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Fitz’s Week 17 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice (2022 Fantasy Football)

Fitz’s Week 17 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice (2022 Fantasy Football)

There are so many ways a fantasy season can go awry.

You can be the person who catches every opponent at the worst possible time and ends up leading your league in opponent points against.

You can be the person who loses every close game.

And, of course, you can be the person who gets ravaged by injuries so badly that it’s a struggle just to field a competitive team.

The potential pitfalls are many during the regular season. Then, during the playoffs, one dud performance from a key contributor can abruptly end your season. So can a big game from an opponent’s unlikely hero.

It’s tough out there in the fantasy streets.

All we can do as fantasy managers — week after week, year after year — is to be as informed as possible, make the best possible decisions and hope that repeatedly playing the percentages pays off.

Just keep knocking on the door.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve made it to the championship game in at least one of your leagues. If indeed that’s the case, congratulations. You’ve successfully averted all of the aforementioned pitfalls, and you’re one win away from a fantasy championship and all the glory that comes with it. Maybe that means a nice payday. Maybe that means a trophy. It definitely means bragging rights.

You’ve made it this far. You’re on the doorstep, knocking loudly. Keep knocking just a little longer.

Here’s hoping that sucker swings wide open for you.

As always, feel free to use the tiered rankings below as a tiebreaker for your difficult lineup decisions. I’ll offer brief thoughts on a handful of the borderline start/sit guys and some other interesting cases. Rankings are based on half-point PPR scoring.

Fitz’s Week 17 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice (2022 Fantasy Football)


Check out Fitz’s quarterback rankings here partner-arrow

Tier 1

Josh Allen (@ CIN)

Patrick Mahomes (vs. DEN)

Tier 2

Justin Fields (@ DET)

Joe Burrow (vs. BUF)

Justin Herbert (vs. LAR)

Trevor Lawrence (@ HOU)

Jared Goff (vs. CHI)

Dak Prescott (@ TEN)

Tier 3

Kirk Cousins (@ GB)

Daniel Jones (vs. IND)

Gardner Minshew (vs. NO)

Brock Purdy (@ LV)

Tom Brady (vs. CAR)

Aaron Rodgers (vs. MIN)

Tier 4

Mike White (@ SEA)

Geno Smith (vs. NYJ)

Deshaun Watson (@ WAS)

Mac Jones (vs. MIA)

Tier 5

Sam Darnold (@ TB)

Tyler Huntley (vs. PIT)

Teddy Bridgewater (@ NE)

Russell Wilson (@ KC)

Kenny Pickett (@ BAL)

Tier 6

Carson Wentz (vs. CLE)

Davis Mills (vs. JAC)

Andy Dalton (@ PHI)

Baker Mayfield (@ LAC)

Desmond Ridder (vs. ARI)

Nick Foles (@ NYG)

David Blough (@ ATL)

Josh Dobbs (vs. DAL)

Jarrett Stidham (vs. SF)

Jared Goff has been incredible in home games this year. In eight games at Ford Field, he’s averaging 277.1 passing yards, with 20 TD passes and only three interceptions. The Bears’ defense is 29th in DVOA against the pass. Their best cornerback, Jaylon Johnson, is on injured reserve, and so is their best safety, Eddie Jackson is on injured reserve. Goff is a midrange QB1 this week in a scrumptious matchup.

It’s still not clear whether Eagles QB Jalen Hurts will be able to play through a sprained SC joint in his shoulder this week. If he’s able to go, I think you’re obligated to use him in your fantasy matchups. If he doesn’t play, backup Gardner Minshew will be a low-end QB1 in a neutral matchup vs. the Saints. Minshew fully leveraged the talents of his terrific pass catchers last week in his first start of the season, throwing for 355 yards and two touchdowns (with two interceptions) in a Thanksgiving Day loss to the Cowboys.

