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NFL Predictions Week 17: Odds Projections, Fantasy Stars to Target and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2019

Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (22 runs during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The final week of the 2019 NFL season has arrived, and it's shaping up to be an interesting one.

Three first-round byes, two divisions and one wild-card spot are still up for grabs. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings are locked into their playoff slots. This means that there is a fair amount of unpredictability in the playoff race—for both the real world and the fantasy one.

Playoff position can change dramatically between now and Sunday night. For example, the San Francisco 49ers could finish as either the No. 1 seed or the No. 5 seed in the NFC.

For fantasy managers, the uncertainly largely resides in the potential starting lineups. The Ravens have already determined that players like Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram and Marshal Yanda won't suit up. The Bills, though, insist that most of their stars will see the field.

"We're planning to play a majority of our guys this Sunday, including [quarterback] Josh Allen," Bills coach Sean McDermott said, Brian Costello of the New York Post.

Here, you'll find a look at some potential replacements to target on the waiver wire, along with the latest flex rankings and the latest lines and over/unders from Caesars.

               

Week 17 Lines, Over/Unders and Score Predictions

Atlanta Falcons (+1, 47.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Atlanta 30-27

Cleveland Browns (-2.5, 43.5) at Cincinnati Bengals: Cincinnati 24-20

Chicago Bears (+1, 36) at Minnesota Vikings: Chicago 20-17

Los Angeles Chargers (+9, 46) at Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City 31-21

Miami Dolphins (+16.5, 44.5) at New England Patriots: New England 27-14

Green Bay Packers (-12.5, 43.5) at Detroit Lions: Green Bay 33-20

New Orleans Saints (-13, 46) at Carolina Panthers: New Orleans 28-20

New York Jets (+1, 36) at Buffalo Bills: Buffalo 18-13

Indianapolis Colts (-4, 42) at Jacksonville Jaguars: Indianapolis 30-20

Oakland Raiders (+3.5, 41) at Denver Broncos: Oakland 26-24

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5, 45) at New York Giants: Philadelphia 28-26

Pittsburgh Steelers (-1.5, 37.5) at Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore 16-15

Tennessee Titans (-3.5, 45.5) at Houston Texans: Tennessee 27-17

Washington Redskins (+11, 45.5) at Dallas Cowboys: Dallas 30-18

Arizona Cardinals (no line) at Los Angeles Rams: Los Angeles 28-26

San Francisco 49ers (-3.5, 46) at Seattle Seahawks: San Francisco 26-23

             

Week 17 Flex, Top 30 PPR

1. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

2. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

4. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

5. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

6. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

7. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

9. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

10. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

11. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

12. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

13. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

14. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

15. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

16. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

17. Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals

18. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

19. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

20. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears

21. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

22. Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos

23. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams

24. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams

25. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts

26.  Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

27. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions

28. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys

29. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins

30. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears

                         

Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Managers who need a replacement for Lamar Jackson or Kirk Cousins—according to ESPN's Courtney Cronin, Minnesota is "leaning heavily toward sitting him—Daniel Jones is a prime waiver-wire option.

According to FantasyPros, the New York Giants quarterback is available in 80 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Jones returned to the starting lineup after a two-week layoff and was phenomenal in Week 16. He carved up the Washington Redskins defense to the tune of 352 yards and five touchdowns. While he isn't likely to toss five scoring strikes, Jones should have another solid game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Philadelphia's defense performed well against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16, it has been vulnerable against the pass. The Eagles have allowed 239.3 passing yards per game and surrendered 203 and two scores to Eli Manning the last time they faced the Giants.

                 

Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Though they have a chance to keep the rival Pittsburgh Steelers out of the postseason—and won't have to play next week—the Ravens aren't hesitating to sit their stars in Week 17.

"It was pretty straightforward," head coach John Harbaugh said of the decision to rest key players, per ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "It's not a hard decision, really."

This doesn't mean that the Baltimore players who suit up will take it easy on their bitter rivals. They will still play to win, which is why backup running back and presumed starter Gus Edwards is an intriguing waiver-wire target.

Against the Cleveland Browns in Week 16, Edwards filled in after Ingram left with a hamstring injury. He rushed for 66 yards on 12 carries. He will have a tougher test against the Steelers defense, but it's not like starting backs are regularly just sitting on the wire.

Edwards is available in 89 percent of Yahoo leagues, according to FantasyPros.

                 

John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

John Froschauer/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals wideout John Ross hasn't been a high-level fantasy producer since returning from injured reserve in Week 14. However, he did show some flashes of his early-season dominance against the Miami Dolphins in his previous outing. He finished with six catches for 84 yards.

Ross and the Bengals host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and they are eager to finish the season strong.

"I know the city wants us to beat Cleveland," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said, per Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Ross should take advantage of a Browns secondary that has talent but lacks consistency. The last time these two matched up, fellow Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd caught five passes for 75 yards. In Week 16, Ravens tight end Mark Andrews had six for 93 and two touchdowns.

While Ross is a bit of a gamble, he has a lot of upside for Week 17. He's available in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues, according to FantasyPros.