antonio Gibson managed to play Week 16 but saw limited work with just 10 carries. Most of that was the game script, as the team turned the ball over three times before making a change at QB. Gibson is not practicing this week but all signs point to him suiting up for a crucial Week 17 must-win game. Gibson is a borderline RB1 play this week and he should see plenty of work as the team’s primary ball carrier. His backfield mate J.D. McKissic has managed to deliver since Week 14 and the fantasy playoffs. McKissic has scored 60 points in the past three weeks and is RB6 in that span. His role is secure even with Gibson and early week matchups have proven that both of these players can co-exist. Start J.D. McKissic this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Terry McLaurin (Start, Flex, Injury), Logan Thomas (Start, TE1)
Terry McLaurin is reportedly dealing with a high-ankle sprain and he may be unable to suit up on Sunday. If he can’t that will be a huge blow to the Football Team’s chances on Sunday night. If he goes, Scary Terry is a low-end flex play simply because of his injury status. However, managers should be excited to start Logan Thomas this week. Thomas was quiet for most of the season but he’s exploded in recent weeks. He has caught six or more passes on four straight games and seen 28 targets in just the last two weeks. Thomas could be in store for a huge day.
Jalen Hurts (Start, QB1)
Since being inserted into the lineup mid-game in Week 13, Jalen Hurts has performed like a fantasy star. Since Week 14 Hurts is the overall QB3 with no signs of slowing down. Washington presents a tough matchup for the rookie and he will be playing in prime time. However, Hurts has been dynamic as a dual-threat quarterback, especially with the rushing floor cheat code. He is an easy Qb1 start this week and may deliver championships to many managers.
Miles Sanders (Start, Flex)
One of the more frustrating trends in fantasy this season has been the usage of Miles Sanders. With the ball in his hands, Sanders is a dynamic playmaker who is a difference-maker. However, his coach seems to abandon the run so quickly Sanders has trouble getting into a rhythm, especially in the second half of games. Then when the team is forced to throw the ball, Sanders is way down on the pecking order. Sanders has not seen 20+ touches since Week 3 and if last week is any indication he won’t see that again in Week 17. Still, Sanders is super talented and should not be on your bench. Just don’t expect a huge day against this stout defensive line.
Alshon Jeffery (Sit), DeSean Jackson (Sit), Travis Fulgham (Sit), Greg Ward (Sit), Jalen Reagor (Sit), Dallas Goedert (Sit), Zach Ertz (Sit)
With so many options at receiver in Philadelphia, it is a shame that fantasy managers cannot feel good about any of them. The team’s veteran receivers, Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson have been in and out of the lineup all season, and when they do play snaps are limited. Since Hurts was inserted into the lineup, young talented receivers Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, and Jalen Reagor have struggled to find a true role in the offense. And after the tight end position lead this team for so many years both Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are forgotten pieces of this offense. In the crucial fantasy playoff week, we cannot recommend any of them because doing so would only be a shot in the dark.
-Marc Salazar (@dingwog on Twitter)