UPDATE NOTE (Sat. 12/31, 11:30 am ET): This piece has been updated.
Freedman’s Favorites: Winning
You play fantasy football for a lot of reasons.
You play for fun. You play for money. You play for the sense of community.
Yes, yes, yes. All of that is true.
But, really, you play to win.
Lording your superiority over your league mates for the next eight months, until the 2023 season kicks off.
That’s what fantasy football is about.
And now’s the time to win. Week 17. This is the thin line that separates delight and disappointment, pleasure and pain, glee and grief.
Every decision matters. No choice is inconsequential.
The devil might be in the details, but so is deliverance. Salvation lies in the specifics.
Some winners are born. But most are made. Self-made.
Winning isn’t something that just happens. It’s something one does. It’s an active task. Like lifting weights. Or running a marathon. Or climbing a mountain.
It requires you to challenge yourself. To change yourself.
To look in the mirror and see not who you are but who will be — after you’ve fulfilled your destiny and destroyed your enemies.
Week 17. This is the field where the war’s last battle is fought.
Losers are forgotten. Winners reign forever.
Freedman’s Favorites for Week 17
Here are my Week 17 favorites. These are the players who (in some combination) …
- Will probably be high in my rankings relative to the expert consensus rankings (ECR).
- Need to be started in most season-long leagues.
- Possess underappreciated upside.
- Have advantageous matchups.
- Appear in my DFS player pool.
- Make for desirable dynasty acquisition targets.
- Are on teams with player-friendly Week 17 betting odds.
- Stand out in our industry-leading BettingPros NFL Prop Bet Analyzer.
- Catch my eye with their Week 17 projections.
I’ll update this piece by Saturday evening with notes based on the week’s injury reports and news items. Before then, follow our NFL news desk for information on any breaking news. After the update, any changing opinions I have will be reflected in my personal Week 17 rankings, not this article.
Note: All fantasy points are half-PPR scoring unless otherwise stated. Players are ordered within position roughly (but probably not precisely) according to my rankings.
Abbreviations: Fantasy points per game (FPPG), against the spread (ATS), over/under (O/U), adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A), expected points added per play (EPA), success rate (SR), completion percentage over expectation (CPOE), defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA), AirYAC (air yards and yards after catch), expected fantasy points (FPx), fantasy point overperformance (FPOP).
FantasyPros Accuracy Contest
Freedman’s Favorite Week 17 Quarterbacks
Justin Fields (CHI) at DET: Bears +6 | 52 O/U
- Fields disappointed last week in a weather-impacted game against the Bills (119-1-0 passing, 7-11-0 rushing), but in each of his eight games before that he was a top-eight fantasy quarterback.
- After posting horrible passing marks in Weeks 1-3 (15 attempts per game, 3.5 AY/A), Fields has been functional since Week 4 (22.9 attempts, 7.5 AY/A).
- Fields has elite Konami Code capability, ranking No. 1 among all quarterbacks with 1,011 yards rushing (per our Fantasy Football Stats Report).
- Against the Lions in Week 10, Fields had a position-best 40.4 fantasy points on 167-2-1 passing and 13-147-2 rushing.
- Fields has a five-star matchup against the Lions, who are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks (23.6 FPPG, per our Fantasy Points Allowed Report).
Most rushing yards by a QB in a single season in NFL history:
2019 Lamar Jackson 1,206 (15 games)
2006 Michael Vick 1,039 (16)
2022 JUSTIN FIELDS 1,011 (14)
2020 Lamar Jackson 1,005 (15)
Fields needs 196 rushing yards to set the new record.pic.twitter.com/tteuRx8ogU
— Underdog NFL (@Underdog__NFL) December 27, 2022
Fields Update (Sat. 12/31): WR Chase Claypool (knee, questionable) seems likely to play after getting in back-to-back limited practices to close the week. Fields is a high-end QB1.
Justin Herbert (LAC) vs. LAR: Chargers -6.5 | 41 O/U
- In his six games since No. 1 WR Keenan Allen returned in Week 11, Herbert has been at his best (71.4% completion rate, 7.1 AY/A).
- For the season, Herbert is No. 2 with 431 completions, 634 pass attempts overall and 177 pass attempts of 10-plus yards (per our Advanced QB Stats Report).
