By MIKE HERNDON
The fantasy championship round is here this week. Unfortunately, many of the NFL’s top stars won’t be.
Derrick Henry sat out on Thursday, and Jalen Hurts is still being held out too. Tua Tagovailoa is out with another concussion. DeAndre Hopkins won’t play. Derek Carr has been benched, making Davante Adams a far less enticing start.
Many of the stars who have gotten you this far aren’t going to be available to you now. Some others aren’t likely to help you like they did earlier in the year. It’s time to let go of that “start your studs” mentality and find the right pieces to get across the finish line.
With that said, here are some start/sit recommendations for the championship round in Week 17:
Gardner Minshew, Eagles: Philly shifted right into Minshew Mania last week and Jalen Hurts’ backup delivered with 355 yards and two scores. And that was against a tough Dallas defense, so the Saints shouldn’t scare you off him this week.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers: If you’re just done with him, I get it. He has been consistently bad for fantasy this year. But the Vikings’ defense has been very accommodating for quarterbacks of late, so if you need a streamer you could do a lot worse.
Andy Dalton, Saints: It’s a desperate week, but I hope you’re not desperate enough to have to rely on Dalton against one of the better defenses in the league in Philadelphia. The Red Rifle’s about out of ammo.
Russell Wilson, Broncos: Just don’t. You’ve learned your lesson by now, haven’t you? It’s tempting to play for garbage time, thinking he’ll be chasing points, but that thinking got us into trouble last week with Geno Smith, didn’t it?
Travis Etienne, Jaguars: Like Tennessee, Jacksonville doesn’t have much to play for this week, with next week’s regular-season finale against the Titans essentially a play-in game for the postseason. But if Etienne plays, he’s a must-start against a Houston defense that has been very generous to running backs.
David Montgomery, Bears: The return of Khalil Herbert didn’t eat into Monty’s workload any last week. And after a strong run in which they’d played well against the run, the Lions were destroyed by the Carolina run game last week.
Josh Jacobs, Raiders: The 49ers have allowed the fewest rushing yards and the lowest yards-per-carry in the league. While Jacobs is the type of back who could buck that trend, the Jarrett Stidham experience is likely to cap the upside of the entire offense, making Jacobs a dicey play.
Raheem Mostert, Dolphins: The return of Jeff Wilson, Jr., has eaten into his workload and the Patriots have allowed the second fewest fantasy points to running backs this season.
Allen Lazard, Packers: He had 11 targets last week and Christian Watson is questionable with an injury. This week’s opponent, Minnesota, has been giving up passing yards in bunches. Lazard should be in line for a busy day.
Jahan Dotson, Commanders: There are a lot of teams that don’t have much to play for this week, but the Commanders are not among them. Dotson has had over 50 yards and a score in each of the last three games since returning from injury. He was productive early in the season with Carson Wentz as well, so Wentz’s return shouldn’t dampen his outlook one bit.
Marquise Brown, Cardinals: DeAndre Hopkins is out, but Arizona’s going from Trace McSorley to David Blough, which probably won’t add up to any more fantasy points for Cardinal receivers.
Evan Engram, Jaguars: He’s been on fire lately. Houston has been decent against the pass, but he’s as good a play as you’re going to find this week outside of Travis Kelce.
Mark Andrews, Ravens: You probably can’t afford to sit him, with the tight end position being the wasteland it is, but he has been invisible with Lamar Jackson out – as has the Ravens’ passing offense in general.
Categories: Fantasy Football
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