Welcome to Week 17, friends. As always, we're here to provide you with some fantasy football Quick Grades (or Start/Sit Grades, if you prefer) for the week.
We tapped into our consensus projections and rankings and Derek Brown’s weekly Primer to generate this week’s Quick Grades. See below for the results and accompanying notes.
Want to read about only your players? Sync your team (free) to get My Primer
Week 17 QB Start/Sit Grades
|2||A||Patrick Mahomes II||KC||DEN|
|11||B-||Gardner Minshew II||PHI||NO|
Joshua Dobbs: Dobbs has thrown a total of 17 passes in his NFL career in the regular season, completing 58.8% of them with 2.6 yards per attempt. This is such a small sample that it's not worth diving into, so let's look at how he fared this preseason with the Browns. Among 67 quarterbacks with at least 25 dropbacks, Dobbs was 12th in PFF passing grade, 27th in adjusted completion rate, and 40th in yards per attempt. Those aren't eye-popping numbers by any stretch of the imagination. Dobbs does offer some rushing upside, though. Over his five-year preseason resume, Dobbs has rushed for 6.7 yards per carry (12 attempts) with three rushing scores. The plus for Dobbs is the Dallas secondary has been a shell of their former selves after injuries have left them decimated. Since Week 14, they are 32nd in success rate per dropback, 31st in EPA per dropback, 28th in fantasy points per game, and 29th in yards per attempt allowed to quarterbacks. Dobbs is a basement-level QB2.
Desmond Ridder: Ridder is a low-end QB2. Since Week 15 among 38 qualifying quarterbacks, Ridder has been 34th in PFF passing grade, 33rd in yards per attempt, and 33rd in adjusted completion rate (minimum 20 dropbacks). The plus for Ridder is that the Cardinals’ pass defense has been a pushover, so this could be the week he posts new career highs across the board. That’s a low bar to clear, though, as he’s yet to throw for a touchdown or surpass 250 yards or 7.0 yards per attempt passing. Since Week 11, Arizona has been 25th in success rate per dropback, 18th in EPA per drop back, and 19th in passing yards per game.
Justin Fields: Last week’s dud as the QB25 in fantasy could not have come at a worse time for fantasy managers. This was Fields’ first game outside the top-eight fantasy quarterbacks since Week 5. His seven rushing attempts were his second-fewest of the season. Considering he had 15 rushing attempts (95 rushing yards) in Week 15, this feels like an outlier, so don’t fret in Week 17. His rushing upside is still present. Fields has stepped forward as a passer which is an asset for his weekly floor and ceiling. Since Week 8, he’s 20th in yards per attempt, 14th in passing touchdowns (despite missing a game), seventh in adjusted completion rate, and tenth in big-time throw rate (minimum 100 dropbacks). Detroit can still be torched through the air. Since Week 11, they have been 30th in pass defense DVOA, 28th in success rate per dropback, 30th in EPA per drop back, and 31st in fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks. Fields remains a top-five fantasy quarterback.
Jared Goff: Goff at home has been an entirely different beast than Goff on the road. At home, Goff has completed 65.1% (road 63.6%) with a 20:3 touchdown to interception ratio (road 6:4) and 277.1 passing yards per game (road 248.9). At home, he’s averaged 23.9 fantasy points per game compared to 15.4 on the road. If Goff had played all of his games this season at home and maintained that level of production, he’d be the QB4 in fantasy points per game immediately ahead of Joe Burrow (QB23 on the road). Goff arrives home just in time to crush a floundering Chicago secondary. Since Week 11, the Bears have been 29th in success rate per dropback, 29th in EPA per drop back, and 32nd in fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks. Goff is a QB1.
Russell Wilson: Wilson faces the same defense that he excelled against in Week 14 this week. The last time against the Chiefs, he tossed three touchdowns with 247 passing yards and 57 yards on the ground to a QB3 finish. Last week showed Wilson is still wrestling with demons as he imploded with three picks and a benching. Wilson is a QB2 that I would only consider for my lineup in a 2QB or Superflex format. The team has stated they will continue to roll him out there this season as the starter, but last week showed that could change any week at the drop of a hat. Wilson is the QB21 in fantasy, ranking 15th in yards per attempt, 25th in fantasy points per dropback, and outside the top 20 in nearly every completion rate metric. Since Week 11, Kansas City has been fifth in success rate per dropback, 11th in EPA per drop back, and sixth in yards per attempt allowed.