I’d love to be more bullish on Aaron Rodgers in a home matchup against the Vikings, who have given up the most passing yards and fifth-most fantasy points to opposing QBs. But Rodgers is averaging just 222.1 passing yards per game this season — far and away the lowest mark since he became the Packers’ starter in 2008 — and he hasn’t thrown more than one TD pass in a game since Week 12. Rodgers might also be without his top big-play threat, rookie WR Christian Watson, who’s dealing with a hip flexor injury.

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Check out Fitz’s running back rankings here partner-arrow

Tier 1

Christian McCaffrey (@ LV)

Tier 2

Dalvin Cook (@ GB)

Austin Ekeler (vs. LAR)

Saquon Barkley (vs. IND)

James Conner (@ ATL)

Travis Etienne (@ HOU)

Joe Mixon (vs. BUF)

Rhamondre Stevenson (vs. MIA)

Brian Robinson (vs. CLE)

Tier 3

Nick Chubb (@ WAS)

Alvin Kamara (@ PHI)

David Montgomery (@ DET)

Cam Akers (@ LAC)

Ezekiel Elliott (@ TEN)

Josh Jacobs (vs. SF)

Aaron Jones (vs. MIN)

Tier 4

Kenneth Walker (vs. NYJ)

Najee Harris (@ BAL)

Miles Sanders (vs. NO)

Jerick McKinnon (vs. DEN)

Isiah Pacheco (vs. DEN)

Tyler Allgeier (vs. ARI)

A.J. Dillon (vs. MIN)

Tier 5

J.K. Dobbins (vs. PIT)

Leonard Fournette (vs. CAR)

D’Andre Swift (vs. CHI)

Hassan Haskins (vs. DAL)

Devin Singletary (@ CIN)

Rachaad White (vs. CAR)

Tier 6

D’Onta Foreman (@ TB)

Jamaal Williams (vs. CHI)

Zonovan Knight (@ SEA)

Zack Moss (@ NYG)

Chuba Hubbard (@ TB)

Raheem Mostert (@ NE)

Michael Carter (@ SEA)

Jeff Wilson (@ NE)

Latavius Murray (@ KC)

James Cook (@ CIN)

Cordarrelle Patterson (vs. ARI)

Gus Edwards (vs. PIT)

Royce Freeman (vs. JAC)

Khalil Herbert (@ DET)

Tier 7

Antonio Gibson (vs. CLE)

Julius Chestnut (vs. DAL)

Samaje Perine (vs. BUF)

JaMycal Hasty (@ HOU)

Chase Edmonds (@ KC)

Kareem Hunt (@ WAS)

Deon Jackson (@ NYG)

Kenneth Gainwell (vs. NO)

Jaylen Warren (@ BAL)

Joshua Kelley (vs. LAR)

Dare Ogunbowale (vs. JAC)

After holding three straight opponents under 100 rushing yards, the Lions went to Charlotte, N.C., last week and gave up 320 rushing yards to the Panthers. Now, the Lions face the Bears, who ran for 258 yards when Detroit and Chicago last met in Week 10. David Montgomery is averaging 75.7 scrimmage yards per game. — and if you throw out the Week 3 game against the Texans where he got hurt after 11 snaps and didn’t get to take full advantage of that soft Texans run defense, he’s averaging 80.7 scrimmage yards. Khalil Herbert returned from a hip injury last week, but Montgomery out-snapped him 42-26 and out-touched him 20-8. Bears-Lions has a 52-point Vegas total — the highest on the board for Week 17. Montgomery should be in your lineup if he’s an option for you.

Start Brian Robinson. He’s averaged 19 carries over Washington’s last six games, and he figures to be busy again this week since Commanders RB Antonio Gibson is dealing with knee and ankle sprains. Robinson goes up against a Cleveland defense that has given up the third-most fantasy points to RBs.

