Fantasy Football Week 17 Rankings: Top Players, Sleepers and Positional Guide

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2022

Fantasy Football Week 17 Rankings: Top Players, Sleepers and Positional Guide

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    Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
    Chiefs QB Patrick MahomesJason Hanna/Getty Images

    It's win-or-go-home time in season-long fantasy football leagues. As we approach Week 17 of the 2022 NFL season, every lineup decision is critical.

    The good news is that bye weeks are a thing of the past (until next year, of course). The bad news is that some teams may begin resting starters in preparation for the postseason. The Los Angeles Chargers, for example, clinched a playoff berth on Monday but have no shot at the AFC West title or a first-round playoff bye.

    Teams like Los Angeles must be monitored carefully heading into the final two weeks of the season.

    With teams' situations, injuries and matchups all considered, let's take a look at our updated point-per-reception (PPR) rankings for Week 17. You'll find our picks for the top plays, potential sleepers and waiver-wire targets below.

Quarterback

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    Bears QB Justin Fields
    Bears QB Justin FieldsMichael Reaves/Getty Images

    1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

    2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

    3. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

    4. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

    5. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

    6. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

    7. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

    8. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

    9. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

    10. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers


    Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen are fixtures atop most weekly rankings, and they're joined this week by Chicago Bears signal-caller Justin Fields.

    While Fields didn't have a stellar outing against the Buffalo Bills last week (119 passing yards, 1 TD, 11 rushing yards), he has loads of dual-threat potential and arguably the best matchup of the week.

    Fields has already topped 1,000 rushing yards this season. He'll next face a Detroit Lions defense that has surrendered the most fantasy points to opposing QBs. The last time Fields faced the Lions, he threw two touchdown passes, rushed for 147 yards and ran for two more scores.

    Lions quarterback Jared Goff is a bit of a sleeper against the Bears, though, and is worth a start for managers streaming at the position. Chicago has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

    Mike White has regained the New York Jets' starting job and is worth a look on the waiver wire this week. New York will visit the Seattle Seahawks, who have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

    White is rostered in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues and 13 percent of ESPN leagues.

Running Back

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    Jaguars RB Travis Etienne Jr.
    Jaguars RB Travis Etienne Jr. Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    1. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers

    2. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

    3. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

    4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

    5. Travis Etienne Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars

    6. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

    7. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

    8. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals

    9. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots

    10. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

    11. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

    12. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

    13. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

    14. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

    15. Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs

    16. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

    17. Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks

    18. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

    19. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    20. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys


    You'll notice that we've downgraded Austin Ekeler just a bit, as the Chargers have a relatively meaningless game against the Los Angeles Rams this week. Fantasy stars Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley, however, maintain spots at the top.

    Don't be surprised if Jacksonville Jaguars standout Travis Etienne Jr. joins them as a top-five back this week. Etienne is a reliable dual-threat with PPR upside, and he has a stellar matchup against the Houston Texans.

    No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing RBs in 2022 than Houston.

    Don't sleep on Lions running back Jamaal Williams, who falls outside our top 20 after back-to-back disappointing Weeks. Williams had just 44 rushing yards over his last two games but still leads the NFL with 14 rushing touchdowns.

    The Bears have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

    Managers seeking a waiver target should start with Tyler Allgeier of the Atlanta Falcons. The rookie has been great recently, tallying 139 rushing yards and a touchdown in Week 15 and 117 scrimmage yards with four receptions on Saturday.

    The Arizona Cardinals have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs. Allgeier is rostered in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues and 39 percent of ESPN leagues.

Wide Receiver

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    Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb
    Cowboys WR CeeDee LambSam Hodde/Getty Images

    1. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

    2. Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

    3. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions

    4. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

    5. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders

    6. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

    7. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

    8. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

    9. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

    10. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

    11. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

    12. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

    13. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

    14. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    15. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

    16. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

    17. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

    18. Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders

    19. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    20. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos


    Dallas Cowboys wideout CeeDee Lamb might not be as consistent as receivers like Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs and Ja'Marr Chase. However, he has the single best fantasy matchup of Week 17.

    No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing receivers than the Tennessee Titans.

    Expect Lamb to replicate the huge outing he had against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16, a game that saw him notch 10 catches, 120 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

    Green Bay Packers Allen Lazard doesn't crack our top 20, but he's a receiver managers should not sleep on. The Packers may be without fellow wideout Christian Watson, who is dealing with a hip injury.

    Last week against the Miami Dolphins, Lazard led the Packers with five receptions and 61 receiving yards on 11 targets. He has a tremendous matchup this week against the Minnesota Vikings.

    Tennessee is the only team that has allowed more fantasy points to opposing WRs than Minnesota.

    On the waiver wire, managers can target a pair of New York Giants receivers in Isaiah Hodgins and Richie James. James and Hodgins were targeted 12 and 11 times, respectively, against Minnesota in Week 16. James finished with eight catches for 90 yards, while Hodgins finished with eight catches for 89 yards and a touchdown.

    Don't expect those numbers this week. as New York faces an Indianapolis Colts team that has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers. However, James and/or Hodgins could provide a solid PPR floor.

    James is rostered in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues and just 2 percent of ESPN, while Hodgins is available in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues and 99 percent of ESPN leagues.

Tight End

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    Chiefs TE Travis Kelce
    Chiefs TE Travis KelceLeslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

    2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

    3. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

    4. T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings

    5. Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

    6. Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys

    7. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles

    8. Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars

    9. Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos

    10. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills


    There are no surprises here, as Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle and Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews are three of the most reliable players to start during championship week.

    Of those three, Kelce has the most favorable matchup. The Denver Broncos—who seemingly quit on recently fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett in Week 16—have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing TEs.

    Hunter Henry's status (knee) is in question this week, but managers shouldn't sleep on the New England Patriots tight end if he plays. According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Henry is "sore, but has a chance to play."

    While Henry had just two receptions for 20 yards the last time New England faced Miami, the Dolphins have allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends on the year.

    Managers seeking help at the position should see if Broncos tight end Greg Dulcich is available. He's rostered in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues and 54 percent of ESPN leagues. With few fantasy teams still playing meaningful games, however, he could potentially be had.

    Dulcich caught four passes for 39 yards and a touchdown last week and had three catches for 42 yards when he last faced the Chiefs.


    *Fantasy scoring and roster information via FantasyPros.

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