Teddy Bridgewater: In limited action this season, Bridgewater ranks 22nd in PFF passing grade, second in yards per attempt, fifth in turnover-worthy play rate, and 35th in adjusted completion rate (minimum 50 dropbacks). Since Week 11, New England has been 19th in success rate per dropback, seventh in EPA per dropback, 20th in passing yards per game, and 11th in explosive pass rate allowed. With elite pass catchers flanking him, Bridgewater should churn out solid QB2 numbers this week.
Mac Jones: Jones has managed three QB1 weeks this season, with two in his last five games. Since Week 12, Jones has been fourth in PFF passing grade, fourth in big-time throws, and 18th in adjusted completion rate (minimum 50 dropbacks). Jones’ play has improved when looking at deeper metrics, but sadly it hasn’t translated to fantasy production consistently. Since Week 11, the Dolphins have been Jekyll and Hyde against opposing passing attacks ranking tenth in success rate per dropback and 13th in EPA per dropback while also sitting at 28th in passing yards per game and 20th in explosive pass rate allowed. Jones is a QB2.
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.
Week 17 WR Start/Sit Grades
|5||A+||Amon-Ra St. Brown||DET||CHI|
|29||B-||Michael Pittman Jr.||IND||NYG|
|31||B-||DJ Chark Jr.||DET||CHI|
|37||C+||Richie James Jr.||NYG||IND|
|61||D||Terrace Marshall Jr.||CAR||TB|
|75||F||Marvin Jones Jr.||JAC||HOU|
|89||F||Phillip Dorsett II||HOU||JAC|
|90||F||Laviska Shenault Jr.||CAR||TB|
|94||F||Velus Jones Jr.||CHI||DET|
|97||F||Ray-Ray McCloud III||SF||LV|
|106||F||Steven Sims Jr.||PIT||BAL|
|121||F||Cedrick Wilson Jr.||MIA||NE|
|124||F||Keelan Cole Sr.||LV||SF|
|136||F||James Proche II||BAL||PIT|
|140||F||Michael Woods II||CLE||WAS|
|144||F||Stanley Berryhill III||DET||CHI|
|163||F||Equanimeous St. Brown||CHI||DET|
|165||F||Willie Snead IV||SF||LV|
|170||F||Stanley Morgan Jr.||CIN||BUF|
|172||F||Demetric Felton Jr.||CLE||WAS|
|174||F||David Sills V||NYG||IND|
Jakobi Meyers: Meyers finally looks fully healthy. Last week he played 100% of the snaps. That’s the first time he’s played more than 62% of the snaps since Week 11. Meyers handled a 25% target share, hauling in six of his eight targets for 83 receiving yards (2.31 yards per route run). Meyers is 26th in deep targets among wide receivers. He’s 11th in yards per route run while also sitting at 22nd in open rate, tied with Tee Higgins. Meyers is a WR4 that will run about 72% of his routes against Kader Kohou (67% catch rate, 84.4 passer rating).
Tyreek Hill: Hill is the WR3 in fantasy with a 33.5% target share (first), 35.8% target per route run rate, and 39.4% air yard share (fifth-best). Hill is second in receptions, receiving yards, and YAC. Don’t get cute and consider sitting Hill with Bridgewater under center. Mike McDaniel could be tossing him footballs under center this week and I’d still be screaming for you to start him. Hill is quarterback proof. He’s a WR1.
Jaylen Waddle: Waddle is the WR11 in fantasy commanding a 22.5% target share and 28% air yard share. He’s 23rd in deep targets but has only eight red zone targets (55th) this season. After a rough patch, Waddle has rebounded with WR10 and WR5 finishes in each of the last two weeks. Waddle is second in yards per route run and 36th in open rate. Waddle is a WR2.
Michael Pittman: Last week, with Foles tossing him passes, Pittman handled his usual 25% target share with less-than-stellar results. He finished with four grabs (seven targets) and 39 receiving yards, but the one silver lining is that his aDOT rose to 10.6 (previously 6.5). The Colts are concentrating on involving him more in the red zone, with four targets inside the 20 over his last four games. Before that, he had just one target inside the 20-yard line in his previous seven games. Pittman remains a volume-based WR3 that will run about 67% of his routes against Nick McCloud (61.8% catch rate, 114.0 passer rating), Cordale Flott (76.5% catch rate, 121.9 passer rating), and Fabian Moreau (62.0% catch rate, 103.7 passer rating). Since Week 11, the Giants have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to perimeter wide receivers.
Isaiah Hodgins: Hodgins has been excelling with every opportunity that he’s earned with the Giants. Since Week 13, he has been 34th in PFF receiving grade, 54th in yards per route run, and the WR16 in fantasy points per game with a 21.1% target share. Hodgins is 22nd in open rate among 81 qualifying wide receivers, tied with Drake London. Over the last four games, Hodgins has seen 100% of the team’s end-zone targets. Hodgins is a WR3/4 that will run about 91% of his routes against Gilmore, Facyson, and Flowers.