- The Rams are No. 27 in defensive dropback SR (49.0%, per RBs Don’t Matter).
Dak Prescott (DAL) at TEN: Cowboys -10 | 40.5 O/U
- Last week, Prescott lit up our Game Day app as the No. 1 fantasy quarterback with 29.0 fantasy points on 347-3-1 passing and 6-41-0 rushing.
- Since Prescott returned from injury in Week 7, the Cowboys are No. 1 in the league with 36.0 points per game.
- The Titans are No. 3 in most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks (20.8 FPPG).
This 3rd and 30 conversion is one of the most incredible plays of Dak Prescott's career.
— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) December 25, 2022
Jared Goff (DET) vs. CHI: Lions -6 | 52 O/U
- In his six home games this year, Goff has averaged 25.1 FPPG with 304 yards and 2.33 touchdowns passing to just 0.33 interceptions per game (per RotoViz).
- With the Lions, Goff is 12-4 ATS at home and 8-2 ATS in division (per Action Network).
- The Bears are No. 32 in defensive dropback EPA (0.178).
Brock Purdy (SF) at LV: 49ers -6 | 44.5 O/U
- In his three starts in relief of injured QB Jimmy Garoppolo (foot), Purdy has impressed with 636-6-1 passing on a nice 69.6% completion rate and elite 10.3 AY/A plus 7-7-1 rushing.
- The Raiders are No. 32 in defensive pass DVOA (24.5%, per Football Outsiders).
“On to the next. That’s the mentality."
Today, Brock Purdy lead the @49ers to their 8th straight win and became the first QB in franchise history to win his first 3 starts.
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 25, 2022
Purdy Update (Sat. 12/31): WR Deebo Samuel (ankle, knee) is still out, but that was expected. Purdy is a high-end QB2.
Mike White (NYJ) at SEA: Jets -2.5 | 42.5 O/U
- White (rib) has missed the past two games, but he will return to action for Week 17.
- In his three starts this year, White has been respectable (952 yards passing, 7.2 AY/A).
- The Seahawks are No. 28 in defensive dropback EPA (0.104).
Freedman’s Favorite Week 17 Running Backs
Christian McCaffrey (SF) at LV: 49ers -6 | 44.5 O/U
- Since McCaffrey became a full-time player for the 49ers in Week 8, he has 876 yards and eight touchdowns on 122 carries, 51 targets and 41 receptions (plus a 34-yard touchdown pass) in eight games.
- Without QB Jimmy Garoppolo (foot, IR), No. 2 RB Elijah Mitchell (knee, IR) and WR Deebo Samuel (ankle), McCaffrey could have a heavy workload this week.
- Since McCaffrey joined the 49ers in Week 7, they are No. 1 in the league with a 26.5% target share for running backs (per our Targets Distribution Report).
- The Raiders are No. 32 in defensive pass DVOA against running backs (26.8%) and will likely be without LB Denzel Perryman (shoulder).
1985 Chicago Bears Regular Season:
28.5 Points, 12.4 PPG Allowed
2022 49ers since Week 8 (Christian McCaffrey's first full game):
28.8 PPG, 12.1 PPG Allowed
— MacKenzie Rivers (@mackenrivers) December 26, 2022
McCaffrey Update (Sat. 12/31): WR Deebo Samuel (ankle, knee) is still out, so McCaffrey could see even more usage as a pass catcher. McCaffrey is my No. 1 running back overall.
Austin Ekeler (LAC) vs. LAR: Chargers -6.5 | 41 O/U
- Ekeler disappointed in Weeks 1-3 (2.5 yards per carry, no touchdowns), but since Week 4 he has been an elite producer (tied for No. 1 with 20.8 FPPG, per our Fantasy Football Leaders Report), and for the year he has 1,406 yards and a league-high 16 touchdowns from scrimmage in 15 games.
- Ekeler is the only back to lead the league in targets in any week this year — and he has done that twice (Weeks 6 & 12: 16 & 15 targets) — and for the year he’s No. 1 at the position and No. 16 overall with 119 targets (per our Weekly Target Report).
Ekeler Update (Sat. 12/31): The Rams are without All-Pro DT Aaron Donald (ankle). Ekeler is a top-three fantasy back.
