Fantasy Football Week 17: Top Plays at Every Position

Eric MackFantasy Football Lead WriterDecember 27, 2013

Fantasy Football Week 17: Top Plays at Every Position

0 of 6

    No more "Aaron" on the side of caution: The Packers will finally unleash Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) this week.
    No more "Aaron" on the side of caution: The Packers will finally unleash Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) this week.Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

    Every Friday of the NFL season, Bleacher Report has provided you with the top plays in fantasy football. This Week 17 version has been the most fun to write—and not because it is the last.

    There are a lot of nuances to analyzing and ranking the options for the regular-season finale, including injuries—read: Adrian Peterson (foot) and Calvin Johnson (knee)—and players potentially getting rested for the postseason (see: running back Jamaal Charles). Also, Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) will finally grace us with his presence again.

    This makes this analysis and position-by-position rankings in a six-part slideshow a must-read if you are still setting lineups for the final week.

Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers Is Back and He's a Must-Start Star Right Away

1 of 6

    Welcome back, Aaron Rodgers. If you are asking yourself whether you should play him, just answer this question: Would I sit Rodgers in Week 1 of the NFL season if he hadn't played a snap in the preseason?

    No way. Rodgers is your No. 1 pick and your surefire starter for the fantasy football finale.

    Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements told Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

    It's kind of like riding a bike. He's been out awhile, and he has a lot of experience to draw on practicing. It's not like he hasn't been doing anything. He's been practicing. Obviously, a game is different from practice, but I'm sure he'll adjust accordingly.

    Ride that bike, Rodgers. Ride that Rodgers, fantasy owners.

     

    Stafford Infection

    Matthew Stafford has been a bust of a starter for fantasy owners, particularly down the stretch, scoring just six points a week ago and failing to crack even double digits in the past three. You have to keep running him out there in Week 17, though. He faces the Minnesota Vikings, a team that has given up the most points in fantasy to quarterbacks to date, per FF Today. We keep him in our top 10 plays.

     

    Matchup Built Rams Tough

    It has been a weekly game of avoiding the Seattle Seahawks defense in fantasy football this season, particularly as it pertains to quarterbacks. Kellen Clemens and the St. Louis Rams are next up on the chopping block. You cannot feel good about starting Clemens even in the deepest of two-quarterback formats against the No. 1 team in fantasy versus quarterbacks.

     

    Like Him More

    We have to go back to the well on Kirk Cousins. He was a bit disappointing against the Dallas Cowboys a week ago, but the Washington Redskins surely want to stick it to the rival New York Giants in the final week of the season. It is unlikely he returns next year, but Mike Shanahan and Co. are coaching for their NFL futures, so expect an inspired effort here.

    Cousins rates as a starter in standard leagues in our rankings and is one of the quarterbacks we like more than the fantasy-analyst consensus below:

    1. Aaron Rodgers
    2. Russell Wilson
    3. Kirk Cousins
    4. Matt Ryan
    5. Joe Flacco

     

    Like Him Less

    Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs are not expected to play a lot, if at all, with the Chiefs having nothing to gain from Sunday's result. Heck, it already looked as if the Chiefs were packing it up for the regular season a week ago.

    You cannot start Smith, which is why he is among the quarterbacks we like less than the masses this week:

