Fantasy Football Week 17 Rankings: Matchups and Projections for Players We Love

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2022

Fantasy Football Week 17 Rankings: Matchups and Projections for Players We Love

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    Raiders WR Davante Adams
    Raiders WR Davante AdamsMark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Week 17 got underway on Thursday night as the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans battled in the Thursday Night Football finale. Tennessee might have set a few fantasy managers back by sitting several starters, including star running back Derrick Henry.

    Cowboys running back Tony Pollard was also inactive for the game.

    We're here to help those who may be in a hole heading into Sunday's fantasy slate. We'll dive into the top points-per-reception (PPR) plays at each key position and examine our favorite matchups of the week for each.

Quarterback

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

    1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

    2. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

    3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

    4. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

    5. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

    6. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

    7. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

    8. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

    9. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

    10. Daniel Jones, New York Giants


    Matchup to Love: Justin Fields at Detroit Lions

    Kansas City Chiefs signal-caller Patrick Mahomes resides at the top of our rankings because of his consistency in fantasy this season. However, it wouldn't be a shock to see Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields finish the week with more fantasy points than even Mahomes.

    Fields has shown a little consistency of his own this season due to his dual-threat ability. However, he is coming off of a disappointing week—with only 119 passing yards, one passing touchdown and 11 rushing yards.

    Yet, Fields should be back to racking up the stats against a Detroit Lions team that has allowed more fantasy points to opposing QBs than any other team this season. The last time Fields faced Detroit, he finished with 167 passing yards, two touchdowns, one interception, 147 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

    The Lions, it should be noted, just gave up 570 total yards and 320 rushing yards to the Carolina Panthers. Detroit will be eager to keep its playoff hopes alive, but Fields is likely in store for another huge outing.

    Stat Projection: 187 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 153 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

Running Back

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    Jaguars RB Travis Etienne Jr.
    Jaguars RB Travis Etienne Jr.Cooper Neill/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. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals

    8. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots

    9. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

    10. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

    11. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

    12. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

    13. Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs

    14. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

    15. Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks

    16. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

    17. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    18. Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders

    19. Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs

    20. D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions


    Matchup to Love: Travis Etienne Jr. at Houston Texans

    Like the Titans, the Jacksonville Jaguars have no reason to try winning in Week 17. Regardless of what happens against the Houston Texans, next week's Titans-Jags matchup will be for the AFC South.

    However, Jacksonville coach Doug Pederson insists that he'll play his starters in Houston.

    "You play to win every game. The only way I rest players is if they're hurt and can't go," Pederson said, per NFL.com's Bobby Kownack.

    This means we should see plenty of dual-threat running back Travis Etienne Jr. in the best matchup of the week. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing RBs in 2022 than Houston.

    The last time Etienne faced the Texans, he caught three passes for 43 yards and rushed for 71 yards on only 10 carries. That was before Jacksonville traded away James Robinson, who equaled Etienne's 10 carries in the game.

    With Robinson gone and the Jags looking to stay hot ahead of the finale, expect Etienne to have an even better outing in Round 2 against Houston.

    Stat Projection: 98 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 47 receiving yards, 1 TD

Wide Receiver

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    Raiders WR Davante Adams
    Raiders WR Davante AdamsMark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via 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. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

    8. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

    9. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

    10. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

    11. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

    12. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

    13. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    14. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

    15. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

    16. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

    17. Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders

    18. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    19. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos

    20. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs


    Matchup to Love: Davante Adams vs. San Francisco 49ers

    The Las Vegas Raiders have decided to bench quarterback Derek Carr for the remainder of the season and will start Jarrett Stidham against the San Francisco 49ers this week. Wideout Davante Adams wasn't particularly happy about the decision.

    "Obviously, I don't think anybody was excited about it in here," Adams said, per ESPN's Paul Gutierrez.

    Managers shouldn't let the situation or the matchup with the red-hot 49ers dissuade them from starting Adams in Week 17. If anything, he might see an uptick in production after logging just nine receptions over the last three weeks.

    This will be Stidham's first career start, and he'll turn to his most reliable perimeter target early and often. And, while the 49ers have a championship-caliber defense, it has been relatively fantasy friendly to opposing wideouts.

    San Francisco has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing WRs this season. Add in the fact that Las Vegas will likely play much of this game from behind, and Adams should be on pace for a terrific PPR performance.

    Stat Projection: 9 receptions, 127 yards, 1 TD

Tight End

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    Bears TE Cole Kmet
    Bears TE Cole KmetMichael Reaves/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. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles

    7. Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars

    8. Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

    9. Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos

    10. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills


    Matchup to Love: Cole Kmet at Detroit Lions

    We'll point out that Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has a stellar matchup with the Denver Broncos, who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. However, if you have Kelce in your lineup—or George Kittle or Mark Andrews, for that matter—you're not on the fence about starting him.

    Instead, we'll examine Bears tight end Cole Kmet and his matchup with the Detroit Lions. Like Fields, Kmet could be in store for a big day against Detroit's 32nd-ranked defense.

    The Lions have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

    Does Kmet have the high ceiling of a player like Kelce or Kittle? No, but he's one of Fields' few reliable targets in Chicago and he's been a go-to receiver in recent weeks. The 23-year-old logged 15 receptions on 18 targets over his last three games and feasted the last time he played Detroit.

    Back in Week 10, Kmet torched the Lions for 74 yards and two touchdowns on four receptions. Expect a similarly strong output in the rematch.

    Stat Projection: 5 receptions, 72 yards, 1 TD

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