Not only do we get five late games in week 17, but some of the best teams in the league will be playing with something to play for in their games. It looks to be an exciting finish to the regular season. As for this player pool, it is strong in good quarterback options, has very nice elite running back and wide receiver options. Finding a good, cheap wide receiver is a major issue however. That is a general over-view, here are the specific players I like this week:
Russell Wilson, Seattle, $7,500 – As good as Wilson looked against Arizona, he had a better game the last time he faced St. Louis. In St. Louis in week seven, Wilson scored 43.12 fantasy-points. Wilson does not have an elite price but I expect elite production out of him against the Rams.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco, $6,300 – Passing is a struggle for Kaepernick, good thing he is so good at running. Not to say Kaepernick will have as good a game as Wilson had against Arizona, but he can have a good one. Making him well worth $6,300 if you are looking to save money at quarterback to spend elsewhere.
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh, $9,500 – 50.5, that is how many fantasy-points Bell had the last time he faced Cincinnati. Sure, the Bengals defense is likely to play better than they did in week 14, but it is doubtful that they can contain Bell. Bell is well worth his salary this week.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle, $7,300 –Lynch seems to enter some sort of other gear this time of the season. Against a very tough Arizona rushing defense, Lynch managed 26.3 fantasy-points with an upset stomach. He should be over the stomach issue this week, and is facing a St. Louis D that was just embarrassed by the Giants offense.
Latavius Murray, Oakland, $4,500 – There is no reason that Murray cannot have a game similar to what he did last week against the Bills this week. He did, after all, get 26 touches against a good Bills D. Denver has a good defense too, but this is a divisional game and Oakland has been playing well lately. Murray is not likely to have a huge game but he can give you 12-15 fantasy-points for $5,000 which works well in a 50/50 league.
Frank Gore, San Francisco, $4,500 – Gore went from questionable last week to a great value, giving fantasy owners 24.8 fantasy-points for only $3,600. Gore costs more this week, and his matchup is tougher too. Like Murray, you should not expect a monster game from Gore, but he should be good for at least triple value against an Arizona defense that looked horrible in the second half against Seattle.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh, $8,500 – Brown has been a great receiver this season. Not only does he have some monster games, but he has been the most reliable wide receiver all season too. Speaking of that consistency, Brown has had over 20 fantasy-points in each of his last five games, and in nine of his last ten. He also had 23.7 fantasy-points the last time he faced Cincinnati. Even at $8,500, Brown is a great value this week.
A. J. Green, Cincinnati, $8,300 – While Green has not been as good as Brown this season, he has been good. He was great in week 14 against Pittsburgh when he put up 42.4 fantasy-points. The Steelers secondary is no better now than it was then, so Green should be in store for another big game against Pittsburgh in week 17. Sure, he is a risk after getting hurt against Denver, but his injury is not serious, and the Steelers have issues in their secondary.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle, $4,800 – To say it is a challenge to find a good economy wide receiver this week is an understatement. There are just not that many good options for under $5,500. Baldwin is coming off a very good game, had 28.3 fantasy-points the last time he faced St. Louis, and the Seattle offense looks like it is in playoff mode already. Someone is going to catch Russell Wilson’s passes, and it is doubtful that Luke Wilson has another 100+ yard game.
Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati, $4,000 – I told you the wide receiver pool for less than $5,500 was ugly this week. This pick is all about the matchup. Pittsburgh ranks 23rd against opposing wide receivers this season, and I would expect Pittsburgh to double Green a lot given what he did the last time he faced the Steelers. Yeah, pretty much a gut call here.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh, $4,500 – The only game in Miller’s last five in which he did not top ten fantasy-points came against Cincinnati in week 14. I am not suggesting Miller is a bad play however. Miller has been playing well lately – I did mention all the 10+ point games – and Cincinnati has been below average against tight ends. Miller does not have 40 fantasy-point upside, but can easily provide triple or better value this week.
Mychal Rivera, Oakland, $3,300 – This one is short and sweet. Denver has struggled against tight ends this season, plus Rivera had 18.4 fantasy-points the last time he played Denver. Rivera is not a sure thing – no one at this price range is – yet he is one of the few tight ends I actually like in week 17.
Seattle, $3,600 – It is actually pretty shocking that Seattle’s defense only managed 13 fantasy-points against Arizona in week 16; they dominated the game. The Giants defense managed eight fantasy-points against St. Louis in week 16, there is no reason that Seattle cannot double that total in week 17.
Lesser Priced D/ST
Pittsburgh, $2,800 – Perhaps you have heard that Andy Dalton struggles in big games? This matchup pretty much checks all of the knocks on Dalton; it is a big game, it is pretty much a playoff matchup, and it will be on prime time. The Steelers defense has also averaged over nine fantasy-points per game the last three weeks, so it is not like they are a risky play.
Good luck with your teams in the final week of the regular season, and thanks for reading. You can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.