    1. Matthew Stafford
    2. Jay Cutler
    3. Ben Roethlisberger
    4. Alex Smith
    5. Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Week 17 Quarterbacks Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankQuarterbacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Peyton ManningDenat Oak10
    2Aaron RodgersGBat Chi7+5
    3Drew BreesNOvs. TB30
    4Cam NewtonCarat Atl40
    5Nick FolesPhiat Dal2-3
    6Andrew LuckIndvs. Jac8+2
    7Tom BradyNEvs. Buf9+2
    8Russell WilsonSeavs. StL12+4
    9Matthew StaffordDetat Min5-4
    10Philip RiversSDvs. KC11+1
    11Kirk CousinsWasat NYG18+7
    12Andy DaltonCinvs. Bal15+3
    13Jay CutlerChivs. GB6-7
    14Colin KaepernickSFat Ari13-1
    15Matt RyanAtlvs. Car21+6
    16Ryan TannehillMiavs. NYJ14-2
    17Ben RoethlisbergerPitvs. Cle10-7
    18Joe FlaccoBalat Cin25+7
    19Eli ManningNYGvs. Was27+8
    20Kyle OrtonDalvs. Phi19-1
    21Matt CasselMinvs. Det23+2
    22Matt McGloinOakvs. Den33+11
    23Alex SmithKCat SD22-1
    24Carson PalmerArivs. SF28+4
    25Ryan FitzpatrickTenvs. Hou16-9
    26Matt SchaubHouat Ten32+6
    27EJ ManuelBufat NE29+2
    28Chad HenneJacat Ind35+7
    29Chase DanielKCat SD34+5
    30Jason CampbellCleat Pit20-10
    31Geno SmithNYJat Mia30-1
    32Mike GlennonTBat NO37+5
    33Kellen ClemensStLat Sea38+5
    34Thaddeus LewisBufat NE31-3
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Running Backs: Eddie Lacy Banged Up but Too Intriguing to Sit vs. Bears Run D

2 of 6

    You owe Eddie Lacy a big hug for what he has done for you as a rookie; start him in Week 17.
    You owe Eddie Lacy a big hug for what he has done for you as a rookie; start him in Week 17.Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Aaron Rodgers isn't the only Green Bay Packer who has been on watch this week. Even more important to fantasy owners, perhaps, is the health of rookie running back Eddie Lacy.

    Head coach Mike McCarthy expects Lacy to play, regardless of whether he takes any snaps in practice this week. Lacy doesn't have to practice to be cleared to play, according to a tweet from the Green Bay Packers' official Twitter account.

    If Lacy starts, you have to keep him active in all leagues. He'll be facing the NFL's worst run defense in the Chicago Bears.

     

    Charles Not in Charge

    As of this writing, the Kansas City Chiefs have made no announcement they will be sitting their stars with nothing to gain, or lose, this Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. History suggests Andy Reid will be resting his stars in that situation this weekend, according to Randy Covitz of The Kansas City Star. It is reason enough to sit Charles in all leagues.

     

    Let's Be Frank: Gore Should Start

    There are a few reasons to sit Frank Gore against the Arizona Cardinals, the No. 1 run defense in the NFL and the No. 1 team in fantasy against running backs, according to FF Today. The knee is not one of them. Gore has been limited in practice, according to the official NFL injury report, but he will start for the San Francisco 49ers, who need a victory (and help) to win the NFC West—or just a victory to potentially avoid having to play the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round.

     

    Like Him More

    C.J. Spiller cracked 100 total yards a week ago, so you should feel confident in his involvement in the Bills offense this week at the New England Patriots. That is the fourth-worst rush defense in football.

    It is why we like Spiller more than the masses:

    1. C.J. Spiller
    2. Shane Vereen
    3. Trent Richardson
    4. Shonn Greene
    5. Jordan Todman

     

    Like Him Less

    Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz denied benching Reggie Bush for a fumble, but Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News is skeptical. The news Schwartz didn't bench Bush for yet another fumble is reason to be hopeful for him as a fantasy start this week, but we rank him as a low starter.

