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Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet - Week 17 Top Tips

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So many changes from week to week around the NFL, and we’re here to make sure you’re up to date with everything ahead of Week 17 of the 2022 season.

The weekly fantasy football cheat sheet provides a look at the top tips of all the fantasy football content ESPN has released over the past seven days. You’ll find answers to the biggest starting/seat questions of the week and other relevant tips from our team, including Field Yates, Mike Clay, Eric Karabell, Tristan H. Cockcroft, Matt Bowen, Seth Walder, Kyle Soppe, Eric Moody, Liz Loza, Daniel Dopp and ESPN Insiders Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, plus the entire NFL Nation. It’s all the best advice in one handy article.

Here’s what our experts are saying about Week 17 in the NFL:


Who will be in the caucus?

Whether it’s due to injury or simply the vagaries of the NFL schedule that make some Week 17 games almost irrelevant to some teams’ chances of making the playoffs, there are plenty of question marks. as to who could start at quarterback this weekend. Names such as Jalen Hurts, Trevor Lawrence, Aaron Rodgers all have some uncertainty attached to them. Who do our experts recommend leaning on for this all-important week of fantasy football? Continue reading!

  • The Dolphins will turn to Teddy Bridgewater with Tua Tagovailoa unable to play in Week 17, relying on a stable veteran who already substituted earlier this season. Bridgewater threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings in a game in which he came off the bench. The Dolphins’ offense is extremely explosive, as Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are the only teammates in the NFL who each have at least 20 catches over 20 yards. This offense should still be able to work with Bridgewater – a respected and experienced veteran – and I have no worries starting Hill or Waddle in a league game. –Yates

  • Jared Goff was one of the preeminent quarterbacks of the 2022 matchups, averaging a fantastic 20.0 points in his four games against the first eight, schedule-adjusted position games, compared to 11.2 in of his four games against those who made it to the last eight (those that represent seasonal totals rather than just the last five weeks). While Goff scored a fantastic 14.84 points when these teams last met in Week 10, the Bears defense is a considerably softer game now than it was back then, with the safety Eddie Jackson and cornerback Jaylon Johnson on injured reserve and the team relying heavily on starting lineup rookies. The quarterbacks have averaged a fantastic 22.8 points against the Bears in their five games since that meeting, second in the league. — Cockcroft

  • Add Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew. Coming off the bench to throw for 355 yards and two touchdowns last week against Dallas was commendable. The Saints are on deck and rank second in passing defense (190.4 passing yards allowed per game), but the Eagles’ all-around offense favors the QB regardless of opponent. — Birds

  • When combined with the amount of traffic I assume will be on Saquon Barkley this week, Daniel Jones provides a solid tournament pivot at a great price for the combined stack. Jones has rushed for over 30 yards and double-digit rushing in three of his last four games. The game against the Colts is extremely strong for quarterbacks, as they allow the second-highest completion percentage in the league and the 10th-highest TD passing rate on passes from the red zone. — Al Zeidenfeld

  • We all love Chargers star Justin Herbert, but it seems fitting that he’s tallied 14.22 PPR points over his last two games. In fact, he’s only had one 20-point performance since Week 4. Don’t just close your eyes and play your early-round pick if there are better options. … You bet new Commanders starter Carson Wentz has been in the hot seat for future employment in recent weeks. Commanders could sneak into the playoffs anyway, but I don’t know how any fantastic manager could rely on Wentz. –Karabell

  • Geno Smith has only had one TD pass in each of his last two starts, and the Week 17 game against the Jets does not indicate a rebound game. This New York defense is allowing just 195.5 passing yards per game. And we see it in fantasy scoring, too, with the Jets giving up 14.4 points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Robert Saleh’s unit is very defined from a coverage standpoint, and this pass rush can go home. I dropped Smith on my QB16 this week. –Bowen


Looking for the latest injury news before kick-off? Check out all of the Week 17 inactives here.


Which backs should you support?

It’s not just the players taking the snaps that can impact your chances of winning your league’s fantasy crown in Week 17. Unless you’re in a league with a very weird roster build, running backs will also be key to your team’s success. Our NFL Nation team takes a look at some of the options you might be considering this weekend for fantasy managers who aren’t lucky enough to have an Austin Ekeler or a Christian McCaffrey to rely on for their RB points while unless guaranteed.