D.J. Moore: With Darnold back, Moore has had a 28.9% target share, 50% end zone target share, 61.8% air yard share, and 2.98 yards per route run. In fantasy, Moore has been the WR11, WR93, WR16, and WR11. Moore is eighth in deep targets, 32nd in yards per route run, and 30th in fantasy points per route run this season. Moore is a WR2/3.
Amari Cooper: With Watson, Cooper has a 28.3% target share (eight targets per game) while averaging 53 receiving yards. He has a 57.1% end zone target share and 1.72 yards per route run with Cleveland’s new franchise quarterback. Despite the hefty target volume, Cooper hadn’t even finished as a WR3 until last week (WR30). Cooper has five red zone targets over his last three games. He is the WR19 in fantasy, ranking 13th in deep targets and tenth in red zone targets for the season. Cooper is a WR3 that will run about 75% of his routes against Kendall Fuller (61.3% catch rate, 91.9 passer rating) and Benjamin St.-Juste (53.8% catch rate, 97.9 passer rating).
Donovan Peoples-Jones: Since Week 13, Peoples-Jones has had a 21.2% target share, 35.4% air yard share, and 1.52 yards per route run. He has seen seven of Watson’s ten deep targets (Cooper, three). Peoples-Jones has continued without losing a step since Watson started calling plays with WR28, WR13, WR30, and WR104 finishes. He has three red zone targets over his last three games. Peoples-Jones is a WR4 that will run about 70% of his routes against Fuller and St.-Juste.
Terry McLaurin: With Wentz under center, McLaurin wasn’t utilized as the clear alpha of the passing attack. Wentz looked at him as another cog in the passing machine. McLaurin only had two games with eight or more targets and one WR2 or higher week (WR24). Wentz did look for him near the goal line as he saw five red zone targets. McLaurin already had a tough road this week against a secondary that, since Week 11, has allowed the 12th-fewest fantasy points per game to perimeter wide receivers. McLaurin is the WR22 overall with the third-most deep targets. He’s a WR3 this week that will run about 78% of his routes against Denzel Ward (60.7% catch rate, 93.7 passer rating) and Martin Emerson (55.7% catch rate, 88.5 passer rating).
Jahan Dotson: With Wentz earlier this season, Dotson was a definite third in line for targets, but he was the preferred end-zone target. Since Week 13, Dotson has been asserting himself with a 25% target share, 50% end zone target share, and 2.83 yards per route run. He’s been a top-20 fantasy wideout in each of the last three weeks (WR18, WR9, WR12). Dotson is a WR4 that will run about 73% of his routes against Emerson and Ward.
Week 17 RB Start/Sit Grades
|6||A||Travis Etienne Jr.||JAC||HOU|
|15||A-||Kenneth Walker III||SEA||NYJ|
|16||B+||Brian Robinson Jr.||WAS||CLE|
|36||C-||Jeff Wilson Jr.||MIA||NE|
|70||F||Pierre Strong Jr.||NE||MIA|
|85||F||Patrick Taylor Jr.||GB||MIN|
|86||F||Ronald Jones II||KC||DEN|
|87||F||Benny Snell Jr.||PIT||BAL|
|105||F||Anthony McFarland Jr.||PIT||BAL|
|114||F||Duke Johnson Jr.||BUF||CIN|
|115||F||Larry Rountree III||LAC||LAR|
|123||F||Demetric Felton Jr.||CLE||WAS|
|124||F||Wayne Gallman Jr.||SEA||NYJ|
Travis Etienne: Etienne is the RB24 in fantasy averaging 23 touches and 119.5 total yards over his last two games. Etienne is lighting in a bottle, ranking first in yards per reception, 13th in yards per touch, and fifth in breakaway runs. Last time against Houston, he was the RB22 with 114 total yards while playing 51.4% of the snaps with 13 touches. He should see at least 20 opportunities this week while he destroys the Texans’ run defense. Since Week 11, Houston has been 19th in rushing success rate, 25th in fantasy points per game, 27th in rushing yards per game, and 30th in explosive run rate allowed. Etienne is an RB1.