    Bush is among the backs we like less than the consensus this week:

    1. Eddie Lacy
    2. Reggie Bush
    3. Maurice Jones-Drew
    4. Steven Jackson
    5. Andre Ellington
    Week 17 Running Backs Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1LeSean McCoyPhiat Dal10
    2Matt ForteChivs. GB20
    3DeMarco MurrayDalvs. Phi30
    4Knowshon MorenoDenat Oak7+3
    5Adrian PetersonMinvs. Det11+6
    6Marshawn LynchSeavs. StL5-1
    7Le'Veon BellPitvs. Cle6-1
    8Ryan MathewsSDvs. KC9+1
    9Zac StacyStLat Sea8-1
    10Alfred MorrisWasat NYG100
    11Chris JohnsonTenvs. Hou13+2
    12Eddie LacyGBat Chi4-8
    13C.J. SpillerBufat NE22+9
    14Frank GoreSFat Ari20+6
    15Shane VereenNEvs. Buf25+10
    16Giovani BernardCinvs. Bal19+3
    17DeAngelo WilliamsCarat Atl170
    18Fred JacksonBufat NE15-3
    19Rashad JenningsOakvs. Den14-5
    20Bobby RaineyTBat NO16-4
    21Joique BellDetat Min24+3
    22Donald BrownIndvs. Jac27+5
    23Reggie BushDetat Min12-11
    24Chris IvoryNYJat Mia23-1
    25Andre BrownNYGvs. Was18-7
    26Ray RiceBalat Cin29+3
    27Danny WoodheadSDvs. KC33+6
    28Knile DavisKCat SD280
    29LeGarrette BlountNEvs. Buf34+5
    30Jonathan GrimesHouat Ten37+7
    31Maurice Jones-DrewJacat Ind21-10
    32Jamaal CharlesKCat SD31-1
    33Trent RichardsonIndvs. Jac43+10
    34Montee BallDenat Oak32-2
    35Edwin BakerCleat Pit30-5
    36Shonn GreeneTenvs. Hou46+10
    37James StarksGBat Chi39+2
    38Lamar MillerMiavs. NYJ45+7
    39Jordan TodmanJacat Ind49+10
    40Steven JacksonAtlvs. Car26-14
    41Darren SprolesNOvs. TB44+3
    42BenJarvus Green-EllisCinvs. Bal420
    43Mike TolbertCarat Atl47+4
    44Stevan RidleyNEvs. Buf41-3
    45Rashard MendenhallArivs. SF38-7
    46Michael CoxNYGvs. Was48+2
    47Daniel ThomasMiavs. NYJ51+4
    48Kendall HunterSFat Ari59+11
    49Andre EllingtonArivs. SF35-14
    50Bryce BrownPhiat Dal54+4
    51Chris OgbonnayaCleat Pit57+6
    52Pierre ThomasNOvs. TB36-16
    53Dennis JohnsonHouat Ten40-13
    54Chris PolkPhiat Dal74+20
    55Matt AsiataMinvs. Det66+11
    56Marcel ReeceOakvs. Den68+12
    57Bernard PierceBalat Cin61+4
    58Robert TurbinSeavs. StL69+11
    59Willis McGaheeCleat Pit58-1
    60Roy HeluWasat NYG64+4
    61Benny CunninghamStLat Sea76+15
    62Bilal PowellNYJat Mia55-7
    63Mark IngramNOvs. TB50-13
    64Michael BushChivs. GB63-1
    65Brian LeonardTBat NO73+8
    66Jacquizz RodgersAtlvs. Car67+1
    67Brandon BoldenNEvs. Buf72+5
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Wide Receivers: Megatron Doesn't Talk PCL Tear Report, but Status Uncertain

3 of 6

    There is a real chance Calvin Johnson has walked out onto the field while suited up for the last time in 2013.
    There is a real chance Calvin Johnson has walked out onto the field while suited up for the last time in 2013.Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Calvin Johnson (knee) was limited last week in a game the Detroit Lions had to win against the New York Giants, so you have to consider him highly questionable for a meaningless game against the Minnesota Vikings this week. It makes him a difficult man to trust in fantasy crunch time.

    There were reports Johnson was playing through a torn PCL, but he all but denied that to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.

    The Lions have made no decision on whether Megatron will be active Sunday. You should prepare for him not being available at this point.