  • Can James Cook (108 yards and a touchdown against the Bears) be a league winner on Monday night in Cincinnati? He certainly can be, but relying on a Bills running back remains a dicey proposition, even if the team goes more to the ground game, especially against better run defense in the Bengals (seventh least rushing yards per game allowed). The Bills would like to keep their offense balanced, and they’ve shown what that can do for unity. Cook could certainly be worth a shot after his recent success. Against the Bears, the Bills rushed for 254 yards, their most in any game in exactly six years. Guaranteeing the same amount of production in this type of game is unrealistic, but Cook has seen an increase in production over the past few games. Cook will be involved, but the remaining bet is how far for an offense that runs the ball more but passes through Josh Allen. –Alaina Getzenberg

  • The Panthers ran on a Lions defense that had been elite for the previous two months. Is D’Onta Foreman (165 yards and a touchdown) a stuck starter this weekend at Tampa Bay? It’s not a lock to begin with. It will depend on the opening game selection, as was the case against the Lions, whether Foreman or Chuba Hubbard gets first or the first two. But Foreman should continue to get the bulk of the runs. He averaged 19.6 carries over the last six games, including a team-best 21 against the Lions. Hubbard has an average of 9.3. This trend is likely to continue, although if Hubbard gets the hot hand early, he could steal some runs from Foreman. –David Newton

  • Cam Akers broke up the Broncos on Christmas Day (147 total yards and three touchdowns) and has been trending up for a month now. What should fantasy managers expect from an advantageous position in Week 17 (at LAC) and moving into next season? There’s no reason to bet against Akers, who had six rushing touchdowns in December, which was the most in the NFL. Although he was away from the team for nearly a month as Los Angeles tried to find him a fresh start elsewhere, he impressed upon his return. Akers has made it clear he’s RB1 for the Rams down the stretch, and it looks like he’s played a role next season as well. –Sarah Barshop

  • James Conner hasn’t practiced for two straight days and his status for Sunday’s game against the Falcons is unclear. Fantasy managers shouldn’t be worried at the moment, but if his illness persists he could be restricted this weekend. Since Kyler Murray is out for the season with a torn ACL, Conner has had to step up and play a bigger role on offense. Conner had 16-plus touches in six consecutive games, including two with 24-plus. He also scored a fantastic 20 or more points in four of them. You start Conner if he is active. Corey Clement and Keaontay Ingram would take control of the backfield if he was ruled out on Sunday. Ingram is my preferred option in this scenario. — Moody


Quick kicks, starts and sit-downs

  • Demote Ja’Marr Chase. This one’s pretty easy to figure out: The various two-tier safety covers the Bills use frequently compared to other teams (Cover 2 man, Cover 2 zone, and even the occasional Tampa 2) all make life more difficult for a catcher. at deep threat such as Chase. Chase executes many deep fades and corners, which are relatively ineffective against either or both of the aforementioned Buffalo covers. He also executes a lot of deep exits, which are effective routes no matter what, but less so against the Cover 2 zone. –Walder

  • For deeper league managers or someone looking for a Hail Mary game, I could be spoken to Chris Moore and maybe even Parris Campbell. Moore is averaging 7.6 looks per game over the past three games and has a favorable matchup against a Jaguars defense that allowed the third-most yards to put on receivers. Campbell is a deeper dig, but his speed and big-play ability is something to consider. It’s even more remarkable when you consider Nick Foles’ need for a security blanket. –Loza

  • DJ Chark has averaged 12.7 PPR fantasy points and 5.0 targets over his last five games, and his matchup against the Bears is favorable enough to make him a streaming option in the bigger leagues. — Cockcroft

  • Given the inconsistency of the tight end position in fantasy, I’m just taking a flier on Taysom Hill considering its use as a runner. Hill has posted three consecutive games with at least 10 PPR points, recording 19 carries and two scores on the ground during that streak. It’s designed runs (power patterns), as the Saints get “plus one” at the offensive end with Hill lined up at quarterback. Take the rushing volume and benefits of Hill seeing runs in the red zone (he had four runs inside the 20-yard line last week) against an Eagles defense allowing an average of 4.55 yards per carry in its last four games. –Bowen

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