With some fantasy leagues running into Week 17 of the NFL season, it's time to set those championship rosters.
Below, I'll help you break down the top 10 players at each position and decide on which players you should start this week and which players should remain firmly planted on your bench.
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|Week 17: Top 10 QBs|
|1||Ben Roethlisberger, PIT||CLE||25|
|2||Tom Brady, NE||MIA||22|
|3||Cam Newton, CAR||TB||21|
|4||Blake Bortles, JAC||HOU||20|
|5||Carson Palmer, ARI||SEA||19|
|6||Russell Wilson, SEA||ARI||18|
|7||Aaron Rodgers, GB||MIN||17|
|8||Eli Manning, NYG||PHI||17|
|9||Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ||BUF||16|
|10||Drew Brees, NO||ATL||16|
Start 'Em: Eli Manning, New York Giants
Kirk Cousins threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, a team that just saw head coach Chip Kelly fired and didn't have anything to play for to begin with after losing the division to Washington last week.
So, yes, I suspect Eli Manning, Odell Beckham, Jr. and company will carve this defense to shreds.
Sit 'Em: Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers may move cities next year, but don't expect Philip Rivers and company to end the team's stay in San Diego in style. Not against a Denver defense holding opposing quarterbacks to just 11.6 fantasy points per game, best in the NFL.
When these teams first met, Rivers managed just six fantasy points. Sit him, folks.
|Week 17: Top 10 RBs|
|1||Todd Gurley, STL||SF||20|
|2||Devonta Freeman, ATL||NO||18|
|3||DeAngelo Williams, PIT||CLE||17|
|4||Adrian Peterson, MIN||GB||16|
|5||David Johnson, ARI||SEA||14|
|6||Lamar Miller, MIA||NE||13|
|7||Charcandrick West, KC||OAK||12|
|8||Darren McFadden, DAL||WAS||12|
|9||Doug Martin, TB||CAR||12|
|10||Latavius Murray, OAK||KC||11|
Start 'Em: David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
David Johnson is on fire. In his last four games, he has a combined 86 fantasy points, a ridiculous tally. To put it into perspective, that's more fantasy points than Eagles running back Darren Sproles has managed all season long.
And his upside seems unlimited.
“David Johnson can be very, very special because of his size, his speed—and he’s a fantastic receiver,” his head coach, Bruce Arians, said about him, per Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News.
At this point, Johnson is a must-start option every week, even against Seattle's unforgiving defense. Make sure he's in those lineups.
Sit 'Em: Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns
Yes, Javorius Allen rushed for 79 yards and a score against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. But Pittsburgh has still allowed the second-fewest points to opposing running backs per week this season, making Isaiah Crowell a very risky start.
Perhaps if Crowell was a bit more consistent, he'd be trustworthy despite the matchup. But he's failed to reach double-digit fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games. That makes him impossible to trust in a tough matchup.
|Week 17: Top 10 WRs|
|1||Odell Beckham Jr., NYG||PHI||20|
|2||Antonio Brown, PIT||CLE||19|
|3||A.J. Green, CIN||BAL||17|
|4||Julio Jones, ATL||NO||16|
|5||Brandon Marshall, NYJ||BUF||15|
|6||DeAndre Hopkins, HOU||JAC||15|
|7||Allen Robinson, JAC||HOU||15|
|8||Brandin Cooks, NO||ATL||13|
|9||Doug Baldwin, SEA||ARI||12|
|10||Eric Decker, NYJ||BUF||12|
Start 'Em: Brandin Cooks, New Orleans
Yes, Atlanta has held opposing wide receivers to the second-fewest fantasy points per game this season. However, that stat will likely be trumped by the red-hot Brandin Cooks, who has 13 or more fantasy points in seven of his last 11 games and 37 combined points in his last two games.
Trust in Cooks. He's been a savior in the fantasy playoffs thus far. No need to lose the faith now.
Sit 'Em: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Whereas Cooks has been hot, Larry Fitzgerald has been about as cold as a frozen lake. He's failed to register double-digit fantasy points in six straight games, notching just one touchdown in that time, and now faces a Seattle defense giving up the third fewest fantasy points to opposing defenses.
It's probably hard to sit a player who was so good in the first half of the season, but you simply can't trust him in a championship week.
|Week 17: Top 10 TEs|
|1||Rob Gronkowski, NE||MIA||15|
|2||Jordan Reed, WAS||DAL||14|
|3||Greg Olsen, CAR||TB||12|
|4||Gary Barnidge, CLE||PIT||12|
|5||Delanie Walker, TEN||IND||11|
|6||Tyler Eifert, CIN||BAL||10|
|7||Travis Kelce, KC||OAK||9|
|8||Julius Thomas, JAC||HOU||8|
|9||Zach Ertz, PHI||NYG||7|
|10||Antonio Gates, SD TE||DEN||7|
Start 'Em: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Finally, the Eagles seem to have placed their faith in Zach Ertz. With 38 combined points in the last four weeks, Ertz has finally resembled the TE1 many people projected him to be this season.
With Sam Bradford targeting him early and often, expect a big showing against a shaky New York Giants defense.
Sit 'Em: Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Richard Rodgers has three catches for 12 yards and a touchdown, total, in his last three games.
Sit him. Don't even think about starting him.
|Week 17: Top 10 D/STs|
At this point in the season, you know which defenses you can trust and which defenses have proved to be unreliable. Don't get cute, folks.
|Week 17: Top 10 Ks|
|1||Stephen Gostkowski, NE||MIA||15|
|2||Graham Gano, CAR||TB||14|
|3||Chandler Catanzaro, ARI||SEA||13|
|4||Blair Walsh, MIN||GB||12|
|5||Cairo Santos, KC||OAK||11|
|6||Josh Brown, NYG||PHI||10|
|7||Robbie Gould, CHI||DET||10|
|8||Steven Hauschka, SEA||ARI||10|
|9||Dan Bailey, DAL||WAS||9|
|10||Justin Tucker, BAL||CIN||9|
If you don't have a top-10 kicker, get one. That's the advice I give every week, because this position is fickle and there's no excuse to not have a player who regularly produces.