Royce Freeman: Last week, Freeman saw his snap count bump to 55% with 17 opportunities that he turned into only 38 total yards. Freeman has been woeful in the efficiency department with his limited sample over the last two weeks. Among 80 running backs with at least 25 carries, he is 72nd in yards after contact per attempt, 48th in PFF’s elusive rating, and has zero breakaway runs. Freeman enters the RB3/4 conversation because of his volume projection and a matchup with the soft Jaguars’ run defense. Since Week 11, they have been 27th in rushing success rate, 13th in EPA per rush, 20th in rushing yards per game, and 17th in explosive run rate allowed.
Josh Jacobs: Jacobs is the RB3 in fantasy, ranking third in snap share, first in opportunity share, second in carries, and 12th in targets. He has the 14th-most red zone touches and the 14th-highest target share (11.7%). Jacobs has been an efficient rusher this season, ranking second in evaded tackles, tenth in juke rate, and fourth in breakaway runs. The quarterback change hurts him this week because the offense overall is likely to see fewer trips to the red zone and a downtick in overall effectiveness with Stidham. Jacobs is a low-end RB1 based on volume. Since Week 11, the 49ers have been third in rushing success rate, first in EPA per rush, third in yards per carry, and second in fantasy points per game allowed to running backs.
Zonovan Knight: Since Week 14, Knight has played 41-47% of the snaps averaging 13 touches and 37.7 total yards. He has conceded the passing downs to Carter and nearly split the red zone work evenly with him. Knight is 34th in yards after contact per attempt, 30th in breakaway rate, and first in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 50 carries). Knight is a script-dependent RB3. If the Jets can control the score, Knight could sniff close to 20 touches, but if they fall behind early, we could see more Carter. Since Week 11, Seattle has been 32nd in fantasy points per game, 28th in rushing success rate, 32nd in rushing yards per game, and 25th in explosive run rate allowed. Knight could post a massive fantasy day if the Jets can stay competitive.
Michael Carter: Since Week 14, Carter has played 39-52% of snaps averaging 6.7 touches and 33.7 total yards. Over the last three games, he has an 11.2% target share and 1.25 yards per route run. Carter is an RB4 whose value resides in the passing game. Seattle has been a haven for receiving backs. Since Week 11, they have been 29th in receptions per game, 29th in receiving yards per game, and 30th in yards per reception allowed to running backs.
Kenneth Walker: Over the last two weeks, Walker has played 75% and 53% of the snaps averaging 22 touches and 92 total yards. Seattle gave him a breather last week with DeeJay Dallas operating more on passing downs as Walker’s target share fell to 5.3%, and his route run rate sat at 25%. At less than 100%, Walker has ranked 33rd in yards after contact per attempt and 12th in breakaway rate (minimum 12 carries) since Week 15. Walker is an RB2 with a tough road ahead in Week 17. Since Week 11, the Jets are first in rushing success rate, tenth in EPA per rush, 14th in rushing yards per game, and 20th in explosive run rate allowed.
Cam Akers: If you’ve been reading the Primer, you already know Akers has been playing much better than his box scores indicate. Well, every box score before Week 16. Akers exploded last week with a season-high 23 carries for 118 rushing yards and three scores. He’s earned more work over the last three weeks as the Rams have realized that he has been closer to his pre-injury form. He’s played at least 72% of the snaps in three of his last four games. Since Week 10, Akers has been 22nd in yards after contact per attempt, tenth in missed tackles forced, 14th in runs of ten-plus yards (tied with Rhamondre Stevenson), and ninth in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 25 carries). Akers should be able to build on last week’s success in Week 17. Since Week 11, the Chargers have been 16th in rushing success rate, 20th in EPA per rush, and 24th in rushing yards per game. Akers is a solid RB2 with RB1 upside this week.
Najee Harris: Harris is the RB20 in fantasy, ranking tenth in opportunity share, 12th in weighted opportunities, and seventh in carries. He’s ninth in evaded tackles, 21st in juke rate, and 23rd in yards created. Harris has finished as an RB2 or higher in four of his last six games (RB3, RB15, RB17, RB13) while never finishing lower than RB28 in that stretch. The Ravens are a nasty run defense, ranking second in rushing success rate, second in EPA per rush, and sixth in fantasy points per game allowed since Week 11. Harris is an RB2.
J.K. Dobbins: Dobbins has averaged 13.3 carries and 101.3 rushing yards since his return. Last week’s scoreless 59 yards rushing is the floor for Dobbins. While he ran for a stout 4.9 yards per carry, if he doesn’t blow it out of the water with his efficiency and get into the end zone, you’re likely disappointed. Since Week 14, Dobbins has been ninth in yards after contact per attempt, seventh in breakaway rate, and 20th in PFF elusive rating (minimum 20 carries). Since Week 11, Pittsburgh has been 14th in rushing success rate, tenth in rushing yards per game, and eighth in explosive run rate allowed. Dobbins is a volatile RB2.