     

    Dez Right, He Says

    Another elite receiver, Dez Bryant (back), has already guaranteed he will play. He told David Moore of The Dallas Morning News: "I'm good; I'm playing. Don't worry about it." What you might worry about is his chemistry with Tony Romo (back) replacement Kyle Orton. The matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, the worst team in fantasy against wide receivers, according to FF Today, and the NFL's third-worst team against the pass, makes Bryant a must-start, regardless of his quarterback.

     

    Matchup Built Ram Tough II

    If you agree it will take a leap of faith to start Kellen Clemens against the Seattle Seahawks, you cannot like any of his targets, either. Seattle is the No. 1 defense against the pass and in fantasy against wide receivers. It makes Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Austin Pettis, Stedman Bailey and Brian Quick all easy sits.

     

    Like Him More

    Danny Amendola is coming off just two catches for 45 yards, but he has done his best work with Rob Gronkowski (knee) out this season. You should expect a solid effort out of Amendola against a Bills defense that has been sixth-worst against fantasy wide receivers.

    Amendola is among the wideouts we like more than the consensus below:

    1. Danny Amendola
    2. James Jones
    3. Brandon LaFell
    4. Mike Brown
    5. Robert Woods

     

    Like Him Less

    Is there any player who cost himself more money this season than Hakeem Nicks? He was looking for elite receiver money as a free agent this winter, but he has played like an also-ran. That is exactly what his New York Giants are, too. You cannot trust Nicks in any leagues.

    He is justifiably one of the wide receivers we like less than the masses this week:

    1. Antonio Brown
    2. Calvin Johnson
    3. T.Y. Hilton
    4. Brian Hartline
    5. Hakeem Nicks
    Week 17 Wide Receivers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankWide ReceiversTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Dez BryantDalvs. Phi3+2
    2Brandon MarshallChivs. GB20
    3DeSean JacksonPhiat Dal8+5
    4A.J. GreenCinvs. Bal40
    5Josh GordonCleat Pit1-4
    6Demaryius ThomasDenat Oak5-1
    7Alshon JefferyChivs. GB6-1
    8Pierre GarconWasat NYG7-1
    9Jordy NelsonGBat Chi15+6
    10Eric DeckerDenat Oak100
    11Andre JohnsonHouat Ten14+3
    12Julian EdelmanNEvs. Buf13+1
    13Danny AmendolaNEvs. Buf30+17
    14James JonesGBat Chi27+13
    15Roddy WhiteAtlvs. Car20+5
    16Mike WallaceMiavs. NYJ19+3
    17Antonio BrownPitvs. Cle9-8
    18Vincent JacksonTBat NO16-2
    19Keenan AllenSDvs. KC12-7
    20Marques ColstonNOvs. TB17-3
    21Larry FitzgeraldArivs. SF18-3
    22Torrey SmithBalat Cin21-1
    23Anquan BoldinSFat Ari29+6
    24Kendall WrightTenvs. Hou25+1
    25Michael CrabtreeSFat Ari24-1
    26Brandon LaFellCarat Atl38+12
    27Calvin JohnsonDetat Min11-16
    28Riley CooperPhiat Dal22-6
    29Greg JenningsMinvs. Det28-1
    30Mike BrownJacat Ind54+24
    31Jarrett BoykinGBat Chi34+3
    32Doug BaldwinSeavs. StL35+3
    33Golden TateSeavs. StL37+4
    34Cordarrelle PattersonMinvs. Det31-3
    35T.Y. HiltonIndvs. Jac23-12
    36Rod StreaterOakvs. Den42+6
    37Brian HartlineMiavs. NYJ26-11
    38Robert WoodsBufat NE46+8
    39Dwayne BoweKCat SD48+9
    40DeAndre HopkinsHouat Ten62+22
    41Miles AustinDalvs. Phi77+36
    42Hakeem NicksNYGvs. Was33-9
    43Rueben RandleNYGvs. Was40-3
    44Mohamed SanuCinvs. Bal82+38
    45Ace SandersJacat Ind63+18
    46David NelsonNYJat Mia74+28
    47Harry DouglasAtlvs. Car39-8
    48Andre HolmesOakvs. Den53+5
    49Santonio HolmesNYJat Mia80+31
    50Nate WashingtonTenvs. Hou47-3
    51Emmanuel SandersPitvs. Cle41-10
    52Da'Rick RogersIndvs. Jac51-1
    53Lavon BrazillIndvs. Jac91+38
    54Marquise GoodwinBufat NE93+39
    55Marlon BrownBalat Cin66+11
    56Tavon AustinStLat Sea85+29
    57Michael FloydArivs. SF32-25
    58Justin HunterTenvs. Hou64+6
    59Marvin JonesCinvs. Bal36-23
    60Donnie AveryKCat SD69+9
    61Nate BurlesonDetat Min52-9
    62Terrance WilliamsDalvs. Phi60-2
    63Jerricho CotcheryPitvs. Cle49-14
    64Chris GivensStLat Sea100+36
    65Ted GinnCarat Atl55-10
    66Tiquan UnderwoodTBat NO87+21
    67Jerome SimpsonMinvs. Det83+16
    68Jeremy KerleyNYJat Mia65-3
    69Lance MooreNOvs. TB78+9
    70Santana MossWasat NYG73+3
    71Kenny StillsNOvs. TB76+5
    72Andre RobertsArivs. SF86+14
    73Greg LittleCleat Pit95+22
    74Kris DurhamDetat Min50-24
    75Vincent BrownSDvs. KC96+21
    76Darrius Heyward-BeyIndvs. Jac105+29
    77Jason AvantPhiat Dal81+4
    78Rishard MatthewsMiavs. NYJ70-8
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Tight Ends: Shut out Vernon Davis Projects to Rebound in a Big Way This Week