Saquon Barkley (NYG) vs. IND: Giants -5 | 39.5 O/U
- In a triumphant return to form, Barkley has 1,597 yards and 10 touchdowns in 15 games, thanks in large part to his position-best playing time (53.7 snaps per game, 80% snap rate, per our Snap Count Leaders Report).
- Barkley is the frontrunner to win Comeback Player of the Year (+175 at FanDuel).
- The Colts are No. 5 in most fantasy points allowed to running backs (23.6 FPPG).
Lost in the heartbreak of the Giants loss vs the Vikings; Saquon Barkley’s touchdown on 4th and 2 that helped tie the game.
He continues to give the Giants much needed yards late in games. pic.twitter.com/0hgIyTKwdR
— Doug Rush (@TheDougRush) December 25, 2022
Dalvin Cook (MIN) at GB: Vikings +3.5 | 48 O/U
- Cook’s usage has declined for two straight seasons (22.3 carries, 3.9 targets per game in 2020; 19.2, 3.8 in 2021; 16.3, 3.5 this year) — but he still has four straight years with 1,300-plus yards from scrimmage.
- Against the Packers in Week 1, Cook had 108 yards on 20 carries and five targets.
- The Packers are No. 32 in defensive rush DVOA (11.6%).
Cook Update (Sat. 12/31): C Garrett Bradbury (back) is out, but he last played in Week 13. Cook is a mid-range RB1.
I’m taking over 13.5 fantasy points on Cook in the Week 17 No House Advantage Over/Under Challenge.
James Conner (ARI) at ATL: Cardinals +4 | 41 O/U
- Since returning from injury in Week 9, Conner in six games has 549 yards and six touchdowns on 98 carries, 28 targets and a position-high 89% snap rate (per our Snap Count Analysis Report).
- The Falcons are No. 32 in defensive rush SR (47.2%).
James Conner [2021-2022]
w/ Kyler Murray: 13.9 FPG (~RB18)
w/out Kyler Murray: 22.5 FPG* (~RB1)
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) December 27, 2022
Conner Update (Sat. 12/31): QB Colt McCoy (concussion) is out, so the offense could funnel through Conner more than usual. Of course, without McCoy the entire offense could function with less efficiency, which makes Conner a volatile RB1.
Travis Etienne (JAX) at HOU: Jaguars -4 | 43.5 O/U
- Ever since Week 7, when the Jaguars de facto sidelined No. 2 RB James Robinson (whom they traded in Week 8), Etienne has 817 yards and four touchdowns (with a two-point conversion) on 148 carries and 22 targets in his eight full games.
- Etienne is No. 1 among all backs with 100-plus carries with 0.90 rushing yards over expected (per the RYOE app).
- Against the Texans in Week 6, Etienne had 108 yards on just 10 carries and two targets.
- The Texans are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to running backs (27.7 FPPG).
Tony Pollard (DAL) at TEN: Cowboys -10 | 40.5 O/U
- Even with the Week 11 return of so-called No. 1 RB Ezekiel Elliott, Pollard has 604 yards and six touchdowns on 83 carries and 29 targets over the past six games.
- Of all backs with 60-plus carries, Pollard is No. 1 with 2.7 yards after contact per attempt (per our Advanced RB Stats Report).
Pollard Update (Sat. 12/31): Pollard (thigh) sat out Thursday Night Football with an injury.
Alvin Kamara (NO) at PHI: Saints +7 | 44 O/U
- Kamara has scored a touchdown in just two games this year, but he still has averaged 14.3 FPPG on 14.6 carries and 5.7 targets in 11 games with QB Andy Dalton (per FTN).
- Without No. 2 RB Mark Ingram (knee, IR), Kamara has had 214 yards and a touchdown on 41 carries and six targets over the past two weeks.
- The Eagles are No. 24 in defensive rush SR (43.3%).
Alvin Kamara without Mark Ingram the past two weeks:
* 79% RB carries (20.5 per game)
* 79% RB touches (22.5)
* 15.7% target share
* RB24, RB7
— John Daigle (@notJDaigle) December 26, 2022
Kamara Update (Sat. 12/31): Kamara (quadricep, personal) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but he practiced fully on Friday and was left off the final injury report. Kamara is on the RB1/2 borderline.
David Montgomery (CHI) at DET: Bears +6 | 52 O/U
- Even with the return of No. 2 RB Khalil Herbert, last week Montgomery easily led the Bears backfield with 16 carries and four targets.
- The Bears are significant road underdogs, but that doesn’t mean Montgomery won’t produce: He has 639 yards and four touchdowns on 111 carries and 26 targets over the team’s ongoing eight-game losing streak.
- The Lions are No. 29 in defensive rush EPA (0.022).
Cam Akers (LAR) at LAC: Rams +6.5 | 41 O/U
- Over the past four weeks, Akers has played as the clear lead back for the Rams, amassing 350 yards and six touchdowns on 64 carries and seven targets.
- He just knocked me out of the fantasy playoffs in my dynasty league of record — but I’m definitely not bitter.
- The Chargers are No. 28 in defensive rush DVOA (3.0%).
*4th round ADP in August
*Fantasy's No. 67-scoring RB during Weeks 1-12
*Fantasy's No. 4-scoring RB during Weeks 13-16
Fantasy Football is fun!
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) December 26, 2022
Brian Robinson (WAS) vs. CLE: Commanders -2 | 40.5 O/U
- In two games since the Week 14 bye, Robinson has 165 yards on 34 carries and two targets (vs. 58 yards on 10 carries and seven targets for No. 2 RB Antonio Gibson).
- Robinson could have more usage than usual as a home favorite (-125 at Caesars).
- The Browns are No. 32 in defensive rush EPA (0.074).
Robinson Update (Sat. 12/31): No. 2 RB Antonio Gibson (foot, knee) is out, so Robinson could see significant usage. He’s a solid RB2.
Tyler Allgeier (ATL) vs. ARI: Falcons -4 | 41 O/U
- Since the Week 14 bye — when the team installed rookie QB Desmond Ridder as the starter — Allgeier has reemerged as a consistent producer in the Falcons backfield with 35-213-1 rushing and 5-40-0 receiving on six targets.
- The Falcons could have an especially run-heavy game script as home favorites (-200 at DraftKings).
- The Cardinals are No. 27 in defensive rush DVOA (2.3%).
Tyler Allgeier has MORE rushing yards than Kenneth Walker 🤯
— Josh Larky (@jlarkytweets) December 26, 2022
Zack Moss (IND) at NYG: Colts +5 | 39.5 O/U
- No. 1 RB Jonathan Taylor (ankle, IR) suffered an injury after just two plays in Week 15, and in his absence Moss led the Colts backfield with 24-81-0 rushing and a 67% snap rate.
- Even in a 20-3 loss, Moss once again led the backfield in Week 16 with 12-65-0 rushing and a 69% snap rate.
- The Giants are No. 30 in defensive rush EPA (0.044).
Jamaal Williams (DET) vs. CHI: Lions -6 | 52 O/U
- Williams hasn’t found the end zone over the past three weeks, in which time he has just 84 yards — but he’s still No. 1 in the league with 14 touchdowns rushing overall and 27 carries inside the five-yard line (per our Red Zone Stats Report).
- The Lions could give Williams multiple scoring opportunities this weekend as sizable home favorites (-250 at BetMGM).
- The Bears are No. 28 in defensive rush EPA (0.016).
Freedman’s Favorite Week 17 Wide Receivers
Justin Jefferson (MIN) at GB: Vikings +3.5 | 48 O/U
- Since moving from the slot to the perimeter in Week 3 of his 2020 rookie campaign, Jefferson has averaged 102.2 yards on 10 targets per game with an elite mark of 10.2 yards per target.
- Jefferson is No. 1 in the league with 123 receptions overall and 72, 27 and 14 receptions of 10-, 20- and 30-plus yards (per our Advanced WR Stats Report).
- Jefferson is No. 1 among all NFL wide receivers with 4,772 yards receiving in his first three seasons.
- With his league-best 1,756 yards receiving, Jefferson is a massive favorite for Offensive Player of the Year (-800 at PointsBet).
- Against the Packers in Week 1, Jefferson had a tone-setting 9-184-2 receiving on 11 targets.
Too bad the MVP is a quarterback award. Vikings fans are chanting MVP for wide receiver Justin Jefferson. He's just 209 yards shy off of the NFL receiving yard record. #SKOL pic.twitter.com/nx8ooA7KBx
— Maher 🇵🇸 (@pabloikonyero) December 24, 2022
Jefferson Update (Sat. 12/31): CB Keisean Nixon (groin, questionable) seems unlikely to play for the Packers after missing practice every day this week. Jefferson is the unquestioned No. 1 wide recevier.
A.J. Brown (PHI) vs. NO: Eagles -7 | 44 O/U
- Since the Week 7 bye, Brown has a protein-rich 47-801-8 receiving on 73 targets in nine games, and for his career he has an elite 10.2 yards per target.
- QB Jalen Hurts (shoulder) is uncertain for Week 17, and last week in his absence Brown had 6-103-0 receiving on eight targets with backup Gardner Minshew.
- The Saints are No. 29 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (19.8%) and could be without No. 1 CB Marshon Lattimore (abdomen), who last played in Week 5.
Brown Update (Sat. 12/31): Hurts (doubtful) almost certainly won’t play, and Lattimore (questionable) is uncertain. Brown is a solid WR1.
CeeDee Lamb (DAL) at TEN: Cowboys -10 | 40.5 O/U
- In seven games since the Week 9 bye, Lamb has 686 yards and five touchdowns on 62 targets, 49 receptions and five carries.
- The Titans are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to wide receivers (33.8 FPPG).
- For the Titans, CBs Caleb Farley (back, IR), Elijah Molden (groin, IR) and Terrence Mitchell (hamstring, IR) and S Lonnie Johnson (hamstring, IR) are out, and CB Kristian Fulton (groin) and S Amani Hooker (knee) are uncertain after missing last week.
CeeDee Lamb is going to finish as the WR5 (or WR6) with 100 catches, 1300-1400 total yards and 8-10 TDs, and nobody cares 😂
— Russell Clay (@RussellJClay) December 27, 2022
Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET) vs. CHI: Lions -6 | 52 O/U
- Since returning in Week 8 from a head injury, St. Brown has 68-775-3 receiving on 92 targets with 7-27-0 rushing, and in his 12 games with a snap rate of at least 50% he has 1,123 yards and six touchdowns on 125 targets and nine carries.
- Against the Bears in Week 10, St. Brown had 121 yards on 11 targets, 10 receptions and one carry.
- The Bears are No. 30 in defensive dropback SR (50.4%) and are without CBs Jaylon Johnson (finger/ribs, IR) and Kindle Vildor (ankle, IR).
DeAndre Hopkins (ARI) at ATL: Cardinals +4 | 41 O/U
- QB Colt McCoy (concussion) exited Week 15 early and missed Week 16, but he did get in a limited practice last week on Friday, so I’m tentatively projecting him to start this week — which means that Hopkins won’t be saddled with the incompetence of third-stringer Trace McSorley.
- With McCoy starting in Weeks 10-11, Hopkins had 19-189-0 receiving on 26 targets, and even with the return of WR Marquise Brown he has had double-digit targets in every game since the Week 13 bye.
- The Falcons are No. 30 in defensive dropback EPA (0.144) and pass DVOA (21.6%).
Hopkins Update (Sat. 12/31): QB Colt McCoy (concussion) is out, so which means that fourth-stringer David Blough will start for the Cardinals. On top of that, Hopkins (knee, questionable) exited Friday’s practice early with an injury and is uncertain to suit up. If active, Hopkins is a wide-range-of-outcomes WR2.
Keenan Allen (LAC) vs. LAR: Chargers -6.5 | 41 O/U
- Since returning in Week 11 from a hamstring injury, Allen has 47-513-2 receiving on 66 targets in six games.
- Even with No. 1 CB Jalen Ramsey, the Rams are No. 30 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (21.3%).
Week 16 target share leaders (WR)
47% – Keenan Allen
37% – Amari Cooper
36% – Rashid Shaheed
35% – DeVonta Smith
34% – Justin Jefferson
33% – DJ Moore, Brandon Aiyuk
32% – Amon-Ra St. Brown
31% – CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks
30% – Garrett Wilson, Davante Adams
29% – Jerry Jeudy
— Jacob Gibbs (@jagibbs_23) December 27, 2022
Mike Williams (LAC) vs. LAR: Chargers -6.5 | 41 O/U
- In his three games since returning to action in Week 14, Williams has 14-259-1 receiving on 18 targets, and in his 10 games this year with a snap rate of at least 50% he has 51-755-4 receiving on 77 targets.
- The Rams are No. 30 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers (24.2%).
Jerry Jeudy (DEN) at KC: Broncos +13.5 | 45 O/U
- Since Week 14, Jeudy has been without at least one of WRs Courtland Sutton and Kendall Hinton, and in that time he has 21-266-3 receiving on 27 targets.
- Hinton (hamstring) didn’t practice at all last week, so I’m skeptical he plays this week.
- Against the Chiefs in Week 14, Jeudy had 8-73-3 receiving on nine targets.
- The Chiefs are No. 32 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (24.9%).
Jeudy Update (Sat. 12/31): Jeudy (ankle) will play through his questionable tag, but Hinton might as well and Sutton will definitely play. But at least Jeudy won’t need to compete for targets with TE Greg Dulcich (hamstring, IR), who is now out for the year. Still, I’m bumping Jeudy down my rankings, and he’s no longer a favorite.
Christian Watson (GB) vs. MIN: Packers -3.5 | 48 O/U
- Watson (hip) exited Week 16 early, but his injury seems minor, and he had 6-49-0 receiving on eight targets and 25 snaps before leaving in the second quarter.
- Since becoming a full-time player for the Packers in Week 10, Watson has six-plus targets in every game, and for the season Watson has proven himself to be an electric playmaker with 9.0 yards per target and nine touchdowns from scrimmage.
- The Vikings are No. 2 in most fantasy points allowed to wide receivers (33.7 FPPG).
Sounds Christian Watson, Yosh Nijman and Keisean Nixon all avoided significant injuries. Coach Matt LaFleur said they will be "day to day" this week.
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) December 26, 2022
Watson Update (Sat. 12/31): Watson (hip, questionable) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but had a limited session on Friday. I tentatively expect him to play, but if we don’t get confirmation that he’ll play ahead of the 1 pm ET games, he’ll be a speculative upside play given that the Packers play at 4:25 ET. Right now, I’m thinking of him as a boom/bust WR4/flex.
Gabe Davis (BUF) at CIN: Bills -1 | 49.5 O/U
- Davis has a reasonable weekly floor with five-plus targets in all but two games this year, and he has a high ceiling with his career efficiency marks (9.4 yards per target, 9.6% touchdown rate).
- The Bengals are No. 31 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers (29.3%) and are without CB Chidobe Awuzie (knee).
Drake London (ATL) vs. ARI: Falcons -4 | 41 O/U
- In his two games since the Week 14 bye — when the team replaced QB Marcus Mariota with rookie backup Desmond Ridder — London has 14-166-0 receiving on 20 targets.
- The Cardinals are No. 32 in defensive dropback SR (51.1%) and are without No. 1 CB Byron Murphy (back, IR).
London Update (Sat. 12/31): For the Cardinals, CBs Antonio Hamilton (hip, out) and Marco Wilson (neck, questionable) are injured, so London’s matchup is even better. He’s an upside WR3.
Brandin Cooks (HOU) vs. JAX: Texans +4 | 43.5 O/U
- In his Week 16 return to action, Cooks had a team-high nine targets, which he leveraged into 4-34-1 receiving.
- Without No. 2 WR Nico Collins (foot, IR), Cooks could continue to see high target volume.
- The Jaguars are No. 31 in defensive pass DVOA (23.3%).
— NFL (@NFL) December 24, 2022
Demarcus Robinson (BAL) vs. PIT: Ravens -3 | 36 O/U
- Since the Week 10 bye, Robinson is No. 1 on the Ravens in receptions (29) and yards receiving (273) and No. 2 in targets (34), behind only TE Mark Andrews (40).
- QB Lamar Jackson (knee) might return to action in Week 17.
- “You take this home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato — baby, you got a stew going.”
- The Steelers are No. 5 in most fantasy points allowed to wide receivers (29.8 FPPG) and are without CBs Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring, IR) and William Jackson (back, IR).
Robinson Update (Sat. 12/31): Jackson is out once again. Robinson is a viable-though-desperate WR4/flex.
Elijah Moore (NYJ) at SEA: Jets -2.5 | 42.5 O/U
- In his eight games without benched QB Zach Wilson, Moore has significantly outplayed expectations (11.6 FPPG, seven targets vs. 4.6 FFPG, 4.6 targets in 15 games with him).
- The Seahawks are No. 32 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers (31.6%).
Dante Pettis (CHI) at DET: Bears +6 | 52 O/U
- In the absence of Nos. 1-2 WRs Darnell Mooney (ankle, IR) and Chase Claypool (knee), Pettis has led all Bears wide receivers with nine targets in two games since the Week 14 bye.
- Nine targets isn’t a lot, but it’s also not nothing.
- The Lions are No. 3 in most fantasy points allowed to wide receivers (33.6 FPPG).
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 24, 2022
Pettis Update (Sat. 12/31): WR Chase Claypool (knee, questionable) seems likely to play after getting in back-to-back limited practices to close the week, so Pettis is no longer a favorite as a deep flyer.
Quez Watkins (PHI) vs. NO: Eagles -7 | 44 O/U
- Watkins has done almost nothing over the past month (14-81-0 receiving, 2-4-0 rushing), but he does have five-plus targets in every game since Week 13.
- For his career, Watkins has an efficient 9.0 yards per target.
- The Saints are No. 29 in defensive pass DVOA against supplementary wide receivers (27.4%).
- If you’re lost in a forest, you might need to consider the possibility of eating bugs.
Freedman’s Favorite Week 17 Tight Ends
Travis Kelce (KC) vs. DEN: Chiefs -13.5 | 45 O/U
- Kelce is the No. 1 tight end with 16.5 FPPG, well ahead of T.J. Hockenson at No. 2 (10.7): The edge Kelce provides is monstrous.
- Kelce is No. 1 at the position with 135 targets, 28 red-zone targets, and 50, 19 and seven receptions of 10-, 20- and 30-plus yards yards (per our Advanced TE Stats Report).
T.J. Hockenson (MIN) at GB: Vikings +3.5 | 48 O/U
- Since joining the Vikings in Week 9, Hockenson is No. 2 on the team in targets (73), receptions (52) and yards receiving (444).
- It was with the Lions — but in his one game against the Packers last year Hockenson had 8-66-1 receiving on nine targets.
Tight end receptions since TJ Hockenson’s Minnesota debut in Week 9:
1) TJ Hockenson (52)
2) Travis Kelce (50)
— Adam Pfeifer (@APfeifer24) December 27, 2022
Dalton Schultz (DAL) at TEN: Cowboys -10 | 40.5 O/U
- Schultz has 26-285-3 receiving on 41 targets in seven games since the Week 9 bye.
- The Titans are No. 5 in most fantasy points allowed to tight ends (11.7 FPPG).
Cole Kmet (CHI) at DET: Bears +6 | 52 O/U
- Kmet got a playing time boost in Week 3 with a snap rate of 92%, and in the 13 games since then he has amassed 44-460-5 receiving on 59 targets and 2-9-0 rushing.
- With No. 1 WR Darnell Mooney (ankle, IR) exiting Week 12 early, Kmet has averaged six targets over his past four games.
- Against the Lions in Week 10, Kmet went off with 4-74-2 receiving on seven targets.
- The Lions are No. 6 in most fantasy points allowed to tight ends (11.4 FPPG).
Kmet Update (Sat. 12/31): WR Chase Claypool (knee, questionable) seems likely to play after getting in back-to-back limited practices to close the week, so Kmet’s target upside is capped. He’s a low-end TE1.
Jordan Akins (HOU) vs. JAX: Texans +4 | 43.5 O/U
- In Week 10, Akins’ snap rate jumped up from 27% to 52%, and in the seven games since he has 20-228-2 receiving on 28 targets.
- The Jaguars are No. 32 in defensive pass DVOA against tight ends (38.2%).
Akins Update (Sat. 12/31): No. 2 TE Teagan Quitoriano (thigh) is out, so Akins could see more opportunities than he usually does. He’s a TE2.
Jonnu Smith (NE) vs. MIA: Patriots -2.5 | 42 O/U
- No. 1 TE Hunter Henry (knee) exited Week 16 early and is uncertain to play this week.
- If Henry is out, Smith could see an increase in usage: Last week he had a season-high four targets in Henry’s absence.
- The Dolphins are No. 30 in defensive pass DVOA against tight ends (33.1%).
Smith Update (Sat. 12/31): Smith (concussion) is out … so you probably shouldn’t play him. Meanwhile, Henry (questionable) has a shot to play after practicing limitedly. If Henry plays, he’s a TE2.
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