Week 17 TE Start/Sit Grades
|40||F||Donald Parham Jr.||LAC||LAR|
Pat Freiermuth: After a few down weeks and declining snaps, Freiermuth proved he was healthy last week, soaking up a 22.2% target share with 1.89 yards per route run and an 87.5% route run rate. Freiermuth is the TE9 in fantasy with a 19.5% target share, the third-most deep targets, and the 13th-most red zone targets. He ranks sixth in yards per route run and ninth in yards after the catch. Freiermuth hauled in a touchdown on a limited snap count with 33 receiving yards the last time he played Baltimore (TE6). Freiermuth is a TE1.
Mark Andrews: With Huntley tossing him passes, Andrews has a 29.5% target share (six targets per game), 25.9% air yard share, and 1.33 yards per route run. Andrews has had disappointing fantasy weeks as the TE23, TE24, and TE19. The usage and target volume remains for him to be ranked as a TE1, but the results have been frightening. If you have a sexy streaming option, consider them over Andrews. Andrews is a borderline TE1. Since Week 11, Pittsburgh has been 22nd in catch rate, 20th in receiving yards per game, and 12th in fantasy points per game allowed to tight ends.
Dawson Knox: Knox has come on strong recently with TE1 weeks (TE5, TE5, TE3, TE9) in four of his last six games. Since Week 11, he has had a 16.1% target share (five targets per game), a 78,1% route run rate, and 1.51 yards per route run. Since Week 11, Cincinnati has been 17th in catch rate, 26th in receiving yards per game, and 23rd in fantasy points per game allowed to tight ends. Knox is a TE1.
Cole Kmet: After his hot mid-season stretch with Fields exploding, Kmet has cooled off with only one TE1 finish in his last five games (TE6). Kmet has a 19.5% target share (sixth-best0 which has amounted to 4.1 targets per game. Since Week 8, Kmet has been the TE6 in fantasy points per game, which is a bigger statement about the tight end position than Kmet’s season. Kmet is seventh in deep targets this season which should serve him well against Detroit. The Lions are 26th in DVOA against tight ends, allowing the seventh-highest yards per reception, fifth-most fantasy points per game, and fourth-highest catch rate. Kmet is a TE1.
Daniel Bellinger: Bellinger has played at least 97% of the snaps in three of his last four games. In that span, he’s seen an 11.3% target share, zero end zone targets, and a 78.3% route run rate. He’s been a solid TE2 with TE15 and TE18 finishes in this four-game sample. Indy has been 27th in DVOA against tight ends ranking 18th in catch rate and 16th in yards per reception allowed.
Juwan Johnson: Since Week 6, Johnson has been the TE6 in fantasy. He’s seen a 15.1% target share, a 26.7% end zone target share, and a 67.2% route run rate. Johnson has been 18th in yards per route run in that period. Overall he’s 12th in deep targets and tenth in red zone targets among tight ends. Since Week 11, the Eagles have been more pliable to tight ends ranking 28th in catch rate and 17th in yards per reception. Johnson should have a solid day as a TE1 against the Eagles’ zone defense. Johnson has seen 52.8% of his target volume against zone. He ranks 14th in PFF receiving grade and 13th in yards per route run against the coverage (minimum eight zone targets).
Dallas Goedert: Last week, in his first game back, Goedert only managed an 8.8% target share, but he made it count with 67 receiving yards, a 90.2% route run rate, and 1.81 yards per route run. Goedert is the TE4 in fantasy points per game with a 19.2% target share (eighth-best) and 2.40 yards per route run (third-best). Goedert is a low-end TE1 this week against the no-fly zone defense for tight ends known as the Saints. New Orleans is first in catch rate, first in receiving yards per game, and first in fantasy points per game allowed to tight ends.
Week 17 D/ST Start/Sit Grades
|1||A+||San Francisco 49ers||SF||LV|
|4||A-||Kansas City Chiefs||KC||DEN|
|6||B+||New York Jets||NYJ||SEA|
|7||B||New England Patriots||NE||MIA|
|9||B||New York Giants||NYG||IND|
|11||B-||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TB||CAR|
|13||C||Los Angeles Chargers||LAC||LAR|
|23||D-||Los Angeles Rams||LAR||LAC|
|25||F||New Orleans Saints||NO||PHI|
|27||F||Green Bay Packers||GB||MIN|
|32||F||Las Vegas Raiders||LV||SF|
Week 17 K Start/Sit Grades
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to 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 - that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much - we've got you covered this fantasy football season.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio