Fantasy Football Week 17 Rankings: Final Season Position-by-Position Review

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2018

Atlanta Falcons' Julio Jones (11) gives a thumbs up as he warms up before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)
Jason E. Miczek/Associated Press

As the great Kenny Loggins might say, "This is it."

It's Week 17, which means the end of yearlong fantasy leagues. Months of predraft prep, roster management and waiver-wire work have come down to this. It's time to set that final lineup and go claim yourself a fantasy championship—or at least win your consolation bracket.

Setting that winning lineup can be difficult in Week 17, though, as a lot of star players aren't going to suit up. We already know that Teddy Bridgewater is getting the start over Drew Brees for the New Orleans Saints. Odell Beckham Jr. will sit out for the New York Giants.

Though the Dallas Cowboys are locked into the NFC's No. 4 seed, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said they will play their starters.

"This idea that you have a whole other team, we're not going to play the starters, we're going to play the backups, logistically, you can't do that," he said Wednesday, Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com.

We're going to include Cowboys players in our Week 17 rankings, but play them at your own risk. Dallas doesn't have any reason to keep them in the game for long. Saints players have been left out.

We'll rank our top flex players—running back, wide receiver and tight end—based on PPR scoring and take a closer look at our favorite matchups of the week.

                    

Running Backs

1. Joe Mixon at Pittsburgh Steelers: 105 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 40 receiving yards, 2 TDs

2. Melvin Gordon at Denver Broncos: 95 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 40 receiving yards, 1 TD

3. Saquon Barkley vs. Dallas Cowboys: 90 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 35 receiving yards, 1 TD

4. Christian McCaffrey at New Orleans Saints: 80 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 40 receiving yards, 1 TD

5. Chris Carson vs. Arizona Cardinals: 130 rushing yards, 1 reception, 10 receiving yards, 1 TD

6. Ezekiel Elliott at New York Giants: 110 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 TD

7. Gus Edwards vs. Cleveland Browns: 110 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 TD

8. Damien Williams vs. Oakland Raiders: 90 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 TD

9. Jaylen Samuels vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 80 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 30 receiving yards, 1 TD

10. Derrick Henry vs. Indianapolis Colts: 140 rushing yards, 1 TD

11. Nick Chubb at Baltimore Ravens: 85 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 25 receiving yards, 1 TD

12. David Johnson at Seattle Seahawks: 85 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 25 receiving yards, 1 TD

13. Jamaal Williams vs. Detroit Lions: 80 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 30 receiving yards, 1 TD

14. Tarik Cohen at Minnesota Vikings: 40 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards, 1 TD

15. Leonard Fournette at Houston Texans: 100 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 15 receiving yards, 1 TD

16. James White vs. New York Jets: 20 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 TD

17. Tevin Coleman at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 60 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 30 receiving yards, 1 TD

18. Sony Michel vs. New York Jets: 120 rushing yards, 1 TD

19. Duke Johnson at Baltimore Ravens: 20 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 70 receiving yards

20. Peyton Barber vs. Atlanta Falcons: 90 rushing yards, 1 TD

21. Adrian Peterson vs. Philadelphia Eagles: 85 rushing yards, 1 TD

22. Doug Martin at Kansas City Chiefs: 80 rushing yards, 1 TD

23. Royce Freeman vs. Los Angeles Charges: 75 yards rushing, 1 TD

24. Jalen Richard at Kansas City Chiefs: 40 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards

25. Jordan Howard at Minnesota Vikings: 60 rushing yards, 1 TD

                   

Chris Carson vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Seattle Seahawks have officially returned to being a run-first team this season. A bit part of that has been Chris Carson, who topped the 1,000-yard mark last week. Getting there was one of Carson's goals.

"I had my goals coming into the season and going into my NFL career," Carson said Wednesday, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. "Being a 1,000-yard rusher was definitely one of them."

The goal for Seattle this week is beating the Arizona Cardinals and securing the No. 5 seed in the NFC. Carson figures to be a big part of that too, and he should have plenty of fantasy success. Arizona has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2018, according to FantasyPros.

Carson is one of the safest plays in Week 17.

            

Wide Receivers

1. Julio Jones at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7 receptions, 140 receiving yards, 2 TDs

2. Antonio Brown vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 6 receptions, 130 receiving yards, 2 TDs

3. Mike Evans vs. Atlanta Falcons: 8 receptions, 150 receiving yards, 1 TD

4. Julian Edelman vs. New York Jets: 10 receptions, 130 receiving yards, 1 TD

5. Keenan Allen at Denver Broncos: 7 receptions, 120 receiving yards, 1 TD

6. Davante Adams vs. Detroit Lions: 6 receptions, 110 receiving yards, 1 TD

7. JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 5 receptions, 100 receiving yards, 1 TD

8. DeAndre Hopkins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: 6 receptions, 90 receiving yards, 1 TD

9. Amari Cooper at New York Giants: 6 receptions, 90 receiving yards, 1 TD

10. Robert Woods vs. San Francisco 49ers: 6 receptions, 85 receiving yards, 1 TD

11. Stefon Diggs vs. Chicago Bears: 5 receptions, 85 receiving yards, 1 TD

12. Adam Thielen vs. Chicago Bears: 9 receptions, 100 receiving yards

13. T.Y. Hilton at Tennessee Titans: 5 receptions, 80 receiving yards, 1 TD

14. Brandin Cooks vs. San Francisco 49ers: 5 receptions, 80 receiving yards, 1 TD

15. Doug Baldwin vs. Arizona Cardinals: 7 receptions, 105 receiving yards

16. Jarvis Landry at Baltimore Ravens: 5 receptions, 40 receiving yards, 1 TD

17. Kenny Golladay at Green Bay Packers: 7 receptions, 80 receiving yards

18. Alshon Jeffery at Washington Redskins: 6 receptions, 90 receiving yards

19. Calvin Ridley at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5 receptions, 95 receiving yards

20. Corey Davis vs. Indianapolis Colts: 5 receptions, 95 receiving yards

21. Larry Fitzgerald at Seattle Seahawks: 5 receptions, 90 receiving yards

22. Tyler Lockett vs. Arizona Cardinals, 5 receptions, 90 receiving yards

23. Jordy Nelson at Kansas City Chiefs: 6 receptions, 80 receiving yards

24. Josh Reynolds vs. San Francisco 49ers: 5 receptions, 75 yards

15. Robert Foster vs. Miami Dolphins: 4 receptions, 85 receiving yards

                 

Julian Edelman vs New York Jets

Like the Seahawks, the New England Patriots need a win to secure their current seed. For New England, that means the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. There's no way the Patriots are going to take things easy on the rival New York Jets at home.

This should lead to a big day for wideout Julian Edelman, who is one of Tom Brady's top targets and a regular PPR machine. He's caught 22 passes over the last three weeks alone, and he could conceivably go off for double-digit receptions in Week 17.

The Jets have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, per FantasyPros. They allowed Edelman to produce 84 yards and a touchdown on just four receptions the first time these two teams met.

                  

Tight Ends

1. Zach Ertz at Washington Redskins: 6 receptions, 90 receiving yards, 1 TD

2. George Kittle at Los Angeles Rams: 5 receptions, 85 receiving yards, 1 TD

3. Travis Kelce vs. Oakland Raiders: 5 receptions, 80 receiving yards, 1 TD

4. Jared Cook at Kansas City Chiefs: 5 receptions, 75 receiving yards, 1 TD

5. Eric Ebron at Tennessee Titans: 5 receptions, 70 receiving yards, 1 TD

6. Vance McDonald vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 6 receptions, 80 receiving yards

7. Evan Engram vs. Dallas Cowboys: 6 receptions, 75 receiving yards

8. Austin Hooper at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6 receptions, 70 receiving yards

9. Cameron Brate vs. Atlanta Falcons: 5 receptions, 75 receiving yards

10. C.J. Uzomah at Pittsburgh Steelers: 6 receptions, 60 receiving yards

11. Kyle Rudolph vs. Chicago Bears: 5 receptions, 60 receiving yards

12. Ian Thomas at New Orleans Saints: 5 receptions, 60 receiving yards

13. Jimmy Graham vs. Detroit Lions: 4 receptions, 55 receiving yards

14. David Njoku at Baltimore Ravens: 4 receptions, 55 receiving yards

15. Trey Burton at Minnesota Vikings: 4 receptions, 50 receiving yards

                 

Jared Cook at Kansas City Chiefs

Tight end Jared Cook has emerged as Derek Carr's top target and perhaps the Oakland Raiders' biggest offensive weapon. He's been limited to just two catches in each of the past two weeks, though, so you may be a little hesitant to play him.

Don't be.

In Weeks 13 and 14, he caught seven passes and had at least 100 yards in each game. One of those games was against the Kansas City Chiefs, an opponent Carr and the Raiders are familiar with. The Chiefs have also struggled to contain opposing tight ends. No team has allowed more fantasy points to the position this season.

Cook topped the 100-yard mark the last time he played Kansas City. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him do it again.

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