4 of 6

    The matchup against the Arizona Cardinals is too good to consider sitting Vernon Davis in Week 17.
    The matchup against the Arizona Cardinals is too good to consider sitting Vernon Davis in Week 17.Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    The San Francisco 49ers' Vernon Davis frustrated fantasy owners to no end, going catchless Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons, but you have to keep him active in all leagues. He is matching up this week against the Arizona Cardinals, the worst team in fantasy against tight ends, per FF Today.

    The Cardinals have given up 1,070 yards and 15 touchdowns to the position, which are league highs in both categories. Davis is a must-start in this most favorable of matchups.

     

    Fauria to Get Lions' Share

    Brandon Pettigrew (ankle) is out and Calvin Johnson (knee) will be questionable, so you have to expect a big performance out of the Detroit Lions' Joseph Fauria. He was a touchdown vulture early in the season, but a lot of different kinds of targets should come his way because of the injuries ahead of him. It certainly helps that the Minnesota Vikings have given up 78 receptions to tight ends this season.

     

    Purple Tight End Eaters

    It has been a bad year for Vikings tight ends. Kyle Rudolph (foot) and John Carlson (concussion) have both been placed on season-ending IR this month. Next up are Rhett Ellison and Chase Ford. Neither is a fantasy-viable option, particularly against a Lions defense that has allowed a league-low one touchdown to tight ends this season.

