Congratulations to all who have won their fantasy leagues! May you talk endless trash to your friends and families throughout the offseason, you deserve it. For those still fighting for a championship in week 17, you might be worried about teams potentially benching fantasy stars in an effort to remain healthy for the playoffs, or to keep them healthy for a playoff run next season. For the purpose of this article, I will be going through some top fantasy players that could potentially be benched in Week 17, how likely it is that they will be benched, and which players you should add to fill in if needed.
Tom Brady-QB (TB): Somewhat Likely
The Bucs will only be playing for seeding this week, as they are locked into a wild card spot in the playoffs after being swept by the New Orleans Saints this year. They will certainly be playing to win however, as being the top wild card team means you will get to play the winner of the NFC East, and not have to travel to Green Bay, Seattle, or New Orleans. Their game against the Falcons will be played at 1pm ET, before the other important games in the NFC, meaning the Buccaneers will not know their seeding before they kickoff. However, if their game against Atlanta gets out of hand like their game last week against the Lions did, I could see the Buccaneers potentially sitting players like Tom Brady down for a portion of the game. I am not saying pick up Blaine Gabbert and insert him into your lineup, just temper your expectations for your Buccaneers this week as there is a possibility they will not play a full game.
Tyreek Hill-WR (KC): Likely
The Chiefs have already clinched the #1 seed in the AFC, so it is entirely possible they rest many key players in Week 17. The most likely player to be sat down would be Tyreek Hill, as the current WR1 was limited in practice all week leading up to Week 16, and had his lowest fantasy output since Week 6 against Atlanta. If Hill sits, then Mecole Hardman would be the most likely beneficiary, with players like Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson also in line to see more targets. I would play Hardman over Watkins and Robinson, and, if Patrick Mahomes plays the full game, I would expect a pretty decent fantasy output from the former Georgia Bulldog.
Andy Reid confirms some of the key starters won't play Sunday against Chargers. "Certain guys will have the opportunity to rest up,'' he said.— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) December 28, 2020
Dalvin Cook-RB (MIN): Unlikely
The Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs even before being beaten by the Saints on Christmas Day, meaning the only thing they have left to play for is draft position. However, I do not see them resting players such as Dalvin Cook for the entire game. Even if Cook is pulled, the Lions defense is so poor that he could have a decent fantasy day playing just three quarters. If news comes down during the week that he will not play Week 17, then players like Mike Boone would be the target on the waiver wire.
Julio Jones-WR (ATL): Somewhat Likely
Jones has been out since Week 13 with a hamstring injury. Interim head coach Raheem Morris has stated that “if he’s able to play, he’ll play” while Jones himself has stated that he wants to play again this season. However, the Falcons will be missing the playoffs for the 6th time in the last eight years, and it is entirely possible that Jones does not play the whole game or even at all in Week 17. Russell Gage would be the next man up in Atlanta, and has managed to compile some decent performances in Jones’s absence.
James Robinson-RB (JAX): Likely
Robinson was held out of Jacksonville’s “unfortunate” loss to the Bears in Week 16. The Jags have won the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes and now only have pride left to play for. Robinson will get his ankle re-evaluated on Wednesday, and will most likely be inactive again if his ankle has not healed significantly. Dare Ogunbowale would be in line to receive the bulk of the carries for Jacksonville if Robinson were to miss time. Ogunbowale ran for a decent 71 yards on 14 carries in Week 16, but a tough matchup against a Colts team fighting for their playoff lives would render Ogunbowale nothing more than a fringe FLEX candidate.
Other Players to Add
Samaje Perine-RB (CIN)
Perine ran 13 times for 95 yards and two TDs Sunday against the Texans. Joe Mixon is officially out for Week 17, and the Bengals may give Perine the opportunity to prove that Week 16 was not a fluke this week against the Ravens. The Bengals are officially out of the playoffs, so they could even give veteran back Gio Bernard the afternoon off and have Perine be the feature back. Pick up Perine and monitor Bernard’s status this week if you are in need of a potential RB2.
Bengals’ RB Joe Mixon is now out for the year. Officially.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 28, 2020
Kirk Cousins-QB (MIN)
If you have made it to the championship game streaming QBs, then more power to you. Kirk Cousins may be the next guy to plug and play this week to get you into the winner’s circle. Cousins has scored 21+ points in four of his last six games, and is facing a Lions team this week that was just shredded by Tom Brady, and even made Blaine Gabbert look like a good quarterback. Assuming the Vikings play all their starters, Cousins should be in store for a big day.
Darrel Williams-RB (KC)
The Chiefs have already clinched the top seed in the AFC, and head coach Andy Reid has stated that many starters will have the opportunity to rest for the playoffs. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still not healthy, and Le’Veon Bell might be held out of the Chiefs game against the Chargers in preparation for the playoffs. This leaves Williams in line to be the feature back in Kansas City after leading the team in rushing attempt in Week 16. The Chargers run defense is ranked 17th against fantasy RBs, so expect a high floor FLEX performance from Williams in Week 17.
Who would you add on the waiver wire for Week 17? Let us know in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, follow us on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, Instagram at @SaintsCSC, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter at @HaydenReel.