I’m slightly nervous about Miles Sanders this week. He’s averaging 5.0 yards per carry for the season but just 3.3 yards per carry over his last two games. I’m not really concerned that he had 11 carries for 42 yards against the Bears in Week 15. I’m more concerned that Sanders had a woefully inefficient 21 carries for 65 yards against the Cowboys last week with Gardner Minshew quarterbacking the Eagles. Is Sanders’ success this season partly attributable to Jalen Hurts? Hurts might poach some TDs from Sanders, but defenses have to honor Hurts’ running ability, and that sometimes freezes linebackers for an extra second on plays where Sanders gets the ball. I’m downgrading Sanders a little if Hurts isn’t back this week, although he’s still inside the top 20 at the position.

Over the Chiefs’ last seven games, Isiah Pacheco has averaged 15.6 carries and 76.9 rushing yards, and he’s had no fewer than 13 carries in any of those games. Jerick McKinnon is the guy with his name in neon lights these days because of the touchdown spree he’s been on, but Pacheco has been the workhorse in the Kansas City running game, and the Chiefs are about to face a Denver defense that the Rams’ Cam Akers just steamrolled for 118 yards and three touchdowns. The Chiefs figure to have a run-friendly game script since they’re favored to beat the Broncos by two touchdowns. Pacheco and McKinnon are both appealing RB2s.

Speaking of Akers … play him this week. Chasing last week’s points is usually a mistake. But that’s not what you’re doing with Akers. Workhorse usage? Check. Akers has played over 75% of the Rams’ offensive snaps the last two weeks, and he’s had 40 touches over that span. Good matchup? Check. Akers faces a Chargers defense that has allowed the second-most rushing yards and fifth-most fantasy points to RBs. You’re not just chasing last week’s points by starting Akers this week; you’re making a prudent decision for Championship Week.

Since Sam Darnold took over as the Panthers’ QB four weeks ago, Carolina has run the ball on a whopping 63.2% of its offensive snaps. The Panthers have had 43 or more rushing attempts in three of those four games. D’Onta Foreman is certainly playable this week, and so is Chuba Hubbard, who’s averaged 11.2 fantasy points per game (half-point PPR) over Darnold’s four starts and had double-digit carries in three of those four games. Hubbard also adds some value as a pass catcher. The Panthers face a Buccaneers run defense that is good but no longer great. The Bucs might not have run-stuffing defensive tackle Vita Vea, who was out last week with a calf injury. Foreman and Hubbard are flex-worthy RB3s.

I wouldn’t be eager to use the Titans’ Hasan Haskins this week even though he’s being thrust into a starting role with Derrick Henry expected to be out. The Tennessee offense is probably going to be a train wreck with Henry absent and with raw rookie Malik Willis making another start at quarterback. It’s also possible that undrafted free agent Julius Chestnut shares the load with Haskins. I have Haskins ranked RB30.

Put Latavius Murray on ice this week. It probably won’t be hard to talk you out of making an investment in a moribund Broncos offense. But consider that Chase Edmonds played just three fewer snaps than Murray in Week 16. Yes, we need to take snap counts in a blowout with a grain of salt, but Edmonds has a year left on a contract that the Broncos could walk away from without taking a hit on dead-cap money. With their season a lost cause, the Broncos might want to get a better assessment of Edmonds during their last two games.


Check out Fitz’s wide receiver rankings here partner-arrow

Tier 1

Justin Jefferson (@ GB)

Tier 2

Ja’Marr Chase (vs. BUF)

Tyreek Hill (@ NE)

Stefon Diggs (@ CIN)

CeeDee Lamb (@ TEN)

A.J. Brown (vs. NO)

Amon-Ra St. Brown (vs. CHI)

Tier 3

Tee Higgins (vs. BUF)

Keenan Allen (vs. LAR)

Davante Adams (vs. SF)

Jaylen Waddle (@ NE)

DeVonta Smith (vs. NO)

Chris Godwin (vs. CAR)

Terry McLaurin (vs. CLE)

Garrett Wilson (@ SEA)

Mike Williams (vs. LAR)

D.K. Metcalf (vs. NYJ)

Tier 4

Mike Evans (vs. CAR)

Jerry Jeudy (@ KC)

Christian Kirk (@ HOU)

JuJu Smith-Schuster (vs. DEN)

D.J. Moore (@ TB)

Amari Cooper (@ WAS)

Brandon Aiyuk (@ LV)

Tyler Lockett (vs. NYJ)

Tier 5

Michael Pittman (@ NYG)

Zay Jones (@ HOU)

Christian Watson (vs. MIN)

Gabe Davis (@ CIN)

Drake London (vs. ARI)

Chris Olave (@ PHI)

Tier 6

Adam Thielen (@ GB)

D.J. Chark (vs. CHI)

Courtland Sutton (@ KC)

Allen Lazard (vs. MIN)

Diontae Johnson (@ BAL)

George Pickens (@ BAL)

Jahan Dotson (vs. CLE)

Marquise Brown (@ ATL)

Jakobi Meyers (vs. MIA)

Donovan Peoples-Jones (@ WAS)

Tier 7

Curtis Samuel (vs. CLE)

Joshua Palmer (vs. LAR)

Romeo Doubs (vs. MIN)

Isaiah Hodgins (vs. IND)

Darius Slayton (vs. IND)

Greg Dortch (@ ATL)

Richie James (vs. IND)

Brandin Cooks (vs. JAC)

Michael Gallup (@ TEN)

Elijah Moore (@ SEA)

K.J. Osborn (@ GB)

Tier 8

Russell Gage (vs. CAR)

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (vs. DEN)

Van Jefferson (@ LAC)

Demarcus Robinson (vs. PIT)

Alec Pierce (@ NYG)

Isaiah McKenzie (@ CIN)

Tyler Boyd (vs. BUF)

Rashid Shaheed (@ PHI)

Noah Brown (@ TEN)

Corey Davis (@ SEA)

Mack Hollins (vs. SF)

Chris Moore (vs. JAC)

Anyone who was planning to use Davante Adams in a championship game this week had to be dismayed by the news that the Raiders are benching QB Derek Carr in favor of Jarrett Stidham. In three NFL seasons, Stidham has completed 32-of-61 passes for 342 yards, with two TD passes and four interceptions. He’s completed 52.5% of his throws, averaging 5.6 yards per attempt. Yikes. The hope is that Adams will continue to get heavy target volume and make it pay off. My fear is that Adams will have the same sort of game he had with the Packers last year when Aaron Rodgers was out with COVID-19 and Jordan Love started at quarterback. Adams had 14 targets in that game but finished with 6-42-0. Adams is one of the best receivers in the game, and it’s not as if Stidham is incapable of throwing a spiral. I still have Adams ranked as a low-end WR1 and would start him under almost any circumstances, but his ceiling and floor are lower than usual.

Keep an eye on the Packers’ injury reports this week. If big-play rookie Christian Watson can’t go because of the hip injury he picked up on Christmas Day, fellow rookie Romeo Doubs is going to play 90% or more of Green Bay’s offensive snaps, and he’ll be going up against a Vikings defense that has allowed the most receptions, the most receiving yards, and the second-most fantasy points to WRs. And even if Watson does play, Doubs might be flex-worthy in deeper leagues. He had a 61% snap share against Miami last week, and Doubs has had eight receptions over the last two weeks. The Watson injury also affects Allen Lazard, who’s a low-end WR3 if Watson plays but a top-25 WR option if Watson sits.

D.J. Chark has been the WR20 in half-point PPR scoring over the last four weeks, and that’s with only one touchdown during that stretch. He’s had 94 or more receiving yards in three of his last four games. As noted earlier, Lions QB Jared Goff has been terrific at home this season, and the Lions are hosting the Bears, who are trying to overcome some major injuries in their secondary. Consider Chark a low-end WR3 in this plus matchup.

Diontae Johnson is a good wide receiver, but he’s doing no one any good in fantasy football this season. Johnson still hasn’t scored a touchdown in 2022. He’s averaging 53.9 receiving yards per game, 9.9 yards per catch and 6.2 yards per target. Johnson has also been less productive with Kenny Pickett at quarterback than with Mitch Trubisky. With Pickett making another start for the Steelers this week, leave Johnson on the bench.

Jahan Dotson has scored a touchdown in three straight games. But I’m not excited that Dotson’s Week 17 targets are going to be coming from Carson Wentz. Dotson also has a tricky matchup against a Browns pass defense that has quietly been very good for the last two months. Since Week 7, Cleveland is third in DVOA against the pass. As much as I like Dotson and think he has a bright future, I’m fading the rookie this week.

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Check out Fitz’s tight end rankings here partner-arrow

Tier 1

Travis Kelce (vs. DEN)

Tier 2

T.J. Hockenson (@ GB)

George Kittle (@ LV)

Evan Engram (@ HOU)

Dalton Schultz (@ TEN)

Dallas Goedert (vs. NO)

Mark Andrews (vs. PIT)

Tier 3

David Njoku (@ WAS)

Pat Freiermuth (@ BAL)

Tyler Higbee (@ LAC)

Tyler Conklin (@ SEA)

Dawson Knox (@ CIN)

Taysom Hill (@ PHI)

Cole Kmet (@ DET)

Greg Dulcich (@ KC)

Tier 4

Cade Otton (vs. CAR)

Noah Fant (vs. NYJ)

Jonnu Smith (vs. MIA)

Gerald Everett (vs. LAR)

Darren Waller (vs. SF)

Juwan Johnson (@ PHI)

Daniel Bellinger (vs. IND)

Chigoziem Okonkwo (vs. DAL)

Tier 5

Austin Hooper (vs. DAL)

Logan Thomas (vs. CLE)

Jordan Akins (vs. JAC)

Robert Tonyan (vs. MIN)

Jelani Woods (@ NYG)

Trey McBride (@ ATL)

Mike Gesicki (@ NE)

Evan Engram has become a must-start. He has a career-high 723 yards this season, and he’s topped the 100-yard mark twice in the last three weeks. Engram has been the TE1 in fantasy scoring since Week 13, averaging 17.6 fantasy points per game over that torrid stretch. He’s had 31-367-3 on 40 targets in his last four games.

Mark Andrews has gone eight straight games without a touchdown. He’s averaging 3.1 targets and 36.5 yards per game during that stretch. Since Week 7, Andrews has been TE23 in fantasy scoring. It’s also worth noting that Andrews hasn’t scored a touchdown in seven career games against the Steelers, whom he faces this week. I’m not telling you to bench Andrews, but I’m not telling you not to bench him. He’s the TE7 in my Week 17 rankings.

After failing to catch a pass in Week 15 while playing through a foot injury, Pat Freiermuth put up a reassuring 7-66-0 stat line against the Raiders in Week 16. He’s the TE9 this week in a matchup vs. the Ravens. Freiermuth had 3-33-1 against Baltimore in Week 14.

Tyler Conklin could be a sneaky-good play this week. He faces a Seahawks defense that’s given up 66-978-8 to TEs this season, and Mike White returns from a concussion this week to upgrade the Jets’ quarterbacking. I’m well above consensus on Conklin this week, ranking him as a low-end TE2.

Taysom Hill paid off for investors last week, with 9-56-1 rushing against the Browns in frigid, windy conditions in Cleveland. With decent weather expected in Philadelphia this week for Saints-Eagles, don’t expect Hill to get as many snaps as a wildcat quarterback as he did last week. He falls out of TE1 range in this week’s rankings.

Will Dissly is going to be out, which might mean more snaps and targets for Noah Fant. I have Fant ranked as a midrange TE2 and will move him up if Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett isn’t able to come back from a finger injury. Fant faces a Jets defense that just gave up 7-113-0 to Evan Engram.

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.

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