     

    Like Him More

    We are putting our money where our words are with respect to the Lions' Fauria. We rank him as one of the sleeper plays of the week and one of the tight ends we like more than the masses:

    1. Antonio Gates
    2. Ryan Griffin
    3. Joseph Fauria
    4. Heath Miller
    5. Andrew Quarless

     

    Like Him Less

    Delanie Walker was limited to four catches for 35 yards last week, numbers that put him just outside the realm of a fantasy starter at tight end. That is where he sits in our rankings below. He was among the tight ends we like less than the consensus this week, too:

    1. Delanie Walker
    2. Coby Fleener
    3. Tim Wright
    4. Marcedes Lewis
    5. Zach Ertz
    Week 17 Tight Ends Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankTight EndsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Jimmy GrahamNOvs. TB10
    2Julius ThomasDenat Oak3+1
    3Vernon DavisSFat Ari2-1
    4Greg OlsenCarat Atl40
    5Jason WittenDalvs. Phi6+1
    6Tony GonzalezAtlvs. Car5-1
    7Antonio GatesSDvs. KC10+3
    8Martellus BennettChivs. GB7-1
    9Charles ClayMiavs. NYJ90
    10Ryan GriffinHouat Ten12+2
    11Joseph FauriaDetat Min15+4
    12Dennis PittaBalat Cin11-1
    13Delanie WalkerTenvs. Hou8-5
    14Heath MillerPitvs. Cle18+4
    15Coby FleenerIndvs. Jac13-2
    16Andrew QuarlessGBat Chi20+4
    17Zach MillerSeavs. StL27+10
    18Michael HoomanawanuiNEvs. Buf30+12
    19Tim WrightTBat NO17-2
    20Tyler EifertCinvs. Bal32+12
    21Jermaine GreshamCinvs. Bal23+2
    22Marcedes LewisJacat Ind14-8
    23Jared CookStLat Sea29+6
    24Zach ErtzPhiat Dal21-3
    25Logan PaulsenWasat NYG26+1
    26Rob HouslerArivs. SF40+14
    27Brandon MyersNYGvs. Was19-8
    28Brent CelekPhiat Dal25-3
    29Ladarius GreenSDvs. KC39+10
    30Scott ChandlerBufat NE24-6
    31Jeff CumberlandNYJat Mia38+7
    32Jacob TammeDenat Oak31-1
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Defense/Special Teams: Von Miller's Loss Not Enough to Downgrade Denver Broncos

5 of 6

    The loss of Von Miller (knee) hurts the Denver Broncos' chances in the postseason, certainly, but they have gotten along without him before and can again.

    Fantasy owners might not like the loss of a premier pass-rusher, but that matchup against the Oakland Raiders is too favorable to ignore. The Broncos remain a start without Miller.

     

    Sticking with the Lions

    The Detroit Lions likely let you down last week against the New York Giants, the worst team in fantasy against defense/special teams, per FF Today, but they have to remain active in most formats against the Minnesota Vikings. That is the fourth-worst team in fantasy against defense/special teams.

     

    Resting Chiefs Make Chargers a Good Play?

    You can be wary of Andy Reid sitting Kansas City Chiefs, but it shouldn't be enough for you to consider the San Diego Chargers defense/special teams. Scheme, offensive line play and ball control/maintenance have made the Chiefs the toughest opponent in fantasy against defense/special teams. It shouldn't change much even if the starters play a limited amount of snaps.

     

    Like Them More

    The Arizona Cardinals were able to man up against the 12th man in Seattle last week, so you have to be at least a bit optimistic about the St. Louis Rams holding up here, too.

    The Rams are among the units we like more than the consensus:

    1. Detroit Lions
    2. Kansas City Chiefs
    3. Cleveland Browns
    4. New York Jets
    5. Green Bay Packers

     

    Like Them Less

    The New Orleans Saints have been a pleasant surprise defensively this season, but they have struggled in recent weeks and are facing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that hasn't been all that bad against defense/special teams this season.

    We don't rate the Saints defense as a start in standard leagues, and it is among the units we like less than the masses:

    1. Indianapolis Colts
    2. Tennessee Titans
    3. Arizona Cardinals
    4. New Orleans Saints
    5. Pittsburgh Steelers

     

     

    Week 17 Defenses and Special Teams Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankDefenses and Special TeamsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Seattle SeahawksSeavs. StL10
    2San Francisco 49ersSFat Ari3+1
    3Carolina PanthersCarat Atl2-1
    4Cincinnati BengalsCinvs. Bal40
    5New England PatriotsNEvs. Buf6+1
    6Miami DolphinsMiavs. NYJ5-1
    7Detroit LionsDetat Min19+12
    8Kansas City ChiefsKCat SD12+4
    9Denver BroncosDenat Oak10+1
    10Indianapolis ColtsIndvs. Jac8-2
    11Tennessee TitansTenvs. Hou9-2
    12St. Louis RamsStLat Sea13+1
    13Arizona CardinalsArivs. SF11-2
    14Cleveland BrownsCleat Pit17+3
    15New Orleans SaintsNOvs. TB7-8
    16New York JetsNYJat Mia22+6
    17Pittsburgh SteelersPitvs. Cle15-2
    18Green Bay PackersGBat Chi27+9
    19San Diego ChargersSDvs. KC16-3
    20Baltimore RavensBalat Cin25+5
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Kickers: Vikings' Blair Walsh Might Have Saved His Best for Last

6 of 6

    Blair Walsh was a more impressive fantasy option as a rookie, but he can come through for you this week.
    Blair Walsh was a more impressive fantasy option as a rookie, but he can come through for you this week.Andy King/Getty Images

    It is Week 17 and this is the kickers slide. There is not much to gain from analyzing the minutia here. We will attempt to do so anyway.

     

    Blair Walsh Project

    The Minnesota Vikings' sophomore kicker, Walsh, has had a down season in fantasy terms, but he finishes with the best matchup on the board. The Detroit Lions have allowed the most field goals this season, and that includes the goose-egg week in the Philadelphia blizzard a few weeks ago.

     

    Arizona Rising? Not This Week

    The Arizona Cardinals have been a surprise late-season contender, but that matchup against San Francisco is a bad one for their postseason hopes. It is an especially bad one for kicker Jay Feely. The 49ers have allowed the fewest points to kickers this season.

     

    Like Him More

    Mason Crosby was arguably the No. 1 kicker in fantasy when Aaron Rodgers was throwing passes for the Green Bay Packers earlier this season. You have to like Crosby with Rodgers returning.

    Crosby is among the kickers we like more than the consensus this week:

    1. Dan Bailey
    2. Phil Dawson
    3. Mason Crosby
    4. Blair Walsh
    5. Ryan Succop

     

    Like Him Less

    Adam Vinatieri is a much more productive option at home in the Indianapolis Colts' dome, but his inconsistency makes him a fringe fantasy option in our book.

    Vinatieri is among the kickers we like less than the masses:

    1. Nick Novak
    2. Adam Vinatieri
    3. Graham Gano
    4. David Akers
    5. Shayne Graham
    Week 17 Kickers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankKickersTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Stephen GostkowskiNEvs. Buf2+1
    2Matt PraterDenat Oak1-1
    3Steven HauschkaSeavs. StL4+1
    4Dan BaileyDalvs. Phi7+3
    5Justin TuckerBalat Cin6+1
    6Phil DawsonSFat Ari9+3
    7Mason CrosbyGBat Chi12+5
    8Nick NovakSDvs. KC5-3
    9Blair WalshMinvs. Det16+7
    10Ryan SuccopKCat SD14+4
    11Alex HeneryPhiat Dal15+4
    12Adam VinatieriIndvs. Jac3-9
    13Graham GanoCarat Atl10-3
    14Caleb SturgisMiavs. NYJ20+6
    15David AkersDetat Min11-4
    16Robbie GouldChivs. GB17+1
    17Shaun SuishamPitvs. Cle19+2
    18Rob BironasTenvs. Hou23+5
    19Shayne GrahamNOvs. TB8-11
    20Sebastian JanikowskiOakvs. Den24+4
    21Greg ZuerleinStLat Sea31+10
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

     

     

    Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report this season. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game.