Must Starts and Sits | NFL Week 17

by Aditya Fuldeore · Matchups Start/Sit
Start Sit Week 17

Championship Week

Every week of the NFL season, fantasy gamers juggle players to insert into lineups at each position. Are you questioning which players face easy matchups and which players face tougher paths to production? You are in the right place! For many leagues, we are in the endgame now. Week 17 represents the finals of the fantasy playoffs and lineup decisions make or break championships. For 18-week leagues, you have another week, but for those ending this week, it’s been a blast. For seasonal leagues, DFS, and more, these must start and sit picks for Week 17 give guidance on setting your lineups. Good luck!


Start: Kyler Murray

The Cardinals have essentially nothing to play for in Week 17, other than the development of their younger players and offensive improvement. Kyler Murray is still the team’s franchise quarterback and has three 20-point fantasy games in six starts this season. He has attempted at least 30 passes in five of his games, playing in a negative Game Script for most of them. Facing the Eagles in Week 17, anticipate the Cardinals being down yet again against an improved, but still weaker, Philly defense. The Eagles allow two passing touchdowns to half an interception per game this season. Murray’s rushing ability will also generate fantasy production against the Eagles’ thin linebacking corps. Fire up Murray for your championship this week.

Sit: Geno Smith

After a 31-point Week 13 against the Cowboys, Geno Smith dealt with injury and has played in one game since. He had a good game against the Titans in Week 16, and has been a solid QB2 the whole season. However, Smith has a tough matchup against the Steelers in Week 17. Pittsburgh just brought down three interceptions in Week 16 and they average at least one per game. The Steelers defense has been banged up but is still a strength of the team. Smith is a quarterback who swings from QB1-utility to bench-able range, and this is a bench week. Sit him in a tough matchup in Week 17.

Running Back

Start: Ty Chandler

Making his mark as the Vikings’ new lead back, Ty Chandler has shown RB1 upside. He finished as the overall RB4 with 157 total yards in Week 15 and averages 4.44 (No. 16) True Yards Per Carry. Alexander Mattison has been banged up and is not yet 100-percent.

This week, Chandler faces a struggling Packers defense allowing over 100 rushing yards per game. They had yielded four straight 100-yard games before facing the league-worst Panthers in Week 16. Chandler has a better chance to get involved with a more favorable Game Script against the Packers compared to Week 16’s tilt against the Lions. The Vikings have used Chandler in the passing game before and he can swing back to an upside play after a floor game last week. Fire Chandler up for Week 17.

Sit: De’Von Achane

The Dolphins have been a high-octane offense all season long with De’Von Achane seeing a streak of splash games. However, he has since dealt with a toe injury and gotten 12 or less touches in his last three games. Achane now gets a tough matchup against the Ravens for Week 17.

The Ravens have allowed under 85 rushing yards per game this season, often forcing teams into a pass-heavy Game Script. They yielded under five yards per carry in four straight games before facing Christian McCaffrey in Week 16, when they forced five turnovers. Achane’s splash plays will be limited while Raheem Mostert and Tyreek Hill continue to carry the load for Miami. Sit Achane for your fantasy championship matchup.

Wide Receiver

Start: Rashid Shaheed

The Saints offense has struggled to push the ball downfield often this season, but Rashid Shaheed is a producer when they do. Shaheed sees a 14.9-yard (No. 9) Average Target Distance with four games over 18 fantasy points so far. The Saints face a Buccaneers team allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. Tampa is allowing just under 200 wide receiving yards per game to wide receivers. They gave up big Calvin Ridley and Dontayvion Wicks games in back-to-back weeks, showing signs of broken coverages. Chris Olave will get his opportunities, but Shaheed is poised to be a top-three option for the Saints and rip off a big play or two. Fire him up in a good matchup this week.

Sit: D.J. Moore

Bears star receiver D.J. Moore has had a solid season, averaging 16.4 (No. 13) Fantasy Points Per Game. Ultimately, he’s been a boom-or-bust play, with five top-10 finishes and five outside the top-40. Moore injured his ankle last week, but should be good to go against a good Falcons secondary.

The Falcons are allowing just over 10 wide receiver receptions per game and around 120 yards per game. Their secondary, however, has limited big plays and funnels lower volume to receivers. Moore is in a Bears offense that utilizes both Justin Fields’ legs and Cole Kmet down the field. This is a week where the pendulum has a higher chance of swinging into bust territory for Moore.

Tight End

Start: Kyle Pitts

Kyle Pitts saw more utility last week with Taylor Heinicke at quarterback, catching a touchdown in Week 16. The athletic tight end has three top-12 finishes in his last four weeks, scoring two touchdowns in that span. In Week 17, he gets a matchup against a bendy Bears defense. The Bears allow the seventh-most tight end fantasy points this season. They have yielded 19 total receptions to tight ends over their last two games, with the middle of the defense breaking down. Pitts and Jonnu Smith are continuously involved in the Falcons offense, but bet on the better talent in Pitts this week. He can be fired up with the upside to push you to a championship in Week 17.

Sit: Dalton Schultz

With C.J. Stroud out, it’s been Case Keenum and Davis Mills throwing the ball for the Texans. Dalton Schultz tied his season-high with 11 targets in Week 16, turning those into 61 yards and no scores. His Week 17 opponent is the Titans, who he faced in Week 15. The Titans allow four tight end receptions per game, holding them to under 30 receiving yards in five of their last eight games.

Schultz had four catches on five targets against the Titans two weeks ago, finishing as a high-end TE1. Fantasy managers will be considering firing up Schultz this week with Stroud potentially returning, but it comes against a run-funnel Titans defense. There are better options than Schultz this week.

One Last Ride

With Week 17 marking the end for most leagues, it’ll be the last chance for many fantasy managers to make the decisions that will help them take down those championships. Even if you aren’t playing for a title, your third-place, consolation bracket, or last-place games have meaning, too. Enjoy the close of the fantasy season!

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