Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 17: Fantasy Football Lineup Decisions to Consider

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2022

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 17: Fantasy Football Lineup Decisions to Consider

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    There isn't a better way to ring in the new year than by competing for a fantasy football title.

    Just two weekends are left of the 2021 NFL season, meaning any margin for error you enjoyed at some point is officially gone.

    It's now-or-never time to take the crown, so let's get started by settling a round of start-or-sit debates.

Start: Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams (at Baltimore Ravens)

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    For much of this season, Matthew Stafford has ranked more like a weekly lock than a fringe option forced into these tricky lineup decisions.

    Then, the last two weeks happened, as the quarterback cooled at the worst possible time. He threw for fewer than 250 yards in consecutive contests for the first time all season and had more interceptions (four) than touchdowns (three) over the stretch.

    So, maybe the rough patch has you thinking about alternatives. If it does, though, take comfort in knowing no further thinking is needed here.

    Stafford should return to elite fantasy status, as he's slated to face a Ravens defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, per Yahoo. Honestly, it's borderline surprising to see Baltimore land above dead last after allowing 793 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns over its last two outings.

Sit: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins (at Tennessee Titans)

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    The Dolphins-Titans collision is the kind that reminds you to always be ready to update your scouting reports.

    For instance, you might remember that Tua Tagovailoa had worked his way recently into a fantasy-relevant groove. Well, those days are in the rearview, as he's had fewer than 200 passing yards in back-to-back games with the same number of touchdown passes and interceptions (three each) during that stretch.

    On the other side of the matchup, Tennessee's secondary has been exploitable at times, but those times finished around the season's midpoint. All three quarterbacks to throw for at least three touchdown passes against this defense faced it during the season's first eight weeks. The last three quarterbacks to draw the Titans combined for one touchdown pass and six interceptions.

Start: Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals (at Dallas Cowboys)

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    Darryl Webb/Associated Press

    This recommendation comes with a caveat, as Chase Edmonds' appeal hinges on the availability of James Conner. The Cardinals' starting running back practiced for the first time Friday but remains a game-time decision for Sunday.

    Edmonds can offer value while working in tandem with Conners, but when the backfield belongs to Edmonds, his numbers can go bananas. That upside is the reason to plug him into the lineup and hope for the best.

    Edmonds has handled at least 15 touches five times this season. He averaged 107.4 scrimmage yards in those contests. Just last week, with Conner out of the equation, Edmonds used a season-high 24 touches to tally 127 scrimmage yards and his second scoring run of the season.

Sit: D'Onta Foreman, RB, Tennessee Titans (vs. Miami Dolphins)

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    D'Onta Foreman's good games are never great.

    He has rushed for 100 yards twice this season, but he didn't score in those contests. The two games in which he did find the end zone, he rushed for a combined 64 yards. There just isn't a high ceiling here.

    What moves him into sit territory, though, is the way his floor will drop out against a stingy Dolphins defense. Miami, which has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs, haven't been scored on by a running back since Week 7 and just turned the typically elite Alvin Kamara into a fantasy afterthought (15 touches for 59 yards and zero touchdowns).