Quick hits week 17 2017

By Chad Stapley
Chad Stapley With Seattle being just on the outside of the playoffs currently, they absolutely have to win this week against the Cardinals. They also need the Falcons to lose since they have the head to head edge over them. Given those thoughts, Russell Wilson & Doug Baldwin are must plays as they will both need to have big games in order for them to win. Seattle basically has no running game, Wilson has led the team in rushing yards for multiple games this season. Wilson threw two TDs last week, and should do the same against a Cardinals defense that has underperformed all season long.

The Chargers vs Raiders game has plenty of playoff implications on the line as well. The AFC wildcard spots are still wide open, and if the Chargers win and the Titans/Bills lose the Chargers would be in the playoffs. Phillip Rivers has been a monster all season, no matter if you are in a one day fantasy football league, or this is your final week of the regular fantasy season, Rivers is worth starting. Keenan Allen has been his go to safety valve all season, and is in the midst of having a great year but Antonio Gates is the guy that should be worth a start. Given the injuries to the other TE’s on their roster Gates will be in for a big game. In his first week playing the primary TE on the roster last week he led the team in receiving yards and caught a TD.

The Kansas City vs Denver game provides intrigue for two reason. The Broncos are once again turning the reigns over to Paxton Lynch at QB, who has got to be close to being on his last chance at having a future with Denver. Kansas City is starting rookie QB Patrick Mahomes given they already have the playoffs locked up. This will be a sneak peek into next year and what he will bring to the table. If Mahomes falters big time in this game, it could mean they keep Alex Smith around for another year (if he is willing to re-sign) or bring in a veteran to compete with him. This is a big week for Kansas City fans and Mahomes.

Marcus Mariota and the Titans host the Jaguars this week. The Jaguars have already locked up the division and the playoffs, so they probably won’t play many of their starters past half time. Mariota is having a down year, and he needs to have a big game to lead the Titans to victory or they will miss the playoffs. The Jaguars defense just gave up 44 points to the 49ers, so the Titans would be smart to look at that game tape to see how to move the ball on the best defense in the NFL.

The Falcons are playing for their playoff spot as well. The path to the playoffs is easy, win and they are in, no matter what else happens in the other games. Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, & Julio Jones should all come out firing. If the Falcons want to win they will find ways to get the ball into Jones and Freemans hand early and often. Ryan will need to air it out and limit his turnovers but is definitely worth a start for a one day fantasy football team as the Panthers have already locked up the playoffs and probably won’t play their starters past half time.

Ezekiel Elliott & Dak Prescott would love nothing more than to finish the season off with a win over the Eagles. They lost out on the playoffs by losing last week, and to beat the Eagles to close out the season would at bare minimum jump start them for next year. Prescott has underperformed all season long, a lot of that has to deal with the RB situation, and his WRs dropped a ton of balls, but he wasn’t the same Dak from his rookie season. For a one day fantasy football league Elliott and Prescott are must starts as the Eagles defense pretty much has nothing to play for as they prepare for the playoffs.

Brett Hundley and the Packers are visiting the Lions in a game that has a lot to intrigue. Hundley and the Packers are just trying to put the pieces together on a lost season, Hundley enters 2018 as the last year under contract. He had basically 7 games in 2017 to prove his starter worthiness, which honestly, he looks like a career backup. He did have a few WOW games that might trick some team into throwing a lot of money at him to be their starter. The Lions on the other hand have an All Pro QB in Matthew Stafford, who hasn’t sniffed a super bowl even though he has put up some gaudy stats. The Lions are sure to hire a new coach, hopefully that coach will dedicate himself to the run game because Stafford has only had a handful of 100 yard rushing games from his RBs in his entire career. He has a few years left in his prime and the Lions would be smart to add a talented RB for the upcoming season to utilize.

This might be the biggest game of Deshone Kizer’s entire young NFL career. Kizer has looked lost all season long, and a lot of that has to do with his own poor decision making. This week they are playing the Steelers, who are sure to play their backups extensively. If Kizer can’t look even decent going against backups, don’t be surprised if the Browns pull the plug on him, and draft another couple of QBs in the upcoming draft. The Browns have the lease amount of talent on their roster when it comes to playmaking abilities but Kizer has looked downright awful and lost in the majority of games all season.

The Bills still technically have a shot at the playoffs. First thing they need to do is win against the Dolphins. In order for them to do that they will need to hand the ball to LeSean McCoy early and often. McCoy is having another tremendous year and the Dolphins defense has been spotty all season. McCoy is a no brainer to start in a one day fantasy football league.